A nursery for Silas

I found a brief moment when Silas was napping to snap some pics of his nursery. I LOVE how it turned out. Since he’s only 7 weeks he’s still sleeping in a cosleeper in  our room, but he’s taken a few naps in here. It’s such a big change from where this room started!



This room is really small, just 8 by 11 feet. I wanted to keep it feeling light and fun with lots of artwork and a modern feel.




I added some diy plumbing pipe curtain fixtures over the window and closet to give the room a little symmetry. The curtains are just old ones from Target. Because the fixtures are screwed right into studs Silas and his older sister can tug on them all they want – they are very secure. An Ikea Raskog cart holds all our diapering supplies, freeing up space in the dresser. We do 60/40 split with cloth/disposable diapers, mostly sposie’s at night.



The crib is the Ikea Gulliver that we used with Lucy. I love how simple it is, and you can’t beat the price. The little stool in front of the window is a Target find. Lucy likes to perch there while I’m changing Silas (approximately 1,000 times per day- kid’s a puker) The mobile is from this Etsy shop. I love how it adds just a little bit of whimsy to the room.


The Monte Luca glider was a deeply discounted floor sample score at a local baby boutique. I promised myself an upholstered glider the second time around and I’m so glad – it’s so much more comfortable than the rocking chair we used in Lucy’s nursery. The little dipped stool/side table is from Serena&Lily. The lamp is from Ikea. The “goodnight” dinosaur print is from Urban Outfitter. and so is the fox pillow (which I think is no longer available.)


This tree bookshelf is my favorite feature in the room. It’s by Babyletto and is the perfect size. It’s not at all practical for regular books (too shallow) , but it’s perfect for displaying small toys and baby books. It’s right next to the door so it’s narrow depth is perfect. It also holds the neatest little humidifier night light from Muji.


The mid century dresser is one of the first grown up pieces of furniture Pk and I ever bought. It’s petite size is perfect for a kids room and I love the original brass hardware. We have two Ubi diaper pails, one for cloth and one for disposables. So far I’m impressed –  no stink and you can use any bag or liner you like. The “twenty northern friends” print is from Banquet on Etsy and the Tree of Life print I blogged about ages ago, here. Framing was a big expense in this room, but I love all the artwork in here. It really brings the space to life and I hope Silas grows to love what we picked out for his room.


The rug is also from Ikea. It’s 100% wool and does a great job hiding animal hair. I added an extra squishy rug pad underneath so it’s foot and baby friendly too. The baby gym is also Ikea. Shocking, I know – I had to offset all my splurges (glider, framing, artwork) with some more affordable pieces, thus, Ikea. Affordable solid wood kids toys aren’t that easy to come by and this one is easy on the eyes.


Last but not least, the star of the show! Silas is 7 weeks old today and weighs in at an impressive 15 and a half pounds. Two weeks ago he developed a scary high fever and we had to spend 2 nights in the hospital, but thankfully everything is fine now (thank god for antibiotics- he had a UTI.) Of course it happened the night of Pk’s first international work trip since Silas’ birth, but thankfully the grandparents were available to stay with Lucy while I took care of our little man.  It was stressful and it’s taken me a little while to get back on my game since we got home. Silas is a very different baby than Lucy was, but we’re getting the hang of things. Lucy has done a great job, but is showing a little bit of regression behavior now that he is a little older and some of the excitement of his arrival has faded away for her.  Adjusting to two kids is way more difficult than adjusting to one – everyone warned me, but until I was in the thick of it, I didn’t fully understand. There is literally no personal time left and almost no time for blogging. Hopefully we’ll get into some kind of routine soon and I’ll have some time to catch up on house projects (the garage/art studio is finally getting done!) Pk is taking me on a date tonight, just us, and I can’t wait. Hope you all are well and enjoying spring!



The upstairs hall.

So! An actual post about house progress! Here goes…

When we bought our place, it was fairly obvious that the previous owner had bought it in an attempt to flip it and had made “improvements” (I use that term loosely) using the absolute cheapest materials possible. To wit, our upstairs doors were the cheapest plastic molded hollow core doors ever made. With the cheapest, ugliest brass and mismatched hardware ever made.


They weren’t ever painted, and were pretty filthy, but somehow that wasn’t motivation enough to do anything about it for the last three years. I guess that’s not really true – we did buy salvaged wood doors (like the ones on the first floor) but then they sat in the basement while we did other stuff; like rounds of infertility treatment and thankfully had two kids.


ewww, ugly door to our bedroom.


Thankfully we have Sean the carpenter who trimmed and scraped and painted and trimmed some more until all the salvaged doors fit where they needed to. It was no easy task – a couple of the slabs we picked were warped (oops) and since pretty much everything in this house is crooked anyway, it was quite a challenge to get them to fit. He persevered, and I’m so glad. New (to us) wood doors make all the difference.


The upstairs hall is very short, so I took this pic with my back pressed against the railing over the stairs.


Here’s the bathroom door that had to be trimmed just enough that the new knob wouldn’t fit without a little trickery from Sean. He was able to add in a piece of wood so that there was enough depth for the latch mechanism.


I actually kind of like the way it looks – a happy accident. We used the same door hardware as downstairs, but only put a locking one on the bathroom door (once, while babysitting, a sassy toddler locked me out of her room while her infant sister was inside and I practically had to take the door off the hinge to get in, so, no locking bedroom doors for kiddos in this house.)

The doors will probably need a bit of adjusting as we move into the more humid summer months, but I’m so happy with how they turned out. Just the tactile sensation of opening a heavy wood door instead of a flimsy plastic one is pretty satisfying. Here’s the new light fixture over the stairs.

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It’s from Restoration Hardware. It replaces the ugly stained glass fixture that I showed here. The roman shade is from Pottery Barn. I originally ordered 3 of them for our bedroom, but since they have a blackout liner they felt a little too heavy. I kept the one I had opened and it works perfectly here. It’s open all day and only gets pulled down when we are going to bed and don’t want to see our neighbors security lights.

I really intended to get this post up sooner but I’ve been waylaid by a terrible case of mastitis this week. Thank god for on-call docs, 24 hour pharmacies, and antibiotics. I’ll have another post up about the stairway soon – it’s looking really good, but just needs a few more things before it’s complete.


he’s back!

IMG_6534My favorite carpenter/make my house better guy is finally back to work after a six month hiatus. First thing on his list? Painting the new nursery. We are so lucky to have a 3rd bedroom in this little house. It’s a small room, maybe 8×11?, but surely big enough to hold everything our little dude could need.

Here are a few more before pics – IMG_6532 IMG_6535The room was barely big enough for a queen bed and the dresser you see above, but it also held all of our coats and tons of other junk we managed to cram in there (linens, our iron, shoes, etc.) Pete and I thoroughly edited our coat collection, tossed the 10+ year old mattress, and gave the extra bedding to friends and family. We now officially don’t have a space for guests, but I’m seeing an air mattress purchase in our future. The beige paint (what was I thinking?) has been covered by a lovely coat of fresh white, which of course gave me the notion that the upstairs hallway and stairway could use a fresh coat, which then reminded me that ugly hollow core doors need replacing with the solid wood ones we scavenged and then left in our basement, and oh, this is the perfect time to build a linen closet! Epic nesting.

So. Sean is doing all of those things. The only possible place to add a closet was over the stairs, in the little strange hallway to our bathroom.

IMG_6542Here’s the view looking back at the stairs. Hallway to the bath is on the left.

IMG_6547 IMG_6548Here it is framed out. It’s really more of a linen cabinet since we needed to maintain a really comfortable head clearance for going up and down the stairs.

IMG_6550Here’s the view from inside the bath hallway ( you can see what it used to look like here) Sean will build doors and shelves once all the drywall is taken care of.

Here’s a view from today with drywall and a couple of coats of mud.

IMG_6561 I think having even a small linen cabinet will make a huge difference in our storage upstairs. We’ve always kept extra linens in our room, generally piled on chairs. I love the idea of having a place for a couple of extra pillows, an air mattress, and all the extra tp I can buy. I worried a little bit that adding a bulkhead would make the stairs feel cramped, but the truth is I don’t even notice it. I’m on the hunt for a new fixture to replace that 90’s pool table/bennigan’s style one finally. Sean will also upgrade the bannister on the stairs since the old one was quite flimsy and didn’t actually go all the way to the top.

Right now he’s using the nursery to stage all his tools while he gets all this upstairs work done – so I won’t really be able to get started putting the room together for at least another week. In the mean while I’ve been hunting for the second layer of decor for that room – I’m planning on picking up a rug and a floor lamp from Ikea this weekend and I’ve been finding tons of great artwork online. You can see my ideas on my pinterest board here.



30 Weeks!

Hope you all are well.


Our bedroom. After!

I think it’s done! Here’s pics of our newly done bedroom. You can see the before pics in the previous post.



Looking right to Pk’s side


The big impact on Pete’s side comes from the gorgeous cowhide I bought from Amazon, and the massive framed Hemnes floor mirror from Ikea. Pete didn’t have a dressing mirror before and this way he can make sure he looks super fly and the mirror can bounce a whole ton of light around the room. We also got new roman shades that add the most lovely filtered light. I outside mounted them and then added inexpensive roller blinds underneath for more privacy at night. The trunk under the window is from World Market.

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I also added some artwork above his dresser (his dresser was a $40 dollar craigslist steal). The art is a lithograph of a train scene from the Belmont station in Chicago and the first framed, expensive art I bought after college. It just screams Pk to me, and the muted colors look really nice in here.


I also added a walnut hook rack from Rejuvenation (thanks for those Nana, they’re perfect!) and a sturdy laundry bag from West Elm Market. This way he has a place to hang clothes he might wear again the next day instead of hanging them off the dresser hooks (ahem.) The laundry bag is for drycleaning (which is about 80% of his wardrobe.) The vintage clock and Shakespeare collection are things he has had forever. I also added a lamp so that he doesn’t have to turn on the over head lights to get dressed in the wee hours of the morning.

Looking left to my side.


You guys, the new rug is soooo soft and fuzzy. It keeps my toes cozy while I get dressed in the morning and just makes the whole space look a bit more sophisticated.


The new chair! I did eventually cave and get a knock-off ghost chair for my vanity. I totally love it and feel no guilt whatsoever.


I replaced the super ugly chair with this one from world market  ( true story, I tried to use upholstery paint on the other chair, it looked better, but the velvet felt super stiff so I decided to just replace it. it was an epic DIY fail, but hey, I tried.) The new chair fits the space a whole lot better and I like the black legs. The sconce was a thrifty find that used to be in the living room, but it fits this nook perfectly. I added this gorgeous brass side table from Restoration Hardware that I’ve been eying for approximately forever. It’s so great to finally have some family pictures in here too. They used to be in the living room, but work much better here.


Seriously cannot get enough of the brass, and I like the way it picks up the warm tone from the framed artwork above the bed. Speaking of that…


I ordered these 3 moon prints from a great Etsy seller and had them framed. I saved a bundle by using stock frames, but had mats cut and the prints mounted and backed. It was obviously more expensive than using say, ikea frames, but the total cost was less than $250 dollars (that includes the labor, prints, and frames!) and I think it makes a huge impact.


Our plug in wall sconces are from Lowe’s, and help free up space on our night stand tables.


Our little bedside tables used to be bubble gum pink stools( I got them for $10 at a thrift store a million years ago.) I gave them a quick coat of my favorite black spray paint and now they really ground the space and pick up on the black in the bed linens.


The linens are a total blend of high and low – white Ralph Lauren sheets from Marshalls, Linen shams and duvet cover from Restoration Hardware, herringbone blanket  and accent pillow from Target, and monogrammed shams from Pottery Barn. IMG_4531

Another major change was removal of the ugly bifold closet doors. I replaced them with Aina linen curtain panels hemmed to the correct length. Normally I’m not a huge fan of curtains as doors, but I like the softness they add here. I actually have two antique french doors sitting in the basement waiting to be cut to size and refinished, so in the mean time the curtains will have to do. I got the recommendation for these curtains from Rosa Beltran Design’s blog. They have an awesome hidden hanging system.

I think that’s it! Peter and I both love, love, love it. It’s just more adult now, and feels a lot less random. It really functions now too (which is the foundation of good design!) We each have our separate dressing area – it’s kind of funny how it turned into his and hers, right? I also love that it’s a mix of old and new, thrifted, DIYed (our headboard is a thrift store find that I sewed a camel colored velvet slipcover for), and newly purchased (rugs, bedding, lighting, etc.) We’ve lived here for 3 and 1/2 years and we finally have a bedroom that looks great (or at least better!)

This weekend we’re celebrating my 30th birthday (gaaahhhhohmygodhowdidthathappensofast!!!) and I’m looking forward to partying with Pk and the rest of our family. Have a great weekend!


ps. Taking these pics made me realize that I’m not great at photo styling and that a ton of work goes into those seemingly perfect house images you see all the time. You should see the pile of laundry in the hallway!

pps. This room will never be this clean again, so it’s a good thing I documented it.

Our bedroom. The befores

Our bedroom is one of the larger rooms in our house. It’s as wide as the house and takes up almost the front half of the second floor (street side.) It has some great features – vaulted ceilings, windows on two sides and two (small) closets. When we first moved in we slapped some paint on it, bought a king size mattress and left it at that.


the vaulted ceilings make the room feel enormous.


looking right at Pk’s side



looking left at my side

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I’ve written before about my wardrobe and the vanity table.

So we’ve basically plodded along with this room, ignoring the things about it that were annoying. It just needed an extra layer of detail and a few touches to make it more functional. This space has to function as both a sleeping and dressing area for us and it was seriously lacking in style.

The main issues  –

ugly bifold closet doors, too small/ugly rugs, better clothing management for Pk, lighting, too short window treatments, no artwork or pictures, and an ugly and discolored chair.

Heres a few things I’ve been gathering for this space to give a layer of sophisticated personalization.


I’ve been working on the bedroom for the last couple weeks and I can’t wait to share it with you! I’m just waiting for a couple things to arrive and for the snow to stop falling so I can whip out my spray paint. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the week!

xo – Helen

ps. If you want a little eye candy check out this month’s Matchbook Magazine. There’s a great tour of Bailey Mccarthy’s Houston home and it’s amaze-balls. The kitchen will knock your socks off!

Inspiring bedrooms and…the apocalypse is coming.

I’ve been working a little bit on our bedroom, in those rare quiet moments when Lucy isn’t demanding every ounce of my attention. I decided to do a roundup of rooms that really get me going to make sure my eye is tuned to what I like (not just what I think I should like!) Here’s a few that I adore…


via House and Home


via Lonny


via Country Living


jenna lyons former bedroom


Alice Lane Home

What these rooms all have in common is a very simple color palette. They have tons of texture and variety (leather, linen, sisal, metal!), but they also have a little bit of restrained elegance – none of them are very over the top. Black, white, grey, varied wood tones, and hints of gold. Hopefully I can incorporate a few of those qualities in our space too.

ps. It was 63° here today. IT’S JANUARY. The high on thursday is supposed to be 10°! Totally and utterly bizarre.

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