Lucas’s Room 2.0

You guys…

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the changes in Lucas’s room lately.

For real. 

Let’s start from the beginning, eh?


Blank slate.  Dirty carpet.   Windows that were a hazard (they were loose, single-paned glass, and one didn’t open at all).   Sorry for the Legos.

Then, we ended up here after replacing the carpet and windows and adding the furniture that we had from our last house…

And while I liked it, (1) Lucas never used that tent, and (2) we BARELY used those Ikea Expedit shelves.   We needed them desperately in his room in our last house because his closet was so teeny, but in this house we have WAY more built-in storage.  It was one of the features that we marveled over during our first showing of this house.   Big closets and built-in desks.  Also known as Christina’s Playland.  Or rather, they would be if I actually chose to organize them at any point in time. One day… Maybe.  😉  

Anyways, the Expedit shelves took up space that could’ve been used for something else.  And they blocked my creative vision.  Seriously.   I couldn’t picture a better way to use the space with them there.  So, I moved them into the guest room (with Joey’s help).  This definitely helped to bring the room back to a blank slate and allowed me to experiment with other things.  

The other aspect that bothered me about the space was that it didn’t feel as fun as I wanted it to.  I mean, we have an energetic, lovable little boy and his room felt a bit grown-up to me.  And to others as well… I’ve  had several people comment that it didn’t seem like a little boys room until you looked closer.  And I totally agreed.   I wanted to add some more pattern and comfort to the space to jazz it up and make him feel totally at ease playing in here.

So, I made a few tweaks to help set us in the right direction.

Now, the space looks like this…


It feels so much cozier with the area rug (found at Ross for $30).  I can’t even explain it.   It instantly made the room seem so much less cavernous than it did before.

 I also wanted Lucas to have a comfortable seating area for playing and reading (well, once he learns how to read anyways.  In the meantime, air-quotes “reading” will suffice 😉 ) and this totally fits the bill.    The grey chair is an extra Ikea Nils chair that we had on hand (same as our dining space), and I paired it with the ottoman that I revamped last year.  I plan to recover it again with a wider striped fabric to allow the rug to really shine, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

You can see that we also added a header to the window…


The blinds had been missing a valence since we moved in and it always drove me batty how unfinished it looked.   So, we basically just sanded and stained a 1″ x 6″ piece of wood that we had leftover and mounted it on top of the unfinished header.   This small (and free) change is my favorite thing.  Like, for real.   It’s amazing how much more custom and tailored the window looks now.

As for his desk area, we started here…


Then moved to this…


And now we’re here…


You guys… I found that metal bucket chair WITH THE TAGS STILL ON at a thrift store for TEN dollars!!!!    I know.   Shutthefrontdoor.  That chair is actually what prompted me to start the rest of the makeover.

I decided to paint the backs of his upper shelves with the same navy I’d used below (it was an oops mistint).  And now I’m not sure why I didn’t do that initially.  It looks SO much better.

That awesome bicycle painting was created by my mother-in-law and previously adorned our hallway by the foyer.   And while I loved it out there, it goes so much better in Lucas’s room and really fits the transportation theme we’ve got going.  Plus, swapping it out with the Expedit shelf makes the desk area so much lighter and brighter.  Those shelves really blocked the sunlight from the window.

The rest of his room stayed pretty much the same-ish (I mean, I’m always tweaking stuff)…



Remember the four wall tray car organizers I created?  Well, the two trays up top fell off the wall because they were too high for Lucas.  He’d pull on them to put his cars away and they finally quit fighting the good fight and gave in to the light (*bonus points for rhyming).  🙂  The other two are still going strong, though.   I decided to leave those top goners off and added a painting above the remaining two organizers  to bring color to the space (again, created by my MIL).

And a few more pics for good measure…

IMG_0374 IMG_0386

All-in-all, I’m really happy with how the space is turning out.  It’s much more fun, cozy, and functional now.   Lucas has played in there way more since we put the rug in.  He’s drawn to it.  It’s seriously like a bug-light for kids. 😉

The funny thing is, I fully anticipate that our other rooms will continue to go through similar transitions to this one until they start to feel “right” to me.   We’ve lived here for a year now, and I’m still chugging along, changing things up, slowly injecting our personalities into the place.  It’s part of the fun of figuring out our style.  I definitely wouldn’t call this space done yet, but it’s slowly getting there.  🙂

So, how do you guys decorate?  Do you go through the same trial and error process?   Are you more a planner up front?


All Hail, Ikea!!!

Remember in this post, I complained that all of the boring stuff like rotting walls and termite treatments had stolen our money??  Well, I became girl-on-mission after that.  Because really, I needed to shop.  Bad.  Yes, I am that girl.   And really…  could I have logistically gone decor shopping at this point (on a budget, obvs)?? Probably.  But would the guilt have eaten away at me because we were *supposed* to be saving our pennies for new appliances?  Yep.  So, I started selling stuff that we had laying around on Craigslist (finally) to feed my decor shopping habit sans guilt.   Total win-win.  Joey had been asking me to clear out that stuff for a while anyways.  I just hadn’t gotten to it.  So, this selling-of-the-things really benefited all parties.

After 2 weeks, I had raked in $135 guilt-free dollars to spend on decor.  So, where did I go?? IKEA!! Clearly.  And just to brag on myself…  I spent that money like a champ.  AND even came home with $16 of my Craigslist dollars!!

So, what did I get??  Well… let’s check out the living room… Look closely at the below shot…

Notice anything different??

Hint:   I posted this shot on Instagram yesterday (If you missed my last post, I’ll be updating Instagram with home updates between posts from now on, so follow me there to stay up on the action)…

Here’s another shot:

That’s right!!  The rug (the Ikea Valby Ruta runner), large white planter, and plant (which sadly (though, not shockingly) isn’t doing too well)!

As soon as I put this rug down, it was all over.  This was THE ONE.   AND I couldn’t be happier with the quality of it.   It’s thick and plush.   I’m seriously impressed being that for the most part, in the past I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the quality of Ikea rugs

Now, honestly, I have to say that the above picture appears as if it’s in technicolor to me.   The red looks REALLY red and the blue in the poufs, REALLY blue.  Maybe it’s just my computer screen because, in person, this lovely runner is more of a muted red and the navy on the poufs is actually deep, dark navy (not royal like it looks to me here), so they go well really together.  The navy pulls from the blue-grey tones in the rug and those bluish-grey accents along with the khaki tones in the runner, coordinate with various tones all over the room.   The fact that it’s a more traditional pattern looks awesome with the more modern furnishings on the other side of the room.  It was EXACTLY what the room needed to make it feel well-rounded.   Plus, the busyness of the small pattern balances out with the busier Fort Worth print on the opposite side of the room.

I seriously cant get over how the rug really warms up the space.  Here’s a shot from the dining area…


I also snagged that striped runner on the table on clearance (it was just over $2 and I bought two to extend the length of the table).

I love that I’m now at the “layering” stage of decorating this room.  Switching out my placeholder items that I happened to have on hand for ones that I really love.   Playing with different patterns to add depth.   I still have a ways to go before I call it done, but these little tweaks really go a long way to making it feel like home.

Here’s the opposite side of the living room as it stands now (Ignore that magazine rack beside the media stand… I’ve since moved it and will include an updated pic at the end of this post as to where it ended up (fornow))…


So, anyways… There are a few changes in this view.   Namely the three basket planters.  And while I LOVE them, looking at this photo, I’m not a fan of how they’re displayed.   I think they’re too high.  And not cohesive enough.

I may try hanging them on a rod at differing heights or perhaps a rack or grid of some sort to make them feel more united.   They’re definitely staying on this wall for sure… just not in their current arrangement.  So, consider this stage one of multiple stages.


I do love the dimension and life they bring to the wall, though.  Currently, I’m using three Young House Love hooks that I found on clearance a year or so ago at Target to hang them.  Though, like I just said… This will be changing.  It just feels a bit piecey…

You may have also noticed that the chair corner of the room looked a smidge cozier…

That’s because I snagged a copy of Young House Love’s new book, Loveable Liveable Home.  And I love it just as much as the first… maybe more!  That is also a new fake Ikea plant you see in a clearance pot from Ross.  Details make a difference, y’all.

Now the only blank wall that’s left is this guy…

I *think* I know what I want to do here, but it seems to change daily, so we’ll see where we end up.

And if you didn’t notice, there’s another little Ikea find chilling by the TV.  I just couldn’t say no to him..

I mean, could you say no??

As for that magazine rack beside the entertainment stand…


It ended up here as a magazine/blanket holder.    I adore this little thing.  I found it at a thrift store for $6 and sprayed it gold.   I love how it plays against the more modern furnishings we have.   Here’s another shot with an equally adorable kiddo (who is *clearly* as enthused as I am about the magazine rack) 😉 …


So that’s sort of where we are with the living room right now (minus one fabulous, pretty plaid find that I got on clearance at Target… I posted on Instagram about it if you wanna see).   I’m still trying to motivate myself to rehang those woven planters, and am currently on internet-stalking mode to find what I’m looking for for the TV wall.   (insert mischievous cackle)

Aside from that, I’ve made some changes in the master bedroom that I’m eager to post about and Lucas’s room has gotten a nice revamp that has me positively giddy.    Like for real.   Oh yeah, and the shed is almost done.   Finally.   We actually decided to just go all out and get a nicer shed (both for aesthetics and lifespan) thanks to another Craigslist selling spree and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have made that decision.   I’m slowly learning that there are some areas that you need to splurge… it’s a total departure for a cheapo like me, but a good lesson for sure.

So, anyways, have a wonderful, safe Halloween and I’ll be back soon!  🙂

TDC Before and After