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?

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Then moved to this…

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And now we’re here…

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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)…

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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…

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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?

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Found a rug!!!!

You guys.

Mission Find-Living-Room-Rug = Complete!

And ya know what’s funny?? When I wrote this post and stated “I think the biggest thing will be simply FINDING the rug”, well, I’d already found it.

I just didn’t know it yet.

Ya see, I have a Tuesday Morning roughly a mile from our house. I love that store. They have really nice stuff for pretty good prices. I’d been in and outta there many times over the past few months and each time, I noticed this grey, nubby rug for sale. It was on the floor, all rolled up in plastic.

Each time, I’d look at it. Note that it was the perfect size (8×11… Which was the minimum size that would work in our space) and that I liked the color. The label said it was a herringbone pattern, which I thought would be neat. But each time, I walked out without it. For whatever reason, I thought the grey was too dark for our space. Plus, the $299 price tag was hard for me to swallow.

Fast forward to several weeks later… I’ve now done lots of research on rugs. And know how expensive anything larger than an 8×10 can be. The built-ins are now painted white which gives me a much better idea of what’ll work in the space. I go back to Tuesday Morning. The grey rug is still there.  It’s now unrolled and hanging on their large rug rack. Now, I can truly see the color. It looks lighter than I remembered it. It.May.Just.Work. And the price tag now states $249 (original price $699) — That’s 65% off the original price!!!  Having done my research, I know that this is a good deal. The tag says it’s jute but feels more like cotton or wool to the touch. Very soft. Good quality.

But still, I leave without it.

I go home.

I tell Joey about the rug. He knows ALL about the rug-hunt and how pricey they can be but states that if it’s a nice rug that’ll last us, it’s worth it.

He picks my brain a bit about what the rug looks like, then goes to pick up a few things from the grocery store for dinner.

And he returns with the rug.

Did I marry well, or what? I’d been sick the previous few days (my trip to Tuesday Morning had been my first attempt to leave the house) so he thought it would make me feel better. It did.

The rug is the perfect shade of grey. The herringbone texture adds just enough interest without being distracting. And the size… Perfect.

The couch sits on the rug entirely with a few inches to spare on each side. Once we had it down on the floor, I stared at it in wonderment as it made the room feel about 30x cozier. It was like the floor was wearing a luscious cable-knit sweater. Plus, the grey tones pull from the grey dining chairs nicely, tying the rooms together.

(Pretend that the yellow transformer on the table isn’t there) 

And I love that you can actually SEE the rug from this angle…

(And ignore the green ball, too… Any other moms out there just stop seeing the toys after a while even though they’re right there in plain sight??) 

Before, our rug was so small, that you couldn’t.   And now that the old rug is gone, that’s one less brown-toned item in the space.

I’m actually thinking about painting our coffee table white to add some contrast but I haven’t quite decided. Thoughts?

So, anyways, that’s the story about how a beautiful, awesome rug found a home.  Next up in this space will be revamping the wet-bar, hanging art, etc. plus, we’re thinking of some of the longer term, down-the-road type projects like adding overhead lighting, a solar tube, etc.  Slowly but surely we’re getting there with this space and the rug was a big piece of the puzzle, so I’m ecstatic that we found it..