Think Pink

I’ve written before about my daughter’s nursery, but moving her into a new house, new big-girl bed and a more sophisticated room was it’s own animal entirely. But a really cute animal. A very pink one, at that. In fact, she chose Benjamin Moore I Love You Pink, a really beautiful and vibrant hue with blue undertones (that may be attributed to the fact that the room was formerly blue. See? Look here. Before:

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Two photos of the room from the previous owners. 13

The transformation is pretty remarkable, I’d say. Here is our after:

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Now that’s a pink room. A pink room with a fairy tent, and a chandelier and handmade wall art. photo 2_3

The canvases above I painted while I was pregnant with my daughter, quoting our favorite children’s books and songs.

The canvases below that hang over her headboard were painted by my daughter herself; she is a budding artist and loves to paint. From left to right, her take on Monet’s Water Lillies; Renoir’s Clouds; Her own design. Did I mention she’s 3?photo 3_4

The custom made pillow on her bed is by the same insanely talented crafter who did the elephant and fox and pillows for my son’s nursery. Her bedding is a Barbie print from Pottery Barn Kidsphoto 4_2

Her shelf and lamp are from The Land of Nod. Much like the tapestry of love woven throughout her brother’s nursery, the shelf decorations in my daughter’s room are a collection of love from near and far; a robot figure my husband and I purchased for her in St. Michael’s, MD; a Japanese figure from my cousin; Mosaic art done by my Aunt; toy cars from her dad; A Georgia O’Keefe inspired vase with flowers that she made in her summer art class; a very special Shel Silverstein book that was her birth gift from my bestie; this little mask, one of the “two new things a day” that her best friend/boyfriend/brother from another mother brings to school for her. She is loved. photo 5

And the rest of her shelves? I could go on and on. A jewelry box from my twin, gifts from my sister and parents from travels to Israel, St. John, Budapest and Normandy. Jewelry holders from my time in Barcelona. There is history, there is family, there is love.

All of her furniture is, like her brother’s, Stanley Young America From their built to grow line. Her bed used to be a crib. Now it’s full size. It’s awesome. I love the “shell” color as well, as it is creamy and delicious, especially with her walls. photo 1_4

And above is a bookshelf fit for a princess. Below is what a real kid’s bedroom looks like. Toys littered around, dolls and playthings. This is real life, people. photo 2_4

This chandelier was purchased while I was still pregnant with my daughter, before we were telling the sex (when only we knew) on an antiquing trip to Adamstown. I think our purchase made it fairly obvious, but who’s to tell?photo 2

Her night-table was a special gift from her god-father’s parents, as it belonged to his little sister as a child. How special is that? The framed butterfly was from my mom’s childhood bedroom. The newest addition is the framed photo of my kids holding hands. photo 3_2

The artwork hanging on her walls all has special meaning; The painting below is by Yoshimoto Nara, author of “The Lonesome Puppy” which was one of her favorite books as a toddler. (please pardon my reflection! eek!)photo 4

The top frame below is a painting of Honeymoon Beach in St. John, our Happy Place (and the place where my husband asked permission for my hand in marriage the day before he proposed). The bottom is from her godparents, as seahorses were always my favorite animal. photo 1_3

Can I just say, I am obsessed with her rug? I did a major rug search for her room, but wanted something that a) fit with the design of our house and b) she could grow into. I hit the jackpot with this beautiful Kilim Rug from Pottery Barn Teen. It is one of the pieces in this house that receives the most compliments.
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And here are her friends. In no particular order, Sandy, Lambie, dolly, Pinkberry, Bunny, Teddy, Elizabeth, another Lambie and Baguana. They are glad to make your acquaintance. photo 3_3My daughter’s room is so her; it is colorful, it is vibrant, it is always a little messy and it is filled with so much eclectic, eccentric, boundless love.

Sunroom

From the exposed stone arches, French doors, peg board wood floor, huge windows and skylight, this room was love at first sight. Even Before. Take a look at the previous owners’ sunroom:
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But for us, we needed this room to function as more than just a(n albeit bright and sunny) throwaway. We wanted a family room. A cozy nook of a space in which we could cuddle up and watch TV or read, and, more importantly, where our daughter would have a space on the first floor to play. In our old house, we had much less room, and so each area, inevitably, had scattered toys and crafts. And I couldn’t stand the clutter. I wanted my kid(s) to have a space that was comfortable and informal and inviting; a room in which my daughter could sit and draw for hours or snuggle up under a blanket to a movie. And so, this is our ever evolving after:

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I spy with my little eye something Lola. This is Lola’s spot too. She’s always loved the sunny spot.
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Here’s Lola’s nook. Cozy, right? She seems to think so. She loves this room.

And you can see that we had blinds installed that enhanced the richness and privacy of the room while simultaneously not compromising any brightness or lightness. We used the incredible Blinds 4 U and could not have had a better experience. In fact, the owner, who is a family friend, encouraged me to choose this color (when I was leaning towards white) and boy was he right. photo 2_4

This little area is a blast from my past, as both the wood sign and wooden shelf were in the basement of my parents’ house. Like everything else they’re no longer sure about, I adopted these pieces. The fabric letters are from Anthropologie and yet another perk of having children who share the same first initial. photo 3_3Since the main goal for this room was coziness and informality, we chose to go with this rich leather couch from Raymour and Flannigan and topped it with an assortment of pillows from a small specialty boutique and West Elm. The throw was actually a poncho I bought while pregnant at Deconstructed Living, and now has it’s second life as a blanket.

The chest at the side of the couch is also an inherited piece from my sister’s childhood bedroom, and it is filled with baby toys, and the lamp is from Pottery Barn.

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Don’t you just want to bury your head into that furry softness? Or perhaps you’re more of a delicate, rest your cheek on silk type of person. It’s ok. I’ve got it all for ya. photo 5_2

Here is my daughter’s spot. She has her easel from Ikea. She has her drawing table and chairs from Pottery Barn Kids  (plus a mini replica behind it for her dollies). And most importantly, she has neatly organized bins of crayons, paint, markers, stickers, toy figures, art kits, puzzles….and they are not all over my house, wreaking havoc. This makes the mess freak in me very happy. photo 1Both windowsills in this room are filled with framed photos of our families and loved ones. The photos, hands down, are my favorite part of the room. I love my peeps. 80% of the frames are Ikea, with a peppering of Home Goods in there for good measure.

I also filled the shelves with little things like antique books, mercury glass candles and dried flower vases. It’s always evolving. photo 3

This shelf was an example of where I had to get creative. I wanted to stay in the blue/turquoise family with most of the “art” on here (you know how I am about color), but my budget didn’t allow me to make pricey purchases. So my solution was to look through catalogues and magazines, cut out photos that I found pleasing to the eye in the right color scheme and frame them. I think it works.

This shelf also houses some of our favorite books (Hemingway for me, Palahniuk for my guy) and some special heirlooms and  things we have purchased together. On the top right shelf sits a framed playbill from a play called “Queen Esther”. This is the first thing my husband and I ever bought together, in a tiny antique shop in Hammondsport, NY.  We were not yet engaged, nor were we living together, but it was a sign of commitment. You wouldn’t want to have to chop that thing in half. The Namaste sign was purchased in our happy place, St. John, so I will cherish it forever. The trunk up elephant, a sign of good luck, was a really good TJ Maxx find and the silver pieces on the bottom shelf are from my grandfather, featuring our family monogram. doorsGood day, sunroom. We love you so.

And as in the rest of our home, all shelves, trim and doors were painted in Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White.

For my little boy, blue.

Benjamin Moore Prussian Blue if we’re being technical.

This room, like each and every in our house, has a story.

Until a couple months ago it was essentially my “dressing room”.

Until a couple of weeks ago it was painted in Benjamin Moore Lemon Ice.

I had deliberately chosen that color, deeming it gender neutral and soothing for a future nursery. We moved in at the end of January. I got pregnant at the beginning of February. He was born in October and despite all of my hard work and care, his room just wasn’t coming together for me.

And, as I have so many other times in my life, I turned to my friend Ben Moore for comfort. Prussian Blue was love at first sight. Gone were the days of staying up at night agonizing between White Diamond and White Dove. I saw it, I got a chip and I called our fabulous painters. And in a day it was done. And the room was transformed. But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. First I should show you the real before. As in, before this house was ours. This was the room when inhabited by the previous owners.

Before:

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And here is our After:

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No pun intended, truly, but this room, more than any other, has been a labor of love. In each corner is a something that somebody took the time to make for my little boy. The generosity and creativity has been nothing short of exquisite. The photo below features several examples of such love and care in and of itself.  The beautiful framed stars with his name, birthdate and stats from a friend and former parent of a student; the handmade blocks from my oldest and dearest; the gray blanket knit by my mom. photo 2_5

Two important pieces in the photo above are the locker and the glider. The locker was found at a Co-op in Lambertville, NJ on a trip while I was pregnant. Once we found out that we were having a boy, we were pretty certain of his name, and felt that this piece would not only be practical and pleasing to the eye, but special to feature his initial. We also had the comfort of knowing that our daughter happens to share the same first initial, so that if it didn’t work in his room (or if his name changed) we could put it to good use. The Glider and Pillow are from West Elm. If you haven’t figured it out already, the color scheme that I was going for was Gray, Navy and Yellow. I have an aesthetic aversion to a jumble of colors all at once. I like to pick a theme and stick with it. I also am drawn to cool colors as opposed to warm, and so this velvety rocker with some green and gray undertones was just the perfect fit for me. photo 5

Since Fox is a part of my name, and I have a certain fondness for woodland creatures, I decided to adorn his room with some Foxes (as you may have noticed hanging above the glider. That amazing photo of a baby fox was from the most amazing site, The Animal Print Shop in a simple frame from Home Goods (obv). The pillow that sits on the elephant rocking chair was handmade by our incredibly talented and incredibly dear family friend. Now look down. photo 4

She also made that. Yes, that crochet Elephant was hand made. I mentioned to her that I liked elephants and gray (a fact she knew since she was also responsible for decorating our daughter’s old nursery) and voila, the most incredible creation. photo 3

Continuing with the themes of love and elephants, my mom is responsible for these crib decorations. The pillow is Jonathan Adler (and in my color scheme) and the blanket is made by Bubbie herself. The crib sheets are Pottery Barn Kids, as are the gray textured rug and industrial silver and navy light fixture. photo 2

My daughter just yesterday painted this for “her baby”. It is perfect. photo 1

As is she. photo 2_6

The furniture in the room is made by Young America, which is the same company we used for my daughter’s nursery and now big girl room. Their cribs convert to full size beds and we have been very happy with their products, both in design and quality. To ensure masculinity, we chose a very modern design and color scheme for his furniture, with graphite knobs and legs.

The assortment of frames behind his changing table run the gamut and are all incredibly meaningful in different ways. From left to right: A framed print of the cover of “The Sun Also Rises”, one of my favorite books of all time (and fortunately in my color scheme as well); a photo of my daughter kissing my very pregnant belly a week before delivery; a handmade frame from dear family friends that is a piece of art in itself; a photo of my son and I sleeping together in the hospital, in a yellow frame that reads “You are my sunshine” given to me by my former co-teacher and beloved friend; A welcome letter from President Barack Obama, hooked up by my former-white-house-intern of a sister; the hand written lyrics to the song “Wild Child” by one of our favorite artists, Brett Dennen.
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These two wall hangings are both made by exceptional artists: Above, a print of Alexander the Great by Andy Warhol and below a painting inspired by Hans Hofmann by my daughter. photo 4_5

This corner of the room is representative of two of the most important men in my life, my husband and my dad.  On the left is a series of race car photographs that my husband had printed and framed. They had been hanging in his office, but he brought them home to add to his son’s room. Something about a dad and his boy and cars. As far as my dad’s contribution to the corner, he gave us The LeRoy Neiman painting, which hung in his own childhood bedroom (his parents were serious art collectors) and my decision to include a globe was influenced by my dad as well. And by the fact that it was yellow.

The lamp is Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler for JC Penney and the Buddha is from Home Goods. From here on out, if I don’t refer to the store of origin, you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s an HG find. That same sentiment can be applied if you text me and wonder where I am. Or if I tell my daughter we are going to do an errand. It all goes back “Home”. In the words of my girl Carrie Bradshaw, “I have an addiction, sir.”photo 3_2On the windowsill we have displayed model cars that belonged to my husband as a child. He must have had great intuition in choosing cars that were the exact color that I would approve of for our future son’s nursery. A wise man, I say. Just as my daughter loves hers, my son already loves his Anywhere Chair from Pottery Barn Kids and our dear friends who are more like family. Framed above it is a photo that I took on our trip to Maui, the month before we conceived our daughter. It shows a beautiful rainbow. I have a thing for rainbows. In fact, I walked down the aisle to a saxophone playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

There is that saying about it taking a village to raise a child; And I feel as though I have an incredible tribe, all of whom have come together to lend support in a myriad of ways. Most of the ways are intangible and I’m unable to even put them into words, but in the photos of this room you can see that this little boy, this new member of a tribe of crazy, creative, loud, loving, beautiful, bonded people, is already so so very loved.