New Home Tour: Hall Bathroom

03/21/2013

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This is the only room in the house without any windows (aside from closets) making it an excellent safe room for tornado warnings. It also makes it harder to photograph. I was using a wide angle lens that I think it not very good quality…or else I just don’t know how to use it very well. Anyhow, sorry about the poor quality photos. This room needs some art. And a shower curtain. And new towels. It’s not very done. I’m not sure why I’m giving a tour of it at all…

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Posts:

New Home Tour: Kitchen

New Home Tour: Living Room

New Home Tour: Dining Room

New Home Tour: Den/Playroom

New Home Tour: Nursery (Alianna’s Room)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids

New Home Tour: Master Bathroom

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Enclosed Courtyard

03/19/2013

One of our loftier wish list items for our dream house was an outdoor “room,” like a courtyard or atrium. Our architect surprised us with a courtyard was the front entrance to our home. To save money toward the end of construction, we decided we would add the fence and gate to enclose the fourth wall on our own. We finally had a beautiful weekend and time to do a quick project together. Jason and I used the same technique as the modern wood fence we built at our last house. Without the fourth wall, it didn’t really feel like much of a courtyard at all.

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Now it feel more complete!

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Welcome…

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We’ve got our own private retreat. This is quickly becoming our favorite spot for lunch and afternoon popsicles. As it gets warmer, I’ll probably start spending my morning time with God out here, sipping a cup of tea.

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I’ll do a follow up to this post with pictures of our process, as soon as I get around to editing all the photos.


New Home Tour: Master Bathroom

03/14/2013

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At our last house Jason and I built and tiled a custom 4′x5′ shower with two shower heads for our master bathroom, inspired by the house in Costa Rica we stayed at for my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding. It was huge! Our architect was determined to make sure our new master bathroom was not a downgrade so this one is even bigger. And the best part about it is that we have enough water pressure in this house to use two shower heads at the same time…although the hot water does run out a lot faster. It’s awesome in a private locker room kind of way. I like to joke with Jason that when we’re old we’ll be able to hobble our walkers right in here.

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The pretty orchid was a housewarming gift from the couple across the street.

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I love the natural light that pours into this room and especially the shower. I have bad vision without my glasses on and natural light in the shower helps me see. Notice that no electric lights are turned on in any of these pictures. It’s that bright, even on a cloudy day.

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Sources can be found on this post I did about our master bathroom plan. The only change is the towels and bathmat, which we ended up getting from Target.

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Posts:

New Home Tour: Kitchen

New Home Tour: Living Room

New Home Tour: Dining Room

New Home Tour: Den/Playroom

New Home Tour: Nursery (Alianna’s Room)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids


Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids

03/07/2013

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

We really loved our last house but sold it so we’d have room for our family to grow. Specifically, we wanted to have more bedrooms so we could continue to provide a home for children in foster care. At our previous home, I designed a room that could suit one or two kids ages birth to five years old, male or female. It was a big challenge, especially with a small room. This room is targeted toward 2-12 year olds in my mind, though we’re keeping an open mind about ages at this point. It felt much easier this time around, I suppose because we already had the super versatile IKEA KURA bed (which can be flipped over to be a low loft bunk bed) and I’m not set on putting a crib and dresser in here…yet. (We do need to add a dresser ASAP, we found out last week.) Other than the bed and bedding, the woodland creatures curtain was the only other element we started with from the previous house.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I chose the green wall color based on the curtain. Also, green is supposed to be soothing and it’s one of my favorites. I read somewhere that mirrors are good for self esteem for kids. Ali loves looking in the full length mirror in her room so I put one in this room, too. It was less than $10 at Target. See that house reflected in the mirror?

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I found this when we were unpacking. I colored this picture in art class in first or second grade. I pray that our next kids will feel at home in this room and at our home. I added some cuddle buddies to the bed.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I started adding bits and pieces to this room without any kind of theme in mind; just using what we had available. A friend gave us the headphones pillow as a housewarming gift. We had the other 2 pillows already. The rockstar flashcards are the only 4 letters I completed when I started designing the series 4 years ago. Maybe I’ll finish it one day…

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

This old acoustic guitar that was a gift from my parents for my 16th birthday narrowly escaped the trash during the move. (Jason’s guitars are a million times nicer so he doesn’t see this as fit to play. However, I think some tween or teen might love it!) We also have a collection of random, discount pile Hatch Show Print posters that I thought could help fill the walls here.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

There are a few vintage ReAbide items living in here. This Florence side table works for now as a night stand.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

And this Mack arm chair (below). Before we moved in, I ordered a Nashville road map. I thought it might work as a big poster for this room. It’s colorful and free (as an AAA member) and I thought it might be neat for kids to see where our house is in comparison to where they used to live. The rug is from a local IKEA reseller. I think it’s the only thing besides the full length mirror that we purchased for this room.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

I have a pack and play set up in here. I’m hoping it’ll be enough to convince our case worker that we’re equipped to take a child younger than two. Ali still sleeps in her crib and I don’t have much desire to buy and set up a second crib. If we accept a placement of a younger child, we might consider getting another one at that point…or maybe moving her to a big kid bed.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com  Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

The book ledges also came from the previous house. These books (with the exception of Pop Warhol’s Top…which I don’t recommend) these books were are all specifically chosen to be in this room.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

So a really cool thing happened. This room developed a theme without me even realizing it! I suppose it started with the Nashville map, and then the Hatch Show Print posters, and then the guitar. The headphones pillow and the rockstar flashcards followed suit. The theme that developed—which happens to be something that every child who stays in this room, regardless of age or gender will have in common—is Nashville! Music City. Even the woodland curtains and botanical bedding and rug work. We live very close to a huge park so we see squirrels, owls , leaves and lots of trees in our neighborhood.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

It was important to me that I had thoughtful, personal elements worked into the design of this room. I didn’t want it to feel like a guest room. I want it to be a special room because it’s made for a really special kid…a kid we don’t know yet but I want him or her to feel comfortable, loved and wanted from the moment they walk in. I want him or her to know that we’ve been thinking about and praying for him or her before we ever met.

Here’s the floor plan of this room. It’s about 10×12.

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids - myMCMlife.com

If you’re putting together a room for foster kids in your house, here are some things I recommend:

• Flexible sleeping arrangements
We have this room set up with a twin bed and a pack and play. Without much trouble at all we could flip the twin bed into a bunk bed and replace the pack and play with a real crib. Sometimes foster parents put together a really nice room for 5-12 year old kids and then God has a sense of humor and their first placement is a newborn. Flexibility is key for foster parents.

• Adequate Clothing Storage
This is one of our home checklist requirements from DCS. I’m hoping to add a dresser before too long but for now, we have a big closet ready with hangers and hanging storage for smaller items. We also keep extra blankets, pillows and sheets in the closet.

• Books and Toys
Admittedly, we don’t have toys in here but we do have a playroom right down the hall. It’s mainly because of the wide age range this room is open to that I haven’t put many toys in here. The stuffed animals are probably nice for any age kid, though. These books have been carefully selected to be in this room: Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care, I Don’t Have Your Eyes, I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew, The Little Train That Could, The Velveteen Rabbit, and the Sleep Book.

• Nightlight
Some kids won’t want it on but we have it ready just in case. A new room can be scary and dark. The nightlight is enough to make the whole room visible. We also moved Ali’s constellation turtle light in here because she doesn’t use it anymore. It projects stars on the ceiling for 45 minutes before shutting off automatically. We’re also required to have hallways lit and to have flashlights handy. We got this 3-in-1 night light, emergency light (comes on automatically when the power goes out) and flashlight for our first foster parenting experience. It is in our hallway.

• A Place for Photos
The frame on the nightstand that says “Welcome” is actually a placeholder for a personal photo. Thanks for another foster mom’s suggestion, I also added (after taking photos) a bulletin board with pictures of “Who Lives Here” (me, Jason and Ali with names by our photos) and a photo of our first foster placement with her name and hand print. I will add a photo of each new child under either category.

• Curtains without strings or cords
Another requirement for our home safety checklist—not that we have a curtain but that there are no choking hazards dangling from blinds or curtains.

• Rugs secured to the floor
Yeah, I actually stuck this rug to the floor with rug tape. Another item on our home safety checklist.

• Smoke detector
Our list doesn’t require it to be in the child’s bedroom but there is one in there per codes for a new house build.

• Egress window
Also per codes, in order to be considered a bedroom, a room must have a window that can be opened for escape in case of a fire. Our home safety checklist also requires this.


New Home Tour: Nursery (Alianna’s Room)

03/05/2013

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This is the only room of the house that I couldn’t photograph during Ali’s nap so she’s demonstrating how she uses her room. She loves her pushing buttons on her CD player and yanking the pillow and blankets (for Mama’s comfort) off of her rocking chair so she can climb up in it to look at her books.

Here’s a floor plan in case anyone likes them as much as me. Her room is about 10×11 ft not including the doorway.

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About this room.

I fell in love with colored cribs when I was planning a nursery the first time around. This one (SOMNAT) is from IKEA a couple years ago, no longer available.

The pink blanket in her crib was made for her by her Great Aunt Janice. The white Care Bears blanket was her first baby blanket from her birth mom. The stuffed brown spaniel was bought by us for our first baby, before we knew she existed. The white bear was a gift from the magistrate who granted us custody of Ali. The aardvark was a gift from good friends and her birthday buddy Jonas has the same one.

The hand painted name banner above the crib was an adoption gift from a high school youth group friend of ours.

The flower on the wall and the “A” pillow on the rocking chair were adoption gifts from a co-worker. She made the pillow. The green quilt on the rocking chair was made for Ali by her Great Aunt Linda.

The crocheted toy and the two cross-stitch pieces framed on the wall were made by Nana (Jason’s mom). The butterfly wood puzzle above the frame and the owl wall hooks that hold her backpack were gifts from Aunt Jess (my sister) and Uncle Jeff. The monkey poster was a gift from the same friend who gave Ali the aardvark. The heart banner I made for Valentine’s Day and then moved in here because that big white wall was driving me nuts.

The Eames replica rocking chair was from here. (I love it!)

The dresser, night stand (painted by me) and yellow lamp are vintage. It took me months to find a changing table height dresser that was narrow enough to fit in the kids room at our last house. I’d be happy to have a longer one here now.

The curtains are IKEA and were discontinued. I based the whole color palette of her room on them before purchasing so thank God for eBay! They tie together the blue crib and rugs, pink wall and yellow lamp. The book ledges (RIBBA), rugs (TOFTBO) and toy boxes are also from IKEA.

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Posts:

New Home Tour: Kitchen

New Home Tour: Living Room

New Home Tour: Dining Room

New Home Tour: Den/Playroom


New Home Tour: Den/Playroom

02/28/2013

Depending on the angle of the photo, it looks like a den…

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But 98% of the time it’s a playroom. (Technically, it’s a guest room, too, though it hasn’t been used as such yet. Someday it’ll be a bedroom.)

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The closet is full of books, toys and games.

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A few things to note about this room:

The sofa is vintage. We’d like to reupholster it someday but it’s not in bad shape and the pull out mattress is in excellent shape.

The rug is from Urban Outfitters. I purchased it for a staging project right before we moved in. We had it in the living room for a little while but it was way too small in there. It’s perfect in here.

This room is the smallest bedroom in the house but the super high ceilings make if feel big and the high windows and concrete wall make it very unique. I’m hoping a teenager will love it as a bedroom someday.

The play stove is second-hand, hand made but someone. I got it at a yard sale. It was Ali’s adoption day gift.

Ali’s navy table was a Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa. The metal folding chair is vintage from an estate sale in my neighborhood. I got it when I was putting together our first room for future foster kids.

The small guitar was a baby shower gift before our first placement. It’s still a bit too complex for Ali but she likes to bang on it, August Rush style. The blue guitar is really special to me. It was the guitar Jason first learned to play guitar on…it deserves it’s own post.

The TV is not attached to anything except power. Eventually we plan to get another Roku box for this room (which we use for Hulu and Netflix) and attach a DVD player. We’ll also need some kind of shelving for that.

The robot decals I won from a giveaway on Design Mom. Ali loves to give them kisses.

Ali’s favorite activities right now are the slide (going down and sending toys down) and sitting at her table to play with stickers

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Posts:

New Home Tour: Kitchen

New Home Tour: Living Room

New Home Tour: Dining Room

 


Master Bedroom Ideas

02/12/2013

I’m planning on doing virtual tours of more rooms of our new home. (Kitchen tour here.) In fact, I’ve already taken photos of Ali’s room, the next kids room, the den, the dining room, the living room and the master bathroom…however my computer doesn’t have enough free memory to upload the pictures from my camera. So yeah, I need to deal with that. One room you will not be seeing photos of any time soon, however, is the master bedroom. We currently have our mattress on the floor, a headboard leaning against the wall, end tables that are too big, temporary curtains and three big plastic storage totes that we haven’t found space for yet. So if that conjures up a visual, that’s the best I can offer.

I have started collecting inspiration, though. We definitely want to do an accent wall behind the bed, most likely with wallpaper. I didn’t take a photo of the headboard yet but its the same color wood as the dresser with a black horizontal stripe. We have lamps that we want to use but need a fresh coat of spray paint. I’m stuck on orange for some reason. I sent Jason these two initial ideas.

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While I love the wallpaper on the left (by Orla Kiely), the one on the right feels cozy and warm. The one on the left is more masculine so it’s not surprising that Jason liked it better. I decided to take another stab at it after I discovered that Urban Outfitters sells wallpaper.

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I’m liking #4 best with either this or the light gray wallpaper.

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Some big art for above the dresser with orange in it would be another nice addition. This is all just dreaming and brainstorming right now since we don’t have any budget for any of this right now. First order of business: build a bed frame for our vintage headboard and footboard so we can get our mattress off the floor.


Soaking It In

01/30/2013

I disciplined myself to rest from sundown Saturday until sundown Sunday. I’m trying a new thing this year inspired by the way the Jewish people observe the Sabbath (only I’m doing it the following day). I had spent every minute of Ali’s naptime and every evening after she’s asleep for several days nesting–organizing, unpacking the last few things, hanging shelves, curtains, etc. Either that or I was finished up some wedding invitations I designed for my sister’s friend. Jason was in Florida on tour and I had been busy. It was really difficult to rest, especially on a gorgeous sunny afternoon. Once Ali was asleep, I decided to sit outside in the sunshine for at least 20 minutes to get my daily dose of Vitamin D.

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Our courtyard offered the perfect spot, in direct sunlight just for an hour or two in the afternoon. Lucy joined me outside while I planned our meals for the week and sent some emails I’d been trying to find time for.

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Once I came back inside, I spent sometime reading and started a book that I’ve read several times before, The Power of the Praying Wife. After a few hours of forced rest, I had a list of things I was ready to do as soon as the sun went down, which was just about the time Ali was waking up from her nap. It’s hard to explain but I felt really truly refreshed: full of energy and joy. Ali and I ate dinner, went grocery shopping, I gave her a bath and put her to bed and then I cleaned the house. Wow! I felt ready to start the week and to welcome my man home on Monday after 5 days in a tour bus. Home to a clean house with a full fridge, meals planned for the week, and two happy girls waiting for him.


New Home Tour: Kitchen

01/25/2013

Well, I suppose it’s about time that I start giving a virtual tour of our new home. Y’all were so patient and encouraging during the building process and now that we’re getting more and more settled in, I’m feeling ready to start sharing some rooms. Let’s kick this thing off with the kitchen, which is quite possibly my favorite room of the house. I’ve been challenging myself to take over more of the family cooking and I’m starting to really enjoy it…due in part to how much I love the functionality and atmosphere of this room. Everything ended up just like my plan with a few additions thanks to our friend Andy at Markraft Kitchens.

When I walk through the front door, this is my view of the kitchen.

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Having an open shelf for cookbooks was on my dream kitchen wish list. We also have a medicine lockbox (DCS requirement) for our daily vitamins and tissues. Ali won’t leave anything on this shelf alone.

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I was originally going to get silver stools but I decided we needed some color up in here. Our countertops extend out about 12″ there for casual conversation with friends while we’re cooking.

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Another dream kitchen wish list item: a corner cabinet facing out under the bar toward the dining room. It ended up being the perfect spot for Lucy’s food and accessories, and her water bowl is very close to the sink. Perfect.

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This section of cabinets is the pantry, coffee/tea bar and home of the small appliances.

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Another dream kitchen wish list item. This coffee/tea bar turned out even better than I had envisioned. We use this everyday, many times a day.

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I prefer to keep my microwave and toaster oven hidden so he’s where they live. I’m so glad that Andy, our cabinet guru, found a way to make this work for us.

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That door there is our coat closet.

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We’re planning to add a tile backspace eventually. I really love the light we get in this space.

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Our architect, Ryan Thewes, was so thoughtful and thorough with his planning of window placement. The clerestory windows let in a ton of light, mostly indirect. We never need to turn lights on during the day.

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Besides the cookbook shelf, one open shelf for our everyday dishes and glasses was at the top of my dream kitchen wish list. BAM. Exactly how I wanted it!

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This was a last minute addition to our kitchen plan: a pull out drawer for the trash and recycling. I’m so glad we did this. It’s really practical and I like that it’s close to the front door (the one on the left) where we walk in with the junk mail and go out with the trash.

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I’m getting used to cooking with gas. My favorite part of the Whirlpool White Ice gas range is the knobs.

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So that’s it, my dream kitchen!

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Sources:

Floors: natural, unstained, utility grade hickory
Cabinets: walnut-stained cherry and white thermofoil sold through Markraft
Countertops: Kashmir granite
Appliances: Whirlpool White Ice
Pendant lights: IKEA
Big A: ReAbide
Stools: Tabouret on Overstock.com
Love Bacon print: Matt Butler on Etsy
Wall color: Greek Villa by Sherwin Williams

If I skipped anything you’re curious about, just ask!


Desk Calendar for 2013

01/08/2013

My Pinterest BFF* (whether she knows it or not) and Instagram friend Jill Browning sent me this awesome retro 2013 desk calendar as a house warming gift. It’s made up of 12 printed 4×6 cards and a neat little clear case to display them. It’s sitting proudly on my desk:

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Here are a few more pictures from her Etsy shop.

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If you don’t have a 2013 calendar yet, go get you one!

*Do you have someone on your Pinterest feed who pins all the most amazing things? I feel like I could save myself a lot of time and just like and repin everything Jill pins. She’s a graphic designer, she’s a mom, she’s into mid-century modern style…she has great taste. Thanks again, Jill!


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