June 21, 2015

My kind of gardening

Unlike my mother, I do not have the greenest of thumbs. I do not wish to plant and care for annuals every spring and summer, and I even want my perennials to be easy to care for. Having said that, I still want my yard and home to look good.

My garden and home preparation this year was done over the course of one weekend. I started by adding some earth to my garden as it had some emptier spots where I had removed unwanted plants last fall.

I then added a lovely and thick layer of red cedar mulch {gosh the smell of cedar is amazing!}. As I had already planted shrubs and hostas last year, I didn't have to do any other planting for my little garden, and other than having to remove a few unwanted stragglers from last year, my garden was pretty much ready.

To add a bit more interest and greenery for curb appeal, I picked up to gorgeous Boston ferns in hanging planters and hung them on opposite sides of my garage door. I also picked up a Boxwood evergreen to plant in an existing and empty planter box beside my front door.

Something I have wanted to do since we bought the house 3 years ago was to remove the brown screen door, and I finally did it! Boy does it look good! I love my painted door even more without that ugly screen door taking away from it.

Finally, I replaced the brass light fixture beside the breezeway door to a nice matte black fixture which looks much better with my dark oil rubbed bronze accessories.

All that is left to do now is touch up the paint on the front door where the screen door left its mark, and either repaint or replace the garage door for a beautiful white finish.

The other day while admiring a home, I was trying to figure out what made their front door stand out and look so beautiful. I realized that they added decorative trim and a substantial header to the door. So that is now part of my wish list to do the same {maybe just a header} for the front door, and maybe even the side door and garage door.

A funny thing: when I hung my beautiful Boston ferns, I realized the house number was now hidden by one of them. I quickly ordered a decal from Etsy.com for my front door that reads our street address.

I love it! I think it adds that perfect personal touch to the front entrance. I also added a bright area rug, which is meant for indoor use but for 11$, if it gets damaged by the weather, I won't cry too much.

The front of our home now looks presentable to me and has just the right amount of curb appeal.

June 6, 2015

Two peas in a pod

My sons absolutely adore each other. 

So much so that in the last 6 months or so, they have been sharing a bed... well it is more like two beds. You see, a while back, my kids had the brilliant idea to move Luca's crib into Nico's room. Jon and I agreed because Nico is a bit of a scardy cat and won't sleep in his bed all night by himself. Well, not only did we move Luca's crib {day bed} into Nico's room, they pushed their bed/crib together and have been sleeping that way since December. They even fight over who gets to sleep in "the crack" between the beds.

More recently, we thought of bringing in a queen bed that is currently unused due to our basement renovations. We started taking apart Luca's crib and he just lost it! He was not ready to part with his crib at all. Even after we explained to him that we were giving his crib to his little cousin Seb to sleep at the cottage, he wanted nothing of it. He even insisted that we put the full side rail back on his crib! Poor kid!

About a week later, I asked him again if he wanted to give his crib to Seb, and this time he said yes. I asked him again to be sure and he agreed. I guess he just needed that warning! So I did not wait one second and we started taking the crib and captain bed apart. A few hours later, we had the queen sized bed installed in the boys' room and they were asleep in it together.

Which takes me to my project… The room is really Nico’s room so has a lot of pictures of him and projects that he made on display. Since the wall above the bed is bare, I decided to create a gallery wall of a combination of Luca and Nico stuff. I started by laying out my selected grouping on the floor until I was satisfied with the look. Starting from the center and working your way outward is definitely the easiest.

The collection includes each of the following for each child: an ultrasound picture, a baby picture, an older picture, a birth announcement, and a piece of artwork {for Luca it is his first drawing in a frame, and Nico is a collection of small canvases he painted}. Everything surrounds an art piece given to Nico by his late great-grand-mother, Maman Estelle, which really ties all the colors together. A few other random pieces I chose because I really like them! For example the "What would Spider Man do?" poster I had DIY-ed for Nico.

Here is the final grouping:

Not too serious but not too casual that it looks disorganized. It makes the space very personal for both kids.

As a headboard, I was going to recover Luca's crib mattress with Nico's old duvet cover. But Nico made a good point: because he has a twin sized quilt and a twin sized duvet, if he EVER gets a bunk bed, he will need both {smart kid} so he didn't want me to cut up his duvet cover.

As an alternative, I chose to buy a curtain rod and simply lay the duvet over the rod. That way, it is still usable in the event that we do get a bunk bed down the line.

Finally, in an effort to provide a bit more display room, I chose to hang two shelves that my dad made for me ions ago above the Nico's dresser. 

I am beginning my hunt for a night stand for the fan and clock, two necessities in my family! I would like to find one in the same wood tone as the shelves to tie the two together. I still need a bed skirt and more than likely a bedspread as the white knit blanket looks a little sad... and finally a few more pillows should complete the look.

Overall , the look achieved makes the room feel "on purpose" as opposed to "in the mean time".

We will see how long it lasts until they can't stand each other... the fighting now is over one wanting to cuddle with the other, and the other not wanting to... eesh!