Posts Tagged ‘kids’


make me pretty – our attic playroom

March 20, 2014

When we bought our house the attic was a totally unused space. There weren’t even pull down stairs, just a hole in a closet that you could crawl through to get up there. But it has two windows and I started to think about how cool it would be to turn it into a kids playroom. I imagined that this would be a budget project and it was, except that we ended up buying a spiral stair case to get up there. I originally envisioned a loft ladder type thing but our ceilings are so high that it ended up being too steep and scary.

So we put down plywood floors and covered them with carpet, attached pool noodles to all the low beams and brought up a ton of toys and now it is a little kid paradise!

Here is the before picture and an old blog post with more before and during pictures:


And after:












make me pretty – basement cabinet dressed up for our living room

January 2, 2014

One of our good friends was getting ready to sell her house and had some furniture to get rid of. This adorable cabinet had been living in her basement storing paint and other home repair supplies. I decided to fix her up and put her in our living room. I made some shelves for the bottom to store toys and the top would be perfect for the pretty, breakable things I am too afraid to leave out around the kids.

I scraped the old paint off the glass doors and gave her a new paint job, inside and out. Then I cut some cardboard panels to fit between the top shelves on the back and covered them with fabric. This way when I get bored, which won’t take more than a couple years, I can pop them out and change the fabric. Or I could cover them with wall paper.








make me pretty – our attic adventure

January 25, 2013

Leave it to me to take on a major house project while super pregnant. Will I ever learn my lesson? I really wanted to renovate our attic and turn it into a playroom for the kids. Of course I thought it would be really fast and not cost a lot of money. I know, so naive!

Oh well, it’s going to be super cool and hopefully it will be done before the baby arrives. You’ve got 7 weeks Steve!

Our attic was completely unfinished and really only the front third is usable people space. The roof slowly slopes down so by the time you get to the back of the house there is only about one foot of space. So we are turning the very front into a play room, it has two windows and a not super tall adult can stand at the peak of the ceiling. Then next sloping 1/3 of attic space will be for storage and the very back will be walled off with an access door.

Here is the attic before we got started:






So far we have put in plywood floors, fixed up the windows, added insulation, run electricity and added lighting and put in some sliding doors to separate the kid space from the storage space.


A friend who builds custom wine cellars (Classic Cellar Design) hooked us up with some cool old barn wood he had left over from a job and we are using it to panel the walls.









20130125-170156.jpgI thought we could build a loft type ladder to get up to the attic but I didn’t really take into account how tall our ceilings are – the ladder is super steep. So we ordered a spiral staircase. I kind of can’t believe I’m going to live in a house with a spiral stair case – I thought they were so cool when I was kid!


make me pretty – an ikea update

August 8, 2012

I love Ikea. As much as I love vintage furniture there is another part of me that loves shiny, new Ikea furniture. It’s my happy place. I could wander around that store for hours.

So when I found this old kids Ikea chair at a thrift store in Northern VA I knew I had to give it a new life. It had been used at a pre-school but was still in really good shape. I just had to replace the support bar across the bottom.



I removed the cushion and took the whole frame apart. I replace the base support board and spray painted the frame in a black gloss. Then I went to taking the cushion apart. I took pictures so I would remember how it all went back together.


I let Jasper help me decide on the fabric since it was a kiddo chair. Ironically we picked an Ikea fabric that I happened to have a yard of. Here is the finished chair.

The chair has been kid tested and approved!


make me pretty – the boys room, part 2

January 31, 2012

I’ve finished the boys room! My favorite project is the rug I made from a thick piece of upholstery fabric. I bought 2 yards of the fabric at u-fab and sewed the edges. I put one of those non-slip rug pads underneath and I’m done. But how cool does that rug look? And it cost less than $25!

I also added a shelf for all of the stuffed animals. My kids don’t really play with their stuffed animals but they still like having them around so we put them up high where we can see them but they don’t make everything seem so cluttered. I got some wood and brackets at Lowe’s. You probably already know this but they will cut the wood for you – so awesome! And Jasper picked out the paint color. Light purple is his favorite and it just happens to match the rug!

After that we hung up our artwork and we are done. We got these Warhol cat prints on a recent trip up to DC. Such fun memories every time I look them.

And the cuties who will be enjoying the room.


make me pretty – my house!

December 22, 2011

After spending so much time making things pretty for other people it’s time to do some work on my own house! We have a lot of big plans, including a bathroom renovation, a built in office nook in the basement and moving the boys into a room together! Jasper is now 3 1/2 and moving on up to a big boy bed and Emerson will soon be taking over Jasper’s car bed.



This room will become the boy’s room. It is currently mine and and my husbands, although I have been slowly moving in kids stuff and moving out our stuff which will now be in the room that is currently the guest room. We are basically playing musical rooms – switching three out of four upstairs room around.






The first project for this room is a book shelf I scored at the thrift store for $10. If you are on Pinterest you can’t go a day without seeing one this style. Emerson is obsessed with books so I am going to make him a little reading corner.


The shelf had some stain seeping through the white paint so I decided to bust out the super primer!


This stuff is amazing at covering up any kind of stains on a piece of furniture. If you sand a piece that had been stained the color from the stain wants to seep through. You can put three coats of latex primer on and the stain will still come through. Once coat of Zinsser and your good to go. It is oil based so where a mask. And there is no problem painting latex paint over this oil primer. You just can’t do latex paint over oil paint.


After I painted the shelf my favorite green I used a new-to-me product, Valspar Antiquing Glaze.

I usually use a coat of stain over the paint to give it an antique finish but this product is water based so it’s not stinky. It comes in a pretty small bottle and it was $8 or $9 at Lowes but I maybe used a tablespoon of it for this whole piece. I would usually have distressed the shelf first but Jasper has strong feeling about not “messing up the paint” and since it is going in his room, and I already didn’t paint it his favorite color, purple, I thought I should skip that step!

Here is how it looks in their room. There are going to be many more “boys room” post before the big final reveal, so check back soon!







getting crafty with the kids

September 28, 2011

I am always looking for fun craft projects to do with my kids. I don’t usually blog about this kind of stuff but we had so much fun with these latest projects that I thought I should spread the word.

So I have a magazine obsession. I love to go threw them, tear them about and save pages. I use to faithfully put all these torn out pages into categorized notebooks. Now I just have piles and piles and pages waiting. Oh, and I have Pinterest, so maybe the magazine thing will fade away. Although I find it oddly relaxing.

Anyway, Jasper started looking at the magazines over my shoulder and wanting to save pictures of thing he liked. That made me think of the perfect craft project! We got some of those big, flat marbles and then picked out pictures that would fit under them. We collected all of our images (mine cool patterns and maybe a celebrity chef and Jasper’s stars, birds, and the Geico Gecko) cut them to the right size circle and mod podged them on. Then we glued magnets on the back and they really turned out super cute. We are totally giving these guys for gifts this Christmas!

Can you spot the celebrity chef?

Our next project got the whole family involved. It all started when I bought Jasper this giant robot at the thrift store. He had batteries but wasn’t working when I bought him – ended up he never worked and Jasper decided he didn’t want him. But I wasn’t really ready to say goodbye. This robot was kind of cool looking. What if I spray painted him white and made some kind of art piece out of him? Or better yet – Chalk Board Paint!! Then he will be a 3-dimensional coloring project that we can erase and re-do.

Even Emerson got in on the drawing (notice he is using a crayon) but mostly I had to try to keep the chalk out of his mouth. Yes, we are still in that phase.

All this robot coloring gave me another idea – pumpkins! Halloween is coming and fun would it be for the kids to draw the faces on their pumpkins, especially kids that are to young to really get in on the carving.

I found these plastic pumpkins for $1 each at the thrift store. A couple of coats of chalkboard paint and they are ready to go!






So the lesson here is that chalk board paint is addictive – really addictive!