Game Room Before & After

While the boys are away at summer camp this week I thought it would be a good time to show you their upstairs game room.

We absolutely love having an upstairs game room for the boys and believe me, it gets a lot of use. If they're not in the pool or playing outside, this is where you'll find them along with a few of their buddies. This is where we watch movies as a family, practice music, read and play XBox. And every Friday night that coffee table is covered with Chinese food. 

The walls went from tan to Sherwin Williams Repose Gray (7015). The furniture is from Ikea. I'm a fan of their stylish pieces AND it's easy on the budget. My boys aren't too hard on furniture so while I know their things aren't heirlooms, everything I've bought from Ikea has always held up great for us and I never hesitate to recommend them to clients on a budget.

You might be wondering why we left the carpet. We had a very short turnaround to move in this house and there just wasn't time to have it replaced. It's very good quality carpet, it's just an unfortunate shade of blue. For now, we're living with it and embracing the retro vibe :)   The fun stripe rug was a bargain from HomeGoods.

Our previous home had built in bookcases in the game room and we were missing the storage. For this room, we purchased four Billy bookcases in black/brown with height extension shelves added on the top to make them taller and floated the Ektorp loveseat with chaise in front (Svenby gray slipcover). Clip on lights ($9.99 each) add great atmosphere in the evening.

Opposite the bookcase wall is the television on a smaller wall. We decided to put the big flat screen upstairs because we didn't want a huge television in our living room and I didn't want to have to decorate around it. They are just so big!!!! Even with the monster tv upstairs I was wishing it would disappear a little. Chalkboard paint on the wall behind it did the trick!

The rhino is fromWest Elm. I picked up the smaller mounts on sale from Hobby Lobby's safari section and and spray painted them with glossy white paint to match the rhino. 

The room is filled with all the things that my boys love. There are even a few small storage pieces from their nursery that have been able to move up with them and now hold big boy things. The union jack banner is from Holly Mathis Interiors (thanks friend!). It's really long and brings a fun graphic into the room.

I love the atmosphere in this room. With the gray walls and slipcover along with the black furniture, it's darker than the rest of the house. Perfect for a lounge/media/game room and perfect for my guys.

New Ikea Lighting ~ Manljus

Do you love Ikea? I love their affordable designs and have quite a few pieces of furniture that mix well with my cottage style. On a recent trip I picked up the Manljus pendant ($49.99) for my breakfast nook.

White glass with a silver metal bulb cover diffuses the light so you don't feel like you're being interrogated (pet pendant peeve) and gives it a little industrial edge. 

 One more thing to share that has nothing to do with lighting. Over the Memorial holiday, one of my boys was under the weather and spent some quiet time playing cards with his dad. Like most things here, it got pretty competitive with quick card game challenges throughout the weekend. I decided to keep the cards on our breakfast table and it's been a big hit beyond the weekend. It's nice to see kids playing something that doesn't include a screen. A simple deck of cards, out where they can be reminded to play,  has kept them engaged and happy for hours.  It's the little things.

Couldn't Help But Notice

I stopped in Ikea this past weekend (yikes...crazy crowded) and as I was speed walking through the art and frames department I spotted this new frame and print combo:
BILD Poster IKEA Motif created by Maria Mendez.
              Which looked very similar to this post about poster art I shared last March with this image:

What a co-inkydink, right?  I'm positive Ikea doesn't know me from Shinola,  but I did get a kick out of it and couldn't resist sharing it just for fun.

Here There and Everywhere

January is usually a quiet month. However, this year has started off with a bang for me with clients and exciting opportunities that have me doing more than the usual amount of shopping. Here are a few things that caught my eye while out and about:

These 26x26 inch Ursula cushion covers are from Ikea. Made of ramie, they have the look and feel of raw linen. How about that cute accent stripe and tie closures? These are a steal at $13.00 each, and could easily be monogrammed to add detail.

West Elm was getting their Spring on with these pretty accessories:

Ceramic garden stools were a nice price at HomeGoods. How fun is that giant ceramic roller skate hiding in the back there?

And finally, this pretty French style table from a garage sale is my weekend project:

It's a really nice reproduction that I want to lighten up a bit.  So, I drank the kool-aid and tracked down the nearest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist in my area. I want to see if this paint lives up to it's reputation of being fast, easy to use and durable.  Wish me luck!

Our Happy Place

We did it!

We are moved in and are truly madly deeply in new house love. The house is about 20 years old, 2650 square feet, in a wonderful neighborhood, and we could not be happier.  It really feels like a dream for us, having a pool just a few steps out our backdoor .  We have had family over the last couple of weekends and it feels so good to have a little more space for everyone to spread out a bit.

Moving is haaaaarrd work.  I think I had  forgotten how hard since our last go around.   We still have boxes stacked in every room. I'm steadily chipping away at it and could not be happier or more grateful.

Like most houses 20 years old, this place needs some updating. Mostly paint and carpet upstairs. However, the first order of business was to paint my office.   It was the traditional suburban stained wood paneling with picture moulding.  Fancy, right?

That's a lot of brown!

The interior of the house had recently been painted in soft blues and has a nice coastal vibe which we really love (more interior shots later...).  I love all the beautiful fresh gray rooms I've been seeing, so I took the opportunity to have some fun with gray in my office. Dude's might want to look away...they don't get why anyone would paint over perfectly good wood (my husband was the exception, he trusts me :)

I love it!

Being tired and more than a little impatient to get this done, I broke one of my most rigid design rules and didn't sample the paint color before we started. I walked around the house for a couple of days with my Benjamin Moore paint deck and kept coming back to a color that just felt right, Gray Owl (OC 52).  I had a gut feeling that the color would be good and I was right.  Turns out it's a popular "go to" neutral gray and one that I will be using again. Also, my friends at Benjamin Moore told me this color recipe doesn't break down accurately in quart size, so keep that in mind if you're sampling paint.

My painter sanded the walls to get rid of the 20 year old grimey shine, primed the walls and built-ins and then painted with a satin finish enamel on the walls.  On the built-ins and crown moulding I used Snowfall White (OC 118) in semi-gloss.

Black french doors. If you're considering this,  go for it!  It's beautiful with the gray.  

I love the new color and atmosphere of the room. It has a bit of a French Salon feel.  Don't you love the bang for the buck you get from simply painting?
Also, check out the pretty bamboo clock my parents gifted us with for the entry.
I'm presently unpacking accessories for my office/girl room and filling up the white Liatorp cabinets from Ikea with some of my favorite goodies.
New lighting and window coverings are still to come, but all in good time.
I tend to get a little distracted: