Where Baby Proofing and Design Intersect

by Rachel Blackburn in ,


Baby proofing can mean some not-so-great design choices. Plastic locks on cabinet doors, baby gates here and there, outlet covers that require destroying your finger nails in the process of getting them out of outlets...none of those are pretty. 

But hiding cords can make things pretty, and it definitely makes things safer for baby! 

Michael recently hid the cords from our entertainment center. We went from this being a back-burner project to a front and center project when Luke got tall enough to reach the cords. But I have to say, I'm thrilled with how it looks. 

We went from this: 

to this: 

Pretty amazing what a big difference that makes aesthetically, right? 

I'm still deciding what I'm going to put on those shelves. I borrowed plants from the kitchen shelves for this picture. The sale sign is neat, it came with the house - it was the old cat door. We cleaned it up and called it decor. For now, the shelves are holding the books and plants you see on the entertainment center because, well, grabby baby. But that's life. 

Memorial Day weekend we are tackling the front yard. Stay tuned for that!


Master Bedroom Reno {Mostly} Done

by Rachel Blackburn in ,


Michael has been busting a move on getting the master bedroom done, focused on getting it finished enough to move into before the baby came.  

He succeeded!  We moved in when I was 40 weeks pregnant.  

Luke arrived 4 days late.  It was very considerate of him to delay his arrival by a few days so we could finish things up.  Michael even had time to get the crib built...the night before Luke arrived.

There is still stuff to be done in the room, but we are living in it, crib and all!  We have a little more ceiling trim to get up {ran out - oops!}, door knobs to change out, paint touch-up in a couple of spots, a curtain rod to hang, curtains to hem, and the master closet to finish.  

That's stage 1 of the renovation.  Stage 2 will be awhile yet, and will involve expanding the postage-stamp sized master bath into the even smaller walk-in closet, plus putting some can lights in the master bedroom itself.  But that's a whole other project.

So, in 3 weeks Michael laid 2/3 of our room's wood floor, feathering in every row, sanded and finished the floor, skim coated, sanded and painted the walls, painted and put up baseboard and ceiling trim, framed out and drywalled a master closet, swapped out all the old outlets and switches for new ones, and lugged all of our stuff back in here.  All while watching kids 3 days a week and working at his urban design job 2 days a week.  

I married Superman.  

Here is the room before:

And after:

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Before:

After:

I'm really pleased with how open the entry to the room feels.  Michael and I were concerned that putting the closet there would make it feel too tight, but it worked out great.  The entry and the room still feel huge, and the whole room feels so much brighter with the new paint!

The ceiling is very low in this room.  There was the same vaulted beam ceiling above the original room, but when they did the addition they drywalled the ceiling on the old room and the addition so they would look the same.  That left us with 7 ft ceilings.  We will eventually put in can lighting to address the room's lack of lighting.  We carried the same trim, both baseboards and ceiling trim, in from the rest of the house to give a sense of continuity.  It helps a bit, though this room is still clearly an addition.  

The kids were real troopers while Michael worked on this room.  They love to help, so Michael let them skim coat inside the closet:

They had a blast.  

Now, we rest.  The garage is a bit of a disaster, so we're slowly going through everything in there in hopes of clearing out space to work in the garage.  After that, maternity leave will consist of playing with the kids, spending time as a family and finishing up the multitude of projects that we are in the middle of.  Hopefully that will include a finished kitchen, finished stage 1 of the master reno, finishing the baseboards in the living room and maybe even painting the exterior of the house!


Master Bedroom Reno, A Week In

by Rachel Blackburn in ,


Michael has been busting a move getting our bedroom done.  He keeps eyeing my belly and then diving right back into the renovation of our room, spending every spare second and pouring all {literally all} of his energy into getting this project done.  I'm so proud of him.  

Just so you can see the magnitude of what has been accomplished in the last week and a half, here are some before pictures:

View from the back of the room, right next to the sliding glass door to the backyard.

View from the back of the room, right next to the sliding glass door to the backyard.

From the doorway to the bedroom.  The wall to the right is the one with the second layer of wallpaper.

From the doorway to the bedroom.  The wall to the right is the one with the second layer of wallpaper.

This was last Wednesday:

From the back of the room.

From the back of the room.

From the doorway to the room.

From the doorway to the room.

This was yesterday:

From the back of the room.  New closet is going in!

From the back of the room.  New closet is going in!

Michael has done amazing work.  There was original flooring in about 1/3 of the room, which he had to feather in with the new  flooring, which takes forever and a day.  It's hard work.  He also sanded the walls to prep them for skim coating.  Then he built a new walk-in closet.  He let me help with the drywall, and I'm kind of proud to say I hung drywall at 38 weeks pregnant.  Scoring and snapping that stuff is satisfying!

Tomorrow Michael will finish sanding the floor and probably will put a coat or two of the polyurethane on it.  Hopefully that can be finished Friday afternoon and then Saturday night and Sunday can be spent finishing drywall, skim coating, sanding and painting the walls.  Next week we are hoping to be back in our room.

That is, if baby doesn't come first!