Country Living...Island Dreaming

May 31, 2012

My Son's Room - Before and After

Going into this makeover with my 8 year old,
I wondered if we would ever come to an agreement.

The main goal of the room re-do was to get rid of the baby-look.

I had all kinds of grand plans.
I wanted the walls gray;
he wanted them darker blue.
I wanted a preppy/classic/vintage/Ralph Laurenish room;
he wanted "just stuff I like."

So, after many paint tests,
and many return trips to stores and UPS,
we went from a slightly babyish room
to a cool big kid room.

From baby blue walls, red curtains and an airplane theme to...
A room for an 8 year old to love for many years!
(Paint Color - Amsterdam by Benjamin Moore)

As you can see,
he was very excited to start taking things down
on the morning the painters were coming.
(Don't you love the mismatched pajamas?)

Sure, there are some babyish things I will miss...
The picture that was still on his wall
from when he was in his crib.

The brass lamp that belonged to me as a child.
(Now everything is brushed nickel in his room.)

The airplane prints.

The baby-ish things were replaced with:

more mature art....

updated chevron curtains...

And he even gave most of his stuffed animals to his brother!
We used to keep them piled in this basket.
Now we use it for books instead.

Here are some different angles of the new room:

He kept his old train print.
Having the extra colors helps break up all the gray and blue.
I may still change the navy lampshade to something lighter.
It is definitely a darker room now.

As you can see,
we still need to hang some artwork or a map above the dresser.
I think it will help tone down the darker blue.
I took out the little brass lamp
and brought the brushed nickel one in from the old playroom.
I might change the shade though to something more decorative.

 I may repaint the blue chair again.
The bright blue looks a little off in here.
We will also hang something above the desk...

Which he accessorized himself.

Of course he has this on top.

The Mets bear adds a little bit of orange to the room.

If the Empire State Building print seems a little high,
it's because we normally keep his keyboard below it.
He practices every night before bed.
He had started playing it downstairs this past week
so we weren't even sure it was going back in the room.
I think having it there helps remind him to practice though.
Someone in this family should know how to play an instrument!

So, now the room is done,
(well except some artwork,etc.).
I am happy for him
but sad that he is growing up so fast.
It seems like just yesterday there was a crib in that room!

But he loves the new look and I was thrilled with his choices.
(Although I am still getting used to the darker color).
Even though the room looks nothing like my original vision,
I actually think it turned out better
because he helped me pick things
and it really is what he wanted.

And as I told you yesterday,
he even loved the chevron curtains!

So, I am excited to finally be able to share his room with you!

Here is a list of sources:
Gray/Navy quilt - Restoration Hardware
Navy and White Pillow Sham - Pottery Barn from a couple years ago (meant for my room)
Curtain Panels - Etsy store - Designer Pillow Shop
Empire State Building print - TJ Maxx/Homegoods
Paint - Amsterdam by Benjamin Moore

Furniture and Accessories that I reused:
Bed, Nightstand and Dresser - Ethan Allen
Desk and Navy Bookshelf - Pottery Barn
Blue Chair - Local furniture store.  (I repainted it last year)
Train print -

Click HERE to see the room updated with the new map!
A special thank you to Remodelaholic 
for the full feature on this bedroom makeover!

Have you made over any rooms 
with the help of your children?


May 30, 2012

The Kid Likes Chevron!

When the gray ticking striped curtains
from Restoration Hardware did not work out,
I wasn't sure what we would end up with in my son's bedroom.

At first, I tried some light gray panels from Bed Bath and Beyond.
They were fine but a little bland in there.

Then I started looking on Etsy
I had never bought anything on Etsy before
but I found so many different stores on there that made window panels.

Believe it or not,
at one point I actually thought of making panels myself!
I am not exactly skilled in the sewing department
so I thought it would be best to buy the curtains!

So, I started looking at chevron curtains on Etsy
and when my son walked over to my computer and said,
"Hey, I like the zig zag ones!", it was a done deal!

I ended up ordering from
and the package arrived in only a couple of days!
I paid less than I did for the Restoration Hardware curtain panels
and they look perfect in the room!
The curtains pull the whole room together
and look better than the original ticking stripes!

So, it worked out in the end.
And after all,
what is a blog without a little chevron?!!

Swing by tomorrow
to see how the whole room turned out.
I just have to hang a few pictures
and wait for the sun to come out to get better lighting!

Have you shopped on Etsy before?
Oh, you're bloggers - of course you have!
What is your favorite Etsy store?


May 26, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #15

Yesterday, my little girl had her first swim!

We were at the neighbors house
and she just dove into the water.
It happened while I was on the other side of the pool.
I dashed over as fast as I could,
ready to dive in to save her
but all of a sudden she started swimming.
It was the most adorable thing!
We guided her towards the steps
and pulled her out while laughing hysterically.

Then about an hour later she was reaching for a toy and actually fell in.
This time she was scared and tried to climb out the side
but we led her to the stairs again
and got her out.
She was shaking this time
but calmed down after a minute.

It was quite an exciting evening.
This is what she looked like when we got home.

A few minutes later she stood up,
walked into her crate and went to sleep!
Usually, I have to tell her to go in
but she was so exhausted.
I think she enjoyed her first day of swimming!

Ahhh... the dog days of summer!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

What are your weekend plans?


May 24, 2012

The Garage is Painted!

I know, a painted garage
may not seem that exciting to you,
but I have wanted to paint the interior of our garage
for most of the 13 years we have lived in our house.
And now it is finally painted!

I was finally able to convince my husband we needed it done.
When the painter was here a few weeks ago
to give me a quote on my son's room,
I asked him to give me a quote to paint the garage...
since he was here anyway.
When he walked back in the house with the written estimate,
my husband just happened to be in the room talking to me...
what a coincidence.
Anyway, he gave me the quote and my husband says,
"You might as well do it."

Now, I had been asking Mr. C. to have the garage painted for awhile
and he always thought it didn't need it.
Plus, he thought having the drywall made the house look new!
Silly, yes but the important thing is....
It is painted!
(Thank you, Dear)

And what a difference!

I chose Benjamin Moore - Pale Oak.
It is just a hint of color so it feels white but will hopefully will hide the dirt.
We just can't have too much change in this house at once
because all of the boys like things to stay the way they are.

A few months ago I talked about possibly painting this door black
but at the last minute I decided to go white again.

Painting the door wasn't even in the price estimate
but the painter had extra paint from the trim so I just had him do it.
I guess I could change it to black later when it gets dirty again.
I am also happy having the wood railing and stairs painted.
A much neater look than before.

Now I just have to work on some organization in here
and then the garage will be finished.
I am going to put a shelf next to the stairs for all the muddy sports shoes.
That will alleviate the piling of shoes and dirt in the laundry room...hopefully!

Anyway, I am thrilled to finally have a painted garage.
I no longer feel like I have to explain to people
why we still have that nasty drywall after 13 years!

Is your garage painted?
Or did I just insult you by saying drywall was nasty?
(Ours was dirty and had footprints on the ceiling
from when the house was built,
 so it was pretty nasty.)

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May 22, 2012

A Small Setback

Well, my son's room is painted!


Unfortunately, I hit a little snag in my decorating plans.

The gray and white ticking stripe curtains that I ordered from
Restoration Hardware
didn't really work out.
The grommets made the curtains hang weird
 on the rod that was already in place.
See the way they are all bunched up and won't even move?
Sure, we could probably hang the rod a little differently but
there is no room to come any lower.
We absolutely can't go any higher,
which brings up the other problem...

Yes, the curtains are a little too short.
Just enough to make them look ridiculous.
His old curtains were 84 inches too
so I don't know why these are so off...but they are.

So, now I am trying to think of
what else will work here.
We are so disappointed
because the ticking stripe would have looked great
with the blue.
Oh well!

I am either going to get a solid color
like a light gray or white
or actually try to make curtains myself!
What a dreadful thought that is!
For the average person, it would be pretty easy,
especially since I will probably use clip rings to hang them.
But sew?
that is way out of my comfort zone!

I will keep you posted on what we decide.

In the meantime,
I am hanging pictures and accessorizing the rest of the room.

Have you tried sewing your own panels?

May 19, 2012

Weekend Pupdate #14

Rosie Posie...

Since my flowers are blooming all over the yard,
I attempted to pose Rosie in front of them...

I had to laugh because her head looks too big for her body here!
She looks like one of those bobble-head dolls!

Are we done yet?

Just a couple more and you are done, Rosie...

C'mon Mom, I'm bored now.

Just one more Rosie.
Smile for the camera...
How's this Mom?

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Any posing in your plans?

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May 18, 2012

Cleaning My Dash and Albert Rug

The Dash and Albert rug in my downstairs bathroom
was starting to look a little dirty.
Dash and Albert Striped rug - an easy way to clean!
(It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but trust me, it's dirty.)

This bathroom is right off the kitchen and gets used a lot.
Don't ask me why I would have a rug in here with white stripes,
but since it is small and relatively inexpensive,
I took my chances.

The rug is made from polypropylene
and according to Dash and Albert's website,
these rugs can be hosed, scrubbed and bleached. 
They are not meant for machine washing or drying, though.

Since today is a beautiful, sunny day,
I thought is was a good time to wash the rug.
Golden Retriever helping to clean my Dash and Albert Rug
First Rosie inspected the rug for me.

Cleaning Dash and Albert Rugs
Then I took some Oxi Magic, some water and a sponge
and just scrubbed the rug.

Washing a Dash and Albert Rug
Afterwards, I rinsed it and hung it in the sun to dry.

Air drying my Dash and Albert Rug - Golden Retriever approved!
As you can see, it looks pretty clean.
And Rosie approves.

Quick and Easy Way to Clean a Dash and Albert Indoor Outdoor Rug
I flipped over the back of the rug
so you can see that the front is now just as clean as the back.
I can definitely tell the difference and
I could actually see the dirt coming off as I was scrubbing it.

Another cleaning project to cross of the list!

Do you have any Dash and Albert rugs?

May 15, 2012

The Painters Are Coming!

We finally decided on a color for my son's bedroom!

After trying many samples
from light grays to dark blues,
we ended up choosing Amsterdam by Benjamin Moore.

As you might remember, this was one of the colors in the running
and this is also the color of my master bathroom.
Here is how it will look
 next to the new gray and white curtains we ordered.

We thought we were going to go with something a little darker
like Philipsburg Blue,
 but we both agreed it would be a little too dark.
As you can see, Philipsburg is a much deeper color
than what we are used to in this room!

We weren't ready to go quite that dark
so we went with the Amsterdam.
As you can see, the colors are similar
but the Amsterdam (on left) is just a little lighter.

So the painters are coming next week!
I would have done the painting myself
but I get nervous with darker colors.

But the best part of having the painters come,
is that I convinced my husband to have them paint the garage too!
Yes, after 13 years of living in this house,
we STILL had a garage that looked like this!

My silly husband thought leaving it that way made the house look new...
Uh...I don't think we are fooling anyone, dear.
The only thing it did was make us look like
we didn't care about our garage!...
And like we were too cheap to get it painted!

So, this garage project will now snowball into
painting the interior door black
like I had planned a few months ago...
We will probably end up getting new door hardware,
setting up neater garage organization...
oh, the list could go on and on!

But at least we are moving along.
I am just trying to pick a garage color.
It will definitely be a light beige or grayish color.

The question is the ceiling...
Should I paint the ceiling white or just paint it the same as the wall color?
What are your thoughts?

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