henry's room - the reveal

We made it! With only a matter of weeks before baby number two arrives we managed to get Henry moved from his nursery and into his new bedroom. The other night he told me as he headed to bed that he thought his new room was really fun. I'll take that as a huge compliment coming from a three year old boy! Here it is.

I painted three of the four walls Benjamin Moore - Old Navy. The ceiling, trim and remaining wall were painted Alpine White also by Benjamin Moore. I found the antique bed with intricately carved posts of palm leaves topped with what appear to be pineapples at The Barn in Mississauga, Ontario.  For linens, I paired indigo wood-block printed pillows I found at Haveli Home with a red and white striped duvet from Nautica. On the wall, is a Stendig calendar from December 2008, the month and year that Henry was born. Awhile back, I noticed it hanging in the office of a friend of mine and I thought it would make an interesting piece of art as a reminder of the day he was born. I'm trying to think of a good way to identify the date. (I'd love to hear your suggestions!) Once I figure that out I will be probably get it framed in a shadow box of some kind.

You might recognize the kilim rug on the floor. Up until now, it has been in our front hallway. However, I thought it would work well up here so I moved it upstairs. (I'll show you what happened down in the entry way at a later date.) Also making it's way upstairs was the vintage Union Jack I found at the Christie Antique Show a couple of years back. It just seemed to fit the vertical space beside the bed so perfectly. The white ceramic garden stool is also something I've had for awhile. It works for now as a small bedside table. Rounding out the image is the Noguchi paper lantern I purchased for the room.

I covered the window in Henry's room with a wooden roman blind and then layered an Indian printed fabric over top. I made a simple curtain tieback using a length of nautical rope and a simple ring attached to the wall.

For toy and book storage, we created this stacked arrangement of vintage wooden crates. We nailed each of the crates to each other and then secured to them wall. I then filled the crates with a selection of sea-faring treasures, favorite toys and books. On the wall, is a string of old cork buoys I found at a vintage store a couple of years ago. They too seem to have finally found their home!

A close-up of the shelves. The red "X" by Leanne Shapton was given to me by my Hello! Neighbor photographer Kristin Sjaarda and the carved wooden dog bookend came from my husband's childhood bedroom.

A collection of old sporting photographs my husband has started collecting will probably fill the one white wall in the room.

Finally, finishing off the end of Henry's bed is his treasure chest. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him he has his own special box to store his found bounty! We still need to find a way to stop it from crashing down on his little fingers but I don't think it will be too hard.

I'm so happy we managed to get him moved over before his baby sister arrived. Now, I can concentrate on making the nursery  a little more feminine and getting it set up for her appearance.

I'd love to hear what you think of Henry's new room!


Nesting. Before I had kids I would have laughed this off as another one of those things that people make up but honest to goodness it's true. I remember it happening with Henry and sure enough last week I had a sudden urge to get things in order around our house. For months, I've been doing a fairly good job of denying that I'm actually pregnant but last Wednesday (yes, I remember the day) I was overcome with the feeling that this baby is coming and all my other priorities seemed to fade away.

A Proper Rabbit, Oh Albatross

You might remember that I made this list a few weeks ago about what I hoped to achieve before the baby came:

  • Take stroller to bike repair shop and get brake fixed.
  • Go through above mentioned boxes of baby clothes and sort and clean as necessary.
  • Stock up on diapers, wipes, laundry detergent and other things newborns need lots of.
  • Clean and install infant baby seat.
  • Buy some new change table covers, a new mobile for above the crib, new sheets and an Ergo carrier.
  • Apply for my maternity/parental leave benefits.
  • Make sure we have all the supplies we need for a home birth.
  • Prepare and put meals in the freezer.
  • Buy some good nursing bras. (Does such a thing exist?)
  • Get bassinet cleaned and ready for our bedroom.
  • Design, decorate and get Henry moved over to his new bedroom. (Gulp!)
  • Treat myself to one of these new diaper bags (unless someone else wants to buy one for me!)

As you can see, I'm slowly getting there. By the end of this weekend I hope to have Henry into his new bedroom, my mother-in-law Carole kindly agreed to buy the diaper bag for me (thanks Carole!) and based on your suggestions I found some great nursing bras. In fact, Evymama which has an amazing selection of sexy and practical nursing bras along with other things pregnant and nursing mums need has come on as a sponsor of this blog. I also picked up my Ergo carrier through them.

Finally, I purchased two new books last week. Pamela Druckerman's Bringing up Bebe and Karen Le Billon's French Kids Eat Everthing (And Yours Can Too!) based on an excerpt I read on the blog The Sweet Potato Chronicles.

Both books deal with the way French mothers raise their children. I admit that after reading this blurb on Druckerman's book jacket I wanted to learn more.

The French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.

It's true in North America (and perhaps elsewhere??) that parenting has taken on an absurd reality in recent years. It's been called everything from overparenting to helicopter parenting to kindergarchy. I'm intrigued to read and learn about a different way of raising kids and if I can get Henry to eat mussels and endive salads in the process than Hallelujah! Have any of you read these books? Do your kids eat anything you put in front of them or are they picky eaters?


henry's room - paint colour

Work has finally started on Henry's room! Yesterday, the electrician came by and installed a new fixture in the ceiling and all this week the drywaller will be busy putting up new walls, taping and painting. It's been awhile since we've had this kind of activity in our house! Of course, my first order of business is to decide on a paint colour for the room. Even as a designer who chooses paint colours for clients and art exhibits on a monthly basis I still find the process daunting. I often find clients ask us what colour they should paint their walls before they have decided on the overall look for the room. For many people, choosing a wall colour is the first step. Personally I like the fabrics or other elements in the room to dictate the colour. So before I started pulling paint colours yesterday I began by bringing together some of the items I have already purchased for the room.

For me, fabric is always the biggest pull and when I saw these indigo block-printed pillows and quilts I knew they would be the perfect compliment to Henry's sea-faring room. These fabrics along with the flags I have gathered have established the overall colour scheme for the room. The palette ranges through a continuum of blues from indigo to navy and is highlighted with touches of red, gold, black and off-white. Natural elements like the rope, baskets and weathered wood will also play a role. My inclination is to paint the walls a dark, rich blue but I have some concern about making the room too moody for a little boy.

I think I could tackle this problem two ways: I could paint only some of the walls the dark blue and leave the others off-white or I could leave all the walls off-white and paint the trim in the midnight navy colour like in the picture below.

If I wanted to get a bit more of the blue in there I could also paint the ceiling in the deep azure colour. I think it would off set the Noguchi lantern I've purchased beautifully. Finally, I came across this photo...

Maybe, I skip the dark blue all together and go for something soft and watery like this? Thoughts, comments?

Image Credits:
1-2 The Marion House Book
3- House Beautiful
4- Simon Upton for Elle Decor