Archive for October, 2010
So I always knew our baby’s room would be relatively gender neutral, in terms of its design and colours. Even after we found out our Widget was a boy, I was still drawn to colours and themes that could easily be adapted for a boy or girl. Throughout my pregnancy I trawled my usual favourite blogs for inspiration: apartment therapy and young house love, as well as Ikea (most of our house is furnished by the collective Swedish genius). I played with a few ideas, but kept coming back to shades of grey with green and white.
I liked images like this one (below) for the grey walls and white furniture, but also how they used accents of aqua and taupe to add interest. I also loved the animal decals on the wall.
I also really liked this one (below) – the shade of grey was very close to what I had in mind, plus they have used the same cot we were planning on buying.
I had been scouting the Ikea childrens range for a while, and after much discussion with my husband, we decided on the Gulliver cot in white, the Malm 6 drawer chest in white, and the ever popular Poang chair.
We liked the versatility of the Gulliver cot (it converts to a toddler bed), and the Malm unit was big enough to fit lots of tiny little clothes, blankets and such, while the top of it would serve as the change table. We thought about buying an actual change table, but other more experienced parents than us told us how their little ones grew too big for the table quite quickly, or that they ended up changing their kids in or on other places (even standing them up when they were old enough) then it just became a useless piece of furniture. Always ones to consider the cheaper option, we decided that a chest of drawers would be far more useful and could serve double duty for us. So we simply added the Gullunge change mat to the top.
Oh, and people have asked if it’s difficult to change our little monkey while he is laying sideways, but we have actually found it easier this way, and we feel awkward when we have to change him lying facing us (like brushing your teeth left-handed). Plus I think we get peed on less. Always a bonus.
We then added some Lack shelves above the Malm drawers for more storage, using the Agen and Branas baskets to hold various bits and pieces. We also use the Fabler boxes on top of the Malm for nappy changing paraphernalia.
You’ll have to excuse the wonkily hung pictures – they are cheap frames, and so don’t sit straight. Noah doesn’t seem to notice. And the white coat hanger you can see hanging from the basket is actually a rush job I whipped up. We hadn’t gotten around to buying a mobile for Noah (he was born 2 weeks early) and one day he seemed suddenly much more aware of things than previously. So I decided to hang something above the change pad so that he would have something to look at. The hanging objects are actually some animal socks my mum bought for him, which are too big for his little feet. They are a tiger, a cow and a lamb. He thinks the cow is hilarious, and he learned to smile at the cow before either of his parents. Good times.
The Poang chair currently sits in our grown-ups bedroom, as this is where I feed the Widg in the middle of the night (so that I can watch DVDs. We are currently working our way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Someone has to educate the little man.) But once he no longer needs these feedings, the Poang will be moved into his room to become his story time/reading chair. It will look like this:
My grandfather made this stool (which I plan to re-paint), Noah’s Great Grandmother crocheted one of the rugs, and the other one was a gift from Noah’s Gran’s craft group ladies. And above this stool is where I plan to hang this Bekvam spice rack for small toy or book storage. I also have some hooks to hang underneath it for hanging bags and coats and things.
I use these Len fitted sheets on the cot, and this Renate rug is on the floor to add a bit more colour. We bought a few of these Frosta stools, which so far have been great as little side tables, but will also function as seats or Widget-sized tables. I plan to buy the Kusiner boxes to put under the cot for more storage.
I bought a whole bunch of these Krama washcloths and Nackten hand towels, which have come in very handy for general baby fluid cleanups. (And since they are so cheap, we don’t care if they get stained or ruined. I am going to buy more when I go to Ikea next.)
We also wanted some kind of image on one of the walls, and we really liked the idea of trees. There are heaps of decals or wall stickers to choose from (you can find them online), but my talented hubby decided to paint it himself.3 comments
Yes. You read that right. A landing strip. Not the long stretch of tarmac that a plane lands on. But the area located somewhere near the entrance of your home where you dump stuff.
Most people have an accidental landing strip. The kitchen bench, the sideboard in the living room, even a chair in your bedroom. It’s that place where, when you walk in the door, you drop your keys, handbag, phone, jacket, or whatever else you discard upon entering your abode.
And then there are those people with fancy houses and fancy landing strips to match. These people usually live in magazine-land and have fairies that clean and polish their houses at night while the residents sleep.
Well, it always bothered me to have the accidental landing strip – probably because our house (and our use of it) lends itself to several of these drop zones. We would casually drop stuff wherever we happened to walk, and then this would inevitably lead to me running around picking stuff up and putting it away on a regular basis. Rather than this, I decided that one central area would serve us better (and limit my tidying-up time).
So I set about setting up the perfect landing strip. We have quite a large entrance at the Box, so I had plenty of space to work with. We simply moved a Lack shelf (previously used above the TV in the lounge room) and mounted it at about table height. Then on the shelf I just put a container for keys and small bits and pieces and a jar for random coins (they always seem to accumulate). I make sure there is empty space on the shelf for dumping the mail when we bring it in, or for putting things there that I need to take with me when I go out next.
There’s also a chair for my handbag, and there’s usually a few pairs of shoes or thongs under the chair. In winter there are often a few scarves or a jacket or two thrown on the chair as well.
I have added a few decorative items to pretty it up a bit and we hung some artworks to fill the space on the wall above the shelf.
I have plans to hang some hooks on the wall opposite the shelf – these will be used to hang shopping bags, scarves, jackets, etc. And I will probably put a basket under the hooks for chucking shoes into (just so it doesn’t look too messy).
So that’s a landing strip. A place where you “land” when you get home. (Ok, I didn’t make up the name, I’m just trying to explain the concept.)5 comments
Making and dressing the bed has become one of those things that I am endlessly fascinated with, and constantly changing. Don’t get me wrong – making the bed is a chore, and I don’t love it every morning. But I love to look through magazines and blogs, getting ideas on how other people dress their beds.
I drool over the countless options and combinations of blankets, doona’s, sheets and bed spreads. Then there are the pillows (both standard and European) and cushions and throws (oh my).
As a result of my fascination, I have purchased way too many bedding sets, sheet sets, pillow cases, throw cushions and throw rugs (most of them cheap from Ikea or Target, but still.) I rotate them and mix them up constantly, and I have to really refrain myself from buying more (especially when Ikea releases a new range).
At the Box, we are a fitted-sheet-and-doona-without-a-topsheet kinda folk. The husband likes a thin, soft pillow and I like a thick, hard one. When the bed is made, we usually have 4 standard pillows (2 each) and 2 European pillows (one each). Then there are often a few throw cushions, and sometimes a throw rug. It depends on the colours I am using at the time, and my mood.
There are times when I really just couldn’t be bothered “dressing” the bed, and I am lucky if I even throw the doona up and straighten the pillows. But then I go through stages when I really take joy in making the bed properly, choosing which sheets to put on, which cushions to use and all the rest. It’s wierd, I know. But it almost feels as good as buying a new pair of shoes. Almost.No comments
Here at the Box, we are self-confessed magazine junkies. We subscribe to several, and buy many more on a random basis. Our choices tend toward the home reno/gardening/lifestyle/decorating genre, and we lap them up like starving dogs. Our current subscriptions are Real Living, Inside Out and Burke’s Backyard. We also regularly buy Australian Home Beautiful, House and Garden, Notebook (which is ceasing publication apparently). and the new Outdoor Room by Jamie Durie.
We get so excited when one of our subscriptions lands in the mailbox – we get all giddy and dance into the house with the crisp new mag, rip off the plastic wrap and sniff the fresh, glossy pages. It’s like getting a present from a secret admirer every month.
We get a lot of inspiration from these publications. We pour over the beautiful houses and gardens, obsess over the lovely furnishings and dream about what we could do with unlimited resources at hand. Of course, we would probably never implement most of what we come up with. But it’s just nice to dream and look at pretty things.No comments
During our trips to China in 2005 and 2006, the husband and I began collecting chopsticks from the various cities and towns we visited. Basically, they were a cheap souvenir that we could easily purchase from anywhere in the country, and they wouldn’t take up too much room in the luggage on the way home.
Our collection has turned into a bit of a novelty at home: every time we have an asian dish for dinner, there’s a little moment where we carefully select which set of chopsticks we will eat with for that meal. It’s goofy but it’s just a thing we do.
So the chopsticks are currently sitting in a container on the kitchen counter, which looks fine. But I have always hoped that I would magically come up with some other genius idea for displaying them. Well, it seems that someone has done the thinking for me.
I saw this brilliant idea over at The Kitchn (Apartment Therapy) and I am sure we could implement something similar at the Box. Even if we don’t screw the little eyelet things directly into the wall, maybe into a plank of wood which then gets mounted on the wall. Or onto a flat surface that you could then frame? We’ll see.2 comments
I always had this ideal that your bedroom should be a sanctuary – somewhere you can escape to at the end of the day that feels calm, serene and peaceful.
Of course the reality is that most peoples’ bedrooms fall short of this ideal (mine included). I’m sure that the majority of us would sheepishly admit to clothes strewn over chairs or the end of the bed, wardrobes stuffed to overflowing or with clothes falling off the hangers, chests of drawers with clothes stuffed in rather than folded, laptops or paperwork piled up on the dresser or bedside tables, and shoes and socks thrown about wherever they landed. Possibly even some dirty dishes, a coffee cup or two and maybe even a stained, empty wine glass.
Well, this year I vowed to maintain our bedroom as the sanctuary I craved, even if the whole rest of the house went to ruins. I would always make the bed, put away my clothes and keep all surfaces tidy and clutter-free. And I have to say, I have almost always succeeded. There have only been a few days so far in the whole year that have failed to live up to this standard, and all of those have occurred since the arrival of our dear son.
How have I managed this, you ask? (Well, maybe you didn’t ask. But it’s easier to write these posts if I imagine some people on the other end reading this and conversing with me as I write. Crazy? No!) Well, firstly, it’s all about storage space. Have enough of it, use it correctly, and everything else pretty much falls into place.
Now, I have no problem confessing to my shopping addiction, and the excessive amount of shoes, clothes and accessories that have resulted. So I have always needed more storage space than most in the bedroom. We have (thanks to Ikea) a large wardrobe (Pax), 4 large chests of drawers (Malm 4 drawer) and 2 bedside tables (Malm again).
All of these are very full, but very well organised. I have dividers inside the drawers to keep everything neat, and I make sure everything is neatly folded and stacked. I also have dedicated storage for my copious amounts of accessories, scarves and the like (little boxes and special hangers). And I make sure to purge every 6 months or so and get rid of things that I no longer wear, thus making room for the new things I buy.
The main thing I do to keep our bedroom schmick is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. That means putting things away as soon as I am done with them, and reworking my storage if things are no longer fitting. It’s really not a lot of work, and all I have to do every day is make the bed. The rest has just become habit.
But even if it took more work than that, I would still try to do it. Because at the end of the day, when everything else is going nuts, there’s nothing more satisfying than dragging myself up the stairs, walking into my room, and seeing that all is right with the world.5 comments
Well, this is embarassing. It has been a while since I posted, promising to blog. And, well, I haven’t blogged at all. The intention was there: I planned, I wrote, I prepared photo’s, I discussed strategy and creative ideas with the husband. But then life, as it frequently does, got in the way.
To be fair, we had a baby.
Which is pretty big (although he is pretty small) as far as interruptions go. But the time has come my friends to pick up the slack and try again. So here it is: my vague and amateurish attempt to blog. Stay tuned (but don’t hold your breath – I’m still learning!).2 comments