Veni, Vidi, Vici!

Week 6!!! The Whimsical Boys Room is COMPLETE!!! Somehow I actually finished on Monday, so I had a minute to catch my breath after sewing until midnight three nights running.

For anyone new to my blog or the One Room Challenge, it is a biannual decor and design event that takes place every spring and fall. This Fall 2018 Challenge marks its fourteenth season! Each Challenge there are 20 designers selected to transform a space, and they document their progress every Wednesday for 6 weeks. In addition, anyone with a blog can take part as a Guest Participant. Each Thursday the guests post links to their progress, inspiring and encouraging others as they participate. And that’s me, a Guest Participant! I made over my boys shared bedroom, giving it a touch of whimsey and lots of function.

Remember the tragic “Before” pictures? It was pretty much a dump-and-run situation. Holy Tornado, Batman!

 
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And now the “After”…

 
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I’m not sure exactly what I expected from the One Room Challenge. Besides the obvious, I mean, which is having one room in our house be absolutely and completely finished. But I feel like there have been some added benefits that I didn’t anticipate. I have grown as a decorator and photographer, and gained confidence in my ability to work with a deadline. I’ve been reminded how much I enjoy mixing colors and patterns, using power tools, and incorporating as many personally significant details as I can into a room.

There have been a lot of “best” parts of participating in the One Room Challenge. Watching the boys play in their new room is definitely one of them!

 
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Lots more blog posts to come about the Whimsical Boys Room! I’ll share details about the art, pillows and other textiles, bedding, KALLAX bookcase, and more. Stick around, lots more goodies to come! Many thanks to Linda at the One Room Challenge for creating an amazing event that showcases so many wonderful designs. Check out all of the Featured Designers and Guest Participants at the link below.

 

As for what else is coming down the pike… lots of decor, staging, and more. Plus I’m already looking forward to the next One Room Challenge, coming up in Spring 2019. So stick around, I’m not going anywhere!


Much Ado About Tassels

This past week has flown by! I’m sure everyone participating in the One Room Challenge would say the same. But glory hallelujah, I’m done making tassels! The final total was 210, a little short of the 4 million it felt like.

For any new readers, the One Room Challenge is a biannual decor and design event that takes place every spring and fall. This Fall 2018 Challenge marks its fourteenth season! Each Challenge there are 20 designers selected to transform a space, and they document their progress every Wednesday for 6 weeks. In addition, anyone with a blog can take part as a Guest Participant. Each Thursday the guests post links to their progress, inspiring and encouraging others as they participate. And that’s me, a Guest Participant! I’m making over my boys shared bedroom, giving it a touch of whimsey and lots of function.

 
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When I was planning the room makeover, I decided to keep the existing curtains. They are IKEA blackout curtains, and they truly transform the room from daylight to night at nap time. Any mom of young kids knows the value of a good blackout curtain! But the panels were …. super boring. I thought about giving them a tailored look with grosgrain ribbon in a sophisticated grid, but that just didn’t quite fit. But TASSELS! Totally fit the whimsical vibe. (Remember this moodboard?? There were some changes, but it’s still the “gist.”)

I priced out tassels, both individually or on a strip, at craft stores, Walmart, and on Amazon. For what I wanted, the price would be a minimum of $75, or as high as $200!!!

* gulp *

Given that the pre-made options were crazy expensive and didn’t come in the exact colors I wanted, I decided to make them.

 
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I found a simple tassel kit at Walmart for $4. It comes with three wooden tassel forms, and you just wrap / tie the tassels on the form per the handy instructions that come with the kit. I chose to use a relatively thin crochet thread from Hobby Lobby in three different greens. Be aware that the thread weight will greatly impact how long the tassels take to make! I knew I wanted the look a thin thread would give, so went ahead with it. I used the smallest form from the kit and made two inch tassels. The total cost for all my supplies was in the ballpark of $12.

208 does not sound like that many tassels. BUT IT IS. I actually made 210, but then had 2 left over. I watched a LOT of Suits episodes while I wrapped tassels. I suppose this week is brought to you by Amazon Prime Video. Except not really because I don’t have any sponsors. But I definitely BINGED Suits! And ate a lot of chocolate. There is way too much chocolate readily available this time of year.

 
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I even took my tassel making on the road. I went away with friends for a weekend getaway Friday - Sunday, and I tasseled in the car! I think I got a total of about 20 made while driving (I mean my friend was driving), so not sure it was really worth it…

 
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Congrats to me for thinking up the MOST TIME CONSUMING PROJECT EVER. Sewing on 208 individual tassels is no joke. 52 tassels per panel, split into 26 per edge. But look! All that work was worth it! I decided to mount the tassels on the front of the curtain, rather than hanging off the edge, and love the visibility and movement.

These curtains came with IKEA pleating tape already sewn on, so hanging them is incredibly easy, and it gives them a tailored look. If you have curtains without pleating tape IKEA sells it for $4.99 (3” x 122”).

 
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A couple years ago I was in Goodwill when I spotted a set of two bird paint-by-number paintings. For $1 each! I snatched those up, and they have been sitting gathering dust ever since. I didn’t know if the boys really cared to have them in their room, so I asked my 7 year old.

“I TREASURE those paintings!”

 
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Two $9 frames from Walmart later, they are finally hanging right where they belong. Can’t argue with “treasure!” I think I have a thing for paint-by-numbers. In moderation! Our younger girls have one in their room as well, and it’s in my top #5 out of the art in our home.

 
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This next week is going to be a whirlwind! I’m finishing the KALLAX unit tomorrow, finalizing art, sewing pillow covers, and creating the ceiling installation. Chaos, but FUN! Add in a couple consults and I’m going to be RUNNING for the next week. All good things, and I love to be busy!

 
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Don’t forget to check out the Featured Designers and the other Guest Participants by clicking on the link below! And for more frequent updates, be sure to follow Dawson Interiors on Instagram and Facebook.

 

So Many Tassels!

Can’t believe we are already wrapping up Week 4 of the One Room Challenge!

For any new readers, the One Room Challenge is a biannual decor and design event that takes place every spring and fall. This Fall 2018 Challenge marks its fourteenth season! Each Challenge there are 20 designers selected to transform a space, and they document their progress every Wednesday for 6 weeks. In addition, anyone with a blog can take part as a Guest Participant. Each Thursday the guests post links to their progress, inspiring and encouraging others as they participate. And that’s me, a Guest Participant! I’m making over my boys shared bedroom, giving it a touch of whimsey and lots of function.

Hi, I’m Laurel... wife to John, mom of FIVE, interior decorator and real estate stager in Auburn, Maine. Life is a tiny bit chaotic, but I love working with clients and helping transform houses into homes. This is my first One Room Challenge, and it’s been a blast!
 
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This has been a week of tiny little areas of progress, but no one giant thing completed. Although the giant cream colored shag rug I added to their room is just right, so third time’s the charm. (Does this one count as the third rug? The first was just my initial choice on the moodboard, but didn’t make it into the room. I guess you could argue it either way.)

With the shag rug in the room my three year old has been playing in his room more than ever before, building with blocks and cooking up a storm in the play kitchen. The boys actually playing in their room is one of my major goals of this makeover, so I’m pretty happy to see this change.

 
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The lights have bulbs! And a flat head extension cord! The boys love being able to read in bed. We read Bible stories in the lower bunk at bedtime the other night, and everyone got a huge kick out of cuddling up together.

 
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The biggest project to get finished up this week was the birch stump that will serve as a side table next to their reading chair. In May I decorated a wedding reception with, among other things, 10 birch stumps. I brought 6 home afterward (so heavy!!), and they have been drying out in my garage ever since.

 
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This weekend I selected one for the boys room, and set it on a stool outside to peel the bark. I hacked at it in a fairly unsafe way with my husband’s multi-tool knife until I got the many layers of bark off. I almost-not-quite got a blister, so it’s going to be a while before I peel another stump.

The next step was sanding, and I first used 80 grit, then 150, then 220 to finish it up. I used a 5-inch radius palm sander, and completed sanding in less than an hour. All told it was about a 3 hour project. I’m not going to seal it at this point, because there is a further layer that I’ll remove when it dries out even more (probably a spring project). Then I’ll oil or poly it… if you’ve ever peeled a stump please comment and let me know how you sealed it!

 
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Tassels. So many tassels. So many, in fact, that it’s the title for this blog post, despite the fact that I have yet to take a picture of said tassels. I am going to trim the sides of the existing blackout curtains with tassels, and am making three different green colors with crochet thread. It’s going to be very fun. And now you know what I’ll be working on tonight when I finish this blog post.

 
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The KALLAX unit has seen steady progress, though I’m STILL not done with it. But I’ve applied multiple layers of poly to the wood and I should be ready to “built” it this weekend. I love how the color came out, and can’t wait to show you all! Crossing fingers for a successful IKEA hack…

 
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I took a trek to a second Target to pick up the second comforter, and my youngest is thrilled with his cozy blanket. The oldest commandeered the first one immediately upon purchase, so the little guy had been waiting for a couple weeks.

 
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I’ve been vacillating about my art plans for the room, but am pretty sure I have it nailed down now. It is all very personal and significant to the boys, and I’m looking forward to getting it on the walls in the next week or so. The boys will be so excited about a couple surprises I have planned!

I realized today that I hadn’t taken any pictures with the bed curtains closed, and it’s one of my favorite details of the whole room. Check it out!

 
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On to Week 5, time to really rock and roll!! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up on One Room Challenge updates, and check out the featured designers and my fellow guests at the link below!

 

Two Steps Forward . . .

Welcome to Week 3 of the One Room Challenge!

For any new readers, the One Room Challenge is a biannual decor and design event that takes place every spring and fall. This Fall 2018 Challenge marks its fourteenth season! Each Challenge there are 20 designers selected to transform a space, and they document their progress every Wednesday for 6 weeks. In addition, anyone with a blog can take part as a Guest Participant. Each Thursday the guests post links to their progress, inspiring and encouraging others as they participate. And that’s me, a Guest Participant! I’m making over my boys shared bedroom, giving it a touch of whimsey and lots of function.

 
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Lovelovelove the rug. The colors are so pretty, and the quality is about as good as you can possibly get for $257. ALSO lovelovelove the green flower chair. In another room they would work together, but it just didn’t mesh in real life in the boys room. I want their room to feel simple, and the combo felt complicated. On paper it worked, so what happened?

Designing a room is not necessarily a sleek and linear process. You can have the best, most complete, well thought out plan ready to go, and then something doesn’t work in real life. Case in point: fabulous chair + dreamy rug = decor competition that doesn’t mesh.

 
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Which leads to this point: STAY FLEXIBLE. Allow for plans to change. The main direction of the boys bedroom is the same, and most of the elements are just what I initially planned… but now we are on the third rug. And you know what they say about the third time being the charm? It’s true.

Once I nailed down that it was the rug that had to change (not moving that chair!!), I decided a giant neutral shag was the way to go. My younger son comes to hang out in my office just to lie on my shag rug.

But have you ever shopped for a 9x12 rug? $$$!!!

 
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I was shopping on a site that had 45% off advertised, and kept trying to do the calculations, all the while wondering why they weren’t showing the sale price, as they usually did. Then I realized they WERE showing the sale price, and $500+ was about as good as it got. Buh-byeeee!

Thanks to trusty old Amazon for a 9x12 shag with great reviews for $155! Remember, boys are kind of gross. I might have cleaned boogers off the wall before I repainted their room. So we’re not spending big bucks on their rug. Maybe when they are older. Though do boys ever get less gross? I feel like we’re just going to move from boogers to modeling clay and stinky socks.

 
Photo credit  Amazon

Photo credit Amazon

 

This bedroom has the unique challenges of no ceiling light and only 2 outlets. So I have to run the cord for the floor lamp 13 feet across the room and behind the bookcase to plug it in. The extra bonus of the larger rug (my poor little zebra that is no more was only 7’6” x 9’6”) is that I can run the extension cord UNDER the rug. Yes. I agree it would be better to install another outlet, but it’s not in the works right this second.

The next best surprise was that the rug arrived a week early, tonight as we were sitting down to dinner! Due to it’s giant size, it was folded in half after being rolled, and then plastic wrapped into a giant green blob, so I’m going to let it flatten out a bit more before any pictures happen.

One of the biggest projects I tackled this week was painting the boys doors. The door into their room is in the same corner as their closet door, at 90 degrees from each other. Together they provide an irresistible opportunity to introduce a little more color into the room.

 
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I’ve been debating green vs. blue and bold vs. subtle for weeks, and finally decided yesterday morning it was time to bite the bullet. After pinning about 40 doors, I picked three green colors and painted samples on one of the doors. That clarified things immediately! Green was out of the running, and I would stick to a light blue… or two… Benjamin Moore’s Watercolor Blue (793) and Mystical Blue (792).

 
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All those rectangles took a long time to freehand. Thank goodness for my once a week daycare…

 
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One more area I made (some) progress in this week was lighting. I ordered small wall-mounted sconces from Urban Outfitters, and when they arrived it took about 20 minutes to get them both mounted by their beds. So simple! I wanted something low profile so the boys don’t bump into them at night, particularly on the lower bunk. You will notice, though, that the Emperor has no clothes. I still don’t have the right light bulbs almost a full week later. I also need to get a flat-head extension cord to plug in instead of having both cords sticking out of the outlet.

 
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What else?

 
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I know. This looks mostly the same, except the books are slightly tidier and I swapped out the bins for baskets.

 
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I’ve done the black-wash treatment to the wood for the KALLAX unit, and thanks to my dad have also cut it down to size (I don’t have a table saw of my own… yet.). Next I need to sand/poly/sand/poly it, then attach the wood. So that will be another week or two, depending on weather and time management.

Plenty still to come, from art and textiles to dressing up their curtain panels, finding the perfect thrifted footstool / side table for next to the chair, sorting out bedding, and pulling together the ceiling treatment. Moving full speed ahead!

Be sure to check out the 20 featured designers and all the guest participants on the One Room Challenge Blog, link below! There are some great projects happening, and I’ll be sharing about some of them coming up soon on Instagram. Be sure to follow me on the ‘gram to be in the know!