This room was recently added on to the home of this family of five as an office and sort of play/extra room. Its a great little space with beautiful built-ins and lovely natural light from some french doors which unfortunately I did not capture in these before pictures. The family wanted it to be functional and organized but also stylish since it can be seen almost as soon as you walk into the house. They love color and this add-on needed to flow well from the living room it is connected to. A few other things you should know about this family- they have a four year old, two year old twins, have done a lot of world traveling, and the wife (my friend) is an extremely talented photographer! They already had this great chair and knew they wanted to use the storage for some decorative things and a lot of their kids’ books. There were a few little blank walls and while her kids do play in here since it is just off the living room, we didn’t want to go too “play-room” with it, and decided for a more family friendly feeling. I’ll be back later this week to show you the results, I think it turned out great. Thanks for reading, hope you have a lovely Monday!
It is such an honor to be involved in the ministry that goes on at this center. It is also a challenge. They want bright and light but not cutesy or overly cheery. Many of the girls and women that come through these rooms have been through a lot. I want it to be a place of welcoming and belonging, without any pretense; nothing too bubbly, or overly put together.
Some of this will still be tweaked as I shop and things get ordered. Paint will happen soon and we’ll set the date for the install. I will definitely share more of the process and of course pictures when its finished!
Do you have an Ikea close to you? I don’t like to peruse much because it can be pretty overwhelming, especially when I try to take my kids, but I now have some tried and true favorites that I have depended on over and over again. Head straight for the downstairs warehouse area (or online) and go right for these- they will not fail you!
I’ve mentioned them before but hands down, my favorite curtains are the Ikea Ritvas.
The website picture really doesn’t do them justice, but they come in 98″ and 118″ long and range from $25-$35. They hang so nicely and you really cannot beat the price for that length. I really prefer to hang my curtains as long as possible- from ceiling to floor. That can be expensive with custom fabric, which is why I tend to use Ikea curtains. Hang them with a nice thick, dark curtain rod for contrast and they are just beautiful.
Another favorite that I use quite frequently is the Ikea Ribba frame. It has a modern look to it- no beveling, and comes with a matte. Only $10 for an 8×10. They also come in a big square and other smaller sizes. They are great to mix and match with other frames you may already have. I have them all over my home, here are just a few spots.
The Eivor throw blanket is a great one for a classic black and white stripe. Who doesn’t love black & white? It goes with almost everything. I use this blanket along with this pillow (The Lappjung Ruta) quite frequently (for myself and clients) because they are just so fun and graphic but don’t require a lot of color commitment.
As for furniture, I have a few go-to favorites. I pretty much love anything from the Hemnes line. Most of it is real wood and they have simple but clean moldings that make them look a little nicer than your typical Ikea furniture pieces. You do have to put everything together for yourself, but that’s how they are able to keep prices so low. They come in some great colors. We have a dresser and some bookshelves from this line.
Finally, the shelf formerly known as the Expedit. When I heard they were discontinuing the Expedit, I nearly cried. Seriously. We have two of these, and I recommend them to friends and clients all the time. It is the most versatile, useful, and inexpensive piece of furniture I have ever owned. But then I found out they just updated and renamed it! So cry no more, my friends! May I introduce, the new and improved Kallax.
It comes in several different size configurations and colors now! So fun. It can be turned vertically or horizontally and there are so many choices of canvas and woven baskets that fit perfectly in the squares for storage. We have one in my oldest son’s room and one in our entry way. Both of ours are white, which actually I still think I would choose if I bought them now just because of the versatility.
It can be grown up or kid friendly. Create more storage in a closet, or dress it up with some matching lamps in a foyer. You can even put legs on it and make it tall enough to be a changing table in a baby’s room. The opportunities are endless!
Is there anything at Ikea that you love? What would you add to this list? I’d love to hear!
I am not the cook in our family. So kitchen function matters much less to me than kitchen “pretty.” When we found this house, Paul said that the kitchen function could work for him (and the stove was gas- he was excited about that!), and while the obvious kitchen pretty wasn’t all there, I felt like there was definite hope for this place. The cabinets are nowhere near custom but I did love that they are tall and have some nice trim around the tops. The countertops are this pure white Corian. Maybe that is so out of style but the white is so stark they look modern to me. Then there are those big windows and the high ceilings, always a plus! We worked with what we had.
We put new floors in (same throughout the whole living area downstairs) and had the cabinets painted. We added the hardware ourselves. The wallpaper was removed and a subway tile backsplash added. That’s literally all we did. When the dishwasher and the oven broke a couple years later we replaced them. I’d still love to have a white refrigerator one day (one with stainless handles 😍) but the black one from our old house works just fine- especially covered in my kids’ art! The faucet is asking politely to be replaced as well. All in good time! The plant and the bamboo shades add much needed texture and color.
By the way, Paul took these pictures when it was about 6pm in the evening and super cloudy and dark. He made it look like it was sunny and mid-morning and made our neighbors think we are totally crazy with the lights he had set up outside. Oh and the rest of our house was pretty much a wreck and I fed the kids peanut butter and jelly since the kitchen was being used for something other than dinner-making. Just so you know, things are not always as they appear on blogs, haha!
As always, thank you for reading! It has been SO fun to share my projects with you over these last few weeks. Looking forward to many more! To see more of my house tour, click here.