We like cork boards in my house. And when I say WE, I refer to the royal we. As in ME.
I like having somewhere to put things up, to make that drawer-full-of-random-papers a tiny bit lighter, somewhere to gather the kids’ invitations so I remember to bring them to parties and recipes that I rip from doctor’s waiting rooms while I pretend to cough (oh yeah, that’s me!).
Remember when back in December I had enough of my kid’s bickering and fighting when going to bed and I decided to re-arrange my entire upstairs armed with coffee and an alan key?
Well, since then, things have improved in that front. Don’t get me wrong – there is still plenty of fighting and bickering during the day but I guess that is part of having siblings and I can ignore it to an extend. But now, at night, they each go to their room. They read for a little bit. They turn off their lights. And they go to sleep. No chats. No fights. No “MUM!!! HE SAID (insert random comment!)”. No more of that. Only silence. Bliss.
When I moved the furniture around, my mainly focus was getting the wardrobes organised ASAP. Moving Big Monkey’s clothes to his room, and Chaotic Monkey’s to his together with their toys, shoes, summer clothes, winter coats, rain gear and all the million little “things” that they needed to survive. By the time I finished tidying all the bedrooms, it was Christmas and I was too exhausted and too bored with those rooms to think about decorating them, so I didn’t do anything for ages. Until now.
After only 5 months of sitting on my hands, I decided to buy some frames and start decorating at least one of his walls (only one though…. let’s not get too carried away here people…). I wanted to decorate Big Monkey’s walls in monochrome, with some grey thrown in to it and some bright fun colors scattered around the room. This room used to be the spare room and it already had a little bunting and some paper flowers that I made. I thought about removing it but in the end I kept it to have a bit of color on the wall.
So I framed a print that we made together as a family and an amazing drawing that he had made a couple of years and had afterwards aged the paper to make it look old.
It was ready for him the other when he came back from school and he loved it! I was deeply touched that an 8-year-old was so appreciative of a collage wall in his room! There is a lot of him on the wall. Memories. It’s personal. It suits his personality. Serious but fun.
I was so delighted with his reaction I might actually finish his room before he leaves for college! Next up! One wall for Chaotic Monkey! How long will it take me???
We are big into blackboards in our house. Not only are we big into blackboards in our house but we are big into big blackboards.
We have a bit one in the playroom where the kids practice their letters, their sums, they keep score of their games…
We used to have one in the old kitchen where we had our weekly menu: the breakfast menu that stopped arguments and meltdowns in the morning, the lunch menu that helped me give my kids balanced and varied lunch boxes, and dinner menu that help me be organised during the week and have dinner ready on the table at a decent time! It is amazing what a little black wall can do for a family!!!
So of course we needed a blackboard in the new kitchen. I knew from the beginning where exactly it was going to go and it was a big enough space so I started planning what I wanted to put on it besides my menus.
I now have my calendar, some fairy lights and of course, a plant. Plenty of room left for menus and other practicalities
There is so much room in this new blackboard that I might even use a corner as a chore chart for the kids.
My kids, like most kids, love drawing, coloring, cutting, gluing and painting. It is one of their favorite things to do around the house. Especially Big Monkey. He loves drawing and we are always encouraging him to display his art for everyone to appreciate. It also boosts his confidence and it has helped him get out of his shell a little bit, which is lovely.
I wanted for each of the kids to have a board in their rooms to display not only their art, but also to keep their birthday invitations, their school awards and all their other bits and pieces. The difficulty was trying to find the right board for them. There were many things to consider : their personality, their needs…The board had to be able to hold drawings A4 size at least so a handmade one would not be much help. A cork notice board was also ruled out as I wanted to avoid drawing pins in their bedrooms – the idea of something sharp in their room and they walking around barefooted… a big no, no!! I also considered a white board but I was nervous that the drawing would not be restricted to the board and that it would extend around the wall. Another no.
In the end I decided to go with a magnetic board. Magnets are safe enough right? I didn’t want a boring one, or a random one. I wanted one that would suit their bedrooms, fit into their color scheme and that would grow with them.
HOW TO DISPLAY YOUR KIDS ART – A MAGNETIC BOARD
I knew exactly what I wanted so I went out out and bought a simple white magnetic board and some dc fix and got to work.Measure the back of your board and cut the dc fix to that size – it will be a slightly bigger than the front which will give you some room to play with.Peel the back of the dc fix on one side and center it on one side of the board. Keep peeling and sticking, small areas at a time. Make sure to flatten the paper with your fingers as you are sticking the paper to make sure that there are no air bubbles left on it. When you have all the whiteboard covered, get something sharp (I used a knife) and press the paper well towards the frame making sure that the dc fix gets right in the corners. Then just cut the excess and your board is ready.
I added a bit of string with some pretty pegs so the kids would be able to hang more bits and pieces and I placed the boards by their desks in their rooms. I hope that being able to display their art encourages their creativity. I really do.
I love having photos of the family around the house. They are everywhere. In the kitchen, the hall, the bedrooms, the sitting room…
Photos are memories. Of course, we have all those memories stored somewhere at the back of our head but we are often too busy to be able to access them. Photos remind us of those memories, those silly moments, the family moments, different places, the fun we had on holidays, how the kids were so small at one point… As cheesy as it sounds (and it is going to sound cheesy) photos warm my heart.
For the sitting room, I knew I wanted to make a statement display with loads of photos. I was really inspired by Ashley’s one from TheHandMadeHome but it had to be smaller as my sitting room is not as big (or bright, or lovely, or have her couch, or…) as hers.
I knew I didn’t want a permanent fixture on my sitting room so it had to be a frame that could be moved, but where to find a frame so big without having to give up one of my organs at check-out? I had to think outside the box.
One day, I was walking around a furniture shop dreaming of a new kitchen when the light bulb when on!!! I could get a kitchen door glass cabinet as a frame! (like this one, or this one). It is always worth checking out the second-hand kitchen shops for these kind of items. As well as having second-hand kitchen furniture they also tend to buy the remains of stock from big companies or builders so you can get brand new kitchen counters, fab sinks and other bits and pieces for half the price. It is in my local shop that I found my one for only €10!! I think I danced in the shop!!
I wanted square photos but not too small so I decided to print the photos in 8×6 and cut them to fit the frame. I then cut a large piece of cardboard to fit in the frame and I attached the photos to it. Once everything is ready, fit it in and secure it at the back with some tape.
It is a lovely collage of memories that can be updated as often as you want, although I don’t think I will be updating my one anytime soon. The kids love looking at the photos, trying to remember when they were that small, listening to us telling them stories about the photos or making up their own one. It’s so sweet.
It is very personal, you made it yourself and for little money – that is officially categorized under Win/Win/Win… Totally!!!
If you want to go ahead and decorate it also, you can find the tutorials for the paper flowers and the colorful paper garland on the blog.
I hope you are now inspired to look at different ways to display your photos. They make you smile.They are good for the soul.
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As I mentioned recently, I moved every bed in my house before Christmas. I just woke up one morning and I had to do it.
The boys had been sharing a room since they were born but for different reasons (that will soon be revealed to you), the boys had to be separated and they now have their very own bedroom.
I have always tried to decorate their bedroom and playroom with different colors. I never liked the blue with soccer balls kind of decorations for the boy’s room. It is not them. It is not us.
As now I get to decorate 2 bedrooms, I have to take into consideration their ages, their tastes and their needs for their individual rooms, always within budget which means recycle, up-cycle, inherit, beg…. the usual!
For BIG MONKEY’S ROOM (age 8) I will need a nice desk to keep up with his drawing
And some shelving will also be neccesary for books and general stuff that they seem to get…
These walls are just gorgeous. Fun but sensible… right?
The bed is priority. It needs to be comfortable and inviting, not only to sleep but also to grab a book and read for a while.
Their little feet need to be warm, but stylish also… of course!
As for CHAOTIC MONKEY’S ROOM(age 6) I will also need some storage and this one looks not only affordable but fun!
I am totally in love with that Fantastic Mr Fox print and that rug here. Just. In. Love.
This kind of wall decoration is so Chaotic Monkey, it is scary.
There is so much I would take from here. From the cushions, to the wall, to the bed… so much…
How cool would it be to have this seat in your room? I mean Chaotic Monkey’s room… yes, that’s what I mean…
Food for thought.
I will be working hard at making those spaces as amazing, relaxing and inspiring as I can.
What about you?
Are you inspired yet?
Have an amazing weekend.
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Once upon a time, we had some very crappy table nests in the house. They were bought when we were very young, foolish (somethings never change) and we didn’t have much money. We needed little tables around the house so the nest was bought.
The years passed by and the tables survived few moves and many different uses before the legs broke. Despite having no emotional attachment whatsoever to these not-so-nice set of tables, I decided to keep the top of 2 of the tables as they were made of solid wood and I knew (ok, I thought? I hoped!) they could be up-cycled at some stage and become a whole new product. 6 years later, I feel vindicated.
I always liked old signs. Whenever I see an old sign in a second-hand shop I have to stop myself from buying it because, as much as I like old signs, I don’t want a sign that says nothing about my family in my house. I feel like I need to have some sort of personal connection with it, something that reminds us of something but as that was looking very hard to find, I decided to make one myself.
I knew exactly where I wanted to place it : crowning the gallery wall (does it sound posh or what!?!).
I wanted the sign to feel like an extension of the gallery wall but a tad bit different. Same but different, very clear, right?
For the “same” part, I decided to paint the background of the sign, aka the top of my table, with the same colors as my gallery wall: grey and white. I painted the stripes with Autentico Chalk Paint (Soft Grey and Casa Blanca) and then I distressed it by sanding it with fine grit sandpaper to make it feel old. Lastly, I gave it a coat of clear wax to seal the paint and to make it smoother. I love it!
I just wanted a simple but meaningful sign, a number and a letter. I got the 4 because there are 4 of us and the letter B because all our surnames start with B. It doesn’t get any more personal and simple than that, right?
I also painted the letters with Chalk Paint. First with the grey and then some pink (Antique Rose) so when I distressed the edges by lightly sanding them you can see the grey underneath ever so slightly. To give it a more romantic tone, I added some floral washi tape to the letters. That’s just me, a romantic at heart…
I then only had to glue the letters to the sign. It was a tough decision though… 4B or B4… I ended up going for 4B thus avoiding having to explain that the sign did not say “before”… which of course was going to happen…
I totally love the contrast between the rough grey and white background, and the vintagy (totally a word!!) and romantic feel of the letters.
So there it is, my very own, personalized, hand-made and full of meaning sign.
How easy was that? very!
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This month’s plant is a Chlorophytum, better known as a Spider Plant. (spider plant, spider plant, spider does what a spider can...)
I have been wanting to introduce plants to the boy’s playroom for a while now but I was worried about where to place them. By the window, where most of the light is, there is no shelving other than the windowsill and plants would not be safe there. On the other side of the room, where the shelves are, there is less light and loads of toys, so there was no guarantee that the plant would be safe there either.
So what do you with a plant you want to place in a children’s playroom? You hang it! close to a window if at all possible.
With the location decided, I then had to decide what plant to get. Hanging plants look great when first hung and as they start growing they turn amazing and they really become a feature in the room. I love them.
This amazing plant will have more leaves coming out at the end of the leaves as it grows and that it both weird and cool, which makes it perfect for the boy’s playroom. And it’s a spider plant in a room full of SpiderMen, that’s cool right? It is in my house… I used a little plastic yellow bin to add an element of fun to the piece, made my macrame hanger and hung it close to the window. It looks so fresh! I love the different greens on the leaves – so bright!
The boys haven’t noticed it yet. I wonder if they ever will… 😉