Kids’ Bath Grows Up – DIY Wall Shelves – One Room Challenge Week 3

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant in my first One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. For this challenge, I’ve decided to re-do our kids’ bath. It started out with a cute beach theme that seemed perfect when the boys were little, but now I am ready for it to grow up with them. Our new look features neutral colors, natural touches, and enough personality to stand up to three boys! Thanks for following along!

one room challenge logo

Recap:

  • In week one, I took this room back to a blank slate, which involved cleaning, repairs, and a new wall color!
  • In week two, I started adding accessories to make the room functional again

For week three, I created wall shelves using Ikea Ekby Valter wall brackets and some wood that I had left over from another project. I cut the wood to 7.5″ x 16.5″ and finished it with clear polyurethane.

If you’re looking for ready-made shelves, here is an option with a similar look..

I mentioned how I really wanted to bring natural wood into this space, and these shelves help tie things together with the bamboo bathmat and seagrass basket.

I have used these wall brackets before to hang macrame planters, and I was excited to find them in this black finish, which coordinates with our existing vanity.

Here are links (some affiliate links) for our new accessories:

Head over to the One Room Challenge link-up page to see more inspiring ideas!

“Jewels”

DIY Mid-Century Modern Plant Stands – Props to Plants!

Yup, yup, after years of wearing a “brown thumb” badge of honor, I finally fell hard for gardening and house plants about a year ago. As a crazy plant lady, I do, of course, occasionally indulge in buying some new … Continue reading

Kids’ Bath Grows Up – Adding the Essentials – One Room Challenge Week 2

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant in my first One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. For this challenge, I’ve decided to re-do our kids’ bath. It started out with a cute beach theme that seemed perfect when the boys were little, but now I am ready for it to grow up with them. Our new look features neutral colors, natural touches, and enough personality to stand up to three boys! Thanks for following along!

Recap:

  • In week one, I took this room back to a blank slate, which involved cleaning, repairs, and a new wall color

In week two, I got to have some fun decorating! I’m starting off by bringing in the practical things we need to make the room functional. I put the source list at the bottom of this post. The decorative accessories will come later, but I can already see our new look emerge.

This shower curtain is similar to the feather pattern from Serena and Lily, but they don’t sell the shower curtain anymore, so I was really happy to discover a look-alike product.

I knew I wanted to bring some natural wood into this room. While I loved the spa-like look of slatted teak mats, I was afraid that the kids would stub their toes in the middle of the night, because our bath mat sits right in front of the toilet. I settled for this low profile flexible bamboo mat, and I’m happy with the results!

Another bathroom essential is a wastebasket. Because this is a small room, ours has to sit in full view, and I wanted to find something more attractive than your average trash can. I was so excited when I figured out I could disguise our wastebasket by hiding it in this decorative basket! I reused a plastic nursery pot that fits neatly inside.

The kids’ toiletries used to be (kind of) corralled in a plastic bin on the vanity, and I wanted to find something that looked more sophisticated. At the same time, I saw how that plastic bin got encrusted with toothpaste and hair gel, so I did some searching to find this cute crocheted basket that is machine washable – yes!

Here are links (some are affiliate links) for our new accessories:

Now, I can get the boys out of my bathroom and back in their own! Hooray!

So far, my One Room Challenge experience has been so encouraging. What a great community! Please go check out week two of all the amazing makeovers!

“Jewels”

one room challenge logo

Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Tips – Printable

It’s no secret that I have a serious love of the fiddle leaf fig plant – and quite unexpectedly for this life-long brown thumb, I have had a lot of success in growing them! This is a good sign for those of you who want a fiddle leaf fig of your own!

I started off with three plants that I bought. They have grown so much that I have been able to prune them (here are some tips on pruning), and I have propagated five new ones (here are some tips on propagation) off of those. I’m about to send one of the baby fiddle leaf figs off to a friend’s home, and I thought I would include a little card with some tips on caring for these special plants. I’m not having difficulty letting go, really…

Here’s the card I put together, and if you want this in a PDF format, this is the link: Caring for your Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Care

Happy growing!

“Jewels”

Kids’ Bath Grows Up – A Clean Slate – One Room Challenge Week 1

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant in my first One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. For this challenge, I’ve decided to re-do our kids’ bath. It started out with a cute beach theme that seemed perfect when the boys were little, but now I am ready for it to grow up with them. Our new look features neutral colors, natural touches, and enough personality to stand up to three boys! Thanks for following along!

Fortunately, we renovated this bath when we moved into our house a few years ago, and all the “bones” are still good. Without doing a major renovation, I have a feeling I can still completely change our look! I’ve been so inspired by the clean palette of today’s most popular design styles – whether it’s “Scandinavian-inspired,” “California Casual,” or “Modern Farmhouse,” everyone – myself included – is loving white walls and lots of natural materials.

For week one, my task was make this room a blank slate! I took down all the decorations, touched up the existing vanity, sealed the marble, and got some help painting the walls from our friend Joe.

The new wall color is “Feather Down” from Benjamin Moore. I’ve used it in our master bath as well, and I love the warm neutral feel.

Here are a few “before” (or “old after”) and “after” (or “new before”) pictures. I am so excited to get to work rebuilding this space!

Go check out all the other exciting guest great projects over at the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge!

I hope you come back to see the rest of this room’s transformation!

“Jewels”

one room challenge logo

Big Closet Dreams in a Small Space!

I can’t help drooling over pictures of gorgeous walk-in closets with romantic and glamorous touches. We gave up our walk-in closet when we created a fourth bedroom upstairs. I don’t regret this extra room, which was first a nursery and … Continue reading

Tips on Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree – Get in Shape!

So, I know I’m not the only one who loves the ficus lyrata, or fiddle leaf fig. My post on how to propagate fiddle leaf fig plants from cuttings is by far one of the most popular topics on the blog!

It’s my second year of growing these magnificent plants, and I thought I’d try my hand at shaping one into a tree. The two most common shapes for fiddle leaf fig plants are a column, often planted in groups of twos or threes, and a tree shape. Even though they look very different, these two shapes are the same plant, and you can actually make a tree by carefully pruning and shaping your plant!

The best time to prune is spring or summer, when your plant is growing most actively.

Here is a tree-shaped fiddle leaf fig I bought from Sloat Garden Center about a year ago. It has grown three-to-four times in size, and I’ve pruned it several times already. As it grows, I study the shape and look to see where it may be getting lopsided. Then, I cut the branch including two-to-three leaves off of that area, and this encourages the plant to branch out in new directions. The more you cut, the more side branches the plant will grow.

Why? The plant hormones – auxins – that promote upward growth also inhibit branch growth. The auxins flow from the tip down, so when you cut off the tip, you lower the level of auxins, which allows branching. The more you cut, the lower the concentration of auxins, and the more branching you’ll get.

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These are examples of a traditional column shape, and the one in front is actually a plant I propagated off of the one in back! I was able to cut off the tip of the column-shaped plant with just one leaf, and it grew back just one bud, keeping its vertical form without branching. The benefit of doing this, besides getting a new plant from your cutting (!), is that it slows down the vertical growth and lets the trunk get stronger.

Of course, you don’t have to be traditional! I bought this plant from Flowercraft last Mother’s Day, when it was just the lower section. It grew two side branches, and I just let it continue that way. I pruned one of the side branches once, so you can see there is yet another small branch coming off of it. This plant now has a very unique shape which I’ve grown to love.

Back to my latest fiddle leaf fig project! I had this smaller fiddle leaf fig plant that I actually purchased online, when I was eager to get my hands on one and was having trouble hunting one down at a nursery. It grew a bit slowly at first, but it did eventually take off, and now it is ready for an adventure!

How to shape your fiddle leaf fig plant into a tree:

  1. In spring or summer, cut off a large section from the top of the column. I cut off the top of the stem with six leaves, in two sections of three leaves, so I could root both of them into new plants. Make sure you have some rooting hormone on hand and read my other tips for propagating a new plant. The more you prune a plant, the more it will branch, and I was hoping to get about three side branches.

2. About a month later, I was rewarded with three new buds! Each of these will grow a new branch, and we’ll be on our way to a pretty new tree shape!

3. When it grows enough, I will start taking the leaves off the bottom section of the trunk. It is good to wait a while to do this, as each of those leaves is helping provide energy for the plant. I also have never been able to propagate a leaf without the stem section, though I think I might as well try when I cut those leaves. More to come!

I’ll keep updating this post with progress and tips, so come back and see how this beauty is doing!

Update at 1.5 months:

So, I have good news and bad news…. good news is that two of the buds have totally taken off into branches… bad news is the third bud hasn’t grown much. I’ll give it some more time, but I know that the plant hormones – auxins – that promote upward growth also inhibit branch growth, so I may try trimming the top of the new branches when they get mature, to try to allow that third little bud to grow.

“Jewels”

Easy Tile Makeover – The Great Cover-up!

Our powder room is really tiny. And it was really plain when we moved in to our house a few years ago. I spruced up the space a few years ago, and I’ve been pretty happy with it, but the one last part that I still kind of hated was the pink floor tile. Now, I can finally say I love every part of this room!

The secret ingredient for this mini-makeover is vinyl tile decals! They come in many patterns and sizes, and most of the vendors will even help you with custom sizes, which is what I ordered. I chose this Moroccan-inspired pattern that is so popular right now. It’s very similar to the tile I used for my DIY tile table runner.

I painted my grout first, to cover the pink, and the decals are very easy to apply – they are repositionable and a nice weight and quality. I was afraid vinyl would be too cheap-y, but it turns out that they add function as well as form, because the floor is not as cold underfoot. I’m sure they won’t last forever, but I feel like this little change will really help hold us over until a real renovation some day.

 

Finn came to hang out with me and check out the new smells… I mean floor.

Also, I am so in love with my new blue Rothy’s shoes. If you want to check out a pair, here’s a $20 discount code!

 

 

Where will you try a tile makeover?

“Jewels”

Console Table Makeover – Tall, Dark, and Handsome

I’m decorating our foyer and wanted to featured a beautiful console table. While I found some already-finished options I liked, I needed something very specific to help disguise a radiator – but not block it off – so I decided to dive in and customize my own!

I knew I wanted the feel of a lacquered Chinese table, but I couldn’t find one in the right size and shape. I looked for something else with simple lines and hoped that with a few tweaks, some paint, and new hardware, I could pull off a transformation!

I started by assembling the sideboard except for the lower shelf. I wanted to leave the bottom open for baskets or stools. I had to fill in a few holes with wood filler. I also filled in the holes for the hardware and drilled new ones to match handles I bought on Etsy.

After sanding for a smooth finish, I started painting. I really debated the color choice, because the hall is already quite dark. In the end, I just knew I had to go with the color I loved and (with credit to Tim Gunn on Project Runway) make it work!

The navy paint is Nocturne by Behr, which I also used to repaint our master bath vanity. After painting, I added several coats of a glossy varnish, both to create shine as well as protect the finish.

My plan is to use some light-colored and neutral accessories to balance out the darker table.

Finn, the rug model, and the new console.

Can’t wait to see the whole space put together!

“Jewels”