7th House on the Left

Play Date: Part 2

posted by Ashley  /  31 Comments

As promised, I’m back to share the outcome of our weekend playroom decorating project! If you didn’t catch last week’s post with the 411 about this project, check it out here. If you don’t have time to click back and read a whole post, basically, Greg and I spent this last weekend decorating the playroom over at our good friends’, Tiffany and Josh’s, house. They have two boys who are 3 1/2 (gotta get that half in there) and 7 months. Here’s what the playroom looked like before…

Playroom Before // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The playroom is open to the living area, so Tiff and Josh wanted a space that “cleans up nicely” when people come over, meshes well with the style of the rest of the house, and functions as an area where they can spend time as a family. After a 48-hour decorating/DIYing/organizing/shopping blitz, here’s what the playroom looks like now…

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

So, I have to admit, I was a little nervous there wouldn’t be enough of a difference for a “good before and after” since this was a mini makeover. It’s not like we were painting the walls or doing any major renovations. Not that they needed it; I love this wall color. As it turns out, my fears were misplaced. The power of hanging curtains and wall art is ridiculous! I’m so, so happy with how this room turned out – and so are Tiffany, Josh and the boys – which makes me even happier.

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We ended up not labeling the baskets like I mentioned in the Part 1 post due to the fact that, at this age, the boy’s toys are more categorized by size than type. That said, Jen’s toy-basket labeling system is genius, so Tiff will probably be adding that down the road.

Kid-Friendly Table Lamp // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I wanted to put a table lamp on top of the storage unit to add some “non-overhead lighting” and overall coziness. This Threshold wood lamp in particular is perfect for a playroom because it’s solid wood and won’t break if it’s accidentally knocked over. It’s super durable, and the fact that it already has some weathering to it will make any future scratches/dents less noticeable, if noticeable at all. With the lamp topped off with a simple linen shade, we were in business.

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I brought the faux grass trough over from our house (you might remember seeing it on the kitchen island before we built the one we’re currently using). I thought it would be a fun way to bring in some green “plant life” while still being in the “kid-friendly” category. Actually, it’s fun to run your hands across the top, so I’m just going to call it a toddler sensory activity. Ha! I might have just laughed at that a little too hard. I’m bringing Tiff some picture stays (basically, they’re just little rubber feet) later this week to put on the bottom so it doesn’t move around too easily and end up scratching the top of the cubes if things get boisterous. Boys will be boys.

For the artwork, Brayden loves firetrucks, so I made him a 24×36 print of a vintage firetruck and hung it in a simple black poster frame. Since there was already so much color throughout the room, I used a chalkboard texture background. I love how it ties in with the chalkboard easel on the other side of the room and the chalkboard label on the front of the toy basket nearby.

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

On the other side of the room is another storage unit. Again, we filled the bottom row with baskets and the top row with toys.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

On the wall, we hung four DIY burlap pin boards for the kid’s artwork. You can make these with any type of fabric, but we went with burlap to bring in a slightly rustic texture and to tie in with the baskets throughout the room. I can’t wait to see it filled up with lots of art and craft projects. I’ll be posting a “How To” on how I made these later this week!

DIY Marquee Light // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The small marquee letter is one of my favorite things in the room, and Greg was in charge of tackling it. Tanika, from Virago Demure, sent us an 18″ wooden letter “P”. Check out her Etsy shop because she has some awesome letters right now. We turned it into a marquee light by drilling holes for the lights with a paddle bit, giving it a few coats of glossy spray paint (Rust-Oleum’s Apple Red) and inserting a string of patio lights through the back. We did this same project for our carport-turned-covered patio. You can see the full tutorial in this post.

Friends Gather Here // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I love, love, love this sign – especially for a playroom. The worn texture ties in with the other slightly rustic elements throughout the room and the dark storage pieces. We hung it above the door with a few 3M Picture Hanging Strips. (I know I’ve said it a hundred times, but I love those things!)

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We originally thought we would spray paint the art easel’s frame, but once we saw it in the room with everything else in place, we kind of liked the lighter color wood and how it went well with the lighter baskets in the storage units. I corralled their crayons and chalk in a small utensil caddy that fit perfectly on the little built-in shelf. I realized my not-so-aweseome chalk writing would be “redesigned” by 3-year-old hands in a matter of minutes after finishing, but I couldn’t help myself. 

Playroom Reading Corner // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Now for my favorite corner of the room… the reading corner. Let’s start with the chair. It’s a medium-sized chair and a perfect fit for this corner. The fabric is durable enough to stand the normal wear and tear of a playroom for boys. The pillow is fun and traditional at the same time and the pops of red tie in well with the marquee letter in the opposite corner of the room. On the floor next to the chair is a toy basket with a fun chalkboard label. Yet something else I know I’ve probably said this about a tons of times, but I love these baskets. We have one in our living room for movie night blankets, but I’ve always thought it would be great for a toy basket, so it was fun to finally get to put one into action.

Again, since there was so much color going on throughout the room, we kept the artwork simple and hung an 11×14 Bomb Dot Com print from our Brown & Barkley stock in a simple back frame. This is admittedly more for us adults because it’s something we say a lot – because we’re cool like that.

Since the curtains are in this shot, this is a good time to talk about them. These are the Threshold Paisley Window Panels, and I’m kind of obsessed with them. They’re what I’d describe to be a “rustic paisley” - kind of like a classic grandma with a modern twist. They look even better than expected with this wall color. I think they’d look great on a medium to dark gray wall as well.

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com

So, that’s the tour of Brayden & Judah’s new playroom. Decorating a playroom is something I’ve always wanted to sink my teeth into, so it was a lot of fun – even though Greg is now looking for an excuse to get a train table… So, there’s that. PS – Be sure to check back in tomorrow for a fun Target gift card and gift bag giveaway!


Play Date: Part 1

posted by Ashley  /  19 Comments

This weekend, we have a really fun project lined up that’s something we’ve never tackled before. However, before I get into the details, let’s back up a bit. As you may know, Greg and I are lucky enough to be a part of Target Inner Circle. We love working with the Target family. We’ve had opportunities to go to fun places, been able to work on some super fun projects and get a look “behind the brand.” Well, a month or so ago, the folks at Target asked us if we had any project ideas for Spring. We rolled a few ideas back and forth and thought it would be really fun to switch it up a bit lot, stretch our brains and spread the Target love. We ended up with something that would be completely different than anything we’ve ever tackled before… We’re decorating a playroom, people!

Playroom Before & After // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Meet Josh, Tiffany, Brayden and Judah. (Brayden is the big guy and Judah is the little guy.) If you’ve been reading for a while, you might recall me mentioning my “BFF Tiff” whom I tried to convince she should paint her nursery navy blue, is married to “Mr. Christmas” (Josh is obsessed with Christmas), hates Miracle Whip and helps me generally stay sane. Well, this is that Tiffany. We’ve known each other since I was about 9, and she’s been my best friend since freshman year of college. Actually, Josh, Tiff, Greg and I all “grew up” in the same church and went to the same college together. Fast forward a few years, Josh and Tiff have been married for eight years and have two absolutely adorable – I mean, handsome, sorry Josh - boys.

So, here’s what we’re doing: Josh is a pastor (our pastor, actually), and he often works from home. As a result, Tiff and Josh are in the process of reassigning a few rooms in their house so he can have a designated office space. One project they’re tackling is turning their rarely-used formal dining room into a playroom. That’s where we come in! Right now, the playroom basically consists of a bunch of toys lined up against the walls with a train table in the middle of it all. Seeing as how Greg and I don’t have kids, we’re really excited about helping them out with this project, and we hope it will be a nice change of pace. Here’s a quick iPhone photo of what it looks like now…

Playroom Before // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Brayden and Judah are currently 3 years and 7 months old, respectively, so this really needs to be a room they can grow into. The playroom is open to the living area, so Tiff and Josh want a space that “cleans up nicely” when people come over, meshes well with the style of the rest of the house, and functions as an area where they can spend time as a family.

Ordinarily, I’d suggest removing the chair railing so it would look less like a dining room and more like a playroom. However, since this room might become a dining room again sometime down the road or if they ever decide to sell, we’re going to work with it. Another thing we’re going to keep is the wall color. They recently had it painted, and they love the color (it’s Valspar’s Winter Flannel in case you’re wondering). It’s a nice “greige” blue color and I think it will serve as a perfect starting point for the room.

For starters, we needed to come up with a “room plan.” Here’s what we came up with:

Playroom Layout // 7thhouseontheleft.com

First off, the layout. Since Brayden plays with the train table a lot, it needs to stay in the middle of the room. It and the toy storage pieces we’ll be bringing in are narrow enough to still offer enough walking (and running, hopping, skipping, jumping) space around the table. Speaking of toy storage, we’ll be bringing in two short storage pieces as well as a toy basket or two. We needed to keep the path between the two doors pretty open, so we decided to put a reading chair in the corner to the left of the doorway and tuck the arts & crafts into the corner on the right since the easel will take up less floor space than the chair.

Now for my favorite part… decorating! I put together the initial mood board, asked Tiff what she thought, and then we tweaked it here and there until we came up with a solid plan (Greg and Josh will join in when it’s time to put furniture together and hang curtain rods, haha). Here’s what we came up with…

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com // #targetinnercircle

Pieces of the mood board might look a tad “grown up” for a playroom, but once we add all of the toys and fun stuff, I think it will be perfect. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Tiff and Josh want a room that will mesh well with the rest of the house and “clean up” nicely when people come over, so it needed a slightly more “grown up” vibe. Here’s the breakdown of the mood board…

1 // The moment I saw this chair online, I knew it would be the perfect reading chair. In person, it’s like a small adult/large child sized chair – perfect for a playroom. The fabric is also pretty durable, so it will be easy to clean up if necessary.

2 // This pillow looks a lot cooler in person than it does online. It’s the perfect mixture of fun, trendy and traditional. The touches of yellow in the design will go nicely with the curtains.

3 // Speaking of the curtains, I love these. The design is kind of like a “rustic paisley” – if that makes any sense. Tiff & Josh have some touches of yellow in the adjoining living room, so these will be a perfect way to marry the two spaces.

4 // As I mentioned earlier, they recently had their walls painted Winter Flannel by Valspar. In some lighting, it looks blue, in others, gray. It’s a really nice color and will be a great backdrop for the punches of color we’re bringing in.

5 // I’m so excited about this. We’re going to be DIYing a marquee letter (just like the one we did for our carport-turned-patio). Only this time, it’ll be a bit smaller, and we’ll be doing a letter “P” for their last name.

6 // These baskets have always been a Target favorite of mine; they’re perfect for so many things. We’re going to grab one (maybe two) of these to store some toys.

7 // Poufs are all the rage these days, and this playroom has the perfect space for them in front of one of the windows. Not only are they the perfect size for the kids to romp around on, they’re also large enough to serve as extra seating for mom and dad while the kids are playing. Plus, the burlap covers are super durable and will be easy to clean if needed.

8 // We’re going to be taking their existing art easel (which is a natural wood color) and giving it a mini makeover with some spray paint to help it tie in with the black/brown storage units we’re bringing in.

9 // I love this clock because it will bring a fun schoolhouse chic look to the room. The large, clear numbers will come in handy when Brayden is learning to tell time in the next year or two.

10 // These are the baskets we’ll be using for the bottom rows of the Expedit Kallax storage units. We might be adding some toy labels a la iHeart Organizing - she’s a genius – but the jury is still out on that one until we get all of the stuff in the room. Update: since making this mood board, we’ve switched to these baskets.

11 // Pretty much every kid at our church is between Brayden and Judah’s ages (yes, something is in the water over there), so they will have many many friends to play with in the space. Hence why I love this plaque for a playroom.

12 // We’re planning on filling up the “arts & crafts” corner with a bunch of toddler-friendly craft items and repurposing plastic jars and such to store art supplies.

So, that’s the plan, Stan. A lot of the mood board items are sitting here in our living room waiting to be taken over to Tiff & Josh’s house this weekend (and a few things are still on the way). We’ll have the finished room for you guys next week with before and after photos (and a really fun Target giveaway!). In the mean time, make sure you follow us on Instagram to see playroom updates over the weekend!

Now I have the sudden urge to watch Disney Channel (which, actually, I do all the time anyway) and color in a coloring book… anyone else?


His + Her Favorite Things

posted by Greg & Ashley  /  17 Comments

This month’s edition of His + Hers is a bit late, but better late than never, right? According to a rough count, this is the 42nd edition of this post. It’s crazy to think we’ve been at this for over three years now. Wow, time sure does fly. Now I just sound old.

His Favorite Things / 7thhouseontheleft.com

ONE // I read Hugh Howey’s classic, Wool, a few months back, and I wasn’t able to put it down. If you’re into post-apocalyptic science fiction and you haven’t read it yet, I whole-heartedly suggest you pick it up. TWO // Every time I go to the hardware store, I end up looking at programmable/smart thermostats. We change the temperature in our house throughout the day to match our activities (it absolutely must be cold in the house for either of us to get a proper night’s sleep), so a thermostat that would change automatically around bedtime would be great. On top of that, you just can’t beat the sleek form factor and user interface of the Nest Thermostat. THREE // All of my favorite shows get cancelled. Without fail. I think there was a Big Bang episode like this; where one of the guys decided not to watch a show because whenever he started watching something good, it would get cancelled. Complaining aside, this is a great show, and it has a few more episodes left, so it’s still worth a watch. I’m really hoping the writers/producers find a way to sneak in a palatable ending for the series. FOUR // As Ash mentioned a couple of weeks ago, our church recently moved into a new building. With that new building came a new sound system, complete with in-ear monitors. It’s been a life-changing experience for me as a guitarist to have my own mix that I can change on the fly where I’m standing. I’ve got a set of earbuds that seem serviceable at the moment, but these guys are on my list of things to buy in the near future so that I can really hear everything as clearly as possible.

Her Favorite Things / 7thhouseontheleft.com ONE // If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re probably well aware that I’m a huge fan of terrariums. Whether they are filled with succulents, moss or small collected antiques, I love them. I’m especially a fan of these in particular. I love the modern style along with the organic wood finish on the base and stopper. TWO // My mom started watching Kelsey Nixon’s new show, Kelsey’s Essentials, a few months ago and now pretty much thinks she’s the best thing since sliced bread avocado. Per my mom’s suggestion, I watched a few episodes on Hulu and now, I’m a Kelsey fan as well. I picked up a copy of her new cookbook and absolutely love it. The recipes are simple, easy and nutritious (with a few guilty pleasures in there as well) and the graphic designer in me loves the layout and photography. THREE // Last month’s Favorites included a new perfume as well, so, I guess you could say I’ve been on a perfume kick lately. I’ve been a Mary Kate & Ashley fan since, um, forever. When I was a kid, I watched all of their movies and owned every lipgloss they came out with. Although I don’t completely understand some of their “bag lady fashion” these days, they’re ultra talented business women. That being said, I was really anxious to try out their new perfumes and I fell in love with Nirvana White. It’s light and floral but not too sweet. What makes this scent even more awesome is that it pairs freakishly well with its “sister scent”, Nirvana Black – which is just genius.  FOUR // I’ve been on the hunt for a new makeup bag for a while now and still haven’t found the right one. I really like the design, color and size of this one. However, there isn’t any type of compartments/dividers on the inside. But… the Orla Kiely pattern is calling my name.  FIVE // Anthropologie has always had really awesome hardware, but they’ve added even more great pieces lately that have my head spinning with ideas – like these Blackboard hooks. I’m thinking about using some in the laundry room or guest bedroom. You can write on the black area with chalk and they come in different colors, so they’re super versatile.

So tell us, what things are you crushing on these days? Any of your favorite TV shows, like Greg’s, get the axe?