ORC Week 1: Meet the Nursery, Again..

Hello! Welcome to my second One Room Challenge! For a quick introduction to the event for those who managed to make their way here from my Instagram feed, the ORC is a six week event where bloggers and designers redo a space (usually in their own home). It’s a very challenging timeline but a fun ride.

Now for those who don’t know me, I am a new mom living in a condo in Boston with my husband, four-month-old daughter, and two cats. By day I care for our very energetic baby and manage a few client projects and by night I am pursuing a masters degree in interior architecture. If I were to make my own Sound of Music song about my favorite things it would cover snow on city streets, baking bread, riding my bike by the river, and not finishing knitting projects.

But back to the reason you are here! We are all going to have a bit of deja vu because once again I am redoing our nursery! For a little background, last spring I completed my first ORC while waiting for a then unknown-gender baby. It was a race against the clock in multiple ways. Sweet little Elin was born two weeks after the reveal! Here is where we started and ended up:

Old nursery before

Old nursery before

Old nursery after

Old nursery after

A little less than a month after Elin was born, we heard from our downstairs neighbor that she was going to sell her condo. My husband and I love our neighborhood and had long dreamed about buying that condo to eventually combine that space with ours. So we managed to pull financing together and we closed on the unit 6 weeks later. Then moved downstairs a week after that so we could rent our previous condo which was more space than we technically need. It was definitely the smarter choice than renting the smaller unit but it was certainly hard to say goodbye to that bright nursery I had poured my heart in soul into.

All this leads into the fact I am redoing another nursery this time around. Thankfully this one won’t involve repointing any brick but I am going to tack on the miniature half bath that is in the same area of the condo. The before photos this time are not nearly as gnarly but the rooms possess their own dilemmas.

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The nursery is off the living room/dining room. The curtains on the french doors were left over from the previous owner and I’m considering keeping them and cutting them down so they fit better. The doors themselves need a new paint job. Ideally I would also replace the knobs but that ends up being quite pricey so it may need to wait. The floors are a wide-plank pine that have definitely been refinished a few times.

The shades and the paint color are also original. Shades in a nursery seem like a necessity but the color will need an update. A drywall shelf along the changing table wall will probably stay but be camouflaged into the ceiling. The overhead light will also be replaced by a DIY experiment! But heading back to the scary space:

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Don’t let this photo fool you, this bathroom is pint-sized. There are no windows and one overhead light. big changes are going to happen in here!

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Lastly, here is an overhead shot of the bathroom. When I say it is tiny, I mean it. The longest wall in there is about 3 and a half feet long. And in a very me move, I managed to fall off the shelf I balanced on while taking this photo and almost put my head through the wall. So on that note, I’m going to leave you for this week. I’ll be back next week with inspiration images, mood boards, and some progress photos!

Please make sure to check out everyone else participating in the ORC!

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One Room Challenge: Week 6, The Reveal!

IT’S HERE! The final week of the One Room Challenge! A few days late and one glider short but here we go!

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In case you missed them: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.

It’s been quite the ride over here between prepping the nursery, work, grad school, and working on client projects but I love the way the room turned out.

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First, a quick reminder of what we started out with. This was the room set up as our guest room with my husband’s childhood furniture. I really liked aspects of this space but, like most guest rooms, it was barely used. And without further ado, here is where we are now!

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So much brighter and certainly full of cheer. I mentioned several weeks ago that I had contemplated doing a very neutral nursery which seems to be more commonplace when you don’t know the baby’s gender. I am so happy I chose to go with something bolder though.

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The wallpaper came from Kate Zaremba who has tons of bright papers and fun prints. I found hanging it was much easier than expected, you don’t have to mess with paste, just wet the paper, wait a sec, and apply.

Can you spot the door?

I pulled the trim off from around the door to the right of the changing table, patched and smoothed the drywall around the door jamb and then we papered over the door itself.

After adding the picture rail and baseboard, you can barely tell it’s there. We didn’t wallpaper the sides of the door so we will see how it holds up but since it is rarely opened, I think it will be fine.

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The Nash crib is a nice neutral piece with beautiful (and very sturdy feeling) birch wood. It lets the wallpaper shine and can be used in another nursery later down the line. The Connecting Dots mobile, matches the wallpaper quite well. It floats, nearly invisibly above the crib, in front of the newly repointed chimney.

That chimney was the single most labor intensive part of the nursery makeover. Repointing is no-joke. It is messy and time consuming. I wouldn’t recommend taking on a project much larger than this one without prior experience but I always love the feeling of satisfaction from learning something new and not needing to call in the cavalry.

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The rug was a plan B after the initial option was backordered until mid-June. It is super soft and I couldn’t be happier with the pattern.

The bookshelf had been living in my parents basement and holding old ski boots. A couple coats of paint made it a serviceable piece of furniture to hold the books and toys from the baby shower.

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Apologies for the dark photo but I wanted to give a little context for the super sweet duckling and bunny drawings that hang against the wall. These were drawn for me by my sister. Her instagram is the best way to find her. I’m trying to convince her she should make a wallpaper pattern of baby animals but so far no dice.

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The hall leading into the nursery even got a mini-makeover. I finally repaired a vintage Verner Panton pendant we had hanging around. The bright orange is a hint to what follows!

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I’d also be remiss not to share the work of my very talented cousin, Kirsten Beard, who while normally an illustrator, sewed this adorable sloth for the baby.

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The final finishing touch in the room is the peachy colored door sides. I tried four different peachy-oranges before deciding on minty walls and found a way to incorporate that first thought into the space. They add a happy little surprise!

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Back to the beginning! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read and to my husband for his hard work on the room!

Until next time!

-Haley

One Room Challenge: Week 5, Finishing Touches

Hello and welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge! Past half-way and feeling tired. Which has little to do with the nursery itself so moving on!

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In case you missed them: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.

Honestly, this was a week with little progress. Tomorrow, I’m getting help moving the little bookshelf up the three flights of stairs to the nursery so I can prime and paint it before photos next week.

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I did manage to sew the pompom trim onto the existing Ikea curtains which I think ended up super cute. It was an easy way to update an existing item and took about ten minutes with the help of my little sewing machine.

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I also have yet to show off these amazing little drawings my sister made for me. I hung them this week but it’s very difficult to capture a good image of them without the wallpaper reflection.

My list is winding down but it will still be a stretch to finish before next week between work and grad school finals. So this shortened post will have to do for now.

The not so Big List

To-Do

  • Repair gap between radiator and wall

  • Source accessories

  • Install furniture and accessories

  • Photograph space

  • Bring bookshelf home*

  • Repair and paint bookshelf*

Again, make sure you check out the other guest participants of the One Room Challenge and I hope to see you back here next week!

One Room Challenge: Week 4, Furniture and Floorplans

Hello and welcome to Week 4 of the One Room Challenge! Past half-way and feeling pretty good! The nursery is coming together well and just in time - 4 weeks until the due date!

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In case you missed them: Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.

As promised, this week I’m finally going to share my floor plan and give a few furniture updates!

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The nursery is in part of the building that seems like it may have been added a little later. The entrance to the nursery from the apartment is on the left in the above floor plan. The closet and back stair doors are opposite the entrance and the windows face nearly more-or-less north. The room is fairly narrow, exacerbated by the chimney along the longest wall. Because of this I really wanted(/had to) to limit how much furniture went into the space. And, there were only a couple ways the room could be laid out.

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The program I have been using to make floor plans recently will render pretty much automatically so this is a view of the nursery from the rest of the apartment. The crib is across from the windows and up flush against the chimney. The glider will enjoy the indirect window light and that leaves the dresser between the doors on the back wall.

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Here is the storyboard I originally shared. As you already know, I changed the paint color from a peachy-orange to Let it Rain by Benjamin Moore. A couple other things have also come up since then.

The glider, which I am incredibly excited for, is going to take longer to get here than desirable. I picked a fabric option that isn’t stocked so not only will the chair not be installed for the final photos, it won’t be in before the baby! It should arrive early June which is totally fine with me.

The PBTeen rug was super cute and I would have loved to have it in the space but it was backordered until mid-June. It wasn’t special enough for me to wait for so I picked a cotton rug from Dash and Albert that I really like and knew could get here on time. I went with the Bonnie Grey Woven Cotton Rug designed by Bunny Williams for D&A. And when I say I knew it could get here on time, I mean it showed up like three days after I ordered it with standard shipping. It is a lot lighter in person and the pattern much subtler. It’s definitely a good idea to check out a sample before ordering. If you live in Boston, Hudson in the South End has most available carpet samples and will order any they don’t for you.

During the planning for the nursery I was really focused on the major furniture pieces and didn’t actually think about the amount of baby stuff coming into our home shortly. We also asked people to bring inscribed books to the baby shower instead of cards and we have quite the library of children’s books now. Between the books, stuffed animals, and general baby supplies I needed a secondary storage option to the dresser. I love the Stairway Wall Mounted Bookcase from CB2 but I couldn’t justify buying a bookcase at this point. Luckily, I have access to a couple hand-me-down bookshelves and I will pick one this weekend.

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In non-furniture news - the picture rail is in! It went up much faster than I anticipated, most of the labor was spent trying to estimate the angles needed to create tight corners. I would say I only really missed on one which was probably off by 10 degrees. Thank goodness for caulk!

I’m not sure the above image accurately depicts what is going on above the picture rail though…. That white paint is in rough shape and is the only painting left to do in the room. I will hopefully get to it today or tomorrow so the weekend and next can be devoted exclusively to the bookshelf.

The Big List

To-Do

  • Paint area above wallpaper and paint white

  • Repair gap between radiator and wall

  • Sew trim on curtains

  • Order accessories

  • Install furniture and accessories

  • Photograph space

  • Bring bookshelf home*

  • Repair and paint bookshelf*

Done:

  • Repoint chimney and patch hole

  • Remove trim from around doors

  • Rehang entry door

  • Patch drywall around back door to create flush surface

  • Prime walls

  • Order picture rail

  • Order furniture and area rug

  • Hang wallpaper

  • Pick a color and paint walls without wallpaper

  • Prime and paint chimney

  • Remove and replace baseboards

  • Reinstall trim around entry door

  • Install picture rail

  • Patch floor around chimney


Again, make sure you check out the other guest participants of the One Room Challenge and I hope to see you back here next week!

One Room Challenge: Week 3, Plans, Paper, and Paint

Hello and welcome to Week 3 of the One Room Challenge! I  can’t believe we are half way there! Now that we are really into things, it’s a battle between me and the clock with the unknown variable of when this little baby will be born!

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In case you missed them: Week 1 and Week 2. And here is a reminder of what we are going for in the nursery!

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So where are we? Solid progress this week with paint and paper!

Getting the paper up was a huge relief. I’ve never papered walls before and I was blown away by how simple it was to hang the Kate Zaremba paper. It helps that I had an excellent partner in the process. My husband did most of the aligning of the pattern while I smoothed out the paper with a sponge. We split the process over two days even though we probably only spent 3-4 hours hanging it total because I wanted to get the chimney primed without paper up next to it. The door we papered over has its doorknob back in it now but it is still virtually invisible. I for one, cannot believe how well it blends in.

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Between paper sessions I threw up six paint samples for the other walls. My plan was to pick a peachy orange but grabbed a couple sea foam options at the last minute. And of course, I went with the sea foam color. The oranges were reading as too different and often too dark depending on the light and while I could have gone back to the hardware store to try some other options but I really liked the lighter blue-green color so we steamed ahead with that one.

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The color is Let it Rain by Benjamin Moore. I always use Ben Moore Natura on my projects. I think the coverage is great and I love that it is zero VOC. Pregnant or not, I think that’s super important in a paint. This definitely isn’t an ad for Ben Moore, I just really like it. I still need to finish the second coat on the walls but that will get done this weekend, just in time for a couple furniture deliveries!

The Big List

To-Do

  • Remove and replace baseboards

  • Reinstall trim around entry door

  • Paint area above wallpaper and paint white

  • Patch floor around chimney

  • Repair gap between radiator and wall

  • Install picture rail

  • Sew trim on curtains

  • Order accessories

  • Install furniture and accessories

  • Photograph space

Done:

  • Repoint chimney and patch hole

  • Remove trim from around doors

  • Rehang entry door

  • Patch drywall around back door to create flush surface

  • Prime walls

  • Order picture rail

  • Order furniture and area rug

  • Hang wallpaper

  • Pick a color and paint walls without wallpaper

  • Prime and paint chimney

This is a little shorter of a post. Come back next week to hear about changes to the furniture plan we are making due to back orders and other fun issues!

One Room Challenge: Week 2, Inspiration and To Do List

Welcome back to the One Room Challenge! It’s week 2 which also means 6 weeks until the due date! Let’s get this nursery rolling!

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Anyone who knows me would probably describe my personal palette as being pretty neutral. I’m generally drawn to greys, black, white, navy, and a “bold” splash of forest green. That is where I started with our nursery too! I was all set to do a neutral nursery with little bunnies and deer but the more I thought about it, the more that didn’t interest me. I blame it on seeing Stacey Blake’s nursery on Design*Sponge last year.

Stacey’s wallpaper is the happiest thing I’ve seen. And she made a great point that it is something that her daughter could keep up for much longer than say my Peter Rabbit fantasies. Between that and some encouragement from friends I ditched half of my Pinterest board and got to work planning the bright nursery below.

Chair  /  Dresser  /  mobile  (similar) /  wallpaper  /  crib  /  hamper  /  rug  /  pillow

At this point all the major pieces are ordered. I’m trying to come up with some additional storage apart from the dresser for books and toys but I’m feeling especially indecisive.

But that’s only half the battle (or maybe less)! The before photos of the room don’t quite show how much work the room needs. Exhibit A:

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That is a big ol’ hole in the chimney that spent more than a year half filled with found bricks and a piece of scrap wood. Not a great look and a project that intimidated the hell out of me. But repointing and patching that baby was the first step to getting the space in order. I actually finished that project a little over a month ago but the new mortar needed time to cure so its only just ready for primer and paint.

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Here is the room last week: chimney still curing, furniture partially removed and the trim around the back door removed. Removing the trim around the back door was not originally part of the scope of this project but my husband had the genius (or crazy) idea that we should wallpaper right over it to make it a secret door. So this past week I spent a bunch of time experimenting with joint compound to try to make the gaps between the drywall and door jamb disappear.

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Oh wait, there’s another side to this room?!

Yes and it’s not without its share of projects. The door into the nursery from the rest of the apartment was hung by my husband and his friend when we had renters. They are good at a lot of things but hanging doors is not one of their specialties. But really, it wasn’t their fault, they were constructing the jamb from scratch and the walls in this part of the condo are made with metal studs which make all projects a little more complicated. So off came the trim and I spent a bit of time fussing with the door jamb to make it so the upper corner of the door doesn’t hit the frame when you try to shut it. Success! The trim still needs to go back up but shutting the door is now quiet as a mouse.

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And here we are today! Walls primed, some baseboard installed, and a Koji hanging out on one of our dining chairs. Feels like huge progress and I’m excited to start doing some of the more fun part of the project. Paint! Wallpaper! Furniture! More trim installation! Ok, maybe that last part isn’t as fun but it is necessary. On to the list before I let you go..

The Big List

To-Do

  • Remove and replace baseboards

  • Reinstall trim around entry door

  • Hang wallpaper

  • Pick a color and paint walls without wallpaper

  • Paint area above wallpaper and paint white

  • Prime and paint chimney

  • Patch floor around chimney

  • Repair gap between radiator and wall

  • Install picture rail

  • Sew trim on curtains

  • Order accessories

  • Install furniture and accessories

  • Photograph space

Done:

  • Repoint chimney and patch hole

  • Remove trim from around doors

  • Rehang entry door

  • Patch drywall around back door to create flush surface

  • Prime walls

  • Order picture rail

  • Order furniture and area rug

Solid amount done and a solid amount left to do. I hope you will continue to follow along in the process. Make sure to check out the rest of the guest participants in the One Room Challenge!

One Room Challenge: Week 1

Welcome to the first week of the One Room Challenge and the first post on the Witch Hazel Studio blog! I’ve been following along with the One Room Challenge for a few years now and finally have a good excuse to join in the fun. The ORC runs from today to early May and I am expecting my first child at the end of May so I am taking the next 6 weeks to make our guest room a nursery!

A little background on me before we get into the nitty gritty. I am currently pursuing a masters degree in interior architecture while working part time at a small residential design firm in Boston and managing a couple private clients at my own baby firm, Witch Hazel Studio. So while I’m spread a little thin these days, I’m loving every second of it and making sure I still have time for projects around our home.

About that home, my husband and I have lived together in our condo on and off for the past five years and over that time our back bedroom has gone through several phases. Before my husband bought the condo, the previous owner did some misguided renovations, stripping all the character from the mid-19th century brownstone. We have been trying to slowly recover some architectural interest and remove the builder-grade finished since then.

Bedroom V1 - yellow and hand-me-downs.

Bedroom V1 - yellow and hand-me-downs.

This is how the back bedroom looked when I first moved in, well sort of, my husband had roommates at the time and the one who lived in this room was impressively messy. So imagine this but like a 25 year-old guy has lived in it for the past year and a half and has never done laundry.

The room was bright and cheery but I’m not necessarily drawn to yellow walls and my college dorm room rug was not doing much to help improve the furniture left behind when the roommate moved out.

Bedroom V2 - girl, green is not your color

Bedroom V2 - girl, green is not your color

My brother moved in with us for a little less than a year while he was taking classes at a college in Boston. Prior to moving in I painted the room a hunter green for a more masculine look. The thought was that it would be used as a home office at some point. This set up didn’t last super long because we decided to move across the city so I could be closer to law school. (A story for another time)

When we moved back two years later, I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do with my career and decided the best way to deal with that was ignore it and take some of my stress out on the bumped out wall across from the windows. That was when the great hole of 2018 was discovered.

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In my haste to pull off the drywall and make the room slightly less narrow at this point, I only made one test hole. When I tore the drywall down I found not one, but two round holes in the chimney, one had been previously patched with some cement (never a good idea with old brick).

At some point there was maybe a stove back here? Either way, I wasn’t about to re-drywall the thing so it stuck around with a plywood patch for over a year while I got up the courage to repoint the whole thing and patch in the missing bricks.

Bedroom V3 - different hand-me-downs and opening a can of worms

Bedroom V3 - different hand-me-downs and opening a can of worms

While the plywood patch lived on the chimney, I repaired the drywall around the sides and top and painted the room a deep blue green up to an imaginary plate rail. This is how the bedroom looked until a couple weeks ago. The furniture all came from my husband’s childhood bedroom. Though I’m not generally one for a matching bedroom set, especially a mission style, oak bedroom set that makes no sense in our greek revival brownstone, I liked this guest bedroom. But all good things must come to an end and this room will make way for a bright and cheery little nursery!

Stay tuned next week when I share the inspiration for the new nursery and the new floor plans.

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Make sure to check out all the other ORC guest participants!