Where to Put the Nursery

The new baby will sleep in our bedroom for the first few months. After that though? We’re not sure yet.

We’re lucky to have a lot of space to work with in this house, though some of it is oddly configured from when the home was chopped up into three apartments. There is a bedroom on the third floor that’s ready to go, but it isn’t ideal. (I’m using photos from when the house was empty in this post, because I feel like it’s less distracting and easier to visualize changes that way.)

Third Floor Bedroom

Third Floor Bedroom

The room is 12’x14.’ It has major eaves to contend with and no closet, but our big concern has to do with regulating the temperature up there. We moved into this house in late August and only experienced a few weeks of late summer heat. The house stayed fairly cool with window unit air conditioners during the hottest days, but I still worry that the room is going to be too warm. And even if the heat isn’t a problem, do we want to run up constantly for a year or more when the baby cries at night? We could avoid that by switching one of the kids’ current bedrooms for a nursery and moving either Eleanor or August upstairs, but I feel guilty about that. Like ‘sorry kid, you have to live in the attic now.’ (I mean, it’s a perfectly fine room that just happens to be on the third floor, but you know. Parental guilt is a powerful and sometimes irrational thing.)

Two kids could share a room of course, but we have enough space in this big old Victorian for each child to have their own. Another option would be closing off the room that’s adjacent to our bedroom, but we’ve come to really enjoy that as a family space. So I came up with a brilliant solution — although Brandon is not convinced of its brilliance yet. If we turn the former kitchen on the second floor (a sort-of craft room right now) back into a bedroom, we could all sleep on the same level. Eleanor and August both stay put in the rooms they’re in now, and the baby gets the new space.

Second Floor Kitchen

We would have to remove the sink and its cabinetry, remove the water and gas hookups in the room, and close off some of the doorways. Easy enough. We would likely demo the wall of cabinetry, too. It could be reused as built-in storage (drawers for clothes, cabinets for toys, etc.), but it looks very kitchen-like, and freeing up that wall for furniture placement may be better for a bedroom.

Second Floor Kitchen

Ah, but then it wouldn’t be quite that easy! The wood flooring in that room is newer than in the rest of the second floor and it’s slightly raised, so it’s likely that it was laid on top of the old stuff. That’s fine, but did they go under the cabinetry? My guess is no. The flooring would probably need to be addressed.

Also, the hallway would need to be reconfigured, which means we lose the built-in storage that’s there. That is the main reason Brandon isn’t convinced of my plan.

Built-in Storage Next to the Bathroom

The bathroom itself only has a medicine cabinet for storage, so we fully use and appreciate the extra drawers and cabinetry right outside its door. The back stairway is on the other side though, and the kitchen serves as access to those stairs and a bedroom. The house’s original layout would have had the hallway continue uninterrupted, and that’s the layout we would be returning to. We’d lose the built-ins and gain a fourth bedroom on the second floor.

Possible Reno Plans for Second Floor Kitchen

We’re still thinking our options through, so we haven’t figured out exactly what all of this would cost yet. We could do a lot ourselves, but realistically, I’m a pregnant lady and we already have two young kids underfoot so we’d have to hire out for at least some of it.

My mom suggested doing the conversion in stages. We could demo what absolutely needs to go now, smooth the walls and paint, and just live with the weirdness of having to pass through the baby’s room to get from one side of the second floor to the other. Then in a couple of years when we’ve saved up a bit of money again, we could finish the renovations. When I was a little girl, my younger sister’s bedroom could only be accessed through mine. We shared a room for many years in an apartment after that, but then in another house, I had to go through my sister’s bedroom to get to mine. So maybe my mom and I are biased toward making weird spaces work?

What do you think? Third floor bedroom? Convert the easier room next to our bedroom (and keep the second floor kitchen as-is)? Go all-out with changing the kitchen back into a bedroom and opening up the hallway, or do the work in two stages?

For the Fairies. And Zombies.

Eleanor is really into fairies right now. They visit her at night and give her sweet dreams, and they help her grow. All kinds of things. We haven’t seen any in person, but that’s because they’re very shy, and also because they sleep during the day and only come out at night. Brandon bought a toy for E when she got her white belt in karate a few weeks ago, and he left it on top of her dresser as a surprise. Of course, she saw it when she woke up and immediately assumed it was a gift from the fairies, so they got all the credit.

We think they’ve been hanging out in the dollhouse, but we’ve talked about creating a fairy garden for them to live in outside, too. My friend recommended Wannemaker’s for supplies, so we went out there on Sunday.

Wannemaker's Fairy Garden Supplies

We already had plenty of planters to choose from and it’s too cold for outdoor plants yet, so we concentrated on finding the perfect decorations. If the design were up to me, it would be like an open terrarium with a cute house tucked away in one corner. Maybe a little patio too, complete with charming vintage-style furniture. The design was rightfully up to E though, so we have a giant! house, a couple of fairy figures, a bridge and blue glass pebbles (water), plus a beach chair and umbrella. August wasn’t that into it, but he did choose both of the fairies for Eleanor.

Starting on the Fairy Gardens
Adding Fairy Garden Decorations
Eleanor's Fairy Garden

That house took up so much room that we ended up creating two fairy gardens. One is for their home, and the other is a beachy scene in which I planted a pothos that we already had on hand (I’ll either harden it to the outdoors or swap it out for something else in a few weeks). I want variation in texture, with larger plants juxtaposed against tiny ones, and something with small flowers. The kids want dirt patches for their zombie toys, because the beachy scene is now a zombie garden. So, maybe we won’t be adding more plants? They really like everything as it is now, and this is for them after all.

Zombie/Fairy Garden
Zombie Yeti in the Fairy Garden

Eleanor was worried that the fairies might find their new home only to be frightened off by the zombie toys. But we discussed it and they’ll be fine, because zombies are not real. (Fairies are.)

Zombie/Fairy Garden

She goes to check on her fairy gardens each morning, first thing when she wakes up. She still hasn’t seen any, but she told me that she has been singing songs to the fairies in hopes of gaining their trust. Much like the rabbits in our yard that bound away immediately, but that she has leaves carrots for. So hopeful, that girl is.

A Guess at the Plan for the Bathroom

A guess, because the design is tentatively based on the only design we can see from the upcoming line of wallpaper by Rifle Paper Co. for Hygge & West. There are more patterns to come in May!

The bathroom on the second floor is nice, just not to my taste. There is fruit-themed wallpaper, hunter green on a mottled tan background, with a green and maroon border, and a yellow faux-finish on the claw foot tub. The bones of the room are good though, and I’ve been happy to not do much in there until inspiration came along. Inspiration came along. Last Friday, I immediately started scheming up a design plan featuring the new wallpaper line.

Rifle Paper Co. Hygge and West Wallpaper Bathroom Design #makingitlovely

  1. Dean Stockwell in ‘The Boy with Green Hair,’ Art.com
    I’ve not seen the movie, but I love this as a photograph.

  2. Rifle Paper Co. Wallpaper, Hygge & West
    I could easily work with this yellow and green design, but the full line will be out May 19 with more options.

  3. My Bathroom
    Brass and antique fixtures, ahoy!

  4. Brass Bathroom Waste Basket, Target
    Yep, more brass. I picked this up a while ago, so it’s already in the room.

  5. Fleur-de-Lys Juice Glass, Anthropologie
    I moved all of the toothbrushes to the inside of the medicine cabinet, so I’m on the lookout for tumblers small enough to fit into the holders on the sink. These may be too delicate, but they are adorable.

  6. Large Hicks Pendant, Circa Lighting
    I’m dying to use one in this house, and the bathroom could be the perfect spot. I do still have the small oval and brass pendant from Eleanor’s room though, which could be a good (free) option.

  7. Row Stripe Towel, West Elm
    Stripes are always welcome.

  8. Martini Side Table in Antique Brass, West Elm
    I bought this originally for the vintage bathroom in our first house and then didn’t use it there because the room was too small. The bathroom’s a little larger in this house though, and it fits perfectly.

  9. Schoolhouse Numbered Hooks, Pottery Barn
    These are up, and you’ve seen them already because I used ‘em to announce baby number three!

  10. Pharmacy Accessories in Amber Glass, Restoration Hardware
    The sink has a built-in (unfortunately shell-shaped) spot for the soap, but I like the look of these for the room.

  11. Painted Claw Foot Tub
    I’ll choose a color for the tub from the wallpaper, like this lovely green.

Two more months! I’m so eager to get started!

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