Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Take A Look Tuesday: Extreme Boys Room Makeover-- or at least a little bit of a make over

Today is our one year anniversary of living in Timor!!!! I cannot believe how fast the time has gone. I still feel brand new to the island. In spirit of that, I thought I would let you in on a side project I have been working on, but first a little background. One of the great yet simultaneously yucky things about the Foreign Service is that the homes you live in are furnished. You can bring some of your own furniture but there is a weight limit so you have to decide what is most important to you. This was great for us since before this we were poor college students so we found this arrangement was totally to our benefit :). The only problem with this is that it is a bit hard to feel like you are "home" when all the furniture is chosen by someone else and chosen with being palatable to several different families that will pass through that house in mind. We are VERY lucky here in Dili and have gorgeous Ethan Allen and Drexel Heritage furniture. I don't know who picked it out but they deserve a pat on the back. The bummer part about it though is all we really brought with us are the crazy amount of pictures I have and since our walls are made of metal (have a I mentioned that before? It is raining right now and with a metal roof and walls it sounds like the world is coming to an end, you totally wouldn't know it when you look at them though, thankfully) there is nothing for nails to grip into thus it is really hard to hang anything. We have been experimenting with different 3M hooks to see what weight they can hold etc. Having said all this I am currently on a quest to make our house feel more like our "home"... because um, we have lived her a year now and I still kinda feel like I am in an extended stay. I am starting with the boys room. While they are still young enough to not SUPER care what their room looks like I am taking over! (Funny side note, as I was typing this Sawyer came out and informed me that he would like the Buzz Lightyear bed that has wings on the back for his birthday, ha! The irony) I have been using Pintrest, which I adore and you can follow mine if you like by clicking on the link to the right, to put together a color board of sorts for what I am goin' for.
Screen shot 2011-01-16 at 2.40.51 PM
I already have the two chevron fabrics pictures above and am planning on making new duvets this weekend. We also received the cool leather shag rug this week (which is super duper stinky). I received the boys personalized Elk prints yesterday and love how they turned out. I have already made the Anthropologie starfish in a bottle knockoff (it can be seen on the table in THIS post). I actually went back and did it a little better the second time around, the starfish...not the table, that challenge was a bear ha! I am really excited to prepare tutorials for the square sitting pillows with handles from Restoration Hardware.  There are a plethora of tutorials out there to make fabric covered pin boards and in the end I don't know if we will have the wall space. The boys room has huge built in wardrobes that span an entire wall (and are made from an orangey wood -ick) We are one of those odd sets of parents who give the master bedroom to their kids. We just figure since we don't have a toy room anymore it is just better for everyone if they have the larger room and thus can keep ALL their toys in there and not scattered all over the house. (Plus the second largest bedroom has a large walk in closet unlike the master- odd right?)
Anyway, I was hmming and hawing about what to do for a play table. I love the one pictured above and thought about having it duplicated. In the end though I really want to support Sawyers LOVE of drawing and creating so I designed a trestle table for them that has little shelves to store baskets containing paper, pens, crayons etc. I took my drawings to a local woodworker and they went to work making it out of gorgeous teak. I was able to pick it up today and am thrilled at how it turned out!
It looked even better once it was all dusted off, there was wood dust flying in that place!
It was fun watching the guys work their magic on different pieces. I totally spotted an Ikea bench being duplicated and another trip trap chair (all of us moms had them made from our friend Jeanne's original, a mere $40 dollars as opposed to $250 ha!) This fellow in particular was an amazing widdler.
When I ordered the table I also brought in one of my large prints from WHCC (if you are a budding photographer this site is the BEST!) and had them make a frame for it. There is no way a frame would make it all the way to Timor in one piece so I thought this was really my only option. They did a beautiful job
(Finn asked me to paint his face like a chipmunk while his friend Roman was over today. I obliged but then later he fell down the slide and cried most of it off. The locals got a kick out of what was left and kept taking pictures with him with their phones)
They were the nicest people! I am really excited to go back Friday and pick up the two stools made to go with the trestle table. I will absolutely be going back to them to have them make the wooden toy bin on castors pictured above. It has been fun supporting a local business and having one of a kind pieces made. I am planning on posting some before pictures together with the big reveal, but I am still waiting on my staple gun to pounce on the fabric head boards ha! So that is what I am working on in my spare time--- yes, this is why it has taken months to get this far ha!


  1. Kelly, you have such an eye for design!! That room looks like it is going to be gorgeous! I can't wait to see the end result. And to have local craftsman to make solid wood furniture that probably surpasses the original in beauty and sturdiness for a fraction of the cost--that is truly priceless! After trying to find solid well-crafted mahogany furniture here in the states, I know what a treasure that must be!
    I love your posts on what it's like there in Timor, and your living arrangements. Are you not supposed to find out soon where you will be placed next? Will it be awhile before you move? Just wondering--I'd hate to not be able to take all of that gorgeous stuff with you!

  2. Love your style and boys' room ideas:) I'm excited to see the end result!
    um I just wanted to tell you about your entry headers... When you have more than one line as a heading the lines go one on top of the other making it impossible to read... :( it's just the headings ... Maybe cuz of the small dotted lines?? Hope it can be fixed somehow... Other than that I love your blog design!

  3. I just read an article in Ready Made magazine about a type of house built in the Mid-West of America during the 1950's that is made of metal. They were lamenting being able to hang things on the walls until they found some heavy magnets to attach things with. Would that work for you? Just a thought! I love to hear about your life in the foreign service! We moved to Tokyo and Hong Kong with little ones in tow for my husband's job in entertainment, and now we're back home in Los Angeles. I suspect we're not quite done with the international moves just yet, we'll see!

  4. Happy 1 year anniversary. I celebrated mine on Feb 1st too...I moved to Italy last year

  5. OH! To be able to get a $40 tripp trapp chair! :) In terms of meals to make..check out the blog a year of slow cooking. If you have a crockpot you can make all kinds of fun things from her recipes.

  6. Great design. Love the desk. I want one!


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