HOME TOUR SERIES: Theo’s Room

To date, I’ve designed three kid spaces of my own and helped friends design spaces for their little ones as well. I only have a few rules when planning out these rooms…

1. Be cohesive

I once read that most people spend an average of 87% of their lives inside a building. How those spaces are designed affect how we feel and behave. I adopt that way of thinking to all of the spaces in my home, including the boys’ rooms. It is important that there be good flow in the room so that they’re free to move around and, most importantly, I want the room to still feel as though it is a part of the rest of the house. One way to ensure that Theo’s space is an extension of our home and of who we are is to use the same muted and natural color palettes in there as we have elsewhere.

In Theo’s nursery (in our last home), for example, I had done a two-tone striped design on all four walls. The lighter color in the pattern was the same greyish/white paint that we had used throughout the entire home and the darker grey stripe was still neutral enough that it matched our whole color scheme at the time.

2. Remember your audience

Theo was too young to ask for much in his first room but, in this room, his list of must-haves seemed to grow by the day. While my initial instinct was to flat-out say no when he asked me to paint the walls rainbow; I also tried to listen to what he was really asking for – a little bit of color instead of mom’s usual white, black and neutrals. I was careful to not dismiss any of his requests because this was his room – I kept reminding myself that he was the intended audience.

So while I did not give him rainbow colored walls (they are still very much the beautiful crisp white that I have throughout the home), I did ensure to add color through the accessories with green drapes, blue bed, books, art and toys.

3. Good time but maybe not long time…

This one can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you love your kid’s space when it’s done.

Essentially, if you like it but don’t love it, then rest assured, you won’t be stuck with the design of that room forever. Kids grow, their personalities develop and, if we remember #1 and #2 above, their space also needs to evolve with the times. So while there are certain aspects of Theo’s room that I don’t intend on changing (such as the very detailed wall moldings that we did), I am fully prepared to revamp his furniture and the layout sometime down the road.

The fact that a kid’s space will evolve with time is also something to keep in mind when deciding on furniture and accessories. I remember seeing the most beautiful (and really expensive!) cribs when I was designing Theo’s nursery and it was hard not to fall in love with those pieces but I opted for a simpler and more economical crib since I knew it would have a very short life span in his room.

Now for the actual Home Tour Series part… here’s the latest rendition of Theo’s big boy room. I’ve linked as many of the sources as possible but feel free to leave a comment below if there is anything that I missed.

Sources

Curtains

Light pendant

Wall sconces

Desk and chair (Facebook Marketplace)

Bed

Mattress

Duvet cover

Bed sheets

Decorative pillows (Pehr; discontinued)

Alphabet pillow (LD Shoppe; discontinued)

Bean Bag

Book shelves

Shark head (Home Sense)

Toy basket (Home Sense)

Name banner

Be A Nice Human sign

Wooden Hanger

Wall basket

Art frames

Easter Traditions for Kids

Last year was the first year that Theo was old enough to understand the idea of the “Easter Bunny”, it was also the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic so we had not had a chance to fully prepare celebrating as a family of three (I was pregnant with Luca at the time) as opposed to celebrating with the 20+ relatives we usually get together with in Montreal.

So we improvised… and, along the way, started some traditions that we’re planning to continue even post-pandemic.

Growing up, Easter in my family consisted of delivering baked goods to family members, attending church and then 20+ of my family members would meet at a restaurant for lunch. During lunch, the kids would get chocolates and, as we got older, the chocolates were replaced by toys and then a card with money.

While very popular with other families, my family never had Easter Egg Hunts and, since we were usually out delivering cakes and other sweets, we also didn’t do Easter breakfast or brunch… Easter of 2020 allowed us to do both and that’s what we hope our Easters will consist of going forward (we’ll likely have to figure out a hybrid version when we’re able to visit family again).

So here is what Easter will look like for us in 2021:

Message from the Easter Bunny

In the age of emails and text messages, there is something particularly nostalgic about a handwritten note. So the first thing we do on Easter morning is read the note that the Easter Bunny left beside the baskets. It’s written on Peter Rabbit stationary (found online on the All My Pretty Books page) and tells the kids that there are treasures hidden all over the house (queue Easter Egg Hunt!).

Easter Baskets

We ordered the most beautiful Peter Rabbit personalized baskets this year from Pottery Barn Kids. These will be used every year for the kids’ gifts and then to hold their treasures during the Easter Egg Hunt.

Theo is currently really into stickers, colouring and squishy toys so we included all of those and some chocolates in his basket. Since Luka is only 5 months, this year his basket will have some stuffed animals and books.

Easter Egg Hunt

Since we usually still have snow and other winter remnants in April, I think it’s safe to say that the Easter Egg Hunt will likely always be indoors. Peter Rabbit’s note tells the kids that he hid (or dropped) his treasure on the main floor (we’ll expand to the basement as well when they’re older but, for now, I’m aiming for an injury-free Easter). To make life easier, we bought individually packaged candies, chocolates, erasers, stickers, tattoos, etc. and will hide them in obvious places for Theo (and next year Luca) to find.

Easter Breakfast/Brunch

I wish I could say that we will be having brunch on Easter Sunday but, with a 4 year old and 5 month old in the house, chances are we’ll all be awake by 7am, so Easter Breakfast it is. I bought the cutest bunny shaped waffle maker that I know Theo will adore!

Welcoming Baby #2 into a Rental

It’s so true what people say – you really do “plan” less for your second child.

I was four months pregnant with Theo when we moved into our last home. By that time, I had already mentally designed his nursery and we had a painter in the house in the first week to paint his room. A month later, we had a carpenter there to build his custom closet. By the time I was six months pregnant, the whole space was basically ready for him.

Baby #2 has been a completely different story. Of course, the circumstances are different now. We found out we were pregnant almost immediately after selling our home and purchasing the land, so we knew that this baby would likely spend his/her first year in our rental home. For me, it also meant that I wouldn’t be able to design a traditional nursery (although I am designing an entire house, so my creative juices are still flowing…).

But just because I can’t welcome Baby #2 into a meticulously laid out nursery doesn’t mean he/she won’t have a space of their own in our little rental. The baby will be in our room for the first little while, so we’ve moved Theo into his big boy bed and the crib is now by my bedside. Eventually, the guest room will double as the baby’s room so the baby could have his/her own room.

The one focus I have had in planning this space is to try, as much as possible, to buy things that have multiple uses. For example, since we are short on space, we removed the sliding closet doors from the guest room and have turned it into the baby’s make-shift closet with the Ikea Jonaxel storage systems that I plan on using in our future closets at the next house.

We learned with Theo that babies need to be changed a lot at first and we didn’t always rush to the change table in his room to change him; so, this time around, we omitted the dresser/change table (also in part because there is no room) and are setting up a couple of the Ikea Raskog utility carts instead. Later on, these can double as art and crafts carts for the kids… We’ll just change and dress the baby on the bed or couch or floor, much like we ended up doing with Theo anyway.

Ultimately, although I feel a little guilty that I am not giving Baby #2 the same house welcoming as we did for Theo, I’m choosing to see this as a positive in the long run. The reality is, by the time Theo was approaching his second birthday, I was already thinking of ways to change his room to move away from the “nursery” feel towards the “boy-room” feel. The way I see it, since we’re not finding out the gender of our current baby, not being able to design a nursery now will give me more time to design a “boy- or girl-room” for when we move into our Custom Home.