Playroom Makeover

April 6th, 2009

We are fortunate to have a bonus space in our home.  When we were first married, we used this space as a formal dining room.  When the munchkins were born, we gave up our formal dining room to have a toddler playroom, rather than have their toys scattered all over the house. Playskool ruled this roost for several years, until I decided to take the space back.

Here’s the before (notice the exhausted Dad):

Here’s the after:

The whole goal was to create a more mature kid space that would multitask as a place for them to entertain themselves and friends with games, puzzles, watch movies, and do art projects.  The first thing that had to go was the weird pastel paint job.  I chose an earthier color to complement the rest of the house.  It’s a tan based mustardy shade of green called ‘Beachwalk’ by Behr.  The window wall is painted an entire shade darker.  The rug is a pale green, very soft chenille from Home Decorators.

The next big project was the Map Wall.  National Geographic makes a map of the world in “earth-tone” colors instead of the traditional red/blue color scheme as seen in most classrooms. It was $99, and this map covers a 10 x 6.5 ft space.  When you consider the price of art for an entire wall, this was relatively cheap.  Instead of applying adhesive to the back like wallpaper, I stapled it to the wall with a stapler, then trimmed it in a moulding from Home Depot that I spray painted Espresso to form a frame around the edges.  We cut it with a miter saw and applied it to the wall with a nail gun.

A wall map make a great backdrop to any guest room, office, kid’s room, or basement wall.  It is educational and quite a conversation piece for all who enter.  The sofa is bone colored leather from Jennifer Convertibles.  It folds out for overnight guests or impromptu slumber parties.  The coffee table was a floor sample – it provides more storage, and another place to play, or have snacks.

For a more updated tour of this space, visit this post where we installed a floating shelf art gallery wall.

This room can also be seen featured on Young House Love and on Apartment Therapy’s OhDeeDoh]

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Some Tidbits… and the Remodel that Never Ends

April 3rd, 2009

Hi y’all.  I am so thankful to all of the supporters out there who are following this blog.  I am relatively new to this whole thing (like, February) and I love meeting all of you and making new friends out in the blogosphere.  Thanks for all of your comments and emails. 

Mr. CG and I are blessed to live in a beautiful town called Petaluma in Sonoma County, California, in the heart of the Wine Country. I am an attorney who left my full time job when my daughter was born five years ago.  I practice law on the side, but my true passion is remodeling and decorating homes.  I stay awake at night scheming about my next DIY project.  In hindsight, I should have gone to design school, not law school, but coulda-shoulda-woulda.   

It was my not-so-brilliant idea to start a major remodel of our home in 2006, the same year my son was born.  I often refer to this year as “the lost year” since my only memories are in pictures.  Here are some photos of the experience we survived.  Barely.


Grading the site

foundationMr. CG clearing the new foundation

halfway Framing the expansion

builder help Helping the builder

not happyThe critters were not happy 

the family room The family room – yikes

scaffolding Living with scaffolding

Every year, we throw a Christmas party for our friends, but we were unable to entertain in 2006 because of this remodel.  I wrote a poem about it to all of our friends in that year’s Christmas card.  Here goes:

Twas the June before Christmas, so I said to my spouse

“The time has come to add on to the house”

The approval of plans meant more space in our home

All we could think was “Brushed nickel, or chrome?”

“Wait a minute” we heard, “You just had a baby,

Don’t take on this project, you’re both certainly crazy.”

“Nonsense” we replied “We both have a brain”

We paid no attention to the claims “You’re insane.”

July was the month that we poured the foundation

Funds paid for concrete, but no Hawaiian vacation.

Choosing cabinets and tile and a new kitchen sink

Include sleepless nights, it all drove us to drink

Through summer and fall as we lived in a rental

We knew they were right, we were certainly mental

Here’s December, our pocketbook and spirits diminished,

We still wonder if ever our house will be finished.

And so this strange year we must say with dismay,

Unfortunately at our house there’s no Christmas soiree

We wish all of you peace, and blessings from above

Merry Christmas to all, and we send all our love. 


It’s 2009, and we still haven’t finished the master bath, and parts of the rear yard.  Our hope is to complete this year. 

Here’s to hoping !

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