Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Bernout: Guest Post

I am excited to announce our first guest post, my lovely friend L of The Bernout

Chanelle, L, & Jane
L and I had the good fortune of attending graduate school together and she has since married the Professor and welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Rivka Joy, to her life. L is a fellow blogger, chef extraordinaire, and DIY addict. Without further adieu:

Hello, The Whites readers! I am thrilled to write a guest post for Chanelle and Tim, and I narrowed the topic down to decorating a room on a budget. Let me take you through my thought process when I recently decorated my daughter’s room. Even though this particular room is a nursery, you can apply the rules to any room in your home. First, a gratuitous picture of my chubby-cheeked baby since I am a proud mama:

…and now an actual picture of the finished nursery project:

Fun and modern for a nursery, no? I am pretty impressed with the outcome, especially since my husband and I barely spent $500 for a room that started out as a bare canvas. My husband (affectionately known as “The Professor” on my blog) obtained his PhD a couple of years ago, and I also have a graduate degree. This sounds very impressive, but our brains are incredibly expensive. Though we felt financially ready to have a baby, this did not mean that we had buckets of money to pour into décor. Here are the down-and-dirty tips.

1. Invest your money in paint and textiles: These two things change everything in a room, so if you really want a change in décor, here is where you can make the biggest impact. We chose a light aqua color (Behr Premium Plus “Windwood Spring”), and the paint instantly gave the room a serene feel. For a kid’s room, aqua is a color that can easily pair with a variety of accent colors. Think of a color in your home that can work in your evolving rooms; as you get more furniture and accent pieces, will your paint color easily translate with your new style? If so, it’s probably a great choice (and a money-saver for the future).

Quirky, orange prints—such as rows of ducks on a pillow, a hooked starfish pillow, and bold stripes on sheets—keep the room young and fun. We can easily switch out the textures as our girl gets older to create a brand new look. For instance, if our girl turns out to be a lover of all that is pink, a mini makeover will not break the bank.


2. DIY (Do it Yourself): One of my favorite personal touches in the room is a set of three starfish in shadow boxes. I got the idea from another nursery I saw online, and found out that the art cost hundreds of dollars. Hundreds! Needless to say, I went down to my local craft store and purchased shadow boxes, starfish, fancy paper and a glue gun. This chic project was less than $30 (thanks to a 50% coupon), and I can now brag that I made something beautiful in my daughter’s room (besides my daughter, of course—but that goes without saying anything). Everyone is shocked when they hear I made the art myself. Also, one of the best parts about DIY is that I can change it at any time without any negative consequences. So go ahead, take a risk like Chanelle and spray paint the trim to your mirror!

3. Utilize what you own: We only have two bedrooms in our current place, and we did not want to throw out a perfectly good queen-sized bed. Keeping the bed in the room meant not having a dresser. We solved this storage dilemma by utilizing the room’s massive closet, and hanging cloth shelves and baskets inside (sorry, we suck a little and never took pictures of this). When we buy a home of our own, we can take the cloth shelves and baskets with us, so it was a great investment. Sure, it might not be a typical dresser, but it works for us. We are glad we never donated the bed to anyone because we do not have to buy a new one for a guest room when we purchase a home.

We also wanted to get some sort of nightstand, but we kept going back and forth on various styles. The Professor had a random storage space from his bachelor days, so we put that in the nursery. This stand is a great alternative because we can always spruce it up with new hardware and paint while we decide what to permanently put in the room. Utilizing the unexpected can be a great way to make your place unique and fun. I know someone who uses a chic storage box as a coffee table; the idea is multi-functional and stylish.

4. Use your friends and family (in a good way, of course): Never think you are too good for gifts, hand-me-downs, and utilizing your friends’ talents. My father-in-law graciously offered to buy our crib and glider, and that saved us quite a few pennies hundreds of dollars. Know a family member getting rid of an old, floral couch? Take them up on the free piece of furniture and invest in a nice Pottery Barn slipcover.

We have a dear friend who is also a children’s illustrator. He generously offered to draw cartoon pictures of our dog for the room. If you have a friend that can provide art—pictures, drawings, collages—it is a great way to get pictures that are cheap (yet meaningful) conversation pieces.

5. Don’t compare yourself to others: Everyone is in a different stage of life; with that comes different budgets. Sure, $5,000 couch your brother-in-law owns might be comfy, but do you know what is even better? Knowing that you aren’t scrambling for pennies every month because of your out-of-budget purchase. Do what is right for your own personal situation.

There you have it, folks! I should warn all of you that I am terrible at conclusions, which is probably why I write poetry more than short stories/essays/inspirational garbage. To make up for my lack of excellent concluding, here is a picture of our FURbaby, Marshall.

This happens to be one of my favorite pictures of Marshall. He's a statuesque protector of the incredible DIY decor. Aren't those shelves in the background sweet? I am so impressed with L's ability to have a fantastic nursery in a functional guest bedroom- function and style, the perfect combination! Plus, I love the bright colors, but that's no surprise is it? I certainly enjoyed the DIY bliss in Rivka's nursery. No wonder she's so smiley! Now you can use L's tips to transform any space.

Do you have a room makeover, renovation, or tips to share? Submit your Guest Posts to chanellebwhite.

1 comment:

  1. 3. Growing up I had a dresser in my closet. The size and shape of the closet would obviously be a consideration here, but it was a great space saver and there was still plenty of room for hanging items.