A Labor Of Love | From Guest Room to Nursery

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This post is turning out to be an emotional one for me.  As we start a new chapter in our life (expecting twins this fall) I can't help but get a little choked up about the nursery and this home.  Mainly because, HOLY MOLY, this is going to be the place we bring our children home from the hospital!  I love looking at life as a journey and after four years here, I can't help but feel like we're graduating from this current chapter.  But before I get all sentimental lets rewind to the beginning:

Shock, awe, excitement and the overall feeling of did they really just hand us the keys?! is how we felt the day we closed on this house ~ I mean look at Brian's face on the steps of the attorney's office!
It was exactly four years ago, we were newlyweds and first time homeowners and thrilled beyond belief!  As they say, ignorance is bliss, because we had no idea what we were about to get ourselves into and like most new homeowners, we didn't quite know where to start.  During the inspection we noticed the guest bedroom's popcorn ceiling was significantly sagging and would need to be replaced entirely, so the day after we closed on the house, Brian and I went over for a visit.  In life, you're given those snapshots in time and I will never forget the image of Brian in a full suit and tie grabbing a ladder to inspect the ceiling only to accidentally-on-purpose rip off a chunk:
That chunk quickly led to a whole lot and luckily for us what was hidden underneath turned out to be the original tongue and groove ceiling.  The following day the ceiling came down and thus began the labor of love that has become our guest bedroom.
After work we loved going over to the house to get our hands dirty and our appetite for the DIY satisfied.  In those days we really had no idea what we were doing, a lot of phone calls to our parents for how-to advice along with plenty of google searches gave us the encouragement we needed to turn this dark and dirty room into a clean and bright one.

Once we moved in, all of our time was spent in that tiny room.  We ripped out molding, old rotten door frames and Brian taught me how to properly use a paint brush:
This room is where Brian first learned how to do wood work.  I remember one of our first BIG splurges happened to be a manual miter saw, at that point we couldn't afford the big fancy electric ones.  But at the time we didn't know what we were missing out on.
With that little manual saw Brian was able to add a simple frame to the attic:
As well as door frames:
And with that little manual miter saw, Brian got creative and was able to make us faux crown molding!  Because the idea of crown molding seemed a bit intimidating for our first trim job Brian decided to use a piece of baseboard, flip it upside down and finish the top with a piece of cap molding.  If you look closely at the outside corner, you'll notice ours stands perpendicular rather than at a 45 degree angle.    

But what a beautiful 90 degree angle it was (and still is).  To this day, I remember walking in to see our "crown molding" and being so very impressed by my very talented novice husband!  Once the room was complete I was so excited to install our first furniture purchase for the house ~ our Pottery Barn Charlotte Daybed, which we found on major discount at a Pottery Barn Outlet.
An ikea rug was added, as well as an old lamp from our apartment.  Baskets acted as under bed storage and our first antique purchase, a primitive pie safe was added to the corner.
The room has stayed this way for the past couple years.  Simple in it's design and frankly nothing too pin-worthy about it, and if I'm completely honest, there's a lot of things wrong with the space.  But none of that matters, because we created this space together as couple.  We learned a lot of lessons in those first few weeks, about ourselves, about this home and about what it truly means to create a labor of love.  Now that we're starting a new chapter in our life, it's very serendipitous that the guest bedroom (the very first room we renovated) will become the nursery, the first room our children will call their own!  I'm finding the transition to be somewhat bitter-sweet.  This room holds the most significance to us when thinking about this house, it's where our first memories were created.  So, of course it's only fitting that four years later, we're coming full circle.  Working hard to re-design and re-designate a space that is once again being filled with love through a labor of hard work, thought, sentiment and memories.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, a house is nothing more than a house, but a home is what you make it.  A space doesn't have to be perfect for you to love it!  Last week we officially embarked on creating the nursery.  We're currently working on an Ikea hack to create custom built ins:      
And Rawley's already called dibs on his space in the nursery.
But more on the progress later this week!


Every house has a beginning and every home a story.  
What's the first space you started on?


  1. Love this story Michelle. Yes, only fitting the twins should come home to that room. When we moved to our current home 22 years ago, the first room we made sure was complete was our then 2 1/2 year old daughters. Making the transition easier for her. Can't wait to see your progress in the room.

    1. That's so sweet ~ I'm sure it was the cutest room!!

  2. You're adorable, Michelle! Can't wait to see the new nursery.

    Missing you already. "Where are you?" hehe

    B & C

  3. Beautifully written, M! Can't wait to see the transformation!!! <3 Heidi

  4. Oh you guys are so cute! I loved reading this post and I can't wait to see the transformation. How exciting!

    When we bought our home last year, we knew it needed it a total overhaul, cosmetically speaking, so we just kind of went off like a bomb working from the ceilings on down the walls and then to the floors. It was So.Much.Work!, but we were determined to make the space lovely for our children, sooner rather than later. We've finally saved up enough to finish the one last room waiting for a little (a lot of!) TLC: the upstairs bath. Just dragged the kiddos to a local shop to pick up the counter top and vanity this very afternoon. I cannot wait!! =)

  5. I love this post and you guys are just adorable! I can't wait to see what you do with the nursery and what the future holds for those sweet babes! I was so happy to meet you this weekend, I feel like I've known you for years! Congrats again!


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