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March 16, 2017

Ava's Baby Room Reveal

Hey guys! I'm so excited to share Ava's baby room with you tonight. It's one of my favorite rooms I've created, ever. Ava was with me while I was photographing the room yesterday, and therefore she is in every picture. Fun fact, toddlers don't care what you are trying to accomplish. 
You are subject to their terms.

Also, I had about 10 minutes to clean this room, which basically involved opening the blinds and pushing Ava's toys into the corner. This is my current version of 'styling'. It's authentic and real and oh so janky.

I hope you enjoy it.

Okay, so room reveal. 
These are the pics that I saved from the original real estate listing. It was set up as a really cute little boys room, and when we came to look at the house, Ava and I sat in this room for a good 15 minutes, playing with this little boy's toys. They had already moved out, supposedly years ago, so it was kinda just staged, I guess. But, the point is that Ava loved this room and it had a good vibe to it.

It was huge, but had yucky carpeting and a giant partition wall splitting the room in half. So, I knew we would have to make some changes, but I saw the potential.

This whole house is funky and weird, but from what I can deduce, I think this was originally two small bedrooms (the house is currently 3 bedrooms and perhaps it was originally 4), and they must have knocked down that wall. Now, at first I assumed that the half wall housed a support beam, because why else would there be a half wall in the middle of the room? But, upon further investigation, it was not a support wall. I have no idea why it was kept there, but money doesn't grow on trees, so that usually has something to do with the answer. In my experience.

Anyway, I wanted to share the real estate pics of this room because it does a much better job of showing you how this room functioned before we gutted it.

The below photos were taken by me, days after we moved in. It was so hard to photograph an accurate representation of this room at the time. Essentially, it was a giant room with a mini wall cutting it in half, it had severe textured ceilings, pet stained carpets, tan walls, and so many light fixtures. There was a ceiling fan, two boob lights, several can lights, and then three ceiling air vents. We narrowed it down to one light and the air vents. A real vetting process.

Gives me a little anxiety looking through these old before pics. It was a lot of work, and when I am actually going through the renovation process, I have a lot of stress and major insecurities, and these pictures remind me of that. I tend to forget about it as I move on. 
It looked like an old apartment building. That's probably a big source of the stress.

So, here is a pic from after we ripped up the carpet and removed the half wall. 

Oh yeah, there was also no door on this room. Or in any room in this house. So, we had to frame in a doorway and install a door. I'm not a high maintenance person, but I need a door. I don't even know what else to say. It was just so bizarre. This house sat on the market for 4 years, and it's kinda like, hey man, there's no doors.

Here's a pic of us stopping by the reno (back when we were living with my mom). So cute to see her so little, just stompin' 'round that room.

Here's a pic from when the hardwood floors were finished. No trim or doors yet, and the walls were a beige patchwork disaster, but it was getting there.

The next step was paint. We had a drywall guy redo the ceilings, mud the doorway, and patch the area where we removed the half wall. At that point, the room looked like a patchwork quilt. 

I got samples of all my go-to grays (below) and painted some swatches in the room. I always do this, because paint looks different in every room, and especially depending on what else you bring into the room. I ended up using Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, a trusty favorite. (My other favorite below is Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray. That was the color of her last nursery and our current master bathroom. It just felt too dark in this room though.)


I think it was the absolute perfect color, too. 

The statement piece of the entire room is this Silky Road Vivid Medallion rug from Rugs USA. You guys constantly ask me on my instagram where my rugs in the photos are from, and they are always from here. I'm obsessed with their selection, as it's constantly evolving, and the quality of the rugs is incredible.

Anyway, this rug undoubtedly makes the room. Here's a picture of Ava reading on the floor next to her book bin.  Obviously, I'm so proud. I won't pretend like I did anything to make this happen though. I think she is just a bookworm at heart. And it's so precious.
That tan outlet is an eyesore and a hazard. Pretend it's not there, and don't you dare read this entire post and leave me a comment about the outlets. There's usually a monitor plugged in right there. Why am I explaining myself. Carry on and trust.

I created a little reading corner for Ava with the old hot pink couch.

Remember that old couch? It's covered with this Surefit slipcover I got off Amazon (affiliate link).....seriously, I've used that slipcover for years now, it's a gamechanger. Those pink velvet pillows are from Etsy, I think the original link is in the old basement reno post. I hung a gold 'A' above the couch, from Homegoods.

The floral artwork was from a local store.

The crib was from Pottery Barn.

Ava's dresser is an old thrift store purchase that I painted, tutorial can be found here. The rocking chair in the corner was handmade by Jesse's late grandfather, who was a skilled woodworker in his spare time. I spray painted it cream (tips here).

The curtains are from Target and the cribsheet is from BuyBuyBaby. I took the mattress out to change her sheets and it turned into a hectic race to pile everything she owned on top. I love watching her brain work.

I'm in a toy swapping phase. I pack up a bunch of her toys and move them to a different room or pack them away. Then a week or so later, I swap them out. I've found it to be a great way of keeping her interested in our current toy hoard. Sometimes all it takes is just moving her living room toys into her bedroom...hours of entertainment, I tell you. 

And some days I just lay on the couch watching RHOBH, hoping she will take a very long nap. This is my truth.

Just passing along my ideas. If you have a toddler entertainment idea, please pass back. We all need help. 

I've been seeing a lot of ridiculous children's closets on Pinterest. And what a freakin' joke. I mean, it does inspire, but stahp. 

So, here's my version. We hung up every dress Ava owns, most of which are too small, and then she picked one to put on. Just happens to be the one my mom made for me when I was Ava's age. Her closet is also stacked with random mirrors and assorted junk. It's a process.

Mowing the lawn in the dress.

With a ponytail. A ponytail and sideburns.

Here are the new doors... I painted the main door Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze.

The closets got new doors, too, but I haven't painted them yet. They are currently just the tan primer color. Mama got tired. They are gonna be this color until she goes to college.

I removed all of the random light fixtures in this room and replaced it with one great one...a semi-flush crystal tear drop chandelier.

It's been awhile, but I think it was from Home Depot. Jesse did not love the assembly process.

I made some art for Ava's room.

I've been painting a lot upstairs in my bedroom at night. Just a hobby, currently. I planned on making three canvases, spelling out 'Ava', but nope. It took me multiple nights to finish the A, and I thoroughly loved the process, but there's something about repeating a piece of art that takes the joy out of it. So, it turned into a singular piece. :)

You guys. I see you on Instagram. I hear you. I promise to do a post about the painting stuff. I'm just not there yet, and have to get over my insecurity hump. You're helping with that. Thanks.

So, here's a closeup of the piece I created for Ava. It's all hand drawn and painted. I really am proud of this one. I feel good about it.

And that, friends, is the end of Ava's room tour. She says hi. 
Thanks for being here and caring about our little world.


  1. Love, love, love! What a beautiful room it turned out to be!

  2. Super cute. First time I'm commenting, but I have been following for a long time. Good job mama! She looks so happy in there! And until someone has a toddler, or has watched a toddler for long periods of time, there can be no judgement for afternoons of RHWoBH.

  3. You make me laugh and give me hope for tackling motherhood one day. Never change!

  4. I adore you and sweet Ava June!!!

  5. Love the beautiful room and your daughter is a living doll.

  6. Loved reading this! The room is looking gorgeous and such a good after! Most of all, though, I love seeing that sweet little girl doin' her thing! :)

  7. Absolutely fabulous! You did a terrific job with the redecorating. You are so talented and creative.

  8. a beautiful room. Reminds me of theUgly Duckling fairy tale. And, i trade out my granddaughter's toys too. She is the same Age as Ava, and they seem to be doing the same things. Only I'm 63 now and she wears me Out! Lately she likes to draw, which means I draw characters from Dora and Pooh. It does keep her still for 10 to 15 minutes. She adds the finishing touches. Ha,so that's my toddler tip. I've been searching for a gray for my bathroom, I'll have to try some of your suggestions.

  9. Ava's room is lovely, your artwork is really great! I had a bit of a chuckle at the comment about the closet doors still being unpainted when she goes to college - it's funny 'coz it's true! We did a kitchen reno almost a year ago, and still haven't painted the new doors. Whoops. We're repainting our living room this Easter, and I'm determined that everything will be finished - for once!

  10. What a beautiful, happy space! And that rug! ��

  11. You should feel good about your art. Great job. The whole room is adorable, like Ava.

  12. Your right, the rug just makes the room! It's perfect, it ties everything in so nicely. I absolutely love your sense of style xx

    Kez |

  13. It's perfect and that rug is to die for!

  14. Great job, it looks amazing and I do the toy swap thing too. Take a big pile of books and stuff upstairs and bring the upstairs toys down. It's like they're brand new this way, kinda :)

  15. I LOVE the room Virginia and your little girl (can I still say she's a baby!!) is beautiful and precious. Yes, yes sell your art work on etsy! I'll be your first customer!

  16. Just lovely! I always have a smile when I see a post from you in my in-box. I am enjoying your journey in decorating and parenthood. Ava is precious. The no doors is really weird, I can't even imagine why.

  17. Thanks for sharing your creativity and also your vulnerability with everyone. You are so brave.... to just put yourself out there. I still get so hung up on 'it's not perfect' that I am paralyzed by it. I won't even try. Sigh. However, you inspire me and I want to challenge myself.

  18. Seriously, you crack me up! Mowing in a dress with a ponytail and sideburns hahaha!!

  19. I love what you've done in the room to make it your own...ooops, I mean Ava's! (But it has your touch and love on it!) I was wondering if the half wall was because there were boys sharing the room perhaps? Otherwise, the half wall and no door thing is perplexing. But what you have made of that is hardly recognizable. It is beautiful and lots of room to grow into! She is growing so fast!

  20. Ava's going to be gorgeous like her mama and daddy.

    I love the room - it's big enough to house two kids, don't you think? *Smile* (Wait until Ava's four.)

    You have no reason to be insecure about your art! And you should be proud of Ava's A -- it's beautiful.

    I agree with everyone else, your humor and willingness to be real are as much a part of the attraction of your blog as all of your creativity.

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. I never comment, but this is such a great room, and one that will grow with her (I have older girls, so I know!!!) - congratulations and having great vision, and I hope that you can banish those insecure voices...

  22. It's so nice to hear another update from you - love hearing how the new house is coming along. Ava's room is looking lovely! x

  23. I love this post! Thanks for keeping it real about life with toddlers. My two are now teens but they were tiny when we moved into our current house and I am just now getting to the projects I wanted to do when we moved in...14 years ago. You know, like painting your fireplace brick but couldn't because the one day you had to do it was the day sonny boy got into the cheese slices and stuck them all over the brick. (Did you know kraft singles stick to brick? Well now you do, you're welcome). And I love love love your floral canvases! Please tell you're making prints of those we can buy because I seriously need them in my life! You're an amazing artist.

    Toddler activity? Bucket of water and a clean paintbrush outside. They will "paint" everything in sight. Empty 2 liter bottle and little pieces of wadded up paper they can "poke" down the hole - smaller bottles work for outings and restaurants too.

  24. The room looks amazing! And I eagerly and patiently await your post about painting.
    Also I'm growing out a shaved head/undercut, and my hair looks a lot like Ava's right now! But mine is pink. :)

  25. Absolutely gorgeous!! Every post is totally worth the wait, Virginia! I'm still totally obsessed with your style! Actually it's funny because I've had an old canvas that I found at Goodwill that has been sitting in the back of closet for like 2 years because I was determined to create something like you did. So needless to say, I'm looking forward to you getting inspired in hopes that I finally create something too lol! Thanks for always inspiring me with your amazing reveals!!

  26. That bronze door is amazing! My house is too dark for something like that, but I like it!!

  27. Love it all. But I really love that rug - I went on Rugs USA and it looks so bright, but in your room it is subtle and beautiful! I think I'm going to order it for my master. Great job and thanks!


  29. I'm so glad you're back to posting semi- regularly! Your blog has seriously inspired me to finally start doing my own DIY projects :) I never thought I had it in me before but you make it look possible! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful creations and your life with us! Your artwork is amazing <3

  30. Its lovely! Such a lucky girl to have so much romping room!

  31. The rug really makes the room! Beautiful selection and beautiful baby! I've been silently (and infrequently) following your home updates in parallel with buying my first home, and, as a side note, I cannot believe how big Ava has gotten.

    If you're ever interested in another gray paint color to try, I would like to suggest Sherwin-Williams Alpaca. It doesn't look like a typical gray in the paint swatch & that's probably why it's not as popular, but it is a beautiful, light neutral that can match to so many color tones! Depending on your natural light and decor, it can pick up purples, greens, blues, peachs, browns, and of course gray tones.

    I had a hard time w/ my home because the kitchen has brown toned countertops and backsplash, but I love warm grays & couldn't find a happy medium. After trying 10 samples in several rooms (a tip I learned from you & see in this post again), I settled on SW Alpaca. As a result, I get more complements on the paint color than anything else in the house & definitely from everyone on their first time coming over. It's a little bizarre.

    Again, a beautiful reveal on Ava's room! Thanks for sharing your projects and inspiration. :)

  32. Virginia, I went to art school and teach painting classes regularly and even I don't think I could put as much detail into Ava's painting like you did! Holy crap girl, you've got some serious talent!

  33. Ava's room is beautiful and so is she!

  34. Wow, It looks so beautiful!!! I love everything in that room. Thanks for sharing:)

  35. I just love the room and Ava is adorable is still looks so much like your husband. I wish you weren't so insecure about your talents girl because you're rocking it.

  36. Beautiful room/beautiful mom and daughter! Great job! Love reading your posts.....we moms need all the laughter and funny stories we can get!! Thanks for keepin it real! :)


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