something from nothing

ok, game over. as of last night we decided layla HAS to have her own room. the plan was to move her in with judah after she grew out of our room, but i underestimated how big their developmental/sleep habits gap would still be in these next few months. it really wouldn't be fair to either of them, which would translate to way harder for us, to force the shared-room thing right now. additionally, we cant fit a crib and bed in there without serious crammage, so we'll need to wait until they can navigate bunk beds safely.

she's been sleeping in our room her whole life and will be for a while longer at least, but it's starting to feel crowded up in here. judah only stayed in our room the first 3 weeks, so this has felt like a loooooong stretch. great for breastfeeding, bad for me and jesse doing anything more noisy than miming in our room if she's sleeping.

the baby, the bed, the bassinet and the bald spot.

the problem: we have a tiny three bedroom house: our room, judah's room, and the craft room. ruh-roh. there are no extra rooms, so you know which one has to go. peace out sew-cave. this is actually not bad however because we do have one space that is NEVER used: the dining room off the side of our kitchen. we are horrible and eat most of our meals in the living room so the dining room table has just become a convenient horizontal surface for us to dump piles of stuff on when we come in to the house. here it is after we cleaned it tonight (yes, after. it is usually piled about 3 feet higher above sea level):

its an ikea table (free china set with purchase!) with a wrought iron frame and lattice shelf suspended underneath. great place for storing placemats and napkins but also a horribly restrictive cage if you like to cross your legs under the table. the space, layout and table just don't make for a great setup for the traditional family dinner. we mourn this, but move on.

that brings us to the craft room/office/layla's room. when i first added a craft space to the house, it was just a nook and we still had a couch/bed (pride keeps me from calling it a futon, but 'twas). here is what that looked like. since then we ditched the couch/bed and the baby turtle that was my nook rolled in some mutagen ooze and became a massive ninja turtle:

kind of awesome. messy, utilitarian, mega-productive.

after she was born, we decided layla had to have a dresser for her every day clothes. the closet in this room is already for her special and future clothes, but we had piles of onesies all over our bed and it just couldn't continue. so in came a little dresser. but with just her clothes in this room and nothing else layla-related, she never actually came in here to change. we'd just snatch a onesie and run back to change her in our room. i never kept them organized after washing them, a pile began to grow on top, she was growing out of clothes before ever wearing them because i didn't realize what we even owned. chaos reigned.

layla's dresser and the crafting companion's chair. jesse spent many an hour in there keeping me company watching TV or reading while i sewed.

that brings us to THE PLAN:

1. abolish dining room-CHECK and good riddance. when the kids are school-aged hopefully we can reinstitute family dinner at an actual table in a new house or with a better layout in this one (perhaps i will sew in the attic)

2. sewing room becomes sewing table-CHECK. all the dangerous stuff is stored in a closed-up box out of judah's reach (though i WILL let him touch non-lethal things so he can learn the hard way). this will be good to because now i am right in the middle of the family action space if i want to sew during the day, and can stay connected with living room play, or even keep an eye on something cooking in the kitchen while i sew. i used to have to shut myself away, and i didn't always love how isolated i felt.

that undershelf is super useful for my often, but not always-used sewing accoutrement. and while sewing i never need to cross my legs so the shelf doesn't annoy me at all anymore . (first project in new room: replacement ironing board cover)

3. clean out sewing room storage: partial check. i went with clearly-labelled boxes for materials and fabrics that i rarely use and stored them on our garage shelves. we still need to remove the desk attachment from the bookshelf and put it in the attic for "someday" use in another house. and i still need to find somewhere for my main fabrics.

it remains to be seen if this will have been a smart system or just drive me out of my mind

4. come up with a clear design idea for layla's room. preferably stolen from someone much more stylish than me so that it isn't a disaster and raging waste of money that i come to hate 40 days later: CHECK BABY!

i went to oh dee doh and browsed through their baby room tours with the intention of narrowing it down to 3 i loved and asking what yall liked best. however when i found the first one, nothing else ever came close, i was so in love. this room is what we are gonna model layla's after:


can we discuss the greatness here? the charcoal walls repel any accusation of "too girly" but ask for and go with every color under the sun which keep the gray from being dreary. we are gonna spray paint judah's crib light gray just like here and keep the big square black bookshelf in that was already in that room for storage and cutsey-thing showoffedness. the dainty little white wallflowers are like $20 for 25 and at my local store and i am gonna try to ghetto rig the yarn ball mobile too. my mom's amazing sewist friend offered to make crib bumpers for layla a while back so i am gonna pick a cool fabric in a neutral color and pray the offer stands. warning: don't fall too in love with the rug like i did because its a heartbreaker at $300 from anthropologie and will never grace our floors. but the rest is doable and should be budget friendly, i think.

the entire tour can be found here.

5: DO IT! no check yet. must comparison shop and find a bit of time, we only decided all this last night at 7pm, after all. inspiration abounds though. i woke up this morning and remembered this project and i couldn't go back to sleep i was so excited and ready to start working. for a mother with a newborn, that is something.

it feels good to get over my pouty "this house isn't big enough for us so i'm not even gonna try anymore" attitude i was rolling with there. the fact is that for 4 humans, our little ranchie is a palace compared to what we would live in if we were in almost any other time period or country. we are going to make it work and make it lovely for as long as it's ours. game on, suckaz!


  1. Wow...we are going through the SAME THING even though we don't have a 4th yet. No way we can sell our house and make anything on it right now, so we'll have to figure out how to survive until we can. But I keep reminding myself that I grew up in a 3BR, 2Bath house until my Sr year in high school and we did just fine! It seemed plenty big to me :) Love y'all and LOVE the new nursery decor!

  2. Awesome use of space! My machine is in the dining room/family hang out area and it works great with avoiding the isolation syndrome. It's also very handy to have the big dining room table for spreading out (or exploding) projects. Like you, we almost never use it for actual eating purposes.
    ...Also, I fell in love with that same bedroom when I saw it on OhDeeDoh awhile ago. I actually had similar visions for Annabel's room, except I was going to use a light, watery blue as the wall color. Her room didn't turn out that way in the end, and so I am excited to vicariously live through you as you decorate! :D

  3. Exactly what I would have done! We've been pretty creative with our rooms/houses in the past, and I think it's fun to make them work just right for our family. And I love Layla's room plan!! Can't wait to see the final. Kristy

  4. KEIGHT! i love the charcoal! i think you just solved my whole, "gender-neutral doesn't have to be yellow-does it?" dilemma!!! YAY! its beautiful! and, if you think your house is small... our apt is approx. 400 sq feet. yeah. no lie. but we've survived & will be moving SOON! yippee!!! miss y'all!