Tag Archives: playroom

Introducing my friend, Cadsoft

My brother and sister-in-law have recently done some gorgeous updates throughout their townhouse. I was particularly impressed when my DIY-shy sister took on the task of wallpapering an accent wall in their dining room. I would never dare such a feat, even with the help of friends, and I admire her guts. The result was gorgeous and has amped up the overall wow factor of their living/dining room.

Their kitchen/playroom has sadly been left behind in the dust of their other renovations. Let’s be real now, not many of us can shell out the cash to touch every room in our house at one time. However, since they have done such a wonderful job with the rest of their home I decided to have some fun using my new cadsoft skills to show them 3D presentation of a re-vamped kitchen/playroom area.

To start with, my sister has graciously provided me with some current pictures:

Current Kitchen

di's playroom

Current Playroom

The accent colors in their living/dining area are currently teal and yellow/gold,  but my sister mentioned her affections are straying from teal to navy, so I’ve come up with two design plans.In both versions of the design I have incorporated their current shelves as well as the child sized table. As you’ll see below the look is fairly simple but you have to remember that this is a play area so it gets busy-looking pretty fast once you have all the toys in there. I’ve included a design board with sources and prices for each scheme.


World map, Urban Barn; Curtains, Pier 1 Imports; Table, basket, bookshelf, Ikea; Rug, RugsUSA; Chair, Crate and Barrel.

World map ($199), Urban Barn; Curtains ($39), Pier 1 Imports; Table ($369), basket, bookshelf, Ikea; Rug ($199), RugsUSA; Chair ($199 each), Crate and Barrel.


The navy version of this room incorporates some fun elements like a gallery wall of framed kid’s art. I’m ever conscious of the bottom line so I love the idea of hitting up Value Village for a collection of second-hand frames which can be unified with paint. Filling the frames can be expensive too, so why not make your kiddos feel extra special by putting their artwork on display? In this version I added a third bookcase for extra toy and book storage.

Blue paint, Benjamen Moore' Van Deusen Blue; Dining set, bookshelf, curtains, Ikea; Rug ($150), RugsUSA

Blue paint, Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue; Table ($269), chairs ($99 each), bookshelf ($59), curtains ($59), Ikea; Rug ($150), RugsUSA



Navy Playroom

I couldn’t resist giving their kitchen a virtual facelift by painting the cabinets, changing up the counter, and adding some back splash. I also switched up their rectangular dining table for a round one to allow better movement around the table in the eating nook.


Navy Kitchen

I have a clear favorite but what do you think? Either way it’s been fun practicing my cadsoft. These 3D presentations are part of what I hope to offer if I do on-line interior decorating in the future, so every bit of practice is good for me. Thanks to some friends I have a couple more rooms lined up to render, and I’m looking forward to sharing those in the future.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Decorating Projects, Uncategorized

Budget Style: Stenciling vs. Wallpaper

Not going to lie, I love wall paper and where there is the money I would always choose it over stencils. However, when it came to the wall in my children’s play area I knew that spending $600 + on wallpaper that may possibly get drawn on was out of the question. Instead I paid a visit to one of my favorite Etsy shops, Cutting Edge Stencils, and picked a fabulous tree stencil to go along with my aforementioned “wood land whimsy” theme. Here’s how it turned out:

You can catch a peak of our new flooring and baseboards here too.

You can catch a peak of our new flooring and baseboards here too.


As long as I don’t look too closely for the flaws I love the look. And as Steve encouraged me, “It’s a forest, imperfections are organic”. It was terribly time consuming but considering it was my first venture into the world of stenciling I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Everyone who sees it thinks it is wallpaper so why bother spending that extra $400 if you are willing to put in some grunt work!

This project got me excited about stencils as a decor tool which led to a prolonged internet search on stencils vs. wallpaper. I was amazed by the variety of motifs you can paint using stencils. Here are some great pictures of gorgeous wallpaper and their stencil counterparts.

"Fuji" Wallpaper

“Fuji” Wallpaper


"Fuji" wall stencil. This is the one I want for the wall behind my bed.

“Fuji” wall stencil. This is the one I want for the wall behind my bed.


Faux bois wallpaper

Faux bois wallpaper


Faux Bois Stencil

Faux Bois Stencil


Floral wallpaper

Floral wallpaper


Floral Stencil

Floral Stencil



Damask wallpaper



Damask Stencil


Cat wallpaper

Cat wallpaper


How cute is his cat stencil. I would love it in a laundry room which housed the cat's litter box.

How cute is this cat stencil. I would love it in a laundry room which housed the cat’s litter box.


Cloud Wallpaper

Cloud Wallpaper


Cloud Stencil. Precious for a nursery.

Cloud Stencil. Precious for a nursery.

If you are willing to put in the grunt work, the possibilities with stencils are limitless. I had to restrain myself from not going on with more pictures, there is such a variety available for any style of decor. As someone who is super picky about colour I also love that I can customize my stencil colours to be exactly what I want instead of searching for a wallpaper that will work.

Cutting Edge Stencils has a great tutorial on ‘you tube’ that I found super helpful. They also recommend with some patterns that you use an adhesive to help stick the stencil to the wall while painting, a technique which I think would have made my own stenciling experience less frustrating. Stencils on their website range from $40- $100.

Are you inspired to foray into the world of stencils? It will be worth the work.







Filed under At home, DIY Projects

Wood Land Whimsy: DIY Terrarium Mobile

I have been working on decorating my children’s play area recently and it has been interesting to watch the space evolve as I take on different projects. Between the blossoming tree wall decal, the green chaise, and a cutesy squirrel sculpture which perches close to a potted plant, the decor has been taking on a distinctly “wood land whimsical” vibe. It wasn’t my intention but I have decided to run with it.

Steve calls the squirrel tacky. I call it whimsical. Either way, Sofia helped pick it out so it stays.

Steve calls the squirrel tacky. I call it whimsical. Either way, Sofia helped pick it out so it stays.

My next addition to the theme is a mobile to hang above our “little couch” (as Sofia calls our chaise). This is a place for resting, reading, cuddling, and dreaming. Gazing upward at a mobile of terrarium birds seems a perfect fit for topping off this cozy spot.

This project was easy as pie though a bit pricey due to the cost of the terrariums ($10 each at West Elm) and air plants ($7 each at Garden Works). You might be able to get the terrariums for cheaper at a florist but I decided to go with the cutesy birds. Below is a supply list and some simple directions for making a similar mobile. Even those very little inclined to DIY should be able to pull this off.

Supply List:

-3 or more terrariums of chosen size and shape (not too big, the embroidery rings are not super strong).

-air plants

– ribbon

– crushed stones

– fishing Wire

– embroidery ring (comes with two parts but only need one. The second one my daughter uses as  “hula hoop”). I used one which was 38 inches round.

– acrylic Paint and paint brush

– drill or hot glue gun

– hook to screw into the ceiling

The how to:

(I’m a bit daft when it comes to following other people’s DIY directions so I tend to err on the side of writing too much information when writing my own. Apologies to those whose minds function on a higher level than my own 🙂

Step 1: Separate embroidery rings and paint the ring without the metal claspy thing on it (yes, very technical language).

Step 2: Use a measuring tape to measure the ring then use a pen to mark out evenly spaced locations on the ring for where you will drill (for example, mine was 38 inches so I marked three spots approximately 12 3/4 inches apart).

Step 3: Drill the holes using a 1/8 inch drill bit. Go slow and make sure to drill in the middle part of the hoop, not too close to the edge. If you don’t have a drill you can just tie the ribbon around the hoop. To avoid having the ribbon move around the hoop, use a bit of glue to stick it in place.


Step 4: Tie 3 different lengths of ribbon into the holes.

Step 5: Clip your 3 clips equal distances apart on the ring.

Step 6: Tie your fishing line to the clip (see picture below for an example of where to tie it to). I happen to have these clips around but if you don’t like the look you can tie the fishing line through the same hole you drilled for the ribbon.


Step 7: Tie the fishing line together making sure that each line is the same length in order to keep the mobile level. It’s best to have the hook already screwed into the ceiling so that you can immediately hang it before all the lines get tangled (or your cat starts eating them).

Step 8: Fill terrarium with desired amount of stone granules and place plant inside. (you can put in whatever you want really: shells, coloured sand, dried flowers…)

Step 8: Hang the terrariums using the ribbon. Hanging the mobile before you affix the terrariums helps to prevent the strings from getting tangled up and the terrariums from bashing into one another during the process of hanging

Step 9: Lay back and enjoy.


Need to change those wall colours even though they're fairly new...the problem with decorating in stages.

I know I just fancied up my wall decal for the white wall but how beautiful would some fanciful wallpaper be behind the birds…

If the directions aren’t clear enough for you feel free to send me an e-mail at [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Filed under At home, DIY Projects

Beckoning Spring: Super Simple 3D Wall Decor

As I have mentioned before, I am on a quest to add more colour to my home. I was recently inspired during my class on background coverings by the idea of 3D wall art.

not the best picture but you get the idea: it's a tree, it's 3D.

not the best picture but you get the idea: it’s a tree, it’s 3D.

I don’t want a tree plastered on my wall but it gave me an idea to add dimension and colour to the cherry blossom tree decal on the wall in my kid’s play area. Here is a before picture:

Before: kids playroom/craft area

Before: kids playroom/craft area

I have since used some extra cloud white paint to paint these two walls. I also shifted the kitchen to another wall and bought this clean lined chest of drawers from Ikea to add both toy storage and storage for my craft and sewing supplies.

I had started considering buying a fancy, more colourful wall decal for this area but to save money I decided to work with what I had. I bought a $8 stem of fake red flowers from the craft store and by plucking the flowers and attaching them to the existing decal I was able to add dimension and a pop of my accent colour.


Not that they are really comparable to real flowers but I still think I will be a bit less bummed when my flowers die.


After. My next colour pop will be painting the wood of the kid's table, just haven't decided on a colour yet.

After. My next colour pop will be painting the wood of the kid’s table, just haven’t decided on a colour yet.

Eating crayons. Because that's what he does.

Eating crayons. Because that’s what he does.


This project was as simple as sewing two flowers together with embroidery floss and using double sided mounting strips to attach them to the wall. If you don’t happen to have a needle or thread, a hot glue gun will do just as well.

I’m not such a fan of faux flowers that I would use them outside of an area meant for children, but as this is the play area…I’m loving it!

Note:another fun baby room project with faux flowers are baby mobiles. See below the one I made for my daughter’s first nursery.


1 Comment

Filed under At home, DIY Projects

Bamboo blossom wall

I mentioned previously that we have a lot of blank wall space in our home at the moment. One room particularly suffering from this blandness was the play area adjacent to the kitchen. I haven’t done any decorating in this room yet and my big plans will have to wait for the future. However, I wanted to make it a bit more friendly and inviting for the present.

I originally wanted the wall papered but let’s be honest: crafts, crayons, glue…don’t exactly jive with wallpaper. Instead I started looking into wall decals. There are several sites on etsy, like Cuma, that sell gorgeous, elaborate, and very expensive decals which I don’t want to spend money on at the moment. While I was shopping for lights at Lowes, my daughter pulled me over to look at the “big stickers”. While I wasn’t too keen on the large, bright pink hearts she gravitated towards, these neutral grey blossoms caught my eye. This room is in the main part of the house and I didn’t want anything too juvenile on the walls. These blossoms hit the mark.

kids playroom/craft area

kids playroom/craft area

This room still needs a lot of work but this lovely decal fills up some of the blank space and gives the room the inexpensive bit of pretty I was looking for.

Some tips on hanging wall decals:

– Do it when your kids are asleep or they will want to “help”

– Read the directions before starting to stick (it really would have helped with the cat hair situation to clean the wall first)

– Pop out the parts of the decals without taking off the backing and lay them out on the floor to figure out just how you would like the parts placed and then proceed to peel the backing off and stick them on the wall (I did a lot of tedious sticking and unsticking to get it just so)

Leave a Comment

Filed under At home