One Room at a Time

For the past couple years I’ve been slowly painting and decorating my apartment, and as I finish it I’d like to share it with you, one room at a time.


As you can see from the floor plan, most of my apartment is one big “greatroom.” This is fantastic from a family child care perspective- less walls means more space for playing, and I can easily see what the kids are up to from almost anywhere! However, I didn’t really want to paint this huge space all one colour. That would have taken forever, and been totally BORING and just not me. I decided to divide it up into several distinct areas: the living room, the children’s living room, the library-slash-music room, and the dining room. First up is what I call the children’s living room.

Children's Living Room

There is only one wall in this “room,” which is painted in an eggshell Light Blue and a semi-gloss Pear Green (both by Benjamin Moore). I chose the semi-gloss for the “hills” because it’s more durable, and I chose those colours because they are one shade lighter than the Honolulu Blue dining room and two shades darker than the Celadon Green living room, both of which I’d already painted. I was going to make a mask to make painting the hills easier but I couldn’t figure out how to tape it to the wall efficiently so I ended up drawing the outline and just trying my best to colour in the lines!

Living Room/Children's Living Room GreensChildren's Living Room/Foyer/Dining Room Blues

I created the details for the mural by painting them on individual canvases and mounting them to the wall. This saved me the trouble of having the sit there on the floor for hours working on it, plus if I ever move I’ll be able to take them down and won’t have to sand the crap out of the wall! To make sure they are secure on the wall and can’t be pulled or knocked down by the kids, I screwed wooden blocks into the wall, snapped the canvases over them, and screwed the canvases to the blocks from the sides. I used five canvases altogether- two for the tree and one each for the others. I think I got all of them at various dollar stores.

Tree Painting

The tree was the biggest nightmare, partially because it took forever to paint and partially because when I went to put it up, I thought it would be easier if I screwed the two canvases together first and ended up jamming a screwdriver right through the painting. I had to come up with my own repair technique involving tissues, white glue and panic.

Mushroom Table & Beanbag Chairs

The child-size beanbag armchairs I bought at a store here called Urban Barn. The mushroom table I made from a piece of mdf and one of four nesting cubes I got at this weird florist-slash-tacky housewares store down near Davie and Granville. The cube was originally green-I painted it white and also painted the red and white table top and then liberally coated it with polyurethane.

Bird with Banner

The bird canvas was the last one I painted. I put Symphony’s name on it with mine because she helped paint the wall, and she also drew the original baby deer that inspired my whole design for this room.

Claire with Mushroom & Babby Deer Paintings

This third beanbag chair is actually Symphony’s, although Claire also enjoys it. It was a gift from Taylor’s Dad & his boyfriend for our wedding (I put it on our registry for her and it was so awesome I ended up buying the others). To the left is my mushroom painting and to the right is, of course, Symphony’s deer.

Last but not least is a project I just finished this morning: a tree bookcase!

Tree Bookcase w/Books

I used the last two nesting cubes (the fourth is packed away with my Christmas decorations- I use it to hide the tree base) and the pieces of wood I cut last week. After I sanded them I screwed them together, painted them with a raw sienna acrylic, drew wood-y lines with a black Sharpie and then did a second coat of the paint. The nesting cubes were actually already the perfect shade of green so I didn’t have to do anything extra to them.

Bookshelf Trunk & Branches

This morning I drilled holes in the cubes to screw the pieces of the “trunk” and “branches” to them. You can see I have a couple little brackets attaching the top cube to the wall and the back of the bottom cube sits on the baseboard. Now I have somewhere to store the kid’s books that is cute and easily accessible!

17 Replies to “One Room at a Time”

  1. Happened on to your blog and just love it. You write well, everything about your life is interesting – and I love my kindle too. I bookmark few, but there you are.
    ~Your new reader in Eugene, OR.

  2. Hi, you showed in the news of my dashboard. I like to browse random blogs from time to time. Count me in as a follower. Loved this project you worked on

    Greetings from Montreal.

  3. Great detail, both in your decor and in your description. Can you also describe what’s going on with the window? It looks like book pages or something. Are you spelling something?

    Keep up the great work!


    1. What you can see in the window is actually my next door neighbor’s fence- my apartment is a basement suite and has really lovely views πŸ˜‰

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