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.

Floor Plan

The foyer was actually the first room I painted, and since it’s literally the first part of my home that anyone (especially potential clients!) sees, I want it to look really nice and fun, while still being practical. With my child care business I have half a dozen people going in an out of this room every morning and every afternoon, dropping off and picking up their kids, as well as the regular use by my family and pets.

View From the Door

The wall colour is Honolulu Blue by Benjamin Moore. I chose to use a semi-gloss paint over my usual eggshell preference, both for durability and ease of cleaning. This room gets REALLY muddy and I need to be able to scrub everywhere!

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


On the inside of the door I have two Three by Three Seattle magnet strips that I use to put up signs (like Symphony’s fire safety certificate) and notices (like the list of days that I’m closed this year that everyone seems to conveniently forget about). The “OPEN AT 7:45” sign dates back from when I had a couple of clients who had the intensely annoying habit of showing up 10-15 minutes early every day and banging on the door and yelling until I let them in.

South Window

To the left of the door on the south wall is a giant window. I keep my attendance binder on the windowsill and above that I have a clear plastic shelf (it’s by Umbra but I can’t seem to find it on the site) that holds things like stamps, Post-its, extra pens and some of my collection of Dunnies. It sticks right to the window and is shallow enough that I can still close the blinds.

Clear Shelf w/Dunnies

The east wall also has a window, except it looks into the living room. This drove me crazy because unless I kept all the foyer blinds closed (which makes the house too dark), anyone who came in the backyard could see right in! To solve this annoying problem without blocking all the light, I wired together three canvases and hung them in the opening, and on the living room side I put up a bamboo roller blind to hide the ugly backs of the canvases. Light still gets in but we have some privacy!

Reminder Board

On the largest canvas I bolted a bird-shaped magnet board from Three by Three Seattle (it was originally white but I painted it with Montana Gold Shock Red spray paint). I use this as a reminder board for the days I’m closed, although everyone conveniently forgets about this as well.

Coats & Crates

Beside that there is a weird little alcove where we mounted a clothes rail for our coats. Below the coats are crates for our two dogs and bins for winter accessories (hats scarves gloves, etc). On the edge of the wall are blue & white bird patterned hooks for keys and apparently the food necklaces I made last year.

Cloud Wall (Edit)

Next is the bird & cloud wall. I actually bought these little wall decals from Elephannie on Etsy a couple years ago but I never got around to putting them up until last night. In the frames are lists of emergency numbers and a floor plan like the one pictured above, but with all the rooms and escape routes labeled.

Below the clouds & birds is my “Tanie” bench. It was given to me by my friend James, his grandfather made it for him and it used to say “Jamie.” I filed away at the letters until it looked more like my name and repainted it- before it was orange and white. Unfortunately I didn’t do a very good job and it’s chipped and scratched badly. The seat opens up and inside is where we store all our athletic equipment, ie running shoes, my gym bag and some badminton racquets.

"Tanie" Bench (Edit)

Beside the bench is a retractable babygate, which I use to keep the kids out of the dog food. It doesn’t keep dogs in though, as this video will demonstrate.

Opposite the bench is the cubby wall. This was originally just another useless shallow alcove, but the previous tenant installed these shelves, which just happen to be exactly the right width for 4 baskets from the dollar store. Each daycare child (and everyone who lives here!) get a cubby.


Even the dogs have a cubby under the reminder board!

Doggie Storage

Below the cubby shelves are hooks for coats, but since it’s the weekend these are empty.

Less Utilitarian Utility Mat

The foyer floor is linoleum, so to keep it from turning into a sick wet muddy mess I have these boring utility mats everywhere. To make them a little less utilitarian I cut them in curves to echo the clouds painted on the wall and canvases. By the way, the floor isn’t dirty there, when the previous tenant put up the shelves she dripped some adhesive on the floor and I can’t seem to get rid of it no matter what I try.

West Wall

Between the door and the cubbies is a small wall with a window (the paper taped in it is a reminder that I’m closed Friday and Monday this weekend). Below the window is another set of hooks for Symphony’s coats and bags, with another utility mat for our shoes and boots. Above the light switch I have my first aid certificate and child care license in frames that match my emergency lists.

And if you look up…

Sun Light & Happy Birthday Sign

I changed the light fixture from an ugly “titty” light to an Ikea Smila Sol sun light. It’s super cute, but it’s always filling with dead bugs, and to change the bulbs you have to pull the sun’s centre out and all the dead bugs fall on you. As for the “Happy Birthday” sign, well, I put it up in November for Symphony’s birthday, but every time I think about taking it down I realize it’s almost someone else’s birthday (mine, one of the daycare kids, etc). I think it’s just part of the decor now.

Also partially pictured throughout is my stroller, which I love. It’s a B.O.B. Duallie Iron Man sport utility stroller that I bought last year with a grant. It’s bright yellow with a bright yellow rain cover, and really allays my paranoid fears of some inattentive driver plowing into us when we’re crossing the street, since you would have to be literally blind to miss it!

7 Replies to “One Room at a Time”

  1. So adorable! I love your house and you have so many great ideas for organizing! I AM STEALING THEM.

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