Friday, March 23, 2012

Charlie's {Little Boy} Room


Several months ago we set about turning Charlie’s nursery into his ”little boy” room.  I know everyone seems to transition from crib to “big boy” room, but at age 3 you are still a little boy and I wanted his room to reflect this stage in his life.  Before long, baseball caps will replace the dress up clothes on the peg hooks and adventure books will out number Richard Scary on the shelves.  But not yet, not yet.

This room is very, very small and almost impossible to photograph, so bear with me..

The bed was Andrew's.  We repainted it in Ben. Moore's, Chelsea Gray.  My friend, Keri, {blog here} started a furniture painting business last summer {she does beautiful work, if you are local}.  She exclusively uses Annie Sloan Chalk paint, but was kind enough to switch it up for me.  


The check curtains and pillow were in his nursery and looked good against the new gray bed so I kept them.  As did the little brown dot pillow on the orange chair.  Its ruffled edge isn’t exactly boyish (little boy, big boy, or otherwise!).  The walls and ceiling are Shelbourne Buff {Ben Moore}.  The color does not photograph well, which is a shame, because I really like it.  The room has sloped ceilings and a row of four casement windows {Hence my difficulty getting good pictures. So tricky with natural light on only one side!!}








The sham + quilt are from Lands End {love} and the duvet cover + star pillowcase are IKEA.  I have about 5 different sheet sets {mostly Andrew’s old ones} so the bed is made up a bit differently every week.  I loved the surprise of clean sheets on my bed when I was little, would they be Strawberry Shortcake or Holly Hobby or the ruffled pink and green flowers?  Now it’s pirates, and snowmen, and cars, and stars....  For me, nothing beats fresh, crisp, white sheets, so that’s how I choose to photograph it, but to be clear, Charlie’s far more interested in the pirates! 





The other furniture pieces in the room are antiques.  The dresser under the windows once served as our changing table {bought at local antique mall}.  The large cupboard is an 1800’s pie safe {found through craigslist} and new to the room.  The cupboard was stripped when I bought it and missing all but one knob.  I liked the way the wood looked and decided to keep it that way {for now} then I sewed simple ticking panels {fabric from pottery barn} for the panels. It offers so much storage space for clothes. The sides are lined with artwork that Andrew made for Charlie when in kindergarten. Each afternoon he’d  come out of school waving something new to hang in Charlie’s room.  I don’t have the heart to take them down plus they hide the holes in the pie safe sides nicely.    :)






In the room are tractors from when Jimmy was a little boy.  I remember the day his Mom cleaned them all up and gave them to me.  Andrew was just a baby.  I was sitting outside on their side door step and she told me sweet stories of Jimmy playing with them when he was young and how she never left them outside, not a single night, so they would stay nice.  We miss her very much and it’s nice to have a little reminder of her in Charlie’s room.  




There are Noddy and Beatrix Potter books from England that my Nana read to me when I was a toddler.  A couple of my old Steiff animals {a bear, named Herbie, that burps when you tip him, bought on the Rue de Marche aux Herbes in Brussels.  Which I think translates to street of herbs.  Get it? "Herbie?" Well, I thought it was clever at the time! :) And a monkey, named Charlie, that was a gift from my Dad after he’d been away on business when I was very young} watch over Charlie while he sleeps. 


I used to remove the Steiff ear tags when I was little because I was convinced they hurt the animals.  Charlie, the monkey, looks like he has a pierced ear.  My Nana and I made up a song about Charlie {the monkey} that we sang when she tucked me in.  I sing it to my Charlie now. There are mementos from Charlie’s {my Charlie, not the monkey.  Gesh, this is getting a bit long winded and confusing!!} birthday parties, his birth announcement and other little keepsakes and treasures tucked away here are there.  The “Sammy the Seagull” print over the bed is from Wayne Pate {we talk to him each night too, the seagull, not the artist. Now I’m just cracking myself up!}, The small boy on the bike is from Lisa Golightly, and the penguins are an original from Charlie Foley. The small nickel reading sconce is from High Street Market.






I know the area along the side of his bed could use some attention, but given the frequent,  unannounced appearances of Charlie’s alter ego...


and the flying that takes place in this small space, I’m hesitate to hang anything over the bed just yet. 



His room is sweet, just like him, and one of the coziest places in our house.  I still have grand plans for his closet {wallpaper and create a work area} that will happen eventually

When we settle in with warm milk and our stack of books at day’s end, it takes tremendous effort on my part to get up and let him fall asleep on his own.  I want to stay snuggled in and forget the kitchen dishes and mess that awaits downstairs. I could so easily start a bad habit, but most nights I resist, settling for just a kiss before he nods off into dreamland on his own.  Every once in a while though, I stay.  Like last night. I lay next to his warm, tired little body, inhale the smell of Johnson’s baby shampoo in his hair and Burt's Bees lotion on his skin... Watch his chest rise and fall, listen to his breathing as it deepens and slows, mixed with the sounds of soft lullabies coming from his radio and see his lids get heavier and heavier.  Watching your child fall asleep so peacefully must be one of the sweetest things a Mama can see. Then I slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y, lift his heavy head buried deep in the space between my shoulder and chest and lay it on his pillow ever. so. gently. then tip toe out of his room.  Bottle it up.  G’night. 
xo

40 comments :

  1. Tessa, I love it! It's so cozy and fun at the same time!! Great job!

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  2. Nicely done...warm and cozy,not baby-ish but perfect for a little boy! We are transitioning Christian's room now too. I love all the details/memories/stories too - those are the best parts of antiques, family "pieces", old, classic toys and well loved furry friends - I do not understand the desire for all new...anyhoo - perfect description of what its like to watch your baby sleep...I too, wish I could bottle it up!

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  3. Oh, and also I wanted to know about the book case/shelf...LOVE it...did you build it or was it already in the house?

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  4. love love love:
    the checks, the sweet little gray bed, a small room with sloped ceilings and 4 casement windows (oh my how cozy!),toy tractors (my oldest loved them too thanks to my father AND my father in law both being farmers,) the Beatrix Potter and Richard Scary books,your mention of Holly Hobbie (I still have my Holly and Amy dolls!), your use of acquired pieces of furniture, and finally, your precious description of your sweet child falling asleep.
    beautiful post.

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  5. Tears here as those days are long past for me. Such a sweet, sweet time, and I am so grateful you did this post to remind me of some details I'd forgotten. My boys, now 20 and 16, were born into a pre-digital world, so I have only a few color prints of their nursery and "big boy" room. Perhaps I will get some shots of their current room, although they would mostly capture the stinky athletic shoes, lacrosse jerseys, stray bits of homework, Frisbees and random things like that. Still, I am sure I will miss that "mess" just as much as I miss the the wooden trains and stuffed toys. It really doesn't seem that long ago that every bedtime began with "In the great green room . . ." and ended with the chorus of Edelweiss. Gosh, I didn't mean to sound so blue. I better just go tell them good night!

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  6. I too would like to know about your book rack. We need something like that desperately.

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  7. How funny...I first see a repost of this on Pinterest and immediately thought, "oh that looks like Tessa"...then I saw that it actually was originally posted by you...then I saw this and realized it was Charlie's room. Where do I begin? (I feel like I say that a lot responding to your posts). I love, in no particular order....

    - the colors used. warm and inviting and not seen a million times (like Stella's pink and white room).
    - the cabinet with the fabric on the inside of the doors.
    - sammy the seagull. want him so badly for myself.
    - the party hat, mask, and paper ring chain hanging from his peg board.
    - the gray bed.
    - the built-in book shelf.

    Well, I write this as I lay next to Stella in her bed. She said (and I'm not making this up), "I want that room, mama". You are so good in your ability to get up and tip-toe out. I fall asleep in Stella's room all the time. Oh, and I just bought her first Richard Scary book for her Easter basket, mostly b/c I thought it was odd she didn't already have a Richard Scary book.

    Nite nite. xo

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  8. Oh, that so made me cry....I'm not even kidding! Sniff sniff.............

    I love seeing my little guy (12 months) fall asleep. i keep trying to convince my husband that we should just put him to sleep in bed with us, because I know these moments of his young life as SO fleeting...I want to bottle it and never let go!

    You did such a lovely job on Charlie's room...I want to sleep in it! LOL! Love all the details.

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  9. I have a stack of Beatrix Potter books like that, too, that I also read as a child. They are my favorite!

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  10. Tessa,
    What a warm and inviting room for your little guy! I love everything you had to say about it - love all the details - and most certainly MISS that age with my girls!! What a sweetie he is!
    xo
    Ashlyn

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  11. Oh my goodness! I am dying right now! I LOVE that! I always look forward to your posts on your home, I think we have very similar taste! :) Melaine

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  12. Such a sweet post, I love your words about watching your boy fall asleep--such a good reminder to me to savor these days with my little ones. His room looks great too!

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  13. Sweet story, cute bedroom and adorable photo of Charlie in his superhero outfit! What a lovely post.
    Claudia

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  14. Love everything about his little boy room and how it has evolved over time with so many wonderful memories and stories. His room is full of so much love and that is what matters the most! Harper is in a superhero stage right now, and I swear he hasn't worn a normal outfit in so long. It's always dress up in our home too! Have a lovely weekend Tessa! xoxo

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  15. You did a wonderful job with Charlie's room! Love everything about it, the muted colors, the eclectic mix of furniture and most of all, the collection of odds and ends that bring special family memories to mind. That's what it's all about! This is my first time posting, just had to share how much I enjoy your blog. We have very similar taste and you never fail to inspire me! Thanks for sharing your little one's adorable new room with us!

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  16. thank you, thank you, to all of you ~ for letting me share charlie's room and indulging me a few personal antidotes too. for questions regarding the bookcase...it is built-in and we added it when we decorated his nursery. i sketched it out based on a magazine picture i'd saved of a floor to ceiling plate rack and had our carpenter built it. it works great for a tiny room that did not allow space for a traditional bookcase.
    xo,
    tessa

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  17. I adore Charlies room - every last detail. The built in bookcase is terrific. Love the brightly painted chair. Beautiful color on the bed. It is all the best Tessa.

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  18. Hi Tessa. I never leave comments (usually have at least one kiddo hanging on me!) but I had to tell you how lovely this, "little boy room" is. I feel like I'm trying to stretch out childhood with my kids and let them be small for as long as possible. I love that you aren't rushing into a big boy room. I really enjoy your blog and I think I re-pin just about everything you do! Thanks!
    Kari

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  19. It is such a perfect mix! I love how you combined antique (traditional) with modern (ikea). Would love for you to stop by a "spruce" up my abode:) So fun to see your home.

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  20. That is the sweetest room! Oh, how I enjoy your blog! I like the idea of doing a "little boy" room at that age. We did the same thing and now my older son is 8 so he is ready for the "big boy" room! With the pieces you have, your son's room should transition nicely once he gets a little older. I love the colors you chose and those checks! What a beautiful job you did. He looks like he is just loving it!
    -Shelley

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  21. It's the perfect room for superman! Love the gray bed, and the wonderful bookcase ~

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  22. as usual your design is simply perfection. charlie's room is warm and inviting - there is so much attention to detail. and love the mix of new and old...the tractors and your old books. maybe his children will treasure them someday too. much love.

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  23. Love this post! Little/big boy rooms are my favorite (vs nurseries!who knows). You made me tear up at the end :)

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  24. I absolutely LOVE his room! And I agree! We must keep our Charlie's little for as long as we can!!!

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  25. Tess it came together beautifully! I would expect nothing less! You do it all with such ease and grace. Thanks for letting East Street Design be a part of it!
    xo Keri

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  26. I love this room! I want to hang out in this room. It looks so cozy and special for a special little boy. Love the colors!

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  27. Omigosh how cute is that little guy in his costume! I love the room - great job.
    xoxo,
    Kim

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  28. Beautiful!!! I am planning a nursery right now, and what an ispiration this is! Ever consider sharing pics of the before ;) Love Love Love your home and your style! Beautiful! Leslie

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  29. Just a precious room! Feels current but traditional enough to never go out of style....I love that! Where did you find the orange throw? One of my boys likes orange and I was hoping to just add a touch to his room. Love your style!

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    1. thank you! the orange throw is from IKEA. only $8, if I remember correctly and machine washable. :)

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  30. If I had a little boy, I'd copy you left and right! So well done, Tessa!
    xo,
    Linsey

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  31. what a sweet, cozy, perfect room for your son! you always make sure not to rush your boys' into growing up too fast, a la "childhood is a journey, not a race." I especially love that you take into consideration what his life is like at the moment and decorate accordingly (leaving wall beside bed plain for superhero play). As a mom to two girls, can I please ask a favor? Please dress him in blue and white seersucker shorts and red Keds tennis shoes (the kind with the rubber toe) before he gets any older? Love that on little boys!

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    1. haha! i have the seersucker shorts, but need the red keds! :)

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  32. Wow! Love every single detail!!! Charlie is a very lucky boy! Great job, Tessa...this room is AWESOME!

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  33. oh! I LOVE it. :)))) The colors are amazing!

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  34. This is exactly why I love reading your blog! Not only have you created a beautiful home for your sweet family, but you invite us in to be a part of it. And not only do you post breathtaking pictures of your decor, but you include the oh-so-touching stories behind all of the lovely details. Love the stories about the Charlie song, the tractors that were lovingly passed down from one mama of boys to another mama, and the precious goodnight ritual with your youngest. Oh, how I agree! It is the sweetest and most magical, overwhelmingly beautiful moment to experience.

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  35. aw, thanks, sara! your comment made my day!

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  36. Tessa, I'm a little late reading this, but absolutely love this post! Love boys. This brings back so many sweet memories. Charlie's little room is precious and he is the cutest guy.

    Sounds weird, but I really loved sneaking into my boy's rooms and leaving out special stuffed animals, or books they hadn't looked at in a while to discover later. Loved Charlie's book rack. I spy many favorites we had on it! Now that my boys are 10 & 13, I don't get nearly as much time or say in their rooms!

    Your house must be such a cozy place for two boys. How lucky they are to have a Mama like you.

    Kim:)

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  37. What a beautiful little room for a gorgeous boy! I love the grey of the bed mixed with the yellow check and ticking stripe. Just so cute. I am particularly interested in this post because I've just finished my girls' room and there are some similar elements.

    Loved your sweet description of watching your Charlie fall asleep...
    Camille

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