Beach House Master Bedroom – One Room Challenge Kick Off

It’s time for a change.

The world is currently a little upside-down. There’s a global pandemic, we are all quarantined, plus I am navigating a new chapter of my life right now.

More on that eventually.

I think we are all looking at our homes through a new lens at the moment. Hopefully you are seeing yours as a safe-haven instead of a prison. I think quarantine has made me fall in love with my home all over again. I am so thankful that my family is lucky enough to be able to stay home and social distance while not worrying about job security. I am very, very grateful.

I had been planning on making over my master bedroom for a couple of years now. It’s just so blue, which makes me feel kind of heavy and low. When I initially planned out this colour palette I didn’t really think it would have that impact on me. I thought it would feel cozy and calming.

I had started to tear apart my room before deciding to participate in the One Room Challenge, so I didn’t get a chance to take before photos. Luckily I have screenshots from videos I have filmed in my room. I told you it was VERY blue.

master bedroom before
master bedroom before

So, I decided to take the One Room Challenge and document this transformation. I’ve never done the One Room Challenge before, hopefully I am doing this right. But I’ve watched so many of my talented blogger friends participate in the past and knew this was something I wanted to do one day. Luckily the timing of this makeover is lining up perfectly with the Spring 2020 ORC.

So, here we go!

Head over to the One Room Challenge to check out all of the designs and projects everyone is working on.

I want my new bedroom to feel fresh, airy and like I am on vacation. I’ve always felt drawn to beachy vibes, whether it’s fashion, or design. There’s something very nostalgic and comforting about the beach. It is probably because some of my favourite memories are vacationing with my family on Sanibel Island, Florida. It’s my happy place.

I think this will also give me the feeling like I’ve been transported to a different world when I am in my room. At a time when travel is banned, creating a paradise in my own home is a must.

I’ve begun to pull together photography, bedding, a plant, lighting and paint colours. More on details on each of these next week. But for now, take a sneak peek at what’s to come.

Beach House Master Bedroom Moodboard
Beach House Master Bedroom Moodboard

I look forward to keeping you up to date each week with this beautiful transformation.

Designing for Small Spaces

Maybe it’s a brand new home which these days they keep building smaller and smaller, or it’s a century house that for some reason comes with closets that can’t even fit a clothes hanger. Designing for a small space is something that continues to stress people out. Let me lend some insight by delving into this sweet and petite Toronto home. 

With the cost of real estate in the city, every inch counts and this house was ripped to the studs to get the most out of the space.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

If the project allows it you will want to maximize the main areas, and a proper space plan goes a long way. This old house was once broken up into many rooms and doorways. By breaking down the walls and making this an open concept living space it immediately felt so much bigger. This double sided partition doesn’t only divide the space and create areas but also acts as the media wall/fireplace for both the dining and living rooms. This is a great example of how you don’t need full walls to create zones.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

Pick items for the scale of the home. With only a small space for a main floor powder room this area had to be done right. The bathroom size is the right fit with a small scale sink just big enough for washing up and a smart barn door that doesn’t encroach into the hallway.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

When you don’t have a ton of area to work with make points of visual interest wherever you can. This could have easily become a forgotten wall above the stairway. Instead it becomes an area of interest with a great wall detail and a beautiful light fixture that plays with texture and shadow.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

Planning ahead can make all the difference. For the 100 years before this renovation this master bedroom had flat 8’ ceilings. By investigating what was above the drywall this room gained vaulted ceiling and feels like it has doubled in size. Not only has it gained space but also so much character. This may seem like a big undertaking (which it can be) but keep in mind the ROI as it will also boost the property value. 

This room is also packed with smart details like storage under the bay window and sconce lights above the bedside tables to maximize a smaller furniture footprint. 

Whatever the challenge may be remember that small scale homes often give opportunity to create character and interesting details. Make sure to think it through before a renovation so there are no missed opportunities. 

Lara Young is the Principal of Lara Young Design, and also a new mom. Like many of us Lara is trying to find that quintessential work/life balance. Being her own boss is bringing Lara one-step closer to her dream. You can read Lara’s full bio, or contact her to help with your next design project here.

Little girl’s nursery – Location inspiration!

Since September is the most common month to have a baby, that means many near due baby bumps are living loud and proud right about now. It also means that many mammas have the “decorate nursery” bullet on their to do list nagging them constantly. Knowing where to begin can be the hardest part, and for you here’s some inspiration for little girls rooms (one if my own) where geography inspired the design direction. 

Now let’s be honest, when you’re planning your baby’s nursery you don’t know what that kid’s personality, aspirations and interest will be so the room will instead reflect that of your own. Once you have an idea in mind think about what natural elements, imagery and animals you can include – then don’t overdo it. You can still have a big theme but let it live tastefully in the room. 

Pink mountains location inspiration baby girl nursery decor

This first space belongs to parents with a boatload of Canadian Pride, they are avid skiers and love the mountains. They loved the Canadiana concept, though they felt it to be a bit masculine and wanted a sweet girly quality to be reflected. 

The mountain theme is bold in with the wall motif but I like that it’s not overdone. Otherwise the décor is fairly simple with some sweet framed prints on the walls, stuffed bears and deer throughout and (my personal favorite) the subtle white rug that represents the snow. It’s just the right amount of mountain reference and visual balance having the bold accents paired with simple white walls and furniture.

decor accents
pops of pink baby girl nursery decor

The second room (and sorry in advance, I may be biased cause it’s my daughters nursery) is inspired from the opposite side of the world with a safari theme. My husband and I are (or we’re, pre baby) big travelers and it was important to us that we encourage life outside these walls for our little one. This was planned as a gender neutral room so the pop of color comes in the yellow. 

neutral nursery for baby girl

Again, you’ll notice that I did not want to overstate the theme. Aside from some stuffed animals and one image on the wall natural materials and texture are the driving force here. Continuity is achieved here with white, wicker or a walnut stained furniture. The back wall is cut MDF in a herringbone pattern painted white (which FYI was low cost but labor intensive). 

neutral nursery accents baby girl

Much like everything in life it’s all about balance! You want white, but not too white. Themed but not too themed. My take is don’t be afraid to make the statement you want, but be sure to counterweight that with natural materials and neutral tones. 

Happy nesting mamas.

Lara Young is the Principal of Lara Young Design, and also a new mom. Like many of us Lara is trying to find that quintessential work/life balance. Being her own boss is bringing Lara one-step closer to her dream. You can read Lara’s full bio, or contact her to help with your next design project here.

Why I Created A Vision Board For Our Home – Digging Us Out Of Survival Mode: A Series

Home vision boardThe moment we walked through our house I knew I was home. It was ugly. No, really, it was so ugly that it had just been sitting on the market for months. Even when everything else was selling and despite it’s oversized yard. It just sat.

But I didn’t see the ugly dark brown and navy paint everywhere. I didn’t see the brown laminate counters or the hack job of a zipper-looking backsplash. I saw something entirely different. Something beautiful.

Thank goodness for the large yard, because Mike is so practical, that was what sold him. Otherwise, to Mike this house was a dark (literally) stepping stone to our next home.

I pictured the deck we would build, the lighter paint colours I would choose to highlight the trim and mouldings with, and the personality we would add to the house. But as an Interior Designer (at the time), it was much easier for me to picture this makeover.

Fast-forward almost four years later, and we have accomplished many items on my home-makeover list. In fact, you almost can’t recognize it. It’s bright, it’s happy and it’s home.

After a couple years of living in survival mode and only focusing on our kids’ rooms, but pressing pause on the rest of our home, it was time to put our energy back into the rest of our living space.

I would try my best to describe my vision to Mike, and although most of the time he got it, I could tell he didn’t see the whole picture.

I had a stack of design magazines that I have collected over the years and I would go back to them again and again. Back to my book marked pages to keep my eye on the prize.

Do people even buy magazines anymore? There is something about flipping through a real paper magazine that is heaven to me.

A couple weeks ago I began purging our house and was getting the ball rolling on a few more projects when it hit me… our house needed a vision board, not a design board, a vision board.Home vision board

Okay, maybe what I made can be considered a design board, but it’s more than that. It is our future. It is the vision I have for our family, where we spend 99% of our time.

I grabbed our under-used bulletin board I keep in our kitchen and my stacks of design magazines and began cutting. By the time I was done I placed what I see as a thing of beauty, back in a prominent space in our kitchen, and just stared at it.Home vision board

When Mike walked into the room and saw what I had done, he agreed with my vision of our home. We were on the same page.

Guess what? Ever since I created a home vision board, Mike (and I, but that goes without saying), has been super motivated. Plans are being made and materials are being sourced. We are both seeing our long-term future in this home.Home vision board

A spark has been lit. We each are working a little harder at our careers, (because we have to pay for all of these ideas somehow), and we are getting the not-so-fun jobs, like cleaning and purging done faster.

Our home’s vision board is our carrot. In fact we spend a lot of time just discussing it, and each time being filled with excitement and motivation.

Home vision board

It can be so hard to resurface from the baby-stage, and a lot of the time, you can loose a bit of your identity. I have learned over the years to not look that this phase as a negative period, but as an exciting time to push reset.

I have reinvented myself three times now, after each of my pregnancies, and it has been so exciting evolving over the years to where I am and who I am now.

We are finished having babies. We have closed up shop. I have entered a phase in my life that won’t be halted by pregnancy. I get to keep on moving.

I cannot wait to share this journey with you.

This post is part of a series: Digging Us Out Of Survival Mode. If you missed the first post, you can read it here: This Is What Happens When You Are Surprised With Twins.

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How To Add A Splash Of Spring To Your Decor

IMG_4778As soon as the snow melts each spring I can’t wait to refresh my decor and add some cheerful and fresh spring items. Here are a few examples of how you can add a little spring to the inside of your home.

1. Floral branches. I rarely add faux florals to our home. When I do I always make sure I don’t cheap out and find one that has realistic branches and don’t go overboard on the flowers.  They add a natural element without the upkeep and expense of real flowers.

2. A spring-themed vase. A vase with flower, butterfly or bird accents add a little springtime whimsy to an otherwise simple vase.bird decor 13. Add anything bird themed. For a few years now bird accents have been very trendy and bring a little life to your decor. Check out your local home decor store’s garden section. You will often find a variety of spring-themed decor there.

bird decor

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