At the start of my maternity leave I made a list about a mile-long of projects I wanted to do during my time-off. And then something happened. I actually had the baby and got around to only a few with our three monsters in tow. So, with only a couple of weeks left on leave I am anxiously trying to check off more, including a few updates in the den.
First up, a new desk. We had a desk unit in the den, but I wanted something more streamlined, clean and somewhat rustic. So, Dan built one for me. He used more of the wood that he used to build our bookshelves with- wood from some trees at his parents' house that he planed, sanded and stained. I love how it turned out and the fact that it was basically free is a bonus. I need to figure out a way to hide some of the computer chords and tower on the floor to the left, but other than that I love it.
The second update happened because I found a set of school lockers on Craiglist that were: A) a good price and B) relatively close by. I have stalked the Craigslist listings here and there for awhile looking for lockers but they always either too expensive or the drive to get them wouldn't have been worth it.
They were in great shape but the yellow color they were painted was too bright for what I was going for and overall just needed a fresh coat of paint, so Dan helped me lay the lockers inside our little red barn and I went to work. I did a quick rough sanding job to smooth out any bumps, then using an air compressor I cleaned them off (the air helped with getting little pieces of dirt out of the nooks and crannies) and then taped off the metal details. Lastly, using a stencil I taped the first initial of each of our babies, in birth order, on the lockers so that when I painted the lockers I could then remove the tape and their initials would remain in the original yellow for a nice contrast to the metallic deep grey I was using.
(PS: notice the "E" for baby #4... this makes me smile! Some day baby girl can look back and realize how much she was wanted, loved and prayed for long before she even graced this Earth. The "E" in my mind stands for "Emma" but could always be "Baby Engel" since I don't have Dan sold on that name :)) And to be clear- I am NOT pregnant if anyone is reading this... baby #4 won't come home for a few more years.)
After giving the lockers two coats of paint over two days, we removed the tape and brought them inside where Dan secured them to the wall so that they will never fall over on our little monsters. And it's a good thing he did since Jackson and Audrey think lockers are meant to be play inside- they played in them for a solid two hours after we brought them in the house.
The last update which I don't have full pictures of are new area rugs. You can see portions of them by both the lockers and the desk. I found these on Joss & Main and love them- they are soft and beautiful and having two of them works nicely with the two "areas" of the den that I'm working towards (learning/activity space for the kids & the desk/reading space for the adults).
The next update to come (hopefully soon) is a new art desk for the kids. We currently have an old dining room table that we call the "art table" and it is where Jackson and Audrey do crafts, activities, practice schoolwork, etc, but Dan is going to build one that is more their size and in-line style-wise with the rest of the room. I have to pace myself with requesting projects of him so that he actually enjoys doing them. Little does he know (or maybe he does!) that I always have at least 20 more things on my list for him to build...
The new art table inspiration: HERE, HERE and HERE.