i'm doing the opposite of saving the best for last ... i'm actually saving the least interesting - the basement - for last. only because i haven't yet gotten into marc's office to take pix, and that's only because i honestly have no idea how to turn on the lights in there, and a flash just wouldn't do the room justice. but he's home more now, so hopefully i can get in there tonight or tomorrow.
but today: the second floor.
first, though - one question i received that i forgot to address about the main level: the floors are forli verona by bella cera, hand-scraped, engineered (which, yes, sounds like an oxymoron) hickory. the finish is dark but not ebony dark. and there's no reddish-orange undertone. the floors are lovely.
the main thing we changed in the layout of this house back in the planning stages was the landing upstairs. in the floor plan, the entry was supposed to be two-story, with an open staircase. marc and i feel that two-story open areas are, while lovely, a waste of what could be useable square footage. so we closed off the majority of the open space of the foyer to create a loft for the kids' computers. this is where they play minecraft, where marc researches guns and watches car videos on youtube while the kids are getting ready for bed.
the little desk hiding on the left will be set out for the neighborhood yard sale next weekend. and at some point i'm going to add an art shelf behind the computers and add photos of the kids and things they've created. that will come. we've added next to nothing to any of the walls at this point ... i'm still shuffling things around.
(by the way, every time you see a ceiling light in this house, there's a better than good chance that it's norwell's clayton light. it had a bit of an old school look to it so we used it quite a bit. and it was relatively inexpensive.)
across the hall from the loft is the laundry room.
same tile as the mudroom. the counter tops are a gray laminate with a subtle tone-on-tone grid pattern. laundry bins are from the container store. cheap light in here will probably be replaced someday, but for now ... it's a light.
while i wasn't initially in love with losing my huge laundry room with a ceiling full of lines on which to hang wet things, i do, actually, like my storage shelves. the shelf above each bin is labeled, and everyone (theoretically) puts their clothes in the right bin at the end of the day. i'm still trying to get certain people (ahemharper) to put things in the bins right side out and unballed, or to put things in the right bin (ahemmarc), or to actually put things in the bins at all (ahemhenry), but we're on the right track. and it saves me a lot of time in the long run. apparently not enough time to fold the loads that come out, as evidenced by the pile on the counter, but it's a start. i still miss my drying lines like you wouldn't believe, but i have a system up now that is ... okay. unfortunately, it is also really flimsy. within the first month of having it up, i had four fleeces and a bra drying at one point and the whole thing just jumped off the wall, ripping out drywall in the process. so marc nailed up a 1x6, painted it the same white as the wall, screwed the racks back in, added some hooks to hold my laundry bags, and since then it's been much better.
i have a feeling i will tweak this room as i go.
what i won't tweak, though, are the anthropologie knobs on the laundry sink cabinet. because they are adorable.
and because they, along with the colorful bins, work with this print that i hung above the sink:
next to the laundry is the kids' bathroom. i love this room, even though it is also still not quite finished. (you'll find "not quite finished" is a running theme around here.)
white hex tile on the floor, white subway tile in the shower. two more barn lights above the sink, which is a kohler brockway sink. ikea hemnes cabinet and wall hooks. the medicine cabinet was built by our cabinet guy, and the knobs - like the laundry room - are gorgeousness from anthro, which are, sadly, no longer available.
they were actually a serendipitous find. i had already bought towels for the kids' bathroom (lime and ocean stripes and dots) and was searching for fun knobs, but nothing quite worked. then i found these and they were perfect. the turquoise, bright green, and fuschia of the towels were perfectly matched in the knobs.
even more serendipitous, i was scouring etsy for some neat art to hang on the wall and bring the colors together, when i got a sale notice in email from serena & lily ... their zodiac prints were on special, already framed and ready to go. the colors worked well enough for my taste. but the best part is that my kiddos are a pisces and an aquarius - watery symbols that are perfect for a bathroom.
speaking of the kids, here are their rooms:
henry's room is the only one upstairs that is a color. we had his room painted benjamin moore classic gray. looks really gray, doesn't it? sigh. oh well. i'm sure we'll paint it something else someday. there's a lot to do in this room still. he needs curtains of some sort - i'm thinking plumbing pipe screwed to the wall, and white ikea grommet curtains. he also needs an actual bed ... we're planning to get this one or something like it:
young, yet masculine, but could still be so cool as a guest bed down the road when my kid leaves home. and it will work just fine with the camo bedspread he has, and the striped sheets i'm planning to get him as soon as they go on sale.
we used ikea billy bookcases from the old house and screwed them to his wall, and a stainless steel ikea tabletop fit perfectly in the remaining space to create a little built-in desk for homework. it works for him ... he has more books than anything else, so a wall of bookshelves made total sense. continuing the ikea theme, his ceiling light is also ... ikea.
across the hall is a much different space:
there is more "not quite done yet" in this room ... things missing, a box of stuffed animals shoved in the corner because i have no idea what to do with them ... but it's a tad closer than henry's. we had an antique jenny lind bed from my parents, and i found a second on craigslist. we had them both painted black, which i think was the right call. they're gorgeous. and the white of the room and the little bits of black help keep the Crazy that is those bedspreads from being too much. we added another ikea billy bookcase (why do my kids have so many books?! that's rhetorical ... it's totally my fault.), and i strung adorable buntings made from vintage sheets that i found through this etsy shop. (looks like she may be taking some time off from her business.)
on the other side of the room ... more ikeaness.
i didn't take a photo of how they turned out - must do that at some point - but the ikea trofast units with the white drawers were stenciled with a lovely leafy/flower pattern in the same simply white as the rest of the house. the plan now is to add some narrow shelves above both drawer units to put all of the special things and keepsakes up and out of harm's way, and then use the top of the storage units for littlest pet shop houses. the pottery barn dollhouse bookshelf is strictly hodgepodge barbie storage right now, but there is a plan afoot to make it all much more calm and organized. and there is much art to hang in here. i'll get to that later, too.
gotta have a summer project, right?
what you can't see is the ceiling light - it's a fuschia ikea lamp shade hung from a $10 light kit, like the one in the mudroom. it looks like a really neat pink drum shade but cost, like, twenty bucks. and this weekend we will be putting up her curtains. she had curtain rods with bird finials from land of nod (it appears they no longer sell hardware) in her old room and loves them, but their off white/antiqued look won't work in this room. so i'm going to spray them black, then hang these curtains ...
moving down the hall, this is the upstairs guest room:
the side table is actually a metal foot locker that marc's grandpa had in world war II. the name "skinner" is written on the top. i love that. the lamp is from target a million years ago ... it isn't permanent, but it works. the floor lamp is vintage pottery barn. ("vintage" being circa 1998ish.) the bed is ... drum roll ... ikea. it was originally in harper's room at the old house ...
who wants to come visit?
bedding: west elm quilt and shams (no longer available), macy's sheets (which i love love love. so much so that i want to get the exact same ones for our room. would that be weird?), discontinued pottery barn accent pillows, which i got for a smokin' deal nearly two years ago and saved just for this room. yes, i did everything else in the room around those pillows. still need curtains ... need to get a chair for the desk area so we can take that one back to the basement, but i haven't decided between a slipcovered parson chair or a black crossback one. also need to figure out the art situation, but at least this room is functional, sweet, and cozy.
finally, last bedroom and bathroom upstairs ... ours.
continuing with the "work in progress" theme ... this room is ridiculously empty. we opted to stick with a queen bed instead of shelling out the cash for not only a bigger bed frame/headboard, but also a new mattress, new bedding, new everything. that seemed excessive. however, our bed kinda floats in the room. even worse, we have yet to figure out bedside tables or lamps, so the ones we have are puny and ineffective.
our dresser from the old house, which i love more than life itself and seemed so gargantuan in our former room, is perfectly sized for the new space.
at some point, we'll figure out nightstands and lights (it's annoying to have to walk across the room to turn off the light at night. i miss my little bedside sconces.), and i'll put a bench of some sort at the foot of the bed to catch the duvet that we inevitably kick off most nights. and the farther out plan is to get a little bookshelf and reading chair for the corner opposite the dresser so i can have a little quiet nook. or to eat up floor space. same thing. honestly, i like a clean, white, calm bedroom, so there won't be too much of anything added just for the sake of adding.
through the bedroom is the master bath ...
let's see what we have going on in here ...
the vanity/tub is painted benjamin moore alaskan husky. white on white on white on white seemed a bit much, so the little hint of gray is nice. the vanity and tub surround are carrera marble. the floor is hex and dot ... why it is more off white than white, i have no idea. however, i went off reservation and ordered the tile from somewhere else because our supplier didn't have this particular pattern, so i was stuck. that's what i get for being picky. the shower tile is 8x10 white ceramic and a stacked accent of glass, frosted glass, and marble. it's lovely.
hardware on the vanity are the chatham pulls and the green glass knobs and hooks from restoration hardware. other hardware - towel bar, train rack, etc. - are from the mercer collection at pottery barn, and the mirror is the kensington tilt mirror, also pb. lights above the sink are norwell dahlia. shower, bath, and sink fixtures are brizo baliza in chrome. towel cabinet is restoration hardware.
the only hindsight issue i have upstairs is the master bath. we were asked if we wanted radiant heat installed under the tile. we thought that sounded a bit much - and my feet are always hot - so we declined. however, because this room is in a far corner of the house and it so wide open, it's cold in the winter. like, freezing. those tiles might have been nice. so we're going to look into how much it would be to swap out the ceiling fan/vent for one that also has a heat setting. and the window, while lovely, is static. i have learned that i would have preferred something that would open to allow for fresh air and ventilation. also? it's high on the wall. i can't see out of it. even on my tip toes.
so ... two floors down, one to go. the basement will be a much shorter visit.