Stop Worrying About the Election and Vote For My New Rug

Hey guys, it's been a while. So, guess what? Taking care of two kids is more than twice as hard as taking care of one. The baby never naps and Ike never slows down. Our living room is littered with more flotsam and jetsam than post Sandy NYC and the housekeeper just left a few hours ago. I am on my seventh load of laundry in three days because they baby won't stop pooping and puking every time I consume the tiniest bit of hidden dairy products. Meanwhile Ike has been staging swift and furious rebel uprisings that would make Robert E Lee blush.

erin williamson

It's a good thing (we think) our kids are cute.

Despite my exhaustion, I find time at 4am to buy things. It's like the consumer center of my brain is on overdrive while everything else has shut down. So here I am, back at the blog doing what I do best: Waffling. Indeciding. Not listening to myself.

I need you to help me choose a rug for the nursery. Remember this?

Cute, but I feel like it needs another layer. Here are my top picks.

Option 1:

erin williamsonFrenchy. Neutral. Love the black border. But is it too stuffy for un petit bebe? And does it clash with American revolutionary drummer boy? You may remember him from Ike's old nursery. But wait -- might he be French, instead? It seems the French flag sports colors suspiciously close to those of America AND they also had revolutions and stuff. Copy cats.

Option 2:

erin williamson

I kind of swore I'd never do another black and white graphic rug after the zebra incident. And in fact the zebra is dying a slow, painful, toddler inflicted death in Karly's nursery. But this... well, this is insane. And possibly amazing. And also possibly way overwhelming and disparate from the rest of our house. I do like the super neutral colors that would allow me to change up color schemes down the line.

Option 3:

erin williamson

Color commitment issues... I am having a phobic moment about choosing blue, but I like that this rug would probably hide the most dirt. Also, it's cute for a baby boy and the rough border and abrash give it a handmade feel that would add that special je ne sais quoi to all the graphic elements in the room.

And those are my choices. All wool, all 8x10s, all under $300.

So please... vote. For my rug.

And for president, I guess.

Our Nursery

In anticipation of our wee little bundle of joy I've finally finished the nursery I've been planning for the last 9 months.   Luckily, our very own Erin is an A++ photographer and somehow or another I managed to sweet talk her into coming over for last week and taking some pics.  You dudes get to reap the rewards.  Let's not waste any time:

Tada!  Ok, let's start at the top: The light fixture is a repurposed bird cage that had originally been used to hold rolled silver at my wedding.  I painted it black, Matt made it work.  Art on the gallery wall was covered in this post.  The pouf is from this ebay seller, I made the curtains, which are covered in this post.  The bumper was made by yours truly and the rug* used to live in Erin's dining room.  I traded her a night of babysitting for it, which, by the way, she never took me up on.

*BTW, I understand that there is a vicious anti-zebra rug movement going on right now, but guess what, I got this rug for free and I don't have to feel bad if the baby messes it up.  Plus, it goes.  Winwinwin.

Pretty damn cute, right?  You want to know where I got this stuff?  The light was a round top score ($10!) and the swivel rocker was purchased at Uptown Modern, I had the cushion made for it because the one that came with it was gross brown.  The pillow was bought on super clearance at anthropologie.  The terrarium used to hold plants but, despite my green thumb, they died, now it has toys.  The star hooks are from hobby lobby and the clock was a whopping $7.99 at Marshall's.

It just keeps coming, right?  Let's see... the dresser was found by Erin on craigslist (she has CL talent, yo) the tiger painting was purchased by Erin at the thrift store for (wait for it) $3.99 - I think I still owe her for that.  I purchased most of the lanterns at the cleverly named, paper lantern store.  The orange light is another round top score.

Here's a shot to put the corner with the dresser in context for you dudes.

How's my sweet little baby angel supposed to recognize his family without a little educational tool?  Pics of the crew live on a magnetic board over his changing table.  (table base bought at Salvation Army and painted black by me).  FYI, the magnets are made from wood cutouts bought at hobby lobby that we glued magnetic backings onto.  It's hard to find cute magnets these days.

Gratuitous lantern shot.   Did I mention that the walls are Benjamin Moore Harbor Grey? I just can't get enough of it.

And a last look at the top of the dresser.  I forgot to mention above that the room is tiger-friendly, not to be confused with tiger-themed.  Our little man is going to pop out in the year of the tiger, just like his daddy and his uncle, it's cool, we're into it.

So, there you have it:  the only completely complete room in my house... minus the occupant.

I (Don't) Know What Boys Like

It's been an eventful, loooooooooong weekend at Casa Erin. Our brand new cast iron sink arrived shattered in pieces, my in laws came to assemble cabinets and sew seat covers for us (yay!), and we found out that we're having a boy. Oh, boy! Now, somehow -- despite my initial instincts -- I had convinced myself I was having a girl, so this was a little shocker. And I hope you won't think I'm a terrible person for saying this, but it's kind of scary. I mean, I know what girls like. We like unicorns and rainbows, purple and pink, and we like glitter. Sparkles rule! But growing up with two brothers has taught me little about boys, except that the rubber wheels on Tonka trucks get excellent traction in long hair, and being drenched by a bucket of cold water is not a nice way to wake up in the morning. Decor for boys? Complete mystery.

For months I have been stuffing the guest room/nursery with thrifty toys, snippets and remnants from other projects, hoping the whole mixture will magically congeal into a happy baby wonderland. Now, I'm confused. Really confused.

baby deer

Will he appreciate my fondness for precious baby deer, other than to one day see them as dinner?

deer pillow

My dad is seriously going to jump straight out of his Carhart pants when he realizes we're having a boy. He's already got plans to buy baby hunting outfits and tiny rifles. I don't suppose they make pink camo?


And I'm guessing my frilly scalloped pillow shams with mystery messages (anyone speak Vietnamese?) will have to go. I think boys like dragons, but I don't think they like ruffles... unless I get really lucky and have a baby Miles Redd.

lion nursery

Maybe my favorite vintage piggy bank will make the cut. But I don't know about these guys:

creepy clowns

I think that coulrophobia is probably gender neutral. The little guy is actually pretty cute, but the fleshy one looks like he hasn't shaved for days and may be hiding a bottle of ripple behind his back.

marbro lamp

I wonder if my own little guy will appreciate the stellar deal I got on this gigantic Seguso for Marbro lamp ($25 at a thrift store). Or will it just end up all broken pearlescent glass, smashed into a hot mess by an epic Big Wheels accident?

Anybody want to buy a lamp?


Will he be soothed by the sounds of my Furby, or will he attack it with a hammer, ostensibly to figure out where the sounds come from? Not that I've ever seen one of my precious, precocious brothers do such a thing... (RIP, Happy Apple)

stuffed animals

I've been saving these since I was a teenager. Surely everyone loves monkeys and Pikachu? And Kermit? No one likes Miss Piggy, not even girls.



When he's older, will he enjoy the books I have so conscientiously selected for guests? Perhaps I should warn him that some are much better than others.

Or maybe it's best that he find out on his own.

While I struggle with tiny, inconsequential matters -- like how to raise a boy when I myself am completely wang-free -- I thought I'd ask you wonderful readers for ideas on how to decorate the nursery. Here's a few overview images to set the stage:




Don't mind the rolled up carpet and stacked piles of art in the corner; renovations have caused a fair amount of deco shuffling. We'd like to keep the bed and dresser in here, but I was thinking about moving the tall chest into the closet and putting this crib in this corner, so I can easily see it from the door.

This is the only room in the house that still retains its original band-aid beige wall paint (just say no to flesh toned paint!!!), so I definitely plan to paint over it. I was thinking of doing pale gray with black on the window wall, but now I'm thinking of gray all over and painting a colorful super graphic on the wall opposite the bed. I love this post that Molly over at Designer's Brew did for a chill, gender neutral baby room. How would pale gray, aqua, tangerine, and maybe a hint of tomato red look together? Plus black, white and gold as neutrals.

Don't worry -- I will be editing the accessories. Severely. (If you live in Austin, stay tuned for garage sale info!) But, if I can, I think I'd like to keep this guy in the room:


He might just make up for losing the deer.

Ok, readers -- especially those of you with boys -- any sage decorating advice for a first time, shell shocked, mother to be?

And for everyone who perishes the thought of decorating a nursery, not to fear! I'll be back on Thursday with expert paint advice in our very first Ask Sanders column.

But, wouldn't you know it -- all the rooms will be blue.