Welcome to Charlie’s room reveal – a big boy room for our almost 4 year old. The room turned out to be pretty darn happy, cute, and colorful but not too busy and he loves it. As most of you know I’ve been fighting this 80’s thing happening in here for a while, and while I still wish I could change one major thing I really love how I feel when I’m in here. The blue is calming (sharkskin by Portola, chosen by Charlie himself), the rug pulled the whole color palette together and there are some black and white graphic elements that keeps it in 2017.
The bed is full size and I should know because I’m in there many nights laying with him for a while after he/we are done with books – a habit that I’m not stopping nearly as much as I probably should. It’s cozy and I’m so glad we went for that over a twin. My original plan was to make an upholstered pillow to attach to the headboard (like Brady did for the dorm room thing) but ran out of time. I wish it were upholstered because we lay for about 1/2 hour every night and read but nothing pillows can’t solve. The nightstand is a vintage store display thing I bought from the flea market and man, I love it. The lamp was in our old house and is another testament about the impact that a colored shade makes. The bunting is from The White Company (and it’s also a super easy DIY that we made for the castle).
I’m pretty obsessed with both of those quotes, and that comes from someone who can’t handle that many inspirational quotes around me. I grew up in the time of inspirational posters and my parents were avid consumers of such decor. I will say that I am a fairly positive/happy person so maybe it worked :), but regardless I tend to shy away from the majority of them. But both of these are things that I have said and used as a mantra for years and I want my kids to be brainwashed/understand the importance of the “Work Hard and Be Nice to People” and of course always saying yes before no when it comes to opportunities.
On the opposite side of the room is a vintage toy trunk that I had reupholstered a couple years ago. To add height to the room we brought in that simple tall bookcase and donned it with toys, books and a really bright cloud nightlight that Charlie loved so much we had to take it away. He would either try to climb to get it (it was quickly relocated – hint, don’t put anything AWESOME at the top of a shelf no matter how secure you attached it to the wall), or he insisted on sleeping with it. It was extra adorable because it was a touch sensor so to turn it on/off you had to hit it. So as you can imagine he was slapping it on and off all night. It is SO adorable and I’m hoarding it for a while. The beanbag is from Pillows by Elissa and is so cute and helped modernize the space (despite being a bean bag) plus that cute triangle pattern was playful and added another pattern without competing with the rug or curtains.
The curtains are custom from Calico, out of a Robert Allen fabric that looks hand stamped. It’s a mustard 1/2 moon pattern, with a blackout lining and they are beautiful and perfect. We continued to use the french rod from Calico.
On the fourth wall is this amazing dresser from Rejuvenation, with simple brass knobs. I’m jealous of that dresser and it’s one that we’ll have forever, no matter how his room changes. The lamp is a cute playful (yet 70’s inspired) fiberglass covered lamp that feels a little hot-air baloon-y. I used one years ago in a shoot and I had always wanted one. This one is from All Modern.
Perhaps if you are fighting the 80’s look you shouldn’t do a gallery wall of paint by numbers animals, but I did anyway. We float framed them from Framebridge and the black frames helped to modernize them.
Now, to get to the major regret that I won’t change – the small profile and the height of the Beadboard. Now, it’s totally fine, but since we had it installed I think I missed an opportunity to do something a bit more modern. We had installed the chair rail before we moved in and then when I didn’t like that we added a really flat profiled bead board to apply to the area underneath the chair rail, above the baseboard so that we didn’t have to demo those out. In a perfect world I would go back in time and install a much higher moulding, with a much wider V-groove, like we used in our master bathroom or the kitchen island. Then I would top it with a little ledge/shelf. The paneling could be a color with the ceiling being white or the other way around.
Now I know that I could change the paint color to be more saturated and deep – a bit more modern, but Brian and Charlie were pretty adamant about it not feeling too dark. I didn’t totally agree, but I also didn’t really care and want them to be happy. We have that color in our laundry room and I LOVE it there – I think just in combination with the beadboard it looks a bit 80’s.
All-in-all I just want you to think about this – if you are installing beadboard now, spend the extra time and money to do something modern – either wider (I prefer V-groove over beadboard, think 4″ – 5″) or extend it taller. If you have the beadboard that I have don’t worry – it’s still GREAT. It’s classic and will always be in style. If I wanted to totally modernize the profile of beadboard without changing it I think I’d need to change my color palette. Powder blues and mustards aren’t exactly helping the fight against the 80’s. If it were black and white with pops of brighter colors, it would work and feel more 2017 and I did consider painting it a dark color – an ink-y blue or matte black. If it were all white with pops of other colors it could work. But I love the rug. I love the curtains (they were custom) and I don’t want to switch it out, and this blue/white does work.
When you walk into the room it feels happy, fun, and like a curious almost-4 year old boy lives there. He loves it and is so proud of it and despite my rambling about how it could be slightly more modern, I really, really like it. After staring at these photos (sorry, we only had time to take 4!) I like it even more.
A couple more quick call-outs – that rug is GREAT. It’s part of Target’s new Project 62 line an it’s soft, thick and super durable. I have no idea if it has a lot of 4 year old dirt on it, because you can’t tell if it does – it’s both gross and wonderful. The bedding is Pillowfort and we mixed this and the shark pattern all the time – he leans more towards the shark but likes the ‘X’s, too. That blanket was borrowed from Lost and Found LA and is absolutely stunning – it drapes and falls beautifully, but no four year old needs that high end of a throw so we shot it for the magazine and returned it.
I think the mix of antique (side table) classic (dresser) and modern (posters), plus supporting pieces like the bookcase, bed and the toy chest create a great foundation to just switch out toys, and accessories for when he grows. For those of you who always wonder – will you be redoing your kid’s rooms over and over again for the rest of their lives? The answer is no. We are going to be doing a kid’s room (bunk room) in the fixer upper that we are announcing soon (SORRY I KEEP THREATENING BUT STILL PREPPING THOSE POSTS!) and I hope to always be doing a project with kid’s rooms where I get creative freedom. I may update our kids rooms as they get older, but I want them to have stability/security and feel like their room is done and totally theirs.
If you are into this little guy’s room – here you go.
1. ‘Work Hard & Be Nice to People’ Print | 2. Fox (similar) | 3. Zebra | 4. Blue Linework Pillow | 5. Blue Ombre Pillow (similar) | 6. Table Lamp | 7. Antique File Cabinet Side Table | 8. Paint by Numbers Art (vintage) framed by Framebridge | 9. Globe | 10. White Lamp | 11. Panda Wall Decor | 12. Bed | 13. Ceiling Light (custom lengths available) | 14. Dinosaurs | 15. ‘X’ Sheet Set | 16. Duvet Set | 17. Accordion Wall Sconce (similar) | 18. ‘Start with Yes’ Print | 19. White Bunting | 20. Bead Board | 21. Wall Color | 22. Curtain Fabric (custom) | 23. Storage Bench | 24. Cloud Lamp | 25. Bookcase | 26. ‘A to Z’ Bookends | 27. Lifelike Zebra | 28. 2-Tier Book Shelf | 29. Black Large Pillow | 30. Rug | 31. Blue Throw | 32. Right Angles Throw | 33. Live Edge Side Table | 34. Striped Floor Bin | 35. Marquee Light Box | 36. Wood Bin | 37. Fox Plush | 38. Zebra Wall Decor | 39. Dresser | 40. Boho Lounger | 41. Etch A Sketch | 42. Zebra Wall Decor
For more reveals from Emily’s Los Feliz Home: Powder Room | Jack and Jill Bathroom | Living Room Update | Master Bedroom | Master Bathroom | Living Room | Kitchen & Dining Room | Elliot’s Nursery | Backyard | Closets | Laundry Room | Elliot’s Nursery Update | Family Room Update | Kitchen | Updated Living Room
The marching dinosaurs make my heart happy. What a perfect tiny detail.
I totally agree!!!!!
Love it! The rug really does make the room- ties it all together!
I gotta say, I think the beadboard and the sharkskin paint is perfect in here. I think a wide V board and/or darker/bolder colors wouldn’t feel peaceful and restful enough, or perhaps timeless enough. Plus, having this room’s woodwork being different than the V board in the master bath and on kitchen island makes it feel like the home evolved over time, which is what you want in an older home, right? This room looks perfect to me. It looks bright and happy (and fun, but not out-of-control fun – it’s the appropriately tasteful amount of fun).
This room looks super good and I am glad that Charlie loves it. I have 3 children: a 5 1/2 year old boy, almost 4 year old daughter and a 15 months old baby boy. We are about to redecorate my oldest son’s bedroom for the third time! He had a cute nursery from birth to 2 y. o., a cute toddler room from age 2 to 5 and is about to have a “big kid” room now. I’m starting to feel like I have some experience with kids rooms. What I want to point out is that I find there is a significant gap between all the fancy kid’s room I see on blogs and everywhere online and what my kids really want their rooms to look like. I really like the rooms I see online, but my son not so much, or not at all. He wants “cool” characters like Spiderman and Star Wars and Ninja Turtles with bright greens and blues on the walls. (Just for the record, he’s only allowed 3 hours of tv per week). Same for my daughter for whom I spent a fortune on a cute designer bird house wallpaper for her room… Read more »
I would also love to hear thoughts on this!
I agree. I am absolutely obsessed with this room (it is one of my favorite in the new house, in addition to the kitchen which I am also obsessed with). But I am in the middle of decorating my 2.5 yo daughter’s room, and she wanted purple walls which is a little hard to turn into a modern/traditional feel like the rest of our house. I also wanted to limit how much I spent (I love Charlie’s work hard poster but I am not sure I want to spent 250 bucks on one piece of art for my daughter’s room). Its not an easy balance decorating for real life with kids and wanting your house to look nice.
My daughter also insisted on purple walls and she was more than happy with a lavender-ish/grey – it reads as purple to her and more neutral to me (and more fitting for the rest of our home). We sourced etsy for some prints and ended up with amazing graphic pieces that are actually quotations from children’s books (Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan). Pottery Barn Teen was also a great source for bedding that still felt youthful and modern but didn’t feel baby-ish.
My 10 year old daughter wants a purple room too! She and I went back and forth one which swatch of purple paint to use. Of course, I wanted a grayed out purple and she wanted a saturated purple. We ended up agreeing on SW’s Inspired Lilac. It actually turned out to be a great color.
My 13 year old picked this turquoise that looked so bright once it was on the walls that I was this close to making my husband repaint. But once I put all the white furniture in and the art on the walls, it looked great.
You could do a lavender, or a eggplanty purple – for a kid that young, she’ll be convinced it’s purple, doesn’t have to be barney.
Star Wars etc. there are a ton of posters redesigned for artwork. Just search the movie, like Star Wars / Cars / Frozen, and there are posters available that tick both “is thing X” and “looks nice”. https://www.google.com/search?q=minimalist+CARs+pixar+poster
And then mixing bedsheet sets with solids, so it’s not the entire set?
I totally agree! In order to get my 3 year old daughter out of her crib (to prepare for Baby #2) and into a “big girl bed”, we let her pick out her own sheets and blankets so that she would be really excited about the bed (she was scared to get in the bed). She picked out Paw Patrol sheets and a Frozen blanket (couldn’t even pick a full set that matches!). She loves them but they don’t exactly scream classiest baby room. I would love to hear a designer or another mom’s take on this. While I love Charlie and Elliot’s rooms and would LOVE to replicate them in my own house, my reality is that I’m stuck with Paw Patrol sheets and Frozen blankets for quite some time. I wonder if Emily or anyone on her team could also weigh on this. The struggle is real!
I don’t have kids (yet) but I can speak as a kid whose parent always decorated my room in a ‘grown up’ style (and it’s stayed the same from when I was 7 to now that I’m 27– although I no longer live there) and I really loved my bedroom the entire time, even if I would momentarily think it was cool that my friends had Power Rangers rooms or fire trucks or whatever. My mom would give me choices when it came to drapery fabrics or wallpaper (a choice between 2 or 3) so that I had input, but used her much more sophisticated taste than mine at 6 or 10 or 12 to make final decisions. I really wouldn’t have changed anything! I just wanted to say that if you worry that if you don’t let them make the final design decisions, they won’t ‘love’ their room, I definitely never felt that way!
I’m a stylist/blogger and a mom of 2 (6 + 9 yo), currently midst-renovation of a 1960’s fixer upper. I’m also deep into the kids’ room design quandary! What I have found works best for both kids’ AND my own style preferences/neuroses, is to let kids pick a “feeling” rather than a theme (character/cartoon/etc). I asked my 6 y.o. daughter what she wanted her new room to “feel” like and she explained that she wanted “a pretend pink princess world.” With that in mind, I chose a soft green tree mural for her focal wall (Thanks, Emily for your inspiration/recommendation!), a millennial pink paint color for her walls, and a bedding collection incorporating the pinks, greens and a bit of hot pink/magenta to make the room a bit more contemporary. We were able to position her gigantic dollhouse/castle up against the mural and give her the backdrop to turn her creative storylines into active play. For now, we’re still a few weeks away from move in, but she’s really excited about her new beautiful room. My son wanted a “Sports Center studio” — that’s a little tougher, but I think we nailed it. We used local sports team colors and… Read more »
I haven’t had to decorate a kid’s room yet (I’m actually pregnant with my 1st!) but I just listened to an old Chris Loves Julia podcast that also talked about picking a “feeling” rather than a theme. I think that is such great advice! My siblings and I never had themed rooms growing up but we definitely had input into what they looked like. The only themed thing I remember having is Little Mermaid sheets and they were hidden under the comforter.
You are not the only one!! I read a post my The Makerista that addressed how she incorporates her/her home style into her kids bedrooms (I think this one was specific to her son’s room) and it was a awesome sophisticated approach to the themes and characters. Her kids rooms are amazing, fun and still stylish. Might be worth a search if you are interested.. I’d link it but the last time I did that my comment was moderated out so I’ll just let you google it…
Thanks for the many advices.
The feeling concept is really interesting and I should probably focus more on it since we still have time as we are at the beginning of our bedroom project. I have yet to buy the bed linen and chose the colors for the walls.
Growing up I never had a themed room either although I remember crying at the store desperately trying to convince my mom to buy a Belle (Beauty and the Beast) wallpaper border for my room.
I have simply let go of it and I’m better off. My oldest daughter’s room looks like Moana showed up and puked all over the place. She loves it, I don’t. And so I keep the door closed.
What a bright, happy space. I think it has a very modern feel…no eighties here in my opinion. I loved the blanket at the end of your bed, Emily and the one at the end of Charlie’s bed. I know you gave both of them back. It seems like the rooms won’t be as beautiful without them. I know they were both expensive but when they add so much character I feel it’s worth it.
I always mentally change that poster quote to “work efficiently and don’t be an a**hole”. Because why work hard, when you can work smart. And while being nice is important, I don’t need to constantly have a smile plastered across my face like I’ve been told my whole life. I just try not to be rude instead of trying to be pleasant all the time.
Sara, I am giggling at my computer. Now I want a poster that says “Work smart and don’t be an a**hole” for my home (that obviously has no children in it to read that poster).
Yes much better! “Work smart and don’t be rude” makes way more sense 🙂
If you need someone to give you permission to keep lying down with Charlie even as he grows older, I’m here to help. My boys are 12 and 14 and I still lie down with them every night to talk about our days (“Salty and Sweet”). It’s become such a habit we barely even think about it any more, but I’m so grateful for it. Not only does it end some very stressful days on a warm note, sometimes that’s the only time they’ll open up about something going on with them. Keep going, mama!
Yes. This. My 11 and 13 yo still want me to lay with them and I am so grateful. They don’t have any trouble going to sleep by themselves … it’s just their moment of the day to still want to snuggle. Even though the 13 yo is almost 4 inches taller than me!
It’s a lovely room – and I REALLY don’t want to be a bore – but I see that bunting and think strangulation hazard for your lovely little children. Please, please put the ends up and out of the way so they don’t kill themselves.
Just looking at the bunting makes me anxious and not enjoy what you’ve done with the room.
Sorry – I know there always has to be someone who is a spoilsport – but since many thousands of people will be looking at this image for a kids room maybe it’s best to make the bunting less accessible.
Emily, I love your new house. Like, love, love it. But I just can’t love this room–maybe because it doesn’t really look like your work? I don’t know, it isn’t bad by any means, but compared to the rest of your house which has wowed, this is just fine. But I’m glad that Charlie loves it so much.
This room!! So fun! As a person who doesn’t like inspiration quotes everywhere, the schoolhouse poster is spot on.
Quick question: for the boho lounger, where did you get the filling for it? I saw that it doesn’t come with it and it looks soooo good in that room!
I’m definitely seeing a trend of kids bedrooms being more neutral and this one hits the mark while stylistically tilting towards the Y chromosome. A calming environment indeed.
We also have a second home in the mountains. We have a bunk room for our 2 kids and guests (2 sets of bunks). Not quite as spacious as I would like but the kids loved it. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do in that room!
OK, well — I know you struggled with this room, but I think it turned out great. I had been worried about the dark green paint color that you started with — Love, love this paint color; may have to steal it, even though I’m not in LA. (Good choice, Charlie!)
This is really great! Love the sharkskin wall color with the beadboard; I don’t see it as 80’s and I lived through that decade.
That table lamp that looks like a hot-air balloon is so cool. That lighting company makes a gorgeous chandelier that looks like a traditional one, but with cloth (actually resin) draped around it. I saw it used in a hotel once and fell in love – but it’s $14,000 so it won’t be appearing in my house. Wah wah.
Keep up the fantastic work! Oh also, “I have no idea if it has a lot of 4 year old dirt on it, because you can’t tell if it does – it’s both gross and wonderful” is one of the best sentences I’ve read on a blog. It’s gems like this that keep me coming back!
I love it! The color and beadboard and curtains are perfect. The color palette in general is just lovely.
Love this room! Have you had success with the polyester material of the Pillowfort sheets? I feel like it would just be hot and uncomfortable so I returned them.
Amen to that. I live Pillowfort but their bedding bothers me! I’m not super organic but polyester sheets are my jumping off point. Love their other stuff though.
I agree. The Pillowfort stuff is SO cute, but I hate polyester sheets. I really hope Target starts making Pillowfort in 100% cotton even if it costs a little more.
Just remember the 80s will be the new hot thing in a year or two. You’re just leading the trend, not following behind. If he loves it and you love it, it’s perfect.
Dear Emily: I LOVE your style, ideas, and warmth…….however, I hate that bunting! I think….rather hang TWO more horizontal so things indifferent lengths……..he’s a boy….and bunting gathers dust,
Don’t ver change……you are an ace……warmly, jk
I love that the dresser is moved to the other wall from previous peeks and the bookcase rather than the chair. The space looks so happy and cute, I love it! The dinosaurs make me happy too, such a fun detail. I incidentally have the West Elm version of this rug that has more blue/pink/yellow that we’ve used since birth and now transitioned to also stay in his big boy room for the reading/snuggle floor pillow pile nook. It’s been the perfect piece to add modern and color in a grown up way.
The say yes print makes me smile and also want it for my kiddos room since the “no!” thing has become a little popular lately…*eye roll*
I’m obsessed now with that dresser, it’s gorgeous!.. now off to buy both those large target pillows now, they’ve been in my cart for a while and you just sold me!
Loved this room! I still remember the facebook live you did at the very beginning, and Brian insisting on painting it green by Charlie’s request… and your cringing smile! Trying to do what Charlie wanted, but knowing it wasn’t 100% right. I’m happy you really tried that, and that you quickly figured out what wasn’t working, creating this beauty.
That dresser is to die for, and love the vibe of the room: happy but not soooooo colourful or childish.
A cute room! I love the black and white elements that make it feel more chic and modern. I must say though – the paint-by-number art makes me cringe. I grew up in the 80s, and those are a relic I think are best left buried. I know they are supposed to be tacky-chic, but to me they just read tacky :/ everything else is beautiful though!
Is the cloud nightlight in Charlie’s room the big one or the mini one? I love it, it is such a great find! It looks like maybe it’s the big one and not the mini, but I am so, so bad with dimensions!
It’s the big one, Kat. Just a note that she isn’t kidding about tots being obsessed with it. We have one and my toddler closes his closet door to sit in the dark with it on. Adorable, and not at all linked to inducing sleep!
This room is absolutely adorable!
What a fun and stylish room! I love every single thing in Charlie’s room, including the paint color. My mother was an artist and when I was growing up she taught me that it was better to create something original than to use a coloring book or PBN. With that bias, I would love to see some original art instead — maybe something created by Charlie?
I love this bright, happy room!! Don’t think it looks 80’s at all -I’m 65 & really know about the 70’s & 80’s! Love the pop of mustard! Great combined job & I’m sure it must be hard to let an almost 4 year old have a voice in choosing his room colors!
Looking forward to the bunk bed post. All my 4.5 year old wants is bunkbeds for him and his baby bro and need inspiration for a joint toddler/big kid room!! Also, I love how you inspire me to use the target stuff I already have in a more creative way!
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Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I’m truly grateful and really impressed. I have enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.
Love it love it love it. Every detail is just perfection.
Love Charlie’s new room! It looks peaceful and boyish all at the same time…just right for a “going on four” year old. Absoutley adore those curtains! Every little detail is really special and the colors all seem to go together even though they are different.. and that takes talent.?I need you at my house!
couldn’t find the accordion-arm sconce on rejuvenation. please let me know where it is from.
This room is delovely and, oh my word, what timing! We are just about to replace our kiddo’s crib with a big boy bed and are also sold on a full. Not only that, we’ve been eyeing that very bed from Target! My wonder has been what the quality is like- do you like the tone of the material up close? Do you think it will last? I hate to contribute to a landfill – please advise, Emily!
It’s so pretty! And, as a child of the 80s, this does not scream 80s to me. My childhood room had fruit wallpaper and blue wall-to-wall carpet so, yknow, not this. Also, as the mother of two daughters under 3, I basically copied the Stokke pink room Brady did when it was time to upgrade my “big” girl from her crib. No princesses, no Frozen, but it is pink! Thanks for the inspiration. If I ever have a boy I’m sure I’ll be keeping this one bookmarked.
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I really love it and I don’t think it feels too 80s at all!
One request, please beg Target to make the Pillowfort sheets in 100% cotton. I will never buy microfiber sheets, even for a little kid. Yuck.
I would love to see a round-up post for blackout shades! Your recommendations are always great! ?
This room is adorable!! Also, I lay down with my daughter still, who is 8! Not every night! Of course I want alone time with my husband, but definitely a few nights a week. A lot of random thoughts come up and so it’s a great time for a bit of conversation before I say ok, time to be quiet. Sometimes we tell a back and forth story, sometimes we talk about gratitude for the day, sometimes we just get silly, sometimes we cuddle. In such a busy world it’s a great way to reconnect even at older ages. And, if I’m feeling extra stress, or tired then I don’t. Limits and balance!
Could this room be anymore cute yet grownup!? I love the rug and bed choices Emily. The nightstand is also a super cute addition that adds so much character to this space. Charlie will always have rockin’ rooms thanks to his mama! His nursery was just as awesome.
I love the rug you used from Target’s new Project 62 line. I followed the link in the resources, and it looks like the largest size it comes in is a 5 x 7. But looking at your pictures, it appears that the one in Charlie’s room is larger? Do you know what size the one is in his room?
I agree that this room is not my fav work of you (as elliot`s is), altough it is ON POINT. Does the job., I guess. Maybe we have to accept the idea little Charlie is not an opinion-less self anymore, a life lesson of how time passes by, cant beleive how old we are, ha!!. Glad he loves it!
Where is the closet in this room? Isn’t it back in the corner behind the bean bag chair? How will he get to his things if the chair is there?
Very good brief and this post helped me a lot. Say thank you I searching for your facts. Continuous it..
so so cute, but you may want to rethink a sconce with a hanging cord for a young child’s room. It’s really not safe.
Emily, could you pass along some feedback to Target about Pillowfort? I love their bedding but I won’t buy it because it’s poly-blend. Poly sleeps so hot compared to natural fabrics. I know a lot of friends feel the same and we’re super bummed and hope that Target will swap over to 100% cotton for the line. It’s too cute but the fabric blend is something I can’t get over. Thanks for mentioning this to their design and production team if you ever get a chance!
I love the room and I love your philosophy about the kids feeling like their room is done and totally theirs.
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Hello.This article was extremely fascinating, especially since I was looking for thoughts on this issue last week.
Great post! I like all these ideas. Thank you from
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I love how you go through your thought process to explain everything, it’s very informational. Could you explain a little more on how to use beadboard? I didn’t even know I could put on beadboard when I renovated my house but now I can see it makes quite a difference. It feels more….cozy for some reason? Anyway, thanks Emily!
“Start With Yes” is cute for a toddler, and you can always switch it out to “Just Say No” when he turns thirteen 😉 .