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Design Diary: Boys’ Bedroom Makeover by Robin M. Anderson

On Sunday Boston Globe Magazine published a boys’ bedroom makeover I wrote called “Let’s Hear It For the Boys.”  The column features the home and work of local lifestyle blogger Robin M. Anderson, with photos by local Boston photographer Sarah Winchester of Sarah Winchester Studios, who also deserves a big thank you for pitching me this fun project.

Robin M. Anderson (she used to blog under Diary of a Yummy Mummy) lives in three bedroom condo in a converted school in Cambridge with her husband, two sons, and a guinea pig. became interested in design. When they first moved in, she hadn’t yet become interested in design, picking finishes she came to hate, and mundane furnishings, like the living room’s brown microfiber sofa. Eventually she picked up a paint brush, and since then, there’s been no stopping her.

Last September, they decided to move their 3-year-old son out of the nursery into a bedroom with his 7-year-old brother, so Anderson took the opportunity to execute a full-on boys’ bedroom makeover. She started from scratch, doing everything herself with help from the boys. The room is adorable and everything in it is affordable. Anderson says, “It’s their room, so I really wanted them to feel comfortable.” That says, she has a strict no sticker policy. “They’re allowed to put them on the back of the door, but nowhere else!”

Let’s tour Robin M. Anderson’s boys’ bedroom makeover:

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Step number one for the boys’ bedroom makeover was to paint. Anderson describes the walls’ original color as “ light Kermit green.” When they had a flood and had to repair and repaint anyway, she chose Farrow & Ball Parma Gray. The boys helped with the first coat.

She says, “Paint is my first thing because it doesn’t cost much, as long as you’re willing to put the time into it. The original paint in the condo was not well done. I realized I was repainting a color I don’t even like. Paint is amazing. Our bathroom has been like nine different colors. And the kids get into it.”

The teepee, a birthday gift when her youngest turned one, was originally set up in the nursery. Now it’s a cozy place for the boys to read. Anderson’s father won the surfboard that’s propped up in the corner in a raffle. It belonged to a well-known surfer, and he had it signed before gifting it to his first grandson.

There are five large, tall windows that needed draperies. Ten custom curtain  panels would have been really pricey, so Anderson purchased 10 white curtain panels and a few navy ones, and asked her dry cleaner to sew a strip of navy panel to the bottom of the white ones to create cost-effective, extra long colorblock draperies. “All my friends are doing this now too,” she says.

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Anderson strung the teepee with owl lights from ModCloth that once adorned the family’s Christmas tree. The dinosaurs in residence are usually found in the bathtub.

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It was important to Robin that the boys’ bedroom makeover reflect the family’s heritage and interests. A Swiss flag, framed at the Central Square Blick in Cambridge, her go-to spot for affordable framing, hangs to honor her husband’s birthplace. “He’d love to move back someday,” Anderson says.  Authentic Swiss army blankets are another nod to his heritage. She says,”You get the blankets when you join the army, which is obligatory there.”

Over the other bed, school pennant is clustered with a photo of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, a call out to the family’s love of skiing, and an autographed surfer photo that was a gift to her son from her dad. On the other wall, a deceptively luxe-looking red faux snakeskin frame (also done at Blick) displays a print signed by Dr. Seuss that Anderson found on a trip to New Orleans. She hopes her son will pass on to his own kids. She says, “It was my first and only legitimate art purchase.”

The shelves, which are actually floating shelves, needed brackets to accommodate the slightly curved wall here. Anderson says, “The white metal brackets looked awful, so I spray painted them navy. I’ll spray paint anything; it’s my M.O.”  She and her son painted the lower half of the wall with chalkboard paint. She struggled with the trim that caps it, going back and forth to Home Depot for supplies and assistance. She says, “It was the first time I used a level.”

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The mid-century modern style Ellipse beds from Land of Nod are layered with a mix of prints. Anderson loves pattern on her clothing and in her decor. She says, “I used as many patterns as possible without being obnoxious.” The star sheets are from Pottery Barn Kids and the whales from One King’s Lane. The pillowcase in the back, with monsters on skateboards, came from Target; her son is a big skateboarder.

Anderson was able to incorporate inexpensive second hand finds into the boys’ bedroom makeover. She bought the dresser from friends for $50, lacquered the scratched top in navy, and swapped the knobs.

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All the boys’ toys are in their room, with the exception of some Legos. Big canvas storage bins on the other side (not pictured) hold the Nerf guns and stuff. She had a closet company build out closet with shelves to accommodate all the toys. As soon as they outgrow clothing or tire of toys, Anderson ships off the stuff to her sister.

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Her older son made this baseball in an acrylic box at school, when somebody from the Red Sox visited the classroom. She says, “They dirtied the balls, signed them, and put in a box. It’s his prized possession.” Soldier bookends hold up current reading material.

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Robin Anderson and Phineas the family guinea pig at her feet.

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 Boston Globe Magazine    Sunday, February 15, 2015 

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Get the Look: 20 Modern Doormats

In true New England fashion, the Boston is not quite sure whether it’s winter yet or now. There were a few really cold days, including a recent Sunday when my 12-year-old went to a Patriots game in the rain and snow. I don’t mind the chilliness (I’m a tights and boots girl for sure) as long as there’s sun. That day did incite me to unearth the ice scraper and transfer it to the car. Not looking forward to using it.

Since we live in an apartment, most of the slush (and there’s plenty of it), gets left in the lobby. But still, we have a good doormat outside our door, and a more decorative one inside. Come snowy times, additional rugs get spread across the foyer, so as not to completely destroy my Jill Rosenwald gray area rug.

I know this is all kind of mundane, but I live in Boston, in the city. That means messy weather and no mud room. Even if you have a house with a white picket fence in a tropical clime, you still need a doormat, right? I’ve rounded up some door mats today, mainly coir and natural coconut fiber doormats; mostly modern doormats, many colorful doormats, plus neutrals, some in adorable silhouettes.

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S H O P P I N G 

1 Roam Sweet Roam Mountain Range Doormat, $34.99 at ModCloth.

2 Chilewich Stripe Shag Floor Mat in Mineral $50 at Burke Décor.

3 Multicolor Leaves Coconut Fiber Doormat, $19.99 at Amazon.

4 Cape Cod Polypropylene Doormat, $69.99 at Hayneedle.

5 Hedgehog Doormat, $39.95 at Crate & Barrel

6 Multicolor Flip-Flop Doormat, $16. 99 at World Market

7 It’s Cold Doormat, $24.45 at Wayfair.

8 Haute Habitat Coir Bear Doormat, $34.99 at ModCloth.

9 Computer Keyboard Coir Doormat, $26.97 at Amazon

10 Harvest Striped Doormat, $24.95 at Pier1 Imports

11 Green Chevron Coconut Fiber Doormat, $39.99 at Hayneedle.

12 Nautical Anchor Floor Mat, $28.95 at West Elm.

13 Chilewich Bold Stripe Shag Outdoor Floor Mat, $50 at Horne.

14 Camouflage Deer Doormat, $17.99 at Wayfair.

15 Oval Knot Woven Coco Doormat, $16.99 at Amazon

16 Dahlias Handwoven Coconut Fiber Doormat, $32.30 at Wayfair.

17 MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Door Mat, $160 at Horchow.

18 Natural Chevron Coir Doormat, $29 at Pottery Barn.

19 Nautical Rope Doormat, $49 at L.L. Bean.

20 Herb Garden Doormat, $68 at Terrain. 

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   s h o p    o u t d o o r   d e c o r  at  t e r r a i n >

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Get the Look: 20 Handbags with Fringe

People have pretty particular feelings about fringe. I get it. Fringe can be all too hippie chick, or hokey cowgirl (now that’s fringe gone woefully astray). My husband is not a fan of fringe. He doesn’t even like the the lone leather strip of fringe that hangs from each zipper of my beloved Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac Crossbody Bag. (I have teal, for special color occasions, but I just got a grey one that I use multiple times a week.)  My editor at the Globe Magazine has rejected a fringe fashion style page. (No matter, I’m turning one into my editor at the Globe newspaper instead.)

Following up on yesterday’s post Street Style: 28 Fashions with Fringe, I sourced 20 fringed handbags for you. In addition to the black & white Tribale Fringed Bag by Lanvin (LOVE but not willing to sell my soul), I’m kinda grooving on the simple and affordable #3. Tell me if you have any fringe-y plans for yourself this fall.

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S H O P P I N G

1 Jude Clutch by House of Harlow 1960, $275 at Pink Mascara.

2 Fringed Leather Clutch by En Shalla, $225 at Net-a-Porter.

3 Quinn the Lana Fringe Hobo Bag by BCBGeneration, $128 at Nordstrom

4 Everly Fringe Bucket Bag by Cleobella, $328 at Shopbop

5 Fringe Tote Bag by Ecote , $69 at Urban Outfitters

6 Fringe Handbag by George J. Love, $152 at Yoox

7 Joni Python Fringe Clutch by Michael Kors, $2,695 at Neiman Marcus

8 Finn Convertible Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff, $195 at Nordstrom

9 Moschino Heart Tote, $499 at Yoox

10 Isabella Fringe Crossbody Bag by Milly, $395 at Nordstrom

11 Nirvana Fringe Crossbody Tote by Lucky Brand, $218 at Zappos. 

12 Fringed Hobo Bag by Miu Miu, $1,950 at Saks Fifth Avenue.  

13 Fringe Hobo by Christopher Kon, $445 at Shopbop

14 Mini Fringe Clutch with Zodiac by Valentino, $797 at Stylebop.

15 Fringe Bag with Chain by Mossimo Supply Co., $29.99 at Target.

16 Fringe Tote by Tory Burch, $595 at Tory Burch.  

17 Girl’s Best Fringe Bag by Steve Madden, $67.99 at ModCloth

18 Fringe Leather Junior Lock Clutch by Loeffler Randall, $295 at Saks.  

19 Avoca Fringe Shoulder Bag by Urban Originals, $100 at Nordstrom.

20 Large Crossbody Fringe Bag by Sam Edelman, $148 at Zappos

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Find more on-trend handbags at Shopbop >

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Get the Look: 18 Graphic Picture Tees

Now that the weather is a bit warmer, I have abandoned by ankle length Patagonia puffer (attractive look, I know). I love wearing an edgy T-shirt underneath a blazer. There’s been an abundance of model and street style T-shirts on the market, along with an appearance of concert tees from yesteryear.

I’ve actually gotten a couple of cute, casual striped blazers at Gap over the last year which have been a staple, along with a cream and navy stripe Tory Burch blazer from several years ago. (The Tory Burch Augusta Jacket, which is a similar idea but with much wider stripes, is on sale. Also, try Gap; maybe the Classic Stripe Blazer) Perhaps I need to do a spring blazers for daytime post!

In the meantime, let’s look at some at some digital photo graphic tees. Kate Moss and Audrey are my faves.

 

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S H O P P I N G

1. Antimatter T-Shirt by Jean Pierre Braganza

2. T-Shirt with Strass

3. Yung K Tee by Dimepiece

4. Looney Tunes Represent Tee by Eleven Paris

5. Patchwork Portrait-Print T-Shirt by Givenchy

6. Flora Mortis T-Shirt

7. Studded Burnout Lips Tee

8. QS by s.Oliver Print T-Shirt

9. Wolf Moon Tee

10. Stairs Print T-Shirt by MM6 Martin Margiela

11. Paw de Deux Tee

12. Floral Tee by Made in Hell-A

13. Heart Uneven Hem Tee

14. Tribal Graphic Tee by Eleven Paris

15. Kate Moss ‘Life Is a Joke’ Tee by Eleven Paris

16. Spiked NYC Heart Tee

17. Flower Child Graphic Tee

18. Fancy Audrey Tee

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Shop Karmaloop for edgy tees and more >

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Gift Guide: 10 Gifts For Her Under $25

Here’s a compilation of  lovely presents for a friend or sister, all under $25. A few are from online boutiques you may not have heard of, , sites that are worth exploring whether you’re buying for yourself or choosing holiday gifts.

ModCloth has really cute clothing at great prices (I just bought this adorable camera tee). Furbish Studio, a boutique in Raleigh owned by designer Jamie Meares, has fun home furnishings, as well as gifty gems. And, I just discovered including Waiting on Martha, an e-boutique and  blog by Mandy Kellogg Rye, who plans to open a brick and mortar outpost in Atlanta next year.

 

Gift Guide Affordable Presents For Her

S H O P P I N G

1 Chevron Cocktail Napkin Set

2 Tapas Tools

3 Ceramic Jewelry Tray

Across the Universe Nail Polish

5 Matte Mint Bud Vase

6 Hunter Gems

7 Turkish Hand Towel

Chanel Noir Perfume Print

9 Fawn Cosmetics Case

10 Colorblock Key Fob

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