A Pre-Teen Boys Room

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Two and a half years after moving in we have finally done little Kellen's room. Is it styled to perfection, no. Is it perfect for him, yes! He has the biggest room in the house and we have struggled with finding a solution that worked for him. Finally once he nailed down that he wanted a hang space in the bonus area then we got to designing. It went through many stages including a lego city that covered every square inch, an office area, and simply a mess keeper. Most of the items we have had for years, but a few new touches is all it took to bring it all together. The gallery wall has room to grow and his new metal board is perfect place to display all his art. We bought the cat tail magnets in Boston and he was thrilled. They fit his humor and his love for cats. The hang space is comfortable not only for he and his friends, but even I find the new bean bags comfortable. The price was spot on too. I've even seen sister hanging in here with him which we all know is a win. The flor rug tiles cover enough of the cork floor to help even out all the wood tones that overpowered the space. The simple pattern adds interest without being too busy. The shelves have enough going on as is. We DIY'ed the bed using plywood, fabric and this bed frame. He can't wait to show all his friends his new "teen" room so I think we did well. 

get the look:

bean bags, duvet in slate {softest linen and great quality. Like it more than my RH one}, dresser, desk, desk chair, rug {in slate and gray}, roman shades, blue side table, ship kite, bedside table, bedside lamp, metal display board, cat tail magnets, be a nice human print, tall lamp {old kate spade for west elm}

Boston

If you happen to follow me on Instagram then you saw the Mr surprised me with a trip to Boston for our fourteenth anniversary. To be honest at first I was apprehensive. It was the first time I left little Kellen for more than a few hours since he got sick this past January. Although I know we are on the upswing it was like cutting the umbilical all over again. I am so grateful the Mr made the executive decision to head out of town so we could simply reconnect. We needed it. We know marriage is so important and it can only sustain so long if you don't take the time to nurture it so that is exactly what we did. We took the time to talk and really listen to each others dreams, goals, and hardships. We held hands and walked the streets of Boston for hours on end. We ate well and ended each night watching a movie that took place in Boston. We laughed and I cried once I realized I need to breath again. It was just what our souls needed. 

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We walked from our loft  in Seaport along the harbor everyday. It was quite and the breeze was oh so glorious on a hot summers day. This view from the loft was perfection. Caffe Nero supplied me with my morning cup of cold brew and the Mr a late night snack. 

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Beacon Hill we could stroll for hours. The architecture, the cobblestone and brick walk ways, coupled with the beautiful greenery was a sight to behold. 

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We bought city 3 day Go Boston passes. They were so worth the money. The Cityview trolley drivers were all locals who loved their city and each guide shared something a little different. We could get on and off and tour different historical areas. Little Italy was one of my favorites. We ate at La Famiglia Giorgio’s. They had the most amazing gluten free pasta. The line at night was out the door, but for lunch we got right in. It was close to Paul Revere's home. He bought it when it was almost 100 years old. Can you imagine? The Go Boston pass also gave us ample amount of passes for different sight's that was good for adults and kids. The way it worked for the Cityview trolley was brilliant. It didn't feel touristy and felt more like hanging with your Uncle who had all the best recommendations. 

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One of the Boston Go passes was for the Skywalk and it was jaw dropping. Getting to see the layout of the city and all the different architecture made it one of my favorite stops. The skywalk is part of a beautiful shopping center with plenty of places to eat and shop. It also now houses a smaller version of my New York favorite, Eatly. See the river in the photo above? We took a little tour boat, the Charles River Cruise, and got to see the city from yet another angle. It took us through Cambridge and down to Harvard. It was a nice way to be off your feet yet still take in all the site's. 

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The passes also included one premium event and we choose going to a Red Sox's game. I was beyond myself giddy to be in Fenway Park. I actually grew up just outside of Boston and never been to a game. If I had a bucket list then this experience would have been right at the top. 

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Tatte Bakery was throughout Boston. It was recommend to me by an old blog friend and she was spot on. Every shop was little different and they had the best iced tea, not to be mistaken for sweet tea for my southern friends. They had gluten free options too, but I did not partake. 

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Have a sneaker lover? This hidden gem it just the place to stop, Bodega. The store front is a market and then you go through a hidden door that leads into sneaker lovers dream. I was in awe. 

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Overall we saw so much yet I don't think we even broke the surface on what this city has to offer. We are already planning another trip with the kiddos. Nothing like learning history while walking the streets. 

stay: airbnb

eat & drink: Caffe Nero La Famiglia Giorgio’s, Tatte Bakery, Pastoral {best gluten free pizza I have ever had. We took it to go and ate it in our loft while we watched a movie}, seaport area in general has so many wonderful places to eat

travel and sight seeing: walk, lyft car service & 3 day Go Boston {not paid to endorse just sharing my experience}

Rugs

Way back when I started blogging my desire was to share ways of decorating on a budget. We all know every budget is different and every amount means different things to different people, but my goal was to always share things that didn't lack quality for the amount spent. I enjoyed a good DIY and needed to be creative on how to get the best bang for the buck. As our budget grew over the last decade I still hold some of the same principles in mind when decorating. I believe living within one's means is so important hence our snails pace reno. So here is to a new series that goes back to my roots. Today we are talking rugs as I believe they can make a space feel lived in, grounded and welcoming. Rugs are not only beautiful, but are functional. In an open floor plan they can help define an area, they can act as a cozy place for kids to play, and they can add character to an other wise simple space. My favorite rugs are antiques. They come already perfectly worn and can add said character in a second. Now the downside for quality rugs is that they can be expensive, especially the large ones. One way I achieve the look I desire throughout our home is to save on the big rugs and add smaller antique ones throughout. The antiques add the quality, age, and beauty I am looking for. Now for the larger rugs, we normally have to stray away from new wool rugs as our allergies can't take it although I know they are popular. They are harder to clean when the dog gets sick and they can be really expensive. Thankfully, over the years machine made rugs have gone up in quality considerably and normally is what we can afford in a large scale. They are mostly easy to clean and can take a beating. The balance between using antique rugs and newer less expensive ones is how I achieve the look I am going for on a budget. 

New Rugs...

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Our living room needed a large rug to cover the previous homeowners faded rug marks on the hardwoods. Refinishing the hardwoods simply is not in the budget currently. I knew I wanted something organic in feel with a lot of variance in color as I knew that would be easier to hide any marks and staining. We have a constant flow of adults, kids and pets coming into our home. Although hard to tell, this one has a lot of highs and lows in color. It's more oatmeal in color, but in our very bright space it reads more ivory which was my overall goal. It has a low pile which helps to keep it from matting, but still plush enough to be soft. We have had this rug for well over a year maybe even two and it has held up really well. 

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This one is actually an indoor/outdoor rug from the Emily & Merritt line at Pottery Barn. Unfortunately they no longer carry it online, but some are still in store. Indoor/outdoor rugs have really upped the game. They no longer feel like plastic and can be quite soft under foot. They are normally flat weaves so a quality rug pad is a must to keep it from slipping. The best part is that they are animal and kid proof which is always a win in my book. 

Antique & Vintage rugs...

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This one may be my favorite. I came across it at an estate sale. The home was filled with mid century modern furniture, photography, and art from all around the world. I believe we would have been friends in another time. I was grateful to carry home a piece with me. 

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The use of antique or vintage rugs in the kitchen is simply my favorite.  They can take quite a beating as most have survived for decades already. They clean up well and add personality. This one I like to think distracts from the vinyl flooring and laminate countertops that we hope to change one day. I still miss the rug that we lost when our old, old house flooded. It sat a few too many days in water to be saved. 

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The petite one here fits perfectly by our washer and dryer which is in a open nook off the kitchen. You can also see that we have the top to our washer ready, but have yet to add the sides. One day I am certain it will happen, but for now I try to be content that this little space functions well. 

Sourcing...

Before starting the hunt for any rug I get all my ducks in a row. I first get my measurements needed for the space. I know what "look" I am trying to achieve and color ways. Most importantly I set a budget for myself, because I know good and well that I can over spend quickly and justify the price for the so called "perfect" rug. 

For larger cheaper rugs I tend to search places like overstock which is where our living room one came from.  They make it easy by being able to filter by size, color, and material. You can even filter by price which can help keep one honest on how much you really want to spend. Plus many people upload their own images so you can truly get a sense of the rug in a real space. Sometimes you can find a beautiful one at your local Home Goods, but I find it easier to scour the web. Places like West ElmPottery Barn, CB2 and Serena and Lily can be a good source especially when they have their big blowout sales. All the stores also provide an additional discount if you sign up for their emails. They usually all have a good assortment of indoor/outdoor rugs too that may fit the bill even more as they can be a bit more budget friendly. Once fall arrives most of the latter will be marked down considerably. The biggest savings can normally be found in store though with overstock sales or floor displays. 

Have a little bit more money to spend? The selection at McGee and Co I have used before for interior design projects and have always been quite happy. She does host holiday sales too and her selection is easy to navigate. 

For vintage and antique rugs, my go-to's are from a few different sources and I always have to be mentally prepared for the hunt as it can take some time. They can be a bit more pricey hence my go-to are smaller rugs. Of course local estate sales can be such a good source, but you have to know your area to hit it right. Etsy is one of favorites. I tend to lean towards shops that have had at least 30 buyers, but I prefer more in most cases. Ratings and reviews also need to be really positive. I find this to be the best route since a lot of the selection can come from out of country. Saying that, I also look for shops that state they clean the rugs before shipping and I also try to be aware of shipping costs as they can vary greatly. 

A few more of my favorite shops for antique and vintage rugs I found via Instagram over the last few years. Loom and Kiln, Rug and Weave, The Southern Loom, Lily and Loom Rugs and my newest find that also happens to be local is Lillie Kat Rugs. I have noticed that all these shops will have Instagram sales randomly that discount a rug steeply and holiday sales can be found. Finally e-sale rugs is another go-to. My kitchen kilim rug came from here and I bought it for a steal. Wait for a sale. It's worth it when working on a budget. Layering a smaller rug over a larger sisal rug would be another way to get the most for your money. Things I keep in mind when shopping for older rugs... There may be wear and tear, but that is part of the charm. I try to stay away from holes though. The sizes may be odd so typing in a common size may not yield all the best results. Finally I tend to think of the rugs as pieces of art worth the investment. Who knows, maybe they will in my kiddos home one day. 

Buying...

Here are some new rugs that have caught my eye...

~ New, but looks worn. Is rich in color, but won't overwhelm a space. It would also hide a mess well making it a contender for a         dining space. I would love to see it in a bedroom though - The Pompeii

~ My living room rug is a favorite of mine of course. Again it's not a true ivory like the description states. It varies in high and           low's quite a bit and my bright space lightens it up. It would work in both warm and cool palettes. - Tunisia Rug

~ Need something soft yet neutral? This tonal cream with beige woven throughout would be lovely. It looks like it would hide dirt     well and would be lovely in a space that used warm colors. This would not be a go to if my palette consisted of grays. For                 example it would be beautiful in my living and master as seen above. I could also imagine it in a nursery. - Safavieh Vision

~ This reminds me of the one in my master although this one is jute. The graphic lines would help ground a room and the rest of       the space I would keep simple and understated. ~ Ways Jute Rug

~ I tend to love a good indoor/outdoor rug for a kids space or play area. This one is officially on my want list. ~ Positive Rug

Vintage and antique rugs that I have become smitten with...

~ Did you know Overstock has a whole section dedicated to one of kind rugs? This one reminds me of my master bedroom rug.         Would be a bit short for a king, but would be perfect for a queen or full size bed.  This one in a kitchen or wide hallway would       be stunning.

~ This shop has had 710 sales and 275 reviews with a 5 star rating so I would feel confident to buy. The whole shop is full of great     finds, but I love this one with it's blue tones. This one is pretty much a dead ringer for my kitchen rug and the price is fabulous       even with the added shipping charge. 

~ I have so many rugs bookmarked from this shop. Plus she offers free shipping and is here in the states. The size and price of    this rich blue kilim is remarkable. I am already dreaming up a whole boys room that could carry well into college years around it.      Every kilim is a beauty though. 

~ This rug I seriously contemplated buying, but alas I don't have a spot for it. The faded worn quality that comes with age makes      me swoon. A large master bath, kitchen, hall, bedroom, really the possibilities are endless. 

~ looking for a neutral rug? This one is a beauty. Again it can really live in any space. Truly a piece of art for your floor. Would even be a candidate for layering over a larger sisal