The Nursery | Before Photos + Inspiration

Now that I'm over halfway through my pregnancy, we're ready to get our butts in gear to prepare our home for our little one! I've been dreaming up nursery designs and pinning inspiration for years and I'm so excited to finally start this project. We'll be turning our smallest guest bedroom into the nursery, which is perfect because it's right across the hall from our master bedroom. 

We never really decorated this room, but we did add a few more things since we shared our "before" home tour back in 2015. The minty green settee will be staying, along with the white IKEA dresser. But most everything else will be moved out and repurposed in other rooms. These aren't the best "before" photos because I had stripped the bed to do laundry and ended up taking these at 9pm on evening right before I convinced Anthony to take apart the bed and move it to another room with me. 

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I just realized as I'm writing this that our nieces left a book underneath the bed. They love hanging out under there! The room is about 11' x 13' and has two west facing windows so it gets some of the prettiest light in the house! The closet is kind of strange, as it has no shelves or hanging rod but does have the frame of an old boarded up window and it extends back and to the left with three large steps to accommodate the sloped ceiling of the staircase below. I'm planning on making a cushion for the top step and turning it into a little hideout or reading nook for our kiddo to enjoy when they get older!

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Since this is our smallest bedroom and we hope to have more children in the future, we want to make this room pretty gender neutral so it can stay the nursery as our older kids would "graduate" to a larger room in the house. Our overall plans for the space are similar to our goals for the rest of our fixer upper --to add more character and historic charm back into the room. Our house is a 1903 colonial/farmhouse but the upstairs especially is sadly lacking with original details. I'm personally not a big fan of themed or overly "baby-ish" nursery designs. They are so cute, but I want the nursery to grow with our family and feel like it fits in with the style of the rest of our house. Here are some examples of elegant, collected nurseries that are inspiring me right now:

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Claire Boeshaar via 100 Layer Cake-let

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Chris Loves Julia

We are so excited to create a functional, cozy and welcoming space for our little girl. Yes, I said little girl because we found out a couple weeks ago that we are expecting a daughter!

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The end of May can't come soon enough! 

10 Guest Bedroom Essentials

I remember when we lived in an apartment, I would dream about having a real guest bedroom to decorate someday. Then, when we bought our first home a few years ago, we ended up with three! One is being turned into a nursery very soon, but since we have ample room we find ourselves hosting overnight guests on a pretty regular basis. As such, I decided my 2014 post on 7 Guest Bedroom Essentials was in for a little update! Read on to see my new list of tips for how to put together a welcoming guest bedroom.

Idylwyld Project Guest Bedroom

1. Layered blankets

No matter what season it is, give your guests a variety of blankets to choose from. My go-to bed bedding combination is a duvet, a lightweight quilt and a throw blanket. Similarly, it's a good idea to have two sets of pillows to layer on a bed -- two on the softer side and two slightly firmer. I do the same thing on our bed because I like a soft pillow whereas my husband prefers something firmer. Give your guests some options to make them feel right at home!

2. Wifi password

One of the first things I want to do after spending long hours on the road is to plug my electronics in and check my email. Make it easy for your guests by sharing your home's wifi password with this cute printable I designed! It's kind of crazy, but this little printable has been repinned over 100K times on Pinterest. Can you believe it? Grab your copy below or shop my other printable designs here

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FREE WIFI PASSWORD PRINT!

Name *
Name

3. Cozy chair

If you have the space, it's always great to add some comfortable seating to your guest bedroom! We have a small settee across from the foot of the bed in ours, but an upholstered chair in a corner is a great option too. It gives guests a place to sit other than the bed and makes the whole room feel warmer and more inviting.

4. Spare set of house keys

We've hosted a lot of guests in the two and a half years we've owned our house. For guests staying for a longer visit or just crashing while they are in town for an event, we like to leave out a spare key. It gives our guests a little more autonomy with coming and going as they need to and just makes things easier! We have ours on a pretty leather tassel keychain I made so it's easy to spot!

5. Fresh towels

This one seems obvious, but there's nothing worse than realizing you forgot to do that load of laundry right when your guest wants to take a shower. Unfortunately, I know this from experience-- sorry, Ella! In the bustle of getting ready for houseguests, it's easy to forget something but make sure you have a couple nice, freshly laundered towels ready for when they arrive! I usually stack them in a pile on the foot of the bed or on the chair/settee.

6. Snacks

I always like to have some snack food at the ready when I have guests coming. My guests are always welcome to what's in the refrigerator, but guests feel more comfortable helping themselves to snacks that are already out and ready for munching. I keep a bowl of granola bars and crackers stocked in our kitchen but if you really want to make a good impression, a small tray with a carafe, drinking glass and a few snacks right in the guest bedroom is a really nice detail!

7. Reading material

I always have a supply of magazines like Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens, and I will usually leave a few of the current issues out when I know guests are coming over. I use hardcover and vintage books all around our house for styling, but I recently started keeping my collection of paperbacks in our guest bedroom too. This gives guests something to do if you are busy milling about the house preparing for a family gathering or celebration!

8. Wastebasket

Confession, we don't currently have a waste basket in our guest room but it's something I keep meaning to add to my shopping list! There's a lot of small trash that can be created when you're traveling and it's always more convenient when your guests don't have to go looking for a spot to throw something away. I like decorative wastebaskets with removable liners, like this one

9. Mirror

We used to have a mirror in our guest room, but things in our house are always moving around and now I'm on the hunt for a nice, affordable floor mirror to put next to the closet. Yes, there's the bathroom but it's a nice touch to give guests a spot to check their outfit or touch up their makeup before they leave the room. Plus, a pretty mirror can add so much light and energy to a space! Hang a smaller one over a dresser or desk, or lean a tall mirror up against the wall like I plan to do. 

10. Scented linen spray

In addition to washing all the bedding before I'm expecting a house guest, I like to add an extra boost of freshness when I'm making the bed with a naturally scented linen spray. You can definitely buy a premade spray, but I've started incorporating essential oils into my wellness and housekeeping routines over the last year or so and room sprays are so easy to whip up! I keep one in our room too to add some extra freshness to our bedding in between washes. I'll be sharing the DIY later this week!

What do you do to prep for house guests?

Comment below or on Instagram to share your tips! I love hosting friends and family in our home and I'm always looking for new ways to make things special for their visit!

My First Trimester

Hey friends! So as I'm writing this, I am a little over 19 weeks pregnant. Anthony and I were on our way to the movies last week and he turned to me and said "I feel like you still don't believe this is really happening".  And he was right! I've been dreaming about this chapter of life since I was a little girl and this baby was definitely planned, but still, expecting your first child is a pretty surreal experience. It's not lost on us how lucky we are to be having a healthy, normal pregnancy so far. We are so, so grateful and we're excited to really start to preparing for our little one's arrival this spring. 

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I promise, Chloe is more excited than she seems about becoming a big sister!

How we found out 

Historically speaking, I'm not a very patient person. Anthony and I have been together for 11 years and married for 4. And tbh, I've had baby fever since I was approximately 9 years old -- I'm just one of those people who loves babies. If you have a baby, I might be too shy to ask, but yes, I definitely want to hold it. All this to say that because impatient me felt like I had to wait a small lifetime to actually be "ready" for parenthood, once Anthony and I decided it was time I wasn't taking any chances. Right out of the gate, I did all the things you're supposed to do when you really want to make a baby and thankfully for us, it happened very, very quickly. 

In my typical impatient fashion, I woke up early one Monday morning and decided to take a test on a whim. According to my best research, it was still too soon to get a reliable result but I had ordered cheap test strips in bulk on Amazon so I really had nothing to lose. And besides, I had felt really off the day before and the wondering was starting to kill me. When I saw a faint second line appear on the test, I seriously thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I gave it a few more minutes and then looked again and immediate burst into tears. There was no denying that second line was there and HOLY CRAP WE'RE GOING TO BE PARENTS! My next thought was "how am I going to wake Anthony up this early without him getting mad at me"? Man really likes his sleep. So I wipe my happy tears and walk back to our bedroom asking Anthony in the calmest, sweetest voice I can muster if he's awake and if he minds if I turn on the lights for a minute. He grumbles "yeah, ok" and rolls over, pulling the blankets up over his head. I went and sat next to him on the bed and said I needed him to look at something. Once he opened his eyes, he kept repeating "What is that? WHAT IS THAT. WHAT IS THAT!" even though I know he already knew. We hugged, we cried, we laughed, we looked up what my due date might be and what the baby looked like as a tiny blastocyst. I was really glad we had that extra time to enjoy the moment together before he had to get up and go to work. 

Symptoms & what helped

Spoiler alert, nothing! Just kidding but really. After finding out so early, I was blessed to have a good month with pretty mild symptoms before the nasties of the first trimester really kicked in. Which was good, because I had a crazy amount of travel scheduled in September & October! At 4 weeks pregnant I was at a Bachelorette party in Pittsburgh, where I really tried to play it cool but was outed by the owner of the vineyard to the entire wine tasting tour group, before we had even told our families! At 5 weeks, I visited my little sister in California and during that trip that it was cemented that crying in public was now going to be a big part of my life. At 6 weeks it was back to Pittsburgh for a wedding and at 8 weeks I was a bridesmaid at a wedding outside of Philadelphia! We had just had our first ultrasound and I had a few sporadic days of morning sickness before then but it didn't take long for things to take a turn.

Morning sickness. They aren't lying when they say it's should really be called all day sickness. At first, I tried to detect a pattern and plan my life accordingly but I quickly realized that was a pointless endeavor. There was no rhyme or reason and none of the myriad of remedies I tried really helped. Case in point, I once threw up in my neighbor's front garden while loading my car for a client install even though I was wearing sea bands and magnesium spray AND had taken prescription anti-nausea meds. I was really sick, often multiple times a day from about 8-9 weeks until about 15 weeks. Then it tapered off to 3-4 times a week and then finally stopped around 17 weeks. I still get nauseous sometimes, but I haven't thrown up since before Christmas and I am SUPER happy about that! In addition to throwing up so much, I had zero appetite and basically subsisted off of toast and saltines. In the first trimester I didn't have any cravings yet, just a general aversion to all food so it was a process of elimination to see what sounded the least terrible. Thank goodness for prenatal vitamins! That being said, I really do think the over-the-counter remedy my midwife recommended (Unisom + Vitamin B6) helped decrease the severity and frequency of my morning sickness and the prescription she wrote me because I was still losing weight did work, just not all the time. At 19 weeks, I'm just now back up to the weight I was when I got pregnant and I have an approximately six inch long, half pound baby and all the accompanying fluid and organs included in that. So if you are newly pregnant, definitely try all of the natural remedies if and when your morning sickness starts, but I would say to go ahead and buy the Unisom and Vitamin B6 so you have it in case you need it! 

Other than that, I had the usual things like fatigue, sore boobs, having to pee all the time and general moodiness. My theory is that being pregnant prepares you for parenthood by turning you into an actual baby. For a while there, I felt like all I did was sleep, pee, try to eat, throw up and cry. There was a week during the worst of it that I barely left the couch (except to run to the bathroom) and it was pretty tough physically and emotionally. Despite everything, I was still so happy and grateful to pregnant but now that I'm feeling better life is a lot easier.  

The first trimester was rough, I'm going to be honest, but hopefully I don't sound like too much of a downer because we are really REALLY excited for this baby! Babies are awesome in general but the idea that I'll get to meet a little guy or girl who is half me and half Anthony around the end of May is enough to make my heart swell and burst into a million tiny pieces. We can't wait to meet you, kid! 

Favorite Posts from 2017

Before this year passes, I wanted to take a look back at some of my favorite blog posts from 2017. It's funny because last year, I tried to narrow it down to 5 or 10 but came up with 11 and this year I counted the posts I wanted to highlight and it was exactly 11 too! I'm organizing them by the categories of Interior Design, Our Home, DIY Projects and My Life. 

INTERIOR DESIGN

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7 Tips for Decorating a Small Space - One question I get a lot is how to make the most of a room when square footage is limited. Whether it's an apartment, small home or just a room that isn't quite as big as you wish it was, there are a lot of ways to squeeze more function and style into a space while still keeping that perfect balance of elegant and collected. 

 

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The Three E's | My Design Philosophy - As a designer, I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes my point of view different. Why are my designs unique and what makes them worth sharing? Over the years, I've realized there are three overarching themes that tie all of the spaces I create together and describe the mindset of how I approach interior design as a whole. Those words are Elegant, Eclectic and Essential and in this post, I explain what those words mean to me. 

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24 Hour Apartment Makeover Project - Back in May, I was hired for quite an interesting project! My client wanted to restyle her downtown apartment to make it a stand out listing on Airbnb. The only catch was, her first guests were coming in just a couple of days so I had one full day to complete this project from start to finish and was limited to just the stores we have locally here in York. These before and after photos really show what a difference styling and accessories can make!

 

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Bridgeton Project Master Bedroom Design Process - I feel terrible that I still haven't shared the reveal photos for this space but trust me, it's beautiful! These clients live in a lovely ranch home in the country, surrounded by woods and cornfields. For their master bedroom, we went with a cozy, neutral and rustic design that I just L-O-V-E! They are the sweetest couple and the husband is a very talented carpenter! He made all of the dressers and nightstands by hand, plus he made real tongue and groove shiplap for the accent wall and completely brought my vision to life! 

 

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Idylwyld Project Guest Bedroom Introduction & Guest Bedroom Reveal - This project was another dream come true to complete! I designed this moody, industrial guest bedroom for a cool young couple here in York. They had a smaller, northwest facing bedroom that got limited natural light so we really amped up the cozy factor with a deep blue-gray wall color and eclectic, antique and vintage-inspired accents. I wish I could copy and paste this guest bedroom into our house!


OUR HOME

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Living Room Progress | Modern English Country Style - We've continued to chip away at many home improvement projects this year, but by far the room that feels the most complete is our living room. Earlier this year, I made some tweaks that I am really loving like adding this new leather arm chair, switching out the art and getting a few new pillow covers. The room feels really cozy and peaceful now, which is exactly what I wanted!

 

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Dining Room Progress | Antique Meets Midcentury - I also shared an update on our dining room, which is now being renovated to become my new home office! I'll be mostly recreating this look in the smaller room next door but I have a few new pieces I'm really excited about like this gorgeous print set from Laurie Anne Art & Design and a vintage hutch I'll be repainting. It makes me a little sad to see these photos now, because I really loved this room as our dining room but I'm excited to have a bigger office as the headquarters for Stevie Storck Design Co.!


DIY PROJECTS

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DIY Monogram Embroidery Hoop + Free Pattern!  - Right after Christmas last year I picked up a new hobby of embroidery! I made these little monogram hoops as "Galentine's Day" gifts for my best friends. They are so simple and fun to make! A great project if you are just trying embroidery for the first time! 


MY LIFE

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5 Little Habits for a Brighter, Happier Day - One of my big goals for 2017 was to slow down and take better care of myself. In March, I shared 5 things I added to my daily routine to help me feel my best. Many times throughout the year, when I was having a day where I felt off or just down for no reason many times I realized that it was because I had skipped doing all or some of these things. I shared my 5 little happiness boosters in hopes that it will inspire you to find your own ways to add more self-care into your days!

 

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26 - Every year on my birthday, I interview myself here on the blog. It's fun to see how my answers change from year to year! I'll be honest, the first few months of 2017 were particularly rough for me. Hence why my birthday post was written two months late and why I put such a big emphasis on self-care! One thing I'm learning about life is that the challenging times are just as important and worth remembering as the good times. It's a personal goal of mine to always find the beauty in the struggles. Sometimes the silver lining comes right away and other times it takes patience and healing to see the upside. Optimism is undervalued in our society, but I think optimists are the strongest, bravest, most resilient people out there. 

 

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Four Years + Some Big News! - Just last month, I shared our annual anniversary/family portraits and Baby Storck made their official blog debut! Now that I'm past the worst of it, I'm working on a first trimester update to share in the new year. If you're into that kind of stuff and have any pregnancy related questions for me, send them my way! It's hard to believe I'm already almost 18 weeks along. We'll be finding out if it's a boy or girl in early January and we are so excited to really start getting things ready for him or her. 


It's been quite the year here at Stevie Storck Design Co.! Now, I have a question for you?

What would you like to see more of in 2018?

More interior design tips? More before & afters? More personal posts? I'm writing a list of blog post ideas for the new year and I would love to have your input! Thank you for following along!