One Room Challenge No. 4 // Fall 2015

October 28, 2015

You guys, I'm going to be honest. I'm so delirious right now, I have no business writing this post. Feel free to just cruise on by to the next ORC participant on the list this week. I won't be offended.

If you're just joining us and that somehow intrigues you, see the starting point and previous progress of my 6 week dining room makeover with week one, week two, and week three.

This is the week that things went wrong. But first, the positive news! Window treatments are up.

I'm still debating whether the bamboo shade will stay. I love the warmth it adds to the room, but wonder if the light fixture demands for the more formal feel of drapes alone? What do you think?

Art from sponsor Minted arrived!

DYING. I love them allllllll so much. Candidly, it's been awhile since my last art purchase from Minted. Super impressed with their current print options and frame quality. And you're talking to a real art snob here. (Left to right: Untitled 4 by Jaime Derringer, Gentle Embrace by Ilana Greenberg, and visionary 2 by Taleen Bedikian.)

My picks from sponsor Bellacor also arrived. My little fiddle is happy in her sweet seagrass basket next to the newly-shined Sarreid chest.

The not-so-fun news: there was some miscommunication with the custom window and it was never ordered. So we can cross that right off the to-do list.

Not awesome. But maybe a sign that we should do the french doors I've always dreamed of?!

Since Eric was out of town all of last week (read: my electrician/installer/carpenter was unavailable), that left the weekend to hash out our (final, I swear) plan for the built-in storage wall. I've settled on something low with shelving like this:

1 // 2

We'd originally planned an IKEA hack, but with a Lowes credit burning a hole in his pocket, Eric suggested that we do a custom build instead.


Except TIME. And DEADLINES. And no hammering after 8pm because baby.

But he got to work making a plan, so I'm going with it.

Here's hoping that arrow isn't pointing to the end of our marriage. He did get to buy new tools, so he can't be all mad, right?

The room is nowhere near ready and since I committed to a photoshoot for work in this space TODAY, I had to do a quick solve for the soon-to-be storage wall...which I'm actually pretty okay with looking at for the time being. These astrology prints (a generous gift from Jessica) normally live in our "formal" living room, but are perfect pretty much anywhere.

Let's all just pray that we Eric can get this storage unit in once the shoot is over tomorrow....and in time for any sort of final reveal.

Once done, I get to find homes for all of my new art and accessories. Yesssssss!

On to the next party:

Simplified Bee | Style Your Senses | A Thoughtful Place | Kimberly Whitman | The Zhush | TM by CIH

 Thanks to generous sponsors Farrow&Ball, Minted, Bellacor and Lowes for their help transforming our home!

One Room Challenge No. 3 // Fall 2015

October 21, 2015

Well. Here we are. It's week three of the One Room Challenge, which sounds like we're halfway through, right? Technically that is the case. However, smart kid here planned a photo shoot for next week so I'm seeeeeeeeeeriously stressing right now. (To catch up, see weeks one and two.)

As in I may or may not have had several emotional breakdowns last week selecting art and anxiously awaiting a ceiling medallion that I ordered 2 weeks too late.

Luckily, I've learned to anticipate this kind of emotional display at some point during the challenge and I know that once I get it out, things will start rolling again. And that they did.

The painting has been brutal, you guys. BRU-TAL. Here's a hot tip: If you ever ever EVER think you're going to paint over a high gloss dark saturated color, you cray. Hire. This. Out. I've used just about every paint out there, so I was eager to try ORC sponsor Farrow & Ball for myself. Next time, I'll let the results be enough of a reward....

This is where I extend copious amounts of praise and gratitude to my mom for spending HOURS trimming out this beast so I didn't have to tape. My mom, you guys. I am one lucky lady, I tell ya.

I am in love with the new look of this space. I know you have to use your imagination a little bit because I wasn't able to get any shots during daylight, but trust that it is looking fabulous in here. And almost twice as large! Which will be important once I get a storage system going on the north wall.

What's that? You want to see more of that lighting situation? Why sure!

 I debated the exact medallion for far too long. A few of my favorite contenders:

I read somewhere -- in an old Bible Domino mag, I believe -- that the medallion should be 1/7th of the ceiling square footage. I'm not sure whose scientific estimate that was, but I went slightly larger because I wanted more impact and I'm pretty satisfied with the results.

I LOOOOVE the simplicity of the Nelson pendant! It lets off the most delightfully diffused glow. Pretty sure it's been on during all of my waking hours at home. Wasting electricity = happiness.

You might have gotten a peek at the Sarreid chest in the shot above?

 She needs a little cleanup before settling into her new home, but I think she'll be quite happy here. I suspect this will be where most of the linens and misc dining goodies live. (We found this beauty locally, but One Kings Lane has something similar right now. You'd just have to track down a base!)

I've finally made some of my art selects. ORC sponsor Minted has an unbelievably vast library of fantastic options. My OCD tendencies had me going through every single piece before deciding. Which took, you know, until last night.

Hopefully I'll be showing you which pieces won next week. I've also had some of Ava's art framed for the walls. Our little budding abstract artist is making mama proud!

Left to accomplish:
  • Replace the window. That should be arriving tomorrow. Wish my husband luck for good weather and a speedy install this weekend!
  • Window treatments up. Going neutral here as discussed in week one. Or two...What day is it?
  • Settle on final answer for storage wall. (Shoot me now.)
  • Accessorize. The fun part!
That's all I have for you this week. Eager to see what kind of progress everyone else is making now. Some of these ladies have been out of town up to this point. Crazy!!

 Also check out the link up participants because there are some maaaajor projects going on there!

Huge thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for helping me maintain a sky high level of crazy.
Thanks as well to generous sponsors Farrow&Ball and Minted for their help transforming our home!


One Room Challenge No. 2 // Fall 2015

October 14, 2015

Oh heeeeeyyyyy. We're back today for week 2 of my One Room Challenge dining room makeover. Those of you that are stopping in for the first time, I'm one of 20 bloggers that has jumped on the ORC bandwagon yet again (see my first, second, and third trips to crazytown) and am in the process of making over my dining room in 6 short weeks.

Which is really 5 weeks because, you know, gotta give the photographer more than a day to shoot.

Cue hives.

We took a look at the dining room in its current state last week (check that out here). It's clear from the public outcry that I'm completely nuts and shouldn't be touching this room unless it's to finally finish it. But, as fate would have it, our family is growing next year and I'll be losing a dedicated office, resulting in this room now doing double duty. So it had to change anyway. Might as well give it a fresh, clean look. Something with the mixed up vibe of these spaces:

  1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 (source no longer active) // 6 & 7

Which might only make sense in my twisted head. Fresh, casual, and bright is the idea. I spent plenty of time exploring a few directions for the space before settling on this one. At one point, I was dead set on grass cloth. Deliciously rich and depth-enhancing, this option also screamed PLEASE COLOR ON ME, SMALL CHILDREN. So I'm putting these dreams in the "someday" file. But ohhhhh do I wish it were going to be mine! I'd even honed in on this lovely paper from Walls Republic when my dreams met reality. Just so we can all properly mourn this evolution...

Not long after the grass cloth realization, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which pretty much changed everything. This is when I decided that we needed more function in here. With warmth and personality. In the book, Marie Kondo talks about the importance of owning only those things that very literally bring you joy --

I'm going to be honest here. A lot of things bring me joy. Which is why I buy them immediately. Dah. But then I sell them. Sometimes right away, sometimes after displaying them in our home for a time. And that works for me. In fact, it's how I love to live. I definitely hang onto things that have meaning, and I like to move goods around fairly often. (Some of our rugs have lived in almost every room in our 4 short years in this home!) All to say that the ORC -- especially this round -- isn't about acquiring new things. It's about making our home even more of a home. Beautiful? Yes. Design fluff? Nope. (Well, okay, maybe just a smidge.)

Enough of that. You get the idea. Here's a really rough idea of where I've landed. ish.

And here's the nitty gritty of what needs to happen real quicklike:

  • Walls primed. Done!
  • Walls painted. Done! After much debate, I've selected Farrow and Ball Cornforth White. Now you would think from all of that inspiration up there that I would be going with a true white, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, this room couldn't handle a true white and we're not in a position to add natural light. So I opted for this deliciously versatile gray. The color actually changes from warm to cool depending on the time of day. I'm so eager to see how it looks when everything is all said and done. I've always been curious about F&B paint, so I was really excited when I learned they were a sponsor this round! Honest opinion: Goes on like butta and has incredible depth. It did take 3 coats even after priming, but worth all of the minutes.
  • Trim painted. Got started. I went with Benjamin Moore Simply White because I have plans to carry this throughout the house. Nice and crisp and lets the Cornforth White really shine.
  • Swap out overhead lighting. I know, I know. I truly love our existing chandy! It's glorious. (Even more so since the color change actually.) But I'm mentally committed to a quieter vibe in here aaaand some co-workers were selling a longtime favorite - a George Nelson saucer pendant - so I really had no choice.
  • Find a ceiling medallion. I love how these juxtapose modern fixtures! Also, we have a gaping hole to cover so there's that.
  • Solve for window and treatment. The existing window is original to our 1960s home and no longer opens, so we'll be swapping this out with some help from Lowe's. I think I've settled on pairing a bamboo roman shade with the existing white Ikea curtains for a casual look, but we'll see how I'm feeling about the combo once the other elements are in place. The drapes will need to be hemmed fo sho.
  • Solve for storage. This is where I get nervous. I've secured part one of this conundrum with a gorrrrrrgeous brass Sarreid chest that rests on a bamboo stand. I die! Because if you don't know about my brass obsession, you don't know me at all. As for the other wall -- though I really love the mid century credenza in this space (scored at an estate sale many years ago) -- it's not going to hide an entire office AND our table linens AND misc dining room treats and trinkets. I'm thinking hard about yet another Ikea hack -- because that seems to be a theme with my ORC posts -- and attempting a floating credenza the length of the room. OOOORRR maybe full on built-ins with open uppers and cabinet lowers?? Or it would appear from my inspiration that I like open storage?! I'm such a visual person that I need more progress in here before I can decide for sure. So stay tuned there. I'm sort of at a loss here. Note: This is likely going to end up being my breaking point for this challenge. Because a deadline is looming and Ikea assembly instructions and my brain don't get along...even without the added pressure. Husband to the rescue!
  • Find some art. One can never have too much art, minimalism be damned. We'll talk about some of my favorite options next week.
  • Accessorize. Secondary lighting, greenery, (brass) accessories. I'll likely display some of my favorite inventory to get my fill before pieces find happy new homes.

Other notes: The table and chairs will stay. This table is a perfect 60" round and has an extension that tacks onto the outer edge to make it 72" round. A table that keeps its shape when extended was pretty hard to find. Plus I scored it on Craigslist for $150 and you can't beat a $150 table, man. I do wish there were time and resources to get the chairs reupholstered, but I go back to my kid-proof (okay, and husband-proof) argument. I'll be a lot cooler with spills and accidents if I wait to put any money into the chairs. Plus, I actually dig the existing fabric so much more with the neutral palette. Winning!

I haven't decided if the hide rug will stay or go. Many many many of my inspiration images are rugless, and I'm loving the look lately. Practical, too. But I may cave if I find that working in here results in a chill without and/or the room needs a little punch. TBD on the rug front.

Holy longest post ever. If you're still reading this, maybe make a lap before you dive into everyone else's week 2 progress. ;) And don't forget about the link-up participants on Thursdays!! SOOOO much talent in that group!

One Room Challenge No. 1 // Fall 2015

October 7, 2015

Hello! I am ecstatic to be here today to kick off the Fall 2015 One Room Challenge hosted by the very fabulous Linda of Calling It Home! (Cue unnecessary exclams!!!) This is my fourth time participating in the challenge, and I have to admit that I'm as nervous and excited today as I was writing the very first post of the very first challenge. It's such a tremendous compliment to be asked to participate because there are always so. many. talented designers that take this thing on. If you've done it, you know that making over a room in 6 weeks (with an audience, mind you) is no cake walk. Especially for anyone as indecisive and hot-messish as myself.

I'm a total sucker for the sheer excitement this semi-annual event draws. Everyone is ridiculously supportive of each other during this whole thing (as necessary as wine between meltdowns) and, outside of the initial 20 bloggers that do the official challenge, it's so great to see 100+ fabulously talented bloggers and designers participate in the link up on Thursdays. Not to mention the fact that it actually forces me to finish a space. Something that apparently requires external motivation and hot deadlines. I first thought this would be the perfect opportunity to tackle our original 1967 guest bathroom. And then I remembered that I'm pregnant with a toddler, and I desperately need my husband to stick around. Which seemed unlikely if attempting a gut job with such a tight deadline...

So I've opted for another space that's been begging for a makeover for some time now. Not because it isn't a great space. But because we need it to function differently now that our family is growing. Ad because my taste changes constantly and I'm just ready to stare at another color on the walls.

It's a bit strange to be showing before shots that I'm not wildly embarrassed by for once! Here's the room I'll be making over in its current state:

Photos by Jane Kortright
Lovely, yes. (At least, I like to hope so!) But it never felt finished to me (notice that there's a whole side of the room you don't see in these shots...that's because I never did anything with it) and, after almost three years this way, I'm about ready for a do-over. We're also losing an office -- coincidentally my first One Room Challenge! -- to a nursery.

** YAY! **

Which means that all of my shop-related things have been orphaned, and need a new home. Since formal dining rooms seem to get the least amount of actual use, assigning this room dual functions seems like the best choice.

Things I'm hoping to accomplish in here:
  • Comfortable, casual vibe. I love me some bold spaces, but I've learned that I don't love to live in them.
  • Kid-friendly finishes, fabric and function (aka accommodates messy fingers, crayons, and takes a good beating).
  • Suits six comfortably, ten in a pinch, and one when I can sneak a few minutes to myself.
  • Functions as an office without looking like an office. Plenty of hidden storage for business thangs, table pretties, and - because they straight up can't be contained - toys and such.
  • After almost four years, a space that finally gets used more than twice a year. I've already planned my first dinner party so the pressure is on!
We'll talk about how I'm going to make all of the things happen next Wednesday. Of course, you can always follow along on Instagram for real-time updates. Now let's go see what other amazing projects we'll be following for the next 6 weeks. I don't know about you guys, but it's dumb how excited I am!

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