One Room Challenge: Week 3. Decision time is coming.

Believe it it or not, it’s week three of the One Room Challenge, which means we are halfway to the reveal. Are you stress-sweating? No, just me? OK then. 


The magical and stress-sweat-inducing One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year. I'm joining for the first time as a guest participant. Check out the other guest bloggers and the featured designers here!

What progress we’ve make in the living/dining room has been stolen in bits and pieces of time. Everyone’s busy - I get that! I can’t complain. So, while we’re not as far as I’d like to be, I want to share the milestones from this week!



The main project for this space is installing new baseboard and window & door casings. When we first bought the house, I immediately wanted to replace the trim. It was short, dinky trim that smelled, I don't know, a bit cheap to me. No offense, little trim.



Then we decided to rip up the existing carpet and install hardwood flooring (BEST decision ever, by the way!). To do so, we had to remove part of the baseboards. I think this is called the shoe? Feel free to check our garage, it's all just hanging out in there since it's been torn up. :) Since we were already faced with the task of installing, caulking, sanding, and painting, we decided just to do it right and replace it all for something better. If we are in fact "doing it right" remains to be seen. But I have high hopes. I mean, after living with naked and flaking walls like these, anything is an improvement!


On Monday night, Brandon and I headed to Lowe's to buy the trim. We decided on a simple, taller baseboard and shorter but more detailed casings. Whaddya think?


Now to be honest, the trim is just sitting in our garage. We are hoping to start installing next week, but it is a relief to at least check "gather materials" off the to-do list. That's the hardest part, right? I've never installed trim before, so the plan is to learn on the trim in this room, and then pack up that new found knowledge & expertise and zoom through the rest of the house, replacing trim like it's nobody's business. What can I say, I match my favorite shade of Essie nail polish -- ETERNAL OPTIMIST. 


The curtains in the dining room are gone! I bought extra long curtains from IKEA when we first moved in, knowing they would have to be hemmed one day. I didn't think that one day would be 4 months later, but whatever. The problem with curtains is that I can't seem to find the perfect length in a nice white that's cheap, so I thought this would be the best option. I had every intention of hemming them all by myself, but with a deadline, it was time to call in reinforcements. AKA my dear mama. My mom is an incredibly talented seamstress (I mean, she made my wedding dress!) so hemming curtains is a breeze for her. She stopped in last evening actually and picked them up. This week, I am hoping to hang the curtain rod for the living room windows that way I can measure those curtains as well. 



The hardest part of the One Room Challenge for me so far has been the decision making! I've had ideas swirling in my heads for months now, but this is when the rubber hits the road and I've just gotta go with something. I actually think a deadline like this is good for me. I have always been a dreamer and ideas come easy. It's the starting and the doing that's difficult. That being said, I am proud to say I nailed down most of the final decisions for this space!

Shelf vs. big picture


One of my goals for this space is to deal with the blank wall above the couch. My original plan was to find a frame roughly the same size as the framed cut-out, to balance the other side of that wall. But then I saw this post from the DIY Playbook and it clicked for me! An art ledge! I have been a long-time fan and reader of Chris Loves Julia and always admired the beautiful art ledge they have above their sofa. This inspired me to build my own. My plan is to make the shelf about 3' long (the same width as the cut-out) and fill it with a few framed prints and maybe one of my plant babies. I made the mood board below from Olioboard and got excited. 

OB-Living Room - neutral and classy.jpg

Currently, my shelf if still in pieces in the basement. I started staining today and hope to have it assembled and installed by the weekend! 


TV Table

This decision I swear gave me grey hairs this week! We got a coupon from Wayfair in the mail, so I was combing through their site looking for the perfect console table/TV stand/piece of furniture to put our TV on. All my favorites were either sold out, not long enough, or not wide enough. WHOMP WHOMP. I was feeling pretty down about it all until I put two and two together and got IKEA. Just last night I hopped on the website and we decided on this little guy. We can't wait for you to join our family, Brimnes! It's not a fancy piece and definately not a show-stopper, but it's the right dimensions and it has some storage. What more could a girl ask for? I am planning to buy some new pull handles to (hopefully) make it look a little less IKEA and a little more special. 

Again, I feel like there is not a lot to show for our progress this week! But I can honestly say we are moving forward and decisions are being made. That's cause for celebration! I'm hoping to get a lot of work done this next week, but we have quite the busy weekend ahead, so wish me luck! Next time you hear from me I'll be a MARATHONER!


One Room Challenge: Week 2, here we go

Here we are at week 2 of the One Room Challenge! Quick recap - the One Room Challenge is a 6-week design challenge put on by Linda at Calling it Home. Every Wednesday, 20 featured designers share updates on the one room they are transforming in the 6-week time frame. Every Thursday the guest participants (including ya girl!) update until the reveal week! I am pretty tickled to be joining as a guest participant on this rodeo.


I shared last week that I will be make over-ing our joined living and dining room. Click here to read all about that.

But on to the update!


Replace dining room light - DONE! I picked out this light from Lowe's a month or so ago, when we had a coupon for a discount on all lighting. I scoured their website for several days to make a decision. This was one of the first chandeliers that caught my eye, and I must say I'm glad I went with my gut. It might not look like much now, but I really think it will look so good one day! You know, like in 5 weeks. Imagine with me. We also added a ceiling medallion, just because I think it looks fancy. Our house was built in 1960, and there is not a lot of charming character. I don't want to be adding details that look out of place, but I have been chomping at the bit to add something special to this space, AND to get that old light outta here. 


Brandon took care of replacing the light one night after dinner last week. I didn't do too much to help, aside from holding it in the air as he did something with wires, for long enough to leave me with sore shoulders the next day. I went to the basement to run on the treadmill (marathon in 9 days!!!!! It's OK I'm just freaking out.) and came upstairs to an almost-completed project.


THANKS BBY LUV YA. See ya, candles with fake drips.


As far as progress, this light is the only thing I have to show for myself! I've done of a lot of internet work, ya know? Still on the hunt for a slim table for the TV and art for the wall above the sofa. I thought today I'd share some of the furniture and things that we won't be replacing.


The sofa and love seat. I'm gonna say it - I think this space would look better with a sofa and two chairs. But that just doesn’t seem practical for us. Aside from the additional seating, we use these guys for lounging, napping, and watching movies. All things that, to us, are more comfortable on sofas. I mean, our Sunday-Night-Movie-Night tradition with my brother is so established that he always gets the love seat (feet hanging off the end of it. Over 6’ tall probs) while Brandon lets me drape over him to find the perfect comfy spot on the long sofa. How can you mess with that?


Besides all that, we just purchased this furniture in December when we moved in. So our thrifty inner-Scrooge's wouldn't allow ourselves to buy new furniture to replace perfectly good sofas anyway. But for the sake of dreaming, wouldn’t this Article sofa look dreamy? I have been seeing Article pop up on social media more and more, and with good reason! Stunning stuff!


Side and coffee table. This cute marble topped table is from Target. I visited it every time I was in the store (so, once a week at least) and my stalking paid off when it went on sale!

The coffee table was a lucky Craigslist find for about $150, if I remember correctly. This is not a bad price AT ALL for a sturdy coffee table, but it seemed like a lot at the time. This was right around the time we moved in, and so we had just spent the last several weeks tearing our new house apart and putting it back together. It felt like we were throwing money everywhere!

The lamps, or at least one of them, are staying as well. I really like both of them, and I think it’s cool how the styles contrast. However I’m not sure two standing lamps look great here. Since we don’t have any overhead lighting in the living room, simply getting rid of one isn’t an option. However I am open to getting a small table lamp for the marble table and moving one of the lamps elsewhere.


The table. I mentioned this is last week’s post, but this table belonged to my grandma. After my oldest sister (and my grandma’s first grandchild) got married, she gave it to her. My sister Tonya has had it ever since, but recently has become disenchanted with it. It’s beautiful old wood top, while stunning and full of character, is not the most kid friendly. Food can be hard to clean due to the ridges and bumps in the top. It’s also a bit wobbly, but hopefully we can remedy that. When we moved and needed a table, Tonya graciously offered it to us. Brandon and I are kid-free and so we can deal with the imperfections with a lot less worry than she can. I was (and still am) thrilled! It’s so incredibly special to have this actual, physical thing of my grandma’s. Especially since she passed away in January. I am sure this table will always stay in the family.


So that's where we are after one week! Here's to hoping I can conquer my indecision and buy some important pieces this next week. Including my sister's birthday gift, which might be the hardest decision of them all.


One Room Challenge: Week 1! Welcome to the jungle.

Happy one room challenge day, everyone!
The One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year by Linda of Calling it Home. I am excited to be a guest participant. Make sure to check on Wednesdays for updates from the 20 insanely talented featured designers and on Thursdays for the updates from the also insanely talented guest participants (and me).
As someone who has been reading blogs for years, this feels like quite the occasion! I am psyched to be here. But wait, let’s ask my husband how he feels about bringing a room to completion in six weeks time…*chirp chirp*

Spoiler alert, he’s not as excited as I am. But that’s nothing new. I, as usual, have enough emotions for both of us. But onto the reason we’re here-the room! Let me to introduce you to my small, connected living and dining room.

Yes our TV is resting on two chairs. Cute, I know.

Yes our TV is resting on two chairs. Cute, I know.



When we first bought our house in the fall of last year, I took to calling this space the “Big Room.” But after we moved in in December and put in furniture, I quickly stopped. Hah. Although small, this space is the main hub of our house

The main entrance opens up right into what is our living room. This is our entertaining space and our relaxing (read: movie-watching) space. As such, I want it to feel and look as cozy and beautiful as possible.


The area between the door to the garage and the entrance to the kitchen is our dining room. We only recently got a table in here so even though we are currently only using two chairs and the table now houses my plant collection, I am feeling pretty fancy!


These pictures were mostly taken a few days ago, but it already has seen changes since we first bought the place. We already painted, ripped out the carpet, laid hardwood flooring, installed curtains, and set up some furniture. When I write it all out, it seems like we did so much. And all those late nights and Saturdays were so much! But even though it’s an improvement from where we were, we still have a long way to go.

We removed the upper and lower cabinets that divided the kitchen and dining room.

We removed the upper and lower cabinets that divided the kitchen and dining room.


Woof. A reminder that you're making progress is always nice. I know that as a whole, our combined living space isn’t horrible. But it’s not great either. I long to bring some style and, dare I say, sophistication to this space. I’m ready for our central space, the place all our family and friends see and enjoy, to reflect my style.

So what’s on the agenda for the next 6 weeks? (You mean aside from running a marathon, celebrating family birthdays, having a yard sale, and remembering to feed myself and my husband?) Here’s the skinny:

TRIM - When we ripped up the carpet in this space and the hallway, we were hoping to find old hardwood floors. Unfortunately, no dice. We decided to lay new hardwood and refinish the bedrooms (which did have existing hardwood under carpet) to all match. We have yet to lay transitions to the kitchen vinyl flooring (a WHOLE NOTHA STORY) and install all the trim, door casings, and window trim. This is going to be the main task and a big one, too! We have never installed trim so we are depending a lot on both of our fathers, and maybe an uncle too. Thank God for family.

PAINT CHAIRS - The table we currently have is one that sat in my grandmother’s kitchen years ago. It is incredibly special for me to be able to have it in my house, especially since she passed away in January. That being said, I wasn’t crazy about the matching chairs. I found the current chairs at a yard sale this summer and bought them with the intention of painting them. Something to keep me busy until closing day when we can work in the house, I said. Oh past Bethany. What an optimist. Needless to say, the chairs have not been painted and they need it.

We would love to renovate the basement and turn a room down there into the media/lounging/TV room. But that is still a long way off (if it ever happens) so for now the TV stays here. I am open to a new furniture arrangement, but so far the current situation is what seems to work best. But even if it stays in roughly the same place, THE CHAIRS THAT ARE HOLDING IT HAVE GOTS TO GO. This set-up is looking extremely ghetto and so a new media center (ugh, doesn’t that just sound ugly?) is on the list. I am hoping to score a slim console table with closed storage on Craigslist for cheap. This is how the law of attraction works, right? All jokes aside, I am really interested in installing a Fauxdenza like Yellow Brick Home did (I’ve also seen DIY Playbook and Chris Loves Julia do similar things). However I am not sure if Brandon or I will feel up to this within the 6 week timeline, so we will keep our eyes peeled for the perfect piece.

The curtains on the big bay windows on the front of our house are still the same short, granny-style curtains that were here when we moved in. Yucky. I have a curtain rod and curtains here, somewhere (#moving) I just have to hem to the correct length and hang.  Easy peasy, right? The other big decor decision is the blank wall above our couch. You might have noticed the framed inset box back here? Yeah I don’t know what that is about. My family guessed that at one point the owners had a window into the garage. My plan is to get a similar sized piece of art to hopefully balance the space above the couch.

Here's a very amatuer Olioboard of the direction we are headed...

big room.jpg


And just because I love a good list, here is the mother load:
Trim (install, sand, paint, caulk)
Paint door to garage
Paint chairs
Install new dining room light
Buy or make TV console table
Buy or make big art for back wall
Install curtains and curtain rod
Hem curtains
Style and make pretty :)

That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Let’s do this thing!

* The One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year by Linda of Calling it Home. I am excited to be a guest participant. Make sure to check on Wednesdays for updates from the 20 insanely talented featured designers and on Thursdays for the updates from the also insanely talented guest participants (and me).