ORC: Week 6 - The grand finale!

It’s (finally? already?) here! The final reveal of my One Room Challenge room, the master bedroom.

In case you don’t know, the One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge hosted twice a year, in which twenty featured designers document their progress as they completely renovate a room from start to finish in 6 weeks. All are welcome to join in on the fun as guest participants, which is where I come in. Yesterday was the big reveal day for the featured designers, and today hundreds of more pretty rooms are hitting the internet. Read on to see mine!


Six weeks ago, our master bedroom looked like how having a head cold felt. You can still function, but are a far cry from your best. After we moved in last year, we painted the walls and demo-ed the existing trim. We took the closet doors and entry door off with the intention to paint them, and there the bedroom sat…for almost a year! So, what I started with at the beginning of this challenge wasn’t a horrible space, exactly. It was just a nothing space that I had put no effort into making peaceful or beautiful. Here are a few before pictures for context, and you can see all the befores right here. But I’m making these small, because I want to talk about the after!

OK. I take it back, it was horrible. RIP privacy sheet. Never return.

But I’m happy to say the bedroom has recovered from her head cold, she’s been eating healthy and exercising, and now she looks like this…


If you’ve read my previous posts about this room, you know I waffled back and forth about what to do for a bed. Try to DIY one? Buy just a headboard? And then buy a plain bed stand to attach it to? Do I need a bed skirt now, too? I can be so indecisive, it drives me mad. Eventually I found this bed on sale at Target. It wasn’t an outstanding, dramatic, grabs-you-by-the-eyeballs piece of furniture, but I realized that’s exactly what I was looking for. Something quiet and simple. I went back to Target earlier this week for white and grey striped sheets. Another simple change that I love. And hopefully grey and white is easier to keep fresh and clean looking than plain white sheets. Sheesh.

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I kept the dresser and night stands we already had to try and save some money. They aren’t exactly pretty things, but after changing the knobs I like them a lot better! I did a deep purge and seasonal swap of all our clothing, and happily gave the now-empty tall dresser to the guest room.

I cringe when I see the contrast between the hallway and the bedroom in the photo above. You guys, the difference that finished trim and painted doors makes! It shouldn’t surprise me by now, but it does. I still get a happy little jolt whenever I see the fresh white trim against the clean walls. It all feels so neat and new. And might I say, it does feel mighty good to know that my own two hands did that! Or helped with that. Thanks Brandon.


I have loved line drawing artwork for a while, and I was happy to find this print on Etsy. I put it in an IKEA frame I already had, but I think it would look pretty framed without a mat as well.


Josie can’t be bothered to hold still for a picture, but rest assured she loves the new rug. I probably sound ridiculous, but I was so nervous about buying this pretty blue rug! I’d only ever bought grey area rugs before, so this was quite a change. I am happy to say I love it! I think it adds a lot to a room that has, well, basically no color. Right now, the only other colorful things are the big picture I bought from Craigslist because it is copy of a smaller print that hung in my Grandma’s house, and those trusty green velvet pillows from IKEA. They are a perfectly muted olive color that looks good literally anywhere. I think if my soul had a color, it’d be this.


The blinds add a lot of texture and interest to the room. I purchased these inexpensive blinds from Overstock after dropping my jaw when the Lowe’s employee showed me how much custom-sized blinds would be. No thank you, kind sir. I followed this AMAZING tutorial to a T, and it worked perfectly. I cannot thank the angel Angela who posted this enough! It was exactly what I needed. It wasn’t a quick job (especially not the first one!) but I got it done and now I don’t have to worry about that again. Until we furnish the next bedroom.

Also, do you want to know about these lamps? I love the black and gold. More soul colors, for sure.


You’ll never guess where I found them…Wal-Mart. I know, I was surprised too! But Wal-Mart’s online selection is huge, so maybe it shouldn’t come as a shock. I had an old gift card lying around so I was happy to get both for less than $60.

To me, a room isn’t really finished unless it has something quirky, special, or sentimental. Bonus points if it’s all three. My framed kitty card counts as quirky, and the big painting is definitely sentimental. It might not be the exact piece that my Grandma had, but it still makes me smile in a bittersweet way. I think we give mass-produced art a bad rep, when really we should be thanking them for giving us little connections to our grandparents in heaven.


I’ve only slept in my brand new bedroom for one night so far, but I can vouch for a decorated or designed bedroom. It doesn’t have to be perfect; mine is not! But it feels so refreshing to have a finished space, especially when most of the rest of the house is still looks like the “before” pictures. A finished space that is cozy, relaxing, and fits you. I think this space does that. Cheers!

ORC: Week 5 (just you wait...)

Well well well, here we are at week 5 of the One Room Challenge! If this is the shortest update post in the history of the ORC, please forgive me. I promise I will make it up to you next week with the reveal!




In case you are wondering why I’m freaking out, allow me to enlighten you: the One Room Challenge is a home design challenge hosted twice a year in which 20 featured designers and hundreds of guest participants transform one room from start to finish in 6 weeks. I’m trilled to be joining as a guest participant for the second time! My first round was last spring when I made over my combined living and dining space, see more of that here. This time around I’m trying to turn our “master” bedroom into a relaxing, minimal, and cute space.


This week, Brandon and I took advantage of a mostly-obligation-free Saturday and got a bunch of work done. I always feel so elated after a day like that—look at us! we did so good! we’re unstoppable!—but by Monday evening I was stress-sweating while looking at the deadline. In case you’re wondering, we are doing all of this in real time. The realest of real time. My to-do list wants to drown me like an evil seductive mermaid singing to an ignorant sailor, but somehow we’ll get there! Here’s what we accomplished this week:


Trim! As of today, all the trim is installed, with the exception of the top casing on a window. I ordered these blinds earlier this week, and once they arrive we’ll finish the trim. Brandon wanted to wait for the blinds to arrive before completely installing, just in case we had to get creative and customize it a bit in order to mount them properly. It still needs to be painted and caulked, and unfortunately, that is holding us up. I don’t want to move our new rug and bed in the room until that is completely finished and I can clean the floors. Even unfinished, it looks so good, right?!


Another big job is painting the sliding closet doors and the main entry door. It was dusty, dirty work (especially when the dust vacuum stopped working on my hand help sander) and I am SO GLAD to be done. The doors still need a second coat, and I’m hoping to finish that tomorrow after work.

More exciting news? I WENT TO BRUNCH WITH MY FRIENDS. THEN CAME HOME TO A BOX ON MY PORCH FILLED WITH A BED. That’s right, bed is here! It’s still not assembled, but it’s here. It’s cool and very non-fussy, and I am all about that. I think it’s going to look so good with the rug. I just can’t wait to see it all set up!


As I mentioned above, I ordered blinds for the windows. PRAISE HIM AND RAISE ‘EM, the privacy sheet is coming down for good! I think I may have to add a lining to the blinds, but I am choosing not to worry about that until after they arrive tomorrow. I also decided on lamps and can order those tomorrow. After that is done, I think I’m finished buying things. FINALLY. I didn’t start this room make over with a specific budget, other than the words “as cheap as possible” ringing in my ears. But between the rug, bed, and a few trips to Lowe’s, I am tired of spending money on a room that looks more or less the same.

By this time next week though, it’s going to look completely different. I cannot wait to see it all come together and I might be even more excited to show you all when it’s done! I’m going to share my to-do list one more time; see you all on the other side of this list!

  • Finish painting and install closet and entry door

  • Finish caulking and painting trim


  • Set up rug and bed

  • Install (maybe add lining to?) blinds

  • Add the cute things

ORC: Week 4 - A bed and a rug

Welcome, one and all, to week 4 of the One Room Challenge! Six weeks sounds like a decent chunk of time, but once you start breaking it down it’s amazing how it flies by.

For newbies, (hi, love you) the One Room Challenge is a 6-week design challenge hosted twice a year. Twenty featured designers share their progress every Wednesday, and hundreds of guest participants join in every Thursday until the big reveal! This past spring was my first time as a part of this rodeo and you can see that reveal here.


Last week I thought I had all the big decisions made, but it turns out that I can’t make it easy on myself. After much internal debate and flip-flopping, I decided to scrap the DIY headboard idea and have instead made two major purchases—a bed and a rug!

I think a DIY black velvet channel tufted headboard sounds DREAMY, but after sleeping on it I had a nagging feeling that it would be too much for this space. My style is still very much evolving and developing, but one thing it is for certain? Simple. With the most colorful rug I’ve ever bought in the room, I had to go back and remind myself what I wanted for this space: clean, minimal, cozy, and warm. If you are interested in DIY-ing your own headboard, I pulled much of my inspiration from Brady and Mandi’s projects. I would have been THRILLED if my attempt turned out half this good!

So instead of a great DIY (mis)adventure, I purchased this bed. I won’t lie, I am nervous about this! I am not a huge fan of fake leather, but I like the simple, modern look of the frame. Also, the headboard is short enough to fit nicely under our 1960’s high-and-wide windows. This hasn’t arrived yet so I’m holding my breath until it does!

The rug I purchased for our room was delivered yesterday and good news, I love it! It makes me so excited to see everything come together. I have a sneak peek below. I’m not trying to be coy; our house has no space big enough to unroll it besides the bedroom! Hopefully all of the dusty work of installing trim will be finished by Saturday and it can move into it’s new home.


Speaking of dusty work, the old trim is gone! Brandon and I knocked it out in a little over an hour last night. It was not hard work, and with Brandon’s beloved country playlist to keep us going, it was actually a really fun evening. Brandon pried the baseboards and window and door casings off, and I followed behind with a nifty little tool to scrap off the bumpy paint and with a hammer to pull out remaining nails. As proof, here’s another picture of my feet.


I still need to get storage bins and baskets for the closet, but it is purged and organized, trust me! It doesn’t look super cute but it is the most organized it’s ever been. And half empty. Off-season storage for the win! The dresser and nightstand drawers were also purged within an inch of their lives. On Saturday, we took a date to Lowe’s and picked up all the new knobs. It only took me 1 1/2 podcast episodes to clean each drawer and install the new hardware.


As you can tell from this picture, we still need to address the window coverings. It will be a happy, happy day when that privacy sheet comes down. Aside from that, here’s the rest of my to-do list:

  • Install trim (includes patching, caulking, and painting)

  • Purchase and install blinds

  • Get baskets and bins for closet

  • Get lamps

  • Figure out art for blank wall, and above dresser

  • New bedding

  • Do something nice - add flowers or something. :)

That’s not too bad is it? See you next week with (hopefully) pretty pictures!

One Room Challenge: Week 2 (operation bedroom)

Welcome to week 2 of the ORC!

If you’re not familiar, the (dare-I-say) infamous One Room Challenge is a design challenge that takes place twice a year. Featured designers and guest participants transform one room over the course of 6 weeks, documenting the progress every week up until the grand finale. Sound fun? Read on!


If I’m comparing this week of the challenge to its predecessor from this spring, I would have to confess I am a LOT calmer this time around. Maybe the trick was just choosing a smaller space to makeover with less work to do? I haven’t made a lot of visible progress this week but I am in the thick of the non-glamorous part - The Great Bedroom Purge of 2018.

Most of Tuesday’s after-work hours were spent taking all of my clothes out of my dresser and closet and sorting them very thoroughly. Even though I am not a true minimalist, Brandon and I have made an effort to live more simply and, as I like to call it, “with more breathing room.” Clutter and excess stuff with no designated spot is something that irritates the both of us. I’m lucky, I suppose, that we share this! Imagine how annoying we both would be if our partner was a hoarder. People with moderate OCD, unite! All that to say: I didn’t think I was hoarding that many clothes. This made me nervous, as my plan for the room depends on paring down our clothing enough so that it all fits into one shared closet and dresser. My dresser drawers are always bursting at the seams, and if there’s not much to get rid of, is this really possible?

Spoiler alert: it’s possible. They key for me is to wait until I am in a very critical mood, or when I am really excited for the task. Or when I have a deadline that the internet is holding me accountable to. That makes sorting through things so much more enjoyable! I started Tuesday evening with the plan to pull everything out and only put back what

A) is appropriate for winter/fall (OK so it was almost 80* today but it is nearing the middle of October, so I have to act on faith that cooler weather will come or I might start to cry) and

B) I really loved.

That’s it. Simple criteria, right? Everything else would either be packed and stored away for the warmer months or taken to our local consignment or charity thrift shop. Storing off-season clothes is the reason we are able to fit two adults clothing in one dresser. Up until this week, both Brandon and I had been keeping all our clothing out and accessible all year round. When I was a kid, my mom used to rotate our clothing like this every fall and spring, but I haven’t done this since...well, since my mom took care of my clothes. I didn’t get 100% through all of my clothes because I stopped to watch the AMA’s, because, well pop culture is important. However I did make a big dent in this task, and now I know the whole one-dresser-for-two-people thing is totally possible!

But I’m not here to brag about a not-completed (yet) project. Let’s chat about the actual room design! This has been a bit of challenge for me, which is frustrating! Designing and decorating the room is literally the biggest and one of the only jobs to do here! So, to help with this designers block, I’ve reviewed the 3 mood boards I’ve made over the past year of living in this house. The feel and look I am going for in the bedroom is casual, masculine, simple, cozy, and neat. A lot of our current furniture is staying (dresser, nightstands, possibly the ceiling fan) which is why you see the same nightstands and dresser in all these pictures. Not an exact likeness, of course, but close enough for these purposes.

Option #1
The first picture you see below is a mood board I made several months ago. I keep coming back to it now because it seems so simple and clean. You guys have seen the way our bedroom looks now - simple and clean is very, very welcome! But while I like how this looks, in real life we will have lamps and books and coasters for my ever-present water cup. Am I still going to like this look, even with all the real life things added on? Or do I just like it because it’s not as busy as option #2?

1st bedroom.jpg

Option #2
Here’s an option I came up with last week. Definitely a different look, right? Brandon, my sweet wonderful husband who also has opinions about what our house looks like, is not sold on the idea of a metal bed frame like this. He says it looks like a hospital or prison bed, which, OK I see what you mean but come on! They don’t have to look like a creepy 1950’s hospital, right?

2nd bedroom.jpg

Option #3
After considering an upholstered bed frame again (I had originally ruled this out because I thought they’d be too expensive), I came up with a mood board similar to what you see below. I am not positive, but I think this might be our winner winner chicken dinner.

3rd bedroom.jpg

I already have a beautiful, antique gold mirror and painting that I cannot wait to hang above our dresser. Other than that, I am still wide open in the design field! Here’s a list of things I have to decide on or get in the next several weeks:

  • new rug (thinking jute or natural fiber, but oooohh some orientals are so pretty!)

  • bed frame (buy? I’ve actually seem some pretty affordable options. DIY? Is it really worth my time and money? Help!)

  • the perfect lamps

  • bamboo shades or Roman shades

And here’s a list of things I can’t obsessively search online but must get up off my toosh and DO:

  • finish sorting through my clothes

  • sort Brandon’s clothes

  • demo existing trim

  • paint door

  • paint closet doors or decide on curtain

  • install, patch, caulk, and paint new trim

Wish me all the luck!

One Room Challenge: Week 6 The Big Reveal!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but you guys, I MADE IT! Happy ORC reveal day, one and all! The past six weeks have been a blur as the hundreds of guest participants and myself all worked like crazy to finish one room of their choosing, from start to finish. The featured designers revealed their rooms yesterday and, WOW. Clicking through all the before and afters made me even more excited to share my own. So, I will let the photos take it away and chat more down below!





Oh dining room. I think I love you now! We had my late grandmother's table and the curtain rod when we started, but so much has happened since then! We added all the trim and window casings, replaced the chandelier, hemmed the curtains, painted the chairs, and then added a little bling. I'm a simple, sentimental girl, and no where is that more true than in my decorating. The antique gold mirror is something I bought for our wedding reception and I love it just as much today as I did almost three years ago! The wilting tulips are from sweet Anna from church, who had a trunk full of flowers and told me to help myself. Will do, Anna, will do. <3 The fern in the corner is something I bought a few weeks ago for some much-needed life and greenery. My mother has the MOST amazing green thumb, and she still has a fern that someone gave her for a wedding present...OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO. Goals, mom. Please stay with me even an 1/16th of that time, little fern. 

Now, onto the living room! This combined space is not large, so the living and dining room really run together. Just for reference - the front door opens up right into the living room. The wall with the long couch is on your right and the wall the divides the kitchen is right in front of you. If you walk in and make your self at home, you go between the new TV stand and the love seat to get to the dining room, which in turn is open to the kitchen. Make sense? Here, take a look.




In here, phew, what didn't we do? First up is trim - duh. I really cannot believe how much of a difference it makes. We hung a curtain rod and curatins, got rid of the old wrap around curtains, made and hung art, and calmed down with all the all the throw pillows on the couch! Trust me, it was excessive. One of the biggest accomplishments was getting a real piece of furniture to hold our TV instead of two dining room chairs. College frat house, no more!


So far our little set up has been working great! The round basket on the top shelf holds allll the remotes. Seriously, why does one TV require 4 remotes? The bottom shelf holds the books we read and use everyday like my bible, and my current novel from the library. The bottom baskets are actually mostly empty right now! That doesn't bother me a bit, though. I'm sure we'll fill them up soon enough, with either DVDs or toys for the nieces and nephews or more blankets or maybe snacks or... you see. :)


Woof. I am tired but also so, so happy with our space! It was not without it's hiccups, and to be honest I am still grappling with the thought is it worth it when thinking of the canceled plans and late night bickering. But it truly feels AMAZING to be able to cross a huge thing off our list with one big, 6-week stroke! So, that's my one room challenge. It's not the most dramatic transformation - not the worst before, not the best after. But it's ours and I feel so happy and peaceful here at home. And THAT is definitely worth it.

OH! And here's the deets if you are interested:

Wall color - Bruton White by Benjamin Moore
Curtains - IKEA VIVAN
Rug - Rugs USA
handelier - Lowe's
Print in floating frame - Etsy


One Room Challenge: Week 4. Wait, already?!

I don’t want to jinx myself here, but I feel like we might, maybe, just be hitting our stride with the One Room Challenge! And good thing too. At week 4, we only have one more week of progress and then it’s reveal week!
And that’s not a sarcastic yay, by the way. I really think we’re gonna make it and that feels good!

Just for a refresher - the One Room Challenge is a blogging challenge where 20 featured designers make over a room in 6 weeks. Guest participants are invited, too! That’s me!


I can’t believe it’s time again for another update. What with being out of town this weekend, and plans in the evenings, this week has flown by. Let’s get into to the progress we’ve made this week, and what I hope to accomplish in the next couple of days. Oh - and here's my formal apology for the quality of pictures in this post! Sometimes you don't have your camera and your iPhone just doesn't cut it. #liveandlearn


As I mentioned last week, my angel of a mother hemmed our dining room curtains for me! Thanks, Ma. <3
Brandon hung our living room curtain rod last night, so tonight I am hoping to pin up these curtains and then drop them off for the same treatment. You guys, if you can learn anything from me, learn this: we need our moms.



The Door - This door that leads to the garage had been sanded and painted months ago, before we moved in. I always knew it would need at least one more coat of paint, and that finally happened Tuesday night! I painted one coat then, but unfortunately it got too late and too dark to do a additional coat. I’m planning to finish this on Saturday.


The Trim - Since the trim we purchased was primed, we opted to paint all our trim before making any cuts or installing. This way there will be minimal patching and touch up work after it's installed. Or that is the plan, anyway. I don’t know if this is the “normal” or suggested way to do things, but it makes sense on paper.  Fingers crossed doing it this way actually saves us time down the road! Brandon’s sister (another angel, btw) came over yesterday when we were at work and painted it all for us. WE HAVE THE BEST FAM, FAM!


This Saturday will be the first Saturday since starting the ORC that I will be home and free to work till my heart’s content!
(OK to be honest, I was home the first weekend in April. But I was sick and lying on the couch for almost three days straight. Needless to say no work was done that day - not even dishes!)
I have fun breakfast plans with my mom and sisters to celebrate my sister’s and my birthdays, but after that I’m all yours, house. Here’s what I hope to accomplish:

  • Final sanding/coat of paint on door to garage

  • Assemble/install shelf

  • Start installing trim!

  • Assemble TV stand (if we pick it up by then)

  • Start on painting closet doors

Closet doors, you may ask? Closet doors, I say. I haven't mentioned them, because they are not actually on the closet but rather sitting in our basement, waiting to be painted.
The main coat closet in our house is right inside the front door. When sitting on the couch, you get a pretty great view into the inside of the closet. Which, for the past 4 months, has looked something like this:


NOT. GREAT. I didn’t officially include the closet doors as part of our ORC to do list because, quite honestly, I wasn’t sure if it feasible to get that done in addition to all our other work. But now that we’re finally checking some things off I think it’s time to make it happen. Here is the master list of everything left to do in this One Room Challenge:

  • Install/patch/touch up trim

  • Hang dining room curtains

  • Hem and hang living room curtains

  • Buy/assemble TV stand

  • Paint chairs

  • Buy small entry rug

  • Paint closet doors

  • Hang shelf

  • Style, decorate and photograph

I enjoy making lists and it’s much easier to stay motivated when I have my goals staring back at me. I’m not gonna lie though, this list makes me nervous! But I have high hopes for a good day of work on Saturday and I’m itching to get started. Plus! My marathon is over and I am taking rest week very seriously. Let’s put this old treadmill time to good use!


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).