One Room Challenge Fall 2016 - The Most Boring Week in the ORC (Week 3)

So this will probably be the most boring One Room Challenge update in history.  Aesthetically, nothing much has happened to the room.  But, we cleaned it out and began organizing the closet.  It felt SO good to purge and put things where they belong, instead of tossing them in a pile and slamming the door shut before the pile escapes.  Lol.  It doesn't seem like we've made a lot of progress, but when I look at the empty space in the closet, it helps ease my ORC jitters.

We had hoped to hang the drapes, but they were full of wrinkles (not surprising, given that they were at the bottom of the giant closet pile), so we will hang them as soon as possible, hopefully this weekend. I also realized that we need to switch out one of the nightstands as there is too big of a height difference between the two we currently have in the room, so we may have to steal a table from elsewhere in the house (or hope for a lucky estate sale find?).  This will also hopefully happen this weekend, although my husband does not get as excited about moving furniture all over the house as I do.  And since a narrow flight of basement stairs is part of the obstacle, I don't think I'll be moving anything by myself.

And that is about all folks.  Not too entertaining, but at least it was short and sweet. ;)

Be sure to check out my fellow participants here.  And thanks as always to Linda from Calling It Home for hosting!


One Room Challenge Fall 2016 - Guest Bedroom Design Plan, Week 2

Welcome back to week 2 of the One Room Challenge! A quick synopsis - we are participating in the Calling It Home blog challenge, and updating our guest bedroom in just under 6 weeks.  This week, I am presenting my design plan for our windowless basement guest room.

To be upfront with y'all, the only way my husband (aka my electrician, carpenter, and sometimes plumber) and I could fathom being a part of this round's ORC was if we agreed to tackle the room that would take the least amount of effort, time, and money.  So, the majority of the room's elements are things we already have, and we are repurposing them (aka stealing) from other rooms in our home.  Sometimes hoarding collecting pillows, lamps, etc. can come in handy.

We've also made zero progress on the room this week; we escaped to the mountains for a few days during my daughter's fall break, and it was totally worth it.  I'll just have to put that much more effort into this upcoming week!

As for the design of the room, I mentioned in week 1 that I was going for a Southern coastal look.  We love going to the beach, and I wanted to bring the relaxation we feel during our trips to our guests.  It also helps that my in-laws gifted us a painting of the coast that has been in the family for years, and I can use it to tie many of the elements together.  When we researched the name on the back, we discovered that the little-known artist has actually become quite the collector's item.  And while it's not worth millions (or even close), it's neat to know that it does have a history.

The design brings together some of my favorites: buffalo check, toile (either classic or chinoiserie - haven't decided yet), and the color combo of creams and blues.  To address the lack of lighting, both natural and overhead, I'm bringing in a lot of lamps.  In addition, the room will have mirrors on two walls to bounce the lamplight.

The inspiration image is a room I have loved for a long time.  It was designed by Lisa Whitley for a Southern Living home in South Carolina.  I especially love the painting over the bed, and the windows and drapery behind the bed.  That got my wheels turning, and I realized I could give the impression of windows by hanging drapes behind our farmhouse 4 poster bed.  I happen to have some P. Kaufman buffalo check drapes that did not work well in our home but I just couldn't let go of them, so they are getting a second life in this room.  The other fabric in the room will most likely be either Pottery Barn's Matine toile in porcelain blue, or Lacefield Design's Pagodas Seaside.  The walls are Benjamin Moore's White Dove (my go-to white).

Check back next week to see our progress (or lack thereof), and be sure to visit the other participants in the One Room Challenge!


One Room Challenge Fall 2016 - Guest Bedroom, Week 1

Welcome to the Fall 2016 One Room Challenge! For those of you new to the concept, Linda from Calling It Home created a blog challenge in which participants make over a room in a short 6 week period.  It's chaotic, stressful, and exhilarating all at the same time.  Many have compared it to childbirth, and while I can tell you that it pales in comparison to an unplanned natural delivery, it definitely brings a mental anguish and exhaustion that you forget all about when you reach the finish line, beaming with pride over your creation.  A short time later, all you remember are the good times, the successes, and the beauty of your space, so you decide that it would be a great idea to do it all over again.  And that's how you become involved in the cycle of the One Room Challenge. Ha!

This will be our third round of participating as a guest blogger in the ORC.  Every Wednesday, 20 featured designers post their updates, and every Thursday, hundreds of guest bloggers join in on the fun.  You can find our Fall 2015 makeover of our laundry room and back entry here, and our Spring 2016 ORC of our dining room here.  Fun fact: we recently revamped the spaces from our Fall 2015 ORC; the office space is now a shiplap mudroom, and the mudcloset is storage for cleaning supplies, household goods, etc.  You can find those updates on my Instagram feed, hcbinteriors.

Life has been more than a little hectic lately; if you check the date of my last post, you'll see that it was the final post of the Spring ORC.  We didn't even decide to commit to this round until today.  But the lure of whipping yet another space in our home into shape was strong, so here we go again.

We will be focusing on our guest bedroom.  It's located in the basement, and has no windows, no overhead lighting, and the outlets the lamps are plugged into are not connected to the lightswitch, so the room is a dark cave.  Not very welcoming!  It's also tends to be our clutter collector, the space where all items go to live until I have the time and space to put them away.  This room, and my husband's cluttered office, are my secret rooms of shame.  Because they are in the basement, I don't have to look at them until someone is coming to visit.  And since those visitors are usually my very understanding in-laws, the rooms are usually just barely cleaner than the pictures shown below.

The Before (can't believe I'm sharing our mess!):

Extra furniture that has no home.  Clothes my kids have outgrown piled on the bed.
And a whole bunch of random stuff (don't even know what) under the bed

Mirrors and art that are waiting to be hung (and have been waiting for months)

At one time, this closet was organized.  Until we just started tossing stuff in,
with the idea that we would deal with it later.  Now you can't even get in there

Ok, now that everyone in American can feel better about their own mess, come back next week to see my design plan.  I'm thinking Southern Coastal, hoping that I can turn this into a welcoming, organized retreat.  Thanks for visiting, and make sure to check out everyone else participating in the One Room Challenge!


One Room Challenge Week 6: The Grand Finale, Part 1

Well folks, our room is not fully finished but I'm happy with how Phase 1 turned out.  And as of 1am last night when we got home from the beach, it was not photo-ready, so please excuse any poor lighting or staging.  As a professional, it grates on me that we didn't finish the room as planned.  As a mommy & wife, taking the past week to go on a desperately needed family vacation after weeks of the stomach flu, budget woes, and high levels of stress due to personal circumstances beyond our control, was absolutely more important than finishing the room.  My mantra for this project has become, "it is what it is".  This season's ORC has been an exercise in patience and acceptance, two lessons which I seem to continually need to learn ;)

And now for the before and (mostly) after:





Pretend not to notice the spots on the ceiling. A little touch-up is still needed :)

I am sooo pleased with our built-ins.  They add so much character to the room & to our home.  This room has odd dimenstions; it is a small square with a bay window on one wall & doorways on two of the walls that limit furniture placement and size.  We now have storage for a bar area, our books, board games, art supplies, and even some serving pieces.  My husband is in trouble, now that I know he has this kind of talent.  His to-do list just got a little bit longer. ;)



As for the other changes to the room, I am thrilled with the wall & trim colors, and absolutely adore my homemade abstract art. I feel like they balance the classic/historical feel of the federal mirror, sconces, & lantern.

Phase 2 will take time & money, so it will be a while before the room is truly "finished" (my husband doesn't believe I consider any space in our home to ever be finished; he may be right).  Still on our list to accomplish:
  • drapes.  The charcoal linen drapes in the room are a pair I had in storage, & pulled out for a visual reference.  I think a white background with subtle pattern would do better at highlighting the beauty of the bay window, but I haven't found just the right one yet
  • antique table & chairs; there's a reason I have a tablecloth on this one & it's not pretty ;)
  • custom shades for the sconces.  I'm 99% sure I know what fabric I'm going to use for these, but have yet to bite the bullet since I'm so wishy-washy on my drapery choice
  • finish the plate wall with silhouettes of my girls
  • move our antique dark wood buffet up from the basement & switch out with the painted one.  No one felt like moving heavy furniture after a stomach bug 
  • knobs for the cabinets on the built-ins.  They arrived but didn't quite make it to install
  • more pops of blue and green to bring color into the room
A couple last shots of the room:

If you've stuck around for the entirety of this post, thank you.  And I would love it if you'd follow me both here & on Instagram (hcbinteriors); please continue to check in to see our progress on the space.  Big thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for creating this fantastic blogger phenomenon.  This round promoted 20 featured bloggers and over 200 guest particpants, along with House Beautiful magazine as a social media partner.  So impressive!

Also linking up to Thoughts of Home via Laura at decortoadore.net  Thanks Laura for hosting!


One Room Challenge Week 5: Calling "Uncle"

If you're new here, welcome! To my regular readers, thank you for checking back in! We are in the final countdown of the One Room Challenge, a 6 week event hosted by Linda of Calling It Home to makeover one room in your home (or someone else's. With their permission, of course).

We have made some amazing progress in some areas, and not so amazing in others.  After two weeks of the stomach flu making its way through our home, and losing a large amount of my budget to the unexpected expense of a new car, I have finally come to realize that we will not have a complete room next week.  It is what it is, and I am surprisingly okay with it (well, mostly.  There have been a few moments of frustration & one near tantrum, but overall, I'm satisfied with what we've been able to accomplish despite the challenges.)

The bookcases, which I shared last week, received even more attention after my post.  My husband decided he wasn't 100% satisfied with them, so he added more trim and detailing, and I am SO glad he did.  I thought they looked great before, but they truly look professional now.  One coat of primer and two coats of paint later, and they are ready for styling.  We also decided to paint the crown molding to match the bookcases.  I had initially been concerned that painting the molding gray would shorten our already low (8') ceilings, but it looks much more polished now.

Excuse the grainy photo.  Computer issues :)
 Our vintage federal mirror arrived, and I love the character it adds to the room.  I'm trying not to overwhelm the room/walls, so even though I had originally thought about a gallery wall for this space, I'm really happy with the quiet, clean look of the mirror on its own.  Plus, this is the main wall that my girls bang against as they run through the room during their daily races, so the less to be knocked down, the better. :)

We happened to have a picture light laying around in the basement from another project, so we added that above my girls' painting.  It gives the art an extra sense of importance, and my 5 year old thinks it is so neat to be able to turn on the "special" light so it shines on their painting.

Tune in next week to see our "finished" space.  And be sure to check out the other 200+ guest paticipants!


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: The built-ins are finished - but the painting may never end

Welcome to Week 4! For those of you just joining in, we are participating in Calling It Home's One Room Challenge, a 6 week revamp of one room in our home.  You can catch up with weeks 1, 2, & 3 to see where we started and how far we've come.

I am fairly sure that this time around, we will not be finished with our room when the clock stops.  And that's ok because we have made some major changes to the room, and as we are working with a tighter budget, I want to ensure that we (I) make the right choices, not pressured choices.

The most obvious change to the room are the incredible built-ins that my husband has worked so hard on.  It is so neat to watch someone that you know so well grow in a talent that they weren't even sure they had, only to find major success after challenging themselves.  The bookcases add tons of character and style to the room, not to mention much needed storage in our smaller home.

With one coat of tinted primer

We also have all new lighting in the room, but I was able to keep it all budget-friendly.  I purchased the sconces with gift cards saved from my birthday & Christmas (sometimes being a holiday baby comes in handy), and I simply switched the lantern in our breakfast area with the chandelier in the dining room.  It's a little unconventional to move a crystal chandelier from a dining room to a kitchen, but I'm a big fan of the contrast it provides to our kitchen's antique farm table.  And the lantern better fits my vision for the design for the dining room.

The custom shades for the sconces will most likely not make it here before the end of the ORC, but I'm sure they will be worth the wait.  Although when I showed my husband the design, he said, "I really like them.  They remind me of a Hawaiian shirt".  Definitely NOT what I was going for, but I'll focus on the part where he said that he liked them.  Here are some inspiration images to give you an idea of the direction in which I am heading:

Bunny Williams Home

This next week is going to be a hot mess of frantically trying to finish as much as possible while still searching for those "perfect" items that will make the room.  But unlike my younger impatient self, I am willing to settle for an unfinished room, and wait for the right time/chair/table/fabric to come along.

If you'd like to see how the other amazing participants are faring, check out callingithome.com. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


ORC Spring 2016: Week 3 - Progress & Paint

First, to those of you who offered kind words of support and encouragement after last week's post/Instagram, I so appreciate it.  Despite some challenges, we have made real progress this week, and even if we are unable to fully finish the room, the biggest changes will have been made, and that is worth a lot! I have to keep reminding myself that this was supposed to be "Plan A" all along, so if parts of "Plan B" don't come to fruition, that's ok - they were never part of the budget or planning anyway. Surely I'm not the only one who gets carried away in this challenge? ;)

I need to give lots of recognition to my husband - with just a tiny bit of experience and a lot of gumption, he finished the frames for the built-ins in just a few days after work! I am so proud of him! They aren't quite complete, but I think by the end of the weekend we will be able to start priming.

While he has spent his time building, I have spent my hours painting.  Both the walls and the trim are requiring a minimum of three coats each.  I guess that's what happens when you are painting white over walls that have previously been green, dark blue, and even black.  I have painted many, many walls in the past - as a military family, we moved multiple times & I painted each home we lived in.  But this time, I have discovered something that has made a difference in the ease, quality, and time in which I get my painting done (which is sadly still very slow, but much faster than it used to be).  Purdy was kind enough to share some brushes and rollers with me, and I am a true convert.   I do not endorse a product if I don't believe in it, and I was so impressed by the quality of the Purdy brushes that I went out and purchased another brush on my own dime.  And having an arsenal of brushes and rollers has come in very handy since it seems like that's all I do in my spare time now.  :)

When I was designing the room, I was hesitant to do white walls.  Almost every room in our home has white walls, but they are white woodwork - shiplap, beadboard, board & batten, etc.  Something to give the white character.  The dining room is one of the few spaces that is just drywall, and I worried that it would read as flat and lifeless.  But I absolutely adore the warm white accented by the gray/blue/green trim, and find myself wandering in there to just check it out and enjoy the contrast.  Next I just have to convince the hubby that the rest of the house needs to be repainted to match.  ;)   If anyone is wondering, the walls are Swiss Coffee and the trim is Fieldstone, both by Benjamin Moore.

And finally, my favorite piece of the room is the giant DIY abstract art that my sweet babies made for me.  Other than choosing which colors of fingerpaint they could use, I let them have free reign.  And while it may not be something that would sell in a gallery, it means SO much to me, especially the tiny handprints hidden in one corner.  I propped it up on the piano in the adjoining foyer while we've been working in the dining room, and ironically, I like it so much there that I think it will probably stay instead of hanging in the dining room as was the original plan.

Lots of changes this week, and even more painting in our future.  Ha! Then on to the fun part of decorating and accessorizing! Be sure to catch up with the other guest posters here.  Have a great weekend!

                    Thank you to Purdy for providing the products used to accomplish the painting
for this challenge