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


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: The Plan...Or What's Left of It

Earlier this week, I had an entirely different post ready to go.  And then Murphy decided to pay our ORC a little visit.  Isn't it a little early in the game for such antics? You might be thinking, well at least at this point you have time to scramble for a solution.  But some of the issues will not be solved until well after the finale, if they are solved at all.  And one of them is my fault.  Our big vacation of the year, the already paid for, non-refundable, dates-absolutely-cannot-be changed-vacation, occurs during the ORC.  So, instead of 5 weeks to complete our room (the ORC is 6 Thursday postings, but actually only 5 full weeks), we only have 4.  That was a fun conversation to have with my husband.  Oops. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that my husband decided to tackle built-ins (which made the timeline convo afterwards even more awkward).  I'm so grateful that he loves to take on projects like this.  He's never done a project this big before, but that was true of the built-in office and the "mudcloset" in the last ORC, so I am confident he will knock it out of the park.  This time he even has an assistant; my 5 year old, who loves to help us with home projects, and wants to open a renovation company a la Fixer Upper.  So my husband sweetly included her in the demo stage, and she was so excited.  We kept the first piece of molding she removed, just in case she decided she wanted it as a souvenir for her future self.  Let's just pretend they (mostly her daddy) didn't put a big hole in the sheetrock.

On to the design...

White walls, gray trim, and traditional lighting accented with an incredible piece of abstract art like this beauty by MECArt on Etsy (except my version will be a lot more personal, and a little more budget friendly).  If you notice, there is something important missing: beautiful fabrics, my favorite part.  :(
My window hardware and drapes were part of the Murphy mess, and probably the largest part of my budget, so I don't want to be hasty in choosing a replacement.  We may have bare windows for a while, although my husband has offered his college solution of flags and towels, so at least we have a backup plan.     

Check back in next week to see what progress we've made, and make sure to visit the other participants to see how they're faring! It's an exciting (?) ride to be sure!

Also sharing with Thoughts of Home, so please stop by and visit those sharing there as well!


One Room Challenge Spring 2016 - The Dining Room

Well, here we go again.  We truly loved every gut-wrenching, sleep-deprived, nail-biting, exhilarating second of last fall's One Room Challenge, so I knew from the minute I hit publish on the final post in Nov. 2015 that we would be participating again.  The biggest challenge (hehe) would be deciding which room we would tackle.  And for a while, it seemed like the foyer was going to win out, mostly because it is small and my husband, aka electrician aka carpenter aka handyman aka jack-of-all-trades, was looking for something a little less hectic than the 3 spaces squeezed into 1 that we did last time.  But as they say, the best laid plans...

Let me back up for a second, though.  For those of you new to the One Room Challenge (or ORC), it is an intense, fun-filled, teeth-gnashing, tear-inducing challenge to makeover one room in your home (or someone else's!) in 6 short weeks.  Linda from Calling It Home created this incredible program, and this year, House Beautiful magazine has joined her as a media partner.  Every Wednesday, 20 sponsored bloggers/designers post their latest adventures, and every Thursday, guest bloggers (like myself) do the same.  It is a great catalyst for finally getting those things crossed off your to-do list, and while you may be a little shell-shocked at the end, you will have formed new friendships, challenged yourself creatively (& possibly physically if you're a DIYer), and you will be so proud of what you have accomplished in such a short time frame! If you've ever considered joining in, I encourage you to give it a try!  I will be here to cheer you along all the way.

So, back to my room.  I've been pinning and designing my foyer ideas for months, since hubby said no to the dining room as it was too involved for his time commitment.  And I completely respected that.  But because my brain doesn't shut off, ever, I created a Plan A & a Plan B for our dining room, just for fun, although neither were to be a part of the ORC.  Plan A was a short-term plan, on a budget, and would tide me over until I could budget for Plan B, and until we had the time to commit to Plan B.  If you're curious, Plan B includes wallpaper, built-ins, custom window treatments, new table and chairs, and a few other miscellaneous items.  Definitely not something for now.

If you follow me on Instagram (hcbinteriors), you know that a few weeks ago, I started on Plan A, because I had some white paint in my garage, and when you're on a budget, free is your best friend.  When I started to look more at Plan A, I realized with a little creativity I could actually make some major changes, so here we are: a tweaked version of Plan A, and the hubby has signed on to help with the dining room.  Hooray! I'll share my actual design plan next week, and how I plan to work with a smallish budget.  I'm aware that budget means different things to different people; what may seem small to one person is huge to another, and vice-versa. 

And now for the part everybody loves (please excuse the instagram photos, my computer is in the shop so I am using my iPad until next week):


And because I pulled out my free paint and got started before realizing this could actually work, I have 2 coats of white up, but need at least 2 more.  So, we'll call this the BEFORE PRIMED :)

Thanks for joining in on another ORC.  It feels slightly similar to the experience of having a second child.  With the first, there is so much excitement, and then total shock at how much harder and exhausting the whole thing is than you ever thought it would be.  This time around, we are just as excited but also aware of what we are getting ourselves into, and we know there are sure to be surprises along the way. ;)


Modernizing Traditional Family Pieces

It is common in the South for families to pass pieces down for generations.  I am blessed to have something in almost every room of my home that belonged to a family member at some point in time.  However, the challenge comes when mixing those pieces with today's more modern, laidback lifestyle.  Even the current traditional style is much more casual than our grandparents traditional tastes.  It can be especially challenging when the piece you've inherited is completely opposite your own design choices, or is a treasured family heirloom that cannot be altered in any way (ie. paint) ;)

However, in my opinion, the best rooms are a balance of new and old.  Older pieces have a patina and character that cannot be replicated, and often have a quality not found in today's furnishings. They add a sense of warmth to a room.  The new keeps those older pieces from looking shabby, outdated, or dowdy.  The design board below shows an example of this mix:

Two commonly inherited items are rugs and buffets.  To balance out the traditional heaviness of these two pieces, I added in fun lighting (love that Sputnik style chandelier!), abstract art, and upholstered seating.  I pulled the blues and golds from the rug, and used them in the art and lighting so that even though the pieces are very different stylistically, they still share a commonality. 
To further ensure the space would read as modernized traditional, I used Farrow + Ball's Wevet (white) on the walls, and Worsted (gray) on the trim.  By using color on the trim, instead of traditional white, the design continues to contrast the seriousness the older pieces bring to the space.
Hope this helps some of you who may be struggling with mixing those family pieces in with your own style.  On a sidenote, Farrow + Ball released nine new colours this year, and they, along with Paige Minear at The Pink Clutch,  are generously giving away a gallon to the reader who creates their favorite mood board.  Head over to Paige's blog to find out how to enter.  Good luck!


35 in 35

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a blessed holiday season.  I made an effort to simplify the Christmas season at our house (is that ironic or an oxymoron?  Effort to simplify. Lol).  But, it truly made a difference in my stress levels.  We didn't get out every single last decoration, we didn't make ourselves sick trying to complete our Christmas bucket list, and we didn't race from event to event like in years past. It was so nice to spend quality time at home with my little family.  I hope you were able to enjoy it as well. 

I am a (almost) New Year's baby.  And this year I turned 35.  Not a huge birthday, but it definitely feels like a marker of sorts.  35 is firmly entrenched in adulthood, like it or not.  And while I've never been one to dwell on age or numbers, I am well aware that my mom was only 9 years older than me when she received her first cancer diagnosis, and 23 years older than my current age when she passed away.  She accomplished almost all of her life goals before her too-early passing, and I have felt an urgency over the past year to use her inspiration as a drive to be intentional in accomplishing my own life goals. 

These thoughts, along with seeing Amanda's list, led to the creation of my own list.  I have written down goals multiple times recently, only to lose my list (getting back to my natural inclination towards organization is one of my goals).  Posting my list here not only keeps me accountable, but also ensures I won't lose my list.  I would love to hear any goals or dreams you have for the coming year.  Let's make 2016 a great one!

Holly's 35 in 35 (not in any particular order)
  1. Go to bed at 10pm, lights out no later than 11 (so long, Netflix binges)
  2. Read more books
  3. Watch less tv
  4. Make a budget & stick to it
  5. Participate in at least one of the 2016 One Room Challenge 
  6. Plan a trip to Seaside; the last vacation spot we took as a family before my mom passed away.  It will have been 5 years in June since our last trip
  7. Blog more frequently
  8. Improve my photography skills (learn through books/classes/articles)
  9. Focus on my time-management skills
  10. Organize my home; this is something that used to come easily to me, but I struggle now that I have 2 little ones (& a spouse who is the complete opposite of organized)
  11. Use my Day Planner every day (see #8)
  12. Learn how to sew
  13. Attempt more DIY on my own (instead of having hubby do it for me)
  14. Bake more with my girls
  15. Improve my health through regular exercise (starting with a minimum of 3 days a week) & decrease sugar in my diet
  16. Train for and run a 5K
  17. Create annual photo albums
  18. Meal-plan every week & cook more at home
  19. Go out on more dates with my hubby
  20. Learn to play the guitar
  21. Play the piano more frequently
  22. Purge our home so that only things with meaning remain
  23. Dust off my French language skills
  24. Learn more world & American history
  25. Volunteer on a more regular basis
  26. Work on paintings or crafting
  27. Start a cleaning schedule & stick to it
  28. Plan more weekend adventures instead of sitting around the house
  29. Focus on creating memories & traditions for my girls
  30. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
  31. Take my oldest to tea at the Ritz
  32. Implement the landscape plan for our house that I designed 2 years ago
  33. Create an outdoor living space (I dream of a screened porch) we can use & enjoy year-round
  34. Send snail mail on a regular basis (& become better about the timeliness of thank you notes)
  35. Celebrate each day for the gift that it is!


My Inspiration Word for 2016

Happy New Year y'all! I hope everyone had a blessed and happy holiday season full of love and laughter. The holidays are bittersweet for me; fall through Christmas is my favorite time of year, and the time of year most filled with our family traditions, which are so important to me. But, it's also difficult because my mom shared my love of the holidays and traditions, and she passed away exactly 3 weeks before Christmas. Focusing on sharing the joy of Christmas & the other holidays with my girls helps me to push through my sadness, and also is a great way for me to share a part of my mom with them. I both look forward to and dread the holiday season every year, but this year the scales seemed to tip just a bit more towards joy, and for that I am grateful.

Like most people, I have spent the past couple of days reflecting on 2015, & thinking about what I want out of 2016. I've never chosen a word of the year before, but I as I was thinking about my goals, one word kept leaping out at me: FOCUS. I want to focus more on the people around me, and less on the distractions of everyday life. I want to focus on my time management so that I can spend more time making memories, and less time on my to-do list. I want to focus on my ideas & goals in order to complete the things I start, and not leave half-completed projects and partially fulfilled dreams in my wake.

I have another post for tomorrow detailing more of my plans for 2016. Until then, I'd love to hear if you have a word for the new year!