ORC Week 4: Never Stenciling Again


From now on, if I ever mention stenciling, just remind me to start saving pennies for the wallpapers of my dreams.  Schumacher, Phillip Jeffries, Quadrille - I should not have abandoned you.  ;)

In all seriousness, stenciling is not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for Type A personalities.  I'm more of an A-/B+ type myself, but the misalignments and random paint smears just about sent me over the edge.  As there was no wine in the house to ease my pain, I helped myself to the Halloween candy stash.  We might need to re-stock.  Oops.

Part of the issue with the stencil is my fault.  The design I chose came with a dot in between each damask.  But I did not want the dot as I was going for more of a block print look, so I taped over the dots to ensure that they would not get stenciled on the walls.  I realized after my 3rd unevenly spaced attempt that the dots also help to line up the stencil.  Once I figured that out, I just eyeballed where the dots should be & measured (again by eyeballing it) from there.  The lack of actual measuring is the Type B+ personality I mentioned earlier.  ;)

Stenciling the corners is where the real mashing of teeth began.  I may have to redo that section to cover up the awful smearing & paint globs.  It was not quite as easy as the pros make it look.  And I learned that it was best if I waited about 5 minutes in between each stencil to allow for some drying, even though the instructions say you can move on immediately.  But we persevered, and I am very happy with the overall result.  It is beginning to look like what I pictured in my head (minus all the mistakes), & it's really fun.

Only 1 damask stencil left to go.  And a glimpse of the new pulls that I LOVE.
Ignore the unpainted bottom right corner; that will be covered with beadboard :)

In other parts of the reno, the hubs decided that he would not have time to custom build cubbies over the desk.  I totally understand, but man, it would have looked so good.  Luckily, the day after he told me it was a no-go, I happened upon multiple options while at Target, and after squishing my children to the side, managed to load 4 of them in my buggy.  This beauty is the winner in both form & function.

Notice anything funky about #8? It makes me laugh each time I see it upside down.
All the ones in the store were the same.  Might have to keep it for the quirkiness.  

It changes the influence of my design a tad - it's a little more rustic/industrial than my original idea, but luckily I have some other galvanized pieces I can pull from around the house to make it work.  It does mean that we have to return the lighting I purchased for the space; the picture light is formal & traditional, and the desk area is now leaning towards industrial farmhouse, so it's back to the search I go.  In a moment of insanity while feeling sorry for me, hubby offered to create some custom lighting if I can't find anything in my increasingly dwindling budget, so that's my fallback plan. Sounds foolproof, right?

Despite the lighting issue in the office nook, I am in LOVE with my fun find at HomeGoods of all places!
Still needs a cool lightbulb after hubby broke the other one. And in the background is a glimpse of the partially painted entry wall (was Stratton Blue, now is White Dove.  Or at least most of it is)
Finally, I finished the chalkboard wall in the office nook with Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Craft Finish in Chalkboard Clear.  I used the entire bottle to apply 4 coats, with a few hours of dry time in between each coat.  I waited a full 24 hours after the last coat, and then seasoned the entire wall with a couple pieces of chalk.  It seems to be working great, but I will let you know if that changes over time.  At 1 am last night, my sweet husband decided to start framing out the desk to try to get ahead of the lack of work we are predicting will happen over Halloween weekend.  Trick or Treating comes first.  #priorities

Please excuse the lighting in all of these.  It's been raining for days in GA, & my camera
has a temper tantrum each time I try to take shots without a flash.
You can see the chalkiness of the chalkboard paint on the upper part of the wall.  

Oh, and the mudcloset hasn't even been touched yet.  Yikes.

In case lists are your thing (they rank high on my...list... of favorite things. See what I did there?), let's check in on our progress.

Install beadboard & molding // Paint & stencil walls (Praise the Lord I can cross this off) // Install hooks on molding // New utility sink // Pulls for cabinets // New lighting ? // Replace drying rack // Install shelf above washer & dryer // Install shelves above drying rack

Paint walls // New rug // New lighting

Repaint // Lower top hooks so shelf is more accessible // Add shoe storage // Add more hooks

Office nook:
Floating desk // Install outlet // New printer // Cubby holes/storage for mail, office supplies
Chalkboard or pinboard // Lighting

If you just now catching up, you can see Week 1, Week 2, & Week 3 here.  And don't forget to visit Linda at Calling It Home to check in on the almost 200 other participants.  

Happy Halloween y'all!


ORC Week 3: Progress??

Well, we're halfway through, and I cannot confidently say that we're halfway done with our work.  Ahh!! We've had a few setbacks, most notably time.  The baby had croup, and the hubby was out of town all weekend, so we are trying to make up for it by working late after the kiddos are in bed.  Coffee & I have always been BFFs, but now we are thisclose.

That being said, it's still pathetic how much we've gotten done compared to our normal project timelines.  Guess those Netflix marathons really do cut into productivity.

We painted the office nook Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze, & I love love love the dark against all the white in our home.  I've used this color before, mainly on our exterior doors, but I've never used it on walls.  Looks so good.  After a couple coats of the UB, I started coating a portion of the back wall with Martha's Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Craft Finish.  It has given the wall a slightly chalky/glazed sheen, but still looks fine.  I think the fact that the wall has so many imperfections and is in a dimly lit space helps; not sure how it would look in a sunlit area.

I started on the stencil work in the laundry room, and I am in love with the design.  I've never stenciled before, so the results have been imperfect, but I actually kind of like it better that way.  Hopefully, I'll finish it tomorrow so that we can start installing beadboard this weekend.

A little hint at the stencil work
Luckily, our only snafus so far have been minor.  I scored a great deal at HomeGoods, & found a light that is a little out of my comfort zone (which is laughable because it's so tame, but my style is farmhouse/cottage/classic & this light is a teensy bit industrial).  I think it will really make the space though, and add a little zing.  However, when I was removing all the stickers the manufacturer plastered it with, some of the finish came off.  And then the awesome vintage lightbulb I paid extra for popped in half when my husband (who would like acknowledgement for his obvious brute strength) pulled it out of the box.  But if those are our only issues, I will gladly take them!

There is still so much left to do, most notably installing paneling, building a free floating desk, and installing a new sink.  Check back next week to see how much more we've done, or if we've gone off the deep end.  Right now, it's a toss-up. ;)

Follow me on Instagram at hcbinteriors for more frequent updates.  And don't forget to check out the other participants - the talent is incredible!


ORC Week 2: Demo & Design Plan

Hey y'all! I can't believe it's week 2 of the One Room Challenge already! We started "demo" on Saturday night (I use that term loosely, as it mostly means we emptied all the spaces and patched holes.  No sledgehammers required).

Not surprisingly, the laundry room & to-be office nook look huge now that they're empty of junk. But they're actually fairly small:  the laundry room is 35 sq. ft. & the office nook is only 4 ft wide & 18 inches deep.  This means less area to work on, but it also means we have to be efficient with our space planning.  I love the challenge of ensuring a design works as good as it looks, so this is one of the things I'm most eager to get to (& also what is keeping me awake at night). ;)

Removed all the junk & shelves, patched the holes, and now we are ready to paint!

 Monday night & Tuesday we started in on the actual work of putting the spaces back together.  So exciting!  There is still A LOT left to do, but seriously, just seeing new pulls on the cabinets in the laundry room & having an outlet installed in the closet office made me so happy, not to mention that the feeling of accomplishment from such simple tasks give me incentive to keep moving forward.

Below is my design board.  It's a little different from the ones I send to clients; this is more of an inspiration board than a true design board.  I'm taking elements from all of the images & giving them my own spin.  So, what you see here will not exactly be what you'll see in the end, as opposed to a detailed design that I provide for my clients.  But, it will keep me focused on not straying too far outside my ideas, something that can happen when I'm browsing my favorite antiques store, or let's be honest, each time I step inside Target or HomeGoods.

Clockwise from top left: Melinda Hartwright  // Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze // Schoolhouse Electric
Benjamin Moore White Dove // An Urban Cottage // Ladies Home Journal // This Old House // Boston Globe Magazine

And finally, our to-do list.  Phew!  Seeing how many things there are still to be done is a little overwhelming.  This is definitely going to be a 'take it one step at a time' process.

Install beadboard & molding // Paint & stencil walls // Install hooks on molding // New utility sink // Pulls for cabinets // New lighting ? // Replace drying rack // Install shelf above washer & dryer

Paint walls // New rug // New lighting

Repaint // Lower top hooks so shelf is more accessible // Add shoe storage // Add more hooks

Office nook:
Floating desk // Install outlet // New printer // Cubby holes/storage for mail, office supplies
Chalkboard or pinboard // Lighting

Please check in on our progress again next week!  Y'all are keeping me accountable ;)
And remember, there are nearly 200 other bloggers joining in on the fun, so go give them some love!


One Room Challenge Fall 2015

Twice a year, I look forward to reading about those participating in Linda’s (Calling it Home) One Room Challenge (ORC), a blogger challenge to complete one room in your home in 6 short weeks.  This year, I have convinced my husband that we need to participate!  It’s not really the best time for us to dive into a fast-paced, money-draining project, but is there ever really such a thing as a perfect time?

Our home is a cozy (aka smallish) '70s ranch.  We are lucky to be on a full basement, but the main level specifically must be truly functional since it is where we spend most of our time, and there's just no space to waste.  Besides, I truly believe in actually living in all of a home's rooms - no "look, but don't touch" spaces for this girl.  This does mean we have to get creative sometimes, and our makeover space fits the bill on needing lots of work & out-of-the-box thinking.

For our first ORC, we will be revamping the hallway/laundry/mudroom/pantry space just inside of our garage door.  It’s an awkward layout.  Entering from the garage, you are in a narrow hallway that is part of the kitchen.  There are 5 doorways in this tiny space.  The laundry room, pantries, “mudcloset”, and garage door are visible from all parts of the kitchen. The dining room, front door, & foyer are all visible from the garage door.  And the garage door & one of the pantries are visible from the front door.  This requires a cohesive look that will work with all adjacent spaces, so that your line of sight is not jarred by incongruent design. It also requires organization & tidiness, habits on which our entire family are still perfecting.  ;)

Our kitchen is long, narrow, & had 3 pantries when we moved in, none of which were that close to each other.  I realize this may sound wonderful to those who have no pantry space (it did to me too, before we actually started living in the space). But it quickly became apparent that we needed a place to hang our coats & kick off our shoes, not 3 different places to store our cereal.  So, my sweet hubby did a quick weekend revamp last year, & turned the pantry directly across from the garage door (pantry #2) into a “mudcloset’.  Since it is not even 12” deep, I think calling it a mudroom would be a tad overzealous.  This area will get a small update.

Our laundry room is at the end of our long kitchen, opposite the breakfast nook.  I am, of course, constantly in there doing laundry, and the dog’s bowls are in there as well, so the door is always open.  I personally do not love looking at my piles of dirty laundry while I’m eating, so making this space more functional, and definitely more appealing to look at, is at the top of my list. An added bonus is that if I can close the door, the baby will no longer play in the dog's food bowls. 
It is a very narrow room, with barely enough space to squeeze in a laundry basket.  It's also a catchall for anything that doesn't have a home, so the space gets even narrower with all the junk piled up.  Please pretend you aren't appalled by our mess. This is it on a good day. :)

  Finally, the space that I’m most excited about redoing is the 3rd pantry (for those of you keeping count, pantry #1, a tall set of cabinets close to the kitchen sink, is staying a pantry).  #3 is the biggest of the pantries, and while we use it everyday for storage, it will be turned into something we will use even more – an office nook.  There is no spot on the main level of our home for an office.  My desk has moved from the basement (sharing a space in the playroom or my husband’s office wasn’t practical or feasible) to the family room to the dining room.  We had high hopes for a dining room/library/office combo, but the office part just never felt right.  I didn’t love that all of my work stuff, bills, etc. would be piled high on my desk while we were trying to entertain, or that my computer screen was the first thing you saw when coming in the front door as the dining room is directly off the foyer.  I will have to keep this small space organized as it is still partially visible from the front door/dining room, but it’s not as in your face as when it was in the dining room.  And, I have to find a new home for all of the junk we currently have crammed into the pantry.  Time to edit!

Overall, I am ecstatic to join in on this fun process – let’s hope we still think it’s fun in 6 weeks!  Check back every Thursday for updates; next week I'll share my design plan and the start of the deconstruction process.  And if you want to be a linking participant like me, check out Linda's blog for details!