Honoring Bobbi - Philanthropy & Design

We are nearing the anniversary of my mom's passing, and while she is never far from my thoughts, these days she is always on my mind.  She was the kindest, most thoughtful person I have ever known, and I've been thinking a lot about her life goals.  She accomplished almost everything on her list, but one thing she always wanted was to be a philanthropist.  I've been trying to figure out how I could continue on with her dream, and I realized that no act is too small when it comes to promoting kindness.  

So, I am offering you a deal: if you write to me by Monday, Dec. 5* and tell me about a philanthropic act that you have performed for others in the past week (or email me by Mon. about something you did over the weekend), I will send you a design idea board, at no charge.  These boards are already designed, so they are not custom, but there will be a few different ones to choose from (i.e. farmhouse, neutral, mod traditional, etc.)

All you have to do is perform a philanthropic act and let me know about it, and you will be sent the design board of your choice.  Pretty easy, right?  Now go spread a little hope and love in this world - just like my mom did every day of her life. :)

*email me at hcbinteriors@gmail.com


Holiday Home Tour

Every year, I look forward to the many holiday home tours that pop up in blogland.  There is so much creativity and inspiration out there! 

Yesterday, I hosted a small brunch at my home and decided to snap a few pics after the fact (had to document a time when the house was clean!).  We haven't finished decorating (we don't even have a tree yet), but I wanted to share just a few snippets of our home during my favorite season.  I've incorporated more fresh greenery this year, and it makes such a difference; it has a presence that allows you to decrease the decor throughout the rest of the room, providing the cozy & simplified feeling I was after.  

(As an aside, if anyone has a photography class or book they can recommend, please share! Our home faces south, meaning some rooms are always too bright and others are always dim; a challenge when shooting interiors.  I'm always trying to improve my novice skills, and would love to learn more!)

Welcome to our home! This year, I finally found a local source for the temple bells I have admired for years.  I love their soft clanging sound, and the contrast of the bells against the greenery.

Our O Holy Night sign from Between You and Me signs always takes a place of pride on the mantel. I added fresh garland on the mantel this year, and it smells so good.  See the plant on the fireplace? Had to move it up there when little fingers kept pulling all the leaves off ;) 

Not sure if I've ever shared a full shot of this side of the room, or at least not a finished shot of the built-ins.  I am so happy with the way they turned out, and even though a few contractors scoffed at me for designing them in a space that only allowed for them to be 8 inches deep, I think they add so much character to the room.  

Fresh greenery, a mini tree in an antique pot, and my girls' silhouettes.  Simple changes to the room that make me love it even more.  

Found this pot over Thanksgiving while visiting my in-laws 200 year old farmhouse, and it is a perfect home for this mini-tree that we will plant in the yard next spring.

The garage door all dressed up with a boxwood wreath (an ineffective attempt to hide the clutter in the garage lol).  And a handprint Santa to send us out the door each day.

The master bedroom received a few small touches of Christmas for the first time - my favorite pillow on the bed and a small wreath hung on the door.

Hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas season! Thanks for visiting our home!


Giving Back - National Philanthropy Day

I am so very grateful for the opportunity to follow my dreams and help others create a home.  I am also very passionate about giving back.  From now until the end of the year, I will donate 10% of all proceeds to one of three charities: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, CURE Childhood Cancer, or Folds of Honor.

And, I will continue to donate in 2017, if you contact me before Dec. 31, 2016.  It's a win-win: you get a new space, and someone in need benefits.  If you're interested, or would like to see more examples of my work, please contact me at hcbinteriors@gmail.com

Thank you for helping others!


One Room Challenge, Fall 2016 - The Big Reveal!

Well, it's the end of the One Room Challenge, and while it's not a huge transformation, I'm happy to say that we have a cozy, clean space to offer our guests and we did it on a tight budget (under $200 to be exact).  When we started 6 weeks ago, the room was a cave-like space in our basement that we used mostly for storage, and would frantically clean every time a guest arrived. Full of plastic storage bins, and lacking both windows and overhead lighting, it didn't exactly scream welcome. The main challenge came in trying to brighten and lighten the space while sticking to a practically non-existent budget (we mainly reused items from around our home).  I think we accomplished our goal.  To see the progress, you can check out my posts from Week 1 , Week 2 , Week 3 , and Week 4/5.  Next up on my to-do list: learn how to use my camera so that taking pictures of a windowless room in a basement isn't such a challenge!

Now on to the reason why everyone is here - the Before and After!

Our Mess

I love the look of the drapes behind the bed.  It creates a layer of coziness and warmth in a room full of hard surfaces and no natural charm.  It also gives the impression of a wall of windows, so it's not quite as obvious to our guests that we are sticking them in our dungeon. ;)

In addition to the lamps placed around the room, we installed this plug-in sconce on the wall right next to the door.  Now you can turn on a light the second you walk in the room, as opposed to walking across a dark room to turn on the lamp on the nightstand, the only option previously for lighting the room.

Every good Southern room needs a little blue and white.  This large wall across from the bed needed something to fill it, especially because this is the view when lying in the bed.  One of our favorite paintings by a local artist of the Georgia shore, surrounded by some of my Blue Willow collection, adds a fun boost of color in a mostly neutral room. 

Before of the wall across from the bed, aka more storage

I added a little seating area/reading nook in this previously unused corner.  Hope it provides a spot for our guests to relax and escape the hubbub of a home with small children. :)

As always, I am so glad we participated in the One Room Challenge.  Thank you so much to Linda for creating the ORC, and for providing encouragement to create a space in your home that you truly love.  Be sure to check out the other participants; there is so much talent out there!

*Edited to add sources and budget

Drapes: P Kauffman Buffalo Check
Bedding: white coverlet - Pine Cone Hill, white shams with monogram - Pottery Barn, blue/gray quilt                 and shams - Tuesday Morning
Tablecloth: Lacefield Designs Pagoda for Ballard Designs
Sconce: Pottery Barn
All other lighting, furniture, artwork: family pieces, gifts, or thrift store finds

BUDGET (about 95% of the room was recycled from other rooms or storage)
Drapes: bartered with a client for design services  $0
Bedding: white bedding was outlet or garage sale finds, blue/gray from a discount store  $80
Tablecloth: purchased on FB garage sale group  $35
Pharmacy style floor lamp: thrift store find $7
Curtain rod: $20

Total Budget: $142


One Room Challenge, Fall 2016 - Week 5

Well, you may have noticed that I skipped right over Week 4 in the ORC.  There just wasn't enough progress to warrant a post.  But, we've gotten a lot more accomplished this week, and I am excited to reveal our revamped guest room next week.  It's not going to be the most dramatic of reveals, but I am so pleased to be able to offer our guests a welcoming space instead of the cluttered dungeon-like room it was up until a month ago.

We hung the drapes along the back wall, and it makes such a difference in the coziness factor.  My dad (who is fairly oblivious to all things design) even commented that it makes it seem like there is a wall of windows hiding just behind the bed - exactly my intention!  The dimensions are a little off since I had to work with what I already own and wasn't able to customize the drapes to the space, but I think it is still as step-up from a windowless room with drop tile ceiling. :)

ignore the wrinkles ;)

I also set up a little reading/relaxing nook in the corner of the room that previously held all of our junk.  Just a tiny bit of an improvement, I'd say. Still waffling over my accent fabric choices (the pillow and throw pictured are just stand-ins), but since it's down to the wire, availability may become my most influential factor.

That's my quick update for now.  See you next week for the reveal!
As always, don't forget to check out the other participants in the One Room Challenge!


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


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!