Interior design

One Room Challenge Week 3: Paint and room layout

Week three of the One Room Challenge has really kept me on my toes. For first time visitors, the One Room Challenge is an event for bloggers and designers hosted by Calling It Home. Participants have six weeks to transform a space from meh to amazing. I joined this crazy scene as a guest because we are expecting our second little guy in September and figured it would be the kick in the butt I needed to get his room finished. And, it's working! Here is the design board to give you a feel of what I'm working towards...

Last week, I polled my audience to decide on a paint color. I had narrowed it down to Baby Green or Lido Green by Benjamin Moore. I really liked them both but needed some hand holding to pull the trigger. I know, I know. I do this for a living but in your own home it's really hard sometimes to make semi permanent decisions. Thanks to those that weighed in. The winner? Mr. Lido Green. And it's purrrdy. It's minty perfection is going to mix perfectly with the blues, grays and natural wood in the room. 

So, in between work and play dates and pregnancy (ugh), this week has been all about Lido here. Let's just take a quick walk down memory lane to see my starting point. Here is the space in all it's two-toned, nautical glory (disclaimer: we bought it this way).

And here it is updated in Lido Green. The photos don't really do it justice but it's such a transformation. The space feels calm and serene now... exactly the mood we're going for (hint, hint, little one in my belly). 

Now that I have a clean palate, I'm beginning to play around with the layout. There aren't many options in this little 11 x 9 space but here are the two in the running. They are the same besides the placement of the crib and dresser. I'm pulling for Option A so that the crib isn't on the other side of our headboard in our room but Option B will allow for more lighting since I would have a table lamp on the dresser + the two sconces above the crib. The sconces make sense on that longer wall but not really the wall with the door... too small of a space. But, since the lighting isn't hard wired, I can play around with the arrangement and go with what feels best. The room is fairly dark with no overhead lighting so Option B is looking more promising. 

Option A

Option A

Option B

Option B

Other than paint and layout, I placed a few final orders this week and all I have left to buy are plants for some fun hanging pots I recently found. And, I almost forgot – the quilt wallhanging is pieced together and just waiting on a final fabric to arrive in order to begin quilting. It will be down to the wire for that piece but since I have an ace quilter up my sleeve (mom), I know it'll be here in no time.

Thanks for checking in. Not a totally thrilling week but any progress so far makes me happy. I'm going to spend my weekend in Ikea and Land of Nod furniture building hell. Wish me luck! Oh and don't forget to check out the other participant rooms on the One Room Challenge link up! See you next week!

One Room Challenge: The baby room... awww :)

I went public with my baby bump on Instagram last week so it's officially out there – we're having a baby boy this September! Woo hoo! We're super excited to add to our little family and for Henry to have a little brother to school in all things trains. It's also exciting because now people will stop bugging me about what we're doing with our fourth bedroom. Because of course, how could I overlook the chance to design another nursery? So, that's what brought me here today. I haven't blogged in a while but for the next SIX weeks I'll be blogging and documenting the progress of the baby room transformation for the One Room Challenge

The One Room Challenge is a six week event hosted by Calling It Home where bloggers and designers transform a room and blog about the progress weekly. This is my first time participating as a guest and I'm super excited because it will keep me motivated and I've also never shared a project from start to finish in this way... just a before and the magical after – the details are the fun part (sometimes).

Here's what I'm working with – this is how the room looked when we moved in. Yep, that's a fishing pole curtain rod. I mean it's kind of clever actually. Not really my style but a neat idea nevertheless. And talk about theme. This one is nautical to the core right down to the sand colored lower half of the room to the sea colored upper half... oh yeah and it's sponge painted (get it? sponge?)! I shouldn't joke. My mom and I sponge painted a hallway once so at one point it seemed like a good idea to me. We immediately painted over it seeing the error of our ways but I sort of get how you could get sucked in to a faux finish. 

Currently, the room is just storage for stuff I aspire to decorate with, rugs I don't know what to do with but dog pee prevents me from selling and other rando things. We have kept this door shut for the last year and a half and truly forget that this room exists. But hooray! It does! And I get to turn it into one super cute baby room!

I'm just a little excited for a few reasons..

1. It's for our new little peanut to be! For a while we weren't sure if we wanted to have another baby (mainly due to sleep deprivation) but as time went on and the challenging parts of that first year with Henry faded a little (it was HARD) we both knew our family just didn't feel complete. Alas, baby two is on the way! 

2. It's my house so I don't have to edit myself. I get to show off my style and if I want to do some weirdo things no one is around to say otherwise ;)

Here is the plan. Fairly modern to fit the style of our home. Mints, blues, grays and I couldn't resist throwing in a little brass. My favorite part (and likely the most time-consuming) is the quilt wallhanging. I've been coveting the ones from @louisegray_studio for a while now (shown above) but since my mom @debsembler is a very skilled quilter I thought it might be a fun project for us to design our own together. I'm excited to blog about that when the time comes. And in the meantime, I'll be hunting around for inspiration since neither of us has created our own pattern before... it should be interesting. 

Thanks for reading my week 1 post! I hope you'll check back in to see my progress over the coming weeks. It's going to be so fun! You can also check out other room transformations on the One Room Challenge link up... tons of talent and inspiration here, guys. Go! And see you in a week!

Our bedroom grew up and became an adult, finally.

Our bedroom has been an evolution of sorts since we were married just over four years ago. Never really a major priority while we renovated everything else in our condo and current home. Common areas took precedent because meh, who really sees your bedroom? Well, I for one do. On a good night, seven plus hours. Or actually a bad night I see MORE of it as I lay in bed wide-eyed, exhausted but not sleeping. The worst. So, I wanted our room to feel less like an afterthought and more like a peaceful respite. A really cozy bed with nice linens and an overall calm feel. I had some time at the end of the year so I put the wheels in motion. 

To be honest, I never really had a plan for this space. A plan for me often involves shopping and I knew I wanted to be budget minded. So the dresser, lamps, chair are pieces we've had for a while that I knew would stay. The other things I've picked up along the way with no purpose in mind, just knowing if I liked them, I'd find a home for them... in our home. That mostly works, btw. The trick is to not have to buy a crap load of other things to make that one thing work.


For the color of the room, we wanted something medium dark. The rest of our house is so light and bright and we wanted this space to feel a little more moody. I chose Whale Gray by Benjamin Moore which can lean a little on the blue side at different times of the day. I love that about it but if you're looking for a more warm medium/dark gray this isn't it.

Above our dresser I added this brass mirror from Target. I recently read to never place a mirror between two windows because it breaks up the view. Since the view is of our neighbor's house and our shades are mostly drawn, I don't think it matters as much. I get the point of that but in this space it works nicely as a vanity mirror. 

The Danish chair is an oldie but goodie. I found it at a vintage store in Michigan for $25. It desperately needs to be reupholstered but has great bones and is still very sturdy. I bought some nubby cream fabric for it this summer but I'm being cheap and haven't pulled the trigger on having it professionally recovered. In the meantime, I put this little throw on top. I dig it.

The planter and lamp are also vintage finds. Mike knows how much I pride myself on what little I spend on home goods. It also drives him crazy to hear it. To him, it's just spending. Anyway, $8 for the lamp, $6 for the giant ceramic matte planter. I'm not humble when it comes to thrifting. I'm just not. And if you're going to decorate anyway, isn't it better to get a good deal and spend less? Yes, it is.

As a married couple we've never had a real bed – no headboard, I mean. Just a mattress on a bed frame in that charming college student sort of way, except we're in our forties now (yeah, that happened) so it's just sad. When we moved in I begged Mike for a proper bed and he agreed it was time to adult up. I love this one. It's low profile enough for the space but the tufting helps to blend the vintage and modern vibe that runs throughout our entire house. 

Do you have that friend that always has the most comfortable fluffy bed with fancy linens and and all the fixings? I do (Erin). I've always been so envious of her beds when I visit so I went out and made that happen. This part is never very budget friendly because bedding just adds up no matter how you slice it. I went with a white linen duvet cover and shams from West Elm, printed sheets from Target, a semi-fluffy mattress cover, new down pillows and a spanking new down duvet. It's so dreamy in that bed now and VERY hard to leave it in the morning. The throw pillows and blanket are from HomeGoods (always a sucker for HomeGoods). Side note: we did the bed in a box thing (Leesa) and it's pretty great if you're on the mattress hunt. 

As for the rest of our decor pieces, they are mostly vintage or from Goodwill with, of course the occasional Target find. I did a crafty thing for the piece above my nightstand. I stumbled upon Mike's wedding vows to me the other day and after a good cry (they are really, really sweet) I decided to see what they would look like framed. Pretty good, I think! I also love how the art honors us because this is our room and our space away from the kiddo... except at 6am when he comes storming in to watch Thomas (grinning + tears emoji).

The nightstands are a craigslist purchase from before we moved out here. I have considered painting them but am kind of enjoying the wood mixed with the brass. For now, they will stay this way. I'll DIY when I must but I don't really enjoy it and I'm not sure I'd do the greatest job. 

For my fortieth birthday Mike wanted to get me something memorable. I decided I wanted that to be a big, big antique Turkish rug. We even went to look at one that was pretty affordable but the colors were just not right. I still pine for one – something to pass down to my kid the way Mike's grandmother passed so many down to his mom and then to us. In the meantime, (until I find the perfect one) I decided a simple jute rug would look just fine here. We have a patterned runner outside in the hallway and then in the bath down the hall so the simplicity of the jute rug mixes better with those. A little tip: you cannot beat Ikea for these rugs. They are at least $150 cheaper than even a more affordable store like World Market. 

And that is the end of our bedroom story. I still have a plan to update our closet door which I've purposely left out of photos but I'll get there. I'm happy with how this room turned out. Even though I didn't really have a plan and we went dark on the walls, the decor still flows very nicely with the rest of our house which makes me feel like hey, I have a style and it's working for us. It's a good feeling. Now, onward to our final room remodel. I cannot wait to show you what's happening in that little space. It's going to be so fun!

Grand Haven project - a lodge refresh part 2

For those of you that have been following along (thank you ;) a few weeks ago I shared photos and our process for updating bedrooms and the main common spaces for The Khardomah – a lodge my friends hired me to help refresh and redecorate in Grand Haven, Michigan. If you haven't yet, check out part 1 of the Grand Haven design project. We kept all of the neat old stuff, took out some of the more dingy things (pinecone wreaths & fire hazard lamps). We then freshened it up with new bedding, pillows, throws and window treatments... among a lot of other cool old and new things. For those of you who like vintage charm that doesn't make you sneeze, I think you'll really love the updates to the suites and bathrooms... keep reading!

SUITES: This is where the really big changes took place. Here are a few before photos of the two larger suites so you get a full understanding of where we began.


Gabagouache Suite (aka Gabby) and Dune were both a priority for redesign since the majority of the owners' friends and family would stay there. This part of the lodge was also an add-on. The goal was to make it look more cohesive with the rest of the lodge while also providing the comforts of home for guests – functional kitchenettes, comfy places to sit and sleep and a nice place to freshen up. 

To make that happen, carpets were torn out and new wood floors were installed to match the existing hardwood. This was not easy might I add. My partner in crime, Gayle, told me the guys spent a lot of time getting the stain color just right. I loved these guys for this and many other parts of this project. They are all true craftsmen and you can tell they love what they do. If you've ever done any sort of renovation you know that isn't always the case but these guys were the real deal.

In addition to the floors, the 80's kitchens were demo'd and replaced and bedrooms were treated with the same decor as the rest of the lodge. Easy, right? ;)

For the common area decor we wanted it to look like this...  

Sleeper sofas would be essential for extra guests and kiddos. We chose one with fairly forgiving performance fabric (La-Z-Boy), and new comfy chairs and pillows and decor in the same vein as the main common space. For the windows, we had custom flat roman shades installed in a natural linen. I might be mistaken but I'm pretty sure the previous ones were bed sheets so anything was an improvement. But I do really love how these cozy up the room -- nice and bright to help offset the darkness of the wood paneling and that darned forest ;) Dune had a giant bookshelf similar to the one in the main common area so I painstakingly styled that and left strict instructions DO NOT TOUCH for the cleaning crew. They sort of took it seriously. 


The kitchenettes that were demo'd were replaced with white shaker cabinets and black leathered granite countertops. They are a major improvement to which I can only credit to their architect. I did select the subway tile backsplash although I think if you asked anyone walking by they would have recommended that; it wasn't rocket science. Scroll up for a second to see the before again. Ok, come back.


These were a nice, fresh improvement and also helped to lighten the space. There was a LOT of discussion over the countertops. Black? White? Marble? Granite? If you've read this post you know how I feel about marble. In the end, black granite won and really helps to tie the kitchens and living areas together. 


BATHROOMS: Though not all of the bathrooms got a shiny new facelift, three of them did and did they ever. Well, actually two of the bathrooms didn't even exist before. A portion of the lodge that was previously four bedrooms was turned into a separate suite (The Yerkes Suite) – three rooms and an ADA accessible full and half bath. This suite does not have a kitchenette but is really perfect for a family that would rather not cook on vacation. The rest of the bathrooms got makeunders. We took out a lot of accessories and replaced bright plastic shower curtains with white seersucker and changed out the window treatments. 


The goal was to have the bathrooms look classic and original to the era of the lodge. For the new baths, I chose black and white hex tile for the floors and vintage looking sinks, mirrors, toilets, lighting and hardware. Subway tile was, again, a no-brainer that we had installed as a chair rail with black pencil trim. We also used the subway tile up the walls of one of the showers. 

Custom plantation shutters in a soft white were added as a finishing touch and in the Dune bathroom the old registers were fitted with custom made wood registers that are just straight up art. So pretty. Oh and that clawfoot tub was reglazed and painted black which works so well with the other black accents in the space.  



All in all, the bathrooms feel bright and inviting all while staying true to that early 1900's feel. And the best part is that the hot water is free with your stay! 

So there you have it – The Khardomah with a period appropriate facelift. Still quaint, still creaky old floors, still a peaceful oasis (truly) but breathing much easier now. I can't wait to see how my friends fill it in with their own vintage finds and make it their own. I think every year it will just get better and better because now there's room for new memories and a new era of families and friends to share in the wonder that is The Khardomah. So happy to have been a part of it's rebirth.