simple is beautiful

One Room Challenge: Week Three

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Alrighty then.  It is week three of the One Room Challenge.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you can educate yourself here, here, and here.  Basically, I am in over my head in this with 19 other bloggers.  We have 6 weeks to make a room look better.  I have stalled for three weeks and now ya'll want a money shot. Well, too bad.

I do have updates - just not a lot of photos to show you.  Thankfully you are a visual bunch with great imaginations and can picture how wonderful this will be when it is over ;).

To bring you up to date, the bed in question is being painted high gloss black.  It will be such an improvement. The thought was to either paint the bed or paint the chest of drawers so the chest will stay as is.  I'm afraid if I start painting everything the room will end up looking like a bowl of skittles.  I have considered changing out the hardware.  It is on its last legs and will be replaced soon so I'm leaning toward leaving it alone.  I bought hardware when I thought I was going to paint it, but don't think this hardware will look good on stained wood.  To be determined.

The mirrors were delivered this week and the original plan was to use them behind the bed when I thought the bed was going to remain stained.  Now with a black bed, the black mirrors and black sconces were all a bit too, shall we say, emoo.  Just so you know, preppy boy does not want an emoo room.  Thank.goodness.  So, I hung them above the chest of drawers and am rather pleased with how they look.  Sort of Harry Potter meets Ralph Lauren.

Here is an idea board that I have been playing around with.

  • A gallery wall will go behind the bed in stained wooden frames
  • An assortment of pillows to add interest on the bed.
  • Black bed.
  • Sconces move to side walls.  
  • Gray plaid bedding & matelasse.
  • Charcoal curtains.
  • The bed skirt is white and rests on white floors.  I plan to add a grosgrain trim along the bottom edge for contrast.  
  • Green accents throughout.

Last on the list is this closet.  It will be organized.  Pray for me.

Now let's see what the others have been up to...

Snacking on the Go With Newton's Cookies

Monday, February 25, 2013

Like many of you, my days are full and leave little time for doing things for myself. Mothers, you know what I am talking about and if you are a working mother you may find that you have even less time. One thing that keeps me focused and on schedule is planning my days the night before.

I make detailed lists of where my family and I need to go and be. Not all days go as planned, but as long as I do what I can to prepare, which includes healthy snacks, then I make it through most days armed and ready. Without healthy snacks, I am prone to making bad food choices. Driving by (fill in the blank with your favorite fast food) might become a temptation which I would rather avoid!  When it comes to snacks, I like the convenience of pre-packaged grab and go options. However, I don't limit myself to only pre-packaged snacks. If there is a certain healthy snack I like, take Fig Newtons for example, I toss a few in a snack bag along with a bottle or two of water and out the door I go.  Now that Fig Newtons come pre-packed, they are my go-to snack of choice. I'm not one to count every single calorie, but I do like to be aware of what goes in my body and I can feel good about eating Newtons. I like that they are high in fiber, low in fat, and are made with real fruit. Take the Cherry Vanilla Fruit Thins - they contain 8 whole grains per serving. A serving size is 3 cookies which contains 140 calories. Not bad right?

One of my favorite on the go snack is a few Newtons, an apple or orange, and a bottle of water. This has gotten me through many a day until I can have a real meal. It's no secret that I have always been the Fig Newtons lover in our family, but now that new flavors such as baked apple cinnamon are being offered, I have to hide my own stash so that the food bandits don't get them!

Visit for a chance to win a grand prize weekend getaway or one of many other great weekly prizes!  On this site, you can enter to win one of three grand prize weekend gateways as well as many other great weekly prizes including gifts cards for athletic gear to help you look great when you are working out or Harry & David baskets to share with guests at your next party.

And be sure to visit the Newtons brand page on to read other bloggers' posts!

A Pretty Home Tour

Friday, February 22, 2013

I apologize for my absence this week!  I had a few moments to spend at the computer this morning and wanted to share the lovely home of Jayme Armour.  This is an oldie, but a goodie.  You know, good style is timeless, period. Loving the "mix" in every single image!

Thank you for the great feedback on the ORC project!  I was leaning toward leaving the bed as is and painting the chest of drawers.  But then my girl Melissa from Stuff Vintage offered to help me with painting the bed.  Now I'm psyched!  I have a vision, but no time to execute it.  Does anyone have advice on being two places at once?  If you do, please send it my way ;).

Have a wonderful weekend!

The One Room Challenge: Week Two

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's that time again! Man, if you want to make your weeks really fly by all you have to do is agree to participate in the ORC!  Seriously, a week has passed and I've got nothing!

If you want to catch up, here are weeks 1 & 2.  And just to brief you, my project is my 17 year old son's bedroom. I'm pretty sure my biggest challenge is that every time I get the courage to go upstairs to his room, I find a room that looks like a scene from Hoarders.  And, I quietly go into retreat mode and slink back down the stairs with my tail between my legs.

Here is the original layout.  I tend to lean toward symmetry and really wanted the nightstands and lamps to flank the bed way back when.

The only problem is that at there is a closet that sticks out at the foot of the bed and makes it difficult to get to the other side of the bed.  So, I decided to ditch the nightstands (it was all too matchy anyway) and swing the bed around to the far wall.

Here is the plan.  The bed will be located on the closet wall which means limited space for additional furniture and lamps.  We brought in a pair of wall lamps and hung them above the bed which I didn't love.  Sorry, I don't have a picture.  I'm thinking they would work better on the walls beside the bed which would open up the wall space above the bed making room for something fun.  As far as a night stand, I'm going to use a metal stool.  The only surface that Tyler needs is a place to charge his phone.  I'm torn on what to do with the bed.  It either needs to be refinished or painted.  Tick tock.  Thoughts?

I have managed to do some shopping for the room this week.  I ordered this monogrammed pillow from Ballard which I suppose will determine the color of the soon to be chest of drawers.

Here is the chest of drawers in question.  By the way, thanks for your input on the color last week!  Now I wonder, if I paint the bed do I leave the chest alone or vice versa?  I'm feeling kind of panicky - can you sense it?!

I also scored these crest mirrors from Joss & Main which will go behind the bed.  Hooray for ordering stuff. Otherwise there would truly be nothing to report.  Maybe next week I'll just post a picture of the boxes when they arrive and call it a week.  Ha!  I kid.

That's it for me this week.  Boring I know, but hopefully before long I will have actual progress pictures to share.

Now, let's see what the others have been up to...I'll bet they are running laps around me fo sho!

A Pretty Home Office in Progress

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hi there!  Have I ever told you that I love what I do?  I do!  I am currently working on several different projects ranging from new house planning to complete house makeovers and a few things in between.  My clients are a dream to work with and I truly feel blessed!  I thought you might enjoy seeing a little peek at a work in progress picture of a home office makeover.

In order for you to fully appreciate where we are coming from, here is the before picture.  This room was an unused sitting room and my client wanted to move her office into this room.  Her office was previously upstairs in the bonus room which is the soon-to-be playroom.  You will see more on that another time.  This room is located to the left as you enter the front door and to the right is the formal dining room.

Here is the plan I created for the room.  This process often takes time and so each time I would visit my client a little more progress had been made.  For several weeks that big sofa in the before picture was sitting in the foyer, books everywhere.  You know how that goes.  Before improvement comes chaos - or something like that.

Friday when I stopped by, the office was really taking shape!  The secretary, used as a mailing station, was previously located in the foyer.  Even though the foyer is rather large, the secretary felt heavy there.  So I recommended moving it into the office.  I really like the mix in this room...modern cottage meets chinoiserie chic.   The room is still work in progress.  It needs a rug, and a few odds and ends, but I love how this is coming together.  It doesn't look like the same room!

So what are you up to today?  I will be spending my day behind a sewing machine making place mats and table runners.  Suddenly my store is hopping!  As they say, when it rains it pours!

See more updates here.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

May you feel the love today & every day!

One Room Challenge: Week One

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It is week one of the One Room Challenge.  If you missed the first post, you can catch up here.  Basically, the ORC is a group of twenty bloggers who have six weeks to complete a room.  There is no prize and it really isn't a competition, but it is lots of fun and 100% inspiring.  So be sure to visit the other links at the bottom if you want to see the really good stuff!

I am happy to report that we have made progress in the 17 year old's room!  The walls have been painted Sherwin Williams, essential gray.  I didn't want to go too light on the walls because the floors are painted white -at the same time I wanted contrast between the curtains and walls.  Just as a reminder, one request was that the room has dark curtains.  I scored a pair of charcoal velvet curtains at World Market (this is a low budget makeover, people) and they worked perfectly.  I found the duvet cover at IKEA.

I've always loved this corner, so  I brought the wingback chair into the room to create a very small seating area.  Let's pretend like the slip cover has been ironed - you can read about it here.  And now we're off...

I don't want this room to be too drab and boring, so I plan to bring in green as an accent color.  Last week I mentioned the possibility of using an Annie Sloan paint on the chest of drawers.  I adore the way this piece turned out and think it might be a good candidate for the existing cheapo chest of drawers!

As much as I love the previous piece, I wonder if this is a better green for the room - thoughts?

We started sharing thoughts on exactly what kind of art he would like to see in the room and I showed him a few inspiration images like this one.  I think we have narrowed it down to boats, landscape, military stuff, quotes, and photos he has taken with his i-phone.  Should be interesting...and a lengthy process, but hopefully reflective of his likes/taste.

That's all I've got for this week.  More to come.  And now for the links to the other participants:

Brown Sugar Blondies: A Special Valentine Treat

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I was planning to make these yummy treats for my family on Valentine's Day.  The M&M's had been in my pantry for an entire week (ya'll, this is a new chocolate record).  Over the weekend, I broke down and made them. In case you are looking for something sweet to make on Valentine's Day, you might want to give these brown sugar blondies a try.  And of course, we think everything is better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

DIY Wine Storage & a New Faucet

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hey everybody!  It's kind of late in the day for me to be posting, but I had a chance and thought why not?!  If you follow me on instagram, you may have already seen this little project come to life over the weekend.  I promised details, so here goes...

When we added on to our kitchen many years ago, we knew that these were not our forever cabinets, but were thrilled to have the extra space for now.  We have plans to one day replace the cabinet fronts with better doors, but until then we are making the most of what we have.  Does everyone see the space over in the corner in between the sink and corner cabinet?  Well, it happens to be the perfect size for wine bottles!

I cannot take any credit this project because Mr. did it all.  Actually, he was all over the place with home improvements last weekend!  Virtual high fives to everyone!  He pulled off the boards that were covering this spot to see what we were in for.

As luck would have it, they perfectly fit on the bottom.  And now we're off to Home Depot in search of shelving boards.

We found these which were the perfect size when cut in half - Home Depot did that part for us.  We only needed two boards so the total project only cost around $11!

I rely on graph paper before making any major decisions.  So I sketched out a plan for distancing the boards and Mr. cut a piece of wood to use to mark his pilot holes.  He drilled from inside the adjacent cabinets to attach the shelves.

Here you see it with the caulk - we just need to paint the little strip underneath the bottom shelf.  Actually, I might replace these pictures with better ones on a sunnier day.

Did anyone happen to notice the faucet?

Thanks so much for all of your recommendations!  We decided to go the industrial route and chose this one. So far so good!

P.S. I should probably take down the Christmas wreath ;).

Stay connected:

One Room Challenge...the introduction

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And so it begins...

As I mentioned Monday, I have been invited by Linda of My Crafty Home Life to participate in the infamous One Room Challenge.  Long story short...20 bloggers have 6 weeks to transform a room.  It is quite an honor to be included among this talented group.  Let's just hope that I do not disappoint.  No pressure at all, right?

And now for the room.  The 17 year old has given me liberties to do as I wish in here.  Can I get an AMEN?  As you can see, the before pictures closely resemble a squat.  Hopefully with new wall color, bedding, etc. the eye will be drawn from the cast items to the beauty of the new surroundings.  Sound good?

And just in case you are wondering where this room is heading...

It has been requested that I add dark curtains and lots of art.  Other than that, it is up to me.

I'm considering painting an existing piece with Annie Sloan chalk paint.  Never tried it, but have wanted to for a long time.  This could be the perfect opportunity.

I have lots of other ideas, but those will come in time.  Can't tell everything I know in week one now can I?

Be sure to check back each Wednesday for an update.  AND, be sure to check the links below to visit the other participants.  Fun, fun, fun...

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