[design]: ORC - Master Bedroom & Nursery - Week 4


It is undeniable, I am late yet again with my update with One Room Challenge this week. Travel and increased workload are to be blamed as I did not have a lot of chance to execute on two main tasks that I had for this space. First one is to finish off cleaning out and organizing our master bedroom closets and basically clear out the room. Second one, and much bigger task at that, is to create paneling and paint black the longest wall across from bedroom entrance.

I had a few successes however, like finding wallpaper and rug but let's take it one step at the time.

To learn more about the journey up to this point please visit these:

Week 2 - More Detailed Plans
Week 3 - Figuring Out Lighting & Not Too Much Progress

Images are horrendous but wanted to show you some of the finds and (lack of) progress.

First up, my linen curtains from as-is section, 4 for $40 (all in), I am still in awe. Then another as-is jewel from Ikea, SILKEBORG overdyed vintage Turkish rug... oh yeah! (imagine voice-over by Vector from Despicable Me)...

I shared my wall paper find on the left (image above in right bottom corner), but imagine my surprise when I ran into this zebra like wallpaper at Home Depot! Here they are side by side and comments are welcome.

But I know which one I am going with... 

I also found this antelope head and I had an interesting idea on what to do with it.. not sure if it will realize, but let's see.. I placed it temporarily on this wall just to see how it hangs but I will have to find a different location for it. Don't really want to loose an eye when walking by at night...

Finally, a bit more on prepping art and accessories, this is not a finished vignette, just collecting them for now...

We are traveling this Sunday for a week, so it is questionable if I will be able to get too much anything done for next week. Which is kind of scary considering it will be Week 5. 

Oh well, one step at a time!

[design]: ORC - Master Bedroom & Nursery - Week 3


It is already 3rd week of One Room Challenge and time is running out. I am traveling for work and finding time proved challenging as there is a number of big-ticket items still left to be done and purchased in order to complete the room.

If you have not followed along, you can read more about what I am trying to achieve here:

As I am still traveling, this update is short and not so sweet :)

What is new?  I looked at a only a few wall lamps to go with my standing mirror in my dressing area and settled on my tried and true Ikea Ostana lamp:
I've used it in my basement and I love it:

You just can't beat the price point ($18) and it so versatile since it is so simple.

On the other front, during the little shopping that I did do, I found this interesting throw, but did not end up picking it up.. I regret it now.

I bought this furry little number and wallpaper for the little dressing area, but I am of course reconsidering the wall paper - not sure how I feel about it yet. That skinny black thing used to be orange, but in its black edition it should fit better with the rest of the space.

Here are some other pieces that I collected for the space. Most are old purchases that I collected over time. Art is one of our wedding gifts that I now reframed using a frame from a Goodwill find... (let's repeat word frame one more time...)

Incidentally enough, found "Elements of Style" bestseller @HomeSense. What!? Oh, yes... And the cover matches the colour scheme of my room ... 

 That's it folks... I have paint to buy, walls to improve, splurge on a rug... and first get home... Until next week!

[design]: ORC - Master Bedroom & Nursery - Week 2


Here we are, second week of One Room Challenge which came around way too fast. I still have a lot of decisions to settle on for our master bedroom/shared nursery space which will leave me in a lurch if I don't do as soon as possible.  But let's take it one step at the time...

Here is earlier version of our current bedroom. It is vast improvement from where we started when we purchased our 1950s home.

We are keeping the bed, leaving it in the same location (just as you enter the room), keeping other furniture as well but moving it around the room. Lamps are staying but I changed them (more below), bedding will change, area rug and those pictures above the bed are already in our hallway.

For the little nook overlooking our backyard I am keeping the ottoman which fits right in. I am also keeping the blinds, but want to add a fake roman, or just roller blind, or just a valance (to be decided). I purchased these two fabrics (linen and cotton) from Ikea at great price point so the question is which one to choose. Any suggestions?

Continuing along that wall where the nook is, we have closet doors and little hallway leading up to our master bathroom. On the other side of it, we used to have built in make-up vanity area which has since been replaced by change table station. (hello real world!) Since we are using our sofa for diaper changes we can safely reclaim this space. I visited RH outlet but even with 40% off could not justify buying some of those gorgeous mirrors. Well, Home Sense to the rescue for a great bargain. Next up is light fixture which I also purchased but forgot to photograph... so let's leave it for next week's update.

A bit more of updates by numbers:

1/ Nursery area: Love this letter from Pottery Barn Kids, should work nicely with rest of the space. This little black framed print was a $2 find during my garage sale hunt.

2/Transforming Visual Comfort lamp by changing lamp shade to black. This proved to be much harder than you might think. VC lamp shades do not conform to what most stores carry so I had to tap into Ikea for more affordable option, but even their's does not fully match so a little focus pocus should do a trick here.

3/Well, shopping around the house. Grabbed this chair from our off kitchen family room. I might leave it in the corner or place it next to mirror. Decisions, decisions...

4/A lot of other participants are using Tonic Living for their window treatments. I would love to as well since they have some beautiful options, but I just could not pass up the opportunity of purchasing these linen panels from Ikea for $10 each from their As-is section. Seriously, $40 for the whole wall of linen goodness pooling on the floor....

 I so need some glam factor in this bedroom and I ran into these at Home Sense.. I am yet to decide (if I end up finding them afterwards) on the best one for the space.

In terms of big items, there are 2:

1. Finding large area rug that will work well in this space and match my vision and budget. Knowing that it can take a really long time to achieve this is driving me nuts a bit...

2. What to do with that really long wall across from room entrance and little nook where mirror will be when it comes to wall treatment? Wall paper? Paint? Millwork? I just can't decide as I keep waiting for the answer to come to me as I typically do... Let's hope it happens in time.

This is it for this week. I will be out of the country for most of the next week so here is me being hopefully that more of the progress can be achieved over the weekend.

Suggestions and advice are more than welcome!!

[design]: ORC - Master Bedroom & Nursery - Week 1


It's been fairly quiet here for the last month or so as I started new full time gig that takes me around traveling. It's been quite an adjustment for the whole family especially with school starting and a lot of kids' activities and lessons. Needless to say, blog is one task that can slip even as I wrote a lot of posts in my head and even prepared a few...

Well, what got me to open this blank page again is this morbid desire to add a bit more challenge to my current life and sign up for, what else, One Room Challenge. I still love the results of my spring challenge, our studio/office/guest bedroom and I am so happy that I signed up back then, as I am convinced that I would still use that room as a dumping ground today.

Not only was I able to finish it on time I created this multi-purpose space for $2000 (little self-pat on the back - you can find the sourcebook and budget here). As I find myself going through different motions with our master bedroom/nursery for our fourth kid, using it mostly as a dumping ground for those endless closet changes between seasons and deciding what should go in what storage box, I find that I need that little push shove called One Room Challenge.

So what is the plan?

First a bit on the back story. When we moved in 5 years ago the room used to look like this.

Since then, we've done a lot of work on the room itself, and most importantly finally purchased a bed fitting my many random criteria and requirements (value, look, quality, price, no springbox, etc.). I already went through a few motions (reveals) of the bed itself finally adorning it with all of that bedding I've been hoarding like a mad woman..

I've debated A LOT of different options on how to best decide on who sleeps where in this whole situation where we have 3 bedrooms, 2 parents and 4 kiddos who have different sleeping habbits. It does help the situation that we are not sleeping much anyway as my baby is still not sleeping through the night fully - she wakes up at least once a night at random times just to keep us guessing. Well, she is teething so I forgive her... (or so I hope that is the case and she is not just training us for years to come...)

Well, we finally settled to do nothing from above options and really opted for incorporating her crib in our space. I've played around with furniture arrangement since, of course, I have a complete mishmash of pieces.

This is where I stopped some 2 months ago. Nothing changed since then except that these pictures you see thrown around the room are replaced other "stuff". Well, I need this room to feel pretty and relaxing and me, and I need it done.

What is my inspiration for this space?

Just one room really - Christine Dovey's master bedroom. When I saw it for the first time, we just clicked. It is not really about any one thing in this space that takes my fancy, but the overall feel... it is traditional, but it is not; it is edgy, but not really; it is romantic, to a degree; it is dynamic, but also relaxing; it is loud; but also calming... It is this play of contrasts that tickles me at the moment, so let's see what my version of this beautiful room will be on minimum budget and much less talent.

Since I have majority of pieces which I will still use since what's good in throwing away a perfectly good dresser you have for some 10+ years even though it does not really mesh with anything ?!? Anyway.. most of the pieces will stay, some need to be added and I just to work on that "feel".

To be a bit more specific - the plan is:

1. Add a large black mirror
2. Fix curtain rod
3. Add more black, white and gold accessories
4. Work on window treatment for other side of the room
5. New light for dressing area (where mirror might go)
6. Perhaps steal enough time you don't have and do some wall treatment to that long long wall..
7. Do more around the crib on the walls
8. Crib bedding
9. New larger darker rug?
10. New bedding for our bed?
11. More pillows and throws...
12. I would love to add a faux fireplace (just a mantle really) but there might not be enough space..

Here we go... Check out more participants here.

[decor]: Tassels and Pom Poms


My 10-year old has been planning to add tassels and/or pom poms to her already cheerful and playful bedroom. She wants us to work on this little project together and we purchased inexpensive yarn that should work well in her room. 

First step before starting any project is to check out inspirations. It helps define images in your head, sometimes it helps to reject them, sometimes to enhance them. There is so much talent out there in the blogosphere, instaland and pinterest that is hard not to find something to inspire or guide you.

Here are a few favorites that would work well in our girls' bedroom:


[style]: More of Brick Walls More Barcelona Apartments


Continuing with Barcelona short term rentals, here are two more interesting spaces:

Living Areas

Dining Areas

[style]: Feeling Blue Feature


This beautiful Chicago home from Traditional Home article belongs to Giuliana and Bill Rancic. When I was much younger, about 10 in fact, I adored blue colour, simply adored it and wanted to have everything in blue (I think I almost did). While I still like it, I don't think I could commit to it throughout the whole house the way Giuliana and Bill have even if subtly tying most of the rooms through different hues of blues.

I like the juxtaposition of this formal serene and muted living room with energetic and colorful painting over the fireplace.

I am still undecided about how I feel about this dining room. What really works for me, though, are mirror and that art.

I think we established already that I am currently (for at least the past year or so) quite partial to black and white kitchens. You can check out the roundup of inspirations through here. It is not surprising then that I really like this one as well - these Restoration Hardware stools look so good!

[style]: Modernism and Exposed Bricks in Barcelona


In 2003 I spent 10 months in Barcelona while working. I really loved the city and enjoyed exploring it every weekend when I wasn't doing trips further afield (i.e. CadaquĆ©s. Figueres, Sitges, Pyrenees, Madrid, Toledo, etc.) and I really would not mind revisiting it a decade or more later.

As we were looking at some last minute vacation options, (really really last minute), Barcelona was one of the flight destinations and I quickly checked rental options which were more than promising. Here are two apartments which are both beautiful and contrasting which is why I decided to compare them by rooms.

First of is dining area and first apartment is much more spacious than the second one, but what it lacks in space, second one gains in warmth and that lovely table.

First apartment (dark one) is in a modernist building from 1890s and has just been renovated.  It is quite large with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is located close to Montjuic. Second apartment is located in Gothic Quarter with 3 bedrooms and one bathroom. 

Second up is living space/living room:

[decor]: Shared Nursery To Be


This is one of those pre-reveals that I already shared in the previous post but here are a few more detailed images in addition to a few belonging to other people that I found on Pinterest. I've searched for "shared nursery and master bedroom" and surprisingly enough, there aren't all that many images one can find where parents and their baby cohabit in the same room.

I really like most images that I found as they incorporated the crib very seamlessly with rest of the room decor. When you glance at the photo, you are not immediately drawn to the crib but other decor pieces, in the case of this first image, those gorgeous curtains. It all feels cozy, like it was planned and decorated with baby in mind by adding a crib, comfortable chair, nightstand/side table and a stool or ottoman. Most importantly, it includes window treatments (curtains/blinds) that help darken the room for those nap times.

[home]: Musical Furniture...


No, not really musical furniture, more like a game of musical chairs, instead of chairs it is nightstands, dresser, chair and crib. Or in other words, I've been working on layout for our shared master bedroom and nursery.

There has been a lot of thinking about what to do with this space. We've went through a lot of permutations about our master bedroom layout, including a nursery, deciding on adding a physical separation (a.k.a. walls) and had a couple of reveals (more links at the bottom of the post).

Room is by no means completed, but we settled on the layout for now and some changes in the furniture placement, hence the title of the post "Musical Furniture" like musical chairs.. get it?! ha! Well it definitely felt like musical chairs except that instead of us moving around the room, furniture was rearranged and rearranged until we got a winning combination.

I started things off with placing the crib in the farthest corner of the room in line with our bed.

While the crib itself was fine in that location, the mismatched nightstands and everything on them just did not work well. So I moved our dresser next to bed and moved crib on the opposite wall where dresser used to sit.

[decor]: Builder Home Office Room


I always liked reading decorating magazines but when decorating blogs burst onto the scene, I found that they were closer aligned to my interests and I really loved following real life decorating challenges and achievements. 

Lately, it appears that blogs are starting to emulate magazines and decorated spaces look more like showrooms than those you would find in typical homes, urban and suburban. As the pendulum swings from very streamlined and modern, minimalist decor, it appears to be on the other end now, with so much "stuff" in any one photo. While decor can be sourced rather cheaply with garage sales, thrift stores and places like Target, Home Sense (Home Goods), Ikea, etc. it all still adds up - not just in terms of costs, but also accumulation of it all. Not to mention if one styles for summer and winter, follows any kind of trends, etc. 

As I was going through a garage sale this past weekend seeing perfectly fine large mercury vases that you find for at at least $30 in a regular store sold for $1, it kind of hit me - "what a waste".    While I am not a huge fan of completely minimalist space and I do love a layered look, I appreciate spaces that appear to be real, sensible and achievable on a regular budget.        

I've been holding off on some images of my parent's office room and work we've done there mostly as it is "under-styled" and is missing all those lawyers to make it magazine-worthy or "pinnable". Not anymore, as I stay true to my likes.

My parents purchased a new builder home a while back and that whole process is quite interesting so I hope to share it in one of the later posts. The layout allowed for a very small room that opens onto a covered terrace which the builder designated as an office. Since my parents had no need for an office, dilemma became what to make of this little bit of space.                                                                                                                                                                               

We settled on creating a cozy quiet space that you can use to enjoy a good book. To give the space the visual interest (and warmth on winter nights as this room is built over a garage) we went with electrical fireplace from Home Depot. It fit perfectly with very narrow wall and later mirror from Home Sense was such a good find at the right time mirroring (pun intended) colours and details (lines and ridges) of rest of decor.

[style]: Just More French Apartments


I have a few posts in draft that I need to take time to finalize and I thought that my slump would pass by now. On top of that I have a weird cold that is completely draining me (and no it is not called tween, boy, toddler and baby).

Well, to tie me over, here is some more Paris eye candy from real life homes and apartments which can be rented for short term stays: