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


For those following along, we are in Week 4 of One Room Challenge.  I am a bit late with this post which is also a bit of indication of my progress. Now when I think of it, during my first attempt at this bedroom, the same happened. Then I went on a trip (and I am away whole next week) - needless to say we are on attempt #2. Here is to hoping that there is no attempt #3.

What was achieved in this week? Cleaning up and organizing of stuff that would just pile up in the middle of the room waiting to be sorted or to have a home found! I would say that is huge.. but not much to show..

In terms of other items, things are shaping up, vignettes are getting created, small decisions are being made...

(pillowcases waiting to be put on, curtain/valance to be made, art to be placed)

Big item that I hoped to finish by now is wall paneling and painting that one wall black (or really dark). That did not happen mostly as I have not taken the time to plan it out by now. I've considered a few options and inspirations:

(Christine Dovey's inspiration room for this space)

As I would like to do something a bit less formal looking, I have been debating between next two looks (not color just paneling):

I've attempted to simulate black wall color using that large painting:

Finally, here is how nursery side is shaping up (obviously it is being slept in):

Until week 5!

[design]: Main Floor Reno - Layouts/Designs


We are finally embarking on journey of our main floor renovation, tackling both interior and exterior of the house as detailed in previous post. As mentioned before, this has been a long process and along the way, we have devised and revised plans a few times.

To start things off, here is what our current layout looks like:

In the last 6 months or so, we changed a purpose of the few rooms as we were anticipating some renovation changes and wanted to really test out new concepts. That meant inverting dining and living room, eat-in and small family room. Actually this last change was also to give us more room around the table as my parents have been helping us during the day and thus spending more time at our house.

Now that we captured where we are, let's discuss where we want to be and overall challenges that we have with this space. As I think I mentioned in earlier post, the biggest challenge of all is deciding what to invest in and what to live with. This is 1950s house in the neighborhood where prospective buyers would probably demolish our house and build new. Therefore, we would see some returns in what we invest as 1. we would enjoy the space more, and 2. buyers similar to us (i.e not ready to build new) would benefit from our renovations. However, we also don't want to go overboard and pour in too much money into this space.

Over time, I had lofty ideas and different plans which basically saw us re-purpose our garage to create more living space, level our floor space (room next to garage is couple of steps lower) and move a lot of walls:

Well, reality hit fairly quickly after one contractor told me I was getting funny.. I guess I was the perfect stereotype of a client who wanted a lot done for not a lot of money and having no concept of things really cost.. So we reassessed.. and then we reassessed some more..

After living in this space for more than 5 years and having 2 kids more than when we moved in, what are our challenges and pain points:

  • Garage: not usable right now as it was never reinforced. Fix that and improve entry point to house (i.e. close off current side door and move internal side door forward). Yes, sounds confusing - will make sense when I do a more detailed post.
  • Mudroom: a real pain point - I need space for kids to leave their things and be free to take their shoes off in a bigger area than our current front entrance. 
  • Line of sight/Layout: current layout of the house confuses everyone - hard to understand where you are and how you get out. Want to avoid walking around kitchen to get to kitchen... This fix will also improve the line of sight and make the house appear larger.
  • Mishmash of flooring: 'nuff said.. 
  • Lighting: not a lot of electrical outlets/light fixtures
  • Kitchen: new kitchen! new layout (see above)
  • Look: sporadic popcorn ceilings, mishmash of plaster board, bead board, drywall; exterior - different types of windows, etc.
The biggest challenges in our redesign has been accounting for HVAC stack in the middle of kitchen (flanked by fridge in current layout). That is all I've been thinking of - how to work around it. Currently we have three different ideas - we have our favorite for now, even though it is not ideal, none of them really are:

Option A - hide the fridge in makeshift closet in the entrance area and have a small island which will house HVAC stack:

Option B: Similar to current design - keep fridge where it is currently. Add opening to kitchen from hallway and allow for passage around both sides of the fridge.

Option C: Angle the fridge and hide it up to HVAC building in both plus some additional pantry storage:

What remained constant in above photos is creation of the mudroom in the bottom right corner. We will actually move that door from front to side and remove door on the other side of fireplace - will include updated plan in next post.

More to follow... 

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


So, we are pretty much half-point to finishing our challenges. For those following along, this is my second (or actually 3rd, 4th..) take on our master bedroom. Added challenge is to incorporate a nursery (really just a crib) even though by the time I will have all of this finished, the little one will be moving out of our room.

We were able to make some progress - mainly with our little dressing/make up nook by installing the mirror and light fixture.

I am focusing on some of the softer finishes and how all the patterns work together.

I still need to settle on the wall color. These definitely look different when you see them in person and quite different on the picture. Hues and undertones and how all of this plays together really picks up. It is also making my decision easier as I can see that I would focus only on couple of these .. I am still debating going pitch black vs. a really really dark gray... 

I am loving these linens - duvet cover from West Elm that I grabbed on clearance.. I don't think they are 100% linen (about 80% I believe) but at $80 they are perfect and you can't tell a difference really both visually and by touching them.

What still needs to be done:

  • Paneling on the large wall
  • Painting dark really large wall (after deciding on the color)
  • Finding clear glass console table to act as make up table
  • Finding funky stool
  • Finding a side table 
  • Sewing window panel (valence like) - actually asking a friend to do it
  • Finding a lamp for little sitting area (thinking of West elm one, can't really decide)
  • Putting it all together... 
I have a few business trips on the books, so not sure if all of the above will be feasible, but here is to hoping. Check out other participants! Some really great stuff.


[design]: ORC - Master Bedroom & Nursery - Week2


We are in week 2 of the ORC Challenge - guest participant edition and let's look at the progress. As the title says - focus of this ORC challenge is master bedroom and nursery. We have done a lot of work on this room over last couple of years, by replacing flooring, trim and doors and completing renovation of our master bathroom, so most of the changes that I am undertaking now are cosmetic. In terms of bigger work - plan was to put up wallpaper in a dressing nook and to add paneling and black paint to large wall opposite entrance of the room.

This week we achieved first of those tasks:

In terms of decor - things are shaping up:

My biggest win is finding linen duvet and shopping around the house for this leather rug that fits just perfectly in our master.

On the practical side - added some organization to the closet:

 More work awaits!

[design]: Main Floor Reno - Exterior/Interior


We moved in our current house at the end of July 2010. We purchased it mostly for its dream location and a dreamy backyard. We felt that house would serve nicely and that with a little investment we could make it really work for us.  We were planning to complete some renovations before actually moving in, but decided to listen to advice of living in this space first and work out what we need to do once we had a chance to see how it works for us. It was a good advice in one respect as I am sure that decision we are making today, we would not consider back in 2010. It was also a bad advice in other respect, as it allowed us to change our minds a lot along the way about what we saw as priorities causing some rework.

When I say "along the way", I need to explain that we were not just planing our next move last 5+ years. We worked on quite a few projects and improved on quite a lot in the house - not just basics like roof, electricity, etc. but also visually:

Here are some before and afters that show what we had to work with and what we accomplished up to this point:
Our next project? Whole main floor, inside and out. We are planning to touch everything, create a new mudroom, replace kitchen, improve the flow through the house, replace front windows, remove side door, replace garage doors and main door. It is ambitious undertaking and we have been planning it and thinking about it for a while. I've also been pinning a lot as you can see and follow here for the inside:

As you can see a lot of black and white and antique touches- basically where we are going with our kitchen and overall feel for the space. Here are also examples of what caught my eye for the exterior as well:

I will get into more specific details in future posts, not to mention progress once we get started.

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


My first crack at One Room Challenge (ORC) last year was about jumping into it with my eyes closed, giving myself not only ambitious schedule to completely transform unusable room into inspiring and relaxing studio/guest bedroom but to also do it under a strict budget. I was definitely thrilled with results, in fact, I still am a year later amazed by this room. I love to see kiddos spend time here and get creative even if I don't have too much time to paint or do pretty much anything else.

Following our studio/guest bedroom, I've attempted to transform our master bedroom incorporating the nursery. Not only did I not complete the work for ORC challenge, I never actually finished it and I fell of the face of this earth on my blog.. hm hm.. So, here I am, looking for another chance to complete this project and given my day job workload and everything else going on in my life - no, I don't feel like that I have a head start doing this again - and I do need this push to actually have a completed Master bedroom.

I am sure that was enough rambling for one post, so what is the actual plan? I did not waver from my inspiration by Christine Dovey (who incidentally herself did not complete her own master bedroom in the new house)

Even with all of this time from initial challenge until now, I have not secured everything I wanted and envisioned and there is still a lot work left (paneling, painting one of the walls black, etc) not to mention bringing it all together.

To be able to appreciate the long (and seemingly never-ending) journey of our master bedroom which in the process became master bedroom + nursery, we started from this photo above. To read more about our starting point and plans/struggles with this room, click here.

Even though, I did not complete this room in the first round, there are, however, elements that I accomplished - /4/ finding 4 linen curtains for $10 each (gotta love Ikea's "as is" section), /3/ shopping in my own home /2/ updating some of the items I already purchased /1/re-purpose, update and visit garage sales.

These are bad photos - but they show thinking and debating the 'valance' situation.

There is still a lot to figure out and pull it all together and I can't wait to get onto this journey again.

Wish me luck and time and please visit other ORC guest participants as well as featured ORC designers.