One Room Challenge Week 3 // Fireplace Makeover + DIY Art

We are to the half way point of the One Room Challenge. If you are unfamiliar, myself, along with dozens of other bloggers are renovating a room in 6 weeks and documenting it as we go. You can see my fellow one room challenge participants here.

I am tackling my basement. My goal is to give it a budget friendly, California cool update. You can see where I started and my plans on my Week 1 post and read how I removed the drop ceiling on Week 2. Since last week I painstakingly painted the entire open ceiling. One coat with a roller and one with a paint sprayer. I highly recommend a paint sprayer if you want to tackle a similar project. I use the Wagner 350 HVLP.

I also painted the walls and the fireplace, all Behr Polar Bear . To deck out the freshly painted fireplace I enlisted the help of my kiddo to create some original art on, pun intended, skateboard decks. I did a similar project last summer and I loved how it turned out so much that I decided to riff of it.

Kid-Friendly DIY Color Block Art

BEFORE


Fireplace Before
DIY Color Block Art
  1. Have your kiddo draw shapes and lines on your canvas (or skateboard).

Kid-Friendly DIY Color Block Art
Kid-Friendly DIY Color Block Art

2. He picked the color and placement and I painted the outlne of the shape, then Oliver filled in the inside.

Kid-Friendly DIY Color Block Art
Kid-Friendly DIY Color Block Art

I just love how it turned out. I should note that I chose the color palette, as to be sure I will love the combos and how it looks in the room.

Kid-Friendly DIY Color Block Art

Now that the major painting is over, I feel like I can breathe for a second.Though there is still plenty to do.

What’s left to do:

  • finish cleaning

  • assemble Ikea storage cabinet

  • paint built in shelf

  • organize toys and styling items

  • hang tv

  • hang art

  • style


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ORC-Guest-200x110.png

One Room Challenge Week 2 // Removing The Drop Ceiling

I wish I had more pretty to show you this week, but the basement is a construction zone. Thankfully we are on the other side of demolition mountain. In case you missed week 1, I am participating in my forth One Room Challenge. I am tackling my basement, which started as a big, empty box and I am upgrading to a modern, relaxed family space. You can see my plans here. And please follow along in real time on Instagram. Because this is an awesome community event, check out all the other room transformations here.

I quickly discovered that there are some realities of trying to tackle a big DIY project as a new mom. Mainly I am attached to my baby, can’t really find a flow. I feed Monroe, set up, start painting or working and time seems to move ridiculously fast, and before I know it I have to change my clothes and feed the baby again. Normally I would put in several hours, a couple days a week while Ollie is at school, then go hard for a couple hours after bedtime and also on the weekend. But in this current season, I have been waking up early and putting in an hour while everyone is sleeping, possibly squeeze in an hour or two during a day, but way too tired to continue post bedtime. Things are moving along, just very slowly, and since my time is so limited I don’t feel like I’m able to take a day off.

How To Remove A Basement Drop Ceiling

Now that all my excuses are out of the way, he’s what I have tackled so far. I tore down the drop ceiling tiles, the insulation and the drop ceiling frame and have started painting. Since I didn’t find much info on how to remove the drop ceiling tiles and paint, it was a little bit of trial and error. The first few tiles I removed were a little trickier, but sever were removed it was much easier and smoother to remove the tiles without breaking them in to a million little pieces. Speaking of breaking into a million little pieces, I wore a mask because I didn’t know the exact content of my tiles.

Once the actual tiles were out, I moved on to removing the insulation. I should note that if I had more help, I would advise to removing the drop ceiling frame next, but the recessed lighting was being held up by ceiling tiles, so I had leave them in place until my brother could come help me out with the electrical business. If I knew exactly what I was doing I would have removed the tiles, then swap out the lights, then remove the frame, next the insulation, and finally begin painting.




In my situation, I removed the ceiling tiles, then tackled the insulation next. I did a little research on removing fiberglass insulation. There were differing opinions on the dangers, and some recommended spraying exposed fiberglass with hairspray before pulling down. I did not end up doing that, but I did wear a mask, gloves and change my clothes right after working. I carefully pulled down each piece and put it directly into a garbage bag.

How To Remove  A Basement Drop Ceiling

Next my brother helped me replace the old recessed lighting with new can LED can lights. I used the combo of LED and can below.

basement recessed lighting
recessed lighting

My brother also helped me tear down the drop ceiling frame. I have no tips on this, this was a straight up demo, ripping metal down from the ceiling. Then I had to pry the wall pieces off the wall which were attached with finishing nails. Once all the trash was cleared out, I was finally ready to start painting.

So far I have a coat primer on the ceiling. I started using my paint sprayer, which really came in handy for my sunroom makeover, but it wasn’t getting the job done. It’s heavy and clunky and was not giving me the output I wanted. So I grabbed a roller and brush. I plan to use the sprayer on the areas with pipes and wires, but the roller and brush seemed to be more effective and efficient for the moment. I am painting the ceiling and walls with Polar Bear by Behr.

What is still left to do?

  • paint walls

  • second coat on the ceiling

  • paint the fireplace

  • remove the floor covering and clean the carpet

  • create art

  • assemble Ikea furniture

  • paint built in shelving

  • organize toys

  • decorate

One Room Challenge

One Room Challenge Week 1 // Basement Plans

It’s One Room Challenge season again! This will be my third consecutive go round and forth total overhaul. Last fall I tackled my mom’s kitchen, this past spring I did our sunroom and at our old house I made over our garage. If you are not familiar with the One Room Challenge it’s an online challenge started by blogger Calling It Home and sponsored by Better Homes And Gardens, where 20 featured bloggers and dozens of others complete a room makeover in 6 weeks and document their progress on their blog and/or social. See all the other rooms here.

This time around I will be tackling my basement. It was previously a big open box with beige textured wallpaper and a drop ceiling. I choose this room because I have a four week old baby, and I thought it would be a relatively “easy” project to tackle. I haven’t even fully completed demo yet, and I’m already feeling like I bit off more than I can chew. But I will press on.

My plan is to transform the 80’s basement/storage dump into an Australian meets California casual hang zone. There will be a family space and a kid zone complete with toy storage.


THE INSPIRATION



BEFORE

Basement Before
Basement Before
Basement Before

TO DO LIST

  • remove drop ceiling

  • paint raw ceiling

  • remove wallpaper

  • paint walls

  • paint fireplace

  • create kid zone

  • storage solution for toys

  • storage solution for styling props


DESIGN PLAN


Lauren Koster Creative One Room Challenge Basement Plans

family space: Article / rug: RugsUSA / coffee table: Eclectic Goods / side table: Urban Outfitters / bean bag chair: Joss & Main / peace flag: Kawaiian Lion

kid zone - play table: All Modern / wood and fabric: Target / white boxes: Ikea / terazzo floor pillow: Target / rug: Coco Carpets


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One Room Challenge

Introducing Monroe Allester!!

Our little bundle, Monroe Allester Koster, came into the world on September 5, 2019, three days after his due date. Monroe’s first name came from a street in Grand Rapids. Kyle and I had a list of names compiled that we both like, but hadn’t come up with one that we both LOVED. One day, around 30 weeks, we were driving and Kyle was throwing out all kinds of far out names. And I read the street sign I happened to look up and see, Monroe. I paused for a moment, and said, “wait, I actually really like that name!” And shortly after it took over as the front runner. We have yet to adapt a permanent nickname, but I lean toward Roe, while Kyle prefers Mo. Monroe’s middle name, Allester, is also Kyle’s middle name and is a combination of his two grandfather’s names, Alvin and Lester.

Birth Story

MONROE’S BIRTH STORY

At my 40 week appointment I was dilated to 1cm, and it didn’t look like he was going to come into the world in any hurry. At that point, I was in a lot of pain. Just a couple days before my due date I began having sciatic pain on my right lower back. I could barely walk across the kitchen, so my last few days of pregnancy were not spent nesting, rather on the sofa, sitting which was the most comfortable position. Because of that pain, I was ready to get the baby out as quick as possible. At that time I scheduled an induction for 40 weeks, 3 days, or the evening of September 5. I didn’t really have a birth plan, more assumed it would be a repeat of labor and delivery with Oliver, so I planned to head to the hospital when I was in labor, get an epidural and give birth about 12 hours later with little pushing. Largely that is how it all went down.

Birth Story

September 4, 6:00 PM - On Wednesday, September 4th, Kyle went off to his baseball game, and I was outside playing with Oliver. I came into to go to the bathroom and noticed a significant, but not huge, amount of fluid. When I went into labor for Oliver, my water broke two days before his due date and came gushing out. This was not nearly the same amount of fluid, so I wasn’t sure what call to make. I didn’t really want to go to the hospital, be turned away and have to come back the following night, but I also didn’t want to have the baby on the bathroom floor. I consulted with a friend who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse. With her advice I decided to go to the hospital.

September 4, 7:30 PM - We arrived at the hospital and I was admitted. They looked at the fluid on the microscope looking for “ferning” which indicates that ambiotic fluid is present and your water did in fact break. There was no ferning. Again, I really didn’t want to leave just to come back 24 hours later and do this all over again. They let me know that they would bring in a midwife to do an additional test to see if the water was actually broken, and that test came back positive! Hallelujah! We could get the process started!

September 4, 8:45 PM - I was moved upstairs to the delivery room. Now only dilated to 2 cm. With Oliver I had tested positive for strep B, so they went ahead and treated me again this time, hooking me up to an IV and giving me antibiotics. For Oliver’s birth I didn’t have the sciatic pain, so I was able to move and walk around, this time around I was pretty much confined to my bed, breathing through contractions that had become very painful.

Birth Story

September 5, 1:00 AM - I tried to hold out from getting pain medication, though it was always my intention to get an epidural, but at 1:00 AM, I wasn’t getting any sleep and the contractions were very painful, so before the epidural I got Stadol, a lesser pain med. I was still only dilated to 3 cm. I don’t remember exactly when, but some time in the middle of the night, they also gave me pitocin to help move things along.

September 5, 5:30 AM - After sleeping on and off for a few hours I finally requested the epidural around 5:30 AM, and was able to sleep a few hours until about 7:45 AM, when I was still only at 3 cm.

September 5, 9:30 AM - Starving and wishing things would be moving along a little faster, I drank some black coffee and did not keep it down for very long. I hung tight for the next few hours and they measured me at 11:30, and was still only half way there at 4-5 cm.

For the next several hours there was not a lot of action, just hanging out, taking guesses on when the baby would arrive. My guess was based on my first experience with Oliver, I guessed he would arrive by 3:00 PM, Kyle threw out 5:18 PM, but I was definitely hoping he was over shooting. Several episodes of “Friends” later and it felt like things were happening.

September 5, 3:00 PM - At this point I realized that my birth time guess wasn’t going to be correct, but I did start to feel pressure.

September 5, 4:00 PM - I knew my doctor was done for the day at 5:00 PM, so I was hoping to push the baby out by then. The pressure was getting more sever and I let the nurse know that I thought it was getting to be time to push. She checked me, and I was still not to 10 cm yet, but when she checked I still had water in my sack and it burst and came gushing out. My doctor was delivering another baby, so they were going to send her in as soon as she was finished.

September 5, 4:45 PM - My doctor arrived and I let her know that it felt like I was ready to push. She checked me and I was still only at 9 cm. So she stretched out my uterus so I would be ready to push. At about 5:10 PM I started pushing. My doctor and nurse were encouraging me to push harder, to which my response was that I was doing my best. With the second and third contractions, they more forcefully pressured me to push harder. Then they said they had to bring in more people and “get the vacuum ready.” It was all happening so fast that I really didn’t know what was happening. He started crowning with the forth contraction and on the fifth they used the vacuum and pulled him out. His heart rate was dropping because he had the cord wrapped around his neck. After less than 10 minutes of pushing, he was born at 5:18 PM, Kyle’s exact birth time guess.

Birth Story

Monroe was 8lbs exactly and 20.5 inches long. 10 fingers and 10 toes and just a little beat up from the vacuum and birth canal. Our sweet little dude gave us a five hour stretch of sleep on our first night and we woke up feeling great. Once my epidural wore off, I realized that the sciatic pain had not subsided, but other than that I was feeling great. Oliver came to the hospital to meet his baby brother on September 6th. While at Grandma and Grandpa’s, he wasn’t sure what to make of it all and was really worried about his mama. Once he saw that we were all doing well, his fears turned to adoration for his new little brother.

Now we are home, Monroe is two and a half weeks old and doing outstanding. He is a super chill little guy, not too many tears, loves sleeping, is growing well and all in all a very happy baby!

Monroe's Birth Story

Modern Office Organization

The last time my office got an official “overhaul” was back in 2014, you can see the throwback here. When the trends were still very bright and cheery and my aesthetic gravitated toward Oh Joy, rather than minimal and clean. These days I’m loving white, bright and light wood tones (as evident by the rest of the house). Still with some subtle pops of color.

I have A LOT of crap to hide, so as much as I want to actually be minimal, I need storage and organization. I am planning to tackle our basement level soon, but a complete office overhaul isn’t in the cards at the moment. I will slowly start to update and improve storage solutions in my office, maybe get it up to an instagramable level soon. Below are is my inspiration and clean picks for storage and organization.


Modern Desk Accessories

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Nursery Tour with Beachy Vibes

I am really excited to be sharing baby #2’s nursery with you today!! I love the way it turned out. There are some similarities to Ollie’s nursery (we kept the crib, the chair and some decor), but this little guy’s vibes seem a little more sophisticated and have a lot more neutral vibes. The room is loosely surf themed, but more than that, the calming colors of a beautiful sunset. I choose light wood tones and subdued saffron in combination with denim blues.

This room does not have overhead lighting, so I added two paper lanterns that are able to turn on with a switch, thank the lord. I honestly may have passed this house up if we couldn’t work lights on a switch. It’s my biggest pet peeve. I digress. We kept the DIY daybed I made back when we were calling this a playroom. It will work great for feeding sessions, but will also make this room double as a guest room for a while longer.

I made the wall tapestry that hangs above the crib out of a drop cloth, leather swatches and thrifted jeans. I just love how it looks in combination with this Gunn and Swain blanket.

Surf Inspired Nursery
Surf Inspired Nursery
Surf Inspired Nursery
Surf Inspired Nursery

The rocking chair is the very first thing I bought for Oliver’s nursery. I recovered it aqua fabric for his New York-themed room.

Surf Inspired Nursery
Surf Inspired Nursery

crib: Babyletto / crib sheets: Mebie Baby / dresser: wayfair / rug: RugsUSA / mobile: Urban Outfitters / sun art: society 6 / rainbow art: Rylee & Cru / DIY platform bed: tutorial via A House in The Hills / mattress: autonomous / “you are magic” print: Rylee & Cru / wooden rainbow: Etsy / rust mudcloth pillow / white mudcloth pillow / blue pillow 1: Pepper Home / blue pillow 2: Pepper Home


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Third Trimester Maternity Style

Here I am writing this on the eve of my due date! Unfortunately, no baby just yet. Just as the first and second trimester, the third went very smoothly. Outside of discomfort, I have felt great. I am still walking almost everyday about 2 miles worked up until a few days ago, including a full planning wedding at 37 weeks. I am not too swollen or puffy, but definitely slowing down to just accomplishing the things that have to get done and loving extra hard on my first born. Hence the slow down of posting in this space. I just can’t seem to get it all, plus the blog done. Thankfully I am to the finish line of this part.

As for my third trimester maternity style, it was hot. Really hot, for much of the time. I think I have mentioned that I gravitate toward billowy clothes, which was still the case during the last 12 weeks. I did try the fab, fitted Stowaway collection dress below. This little number really flattered my big ole bump. I did also pick up some cheap “denim” shorts. I quoted denim, because the option below I bought, are definitely not denim, but they got me though the past 6 weeks. The Old Navy top below is not maternity, but worked really well. The final look, the jumpsuit, was the best $20 I spent on clothes in a long time! I found this comfy black jumpsuit at an American Eagle outlet for literally $20. While it’s not the best quality, it has lasted all 40 weeks of growing this baby!

What was your favorite maternity purchase?


FITTED SUMMER DRESS


Third Trimester Maternity Style
Third Trimester Maternity Style

dress: Stowaway collection / shoes: Converse / bag: vintage (similar)


CASUAL SUMMER TOP AND SHORTS


Third Trimester Maternity Style
Third Trimester Maternity Style

top: Old Navy / shorts: Amazon / sandals: Sam Edleman (similar) / sunglasses: J.Crew


EASY JUMPSUIT


Third Trimester Maternity Style
Third Trimester Maternity Style

jumpsuit: American Eagle (similar) / denim jacket: Levis / shoes: St. Agni / sunglasses: Anthropologie


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Our Maternity Photos in Grand Rapids

I didn’t really plan on doing maternity photos, the vain part of me would rather wait until I can fit into something cute and flattering and get cute pictures with both babies on the outside. My instagram friend turned friend IRL and fellow recent West Michigan transplant, Megan Schaap, convinced me otherwise. Last week at just about 38 weeks we posed around Grand Rapids for one last time as a family of three. I really am so happy that we took the time and made the effort to capture this special moment. It could quite possibly be the last time I have a baby bump. Thank you, Megan!!

Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos
Urban Maternity Photos

photos by Megan Schaap