One Room Challenge Week 5 // DIY Table Update

We have made it to the last week of the One Room Challenge! If you haven’t been following along, I’ve spent the last 5 weeks renovating my sunroom from log cabin to modern beach vibes. You can check out my progress from weeks 1-4 here. This time around (shockingly) I am not racing against the clock, I am putting the finishing touches on, and will be photographing the final reveal on Friday!! I am THRILLED with the room and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Today I have a couple sneak peeks to share. Last week I talked light fixtures and rounded up 9 awesome woven light fixtures. I ended up going with this classic Ikea fixture, which I actually bought months ago when this room was only an idea in my mind.

One Room Challenge - Sunroom

I did not buy a whole lot of furniture for this space, just the chair you’ll see in the last photo and this credenza from Target. The other pieces were moved from our old house and were kind of homeless. That is the beauty of buying furniture with similar styles and in the same color family, then you can mix, match, move, style and restyle. The piece that stuck out like a sore thumb to me, was this bright gold table bought at Target circa 2011. I didn’t really have the budget to drop another $100 on the table I really wanted here, so in the words of Tim Gun, I “made it work.” I spray painted it with matte black spray paint I had left over from a previous project. I bought a table top from Hobby Lobby and coated it with polyurethane I had from this daybed project. And glued the top to the base with Liquid Nails. Bam! New table!

DIY side table update

I think it fits the space so much better.

DIY side table update


One Room Challenge

Don’t forget to follow along with the other blogger’s progress here!

World Market Outdoor Favorites

As I round out the furniture shopping for the sunroom and start sourcing a few key pieces for the deck, I definitely have outdoor furniture on the brain. I can’t stop scrolling World Market’s outdoor assortment! They have so many great key pieces at amazing prices. I’ve added a few items to my cart and was awaiting a sale before purchasing. Well, it’s here!! 20% off all outdoor with code 20OUTDOOR all the way until April 29th!

Here are my favorite outdoor items from this season at World Market.

World Market Outdoor Favorites

One Room Challenge Week 1 // Sunroom Plans

I’m doing it again. I’m a glutton for punishment. I’m tackling another One Room Challenge! If you don’t know, the One Room Challenge is a big bi-annual blogger event where 20 featured designers and many guest participants make-over a room in 6 weeks and document their progress weekly on their blog or Instagram.

We moved into our home mid-November and it being winter in Michigan we have not used our sunroom once. This is a fantastic room, we will absolutely live in all summer long. Currently it’s a non-heated, fully enclosed room with three sliding glass doors, very raw wood paneling, beautiful glass double doors into the kitchen and some bad track lighting. It is basically a wood box waiting for my love!

My plan is to give it a coat (or several) of my favorite white paint, Polar Bear by Behr, then rip out the carpet and either lay tile or stencil a really cool pattern. I already have most of the furniture I will use, so it will be a matter of cosmetic and styling and adding a lot more plants. I really want this to feel like a true indoor/outdoor seamless space. Since we don’t have a dining room, our dinning table will live here, a long with a little lounge area and a buffet with cocktail-making fixins.

This project is going to be significantly less work that my last One Room Challenge (my mom’s very dated kitchen), but my schedule is a lot crazier and on reveal day I will be 24 weeks pregnant! So follow along and let’s see how I fare!


One Room Challenge - Sunroom Inspiration
One Room Challenge - Sunroom Inspiration
One Room Challenge - Sunroom Inspiration


One Room Challenge - before
One Room Challenge - The before


One Room Challenge Sunroom Plans



Click the One Room Challenge blog to get a look at all the other guest participants.

Study Plans

If you follow along on Instagram, you know this room is well on it’s way. I wanted to share some of my inspiration and design decisions as I style out the shelves, await my art to arrive and put the finishing touches on this space. I have to admit when we moved in I was pretty stumped with this space. It’s a lovely “bonus room.” But in my mind there is not a whole lot of function to it. It’s right off the living room in the front center of our house. There is a closet and large window, plus it connects to the bathroom, which also connects to the kitchen. So it’s a good pass through room. I did not want to use this room as my office, because my office is a disaster 99% of the time, and also because, despite the large window, the lighting stinks.

I future vision is to open this room to the kitchen and turn it into a dinning space, but when faced with what to do with it in the mean time, I was pretty much stumped. The navy patterned wallpaper was not my choice, but there is worse and the bookshelves were nice, just not my taste at all.

Study Before

Flash forward to my discovery of Mandi Makes on Instagram. Her home and feed is a glorious journey of unbelievable and super-creative before and afters. The moment I saw her study I knew it was the direction I wanted to go for my own study. For someone who painted their entire house white (Polar Bear actually) within the first few weeks of living in it, I fell hard for this green-grey color. I loved how her shelves were filled with books like a traditional library, but yet it all looked so modern. See more of Mandi’s room on her blog.

The color Mandi used is called Oil Cloth by Benjamin Moore. I pulled about 35 green-grey swatches from every paint brand. They all looked so different in this room and so different in each light of day. The Oil Cloth color Mandi used looked really blue and really dark in my room. I ended up going with a color called Dusty Miller by Benjamin Moore and I could not be happier with how it turned out!

Study Inspo 1.jpg

I know I’ve seen and pinned that monochromatic look before, so I hopped onto my Pinterest to find all the interesting colored libraries that skewed modern. Many were a little too traditional for my taste, like this room. I had crafted my idea, now on to the executing and the dreaded tearing down of the wallpaper.

Study Inspo 2.jpg
Study Inspo 3.jpg
Monochromatic shelving

photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I have lots more to share about this room and the reveal coming soon! See the items I’m shopping for styling over on my Pinterest Board.

Powder Bath Plans

Last week I gave you the overview on house projects for the year, and as I go along, I will break down my inspiration and plan for each room. If you have been following along on Instagram you know that I already dove into tackling my powder bath. I had the mirror and the light, so I figured I’d buy the paint and start with phase 1. You can see the before here and scroll to the bottom of the post to see where I am today. I still need to replace the toilet, vanity, flooring and tile the walls. But she has come a long way! Here is the inspiration and the detailed design plan. Looking forward to finishing it off in the next month or too.


floor tile / scalloped wall tile / toilet / rug / art / faux plant / plant sprayer / sconce / mirror / faucet / vanity (custom) / paint color - My Sweetheart

Powder Bath update

One Room Challenge // Kitchen Renovation Week 5

The home stretch, you guys. Week 5 of the One Room Challenge is here. If you are just popping in, I am participating in the One Room Challenge, an awesome blogger challenge where several hundred bloggers, including 20 headliners document the makeover of a space in 6 weeks. I am updating my mom’s kitchen. Catch is, my mom lives 2 and a half hours a way, so I am basically doing the entire job in four long weekends. Things are going pretty well, though there are a bunch of little finishing items left to tackle and only one day I can make it over there to finish, style and shoot. Here’s to a speedy finish!

Last week I shared the dining half of the room, which is so so close to being done. This week I am getting a little more real, sharing all about the big parts of the job, the counter tops and the backsplash and the lessons I learned while installing for the first time.

One Room Challenge - Kitchen Update

First I’ll tell you about the countertops we chose. Butcher Block was really the only material I considered. Because of budget and ease of install, it was really the only choice. There are several wood choices when looking at butcher block. I knew I wanted maple, which is a light wood with yellow undertones, because it is cost effective and would look really pretty with the cabinet colors I choose.

I researched butcher block countertops from several major home improvement and flooring retailers. Home Depot (my go-to) was sold out of many options. Menards only had lengths up to 8’ and I needed at least 10’. My friend Bri just ordered hers from Floor and Decor, because she only had good things to say, I was planning to order from there, but it was going to take several weeks for them to come in, so I passed. Finally I found what I needed at Lumber Liquidators. It was a little tricky to order online, so I went into the store and placed the order with a real person. The were able to help me and found the two lengths I needed in stock at a location not far from my mom’s. Then I planned to have them delivered to my mom’s house because the 12’ length was way too long to fit into any of our cars. But ultimately we decided to save a little cash, rented a truck from Home Depot and picked them up ourselves.

Next let me tell you about the tile backsplash. I am in love with the handmade Cle tiles that are so perfectly imperfect. This terracotta beauty is the tile I really wanted to use for my mom’s kitchen. Even though my mom didn’t give me a specific budget, I knew almost $15 a sq/ft was out. I found nice alternative grey subway tile with some color variance and texture. And once I added the white grout, the look is just what I was going for.

In case you are curious, here is the sink I bought.

I installed Butcher Block Countertops!
One Room Challenge Work In Progress
One Room Challenge Work In Progress

10 Things I Learned from Installing My First Counter Tops and Backsplash

  1. Factory edges of butcher block counter tops may not be 100% straight or square. Check before making your cuts.

  2. Start prepping early, you need to put multiple coats of sealer on your counter tops and they need 6 hours to dry between coats. I put on 5 coats of Watco Butcher Block Oil & Finish.

  3. When using your circular saw to cut your counter tops, go for it, don’t pause, keep moving the saw forward and make the cut.

  4. Put a line of painters tape where you plan on making your countertop cut, this will help prevent splits in the wood.

  5. Measure all aspects of the sink - the spacing of the drawers next to the sink, how deep it is, the dimensions of the apron if there is one. All of it! I found a sink that was “pretty much” the same width of the sink we were replacing, and it was so so close to not fitting.

  6. Tile spaces are harder to use than it looks, or maybe I am just a novice.

  7. Don’t grout all the way down to the countertops. This was an oops for me and my mom has to remove before caulking.

  8. There are several options when finishing a tile edge. We actually used two different edge finished. I was really nervous that it would look funny, but after seeing it, I’m sure I’m the only person who gave it a second thought.

    • Bullnose tile - a tile that coordinates with the main tile, but is rounded for a nice finish

    • caulking - cost effective and easy, but not always the cleanest.

    • metal edging - clean and minimal.

    • moulding

  9. Do some research on the size of grout lines you like, aka the spacer size you need to buy. I first bought 1/4” spacers because I wanted slightly larger grout lines. Then once I started laying out, 1/4” was just too wide, I made an emergency trip to get 3/16” spacers. Yes, 1/16” makes a big difference.

  10. Grouting hides a lot. As I mentioned, spacers are not as easy to use as they look, so things weren’t perfect, but once I grouted it all looks as good as perfect.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Check out all my inspiration and products I’m using on my Pinterest board. And, click here to see the other participant's progress.


One Room Challenge // Kitchen Renovation Week 4

One Room Challenge Week 4 is here. Good news and bad news for me and my ambitious plan to tackle my mom’s dated kitchen. Good news is that I made A LOT of head way this past weekend, installing the new counter tops and sink. The bad news is, my next two weeks are jammed packed, so my plan is to drive the two and a half hours there, finish all the details, style, photograph and then drive home. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

This week I am excited to share the half of the room that is almost there and one of my favorite projects of the room. My mom has and eat-in kitchen. She has a round dining table that seats four. It is classic, well made and in great condition, plus I think it fits with the new design, however it is very bulky. When someone is sitting in a chair and you need to get by, they have to smash themselves against the table to allow you to pass. In the same corner of the room, my mom kept her large dog crate, which was unsightly, cumbersome and a collector of junk. I decided to tackle both of these problems at once and designed a custom banquette seat that doubles as a dog crate!

DIY Built in dog cage

Here are my initial designs, inspired by the tutorial on the left in the below photo. I enlisted the help of my talented father in law to bring it to life.

Built in Dog Crate

and bring it to life he did! I whipped up the cushions and now we have a beautiful piece of furniture that makes great use of the space.

DIY Built in dog cage
DIY Built in dog cage

Although the side of the bench with the dog crate is pretty tall for adults, it is the perfect height for grand kids!

DIY Built in dog cage banquette
DIY Built in dog cage banquette

And to keep it real, the other side of the room looked like this when I shot it.

One Room Challenge Week 4
DIY Built in dog cage banquette

What’s still left to do?

  • update the light fixture above the sink

  • replace floor boards where I removed a built in shelf

  • paint and update trim

  • window treatments

  • styling

Check out all my inspiration and products I’m using on my Pinterest board. And, click here to see the other participant's progress.

One Room Challenge

Dream Home 2.0 // Big Boy Room

The e-design of my dream home series continues, this time I’m sharing Ollie’s big boy room. When we left New York, our little dude was still in a crib. The crib will stay in storage when we get to our new home and Ollie will get his very own big boy bed! I have big plans to whip up this Ikea hack to give my boy the upholstered bed he’s never dreamed of. I’m feeling inspired to use a lot more pattern, and of course, a lot more color in a little boy’s room, than in the other rooms I’ve shared. I am just in love with the mud cloth wallpaper pattern in the photo below on the right, by Spoonflower, it’s in consideration once we see a space. I also love how the room on the left incorporated the pattern into the headboard. I also want to upgrade his kiddo art work (check out his nursery here) and incorporate more photography. And of course, some really fun elements like the dinosaur lamp pictured below.

Big Boy Bedroom Inspiration

photos: 1 / 2 / 3

Big Boy Bedroom e-design