Bathroom Update – Black Walls…

Hi everyone!  I figured today was as good of a day as any to break my winter blog silence, so here goes.  I had shared a little of the re-painting of our bathroom on Instagram and thought actually working on the house was a good excuse to a) get back to the blog and b) to try out my new wide angle camera lens.  Basically I’m feeling pretty accomplished for painting, blogging, and (sort of) learning to play with a new toy all in the span of a couple weeks.  Don’t get your hopes up that this will continue.

Some of you already saw that I went with black paint in our bathroom.  I used the very scientific method of checking out the Studio McGee post on favorite black paints, looking at swatches in the store, and then buying a gallon of my favorite one, all in about 10 minutes time.  Luckily, it turned out a-okay.

white marble bathroom

flat black walls white trim

bathroom counter

The paint is Benjamin Moore’s Soot and I went for the kitchen/bathroom flat finish.  I really do love flat paint on walls and now that paint companies are starting to make it washable, I’m even happier.  The color is a “warm” black and has a little navy undertone.  It looks different where the light hits or doesn’t, which also makes it fun.

Benjamin Moore Soot black paint

Our entire family currently uses this bathroom (master bathroom coming later this year – yay!) so it’s a good thing the kids are digging the change.  My seven year old even told me I’m “cool” for using black paint.  I’ll do just about anything to make him keep thinking I’m cool as long as humanly possible.  The whole house might be painted black before you know it.

How about a look back at the bathroom when we moved in?


bathroom before

Clearly this bathroom has changed a lot since then but I do love keeping some of the old/weird charm about it. Like the laundry chute, the old door/window moldings, the window latches, the glass doorknob, and even the old mirrored medicine cabinet.

black walls white trim beadboard

We added the marble hex floor, beadboard, vanity, etc.  And then I painted the walls about 42 different colors over time.  It’s just such a small and easy area to re-paint I can’t help myself!  The color I painted over this time around was this coral number (Sherwin Williams Rejuvenate) which I’ve had on the walls for a couple of years.

coral white marble bathroom

I actually really loved that color.  But something happened to make it look less coral and more peach/orange over time.  Did it fade in the sun?  Did I randomly scrub it too hard one day?  Whatever it was, it was not looking good.  So, I went for the black walls.  Who knows how long they’ll last but they sure are fun for now.

white beadboard marble

black walls letter hooks

Now two things:  1) someone suggested painting the ceiling black, which I thought was brilliant, and I’m considering it; 2) I kind of want to go black all over, including the beadboard/trim.  Miraculously, I just saw an instagram post from One King’s Lane showing this stunner, which has the same beadboard all painted in the same black as the walls.  Amazing, right?  So, tell me the truth.  Are either of my two options (black ceiling or black beadboard) too crazy?  Likely yes, and even if you don’t think it’s crazy I’m certain my husband will.  So we’ll see on that.

Well that’s one fun update happening in the house.  We’re also working on laying the last of our new hardwood floors on the main floor (in the guest room) which of course has spawned an entire new look for that space.  Not that I’ve made much progress – only selling the old things on Craigslist so far, no new purchases yet.  And I’ve been itching to change up the entry, too.  So those spots are next on my hit list, to be followed by two new bathrooms down the road…

Happy Groundhog Day (please let it be spring, please let it be spring…)!

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Fireplace Reveal

So… about a year and a half after we tore out our old fireplace, I finally finished building our new one.

white marble tv over fireplace

pink vase eucalyptus

white fireplace living room leather chairs

living room white marble fireplace

Want to see the before?  Prepare your eyeballs.

1950s ugly stone fireplace

Bad on so many levels.  Orange.  Brown.  A tripping hazard.  And worst of all, the fireplace had no heat blower.  So it was not cute and didn’t even function.  And let’s not forget the tv sitting on the piano bench off to the side.  Seriously.

So after jackhammering out the fireplace so long ago and replacing the hardwoods, I finished building/tiling/grouting/painting the new fireplace this last weekend, just in time for a (very rainy) Thanksgiving Hawaii vacation and Christmas stockings.  Last year we were fireplace-free and I had to hang the stockings from the window ledge.  Super lame.  So this year, I gave myself a deadline of having the fireplace done by the end of summer.  I failed.  But in my defense, I got all caught up in my window seat and my  daughter’s room redo so that the fireplace took back seat.  But no more!  It took a couple of weekends to build the mantle, tile the surround, and caulk and paint, but it was wellll worth it.

living room fireplace

fireplace marble 1

eucalyptus fireplace

white scallop marble fireplace

We updated our fireplace situation to improve the look of it but also to improve the function.  We have no other options for a tv in this room (because a piano bench tv solution isn’t cutting it) so over the fireplace it went.  Which means we needed a place to hide the electronics.  Enter the side cabinets, made cuter by these brass knobs.

schoolhouse electric brass knobs

fireplace brass candlesticks

Yes, I’d prefer a fireplace surround without mini cabinets on the sides but in this house we weigh function over form for every project.  But try to make form a very, very close second.  In that regard, these scallop or fish-scale marble tiles were key.

scallop fish scale mosaic white marble tile

I’ve had a sample of this tile for over a year and have been trying to figure out the best spot for it.  We considered it for the kitchen but went with the more traditional subway tile shape.  We ultimately decided the fireplace would be perfect for these tiles.

tv over fireplace white marble

scallop white marble fireplace

Now that it is done, it is just so nice to hang in the kitchen and see the fireplace.

white walls marble great room

How many pictures have I shared on this blog and Instagram without ever showing this angle?!  No more!  This was the last project we needed to finish so that guests wouldn’t see mid-construction when visiting.  That doesn’t mean we don’t have lots more to do, it just means those rooms are less noticeable.  And can I just say that this view with the fireplace and the window seat makes me all kinds of happy?  It just does!

bright light living room

bright cozy living room window seat

Thanks you guys for taking the time check out my latest project.  I hope to share the “how to” soon.  But wait, I did say that about my window seat too and it has been a while since I said that, so no promises…

Happy Almost-Turkey-Day, friends!

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ORC: Girl’s Room – Reveal! (Fall 2015, Week 6)

You’ve seen the peeks on Instagram but now it’s reveal time, baby, because this girl’s room is officially done!

white pink girl room

mini desk with modern chair gold mirror

girl room hanging chair

kid ladder shelves

girl room hanging chair pouf

And by “this girls’ room” I mean my 5 year old daughter’s room, not mine (although I’ve really come to love pink and absolutely love that hanging chair).

Last year, for my first One Room Challenge, I re-did my son’s room, and I’ve been overdue on creating a new room for my daughter ever since.  We moved into our house weeks (moments?) before my daughter was born.  We turned what was once a terrifying, old, second kitchen into her nursery.

kitchen into bedroom 7

hot pink and green big girl room

Her nursery worked great for years but the second we gave my son bunk beds she started bunking in there without looking back at her old room.  But all the recent updates in her room have made her love it all over again.  Me too.

desk vanity mirror anthropologie gold planter

gold clip lamp gallery wall

hanging chair art girl room

It’s taken 6 weeks to go from a sad, empty, abandoned room to a pink, fun, and personality-filled room.  Along the way, I’ve tried to convince the world that pink is a neutral, tried to convince my daughter that the hanging chair is for both of us, and tried to convince myself that if I paint a room pink my girl can stay little forever.  None of those attempts was particularly successful.  But I think this room is.

round brass mirror white antlers

white bed pink turquoise gallery wall

It is such a great place for my daughter to read, play, lounge, sleep, and just be her girly 5 year old self.  I mean, who doesn’t want to swing in that chair all day?

hanging chair girl room

And her bed.  It is so, so cozy.

white junior loft bed

girl room gallery wall over bed

And having a dresser underneath is not only a great space-saver but also so fun for her to climb on top of to look down on her underlings (the rest of the family).  And there is even a sneaky little hideaway under her bed.  When I can’t find her, I know that tucked in behind that dresser is where she’ll be.  Often with some sort of kid contraband, of course.

modern junior loft bed pink walls

Last week I finished her desk area and asked you guys about the knobs.  I was going to switch out the basic silver for gold (duh) but let my daughter pick these big pink knobs instead.  Not what I would have picked but it is her room.  And at least this new gold planter (which she also picked and that I love very, very much) helps distract from the sea of pink.

anthropologie gold scallop planter

Overall I’m feeling pretty good about getting everything done – except those curtains.  I never quite got around to hemming them or replacing the rods, so that’s still on the to do list.  I may or may not ever get around to dealing with it.  But at least they function well by letting in lots of light while still affording some privacy.  And the tiny dots on them are too cute.

pale pink modern girl room

A big reason why I love to do the One Room Challenge is because it forces me to pick a room that is languishing in a design-less-land and to finish it in 6 weeks.  Another big part of why I love this challenge is because of all the other participants – it fosters such a creative, fun community.  And I like that.  A lot.

So in six weeks, here’s what I accomplished in my girls’ room:  the plan, pink walls and a DIY bed, hanging a chair, creating a gallery wall, and adding in a mini desk area.  Now I can quit feeling guilty about having done my son’s room last year and having ignored my daughter’s room since then.  Because really, this chair/pouf situation trumps everything.  Everything I tell you.

kid room hanging chair

Below are the sources, but I’m sure I’m forgetting some so ask if you want to know more.

Hanging Chair Serena & Lily | Pouf Land of Nod | Cat Pillow Land of Nod | Toy Basket Home Goods | Bed DIY | Duvet Cover West Elm similar | Art Minted | Dresser Ikea | Ladder Shelves Ikea | Gold Lamp Land of Nod | Desk Overstock | Desk Chair Overstock | Mirror CB2 | Desk Lamp Target| Rug RugsUSA | Curtains Ikea | Planter Anthropologie

Thanks so much everyone for tagging along while I started and finished this room.  Really, saying thank you isn’t enough.  Your support and encouragement are unmatched.  And a big thanks to Linda for having the One Room Challenge – such a great event!

After all this, I’m pretty excited to a) sleep and b) get back into the living room and finish our fireplace

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ORC: Girl’s Room – Console Table into Desk (Week 5, Fall 2015)

Week 5 of redoing my girl’s room already?!  Sometimes six weeks for this One Room Challenge seems so long (like really, how could it possibly take six weeks to build a bed and then just decorate?) and other times it seems so short (like when the internet lies about your items’ arrival dates and they take more than six weeks – grr).  BUT, progress has been made!  I took an awkward area of my girl’s room and turned a small console table into a desk for her.

mini white desk round mirror

And I also found a spot for that round brass mirror I’ve been eyeing for months.  Between that mirror and the hanging chair, this room is rapidly becoming my favorite in the house.  But back to the desk.

My daughter really loves to draw/color (typical 5 year old girl stuff) and of course she wanted a desk in her room just like her big brother.  The room is smallish and much of it is taken up by her bed and her hanging chair, but because she flashed her dimples again, I tried to fit a small desk into her room.  The only good spot for a desk is the wall area adjacent to her door.  The wall is a little awkward as it is just four feet wide and juts out a little into the room.

blank pink wall

Anything too deep on that wall would make it awkward for her to climb into her bed.  Awkward is definitely my favorite word this post.

I spent way too much time on the internet (as usual) hunting for the perfect desk.  Most were way too deep, or ugly, or drawer-less.  I like not ugly things and also to be able to shove kid stuff in a desk drawer on a moment’s notice.  Eventually I found this little console table which I thought might work as a desk.


Simple, not too boring, comes in several colors, and is the perfect scale at 36″ wide and 14″ deep.  The only downside was that it is several inches too tall to sit at.  Luckily, I have a saw.  So I ordered the console table in white, sawed about 3″ off the legs, and had a console-table-turned-desk in no time.

console table into desk

I really like that it doesn’t take up much floor space in the room but gives my daughter the perfect area to work on her art projects.  Which she has done daily ever since.  And with a mirror above, I figure it can always transition into a vanity area down the road.  Actually, she’s not allowed to grow up into a make-up wearing teenager so nix that idea.

mini white desk round mirror

The only thing I don’t love about this new desk sitaution is those knobs.  I don’t mind the silver mixing with the brass mirror (because everything goes with that mirror!) but for some reason they just look a little boring and out of place.  Or is it the chair? Or both??  I’m totally open to your thoughts…

Okay, so far in this room I’ve built a bed, painted walls, added a dresser and shelves, hung a chair (fine, my husband did that one), added art, and now added this desk area.  But the worst part remains – sorting through old kid toys and waiting to see if any of my now-apparently-backordered internet items will arrive.  Cute throw pillow and new light fixture, I’m talking to you…

Can’t wait to complete this room and share it next week!

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ORC: Girl’s Room – Accidental Gallery Wall (Fall 2015, Week 4)

Even though I’m all about building my fireplace right now (because this tile!), this past weekend I managed to carve out some time to frame and hang art in my daughter’s room for the One Room Challenge.  Behold yet another gallery wall.

pink wall gallery wall girl room

Are you sick of gallery walls yet?  I might be getting there but somehow I did one again just like in my last one room challenge.  But this latest gallery wall wasn’t planned.  It happened by default.  We had been having trouble deciding what to put above her bed.  A large piece of art?  Sparkly decals?  Nothing but a big blank pink wall staring at you?  A solid wall of pink-on-pink-on-pink sparkles (her choice, I vetoed)?  In considering the art option, we scrolled through Minted’s website together.   She flagged everything she thought was pretty.  Of course these things included a ballet dancer, a pineapple, a swimmer, and pink swirls and flowers.   And a mountain.  And about 30 other pieces of art.  She finally narrowed them down but so many were her “favorites”.  And thus another gallery wall was born.

pink turquoise black white gallery wall pulled back

After ordering the art I grabbed some frames at Aaron Brothers.  The goal was to mix white and wood frames but that day the store didn’t have wood frames I liked.  And because I am nothing if not impatient, I decided to skip waiting and go for all white frames.

gallery wall over bed

I think I’m okay with it, although if I run into some light wood frames I like down the road some may get switched.  You know I like frame variety.

In addition to the gallery wall, I also got a couple of leaning bookshelves to go on either side of the bed.  They aren’t too deep and fit perfectly.  I had briefly considered building some myself but sometimes ease-of-purchase far outweighs DIY.

leaning ladder bookshelf

So far all I’ve got on the shelves is a killer gold clip lamp.

modern clip gold lamp

The lamp simultaneously highlights the art and acts as a bedside lamp.  Double win.  I plan to use the rest of the shelves to hold toys and other random girl stuff (that seems to multiply daily).

And now that I’m this far into the post, I think I can spring on you the ceiling light in the room.

old light fixture

I can only blame myself for it.  I picked it out and bought it 5+ years ago.  In my defense, at the time we had to update our electrical for the entire house and many of the lights needed replacing.  So we bought a bunch of lights to match the existing ones in the house that could still work.  But now this light is doing nothing for me – out it goes.  I’ve ordered a really simple replacement light fixture so hopefully that will make it in time for the room reveal.  If not, you’ll know why all the reveal pics will be close-ups.

So what’s left in the space is to add a tiny desk area, clean out all the junk, and organize what’s left onto the shelves.  A seemingly manageable to do list, but we’ll see how it goes.  And luckily this room boasts a big closet so I can always stuff the disorganized leftovers n there to keep it out of pictures.  Now for a parting gallery wall shot.

pink wall gallery wall girl room

And if you are just now catching up on this room, you can see Week 1 The Plan, Week 2 the Bed/Walls, and Week 3 the Hanging Chair.  And you can see all the other rooms participating in this challenge over at Calling it Home.

Until next time, friends!

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