Out With the Old | ORC Week 4

Welcome to week four of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress up to this point here.

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Basically this week we spent making a lot of decisions, which is no small feat! Visually the biggest change is that the navy is gone. No more New York State of Mind for us!

The last of the trim is gone, the radiator and sills are as stripped and smooth as they are going to get! And the walls are primed. That is what we did physically in the room this week!

From a materials decisions/orders standpoint, we ordered the light fixture and ceiling medallion (both shipped and hopefully will go in before the next post), we had the measure appointment for the window treatments and selected our fabrics (I’ll leave it a mystery on which way we went for now) and placed our order (they should be installed just in the nick of time!), we decided on what to definitely keep in the room furniture wise and I ordered a little surprise detail to add a visual pop. We also made some decisions for now to keep the doors and door hardware, and instead of the radiator cover, since we can see down to the actual unit now (and it’s kinda charming) we are going to just apply one fresh coat of paint to it.

This weekend, P will be out of town for a friend’s bachelor party (lucky for him), so I will be focussing on finishing the radiator and window sills, getting the color on the wall, and maybe framing out the windows with their new trim. The other trim can’t go in until the floors are done. Flooring is scheduled for Monday and then we have to be out of the condo until Thursday essentially, so you may not see a lot of progress on next week’s post, but never the less I’m so excited that the floors are getting done and that it is all getting done right!! Oh and maybe I will have time to work on my DIY art project for the gallery wall while we are locked out of the house… interesting!!

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • Light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up and/or cover
  • Paint radiator
  • Re-Hang Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Prime walls
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

It doesn’t feel like we have that much done on the list yet, but I feel like we have so much more done this week. The room being primed alone makes such a huge difference already. The room feels so much larger, but being that stark white primer color is very unflattering… I can’t wait to get the new blue up on the walls and for the space to feel cozy again.

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This weekend and the next week are going to be busy! I’ve been snapchatting a lot of my behind the scenes as well, so make sure to follow along there (designbykrystle). And of course, don’t forget to check out what the 20 design hosts are doing and hop over to the Calling It Home blog for the guest participant link up to see what everyone else has been doing this week in their ORC!!

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Mid Week Dreamin’

This Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is so so good. Especially when you have had the longest week ever and it’s only Wednesday.

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Anyone else, can I get a show of hands? Oh okay… it hasn’t been that bad, just busy! Lots of different moving parts over here right now. P just started a new job which we are so thrilled about! It’s always a little tricky with the transition to anything new and with a new job in particular, just the paperwork alone can make you dizzy!

Work is so so good, and like always in the spring, things are starting to pick up around here. I have a lot of fun projects that are just getting started and several that are in there end phases (which is often more frazzling than the beginning!), so it’s just a matter of keeping it all organized.

Lastly the ORC is keeping me on my toes!! I feel so motivated to get this space done (and have it be a stunning place that we can brag about to boot!), that I have been spending every minute at home tending to some detail or another with regard to the living room. I will post a full update tomorrow to show where we are at with it all and what we’ve accomplished. It looks so different already, yet I fear there is still so much to be done!!

So with all that said, whatever is on your plate, make sure that you aren’t be pushed by fear, but rather that you are following your heart and your dreams. Check in with yourself to make sure you are taking time and paying attention to whatever it is that you need. Even if what you need is just a glass (or bottle) of wine to take the edge off of a long and busy week! No judging from me!!

(Ralph Waldo Emerson quote posted on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Silvery Blue which was one of our living room wall color considerations.)

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Complete Destruction | ORC Week 3

Welcome to week three of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress here.

Last week after I read through a good chunk of the other ORC Guest Participant posts, I started experiencing maximum anxiety about my time frame for this project. Having been away for 5 days took a lot of my progress time away and after seeing the strides everyone was making I was like oh crap I need to get down to business.

So, as soon as I got home from the office last Thursday (and finished snuggling with #BrantleyBub) I started ripping out the telephone wire I pointed out in last week’s post. I sent out a snap of the progress I was making and immediately got a text from the hubs, like “what in God’s name have you done?!” Well it wasn’t that dramatic, but he was a little nervous curious and the text did come through pretty quick.

Over the weekend, we began taking the old moldings out. We very quickly realized that we weren’t going to be able to get off so many layers of poorly applied (and like lead) paint, so we cautiously began removing them, with much concern for the plaster walls… we did not need those crumbling down on us. We plan to replace them with period appropriate moldings. It was so fun though to see the history of colors that have been on our walls from shades of green to blue to pink and white.

Remember last week when I said we might do the floors, pending budget and availability of scheduling someone? Well yesterday we had the guy come out to give us the quote, because after removing the molding and revealing the edging, it quickly became apparent that it needs to be done. So we are pinching pennies and cutting from some areas of the budget where we can to make room for the floors. They will be repaired and refinished and the soonest we can get on their schedule for is May 2nd. That’s cutting it awfully close to the reveal week, but ya know what? It’ll have to do.

So, flooring aside, we successfully removed all of the trim ourselves (with the exception of the window trim), and for my hubby who has never really been all that handy, and for myself who grew up in a DIY family but hasn’t ever undertaken serious projects at home (everything I plan with my clients, someone else executes), I am insanely proud of us! So right now we are in the “complete destruction” phase of the project, where nothing looks pretty and we are lucky if there isn’t still demo dust scattered around the living room (and the rest of the condo). Hopefully soon, things will start looking a lot prettier!

We also swatched paint to decide on our color change. I narrowed it down to 5 choices, which do you like the best? (The colors are as follows–all Benjamin Moore: 1., White Satin. 2., Breath of Fresh Air. 3., Jet Stream. 4., Heaven on Earth. 5., Silvery Blue.)

I’m planning to paint the base molding and the ceilings white, and the walls, door and window trims and doors themselves all the same as the wall color. Because our room is so small, and there are a lot of doors/doorways/windows for the small space, I want to eliminate the illusion of the space being broken up so much. I feel that if the color is consistent on all of the details with just the top and bottom framing out the wall color with crisp white, then the room will feel a lot more expansive. That said, I’m catching a lot of flack so far from the few people I’ve discussed it with, but I think we are going to move forward with this plan anyway. Since I can’t shake the idea, I decided to dig up some images of rooms where others have embraced the concept and rocked it! Here’s a look at some rooms where they’ve done some version of this:

[Paint Inspo Images: Martha Stewart’s Pink Guest Suite, Latitude Lane Den by Angie Hranowsky, AB Chao’s Moody Bedroom as featured on Apartment Therapy’s post here, Eclectic Dining Room by Suzanne Kasler and Kim Winkler as featured on Carla Aaston’s blog here.]

What do you think? Are you a fan of unifying the space by painting everything including moldings the same as the wall color?

This weekend our goals are to finish removing the last bit of trim, tend to the radiator, and start working on patching and priming the walls. I’d love to say we will paint, but if there is anything I’ve learned from doing the molding it’s that everything takes longer than you think, and I do not want to rush the paint! We also have an appointment for the window treatments to finalize our fabric selections and get our install scheduled. So all in all, I feel we have made great strides this week (even if it only does equal one thing off the list).

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up and/or cover
  • Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

One Room Challenge, One Room Challenge Spring 2016, One Room Challenge Guest Participant, ORC Spring 2016, ORC Guest participant

Be sure to pop over and scroll through the featured designers progress updates here, and jump to the Calling It Home blog for the guest participant link up to see everyone else’s spaces as well! I hope you are having fun following along with this challenge!

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Mid-Week Happy Vibes

Okay, okay…I’ll admit it. I’ve been slacking on the blog front. Well at least I feel that way. If you have been reading for long enough to know my patterns and habits, you know that when I get busy with life, clients, projects, etc., I tend to wind down to only a post or so a week.

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It would be an understatement to say that we are in a busy season right now… and then I jumped on the One Room Challenge too… (yeah, I might be crazy).

The good news is, all of the things that are keeping us busy are good things. P accepted a new job and he has this week off before starting this coming Monday–it’s a great position with great perks and we were thrilled that he got the offer! I have 3 large client projects I’m juggling now (more on that later) and they are all in a really good phase right now, but there is constant behind the scenes work to be done on them. In addition to that, I just got back from 5 days away with a girlfriend in Napa (blog post scheduled for this Friday), which was so fun, but it’s always busier coming home and settling back into the schedule and the swing of things. Lastly, we jumped into the ORC as a guest participant and I won’t bore you with the details until the scheduled update tomorrow, but the progress this week feels HUGE and has taken a lot of muscle and time! (few!)

So, there you have it! That is where we are now. All I can say is that despite all the different elements we are juggling right now, the underlying feeling is happiness! Things are soo good and we are in such a great place with everything right now, and this quote (on a background of BM Heaven on Earth) is perfect.

My happiness is when my hubby and pup are happy, my house is in order (or at least the kitchen counters are clean), and my clients are up to date and moving forward towards their own happy home! (Well all that, and a good glass of wine!) What is your happiness?

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ORC Week 2 | The Plan

Or, the things I love and loathe about our current living room.

When I shared last week I got a ton of comments from people who LOVE our current blue paint (Benjamin Moore’s New York State of Mind, btw). We love it to, but it is dark in this small space, an although I think it adds a ton of our personal flair to the space, I think a lighter brighter space could work to our benefit in here. Since we do love the blue, we are going  to stick with our same basic color scheme though we’ll be selecting a lighter blue.

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We used to have too many surfaces and pieces of furniture but we cleared a ton of excess away when we KonMari’d earlier this year. So, in general, I’m happy with our furniture. (Though the cushions on the back of the couch could use a little help.)

Let’s talk about the art. We purchased some fabulous painting while in Italy on our honeymoon, we have gotten all of these pieces incorporated into our home, and a long ass time ago, we planned out our gallery wall…during this transition, I would like to attempt to create a DBK original painting to include in the gallery wall and get everything actually hung up so the gallery is a completed focal point. The three other pieces on the living room walls (the areal view of Manhattan in black & white, the painting between the widows–one of the honeymoon buys–and the mirror) are all staying, not just in the mix, but in their existing locations too.

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The details, aka the things I loathe. Our condo is in a pre-war building that has details up the wazoo, but when the last person attempted to update our unit, they gave no concern to the details. Our moldings look atrocious. They have layer upon layer of paint on them, some have been spackled in an attempt to patch them, and some have wires (that are old and not connected to anything) fastened into them–and then painted over multiple times! Needless to say the moldings are going to be getting some serious TLC on this journey.


I would love to include refinishing the original hardwoods into the plan this go around, but I’ve not had luck finding anyone that does that in our area yet, and I’m not sure it will fit in the budget this go around either.. But I’m optimistic, so we will see!

So what’s new? Well, first and foremost, we need some sort of window treatments in here… The unit across the courtyard was empty when we moved in so they weren’t a priority anywhere except the bedroom and bathroom really. And now that we have lived without them for so long ,it has become what we are used to.. .but in addition to the privacy they will add, I’m excited about finding something that might aid in reducing our cooling budget in the summer too.

Finally, I have been planing with a good friend/coworker of mine to build a radiator cover to enclose that old over-painted beast, and I am hoping that it will be done in line with this challenge! And lastly, I’ve been trying to hunt down the perfect light fixture for this room too, though I haven’t found anything perfect yet, I’m not ready to cross this detail off the list.

So that’s our story around here for this week! What do you think of the plan? Do you like change in blue tones and the attention to details? Make sure you take a few minutes to hop over to the Calling it Home ORC page to see what is new with the featured designer participants this week along with the other guest participants too!

Since I was gone last weekend, nothing has changed around here yet, so the upcoming days/weekends are going to be be busy!! I think sanding moldings and determining the specific new blue for the walls will be my main goals for this weekend! What is your favorite mid-light shade of blue for paint?

Tomorrow (deepening on how things go) I’m hoping to get my updated posted on our little girls weekend in Napa, so be sure to check back for that later this weekend too!

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Joining the One Room Challenge | Living Room

Calling It Home  has been hosting the ever inspiring One Room Challenge (ORC) for 10 seasons now, and although I only found out about it a year or so ago, I have loved seeing all of the incredible spaces that come together through the challenge!

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join or not, but in reality, though most of our house is basically done, nothing is really DONE, if you know what I mean…I know there will always be little projects here and there in each room that need work, but I would like for at least one space of the condo to really feel completed!

For that reason, I’m going to proceed with the living room. We have it in really good shape and have made several changes with it so far (eliminating much that we didn’t need during our KonMari Process), but when you live in a 525 square foot space with husband and dog there are always little things that you can do to help. We spend the bulk of our down time in this room, and I want it to really feel done.

So, here is a look at the space as it is now:

The ORC does group link-ups and updates every Wednesday with the official Group and then every Thursday with the guest participants for 6 weeks. This is week one! The idea is that by the end of the 6 weeks, your room will be completed! Next week I will share my game plan for this space and clue you in on what major (and minor) things I think this space needs to feel really finished.

Definitely make sure to jump over to the Calling It Home blog to follow along with the other participants of the ORC and decide if maybe guest participating would be fun for you too! I can’t wait to see all of the other spaces people are working on and get inspired!! Click over here to see the group link up of the guest posts, and go to the previous post to see the hosts inspiring spaces/plans for the challenge! I’m so excited to participate!!

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Instagram Recap | Mar.

March was such a fun month! We kicked it off celebrating our anniversary at the sweetest B+B in Connecticut, celebrated Brantley’s 2nd birthday (crazy dog lady alert), saw Billy Joel in concert and hosted Easter!

With my clients, I worked on a few good projects, many details not pictured and maybe I need to be better at sharing these behind the scenes looks at what I’m working on (let me know if you like that kinda stuff on instagram), continued working away on #dbkproject1893 and had some fun with tile and textile planning.

It’s so fun to see all of these little insta-squares stacked up all together as a way of tracking the previous months events! What did your march in squares look like? Did you do anything fun or work on any exciting projects?? I can’t wait to keep sharing more of our life and projects and especially these monthly recaps!

As we move into April, I hope to be sharing more sunshine-y days and flowers mixed in with some completed projects and things in the works! Happy Spring! Remember to leave me a comment with your insta-name or the name of any accounts you think I should check out!

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Harmony, Purpose and Form

I have written a lot about the balance of form and function in design (here), they are both so important, and the balance of these elements in a space is crucial to a successful design. Sometimes I wish it were just as easy to break down and create this harmony in other areas of life!

alvar aalto harmony quote

This quote by Alvar Aalto was an architect, designer, product designer, etc., that was no stranger to creating this lovely relationship in his spaces. (See a few of them here.) It’s rare to find a architect with such a great understanding of not only the exterior space and form of the building/home, but also with such awareness in how it relates to the interior function of a space. Mr. Aalto puts it well when comparing this balance to something that is truly beautiful, “beauty is the harmony of purpose and form,” shown above on Benjamin Moore’s Cream Puff pink.

This color family is another thing I’ve spent a lot of time talking about… the pale pink/nudes that are subtle enough you can convince hubby to paint the master suite pink… he might not even know it’s pink if you don’t tell him!!

Anyway, I love dreaming of pinks color stories for when we have a bigger space, and I love dreaming up ways to create the perfect balance and harmony for my clients in their homes.

In life, this weekend was about juggling friendships! We celebrated a dear friend for her bridal shower on Saturday afternoon in upstate New York, and then I drove to CT to help out another very dear friend and we had a sleepover (mani’s and pedi’s included!). Come Sunday I was home with Hubby for a day filled with quality time, dog walking, shopping, and good eats…the weekend was so full, and I wasn’t even mad about getting up and getting to work this morning… So what! It’s Monday… let’s create a better harmony between our relationships with work and with life so that we don’t dread every Monday!

This week is going to be a great one! What do you have planned for your week? Did you have a fun filled weekend?? Are you good at creating harmony as Mr. Aalto suggests? Do tell! Happy Monday Friends!

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Reveal | Master Bathroom That Wows

I have been busy with work and training and projects running their course, we hosted Easter, which I really want to share more about at some point, but for now I really just want to share with you this finished bathroom!


This is the project that the homeowners main request was to open the doors and feel “wow-factor.” I shared the progress report over a year ago and it just took a long time to get schedules lined up for photography.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely think that mission was accomplished!

What do you think? Are these photos not the most beautiful thing? (Thanks Lindsay Photography!) They really show off all of the details in the space!

More work/life/general updates to come late this weekend/next week! What do you have planned for the weekend?

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