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!

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

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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100 Year Old Basement Renovation In Process

This project started out a lot like many others. When I first met with the homeowners, the wife was timid and anxious about even letting me see the basement, but upon seeing it and discussing the space with her, she became very excited to be moving forward with renovating this space.

When I presented the plans to the husband and wife they both became very excited about the space and anxious to keep things moving. This basement needs to consist of more organized storage for household items, their extra refrigerator, an appliance pantry for larger counter-top appliances that get used only a handful of times throughout the year, a laundry room, and gym. In addition to these shared spaces, we needed to create a space where family can crash when needed, so there is also a shared mud room with exterior entry and a full private suite with a kitchenette, living room, bathroom and bedroom, and knowing how amazing this space is going to be when it is finished, any member of the family who gets to crash in this basement is going to feel like they landed at a 5 star hotel.

Through shopping trips, research, planning and revising plans, I have become pretty close with the family and they have had some unfortunate news come to light. That said, we are doing everything we can to finish this project as efficiently and inexpensively as possible.

The space has been fully gutted and the french drains are going in. The space feels so much larger than it felt before and they are starting to be able to envision the plan within the shell of their basement now. We are at a pretty fun stage of the game with everything so raw right now. (All of the images above are pre-demo; below is where we are now.)

I wanted to share this seemingly nothing of an improvement so that you can see how these projects start. We have to knock things down in order to pick them back up again, and in this business it isn’t all pretty. Sometimes you might be ashamed of how your space looks now, but it will get there, even if it takes forever.

This basement is 100 years old, it has a lot of character, and we are intending to keep a good chunk of the character in tact. Can’t wait to show you more along the way as we progress.

Current Obsession | Banquettes + Breakfast Nooks

Banquettes are a great way to fit a dining space into a small kitchen, nestle in a designated breakfast nook, or even just a way to add a cozy element to a spacious kitchen.

Banquette 1

If only I could pinch this banquette out of this picture and plop it into our home… {sigh}.

Islands are all the rage, and they will be a constant staple in the world of kitchen design. But if you don’t have the space for an island, or you prefer a cozier seating option, consider a banquette on one wall or corner of the kitchen, it can give you just what you’ve been looking for.

Great use of the storage left & right, centering the nook on the window. Bravo. Jump to The House Diaries to see the full transformation of this kitchen (link below).

Great use of the storage left & right, centering the nook on the window. Bravo. Jump to The House Diaries to see the full transformation of this kitchen (link below).

Banquette 2

I love the colorful details and hidden storage showcased in this bold banquette! (Seen on Pufik.)

This jaw-dropping nook was featured not only on the Nest Studio Home blog but also in Women's Day magazine and it is easy to see why.

This jaw-dropping nook was featured not only on the Nest Studio Home blog but also in Women’s Day magazine and it is easy to see why.

I have been scribbling up very rough renovation plans non-stop for our condo. And although we may never renovate at all, it is fun to play around with the concept. The element, I can’t help but try to include is the banquette! In our small galley kitchen it would be such a great bonus niche! You can add storage into the benches and seasonally change out cushions and accessories to play with different colors. Really, what’s not to love?!

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Illuminating Decisions

One of the biggest issues in our bedroom is the lighting. Since my work space is here as well, I need good lighting all the time. A few weeks back I discussed adding a specific task light for the work space, but the overhead lighting needs to be addressed as well.

Yesterday I finally purchased the lamp for the work space, so I thought today I would try to make a decision on the overhead fixture. I also wanted to share with you guys, one of my favorite online retailers for house wares. I’m always surprised when people haven’t heard of One Kings Lane (OKL) because it is often a go-to for me when I’m looking for something unique or beautiful. They have great options available all the time and always at a reduced price. When I started trying to decide what I wanted for our overhead fixture, I was looking all over the place with nothing striking me as even an option for the space. Then I thought I’d check OKL to see if they did lighting too, and of course they do, I should’ve just started there.

For the bedroom, I love the idea of adding a chandelier. Chandeliers can be sexy and/or romantic, they can be sculptural and interesting. They illuminate the space while offering a focal point, so first, I checked them out as an option.

Lighting Options-Chandeliers

The four choices I found I really do love! Option 1 feels more appropriate for a dining space as it is a long and narrow piece, but I love the art deco feeling of it, the lines feel very flapper-esque to me. (Burlesque Oval Chandelier, also available in silver.) Option 2 is definitely more functional and I love the industrial quality of the black and exposed bulbs, this light is super functional and makes a good option for a bedroom, entryway or dining space. (Socket-To-Me.) Option 3 is very sculptural and has great curves, it is perfect for that retro chic space, but again, this fixture feels a bit more appropriate for the dining room. (Vintage French Chandelier.) Lastly, I love option 4! The soft drape of the chains paired with the sheer volume of them creates a stunning focal point, this piece would be perfect for our bedroom, if our bedroom was just a bit larger; it would also be well suited for an entry hall. (Chantilly Chandelier available in 6-light, 10-light or 12-light options.)

So, now that I’ve accepted the fact that our small space really wouldn’t be best suited for a chandelier option, Let’s look at the flush-mount and semi-flush-mount options.

Lighting Options-Flush Mount

Option 1 is a nice simple choice, the metal trim is simple and clean without feeling too style-specific, and it is available in a few different metal finishes to go with your space. (Harbour Flush Mount, alternate finishes.) Option 2 is probably the most spectacular semi-flush mount I’ve ever seen. It’s intricate glass shade is a textural work of art that I can only imagine does beautiful things to the light it filters. (Bella Semi-Flush Mount.) Option 3 offers a soft and simple sculptural shade, with lovely brass details. The organic shape of the shade is sure to please, and would be well suited for a bedroom space. (Soho Semi-Flush Mount.) Option 4 is another more industrial or farm-chic option with it’s cage-like shade. The details are simple and clean and would look fresh in any space and could work for several styles from rustic to city loft. (Downtown Flush-Mount.)

So there you have it! So many options for our new light fixture, I can’t wait to install our selection and have more light in our bedroom! Is there one that you think would be perfect for us? Or even better, one that is calling your name to come and live with you?? One Kings Lane has so many other options as well for lighting, so if you need something new for your space and you don’t like the ones I’ve narrowed it down to for my space, check out their chandelier lighting section or their ceiling-mount section and let me know what you think!

This is not a sponsored post, it is based solely on my own experience with and love of One Kings Lane. I’ve had great success ordering through OKL in the past, the only tip I have for you is to check the details on the order to make sure you love anything that is a final sale piece before you pull the trigger, especially noting the size specifications. Everything we’ve purchased through them has worked out great, so if you are new to them, I hope you love what you see!!

Addressing the Bedroom

bedroom before 1

I have decided that I need to change what I’m doing in order to really get my home in order. That said I decided I needed to stop working on little pieces of all the rooms in my home and work to complete one room. I discussed it a little bit last week, waffled around about which room would be best to work on and finally landed on the bedroom. I feel like this is a good place to start as it is where each day begins and ends for us. There are definitely areas of our home that need some attention too, but as P always says, one thing at a time, that way I won’t get overwhelmed with everything.

First things first, I want to give you a little peek at where things are now, and then we can go through the lists of what I would like to get accomplished throughout the course of the month. I’ll share a weekly or as-needed progress report, as well as some social media posts about what we are working on as we work through it.

Things that need our attention:

  • Window Treatments
  • Closet Area-Refold/Reorganize and hem-white curtains.
  • Work Space Completion-Address task lighting, project organization system, and chair.
  • Lighting-change overhead fixture and add desk lighting.
  • Storage-increase and reconfigure to work better.
  • Art & Details-styling the surfaces horizontal and vertical.

So it isn’t too bad. Things like the window treatments, we have (they are in the West Elm box on the floor) and they just need to be installed. Everything else I have a major plan for, I just need to lay it out, finalize and take action to implement. More on that through the course of the week, and hopefully these scary before pictures will just lead to a much better after with all the wow factor a transition can have!

Oh and for those who have been looking for the final office-space area.. these pictures show a sneak peek at where it is now…and although it isn’t fully finished, it is functional and working well for now.

I’m excited to be moving along with this space (and hopefully more in the future), this refocusing is just the push I need to get my ducks in a row and get this room finished!

Living Room Revealed

The last (and only) room reveal I posted from our new condo was our bold kitchen. Our living room flows smoothly in the same tradition, using a bold wall color in combination with large neutral pieces to balance the space.

Our favorite elements of the living room are the cozy couch and rustic/industrial coffee table. Of course, I love those leather chairs, and the gallery wall is something that always makes me smile.

My least favorite element is probably the bar cart. Even though I am the one that gave it the facelift before, I think the colors are too much for the space now and would fit better in a solid neutral or metallic tone, and I would love to find the old Lucite wheels to put back on it.

What do you think? Is there a particular element that you love or live without? What is your favorite element of your living room?

Kitchen Revealed

At long last, here is a look at our kitchen, and those bold pink stripes.

Upon entering the condo, the kitchen is the first full room that you see, so we decided to add a splash of bold color right when you open the door to draw you in. The dining room table is a hand-me-down from P’s parents from their first condo and the chairs are from our old place in Connecticut. The whole dining set is a little large for our small galley style kitchen, but we made it work. The drop leaf table is essential in a small space as we can keep it down when it’s just the two of us eating, or working in the kitchen, and we can pop up the sides when we have guests over.

When you are dealing with a small space, every inch of storage is precious. In our kitchen that means utilizing the space over the cabinets to keep serving pieces, vases, etc., that we don’t use every day and look nice enough to be out, without letting them take up valuable counter space or shelf space. We also added much needed surface space with a little bar cart from IKEA. The shelves add a great place for serving pieces and cutting boards, etc., while the top acts as a little drink station for the Keurig and soda stream.

The bold colors, mixed with the rhino book ends to hold up the cook books, and the touch of pink on that little pipe add just the right amount of whimsy to the space. Our kitchen is now a happy little place where we can cook and entertain guests. Wouldn’t you agree?