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One Room Challenge: Week Six — REVEAL!

Hi everyone! Welcome back for the final installment in the One Room Challenge series, wherein I and a host of talented bloggers aim to transform a space in six extremely short weeks. Feel free to catch up on previous posts HERE. Before we get started, I just want to give Linda of Calling it Home a big shoutout for organizing this challenge. Without the threat of public failure, I probably would have flaked a month ago.

So who’s tired of looking at an empty green box where my dining area should be? If you’ve been following along, you know that I started with a fleshy peach disaster of a charmless room that housed sad chairs, a hideous table, and wicked dirty grout. I planned to push myself into designing something bright, edgy and polished, yet still breakfast casual. I had big dreams to resurrect my cracked marble Saarinen table in hopes of creating greater seating flexibility, but that plan failed and I was left bereft. What’s a tableless girl to do when the world is waiting for a dining area makeover?

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Bust out the sandpaper and spray paint, that’s what. I waited and waited for St. Craig to reward my fervent prayers with an oval top for my leftover tulip base, but Frankensaarinen table was not to be. I investigated many fabrication options but was stymied by cost and lead time. So my sad, flaking, peeling old table got a coat of semi gloss black paint on the apron and legs. Then, we sanded the top finish off and wiped on about five coats of dark walnut Danish oil.  It actually looks not too shabby, and I love the matte quality of the finish. Plus the fruitwood inlay really pops now.

That left me with the art conundrum to solve. This was a toughie. I really have too many choices and I like them all for various reasons. What I chose surprised even me…

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Say what? Maybe it’s because it was PITCH BLACK and pouring on shoot day, but the acid yellow of this 70s abstract painting appealed to me. Let the sunshine in!

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I tried lots of art in multiple situations with tons of different styling options, and somehow this dark horse ended up the winner. When I paired it with the crazy Clarence House fabric I used to upholster this vintage ebay bench, something clicked into place for me and I saw things differently. It really is so important to shift your perspective and keep an open mind. Wine helps.

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I know I kept saying I was going to use that red Robert Allen fabric — I do love it and I even ordered a yard. But me and Clarence House have a thing going on. Don’t tell Robert… I don’t want him to be jealous.

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So far the brassy bench is popular seating — like elbow your baby brother out of the way popular. I’m pretty happy with the way it opens the dining area to the kitchen, in that it feels less fenced off.


And then there is the vintage head vase… it’s 80s deco eurovibe o’clock up in here, with a Fornasetti twist. Say that 20 times fast.

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Everything on the table is thrifted — from the $5 flatware to the fringed napkins, cobra commando candlesticks, glassware and Bavarian china.

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I have TONS more china, flatware and glassware, but I just put way too much work into the table to completely cover all that sexy woodgrain up.

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In case you were wondering, the other half of the room still exists…. Of course my ugly door has been properly rejuvenated with a shiny brass doorknob. And what’s that on the kitchen side of things?

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Oh, it’s just a creepy haunted mirror. No biggie — apparently I have to showcase something haunted in every room. I have no idea what this thing is, but my hunch is turn of the 20th century central European. The hammered brass vase came from Round Top and it is far cooler than pictures give it credit for.

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This picture is supremely awful… it was the end of a (literally) dark day and the kids were (literally) three seconds from walking through the door, but I wanted you to see the whole humble setup.

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Even the china cabinet got a mini restyle. Notice all the gold glassware that didn’t make it to the table…

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I bought the unicorn for a client kid room, but little Susie may have to live in a land of shattered dreams. Or maybe I will let it go… I am a giver, after all.

And that’s about it for my teeny tiny dinette makeover. Let’s have a proper before and after, shall we?




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I think I accomplished what I set out to do. The room is functional and finished, plus there are a few surprise moments. Nothing like a little shock and awe to go with your morning cereal, right? By relying on thrift stores, craigslist, and ebay I was able to keep the budget in check. The bulk of my funds was spent on simple window treatments and a cowhide rug that can be used in different decorating schemes. Content to play supporting roles, neutral basics allow color and quirky accessories to take center stage in the dinette drama. And of course I can always switch out the cheapie flashies when my fickle side takes hold.

As Leonardo da Vinci said: art is never finished, only abandoned.  I read that in Parent’s magazine or something. Hey, I’m no snob — inspiration comes from everywhere.

It’s been a blast hanging with you fine people throughout the challenge! Thank you for your support and comments — they have been the wind beneath my wings. I read each and every word and I love them all, good or bad. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about what you think of the new old dinette. Maybe you can even talk me into doing the kitchen next… Maybe.

Please don’t forget to visit the other participants to see how their rooms resolved. There is some amazing work taking place!

one room challenge

It’s been real. Signing off and taking a nap.

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Mellow Yellow

Today marks the second visit of the cleaning lady, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to mutiny when she sees how dirty this place has gotten in two weeks. Little does she know that my cat attracts leaves like velcro and paint in the sink is a state of being over here. But she might also notice that since the last time she was here, new curtains were boughten and the bedroom has been painted and my shelves for the front room are back, sporting a fresh coat of glossy paint.

Good things. Things that will appear in pictures soon. I promise.

Some bad things might have happened, too. Things like our fancy marble dining table arrived cracked down the middle. And I didn’t order enough wallpaper for the baby’s room. And I’m 99% sure I didn’t order enough wallpaper for the powder room, either… did someone say wallpaper calculator? Who? Wha?

I don’t know — maybe it’s the fact that I’m dead tired and HUGE, but I just don’t care anymore.

That’s why they call me mellow yellow…


Tomorrow I will assuredly have a nervous breakdown since I’ve been with Ike all day all summer with no school, plus his birthday party is this Saturday and I haven’t prepped AT ALL.

Oh and the baby will be here in a month.

Mellow yellow, dudes.



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Here Comes the Sun King

I can’t lie — I don’t have any time for the blog today. Between hosting out of town family, designing kitchens, braving the wilds of Ikea, consulting for a client (what? what?), and buying MORE RUGS (to be revealed shortly), I haven’t really combed the interwebs for any earth shattering design news. What I can tell you is this: yellow is pretty. It is summery. It’s a blowsy good time dressed in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini. And I like it best when grounded with neutrals and unexpected color combinations. Behold the bold and the beautiful:

yellow and persian rug

yellow chairs

world of interiors yellow

vintage yellow bedroom

nicolas matheus yellow wall

I think I just talked myself into eating a lemon bar for breakfast.

Going to design a kitchen at Ikea. If I’m not back by noon, send in the National Guard.

[The Interiorist, Thomas Loof, World of Interiors, you have been here sometime, Nicolas Matheus]

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Yellow Accents

I was hoping to bring you guys some pics of my new office today but I’m STILL not done.  It’s not for lack of trying, I’ve worked on it every weekend for a month and a half.  I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the 14 million boxes of “heirlooms” my mother sent when she gutted her house that have been stored in my office for the past several months.  I finished sorting through them this weekend, but unpacking and finding a  home for yet another porcelain miniature tea set has been challenging, to say the least.  Man I’m rambling.  Anyway, office: not done.

Another reason it took so dang long is that I painted it, hated it, tried to live with it then painted again.  I settled on white, which I actually LOVE.  Accents are yellow and black with lots and lots of art (still waiting to be hung).  Since I can’t show you my room, I thought I’d share some other spaces with pops of yellow in honor of my never to be completed work space.

Unfortunately, that chair is not in my office, but I’m not ruling it out if perchance I happen upon it one day at the thrift store.  It could happen.

Hi yellow lamp!  Are you sure that desk is sturdy enough to hold you up?  


The K-dawg doesn’t allow colorful walls in her house, but this one isn’t making me mad.


I really like this kitchen but I HATE the way they styled it.  clock: gross, stools: gross.  2 coffee mugs, fruit bowl and plants in triplicate: gross gross gross.  Yellow beam, yes, yes I like you.

If anyone who owns this sideboard is willing to accept a first born in trade please let me know.  My babies will be really tall and probably, like, way smart, so it’s a really sound investment.

yellow couch, you’re awesome!

Do I spy a yellow glow behind the bed?

Ok, so this one isn’t so much of a yellow accent it’s more, as Erin would say, full-frontal-yellow, but I just love it to pieces.

For more yellow accents, check out this guest post Jen did for us a couple of months ago


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pantone 380c

Ok, so I think I got all of the dutch nonsense out of my system yesterday and now I can get back to the task at hand:  waxing poetic about my newest most favoritest shade of yellow: clean, crisp, neon lemony-ish!  (NOT warm murky school bus macaroni).  

yellow housewares

clockwise from top left: chair by jens fager;  Kevätjuhla mug by Miina Äkkijyrkkä for Marimekko;  Astor Ceramic Canister by Wandrlust;  Trollsta sideboard by Ikea

I just hung a fantastic vintage door on a barn-door track in my living room, I thought I wanted to paint it lime, yet every swatch I looked at just looked so, um, tired.  Then I realized, ah ha!!  I don’t want lime, I want lemon.  How could I have been so silly?  I’m obsessed now.  I had a bit of a hard time finding the perfect shade for this post, I had to sift through LOTS of macaroni yellows.  yuck.  But here are more good ones:

more yellow

The world’s dreamiest fridge from Smeg;   Fishnet wallpaper available at Walnut;  Mod Square Porcelain Dish from Etsy seller Shoshonasnow

Actually, those Etsy kids were all over the lemon yellow:

etsy lemon yellow

Chair Yellow Watercolor by midcenturyjo; 6oz tea cup by circaceramics;  Lemon Rings Linen Coasters by Megan Burch;  Specimins table napkin by skinnylaminx

One of the reasons I want to paint my door yellow is because it’s going to open to my black, white and lemon bedroom.  I REALLY REALLY want a bold, graphic lemon bedspread.  Here are some textiles I found with my color mixed in:


Mauste duvet by Pia Holm for Marimekko, Blossom Velvet Box pillow at Urban Outfitters; Warbler Green Pillow by Salvor Fauna available at wandrlust; Toile Lemon Rug by Madeline Weinrib Atelier

As a general rule, I can not afford Madeline Weinrib, here are some other possible textiles for my bedroom:

yellow textiles

Flower Mess bedspread by Ferm Living;  Rainbow Jungle Tapestry available at Urban Outfitters;  Pine Dish Towel also by Ferm Living

I am almost in love with the flower mess bedspread, I’m a little worried that it might end up being the wrong shade of yellow in person.  The Rainbow Jungle Tapestry bedspread is cute but I almost can’t order it by default… seriously, it has the 3 worst words ever in the title.  And, I know, I know, that is a dish towel, not a bed linen, perhaps I could use it to make a throw or something?

And to see the yellow in a room:

room views

first 2 images courtesy of Desire to Inspire

bottom image courtesy of Lazzarini Pickering Architecture

So, after all this fuss I bet you’re thinking that this door of mine better be pretty special.  Well, here it is:


I know, I know, the cream looks perfect in this picture, and, why would I want to paint it yellow?  I’m going to be moving things around and adding new stuff.  It’s going to look great when it’s done.  promise.  I’ll share pictures.  On another note, how do you like my stencil wall?  I’ll give you a how to on that as soon as I muster the strength to type it all out.

So, what does everyone say?  Are we loving the yellow?



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