The Nursery Reveal! | One Room Challenge Week 6

We did it! Our daughter's nursery is officially complete and ready for her arrival in approximately 3 more weeks. It's Week 6 and reveal day for the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge. I can't wait to show you around!

If you're just joining in now, Hi! I'm Stevie. I'm an interior designer and soon-to-be mama from York County, Pennsylvania. For the past six weeks, my husband Anthony and I have been making over a spare bedroom into a dream nursery for our little girl due at the end of this month! We're old home lovers, thrift store enthusiasts and semi-confident DIY'ers. You can see more of our house here, or catch up on our ORC posts below:

 Week One | Week Two Week Three | Week Four | Week Five

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We didn't have a theme that we were going for with the nursery; more of a color palette and a "vibe". Our house was built in 1903, but sadly the upstairs had been completely renovated and lost all of it's original character. My biggest goal with the nursery was to create a historic-inspired space that felt like it had always been there. I love eclectic interiors that have that "collected over time" look, mixing styles and eras of furniture to create a room that feels truly unique. But before I get too far into the design, let's take a quick peek at what the room looked like in it's previous life as a spare bedroom/hodge-podge of all our leftover furniture:

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The starting point was definitely the crib. I had my sights on either a vintage style crib and once I saw this oil-rubbed bronze beauty, I knew it had to be the one. I love that it looks like it could be antique, but is still pretty simple. The single row of decorative balls feels like a modern take on the traditional ornate styling of wrought iron cribs. I wanted the crib wall to really become the main feature of the room and got the idea that a black and white wallpaper mural would be just the way to do that. 

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I'm thrilled to have partnered with Walls Republic for the One Room Challenge on this stunning custom wallpaper mural! Walls Republic is a great resource with thousands of modern, stylish wallpapers and murals to choose from. They also offer a "Create Your Own" mural option, where you can have any image from Shutterstock made into a custom sized wallpaper mural. Anthony and I chose this beautiful 19th century engraving because of the gorgeous details and the little storks wading in the water. Ok, they might be herons, but our last name is Storck so it just felt too perfect! Through Walls Republic I was able to customize the size to fit our room and have it printed in greyscale (the original image had some slight sepia tones) onto high quality non-woven paper.

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Our friend and neighbor Janie Reeves of Design2Finish generously installed it for us and with Anthony's help they had it up in under an hour. If you're local to PA, MD or northern VA and in need of a fantastic painter and wallpaper hanger, she's your woman! A big thank you to both Walls Republic and Janie, the mural is truly a showstopper and our favorite part of the room! 

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In addition to framing the mural out with simple chair rail moulding, we continued the same moulding around the perimeter of the room as a faux picture rail for a little architectural interest. Anthony had never done and finish carpentry before, but he figured it out quickly and got it done in just a couple of evenings last week. And he said he had fun doing it too, so maybe there'll be some more decorative moulding projects to come at the Storck Home! We painted all the trim, baseboards and the interior of the door the same color as the walls - Farrow & Ball's French Gray - to give the room a really cozy, cocoon-like feel.

For the main storage piece in this room, we reused an IKEA dresser that we had bought for our last apartment. Instead of a separate changing table, we topped it with a wooden changing tray and pad insert. I was originally thinking of a white tray, but I'm glad I went with the wood for a little warmth and contrast on this side of the room!

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Over the course of my pregnancy, I had slowly been collecting artwork for the nursery. Everything is vintage except for the Emily Jeffords print on the far right - I love her work! The small piece in the brass frame is a page from a vintage book of Whittier poetry that was falling apart. I actually used a floral illustration from the same book to decorate the shelves on the other side of the room. Instead of making the gallery wall cohesive with matching frames, I decided to keep the eclectic look going by taking a list of the sizes I needed to Salvation Army and seeing what I could find. I came home with a mix of wood, black and brass frames, none of which cost most than 99 cents! 

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I know I said the mural was my favorite part of the room, but really we have so many favorite parts of this room it's hard to just pick one! This vintage velvet settee was a yard sale find a few years ago, and actually Anthony was the one who spotted it! Despite it's petite size, it is so so comfortable. Even our boxer, Chloe loves it! I imagine spending a lot of time between this settee and our rocker, cuddled up with our little girl. The antique mirror above it was another lucky secondhand find. 

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The closet in this room is pretty funky. It's kind of like a long and narrow walk-in, with 3 big "steps" that cover the slant of the stairwell ceiling below. There was no rod or shelving when we moved in and we decided to install the storage on the very back wall to make the best use of all the space back there. You can see a progress photo of the closet organization here.  I had always planned on hanging a bookshelf on this shallow side wall of the closet, but on Sunday Anthony suggested that we remove the closet door and paint the interior of the closet to feel like an extension of the room. I'm so glad he did because I love this little nook so much more now! 

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On the fourth wall, we built simple shelves using primed MDF boards and pine brackets from Lowe's. We painted them the same color as the walls and trim because I wanted the items on the shelves to be the focus. I styled them out with a collection of vintage finds, a couple photos (including my nearly complete polaroid baby bump pictures!) and an adorable handmade elephant doll gifted to use by a friend. Next to the shelves, we hung a plug in wall sconce for reading bed time stories and late night nursing sessions. 

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The rocker was a $30 Facebook Marketplace find, that was originally purchased as a placeholder but since has really grown on us! It's a little dated, but the high back makes it super comfy and we don't plan to replace it anytime soon. I've already spent a lot of mornings rocking in this chair and thinking about what it will be like when our baby girl is here! 

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Designing and creating this room has really been a dream come true! Anthony and I both love spending time in here and we're so glad we hopped on board with the One Room Challenge this go round. It feels so good to have a beautiful room prepared just for our little one. We are so looking forward to all the time we'll be spending in here as a family in just a few short weeks!

I'll be sharing a post next week with sources for all the items (that aren't vintage at least!), but in the meantime feel free to ask me any questions on Instagram! I'll also be doing a video room tour on stories so we should definitely be friends over there ;) 

There are so many amazing One Room Challenge room reveals to see! The 20 featured bloggers are linked below and you can browse the 200+ guest participant room reveals right here. Thanks for following along! 

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive | Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design | Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators | Sacramento StreetShannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Style Me Pretty Living

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10 Guest Bedroom Essentials

I remember when we lived in an apartment, I would dream about having a real guest bedroom to decorate someday. Then, when we bought our first home a few years ago, we ended up with three! One is being turned into a nursery very soon, but since we have ample room we find ourselves hosting overnight guests on a pretty regular basis. As such, I decided my 2014 post on 7 Guest Bedroom Essentials was in for a little update! Read on to see my new list of tips for how to put together a welcoming guest bedroom.

Idylwyld Project Guest Bedroom

1. Layered blankets

No matter what season it is, give your guests a variety of blankets to choose from. My go-to bed bedding combination is a duvet, a lightweight quilt and a throw blanket. Similarly, it's a good idea to have two sets of pillows to layer on a bed -- two on the softer side and two slightly firmer. I do the same thing on our bed because I like a soft pillow whereas my husband prefers something firmer. Give your guests some options to make them feel right at home!

2. Wifi password

One of the first things I want to do after spending long hours on the road is to plug my electronics in and check my email. Make it easy for your guests by sharing your home's wifi password with this cute printable I designed! It's kind of crazy, but this little printable has been repinned over 100K times on Pinterest. Can you believe it? Grab your copy below or shop my other printable designs here

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Click the buttons below to download your copy of my wifi password art print. I’m providing this digital print completely free, no email sign up required.

But if you like what we’ve created here and want to see more, I encourage you to check out my new free workbook, “My Secret to Inspired Productivity”, available as a free download exclusively for SSDC email list subscribers. Click here to learn more.

3. Cozy chair

If you have the space, it's always great to add some comfortable seating to your guest bedroom! We have a small settee across from the foot of the bed in ours, but an upholstered chair in a corner is a great option too. It gives guests a place to sit other than the bed and makes the whole room feel warmer and more inviting.

4. Spare set of house keys

We've hosted a lot of guests in the two and a half years we've owned our house. For guests staying for a longer visit or just crashing while they are in town for an event, we like to leave out a spare key. It gives our guests a little more autonomy with coming and going as they need to and just makes things easier! We have ours on a pretty leather tassel keychain I made so it's easy to spot!

5. Fresh towels

This one seems obvious, but there's nothing worse than realizing you forgot to do that load of laundry right when your guest wants to take a shower. Unfortunately, I know this from experience-- sorry, Ella! In the bustle of getting ready for houseguests, it's easy to forget something but make sure you have a couple nice, freshly laundered towels ready for when they arrive! I usually stack them in a pile on the foot of the bed or on the chair/settee.

6. Snacks

I always like to have some snack food at the ready when I have guests coming. My guests are always welcome to what's in the refrigerator, but guests feel more comfortable helping themselves to snacks that are already out and ready for munching. I keep a bowl of granola bars and crackers stocked in our kitchen but if you really want to make a good impression, a small tray with a carafe, drinking glass and a few snacks right in the guest bedroom is a really nice detail!

7. Reading material

I always have a supply of magazines like Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens, and I will usually leave a few of the current issues out when I know guests are coming over. I use hardcover and vintage books all around our house for styling, but I recently started keeping my collection of paperbacks in our guest bedroom too. This gives guests something to do if you are busy milling about the house preparing for a family gathering or celebration!

8. Wastebasket

Confession, we don't currently have a waste basket in our guest room but it's something I keep meaning to add to my shopping list! There's a lot of small trash that can be created when you're traveling and it's always more convenient when your guests don't have to go looking for a spot to throw something away. I like decorative wastebaskets with removable liners, like this one

9. Mirror

We used to have a mirror in our guest room, but things in our house are always moving around and now I'm on the hunt for a nice, affordable floor mirror to put next to the closet. Yes, there's the bathroom but it's a nice touch to give guests a spot to check their outfit or touch up their makeup before they leave the room. Plus, a pretty mirror can add so much light and energy to a space! Hang a smaller one over a dresser or desk, or lean a tall mirror up against the wall like I plan to do. 

10. Scented linen spray

In addition to washing all the bedding before I'm expecting a house guest, I like to add an extra boost of freshness when I'm making the bed with a naturally scented linen spray. You can definitely buy a premade spray, but I've started incorporating essential oils into my wellness and housekeeping routines over the last year or so and room sprays are so easy to whip up! I keep one in our room too to add some extra freshness to our bedding in between washes. I'll be sharing the DIY later this week!

What do you do to prep for house guests?

Comment below or on Instagram to share your tips! I love hosting friends and family in our home and I'm always looking for new ways to make things special for their visit!

Best of 2016 & Plans for 2017

I realize I'm a little behind on reflecting on the past year. I've been full speed ahead with my plans for my blog and business in 2017, but I thought it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to highlight some of my favorite posts and projects from the last year. I tried narrowing it down to just 5 and even 10, but that was too hard. So I'm sharing my top 11 favorite posts, divided by the categories of Home Design, DIY & Personal/Family. 

Home Design

5 Thrift Store Shopping Tips for Furniture & Home Decor : My main hobby in life is thrifting for awesome vintage and second hand pieces for our home. This year, I started using more vintage in client projects and even tried my hand as a flea market vendor! In this post, I share my best tips for finding steals and deals.

New Master Bedroom Design | ORC Week Two : Our master bedroom has been a work in progress for nearly full calendar year now. On a whim, I decided to join in the One Room Challenge which I unfortunately did not finish and then a few weeks later, we made the decision to fast-track my transition to working for myself full-time. Life happened in the middle of all of that and the project is still not done. I am still really excited about the design I created, and I'm looking forward to finishing up this room in the next month or two! 

How to Design a Room Plan Around Colorful Abstract Art : I partnered with Jennifer Atkinson Fine Art on this post, designing 3 sample rooms around her beautiful paintings and sharing my tips for creating your own room design around artwork that you love. I had so much fun getting to know Jenn and creating this post! I hope to write more how-to decorating posts like this in the future. 

Sterling Project | Home Office & Foyer : It was hard to pick a favorite out of the Sterling Project reveals, but to me, the beautiful natural light in the office makes that makeover shine! I've been working on a lot of client projects lately, and I'm excited to expand my portfolio with more "after" photos in 2017!

DIY

DIY Leather Tassel Keychain Tutorial :  I used discontinued leather samples to make these cute tassel keychains as a "Galentine's Day" gift for my friends. Almost a year later, mine is still holding up perfectly! I love how it adds some style to my everyday bag. And yes, this post just made me realize I've been carrying the same bag everyday for a year. That has to be some kind of record!

DIY Ranunculus & Fern Spring Wreaths : I remember the day I bought the supplies to make these wreaths. It was one of those warm, rainy days of early spring when the sun was shining through the clouds and the birds were chirping. I can't wait to get them back out in a few months when spring is here again!

Easy DIY Hand Lettered Gift Wrap : I barely wanted to call this a tutorial because it was such a simple idea! Buy plain brown craft paper, wrap your gift and then decorate it with pretty handwritten words or patterns. This became my go-to gift wrapping technique last year. I did variations for birthdays, bridal showers and weddings!

Personal/Family

Quartercentury : In 2015, I started a tradition of "interviewing" myself on my birthday, here on the blog. Just a few questions about life, business and the changes that happen from year to year! It's so fun to go back and read later. I'm looking forward to turning twenty-six this year!

So I Quit My Day Job : This past year was huge for me and my business. In April, I made the decision to leave my full-time job in order to focus on pursuing my small interior design business full time. It was the best decision I ever made, but for some reason, I was a little scared to share it with all of you. I wrote this post in August and since then, my business has grown by leaps and bounds! I'm still at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, but I'm excited for the big progress I've made this past year and thankful for all of your support and encouragement!

Coffee Date No. 1 : Sometimes I have a few things I'd like to share that aren't necessarily enough to write a whole post about. So I started a new series called "Coffee Date" where I talk about things happening in my life, big and small, the type of stuff we'd discuss over a cup of coffee if we got to hang out in person. This is something I'd like to do more in 2017! 

Three Years : Anthony and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary in October and I shared photos from our annual session with Savannah Smith Photography. I love these photos so much, and they are even more meaningful thinking about everything we've gone through in our third year of marriage. You go through stages in life, sometimes things flow easily and sometimes it's an uphill climb. This past year was definitely an uphill climb year, but we emerged on the other side even closer and stronger than ever. 

Thoughts on 2017

This past year, I've been really focused on building my business from the ground up, experimenting with new ideas, surrounding myself with a strong group of positive, creative entrepreneurs and pushing through any challenges that came my way with patience and grace. Blogging definitely took a back seat, although looking back I did manage to post at least once or twice each month. In 2017, I want to work smarter and not harder so that I can continue to share my work and life through this blog while also prioritizing the growth of my interior design business. That means accepting what I am not -- a professional home blogger that hustles for big brand sponsorships, decorates for holidays/seasons months in advance, completes full room makeovers in the span of a month, has affiliate links for anything and everything and posts 5 days a week. And embracing what I am -- an interior designer with a blog that supports her business and serves as a creative outlet, an imperfect sometimes unorganized homemaker that shares life in real time, a young homeowner on a budget trying to DIY her way through home improvement projects while her husband is at work and sometimes gets stuck/way in over her head, and a 25 year old trying to be intentional about building a life, home, business and family that prioritizes purpose, happiness and wellbeing. So really, nothing big about the blog is changing, it's more that my mindset around it that is. Here's some of what you can expect from the blog in 2017:

  • More interior design client projects, A LOT MORE! Plus, I've prioritized improving my photography by investing in a quality camera and outsourcing my photo editing to make my blog and portfolio photos shine! 
  • Authentic collaborations with small business owners, creatives & makers that I've connected with here in York and online through blogging and social media. 
  • Finishing the home projects I've started before moving onto something else. That includes finishing the Master Bedroom and Hallway and finally hanging curtains in the living room. From there, we will take on new home improvement projects as time and budget allow, but I'm not going to beat myself up over not sticking to a strict (read: unrealistic) timeline. 
  • A real home tour. It's been almost 2 years since the "before" tour. I think it's time I update you all on the progress we've made! There will always be a million projects on our to-do list, but I'm loving the way our home has come together. It feels cozy, lived-in and like us. 
  • More budget decorating tips & tricks that you can implement in your own home! I'll share more of what works for me, how-to's and my favorite resources. Whether you hire me for your next project or not, I want to be a helpful resource for decorating your home!
  • AN ONLINE VINTAGE SHOP! You may know that I started collecting and selling vintage home goods this summer. While I really enjoyed being a vendor at flea markets this year, I'm looking for a better way to provide unique, stylish home decor year round and to shoppers nationwide. You'll be able to browse my latest finds and snag some for your own home, and my clients will have an even easier way to purchase one-of-a-kind items to complete their room transformations. My shop page is already live (and has my newest wifi art print is available for purchase!) but I plan to start uploading my inventory this month. I'll do some type of fun launch once I've got things running smoothly, so stay tuned for that!

What was your favorite post from SSDC in 2016? What do you think of my plans for 2017?

Three Years

All photos in this post were taken by Savannah Smith Photography. If you're local to York-Lancaster-Philadelphia and looking for a family photographer, be sure to read to the end of this post for an exclusive discount on a photography session with Savannah!

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography

Today marks three years since I became Mrs. Storck. It's a little hard to believe, because honestly, it feels like longer than that! So, so much has changed in our lives since our wedding in 2013. We changed jobs, Anthony once and me three times. We bought our first house. We went on our first "big" trip together, saving up so we could fly to California to see our friend,  Ella graduate film school. We adopted our sweet baby, Chloe. Anthony went back to school. I left the security of a "day job" to pursue my dreams of running my own business. We have overcome and we continue to face challenges big and small. Man, we've lived a lot of life in these past 3 years. 

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
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There are many times in the past 3 years where we've felt like it's "us against the world", and you know, in certain areas we are feeling that way right now. There will always be struggles and difficulty in life, whether it's family, finances, work, friendships, or anything else. I feel so lucky to have a partner in life that builds me up and gives me strength to face whatever comes our way and I try my best to do the same for him.  Whenever something unexpected happens, or an obstacle crops up in our path, I always say, "Don't worry, Anthony. This is a character building experience"! Part of being a young adult is learning things the hard way. It reminds me of a verse from my favorite hymn growing up in the Methodist church, How Firm A Foundation.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,

My grace, all sufficient, will be thy supply.

The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design

Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine. 

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography

For our photos this year, we met Savannah at Indian Steps Museum, a beautiful historic property on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Anthony was originally a history major and has a big interest in Native American history. Indian Steps was my first ever field trip back in my Preschool days. We've been to the museum together a few times now and we love it. Plus, the grounds are absolutely beautiful!

Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography
Three Years | Fall Couple Anniversary Photos by Savannah Smith Photography

Bouquet by Rosemary & Rust in Shrewsbury, PA

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that Savannah is our go-to family photographer. We've prioritized having professional photography done every year since we got married, and not just because we want a pretty photo to send out at Christmas time. Anthony and I both love looking through old family photo albums because we are nostalgia-lovers at heart. I love the idea that we are capturing images with Savannah that we will be able to share with our children and grandchildren someday. 

Learn more about Savannah's portraiture collections here

If you're interested in booking a session with SSP, we have a special offer for you: Book a Petite or Complete Session with Savannah by the end of October and you will receive $30 off the package price. To claim your discount, just email SavannahSmithPhotography@gmail.com with the subject line "Stevie".

The details: This offer is valid on both Petite and Complete session collections. Session must be scheduled (retainer paid and contract signed) before 10/31/16 to receive the offer. Sessions must take place before 03/31/17. Offer is not valid on wedding or event coverage. Sessions are for children of all ages, families of all sizes, couples of all ages and more. There is no restriction on session location to receive the offer but all normal travel fees still apply.