We’ve been in the midst of long, labor intensive renovating projects for what seems like forever. I try to prioritize our limited time and home improvement budget on the projects that will make the biggest difference to the way our home functions and works for us (i.e. installing a dishwasher and building custom closet organization) so that doesn’t always mean pretty before and afters. One thing I feel like I’ve been neglecting is little DIY projects that are just for fun! Enter this handpainted tumbling block pattern I recently painted on Anthony’s closet floor…Read More
I am so excited to share this update with you today! The story of our master bedroom has been a long one. We bought our house in 2015, and I remember the moment I saw this back bedroom thinking that it would be the perfect master. It had it's share of challenges (namely a random sink placed underneath a window) but the fact that it had it's own second story porch off of it had me dreaming of slow weekend mornings with Anthony, curled up on a porch swing with a cup of coffee in hand.
I started working on this room in January of 2016, and if you followed the blog back then you know there were a few twists and turns... First I shared inspiration for a moody, masculine master bedroom in this post. I painted the walls an olive green, and then immediately changed my mind about the whole direction of the room. On a whim in April, I decided that joining in with the One Room Challenge was just what I needed to push through my indecision and get this room back on track. If you aren't familiar with the ORC, it's a 6 week challenge where home bloggers makeover an entire room from start to finish. At first, things were going well! I shared my new inspiration for a "Vintage Neutral" master bedroom design, we removed the sink and we got to work on my creative solution for disguising that oddly placed window: a faux brick accent wall.
The beginning of week three is where things started to unravel. I convinced Anthony that while we were at it, we might as well tear up the carpet and refinish the original yellow pine floors beneath as part of the challenge! While I don't regret this decision at all (I am in LOVE with our wood floors!), it was way too much to take on halfway through a 6 week challenge. I shared a week four + five update with our new light & airy paint color and accepted the fact that the room would not be finished by the deadline. On week 6, I shared a post with my eleventh hour reflections. I mentioned something about the last 6 weeks being the craziest of my life, but what I didn't share then was that after I started the challenge, Anthony and I decided to move up my plan to quit my day job and pursue my own interior design business full time. Another thing I would never regret, but it basically spelled disaster for our master bedroom project. I was transitioning into my new routine as a work-from-home small business owner and you know what they say, life just gets in the way sometimes!
So that's the story of the last two years and why you're just now getting a progress update on this room. It's been on my list to photograph for months and months, but I always said "after I finish this one thing, I'll share an update" and of course, that one thing turned into many things. We still have some work to do in this room (baseboards, window treatments and closet build-outs), but after we painted our nightstands this month I forced myself to get the room together enough to share some progress with you all!
You know what the crazy thing is? I designed this bulk of this room two years ago and I am still so in love with everything. Our bed makes me so happy. The headboard is almost as tall as I am and it makes exactly the bold statement I hoped it would in the space. For our nightstands, we actually used the leftover paint from the first time I painted this room! Even though I didn't love it on the walls, the color was so rich and beautiful that I knew it would be perfect for furniture. I don't usually recommend using wall paint on furniture, but we took some extra steps to ensure that the finish would be more durable so I'll share my tips and how they are holding up soon! The whole goal of this room was to create harmony and balance -- between masculine and feminine design elements and light, medium and dark tones. And I really think we achieved that! The room feels cozy, fresh, relaxing and just easy to be in.
In addition to our IKEA nightstands getting a makeover, last summer my childhood dresser got new paint and new hardware as well! You can see what it looked like before in this post. My friend Jamie was over and we were originally just going to test a few paint colors on the dresser to see what we liked best, but we ended up painting the whole thing with a sample pot I had on hand. Another thing I wouldn't recommend, but to get momentum going in this room I've had to adopt a spirit of "done is better than perfect". And you know what? I'm surprised with how well the finish is holding up!
The bedroom is getting so close to being done and I'm hoping we can make some progress on the last few projects before our baby girl is due in May, but either way, I'm really happy with where the room is now. The last few years have taught me that owning a fixer upper is about learning to love a work in progress and boy, do we love living in this room!
Perhaps this is because it's nearing 9pm EST, but I am having a horrible time writing an introduction to today's post. Which should have been posted about 14 hours ago and should have included some very different photos... Story of my life these last six weeks? Haha.
So I admit, that I took on the One Room Challenge pretty much on a whim. I didn't consult Anthony, not that I needed his permission or that he wouldn't be willing to help me, but there were some significant things I overlooked before I wrote my Week One post. Namely, a wedding we would be traveling to upstate NY for and finals week for Anthony's online classes. Honestly, these last six weeks have been some of the craziest of my life but instead of telling you the 39 reasons why I didn't finish the One Room Challenge, let's just skip ahead to the room update part.
It's not lost on me that my "Reveal Day" photos look more like most participants "Before" photos. In fact, according to the master outline I wrote during the first week of the challenge, today I'm where I thought I would be after Week Three. But even though our Master Bedroom is still an empty room, it's an empty room that's undergone quite a transformation! Here's a reminder of what this room looked like when we bought our house:
First, we ditched the random sink. Then we craftily covered the oddly placed window with our DIY Faux Brick Accent Wall (we hung a mini-blind up first so from the outside you can't tell!). Then we tore up the existing carpeting, the linoleum underneath and the underlayment underneath that. We removed roughly 900 tiny nails from the original hardwoods (whoever put down that underlayment was seriously overzealous). I painted the walls once, hated the color, primed and painted the walls again (still not sure about the color, hopefully I will love it when I get the trim painted a brighter white). I became very well acquainted with our new/old hardwood floors after hours and hours spent scrubbing and sanding them on my hands and knees. With the help of my mother-in-law, Lisa, we finished off the sanding, cleaned up and put down the stain last night. We chose Minwax English Chestnut, a pretty close match to the original finish that was still hanging on in some areas.
I was hoping to have the room loaded to photograph today, but because of the humid weather we're experiencing in PA, the stain is still pretty tacky. Also, I forgot that I should probably apply some polyurethane and let the whole thing cure for a good week before I try moving heavy furniture over it. (Note to self: next time you do a six week challenge, for the love of God, refinish the floor before the challenge begins!)
So since I only have photos of an empty room for today's "reveal post", I decided to play around with some of the art and accessories I've been collecting for the room to set up these two vignettes to show you guys.
About the Vintage 1920's beaded purse: I actually found this at the Sablon Antiques Market in Brussels, Belgium while I was studying abroad. I probably spent way too much money on it but I loved it so much that I carried it at our wedding and used the chevron design in my DIY invitations.
I've been looking for an arch-top mirror ever since I sketched this design of our Master Bedroom a few months ago. But being the enormous cheapskate that I am, I refused to order the plentiful options I found online because spending $100-200 on a mirror gives me the heebie-jeebies. The stars finally aligned for me this Tuesday when I found this adorable and super heavy mirror at one of my favorite consignment shops for just $9.95.
Another fantastic find from Tuesday's thrifting trip was this aerial drawing of downtown York circa 1741 by famous local midcentury artist, William Falkler. I'm such a fan of William Falkler's paintings. He has painted countless landmarks and buildings around York County in his signature watercolor style. I had never seen a drawing by him before, so I was happy to snatch this print at just $10. I love that I can recognize the streets and a few buildings that are still standing today!
I've heard that the One Room Challenge is difficult even in ideal circumstances, and darn near impossible if the stars don't align for you, which they definitely did not for me this time around. I still plan on "completing" this room in the next few weeks, so I promise to keep you all updated with my progress! I learned a lot from my first experience with the One Room Challenge and I already know what I will do differently for the next one.
To satisfy your "before and after" cravings, I highly recommend checking out the reveals of the 20 Featured Designers! There are some really incredible makeovers in that bunch. I'm thinking I'll pick my top 5 favorite to share on the blog next week.
Claire Brody | The Curated House | Design Manifest | Driven by Decor | Honey We’re Home | Hunted Interior | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | My Sweet Savannah | Pencil and Paper Co. | The Pink Clutch | Savvy Home | Simplified Bee | Sketch 42 | Jill Sorensen | Orlando Soria | Thou Swell | The Vault Files | Waiting on Martha | The Zhush
Also, be sure to check out the reveals for the other Guest Participants! You can do so by clicking here. I also love scrolling through the #OneRoomChallenge tag on Instagram! So much inspiration.
Now it's nearing 10pm EST, and it's time for me to go to bed! Thank you for all of your encouragement over these hectic last few weeks. Whether you are a new reader or an old friend, your support means so much!
My One Room Challenge project got a little derailed for the last two weeks (a story for another blog post!) but I'm happy to report that I'm back at it and finally starting to make some progress!
This week, I finished priming and painting the walls in Sherwin Williams Useful Gray. Tomorrow, I'll probably finish up the trim, which will be Sherwin Williams Alabaster.
I tested out some stain options for our newly uncovered hardwood floors. I'm debating between Minwax English Chesnut and Jacobean. The top left and bottom right swatches are both English Chestnut and the bottom left and top right are the Jacobean. Our floors have so much variation that all of the samples look different. I'm a little torn, but I'm going to decide after I look at them in the daylight tomorrow. Which would you pick?
I also did a fun DIY upgrade to this foot stool I picked up at the thrift store. All it took was some gold paint and some faux Grizzly fur I picked up at Joann's and this little guy has a luxe, new look. I'm planning to place it near my closet as a place to sit down to put on shoes.
It was a fairly straightforward DIY, I just unscrewed the top from the base, cleaned and spray painted the base with Valspar Metallic Gold Spray paint and used my new Stanley Staple Gun to recover the top, first adding another layer of foam to beef up the cushion. I used a serrated bread knife to cut the foam, but the best thing to use is an electric carving knife. It works like a dream!
Once I added the thick fur fabric, the screws that connect the base to the top weren't long enough to make contact. So in these pictures, I just have the top resting on the base. Next time I'm at the hardware store, I'm going to find some longer screws.
So I've come to terms with the fact that our Master Bedroom will not be completely finished by the One Room Challenge deadline, but I do plan on sharing a reveal of sorts next Thursday! We will at least have all the big pieces in the room, even if they are still in need of some DIY makeovers and finishing touches. The big test will be to see if we can get the floors done this weekend. But don't worry, challenge or not, I will continue updating you guys on our progress with the Master Bedroom until it's complete!
A little into the first week of the One Room Challenge, when I was hit with the reality of what exactly I had signed up for, I sat down and wrote an outline of my project. It was broken down by week and included blog post topics and to-do lists. What I had planned for today's post was to share about how I had successfully refinished our hardwood floors, painted all the walls, installed new thicker baseboard trim with coaching from my dad and installed our new chandelier. We're now halfway through the challenge, and my goal for this benchmark was to have the entire "shell" of the room complete.
(Insert Laugh-Cry Emoji here)
So what really happened since last Thursday? Well, with the help of our wonderful friends Tim & Jess (Owner of Revolt Style Studio) we finished demoing the existing flooring on Saturday night. Then while I was at work on Sunday, Anthony and his dad finished installing our new outlets and our new chandelier, although I still have to attach all of the crystals. That's it, folks! So instead of showing you progress photos of a room that doesn't look much different than last week, I'm going to talk about some recent developments and what's going on in my head at this stage in the game.
Pillow Joy + Despair
I was so excited to receive my new Pyne Hollyhock throw pillow from Spark Modern this week! I'm stoked to be partnering with them for this challenge. I honestly believe that this gorgeous Schumacher fabric will make the room. It's such a beautiful mix of neutral colors in a feminine yet classic floral pattern that I think will be the perfect counterpoint to our more masculine wood bed.
On the other hand, the pillow I ordered from West Elm is starting to cause some despair. I ordered this pillow way before I even decided to participate in the One Room Challenge. I fell in love with it in the clearance section and ordered it as a birthday present to myself last month. Originally it was scheduled to arrive on March 24th. Then it got pushed back to April 4th, then 13th then 20th and now it's not expected to get here until April 28th. That's cutting it pretty close to my May 12th deadline. If this trend continues, who knows if it will ever get here, let alone in time for the reveal! I already emailed customer service, but never got a response back. I'll probably call them sometime this week to figure out what the story is. I hope I don't have to cancel my order, I still really like the pillow!
In my design board, I included a large, natural jute rug. I was waiting to decide on a size until after we had uncovered the hardwood floors. If they were horrible, then I would have ordered a bigger rug. Since our new/old floors are looking like they'll clean up nicely, I'm realizing that I don't want to spend $400 on an 8' x10' rug when half of it is going to be hidden underneath our new king size bed. I'm now considering the idea of two runners to flank the bed on either side.
But of course now that I've reconsidered the size, I'm starting to reconsider the type of rug too. Do I really want to step onto rough jute every morning? I love the texture and simplicity of these woven rugs, but they aren't the softest things underfoot . Should I order shag rugs instead? But wouldn't that look basically the same as the wall-to-wall carpeting we just ripped out? Should I stick with the jute and just buy some nice, new slippers? These are the questions I am stuck asking myself. If I'm going to order something, I need to do it soon so it can get here in time for the reveal! What would you pick?
My plans for this week are give the hardwood floors a good scrubbing and then decide what my next step will be (i.e. how much sanding, if any needs to be involved before I apply a light coat of stain), sample wall colors and make a final selection, have our new bed delivered and maybe try to do one of the five remaining DIY projects I have planned. We'll see how far I get this week! If you would like to follow along with my progress in real time this week, you can find me on Instagram @steviestorck.
Read the Week 3 updates from the 20 featured designers:
Claire Brody | The Curated House | Design Manifest | Driven by Decor | Honey We’re Home | Hunted Interior | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | My Sweet Savannah | Pencil and Paper | The Pink Clutch | Savvy Home | Simplified Bee | Sketch 42 | Jill Sorensen | Orlando Soria | Thou Swell | The Vault Files | Waiting on Martha | The Zhush
Browse the projects of my fellow Guest Participants, here!
Whew! A lot has happened since Thursday, when I announced I will be participating in the One Room Challenge! If you missed last week's post, you can read it here. Today, I'm sharing my design board and a progress update of what we've accomplished so far.
Here's the plan for our new bedroom:
I'm going for a nice balance of feminine and masculine details, in my beloved neutral color scheme of white, grey, brown, green and blue! Our new chandelier arrived this week and our new bed will be delivered next Saturday. While I'm not using this exact nightstand, it is serving as inspiration for an IKEA hack/DIY I have in the works. Same thing for the fur foot stool. It's a tough contest but my FAVORITE detail of the new design has to be the floral pillow from Spark Modern. I have been obsessed with this pattern for ages, to the point that even Anthony knows it's name (Schumacher's Pyne Hollyhock) because I talk about it so frequently. When I found it in the Spark Modern Etsy shop, I knew I had to use it for our master bedroom design. I can't wait for it to get here! If you are looking for the perfect pillows to pull together your room, I highly suggest checking out their shop! Their selection of designer fabrics is what dreams are made of (my dreams at least!) and it's organized by color family which makes finding the perfect print so easy!
But before all the pretty details can come together, we had a big transformation in store for this space. If you've read previous posts about our master bedroom, you'll know that in addition to a random sink (which we have since removed) there is also an oddly placed window on the only wall I can put the bed against. I've been brainstorming solutions for this wall since before we even closed on our house. I was originally planning to do a wall of curtains behind the bed, but with three additional windows in the room, I worried we would feel like we were swimming in fabric. No, I wanted something clean, simple and architectural. Since this truly is the only wall I can place the bed on, I started researching the idea of using paneling to semi-permanently cover the window. I came across this tutorial on the Bower Power blog and knew I had found the perfect solution!
I drew the wall to scale and found out we would need four, 4'x8' brick panels to cover the wall. We bought our brick panels at Lowes for around $25 a piece. To prep the window, we removed the trim and sanded down the wood framing so it was flush with the wall. Then we installed a $4 mini-blind so you wouldn't see the back of the paneling from the outside.
Installing brick panels is a fairly straightforward DIY project, and shouldn't take more than a few hours if your home is newer construction like the Bower's. It ended up taking us the entire weekend because behind our drywall is the original plaster & lath and behind that was a seemingly random arrangement of studs. It took the guys about two hours with the stud finder to map out the location of each stud. This wall has vertical and horizontal framing that starts and stops where you would never expect it to. I have some theories as why this is (a. This room was once a kitchen when the house was split into a duplex so maybe we have some horizontal rails that were there to support the upper cabinets and b. I suspect there was previously another window on this wall that was covered over during a previous renovation) but truly, this is just a "joy of buying a hundred year old house" situation. It took some time upfront, but mapping out all the studs like that made the actual panel installation go so smoothly. Not surprisingly, our walls are little out of square, so we did have to trim a little off the panels to make sure the brick pattern matched up. But since I had decided to paint the bricks an opaque white, this wasn't anything a little caulk couldn't fix.
Here's what the wall looked like when we finished installing it! In the photo, it looks pretty awesome but in person the screws and seams between the panels were pretty evident. I decided to prime first, and then caulk the seams and the edges where the panels didn't quite meet the ceiling or walls.
After caulk and the first coat of paint...
And then I had an epiphany. About a month ago, I finally convinced Anthony that we should tear up the carpet in the Master bedroom as a test. We knew there were hardwoods under there somewhere, we just weren't sure what else might be in between. I realized if I was going to have the floors ready for our bed to be delivered next Saturday, I needed to put painting on the back burner. So at 9:00pm Tuesday night, I turned up my Spotify playlist and started tearing up the carpet...
...and found some patchy vinyl over cardboard underlayment. But underneath that, beautiful, 113 year old hardwood floors!
Like I said in my Instagram caption, the floors are going to take a lot more work but we are just thrilled that they seem to be in good condition! This room is the test, as we would eventually like to uncover all of the hardwoods throughout the house. It's definitely a labor intensive project but I can already tell it will be so worth it!
So that's what I've been up to this week! I have a lot more to accomplish this coming week. I'll be sharing sneak peeks and updates on Instagram. I am so excited to see this room come together!
What do you think of the design plan? Is there anything you would add or change?
I've been following the One Room Challenge for a few seasons now, and I'm excited to join in this time as a Guest Participant! If you aren't familiar with the ORC, it's a bi-annual event where twenty design bloggers transform a space, documenting the process over six weeks of blog posts.
I've chosen to tackle our Master Bedroom for this challenge. If you've been following this blog for a while, you know I've faced some major indecision when it comes to this project. If you're new to this blog, I'm a professional interior designer and as confident as I am with making decisions for other peoples' homes, sometimes I can be my own worst client. I'm hoping that this little added pressure from the ORC will help me to trust my gut and get this room completed!
Click here to see our full "Before" House Tour
A couple months ago, I posted about my inspiration for our Master Bedroom. And then I posted about how I realized I wanted to go an entirely different direction after seeing the first coat of paint on the walls. There are some unique challenges that this room has presented, and I've given myself some time to really think through my options. I'm now feeling confident with my vision for the space and ready to make it happen.
During the next 6 weeks, you can look forward to reading about a unique and possibly controversial solution for an oddly placed window, some ambitious DIYs and an IKEA Hack. Next Thursday, I'll be sharing my design board for the room but in the meantime, here are some inspiration photos to give you an idea of the vibe I'm going for.
Yesterday began the first step of our Master bedroom redesign. Our new king size mattress was delivered! To keep it simple, we had it set up in the front bedroom so we would have it out of the way when we start painting in a week or two. You can see our temporary sleeping quarters in yesterday's post, here. Our goal for this weekend is to remove the random sink the Master and prep for painting. This month, we will also be ordering our new bed frame, which I am super in love with and can't wait to show you!
Here's a reminder of what we are working with:
I already had a vintage, masculine vibe in mind for this room, but when I found this oil painting at a consignment shop in Kennet Square (with Haley!), it really solidified everything for me. Someone told me it looks like an old art school project. I love everything about it.
I'm still waffling on how I want to address the off center window on the wall I'm planning to put the bed on. I've considered about 7 different options, but if you asked me today I would probably choose my first idea, which is some variation on this look:
On Monday, I met Jamie during her lunch break to peruse the discount room of the wallpaper manufacturer she works for. (If you live in York, you know which one!) We found this awesome/kooky/vintage/cool scenic design by Ronald Redding. It has a navy background and all these funny little characters. I'm planning to use it in both of our closets for a fun accent.
While our house was built in 1903, just about all of the original details were stripped between it being renovated as a duplex (and back again) and a fire in 2011. One of our big goals is too add some character back into our old farmhouse, so I like that this wallpaper looks like something that might have already been there, that we decided to keep for fun in just the closets.
Speaking of the closets, another thing I plan to upgrade is the doors. I HATE sliding doors for closets. In theory, these space saving solutions make a lot of sense, but in practice you can only access one half of your closet at a time. Dislike. I'm thinking buying some cheap bi-fold doors and making them look more expensive with moulding and some fancy hardware. I would love to do some kind of chunky, brass ring pull.
That's all for now! Hopefully I'll have some nice progress photos to show you in a couple of weeks!