My Decorating Secret & A Dining Room Refresh

May 25, 2016

It's been a while since I posted some general updates from around our home (besides, of course, the sunroom reveal for the One Room Challenge), so I thought I would share some photos showing how our dining room currently looks. I'm also going to share my decorating secret with you. I hadn't intentionally planned to reveal this trick today, but once I started explaining about the dining room updates, it just sort of came out....!

For sometime I haven't been completely satisfied with the dining room decor. To me it was feeling unfinished and uninspired, an extremely frustrating feeling! We first gave the dining room a new look back when we first bought the house, getting rid of the red walls and installing my all-time-favourite light fixture. I knew the decor needed something extra, but I wasn't completely sure what that was.

If you've been reading along on this blog you'll know that I commonly find myself in this situation. So, when I finally got focused and decided it was time to pull this room together I took to Pinterest to start curating a collection of images which inspired my vision and sparked my inspiration.

A quick glance at my Pinterest board and I'm sure you'll agree that the dining rooms I've pinned are absolutely stunning - glamorous, effortless & chic.

But the everyday reality is that my dining room makeover is not going to receive quite the sophisticated, magazine ready makeover. My trick to decorating within my own abilities and budget, is that I cheat.

Yes....I mean fake it 'til you make it.

The key is to incorporate elements of the look and feel that you so strongly desire, in a manner that works for your home & budget. 

For example, I really love white, Scandinavian inspired spaces which lean more towards modern decor than traditional. My dining room table & hutch set was passed down to me from my parents and is definitely more traditional. It's not in my budget to purchase a new set, and the traditional style does go well with the older aspects of my home. 

So, to achieve my desired look I incorporate the modern elements that work for me, including painting the walls using contrasting black and white and adding in chic decor, like the lamp and deer head.

I also like a space that is whimsical and relaxed so to downplay the formality of the dining room, I added some fun art (created by my lovely here!) and a cute bar area which is more in tune with my decor style. 

To further achieve my desired look and feel I incorporated textures through the rustic inspired antler light fixture and a faux-fur sheepskin rug.

So bottom line - you don't need a gigantic budget and all new furnishings and decor to achieve the home decor look and style that you desire.

 Just be clever and include a few cheat items to help portray the overall image of a great room that looks good to you and that you love! As always, have fun and I would love to hear from you about how you make this work in your home.

Top 5 from the One Room Challenge

May 18, 2016

Once the One Room Challenge finished last Thursday, the real fun began. Over the past week I've been checking out all of the other reveals and completely devouring the incredible designs. It was seriously challenging to narrow down my top 5 favourites! I've finally decided and am sharing them with you today!

These uber-stylish makeovers were chosen for their wow factor and mega design envy - I would love to spend time in all of these spaces. Let's get started with the list.

Glam Cottage Bathroom

I'm so impressed and inspired by this before & after, I can't believe it's the same space! In my view, the transformation is remarkable, fresh & inviting. Not only does it look amazing but Kari DIY'd so much more for this makeover than you would ever think possible. Check out Kari's blog, Prairie Girl Home for the full reveal.

Back in Black Dining Room

Black & white walls with neutral accents and tons of texture, it should be no surprise that this stunning dining room from Erin @ Suburban Bitches made my list. The artwork & new lighting has such great impact, and the rug infuses color and warmth without being too overpowering. I love this makeover!

For the full transformation, check out Suburban Bitches for before photos plus tons of additional photos of the reveal. 

Industrial Farmhouse Dining Room Makeover

As often as I normally lean towards more modern and Scandinavian inspired decor, I also adore my share of rustic farmhouse chic. This dining room makeover achieves this look with ease. And again, the owners DIY'd so many of the highlights of this space, including the round dining room table and the brick accent wall - well done!

For all the details and tons of great photos, visit Sarah's blog.

Powder Room Reveal

Next up this beautiful & calming, farmhouse-style bath by Jenna at Wife in Progress. There is so much to love about this small space. Planked (or shiplap walls) are making a comeback and they really add mega appeal to this powder room. The cement tile floors are beautiful! I always shy away from patterns, especially in floor tiles, but this tile is impactful without being too bold. And last but not least, gold accents add just the right amount of glam. 

Bright Patio Reveal

Tara Danei
To round out my top 5 list I'm showcasing this colorful patio makeover by Tara Danei. We're in the process of making plans for our own patio remodel so I was really intrigued by this transformation. Tara does such a wonderful job of creating separate and functional living spaces. And check out that cinderblock bar? Such a great DIY. Bright accent colors in pillows, florals and an outdoor rug really tie everything together while whimsical lights strewn across the pergola make this the perfect evening sanctuary. Now I'm really longing for a finished patio of my own. 

Check out Tara's blog for the before photos and also progress of stripping the deck, re-staining it and more.

Congrats again to all the participants, you can still view all the submissions on Linda's site, Calling it Home. And in case you missed it, check out my one room challenge sunroom makeover.

One Room Challenge | The Reveal

May 12, 2016

The anticipation is finally over! After 6 long and hectic weeks, it is finally reveal day! It feels so great to have the sunroom makeover finally complete.
One room challenge sunroom makeover

To get the full effect of the sunroom makeover, check out Week 1 for the before photos and inspiration. For the progress report check out Weeks 3, 4 & 5 (I missed week 2!).

The sunroom is located just off of our master bedroom & bath which we have been slowly working to update and renovate over the past several months. We finished the master bath just before Christmas, then after a few months free of room makeovers, I decided that the One Room Challenge was the perfect way for me to start and finish the sunroom. Next on the list will be the bedroom, but I'm happy to leave that for the next challenge! 

I'm so happy with how this room came together. It perfectly reflects my vision and was created mostly through DIYs and vintage finds (steps for DIY projects to come!). I had so much fun with this challenge and I can't wait for you to see, so let's get on with the reveal! Be sure to leave your comments, I'd love to hear what you think...

Sunroom Reveal

Scandinavian inspired decor
One room challenge
Scandinavian inspired decor
Scandinavian inspired design

Thanks for following along on this journey with me, it's be grand! There are over 150 participants so be sure to check them all out. So much talent!

Major thanks to Linda of Calling It Home for hosting this crazy and amazing challenge & too all of the incredibly talented and inspiring participants for their support. 

One Room Challenge | Week 5

May 5, 2016

Can you believe there is just one more week to go in the One Room Challenge?! I have to extend another thank you to Linda for hosting this great event. It's such a fun and inspiring experience to complete the challenge with so many talented people. And I just love having a formal deadline to keep myself on track.

As for this week, in typical me fashion, I have most of the work still left to complete. I'm not worried just yet though... I usually need a little last-minute pressure to really get myself into gear.

This weeks' exciting accomplishment was sourcing some additional vintage finds for the sunroom. I have a lovely table which I plan to use to set up my coffee station, plus I came across an old wooden bi-fold door which I'll use as a privacy screen since the sunroom is exposed to the main road in front of our house.
I actually really like the existing finish of the table. The top (as you can see below) is peeling quite a bit so I'm thinking it might be nice to sand off the paint and have the natural wood exposed. The drawer pulls will also be replaced with something a little more my style. 

I hadn't originally planned to have a coffee station but when I came across this table it seemed like the perfect use for it. Having coffee in the new made-over sunroom in the morning sounds like a lovely way to start the day.
The bi-fold door is a lovely deep stain which by chance, happens to match the wicker set! I picked up some whimsical lights to drape over the door adding a lovely touch of cozy.
Unfortunately, I didn't quite make as much progress on the room this week as I had originally planned. Based on this list from week 4, there's still A LOT to do before the big reveal. 
  1. Install curtain rods
  2. Sew & hang curtains
  3. Recover chair cushions
  4. Add oil coating to wicker set
  5. Pick up sofa
  6. Install new light fixture
  7. Add decor pieces including rug, artwork, toss cushions & plants. 
I'm off to work on this list...and to check out all of the other participant's submissions (my favourite part of thursday nights lately!). Head over to Calling it Home to take a look for yourself & be sure to check back next week for the reveal!