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Thursday, April 20, 2017

ORC: Bedroom Progress and Lots to Do!

Well I'm definitely feeling wayyyy behind with this One Room Challenge bedroom design. There's not even a ton to show you this week besides a few messes since most things are on their way here or are a work in progress. 

The few late evening hours I've had to work on my own things have been spent sanding out the dresser. We emptied it out and hauled it to the garage and it's just about ready for paint. It was in rougher shape then I remembered so it took a good amount of elbow grease. Crossing my fingers we actually get some paint on it by this weekend! And by WE, I mean I'll be handing this job off Cam. It's nice having a someone around who's a pro with a paint gun!

Not the prettiest pictures but you can see a bit of our makeshift paint booth in the background.

The lights have been ordered (the ones in the design board) and this quilt is on it's way. I've sort of used it as a starting point for the color palate and building the room around it.

Target has a pretty cute selection of sheets and I found these ones there on sale.

That's really about as far as I've come so this week I've got to step it up and get things done fast!

Consulting with my little client ;) 

On my list:
Paint the room
Paint dresser
Order prints to frame
Order nightstand
Figure out headboard situation (DIY or buy!)
Pick out a rug
Upholster vintage chair

I'm sure there's more I'm missing but those are the main pieces.  And just for your entertainment, here's the current state of the bedroom. Guess this is what you get when you take away the dresser. It has provided some entertainment as the sisters help themselves to the clothes and walk around in interesting outfits!

As always, make sure you check out the designer and guest participants of the One Room Challenge over at I'm so amateur at this that last week I was literally running out the door when I hit publish and forgot to link up! Started a week late and messed up the linking, and now behind schedule. I'm on a roll!!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

One Room Challenge: Guest Participant; Week 2

Well, I'm a little late to the game (by a week) but if any of you are blog reading, design junkies like me, you've likely heard of the event called the One Room Challenge. It's hosted in the spring and fall every year by Linda from the blog

The blogging event is a six week challenge to finish a room of your choice.  I've followed along for a few years and always thought it would be fun to join but usually time and budget has prevented that from happening.  The reason for starting a week late is because I was hesitant to commit to something when our schedules (like every one else's) are busy! I've been wanting to get a few rooms in the house finished (since we'll be moving in the near future) so a deadline and some incentive seems like a good solution.  We will see!

So with that, here's the room I've chosen to do for this event:

The big guy, Talmadge's bedroom! From the pictures, it doesn't look too bad.  It just feels very unfinished and thrown together (because it was).  The plan is to design it with the move in mind but to also be able to enjoy it while we are here.  The kid is full of personality and it'd be nice to infuse the room with some of that!

One thing that bothers me besides it being unfinished is the layout of the room.  It's an attic bedroom we added on when did the addition years ago, so it's rather large and feels kind of empty.  Cam and I sort of butt heads about where the bed should be, and the way it's laid out right now doesn't feel right. So at least for this design, I'm planning to change it up a little :)

Ideally, I'd like to center the bed in front of the windows.  I love symmetry too much which is likely why this bothers me! Obviously a headboard and bed skirt are on the list of things the rooms needs. I'm leaning towards using a bed skirt instead of a normal bed because of the storage we use for extra blankets and out of season things. Plus every kid needs a spot to kick dirty clothes and toys when they "clean up" their room.

That light fixture needs a serious upgrade.  It was pulled from the neighbors trash and spray painted to hold us over until we could do something better.  It's not hideous, but it doesn't give off enough light.  I think we can do better!

The corner opposite of the one in the picture above is completely empty.  I'd love to move the books and toys over to that side and add a space above them for him to pin up his art and pictures.  Then I would move his dresser to this wall for better use of the space.

Opposite the foot of the bed we have his vintage dresser picked up from a consignment shop.  It looks fine in this picture, but the finish isn't in great shape and you know how much I love glossy painted wood, so that's on the agenda too! The sconces were $4.00 so I won't feel bad replacing them with something a little more substantial.

As for the headboard, it's something we can take with us to the new house.  This means I'm debating finding a really cool fabric to reupholster it with. I wouldn't mind putting a little money into something that would be a focal point and stay with him for a long time.  It's a queen size bed, so even though he's growing like a weed, we shouldn't have to upgrade it any time soon! Time will be the biggest factor here so if I can't make that work, i'll get a simple inexpensive headboard for now and then reupholster it when time allows down the road.

Now for some of the details, preliminary plans, ideas etc. My idea board for the space!

We talked about the headboard, so I need to make up my mind there so I can actually get it ordered. If I don't do pattern, there's a simple tufted linen headboard I could make work.  I'll add some fun bedding as right now he just has a duvet.  Duvets look nice but they are such a pain with kids. Nothing stays in place, they're a hassle to wash and so I'm considering using just a quilt or coverlet with fun sheets. Easier on mom and still looks good! Plus a little pattern mixing is always a good thing,

I haven't decided if I'll keep the room blue or change it up.  We need to repaint anyways as there's a few spots around outlets that didn't get enough mud/drywall and need to be patched and painted.  Plus a few years of kids using the space means there's crayon, pen, smudges and who-knows-what on the walls :) If I change it I'd like to paint the ceiling the same color or do some stripes. Ideally i'd do wallpaper but again the move will likely rule that option out since it has to stay with the house.  Not to mention the husband cringes whenever I say that word.

For the dresser, I'm eyeing a muddy olive green similar to what's on the idea board.  The room needs color and I think it would work with the vintage style of his dresser.

If I get to move the bed in front of the window, I'd like to add a nightstand to the one side.  He doesn't need two nightstands and they wouldn't fit in the new house anyways.  I love the style of the acrylic one I pictured.  It's a little on the small side so I may keep looking.  On the other side of his bed I would like to reupholster a chair I started on years ago and never finished.

From there it would just be art and some finishing touches to complete the room.  I don't know why it takes me forever to get pictures up on the wall but it does.  I have a few ideas on mind for this space so I'll share them once I knock out a few of the bigger projects!

That said, I hope you'll follow along (i'll be on instagram too @swoon_interiors and also make sure you check out the Featured Designers as well as the Guest Participants.  Tons of talent over there!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fireplace Demo + Plans

It's pretty easy to figure out that the new house project has a lot of things working against it! One bonus it does boast is a real wood burning fireplace. Winters can be long and frigid here in Iowa so a hot crackling fire to get us through the cold season is a big plus in my books! In our current house, we tried hard to find a spot for one but it just wouldn't work so this feature was part of what sold me on the latest project.

What was originally in the house wasn't too bad. It had nice stacked limestone and a wooden mantel but one of the reasons we pulled it down was it was way too heavy! The floor was starting to sag under it and it was actually pulling away from the wall.  I also found it looked a little heavy visually and the hearth ate up a lot of floor space.  That said, we're glad we decided to pull the limestone down because when it came down (actually my MIL did most of the work I believe), it was packed with animal /rodent nests and lots of droppings! I'm sure that would have left a not so pleasant odor down the road!

It's come in handy for burning the kitchen/trim/paneling we pulled out :)

The actual firebox will stay as well as the chimney but we get to design the actual surround from scratch and make it more fitting with the rest of the house's style that we're aiming for.

Incorporating a combination of materials is always nice and so we're possibly going to do the hearth and surround in brick (maybe white washed or with a German smear technique - still researching that) and then add ship lap above it.  For a mantel I'd love to just do a simple white one or even use some reclaimed wood for warmth. Lots of white will keep it from looking heavy with brick and wood adding the right amount of texture. We're still drawing up the design on Sketch-up but you can see what we're aiming for with these pictures I'm using for inspiration.

On either side of the fireplace we plan to add built ins.  The fireplace isn't perfectly centered in the room so doing this might make it look more intentional. On the left side looking at the fireplace we'll do a built in that goes from the wall to the fireplace and add sconces above it and then on the right side of the fireplace there'll be another smaller section of built ins with a fixture as well.  The door off to the side will eventually be a garage entrance we think so this design allows everything to stay even when we add on. I'm excited to have the storage space for toys (we might make the bottom concealed storage) and all the accessories that I horde collect....I might even put some books on the shelves ;)

Have any of you white washed brick or tried the German smear technique? Any tips? Have you ever uncovered "surprises" while renovating?
Thursday, March 09, 2017

Acreage Exterior Plans

So I've wanted to share some of the progress that's been happening at the acreage property (Mostly thanks to my in-law's hard work!) for some time, along with my ideas and inspiration but here's the honest truth: There are days where I am excited about how it will turn out and lots of moments where I really wonder if we can make it look nice at all. 

The exterior is a real challenge for me as it's an eyesore in many ways.  It probably doesn't help that we've been living in an 1890's house enjoying all the quirks and charms that come with that and are now working with a completely opposite style....a 70's ranch.  And a very boxy, brown, plain ranch house at that.  Anyways, a challenge can be a good thing so I'm gathering lots of inspiration and ideas and aiming high :)

Here's what I've put together for inspiration and a few things that have already been ordered to install.
My main goal with the exterior is to lighten it up and try to infuse some style.  Keep in mind we may do an addition and add another level down the road so for now it's just getting a face lift.

Here's the shot we took when we started out on this "adventure" for reference.  Not much to look at, right?  And very brown.  Everything inside and out with this place was brown!

Here's the plan so far: The front door is going to be replaced with a door similar in style to this with sidelights on each side:

The current door is extra wide and we want to keep the siding for now, so we needed something that would fill the space and not have to patch in the siding which is why we added sidelights. We went for a door style that we would like long term since they're expensive it's not something we'd want to replace once we add on. We'll paint it a pretty color (TBD) and then add this hardware that I ordered from (I mentioned it on instagram, but I'm super happy with this company.  You can't beat their pricing and their shipping was super fast!)

The shape/lines of the back plate is pretty and I can get hardware for the interior doors that match this style. I'm going with polished chrome this round to add cool tones and want to keep everything light and bright in this house.

For lighting, there's wiring for a light on each side of the doors so I'd love to add some fun lantern/copper style fixtures.  My favorite is the fixture in my inspiration picture but these are contenders too.

The roof on this house was replaced not very long ago and is in perfect shape, so unfortunately it stays. I say unfortunately because it's a perfectly good roof but the last color I would choose. It would be awesome to do a metal roof down the road as I've always loved that look but for now I'll work with what we have. I'm hoping that if I paint the siding a really light color and do something fun with the doors it won't all look so bland. Crossing my fingers it does the trick!

Obviously the landscaping is lacking and those bushes in front of the house are way over grown so they will need to go.  The yard all slopes towards the house so we need to grade it and there's still a ton of garbage that has to be cleaned up The front stoop needs to be upgraded and so on and so forth but it's nice to have some ideas to work towards making the exterior a little more welcoming!

Any other ideas to give this house more curb appeal? It needs all the help it can get! Do you have a favorite light fixture you think I should use? Do these posts help you "envision" what's happening? I'm all ears!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Acreage update! Demo and kitchen planning

Here we are into a New Year already! We enjoyed our holidays and made progress both on our current house and the new property.  The master bathroom (I wrote about plans HERE) finally got started and it's really coming along! The goal is to try and finish up the few things on this house so we can just enjoy it before we move to the acreage. It'll be a year or more before that happens, but we all know time flies and it would be nice to just be done working on this house.

Anyways, over the holidays Cam had a week and some off work so a few of the days we took the kids out to the acreage and let them burn off energy and "help" us with demolition! They already love it there so it's fun to get out there and make things happen!

While nothing looks pretty just yet, it does in some ways look better! To be honest most of the work has been cleaning up the garbage left on the property...When a house sits empty for years out in the country, you can likely imagine the kinds of things that go on. We've burned lots of "interesting" paraphernalia! So whenever we have time we run out there and load up the burn barrels with whatever will burn and try to clean up. The cupboards, paneling, trim etc that we've pulled out conveniently keeps the house warm :) But on to more exciting things. Like kitchens....

I feel like kitchens are a good place to start planning a house as they effect the layout and can really set the style of a home.  When we first looked at this house before offering on it, we came home and drew up a budget and a floor plan for the kitchen to make sure we could make it work for us. It had some quirks to see past but there was still potential. Here it was "before" if you need a reminder.

And here it is with everything knocked out. Sorry to those who wanted us to keep the oval shaped stone covered cook top. It didn't stay...

Still rough looking but better!

Here's a quick idea of what we would like to do and how we've laid out the kitchen.  I'll go through some of the ideas too.

We are basically going to do an  "L" shaped kitchen along with an island.  This makes it feel way more open then it did with the peninsulas boxing it in before. The doorway you see goes to the laundry room behind the kitchen which has basement and backyard access.  We'll close off that door way (as you can easily get to the laundry from the hallway around the corner) so that we can run the cabinets all the way along the two walls.

The fridge will be near the start of the windows with a sink centered under them and a dishwasher next to it.  There won't be any upper cabinets next to the windows so I'd like to tile all the way up to the ceiling to add some height to the room. On the wall where the oven is I'm going to do floating shelves in the corner and then narrow cupboards on either side of the vent hood.  We'll have a built in pantry next to that housing the microwave.

In the center will be an island with room to seat 3.  There's not a ton of counter space around the perimeter of the kitchen so the island will provide a good place to prep food and feed the kids breakfast/snacks. Some of the kids like to "help" cook already and I think an island is a perfect space for that!

The only thing really going for the space is the ceiling. It has true tongue and groove wood boards on the ceiling that run the length of the house.  We're going to paint them all white to brighten up the space. I love how they add some dimension and texture to the space. The beams are coming down as they are faux, look heavy and I didn't like how they were spaced.

We've already bought our kitchen shortly after closing on the house. We used IKEA as they're affordable and pretty well made.  Here's a bit of an "inspiration" board that shows the style I'm after if that helps you imagine the mess above ever looking like something you could cook a meal in :)

Lots of white, some grey, a bit of brass and classic materials like subway tile, butcher block and simple pulls.  We did get a large farmhouse sink and I'm SUPER excited about that! I'd love to add some fun art and get cute seating for the island.  If I can find something that fits the budget, i'd love to get a marble remnant to top the island as a contrast with the butcher block on the counters.  We need to put new flooring throughout and I'm thinking something lighter in color to hold up to all the dirt I know will be tracked through a house in the country :)

So there you have it. Can you envision it now? I can't wait until we can get to the point of installing everything and see the difference! So much fun to find potential in any space!