The Gray Guest Bedroom

Occasionally, I get the chance to sneak into other people’s homes and leave a mark. Now this is remarkably different from the days in my youth of sneaking into new construction homes simply to take a peek around and pretending like I lived there, how I would decorate it and critiquing building choices. That was me as an 18 year old.

Fast forward ten years and I’m doing a bit of decorating here and there. My task was to make this a guest room and not just a room with a bed in it. Decorating was a bit of a slow process, but I got the chance to make a lot of elements that went in here. I love getting to do that.

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Here’s the poorly lit before of the room. We started off with just the bed and a single nightstand. Once one thing would come it, I would be like, you know…. it really would look good if there was ANOTHER nightstand, and maybe a table in the corner and some art here. Decorating spirals like that. ALWAYS. I don’t care who you are, we can all be victims to the decor spiral.


The bed is really the focal point of the whole room and I wanted it to have a lot of impact. For the centerpiece of the bed, I picked out this gorgeous mirror from Horchow and went heavy on the symmetry for the nightstands. 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 9

These lamps were ones reused from the house and got a simple update with a new lampshade that freshened it up immensely. I’m abnormally picky about the height of lamps matching when they are in a bedroom like this, so one side got a little pick me up with a few books underneath. Scroll back up and admire the balance. ;) 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 2

The photographs above the nightstand are all pictures taken from their own travels. I combed through all of their vacation photos and printed out a few of my favorites. I found the frames at Target and love them, can one ever go wrong with simple, white frames? Getcha some.

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Then there’s the pillows. I LOVE. I found the large denim pillows and Target and can’t get enough of them. The lumbar is from Pottery Barn. I feel like this shot sums up my aesthetic as of late-black/white/neutrals, casual and pulled together.

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This little reading nook really came together as well. There’s a few projects I did here. One, that pillow. I painted the fabric and sewed it all up. I wanted something textural and totally proud of those tassels.

Two, THE COLORBLOCK CURTAINS. They already had these curtains leftover from another room and I really wanted something that hung floor to ceiling, but the existing gray curtain was 2 feet too short. Instead of buying six all new curtains, I ordered the same panels in white –all from West Elm– so the fabric matched and sewed them onto the bottom to give it the extra length and a little punch of interest. It’s a great alternative to too short curtains and I am totally happy with the outcome. A true, make-it-work moment. Smugly pats self on back.

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Another angle of the reading nook shows a painting found via At Home  and is just the right scale/color scheme for in here. 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 10

I used my own art for the wall between the windows. There are three paintings all in a similar color palette. The canvas are 12×12 and I found a white shadowbox frame and squeezed them in there. It’s much cheaper than custom framing at $20 each and it gives the paintings much more substance on the wall. Without the frames, they got a little lost. 2016_0414_painting.jpg

Here it all is again, take in all in. I’m happy with how it all came together, a blue and gray bedroom with a kiss of color. 2016_0524_KOA GUEST 7Does anyone else get a little sad when a project is over?



OOPS. I missed a week. I’m gonna post this a week late and still get an update for tomorrow too. In case you’ve missed the other weeks find them here: 1, 2, 3.

The wall tile started going up! This is one week that calmed my nerves. I worried the tile would look so so, but I’m thinking I’m really liking it. This was the biggest question mark for me because it’s the biggest element in the room. For the floors I was SO excited about and knew I would love it from the sample I saw, but the walls felt like I was stabbing around in the dark. I knew what I didn’t want and felt like I had to make a decision so I went with this 8×20″ white tile and had it installed in a vertical brickwork pattern. Grout will be a soft gray although I kind of dig the contrast to pull out the pattern. Decisions, we’ll see…

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I opted for sleek, modern chrome faucets. I thought the clean lines of the faucets would contrast juuuust right with the weathered vanity and art deco floors. I’m happy with them and extra happy that I decided to swap out the sink faucets. The original set I bought didn’t match the shower. Enough so that I was disappointed when I saw but thought I might just make it work. I didn’t want to come into this bathroom to take pictures and have regrets and ultimately swapped them out. They still have to be plumbed for the wall mount, can’t wait.

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I really love the wall tile with the floors. It ended up being just the right contrast I was after, and feel so relieved by this. The floors were grouted, but came out much lighter than anticipated so right now I’m looking into staining the grout. I think I’ll sleep much better if I do. Again, I don’t want to be filled with regret about decision I am still able to change.

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The sink, oh this sink, cause quite a bit of confusion. It started when UPS called about delivery and told me the package was too big to deliver to a house. Immediately I was confused. It’s a sink. Sure it weighs about 100lbs, but heavy stuff gets delivered. ALL. THE. TIME. So I ask them a million questions about coming to get it. How big? Will it fit in a van?  I’m told there are like five or six boxes and at that point I was BEYOND confused. I’m thinking to myself, Do I have to assemble this sink? IT’S A SINK. What could possibly be the problem? After sending two people out there, on three different trips I finally got the sink to it’s home.  Only it wasn’t sink in the singular, it was SINKS, plural. As in they sent us SIX sinks and it’s still in the process of being figured out. One the upside to that headache, it meant I got to go through all six boxes and decide which one I liked the most! Here’s the winner…

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I’ve bought all of the fun accessories that are sitting in a closet for now. Can’t wait to get them out and play around with them. My next major decision is deciding if I want wall shelving or not?!!?!? I would love some wall brackets and custom cut acrylic shelves I’m not sure if it will look right. Oh that fine line of functional and beautiful, you are a tricky one.

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Here is the oversimplified TO DO list:

Figure out the shower curtain.

Finish tile.

Finish plumbing and install hardware.

Get vanity together.

Paint and Decorate!

Until NEXT week! (Which is magically tomorrow….)




It’s week three and I can happily say the tile has been installed! To see where I started, check out Week 1 and Week 2


There was a lot of work that went into laying the tile. I’ve stubbornly requested for a seamless floor and no shower curb so that it’s one tile running through the whole space. That meant a bit of grading to make sure all the water will be guided down to the drain. Now that it’s in, it looks so great. The plumbing was altered for the shower. The showerhead/system will all be an outside mounted with the pipes coming out where the handles are mounted rather than above the head.


The other thing I was worried about is how the vanity would look in the space. It comes out an inch or so from the door frame and I thought it might cause issue, but after putting the table together and in the spot it’ll be, I’m so happy with the scale of it.


Wall tile and sink plumbing are likely up next. The faucet will be wall mounted since the vanity is so shallow. Wall tile will go up to the white line, I think, it’s one I’m still debating the exact height.


The wood on the vanity is all silver leafed. I took a bit of a risk on this buying online. The pictures looked considerably different online to me but I like it and I especially like it with those floors! Plus that white tile is really going to bring in that crisp contrast and keep things modern.


The white tile with a pencil, carrera marble trim. Can’t wait to see this go in with the block sink!


The mirror came in this week too! It’s so awesome and large, love it. The last product decision to be made are the cabinets/shelving above the toilet. I want the extra room to be able to store things, but the ones I originally purchased are backordered until May sometime, maybe? I thought about doing some open shelving with some killer brackets and cut acrylic for the shelf. I’m not sure if that’ll be too much open shelving next to the vanity which is also open… I’m nearly treading into the overthinking it realm on that one. Oh! and a toilet! At first, I was like, it’s a toilet does it even matter that much? Then, I started looking at toilets and caught myself thinking I didn’t know I could love a toilet. There are some great options out there, just need to pick one.


That’s all for this week, hopefully there will be more noticeable changes coming soon!


Go check out some of the other great entries over at Calling it Home.

Lamp Shade Updates

So here’s a really quick before and after. This is more or less a PSA if something isn’t working in your house, to look at it with fresh eyes.

I’m putting a guest bedroom together right now and part of the plan was to find ways to incorporate existing items already in the house. There were these really cool chunky wood lamps, but the current lamp shade was pretty dark and boxy.




Visually, the base is fairly heavy and I needed something to compliment but still be able to stand up to the weight of the base. I happened to be walking through the lighting section at Lowe’s. I ALWAYS walk through the lighting section even if I don’t need anything at all and I saw these shades. I mentally filed them away because I’m not exactly lamp poor at my house. I’ve got just about all the lamps I can handle and then some.

When I started decorating this guest room, I knew the lamps in the living room would be perfect and immediately had that lightbulb moment that these shades would bring in that contrast I was after. I’ve kept the shades plain for now, but am toying with the idea of painting an abstract watercolor on it. Gosh, to me, it looks like a whole new lamp and I love them in this room now.




For people who devour decor content like me, this is nothing new, but for those who often feel “stuck” in their decorating, this is a great tip. It doesn’t have to break the wallet. So before you default to a standard drum shade, take a quick second to think if a different shape or texture might compliment the lamp base better. It’s like a fresh cut and color for a lamp.

Here’s a few ideas…

Lamp Shades

// 1. LOWES $15 // 2. ANTHROPOLOGIE $118 // 3. TARGET $13 // 4. SHADES OF LIGHT $45 // 5. LAMPS PLUS $30 // 6. SHADES OF LIGHT $95 // 7. ETSY $195 // 8. OVERSTOCK $26 //

There are so many great shapes out there. I threw in that frog shade, because why not get weird? And so what if some of them remind you of your grandma’s house. What’s old is new, right?!

Simply because those are the shades it came with doesn’t mean it has to be the ones it lives with forever. Lamp shade are there own art in itself. You can add fringes, fabric, paint, really endless opportunities there.





Ah, week 2. Last week I mentioned that almost everything from the original plan was changed. Literally, everything. I really like how the pieces are shaping up though. I’m having a bit of second guessing with the vanity and sink in combo, wondering if it’s too much texture right next to each other and if the vanity dimensions will work. On paper, it will fit no problem, but visually wondering if it will need to be less imposing but I won’t know until I see it in the space so I’ll have to get the table put together.


I actually had a pretty decent head start with the bathroom. Everything has been ordered and the only thing left to arrive are the wall cabinets which are backordered so finger crossed they make it to the finish line.

The floor tile is one I’m so excited about. Not second guessing it even a little. I’m planning to have the floor be all the same tile instead of doing a different tile for the shower floor. I wanted a seamless look and the floor is being graded right now, all the boring stuff before the pretty things get to go in. Lots of prep work, chipping out concrete, ripping out drywall blah blah. Hope fully soon, I’ll get to see some tile going in!


One Room Challenge.WEEK 1

As an avid blog reader and despicable blogger, I’ve only followed along with the One Room Challenge. For those who don’t know it’s organized by  Linda from Calling it Home and includes a group of bloggers that each tackle a full room makeover in the course of six weeks. Some of the past challenges produced some truly inspiring rooms.

I’d like to formally throw my hat into this journey. For the first time, I collectively possess a project, the means and the time to participate in the ORC. The trifecta, squeeee! The room, I’ve managed to get my designery, little fingers on is an outdoor pool bath. It’s literally a blank slate right now, think concrete and drywall. I’ve only snapped pics with my iphone since, what’s there to look at anyway. Besides, every body knows a horribly cropped, poorly lit before image provides GREAT contrast to the after. It’s like all of the fitness progress photos I’ve taken of myself for the “comparison” the before is always like, is that even a human? It all makes for a more impressive, “WOW! How is that even the same!”

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The room is about 5’x9′ and boasts 10′ ceilings. So far the only hurdle is that the door is placed in the center of the room rather than to the left or right which means that doesn’t leave a lot of room for a standard vanity. Here’s a floor plan:



Initially, I presented a mood board along with an inspiration collage.

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A lot of the details needed to be changed (think everything). For now, everything has been ordered, most has arrived and fingers crossed it all falls into place. Work actually starts this week getting the floor and plumbing going. I’m so nervous excited. *throws up* Wish me luck!


Acrylic Bathroom Ledges

I’ve been struck with the urge to create lately, and not just create, but share. I’ve been stuck in a quarter life crisis for three years now and want to get back to what makes my engine run. That’s creating. I’ve always considered myself an artist, but lacked direction. I still don’t have direction, but I’m aiming for consistency. More than a sporadic post here and there, so let’s see how thing thing plays out.

Last year, I was looking for some new bathroom wall storage and couldn’t quite come up with anything that satisfied me or fell in my budget. Urban Outfitters had the most options out of everywhere I looked, but style-wise, still not what I was looking for.

I’ve always wanted to do a project using acrylic pieces, but hadn’t found the right project until this one. I used and ordered 1” thick clear acrylic cut into 3×15″ lengths through the website. I left for a flight the day they arrived and was semi tempted to cancel the trip just to install these shelves, the Grand Canyon will be there, right?! I didn’t cancel the trip and it was a pretty rad time.


{Source for acrylic}

I didn’t know how I’d mount these at first, so I browsed around Home Depot and came up with these corner brackets. I thought they would be great in that I could just set the shelf on top and not have to drill any holes in the acrylic. Most hardware for shelves is made for MUCH larger shelf bases, not the tiny 3″ I was hanging.


{Source for hardware}


I laid out the hardware and spray painted them gold. FYI, this is the best way for spraying the heads of nails or screws. The hardest part is having to wait long enough for the paint to dry so I can get them done. I’m a big “can’t wait to see the final product” kind of person.


They say, measure twice, cut once. Well this was like measure one million times. It was the most painful part of this whole install especially when it’s not right the first time around. Also, deciding the right height between shelves was enough to make me question every decision I’ve ever made in life. Eventually I figured it out.

Here’s a close up of how the acrylic sets on the hardware. It was almost a perfect match size-wise and good enough to do the trick.

Pre-styling- I’m like, Look! it works! the shelves work! simply because I set random objects on it. They may look wonky, but it’s just the angle, I spent a lot of time making sure they were right.
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Originally, I thought this would hold perfumes and pretty hairs styling bottles, but I ended up putting more and more rocks on it. So now, it’s just a pretty display shelf. I still love that I did the project since acrylic had been floating around in my head forever.