Archive for the ‘HOME IMPROVEMENT’ Category



SO, here I am at Week 2.  I put this mood board together to show you how a few things have changed.

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I have managed to buy some white paint and we are prepping the walls for painting.


I have been casually shopping and found a few nice items that are serving to inspire.


I was lucky to find this work of art that gives me some direction as far as accent colors.  I might paint the frame white; haven’t decided yet.  We go to the beach a lot although I have never seen the Oregon coast this busy so I am not sure where this beach is.  This reproduction of a photograph is quite large and is helping to set the tone for the space.  IMG_4813 copy.jpg

Here is another fun find – I found this mid century lamp at GOODWILL – it has a wonderful white crackle finish on it.  It is a decent size and I found a Nate Berkus lamp shade from Target that compliments the shape and the bronzy metal base.

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I have been battling with whether or not black and white is too high contrast and I might tire of it so I have decided to keep things light on the walls but bring in some softer elements and pops of color so it feels cozy and inviting like these fabulous baskets from TARGET again by Nate Berkus.



I don’t think we can get our wall to wall carpet completed in 5 weeks as the waiting list for installation is a few months out via HOME DEPOT. They have decent wall to wall carpeting options for hard core use in this area and they also have 12 mths interest free financing so that’s looking like the way to go.

(WALL TO WALL CARPET..will most likely not be installed in time)

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I am leaning toward painting our heirloom dresser white and I like the sand/tan drawer fronts of this piece from THE LAND OF NOD.  I think it is a grasscloth type texture on there which really looks terrific.  Might be less likely to get tired of it if we keep it neutral.


Sure would love to find some nice knobs to modernize our dresser. Any ideas?  Love the ones on this piece.

I have also been inventorying our art and family photos as I am working on a salon style gallery of photos and art.  I need to several items taken to the framer to spruce up the mattes, get glass for some frames, etc.

Thanks for stopping by!


Be sure to check out the talented group of FEATURED DESIGNERS :download (1).png


and check out all the other GUEST PARTICIPANTS


See you next week!




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Well, here I am again, taking the challenge.  Along with hundreds of other designers, I am committing to 6 weeks of design starting today!  This bi-annual event, sponsored by Linda from CALLING IT HOME,  is super fun to follow along.

Here is the link for the ORC DESIGNERS …

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And here is the link for the ORC GUEST PARTICIPANTS, who are free to join in with their own projects.

A little history…Our house is an Arts & Crafts 1906 Bungalow style house.   Grandma used to live upstairs in our house, which was converted into a duplex a long time ago, but she moved out a little over a year ago.The kids (two 9 year old twins) have moved upstairs so they could each have their own rooms. We are slowly transforming the space into a lighter, more kid-friendly zone.

Last Spring I did my DAUGHTER’S ROOM as part of the ORC SPRING 2016:






This time, I am going to spruce up the UPSTAIRS HALLWAY & STAIRS.

Here is the BEFORE:


The walls and carpet have got to g0!  I am also rethinking the furniture and its functionality.  And the lighting.

Here is the chair I have there now which is not that comfortable and the wrong color.


My daughter needs a dresser just outside of her room, where the large trunk is so I am planning to paint an old heirloom piece that we have. I like the idea of a punch of color.  Here’s an example:


The banister and post are looking warped. The woodwork on the upper level is kind of wobbly and in a perfect world, needs to be replaced.


We recently stripped the carpet on the stairs to see what we were dealing with underneath.


This is what we found under the carpet at the bottom of the stairs. Pretty bad.  So, that needs to be replaced and painted also.

BLACK & WHITE with COLOR ACCENTS is pretty much the direction I am headed.

Here are a few inspiration pictures I have found by the firm, ASHE_LEANDRO. Boy do they have the BLACK & WHITE motif down:

IMG_4499.jpgPhoto Credit: ASHE_LEANDRO


I need to put some artwork up on the wall going upstairs and in the hallway. This salon style hung artwork could work.

IMG_4484.jpgPhoto Credit: ASHE_LEANDRO

There is a possibility I might tint the white walls slightly. I like the way this yellow piece looks as an accent color (for the heirloom dresser).


I should probably mention The BATHROOM, as it is off from the HALLWAY and is the next item on the list when this is done. We were going to do it for the ORC, but weren’t sure we could get it done in time.

I would like to continue the BLACK & WHITE motif into this room as well.

Here is a BEFORE:


I really like these bathrooms:



And some kind of black/white tile, but I don’t know that I will get too far with the BATHROOM just yet.

So, to summarize my tasks in the next several weeks, here it is:






Reoccur walls and trim and paint

Select Door colors and paint – black or color.



Paint stairs and wood work

Possible replace column/post at top of stairs

Repair floor at base of stairs and paint



Paint Selection, possible design motif/stencil


Replace Chair and Chest with more functional furniture


Paint heirloom Dresser for Charlotte

Select a new piece of furniture or spruce up the one I have


Replace wall to wall carpet

Select a Runner for upstairs



Select a new light fixture and install


Select art work, family photos and have it framed and hung up on the walls

Select artwork/mirror for over the dresser and piece of upholstery.


Accessorize with plant, throw, pillows.

Nothing like a little accountability to get things rolling. So I am off….

Thanks for reading my post!



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Well, we managed to finish up just in time!  Here are the results.  We were lucky to have a bright sunny day for these last minute pictures, thanks to my amazing assistant, Amanda. Everything is smelling like roses and I am drinking a gin and tonic as I write this (it is after 5 pm West coast time, FYI).



Below is a painting of our backyard fig tree that Charlotte and her friend Alex painted together last year.  I floated it in one of IKEA’s shadow box frames.


As you can see we have a little woodland theme going on with the deers and bunny rabbit. I know the rose floral shade on the sconce and bed linens from IKEA are a departure from the neon splatter, but it was such a lovely pattern we bent the matchy matchy rules.   Perhaps bold colors or solid colored linens would have worked better, but we wanted to make these work.  They’re cozy and a little English or something.  The framed deer art is hand cross stitched by a very patient Oregonian: a vintage find that was in perfect condition. The antique bed is an heirloom from my grandparents that my Mother stripped and refinished years ago.DSC09162.jpg

The large splatter pillow was a trial run before the curtains and the hand drawn critter pillow Charlotte drew awhile back as a prototype for a school auction project.  The cross pillow was from STUDIO TULLIA inventory and we liked it in the room.DSC09193.jpg

You can see a little bit of the furry stool we created by covering an IKEA stool.  It is the perfect little occasional stool for this tiny room and adds some much needed glamour.DSC09201.jpg

I want to show you a close up of the white bunny painting by Oregonian artist ELIZABETH SEE because she is so talented.IMG_3459.jpgWe have come quite a ways in just a couple weeks.  Here are a few before shots:

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Getting that pink the right color took some work.  Between BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT and METRO PAINT we got it done.IMG_2452.jpg

The IKEA curtains were perhaps the funnest part of this project and they really set the tone for the room.DSC09290.jpg

This IKEA PS 2014 ceiling pendant is very cool in its design. The pull factor really is fun at night and gives you a diverse range of visual effects.  Her twin brother Arthur is a little jealous when it comes to the light.  Thank God they have lego building experience as they put this thing together all by themselves.  Whereas that project might have put me right over the edge.


This is her bookshelf which I have staged for this shoot.  The camellias ,roses and hydrangeas are from our garden. The amethyst cut crystal vase was her great grandmother’s and the other vase is a hand painted vintage vase as well.  The flower etched globe light is from IKEA.  And we all know that’s an AMERICAN DOLL in a wheelchair. The one thing in the catalog Arthur liked because it had wheels.


HARRY POTTER books without their covers aren’t so bad looking next to the collection of NANCY DREW books.


All of the pillows in this feature have been provided by my primary sponsor ~ STUDIO TULLIA!  Vintage ones (like the cool beaded rose pillow above) as well as other vintage oddities are available through TULLIA MARKETPLACE, which is not fully off the ground, but should be by this Summer.

Here are a few more pictures of the flowers up close because they are just so pretty.  The vase is by who else…IKEA.  The little painting is by Charlotte.




We decided last minute to switch out her side table form TARGET and it needed to be white.  The finish was antique gold and it just fell flat in the corner.   We almost painted the gold framed mirror, too, but decided it added some bling and was ok as is.


This room was a quite a challenge because in all honesty this room is a dog.  The room is tiny, the ceiling is slanted, the windows and trim work are funky, and many more issues I don’t need to bore you with.

The good news is that this is the room she wants to be in and is a very happy girl. She could not fall asleep last night she was so excited. I hated to wake her up this morning. This room is her safe haven, compared to the larger guest room where she was temporarily staying during this project.

IMG_3504.jpgSweet Dreams, my Sweet Charlotte.

I am excited to grab a cup of coffee tomorrow morning and indulge myself in the many final reveals as part of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE, thanks to CALLING IT HOME.

This was a great challenge for me and 6 weeks was just about right. I am excited to do another room in the Fall.

Here is the link to twenty very talented designer bloggers’ final reveals HERE



And if that’s not enough, there are over 1,000 Guest Participant Final Reveals to view HERE:

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Thanks so much for following along!










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Well, we are coming into WEEK 5 with one week left to go.  It has not been glamorous: its been about painting and electrical, but it is almost done!

My husband spent half a day last weekend putting in the electrical for the ceiling pendant in Charlotte’s room and while he was at it he upgraded our smoke alarms upstairs which felt good to check off the list.


As you can see, we got the walls painted and just have the trim left to paint.  It took a little work to get the lilac and pink right. I think they are not too intense and balance each other out pretty well.


We still need to add trim to this one wall.  Don’t ask me why it’s not there. That is how this house rolls and has for several decades.

Hope Hubbie can find the plates for the switches and outlets.  I got the curtains hemmed and just need the hardware installed. Oh honey…


Yesterday we assessed where we are with ART, PILLOWS and BED LINENS.IMG_3289


She got this in MEXICO:IMG_3294


There is never a shortage of pillows around here.  The splattered one was made up using leftover fabric from Charlotte’s curtain project.IMG_3295


We might paint the frame on this mirror.  Haven’t decided yet.IMG_3301


We have this large vintage cross stitch piece that I found at a rummage sale that Charlotte loves.  IMG_3304

It sort of ties in with the bed which is an antique from my grandparents.IMG_3310

And, here is another lovely Mexican textile to add to the mix.


To check in on the ORC Featured Designers, go HERE


ORC Designers

And, to see the ORC Guest Participants, go HERE


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So, there’s a lot to do still, but we are going to pull this thing together by next week.   Until then….have a great rest of the week.

– Suzanne

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Things are getting real here, folks, with only a couple weeks left. Our goal is to have electrical, painting, curtain installation and most of the furnishings in place by next week. That will leave the last week for bed linens, art, styling and the photo shoot.


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There are some wonderful projects going on so take a peek.


If you recall, we have been discussing Charlotte’s curtains and I had some serious concerns about the outcome…

Well we decided to dive in one recent afternoon.  Starting with the three neon paints dyes (with glitter) I made her do a few practice runs, trying different brushes and splatter techniques.

We put a tarp down in the back yard and laid the two cotton curtain panels on it.

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We got out the neon dye colors:


And, here she is giving it a whirl.


Lots of mixing going on…


After a few practice runs on scrap fabric, and before we even started on the curtains we had to run back to COLLAGE, our local crafts store to get more paint!  IMG_3187.jpg

By the time we got back with SEVERAL more fabric dye colors, it was starting to get dark!


The paints and splattered textiles were even beginning to glow.  We had to hustle as I was not setting all this up again. I didn’t want her to over do it anyway.


She was able to get it all done before it was too dark and we were really happy with the results:

IMG_3241.jpg I am also making a euro sham for her bed out of a couple of the scrap pieces.  All in all it took about two hours.


We needed to find some sort of small chair or stool for her room and I came across this one while shopping at FABRIC DEPOT.  I picked it up to look underneath and drum roll please… it was from IKEA!


So back to IKEA I went and got this for $35.

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I had some leftover white fur from my pillow line on ETSY so I am using that to cover the stool.


Here’s the fur we used although it is more white – Arctic Fox white. We are going to decide later if we want to paint the legs or leave them black.

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Here it is…what do you think?  This puppy could use a little trim/combing, but not too shabby:




I was shopping at Pendleton Woolen Mills and came across this interesting turquoise plaid that I thought might be a colorful blanket.  So I am keeping that in mind at $60/yard.


Here is one of the PINK CROSS pillows available at STUDIO TULLIA on ETSY that we are planning to use on her bed.



And I am just starting to think about art, although she already has quite a bit of her own to work with.  I just think these are lovely.



And lastly, think it would be fun to paint her door this rose quartz when we get to the hallway outside her room.IMG_3239.jpg


Wishing everyone a great few last days of the week.


And, thanks for reading!





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download (1).pngWe decided to get some shopping done for the essentials of the room: lighting, hardware and curtains.  I wasn’t sure how much input to let Charlotte have, but for the most part she picked some essentials I couldn’t find too much fault with.  I just had to keep reminding her that the room is small so we couldn’t go too loud or crazy.

So here’s what we accomplished in less than two hours at IKEA:


She picked this floral etched glass KNUBBIG globe, which is a pretty accent light for the bookshelf. It has a subtle cherry blossom motif which is in keeping with our theme.


We finally decided on this chandelier by DAVID WAHL. I am curious to see how it looks installed. We chose the turquoise inside rather than the orange.





I like that you can easily pull on the cords to control the amount of light into the room.




Then we chose this RODD sconce that we paired with the EMMIE BLOM shade which has a nice floral pattern:



They had it on display and we liked it. We are from the City of Roses afterall.



Next we moved onto…



This is the look we were after with the grommets.   We chose the MERETE cotton curtains which are a nice weight cotton.


We also wanted sheers so we picked the LILL lace curtains:



We went with the VASENTLIG ball finials and double curtain rods:



Pretty basic choices, but I feel good that we got those items taken care of.  It gives my husband some time to install the pendant and sconces as well as the curtains rods.

We are still painting the walls and hoping to have that done soon.  And, Charlotte plans to splatter the curtains…oh boy.


I loved this chair but it is too big.


We also considered this one at VINTAGE VINTAGE on Division St, but again too big.


Would you look at all the carts at IKEA!  We were leaving as they were closing up.



Well, thanks for reading and we will see you next week!





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Well , here we are at week two of the ORC.  Old houses always require more prep than you think. My husband and I agreed to not spend a month on the ceiling like we did in our bedroom. Still, there were some cracks on the ceiling and a few holes in the walls that had to be addressed.  My husband got that done and the floor prepped for painting.



Charlotte has chosen lilac walls and light cherry blossom pink for the ceilings with white trim.  This is where we are headed:

First Light #2102-70 by Benjamin Moore

First Light BM.jpg    and, Spring Iris #1402 also by Benjamin MooreIris BM.jpg

We started with METRO PAINT, which is a local paint supplier in Portland. There paints are all recycled and very affordable.  My father in law (who is a contractor) uses their paint all the time and recommended I give it a try. I love their MOUNTAIN SNOW – which I used for my HOME OFFICE.

metropaint_paint_open_cans_colors.jpgSo, we bought a gallon of CARNATION (for like $12!) and we have been methodically adding MOUNTAIN SNOW to try to get close to light pink we might like.

FYI, Metro Paint has a limited palette of colors, but in reality if you have the time and gumption, you can mix and match and come up with some pretty nice colors.  They haev lots of examples and formulas in their store.  It can make painting a house almost affordable.





Charlotte with CARNATION, untouched.  Too pink as is as you can see.


After painting the entire ceiling with a lightened pink, it is still too pink.  So, we’ll add more white. I think we are close though.


The lilac bush is blooming outside of our house  – I used the flowers to decorate the twins’ birthday cake this week. A little much for Arthur. Oops.  Charlotte and I tinted the icing lilac.  I guess we are in a custom color mixing mood. The lighter part of the lilac petals are such a perfect color.


I came across this cherry tree in bloom the other day and had to share this.  There really is nothing like Portland in the Spring.


There were 3-4 inches of pink petals on the ground!








So, I am also thinking about lighting.  She needs a pendant light and a bedside lamp. Or ultimately a sconce by her bed. I am a big fan as they leave your bedside table free and provide nice light. Here are a few possibilities:IMG_9969.jpg

With a gold sconce from Visual Comfort:



Here’s a sconce from IKEA:


A new pendant light from IKEA:


It does cool things at night:


Is this vintage glass pendant light stunning or what?


I even like this Chinese paper lantern for $12:





And here are some basic white curtains with grommets for a modern look.  Grommet curtains are super easy to use. And these curtains will be used daily.



I am leaning toward sheers behind the curtains rather than shades.   The windows are sort of odd and need to be replaced ultimately so the sheers should offer some coverage for now.


Charlotte has some ideas of her own about the curtains. She wants to splatter them in a ROTHKO-ish way. I have my concerns, but nevertheless, we bought the paint at COLLAGE in Portland:

I’ve been looking at Pinterest for ideas:







So, we will cross that bridge soon enough.


Well, I better stop for now.   Thanks for joining.

Follow along with the ORC Featured Designers


Follow along with the Other ORC Guest Participants

Thanks for reading!


Have a great Friday and weekend!




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