ALL THE BITS AND PIECES
We are now getting to the bits and pieces of what will bring Project Shut The Front Door all together. If you missed what this project is about, it’s my entry in the One Room Challenge. You can catch yourself up over on my Week One post (and probably should read Week Two and Week Three while you’re at it). Needless to say, Linda Weinstein started something really fun and the whole thing just took off! With this year’s media sponsor, Better Homes and Gardens, selecting two guest participants to join the likes of Featured Participants in the Spring 2019 challenge, there has been quite a buzz.
I tasked the homeowner with a few things. Sending her outside to spray paint before I left one day reminded me of Trading Spaces where the designers gave the poor souls homework, only to end up with awful-ness like putting hay on walls or stapled plastic flowers all over a bathroom. I did promise my client that the end result would not have any surprises like THAT. But there have been surprises for her along the way. The whole room has pretty much been one surprise after another. And if her tears of joy along the way so far are telling me anything, I think she’s loving every minute of this. But wait, we were talking about the homework.
So what did I have her paint? The vents. One is an oddly shaped air return vent that must be original to the house. I had her scrape it down a little bit, and we saw a bunch of different colors in the layers of paint. I did look up some beautiful replacement options, but really, do I need to draw your eye to this thing or make it disappear? Well for under $10 we are making it disappear. She also sprayed the smaller vent near the floor in the “wonky window wall” (remember, this was one reason we couldn’t just open up the wall and make a large, centered entrance into the dining room).
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I also had her shop for the new switch plates. I feel like people don’t really consider them, but I think the cheapy ones with the visible screws just take away some of the effort you’re putting in to make your home look nice. Spend a couple more bucks and get something nicer! I didn’t go nuts, I just asked her to get some clean, flat, screw-less ones.
The other thing I suggested was to swap out the bulky old thermostat that was in the middle of the wall with a new fancy pants Nest thermostat. Now she can use her smartphone to set the temperature if she feels like it! Fancy pants, I tell ya. It is just a small black dot on the wall now, and it only lights up like this picture when you walk by it, like “hey baby, look how hot it is in here”.
She got an A+ on her homework.
WHAT ELSE HAS HAPPENED?
I did show you the progress on the wonky window last week, and the wall is now covered in this terrific wallpaper. This is actually the wall on the left side!
The ceiling was painted. I know some people saw in my last post and are wondering what color that is. Before I tell you, it’s my job to remind you that colors not only look different on a computer or in a magazine, but also might not look the same from one house (or even one room) to another. So if you’re searching for a new color for your home, you might need to tweak something you liked online to fit your needs. Ok, no more lectures. Here it is:
The electrician came and installed the thermostat, a new flush mount, and a new chandelier to replace that main booby light that was in the center of the ceiling.
Last week I hinted that it was one of the above but in another color. Here’s the winner:
You might get to see the chandelier on my Instagram in the next few days, and more of it next week.
The “major work” is now done. I sketched, measured floors, measured walls, measured furniture, and measured it all again to make sure all the things I wanted to put into the room would fit. I use a laser measure like these here, and I have a great app on my iPad, but my little notebook and a pencil are always easy. Plus I forgot my iPad.
You saw the two rugs last week. One is big for the center of the room and the other one is being used as a door mat because it’s real life and they need one right in front of the door. At first I wanted one rug that fit the square room with an even border of hardwood floor showing all the way around it. Due to the size, it would have to be custom. (A lot of the ready made square rugs weren’t big enough or they were just FUGLY.) Besides, if we just had one big rug in there, that one big rug would be doing door mat duty. So if that one area became too gross, the whole thing would have to be replaced. That doesn’t make sense to me or the homeowner. We decided an inexpensive rug for the door area would be the best move. Real life living. Problem solving.
As for the big one (that you can see better a few paragraphs down from here), I almost went with wool, which is always my first choice for rugs. I have had clients allergic to wool in the past so I had done some research before on man-made alternatives that are good for high traffic, with low pile, while still having interesting color and pattern and thought this might be a better option for this family. Two dogs, remember?? I scored a great rug direct from the company and while I would love to share that source, I’m not sure it’s available anymore. I got super lucky. Here are some other similar options.
REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE
Now for some more bits and pieces. I shopped for some second-hand pieces or vintage pieces to incorporate into the room. I like mixing new with old, high with low, modern with traditional, light with dark. I think are all of these are important to making a room feel “real”. Something with a story, something with character, as well as something in the budget and readily available!
This used 49″ round table was found on Facebook Marketplace. It’s solid and very heavy, and we definitely wouldn’t have been able to fit a brand new version of this quality into our budget. The blocky nature of the base was interesting to me. The scale was going to fill the room a bit, which is what I wanted but I know the family was nervous about having something in the middle of the room. I did it anyway.
The Ugly Ducking Chair. This chair has been used and loved for generations, and eventually neglected and falling apart when I discovered it in a garage. I wasn’t completely sure what I was going to do with it until I decided on a whim to enter into a contest on Instagram. I won! Maxwell Fabrics picked my chair and sent me that glorious chartreuse fabric. I couldn’t believe it.
Once I met the client about Project Shut The Front Door I knew this could be the perfect addition to her room. I kept this as a surprise though. Why? Because I was still nervous about the measurements, and because what if I loved the chair and didn’t want to part with it?? Guess what. The chair is done. I love the chair. A LOT. I will have to show you next week because there is more to discuss! I did show sneak peeks on my insta-stories so you better pay attention or you miss out on the fun. There’s a hint of it in the opening pic.
BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
The cuts and bruises, that is. It’s funny how many little cuts and big bruises you get from lugging bulky things and cutting open boxes. Well, it’s not really funny. And I have seen more styrofoam break into tiny bits and pieces in the last week than I ever want to see again. It’s like the pine needles after the holidays, you just can’t ever get rid of the little fluffy white dots that float all around. They seem to run away from you when you try to pick them up! The good news is that nothing was damaged in shipment and we are good to go.
I assembled this big étagère (click on that to see how to pronounce this fancy word and what it means). You’ll have to check back next week to see what it actually looks like.
My man hands have been schlepping boxes, furniture, and bags full of goodies in and out of my car (a few times each) and putting things together. I’m looking forward to treating myself to a manicure soon.
A few more bits I brought in:
As we move into Week Five, I will have figured out where all the bits and pieces are going. Everything should be falling into place. I will share more details of what’s going into the room with you at that point.
I am working on getting the chandelier up in the dining room and installing the three flush mounts upstairs that match the one I put in the foyer. These are not part of the project but we’ve had a little job-creep happen, and I’m not complaining. I don’t think the dining room will get painted before the challenge is over, but that room will change a little bit in the next month or so, I believe.
Get all the things in place and get some fresh flowers. After all of that, the amazing photographer I’m working with will arrive and take pictures of this place. That’s always exciting. She mentioned headshots for me too, and that stresses me out. I haven’t had any done and she says I need to. And my design and PR friends say I need to. So I guess I need to. UGH. I’m writing this here so I don’t chicken out. The last head shot I had was for my driver’s license, and I probably should check to see if that is expired.
ANEEEEEE-WAYYYYY… Weeks Five and Six are coming up fast! Before you know it, you’ll get to see Project Shut The Front Door all done. It’s funny how time flies. The timing is good because I am gearing up on a few upcoming projects that I haven’t even discussed with you. Oh, and we have our very last NJ Thanksgiving to celebrate, and then our last NJ Christmas. Ok, that made my eyes well up a little bit.
The other participants are killing it on their projects. Some are so ambitious, I am amazed at what they are taking on! You can check them out by clicking the big ORC below. I’ve been obsessively reading about some of my friends who are Featured Participants. Such good stuff happening.