One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Let’s talk about walls. And my standards of ‘not so bad’.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before (if you’re new to this blog, then it’s sure to be a riveting story): we bought this house from some house flippers that covered all the plaster walls with drywall. The walls looked nice, but projected farther than the baseboards and it irked the hell out of me. A few years ago, I started removing drywall, room by room, to expose varying horrors underneath.

This guest room is the 7th room in the house that I’ve been repairing in earnest and for some reason, although I have gotten a pretty good handle on it, I felt serious avoidance to putting the work in. Like, I found all sorts of other activities to do instead of work on those walls. Working my actual job longer days, watching kids movies (Hocus Pocus for the win) and idk, my fucking taxes? Basically, anything seemed better.

I removed the drywall and screws, and introduced the room.

But not myself? Which should be the biggest indicator of who I am. My name is Madeline, I am not a designer or real blogger (as evidenced by my many posting faux pas) and I am renovating my 100+ year old home as a hobby. I do all these projects by myself because my husband has no interest in them. I love hyperbole and pink.

Now back to the room.

Last week I scraped off the faux finish. What I was left with was the room with the least amount of cracks on the ceiling and walls, although I was still gifted with some huge chunks of wall/ceiling missing, cracks and tons of screw holes. And a seriously growing hatred for all the previous owners. The worst. Whenever I would get my dusty clothes on and mix up some mud, I barely worked on it and would abandon the walls for wine and justifications that I still have weeks.

That is the beauty that is the One Room Challenge though. Thanks to Linda, from Calling it Home, for creating this event. And all the amazing and inspiring participants! I can’t give ya’ll an ugly and crumbling room and I am running out of time.

So I hunkered down and worked on those walls. Super crabby though. Like, don’t even fucking look at me wrong, Cat. I know you’ve been sleeping for the past 22 hours. And why am I not eating a whopper with cheese right now!?

I won’t give a full tutorial here on my process for repairing plaster – I wrote about that process previously or here, if interested.

Short version is remove crumbling plaster from cracks, patch large holes with drywall, fiberglass screen on all the cracks and holes, layer joint compound, another layer, probably some more and then sanddddddddd. The caveat is that you have to feel comfortable drinking wine with questionable chunks of plaster and dust.

I spent daysssssssss patching. The ceiling had some weird powdery substance on it? Like they thought about doing popcorn but then nah. I scraped off what I could, but it made it really difficult to apply the joint compound by sucking out the moisture asap and sucking up my life essence while it was at it.

And that’s where I’m at. Still.

I have to sand and then prime everything before I can even move on to the actual paint. I always follow that up with two coats of oil based primer (nothing better) and then two coats of latex primer. It’s proven to be the most efficient at reducing any flashing in the top coat. I think I do 4 coats? I can’t remember right now.

Even further insult is the paint on the trim is peeling off in some places and scaling in others, and it’s for sure lead paint underneath so I can’t just sand it smooth. Sooooooooooo stripping it will have to be done. And don’t eat the paint chips.

I went for a much needed run and then came home and painted on a layer of stripper. I didn’t even get out of my gym clothes, which is why I have so many ruined clothes piling up. The citristrip was on there to do most of the work while I was at work. At my actual paying job.

Which I just got back from, took these pictures and finished this post for the week 3 link up. Ahead of things, I am not.

I am exhausted and not sure if I’ll get everything that I want to do done in time.

On to the good news though? Even though the room still looks like shit, I ordered some pretty stuff for it and that’s starting to arrive.

Art work:

"form" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.

"rock in style" - Art Print by Lauren Packard in beautiful frame options and a variety of sizes.


This light fixture (in black) for next to the bed, and this rug.

I also purchased that rug for my dining room. I ordered the 9’x12′ and it came several inches too big and too big for my room. A quick google search and the internet was like ‘omg it’s so easy to fix!’ and I was like cool. LET ME TELL YOU, NOT FUCKING COOL. I feel it’s only right that someone on the internet is honest about it. It took me several hours to use a seam ripper to remove the braid, sew it back on in the right place and then a huge blister when cutting off the excess. And I stabbed myself a million times. I damned bled for that rug.

So, pray that when I unroll the one for this room, it’s the right size. Otherwise I’m going to have to burn the house down and live in a cave.

I found my kreg jig! But can’t find my respirator mask and had to buy a new one. WHO HAS THESE PROBLEMS.

All that’s left is:

  • Strip wood work
  • Sand walls
  • Prime
  • Prime
  • Prime?
  • Prime?
  • Get my life together
  • Paint
  • Build a bed and figure out how to upholster (I find this project intimidating)
  • Avoid a nervous breakdown
  • Put all the pretty stuff in there

3 weeks. Tears.

Head back to the link up for all the other people putting in work!


One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Procrastination is expensive and also my default setting

Welcome back!

To brush you up, the One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event that is hosted by Linda from Calling it Home which facilitates bloggers choosing a room in need of love and 5 weeks to share progress and then a reveal. It’s such a great opportunity to GET SHIT DONE, and there’s so much support from fellow participants. It gives me all the fuzzies.

As per my routine, I announced that I would complete this project in a short amount of time, then I went and did other things – not related to my project.

And there I was, minding my own avoidance business and I was like “Oh shit! The roman shades!”

You see, I purchased the last 4 1/2 yards of Rose Gold Regency fabric from Tonic Living (here’s the gold version) a few months ago, and then it sat in it’s packaging.

Sometimes (all the time) in my head, once I have made a decision about something in my brain, it’s done? But not actually in reality.

So I reached out to someone on Etsy about sending the fabric and having shades made, and the price was reasonable and I was like great! Then I went to purchase the listing and the estimated time was 6-8 weeks. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Some frantic emails and general begging/harassment later, and I was told she was too busy to rush my order, which is understandable. Unfortunately, this took some days, which cut into my time frame even more.

I reached out to someone else, and I got the quote and it was expensive. And a rush charge, and also, really expensive. For just the labor and lining.

I started emotionally sweating. I only have 4 weeks to ship the fabric to someone, have them sewn, shipped back to me and then hung.

And also, I am like real people poor. I am not like some people, with what-appears-to-be-infinite resources for home design. Not hating, just jealous.

No offense to the fabric, either, but it wasn’t going to be the focal point of the room or anything. So, did it seem worth it? Should I choose an alternative? That costs money too, and I already paid for the fabric.

On the other hand, I am also unwavering when I have made decisions.

So, guys, I bit that expensive bullet. I sent the fabric out yesterday, and I feel like it had better be sewn with angel’s tears or something.


After that whole sweat and stress inducing situation, I was like, Girl, you just spent all that money for roman shades and you haven’t done anything on those ugly ass fucking green walls. FOR SHAME ON YOU. AND ALSO GET YOURSELF UP THERE. YOU ARE SWEATY AND GROSS ALREADY. AND MAKE GOOD LIFE DECISIONS.

I went to inspect the walls. The faux finish added a weird texture and also made it hard to see any cracks in the plaster for repair. I grabbed one of those paint scraping tools and a big box of razor blades and started scraping.

idk who else’s ORC room literally shed its skin to reveal new walls underneath. So I’ve got that going for me.

Rare action shot!

It took about 10 hours to scrape off what I could. I plied my sister with a $4 bottle of wine and she helped! It gave me several blisters and claw hands, even still.

Somehow the faux finish protected the plaster from the drywall screws?! Miracles DO happen. They are in the best shape (pre-repair) of the whole house. Which is kind of a sad statement?

Next up will be patching! THEN PAINT!

I am exhausted just thinking about it. At least I have exciting weekend plans now!

In other productive updates, I ordered a light fixture for next to the bed. I ordered it from Greece though, so, it might not come in time? So that may not be a productive update? Why do I do these things?! Ya’ll, save me from myself.

I picked up a nice dresser off craigslist, which, I think I will refinish. If my body doesn’t have a violent reaction to the thought of more sanding.

I’m glad that I have something to show for myself and we aren’t sharing in my complete failure.

Make sure to head back to the link up for other rooms with likely more progress!


One Room Challenge Fall 2017: Dark and cozy guest room

Well, damn. That was a long and unintended blog hiatus.

It was really more of an internet hiatus, if I’m being honest. It is depressing out there right now.

I seem to have two modes: On the couch with Netflix and wine or full blown DIY mania. I am 100% back on my bullshit.

I haven’t really been sure how to start, so, why not jump back in with a One room challenge?


If you are unfamiliar with the One Room (to rule them all) Challenge, it is a biannual blog link up party, created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. Participants choose a project, and then have 6 posts and 5 weeks to complete. It is an explode-your-house-ruin-relationships-and-lots-of-tears kind of thing. It’s pretty amazing.

Past reveals: Living room and daughter’s bedroom

And, I’m actually a little intimidated about doing the challenge this round? I waffled until the day of joining to decide if I wanted to. I’m feeling a little insecure, since there have been so many amazing reveals and I don’t think this one will be on that level.

So. Temper your expectations.

We can delve into my inadequacies another time.

I shared this room a few months ago on Instagram, with the intention of working on it. Then a surgery happened (I’m fine!) and after recovery, it stayed stalled while I worked on other projects.

It is an extra room in my house, for guests that haven’t minded living in squalor (shout out to my sister in law! Love you, girl). I feel like it’s about time to, idk, have it be more than a mattress on the floor and possible lead poisoning?

I removed all the drywall to expose the usual: thousands of cracks and screw holes, huge holes for electrical and crumbling plaster.


This thick faux finish metallic green paint on the walls?

OMG. Blessed.

Who were these mythical creatures that painted the walls in this house? Did they have a curse bestowed upon them to never finish painting a room, doomed to live with their failed intentions and 154563 shades of avocado?

Shit. Is the curse on me, too? That explains so much.



Scrape off the faux finish? It has a lot of texture and is peeling in some places.

Scrub off the crayon doodles from my kid. Ugh, when I found the “art” I couldn’t help but be horrified that MY amazing genetic offspring was ultimately such a generic cliché. We should probably blame her parents.

patch, patch, patch, patch, sand, prime, prime, paint, paint.

Maybe make a bedframe? We will have to see on this one. I seem to have lost my kregjig? Like, who even does that?

Then all the pretty stuff.

My ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere that is less…. how you say… ‘crack den’.


Make sure to follow along with all the sure-to-be-astounding transformations!



One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Kid’s bedroom reveal!

Happy reveal day! It might be one of my fave days of the year.

If you’re unfamiliar with this bi-annual holiday, it was created and is hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. It gives bloggers an opportunity to destroy a room/home/bank account/relationships/sanity/nails/neglect all other responsibilities/etc over the course of 5 weeks and link the progress in the hopes of a new and beautiful finished room at the end.

And it is awesome.

Except that my body might be sore forever.

This is my second time participating. I did my living room this past fall. Reveal here.

The room that I chose to work on is one of the modestly sized bedrooms in our 110 year old south Minneapolis home, to create a new big girl bedroom as a surprise for my 5 year old daughter.

The beginning:

IMG_1149What a drag.

I didn’t end up getting much done for the second week. Sometimes when I start a project, I get so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks that I go into the fetal position on the couch with wine. I know you feel me.

The original plaster was obvs in rough shape and needed a lot of work as far as patching holes and cracks, missing chunks of wall/ceiling and sanding smooth. IMG_1217This is about the point where I get a faraway look in my eyes and I start mumbling on repeat…. ‘I just have to get the primer up, everything is better after primer, so close’ while I’m putting tin foil up on the windows and donning a garbage bag as a dress.


Someone should put that on one of those inspirational posters with a kitten and a roller.


I ended up doing a drop ceiling with black paint, installed the stellar flush sputnik and my daughter helped choose the pale pink.

I thought that I was keeping most of the last minute details out of the previous post, to make the reveal more special, but no. I am deluded. I was just procrastinating. Let’s call it what it is. K, Madeline?


It was at this point that I had to make finial decisions.

The list:

Paint walls and trim
Scrub everything clean
Fix roman shades (FML) and install (the blisters!)
Assemble day bed, brackets, wood slats cut down (the bed is an antique and amazing. But one of the screws to attach the side piece had some stripped threading and wouldn’t go into the receiving part. I’m a motherfucking do’er though, so I used a hacksaw and removed that part and it worked!)
Acquire mattress and bedding (mattress is a twin and apparently I need a longer one. Le sigh. Why didn’t I take measurements?! Or, assemble previously… or have general foresight)
Hang chair
Create storage
Make pretty

Something as simple as picking a color for the little makeshift storage unit nearly broke me. It left me in the paint aisle practically feral and like: I can’t decisions no more.

I might not even be able to decide what words to use for this post.

Am I forming words?

Hopefully you all understand guttural sounds.


Decisions got made.

Pictures quality proved to be a bummer because it has rained every day for the past week. But, the room looks good. Real good.

IMG_1395 IMG_1397 IMG_1420IMG_1362 IMG_1405IMG_1352

Can we talk about the beautiful floral sculptures?

IMG_1356They are from a shop on etsy called DillyPad. Each piece is a masterpiece. I adore them.

And these dark floral roman shades?!IMG_1419I die.

Details on the antique daybed from craigslist:IMG_1359 DSC_1290Sarah from Lucent lightshop sent me the black sconce, and they gave it to me! For, like, keeps. Knock me over with a feather. I was about ready to pay a king’s ransom for it. The ORC desperation is real. It was super sweet of them.

Their craftsman ship is hella on point. I paired it with a faceted light bulb that I picked up from CB2. DSC_1288

This rug.berber wares "moroccan pouf" "rugsusa braided rug"The pictures online don’t do it justice. The braiding is really thick, maybe an inch wide? Really comfortable.

Pretty things like pillows! It’s the best when you get to clear a room out of tools and paint cans and put pretty shit in there. I love pretty.



The wall between the door and the closet door is kind of wasted because the door opens towards it. I painted a large circular chalkboard here to provide a space for creativity, that takes up no room. IMG_1371IMG_1370


I was so excited to tell Rylan about her new room. I was able to keep her out of there successfully the past weekend whilst I installed, to keep it a surprise. I acted out all the bad teenage movies though, awkwardly cracking the door and blocking it with my body when she would seek out my attention.

When I finished and my husband and I told her that it was for her, she was so happy and went straight to her dad to thank him and hug him.

I was like: what. the. actual. fuck.

Is this real life?!

I mean, he’s cool and all, but he did not make this room for her. He did supply moral support for me tho.

He told her that he should be thanking me (after accepting a pretty stellar hug), and only then did she direct her attention to me – the person who has been slaving, bleeding and sweating for 5 weeks for this room.

Ummm. Did she not see me with her own eyes doing all the work?!

I guess that about sums up what it’s like to be the mom.

I digress.

She was so verbally appreciative after that. I got to hear a lot of “You did all that work, for me?! I LOVE it.”

Then this happened: DSC_1287 So, so totally worth it.

Make sure to check out all the other completed rooms. Mind blowing!ORC



  • Paint colors (Behr Pale Bud, Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, Benjamin Moore Hunter Green)
  • Daybed – Antique
  • Sputnik ceiling light – Lucent Lightshop
  • Moroccan Pouf and wedding blanket pillows – Berber Wares
  • Other bed pillows – Target
  • Chair pillows and blanket – Home Goods
  • Hanging Chair – Serena and Lily
  • Rug – RugsUSA
  • Roman shades – Fabric by Ellie Cashman design and sewn by Creative Drapery
  • Mirror – Antique
  • Cubby storage – ‘antique’ Ikea and waddell furniture legs
  • Planter – Target
  • Copper table light – West Elm
  • Brass side table – West Elm (no longer available in brass)
  • Pink throw and quilted blanket – West Elm
  • Copper basket – Target (maybe no longer available?)
  • Alarm clock – Teach me time clock (I don’t know if anyone else uses this, but, it is a life saver when your kid wants to wake up at 5am! We just started using it about 6 months ago and now she stays in her room until 6:45 daily)


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Pre-reveal reveal post

It’s week 5 of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. That means that next week is the reveal and we all have one more week to pull it all together. I’m so excited to see everyone’s rooms!

Are you all ready to read another 1000 words about paint?


I spend a lot of my life painting. On Friday, I had to tell all my friends that I couldn’t be social ’cause I was too busy painting and deep conditioning my hair. I’m totally kidding, guys. I spend my Fridays painting and deep conditioning my hair…. I don’t have friends.

Here’s how the room started:IMG_1144If you’re curious about the progress from that point, check out weeks one, two, three, and four.

This room is small, but it still managed to take:

  • 1 gallon of oil based primer
  • 1 gallon of latex primer
  • 1 gallon of Tricorn black
  • 1 gallon of flat Pale Bud
  • 1 quart of satin Pale Bud

After I spent all that time painting the walls and trim with Behr Pale Bud (mixed in Valspar Aspire – I think the price and quality of this paint is excellent), they kind of just looked white, and not really pink at all.

Then I realized that I’m not going to waste hours of my life painting, and then stressing about an inoffensive pale pink white color. It’s subtle.

I knew that wine as a coping mechanism for anxiety was going to pay off some day.

Moving on. I went to Home Depot and rented their rotary laser level to mark off the line where the black and white pink would meet on the walls. It cost me $41 and was so, so worth it.

It took some work and precarious balancing on a tiny table to get the bubbles level. Then I saw where the line was on the walls and it was lower than I had envisioned in my minds eye.laser level laser level

Then I was like idgaf and left it where it was.

I’m totally so cold and calculating. I’m practically a super villain.

It only took me about 15 minutes to tape off the line and paint a thin coat of Pale Bud to fill any gaps.

A coat and a half of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black (again mixed in Valspar Aspire), with paint pole snapping mid-painting, and I was pulling that tape off to reveal some fine lines.IMG_1260

I was like: Danggggggggggggggggg. That’s a crisp line, yo.


My rugsUSA braided rug arrived and I got all excited and put it down before cleaning the floor. The shape of the room, with the slanted door frame and radiator makes it a little tricky for the rug size. I went with a 6×9 to take up as much of the available space as I could.IMG_1275

The rug pad is MIA, but it turns out that this rug is so thick it might not even need one. I’ll still probably want to find out where it is out there in the world, since I paid monies for it. I’m terribly unreasonable.

The off white color of the rug helps the walls look a little more pink in contrast. IDK. I’m grasping at straws here.

After I put the rug down, my daughter saw the room and said “Mom! I love where you’re going with the room you’re working on!” to which I kept a cool demeanor on the outside and was like “fuck yeah!” and warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Another byproduct of the angled door and radiator is this shallow space:IMG_1271

It’s only like 14″ deep and limits what can be put here, without interfering with the whole walking into the room thing. That means a dresser is out. I thought about building something, but, let’s be real, I simply didn’t want to.

I remembered I have this wall thingy from ikea that I bought like 5 years ago. I am planning to put on some furniture legs and paint it. It should tuck right in there behind the hanging chair, and provide a little storage for books and stuffed animals and all the little shit that kids somehow accumulate without having money.

I worked on the roman shades. I was able to use some scrap 1x2s that I had laying around (it’s a normal thing to have scrap lumber hanging out) to make them less deep. I got one all done, and the second one is still on my list. I messed it up the first time, but now I know that I was doing way too much and should be able to fix it pretty easily. Removing all those staples again tho….. groans.

Basically, the room needs to be cleaned and will be prepped for the install. I feel so profesh calling it that.IMG_1266 IMG_1269 IMG_1267

Things left to do:

  • Paint walls and trim
  • Scrub everything clean
  • Rug
  • Fix roman shades (FML) and install
  • Assemble day bed, brackets, wood slats cut down
  • Acquire mattress and bedding (bedding is stupid expensive – even the tiny twin versions)
  • Hang chair
  • Create storage
  • Make pretty

Shit. Did I do anything this week?! List – you the worst.

At least my work trip was pushed back and I will be home the days leading up to the reveal.

Follow along on instagram also, and make sure to check out the other link ups.


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Painting and chillin’

Welcome back! It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling it Home. If you haven’t yet, make sure to head over there and check all the other rooms’ progress. It’s amazing what these bloggers can do in 6 weeks.

To bring ya’ll up to speed, week 1 presented a horribly pink room with a ton of nail holes and cracks in the plaster. Week 2 wasn’t much of an update at all (shame), and week 3 had a lot of progress with patching/sanding/priming the walls.

The rest of the past week was spent fighting off the beyhive because I’m Becky with the good hair painting. Between this bedroom and my dining room, it was a total of 2 coats of primer on walls/ceiling, all the trim/doors, 3 top coats on the ceilings and 1 on the dining room walls. My body is beat – and I don’t have a lot to show for it in the ORC room.

But I apparently have a lot of words to describe very little. Brevity isn’t my thing. I always suspected that was the case, but writing blog posts about paint has definitely proved it to be true.

Since the ceilings are fairly low in here, and one side slopes due to the roof, I decided to go on ahead and embrace that by painting the ceiling black. The room is so bright (which is good), but the dark ceiling gives the eyes a nice place to rest. I likes it.IMG_1242 IMG_1243

Between some coats, I took the opportunity to swap out the light switches for dimmer toggle versions, and installed a ceiling medallion and my Lucent Lightshop fixture. I turned it on and the angels sang.DSC_1250

It’s always a hassle for me to install new light fixtures with this old house. I never know what the ceiling pan situation is going to be like, and the included screws don’t usually fit. It took two trips to my local Ace Hardware (love that place) to get the right length screws that would work with the pan/ceiling medallion – but I was determined to install it.

Rylie was like :’Ummm. You’re having a hard time with that.’

Thanks for that astute observation, sweet little child.

Pink paint color swatches are very deceiving in their paint chip form. I felt all sorts of betrayal.

I chose 5 samples, they all looked rather innocuous on their tiny little squares and in their paint pots – until I got them up on the wall.Valspar Angel's Sigh, Behr Prelude to Pink, Behr Sweet Roses, Behr My Sweetheart, Behr Pale Bud

L-R – Valspar Angel’s Sigh, Behr Prelude to Pink, Behr Sweet Roses, Behr My Sweetheart, Behr Pale Bud

Sorry for the terrible picture. It’s been raining the past several days.

I like My Sweetheart actually, but it went way too peach for this room. Angel’s Sigh is terrible, just terrible.

So – I did what any normal person would do. I deferred to the 5 year old. She chose Pale Bud, the one I had in mind, actually. That will be this weekend’s project. Yaaaaaay. More painting.

Once the painting is done, I can start bringing some things in.

I ordered a rug, this one by RugsUSA. I have my fingers crossed that the “off-white” color works with the paint and upholstered day bed (a craigslist find.) I ordered it when it was 70% off, and then an additional 10%. Woohoo.

The hanging chair arrived! Such a relief that it’s in my greedy possession. The box was too big to get through both my front and back house doors, so I had to take it out and I am pretty sure I heard neighbors laughing at me whilst I struggled. WhatEvs. They’re probably just jealous they ain’t got it like that.

And. The big box provided the kids a lot of entertainment in the back yard. Until they started squabbling over turf and I came out with a box cutter and broke down their house. Life lessons.

I learned a life lesson also. I don’t know how to measure for roman shades. For the depth, I thought it was the depth of the WHOLE window casing, not only the casing directly around the window. So, they are too deep. I’ll have to figure out to how to retrofit them without completely messing them up.

Things left to do:

  • Paint walls and trim
  • Scrub everything clean
  • Rug
  • Fix roman shades (FML) and install
  • Assemble day bed, brackets, wood slats cut down
  • Acquire mattress and bedding
  • Hang chair
  • Create storage
  • Make pretty

Not too bad, all in all! I’m actually feeling a little guilty, like this room was too simple for the ORC, compared to how much work other people are doing.

Yikes. I hope that I don’t tempt the fates to mess up my life with that thought.

I can’t wait to see all the reveals in a couple of weeks.


One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Blank slate and good vibes

It’s week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I am feeling goooooood. I mean, sore AF and I killed way too many brain cells with spray paint and oil based primer fumes, but good all the same!

If you’re new to this challenge, Linda from Calling it Home hosts this event twice a year. Bloggers get to choose a room to work on, post the progress once a week for 6 weeks and link up to her site. If you’re someone like me, and can drag a simple project out for 6 months, this is super helpful to getting shit done.

I chose to turn our current guest room into a big girl room for my 5 year old daughter. This way, she can stay in her room, none the wiser that this is a surprise room for her.

I’m so excited to do this for her. She has been so patient and understanding of the house renovations, the chaos, the dust over the past 3 years. She really deserves her own space (free of the dust and chaos.)

This is where my challenge started.IMG_1144


Shudders. So. We bought this 100+ house from some flippers, who purchased it from an elderly woman that had lived there for a very long time and did not do proper upkeep. Or do any updates, as evidenced by the pink/avocado green/pale yellow/6 wallpapers in 1 room/massive holes, etc.

The house flippers’ solution to this was to cover all the surfaces with drywall. Great in theory, but it stuck out 1/2″ at the bottom of the walls where the baseboards were flush with the plaster walls and the window casing was close to being recessed. This probably wouldn’t bother the average person, but when it comes to freaking out about miniscule details, I am exceptionally above average.

I have been going from room to room in the house, forcefully removing the drywall, patching holes and cracks in the original plaster walls/ceiling, sanding, priming and painting.

This is the 6th room I’ve done so far – only 5 more to go. Le sigh.


Next time I start a project and think ‘oh, this won’t be so bad!’, I need ya’ll to remind me that I don’t know shit. kthxbye.

For my pitiful 2nd week post, I had only removed the screws and washed the walls and half heartedly patched holes.

That’s when I discovered this little gem:IMG_3955

It brought so much happiness to my life.

Showing up to the ORC challenge linking party with my hands empty was enough humiliation that I was finally motivated to finish repairing the walls this past week. Although, everyone was so kind of absolve me of my guilt and shame. WHO KNEW THE INTERNET WAS SO NICE?! It makes me want to go sit in a cardboard box of fuzzy kittens and let them climb on me.

I painted out the vinyl windows with some black satin Krylon fusion spray paint and the radiator in matte black. ‘Cause, why not?

Then, armed with 1/4″ drywall, 3 bags of DuraBond/Easy Sand 90 joint compound and 3 rolls of fiberglass window screen – I got down to it.

I addressed the deep holes initially. Those jerks are the ones that need countless coats to build up.

For the ginormous hole next to the light switch, I took some extra lath and screwed it to other pieces of lath for some support and strength.DSC_1197

Then I covered it up with a newspaper – done!DSC_1198

JK. I wish.

I used that to make a general template, cut out said template of 1/4″ drywall and then screwed the drywall to the lath. It doesn’t have to be perfect ’cause it will be filled/smoothed out with the joint compound.DSC_1200 DSC_1201 DSC_1204 DSC_1205 DSC_1206

After it was secured, I covered it with a big square of the screen and gave a once over coat.DSC_1207

The first coat is always the DuraBond, it’s super strong, but a bitch to sand – so I use it sparingly. This will go in the screw holes and the deep holes with mesh screen.

I cut the screen in to long strips, and use those for the thousands of tiny cracks in the walls/ceiling.

To protect my brain from the trauma of the next 3-6 coats, I went in to some sort of fugue state. When I came to, all the holes and cracks were smoothed out.IMG_1213 IMG_1214 IMG_1215 IMG_1225


The sanding wasn’t so bad, actually! It took about 4 hours with an orbital sander and 220 grit. I just kept telling myself that it will all be better once I get the walls primed.

AND PRIMED!IMG_1227 IMG_1230 IMG_1229 IMG_1232 IMG_1234

So, so, so much better.

Can you be kind enough to not notice that I missed a WHOLE portion of the wall with primer? I only realized when I was taking these pictures.

And here’s a bonus picture of my daughter popping in and crying because I asked her to wear sweat pants for T ball practice and she wants to wear a skirt:IMG_1233

What huge gaping hole in the wall and ceiling!? You must have had a nightmare. Shhhh. It’s over now.IMG_1228

That first coat is the oil based primer, which in my opinion is absolutely necessary with so much new mud. It’s the best to seal it up and prevent flashing. That joint compound be THIRSTY and will drink up primer like nobody’s business.

PSA – A deep hair conditioner will keep the oil based primer from sticking to your hair, and coconut oil is excellent for removing the oil based primer on your paint splattered face. Otherwise it sticks like a sonabitch. I didn’t mind the paint all over my body. I am currently at work looking like a mess and no fucks are given.

The next coat will be latex primer, then two top coats – I still haven’t picked out a paint color. I couldn’t focus on a new color until that other pink wasn’t assaulting my eyes.

Question. How do black, pale pink and dark green play together? Yes, no?


My lucent lighshop sputnik arrived and is beautiful.IMG_3965

BUT NOT ONLY THAT. Sarah sent me a message on instagram and let me know that her shop could make me the black sconce (that I never got a response on from a different shop.)

My daughter asked me the other day if I ordered that light that she chose out, and I had to tell her that I wasn’t able to yet. She took it all in stride, because her skills for coping with disappointment are on point – which makes me think I need to reflect on how often I disappoint her. Now at least I won’t disappoint her with this!

They are just the sweetest, ever, and prove that customer service still exists.

As it turned out, the ceiling joist was JUST IN THE RIGHT PLACE for a hanging chair. Why, oh why didn’t I write down the exact location though!? I mean, it was right there in front of my face, and now I’ll have to search for it since it’s all smooth and primed.


I happened to pop over onto Serena and Lily’s shop this past weekend and saw there was a 20% off code and I could apply it to the rattan hanging chair! I was putting off ordering the chair because the item description page said ‘5-7 days’, when I checked out though, it said 2-4 weeks. I got anxious and sent Brit from House Updated a message asking how long it took for her to get it. She was so sweet to respond and told me it took about a week. I got an email about 3 days after I ordered and it will be delivered on Friday! Squeals! CH27-01_5

I waffled, but ultimately chose the natural finish.

Rug and textiles will get selected? Bedding seems to be a tough one for me. I want it to be pretty, but, she’s a 5 year old and doesn’t need $200 Egyptian cotton/silk sheets.

SOOOOO basically, I got $100 off my chair, the ceiling fixture is here and sconce for my daughter is on order and the walls are fresher than a mutha.

This weekend is for painting, cleaning, electrical updates and playing at the park.

Make sure to check out all the amazing work the other bloggers are doing!





One Room Challenge Spring 2016: Week 2 and minimal updates. I’m pretty boring.

Hey all! Are you ready for one of the most mundane blog posts of 2016?!

Let’s get this party started.

It’s week 2 of Linda from Calling it Home’s One Room Challenge. It provides bloggers an opportunity to spend 6 weeks on a room of their choosing, and link up once a week with progress.

Which is why this is so embarrassing…..

Since my last post, I have hardly done anything.

After removing the drywall, I removed all the screws and washed the walls with TSP.

By the way, not very fun or satisfying. It still left horrific pink walls behind.

I started the first coat of Dura Bond 90 to fill it the holes. Then I looked up at the ceiling and all the cracks and was like: nope.IMG_1193 IMG_1194

So I went and drank beer instead and binge watched Love on Netflix.

Buuuuuuut. I need to get it together because I just found out that I’m taking a business trip from May 9th – 12th and will be out of town.neutral-whyyyyy

This weekend will be spent putting all 3-4 layers on all the cracks and holes. If I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll try to sand the walls smooth.

I’m dreading that though, for sure. I don’t know what it is, but sanding the walls is what brings me to my emotional and physical brink and usually brings the tears. Could be spending hours holding a heavy, vibrating sander over my head after spending days wielding a trowel. But. Idk. I don’t have a whole lot of personal insight.

I feel like once I get into the painting zone, it will be smooth from there.

One issue that I’ve run in to is this light that has been included in my plan for a few months.il_570xN_821311617_892g

The day after I posted, I went to purchase and the store is on vacation (to work on back orders.) This prompted not one, but two, crazy emails begging to let me purchase the light. I have not gotten any response, which, miffs me a little. I would almost prefer a: GO AWAY CRAZY LADY

Do they not understand the complete mental overtaking that is the ORC?!

This is an issue because.

  1. I like the light fixture
  2. I showed the kid several possibilities and that’s the one she chose

Now I have to decide if I want to find a permanent alternative, or a stand in until the shop is available. And I’m all: no mo’ decisions.

And self flagellation for putting off the purchasing of said light fixture.

Obvs, I haven’t had any personal growth from this because I’m going to put off making a decision. Naturally.

I sure hope to have a lot more to share next week. Until then, check out all the rooms – that are likely more impressive than mine!

And follow along on instagram: tealandgray




One Room Challenge Spring 2016: The kid’s bedroom

I am throwing my hat in the ring, ya’ll.

If you’re unfamiliar with the one room challenge, Linda from Calling it Home hosts the event twice a year where bloggers choose a room to refresh/remodel/design/etc and link their progress over 6 weeks.

It is back breaking, anxiety causing, hysteria awesomeness. The support that is given is truly amazing, like, my heart swells 3 times bigger.

This past fall, I did the challenge for the first time and chose my living room. I am so thrilled with how it turned out, and I know it wouldn’t have happened without the ORC. Casa blanca Clark + Kensington safavieh Casablanca rug

Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 – if you’re interested.

This time around, I am going to work on a bedroom upstairs for my 5 year old daughter. She doesn’t know it’s for her and thinks that momma is in one of her manias again.

The past several years, my daughter, Rylan, has lived in a prison like bedroom consisting of a tiny bed and chair. We couldn’t even keep her clothes in her room due to multiple outfit changes instead of sleeping. Since she’s at school full time now, and much more independent (read: willing to spend 5 minutes by herself without tears and accusations of abandonment), it seems like the time to give her a space for herself. Especially since she has been amazingly patient with the past 3 years of dust and renovations on the rest of the house.

Of course that sounds way too simple for a One Room Challenge….

BOOM. IMG_1140

Here it is after pulling down the drywall.

When I saw the pink walls peeking underneath, I was all: OMG SHOULD I JUST LEAVE IT AS IS?! IMG_1151 IMG_1150 IMG_1149 IMG_1148 IMG_1147 IMG_1146 IMG_1145 IMG_1144

Kidding. IMG_1141

It is probably hard to tell, but every wall (and the ceiling) are a different shade of pink.

The room is on the small side (all of them are in my house) but it gets a ton of light.

Here’s the plan:img-set


Feminine, but not cutesy, simple and comfortable. Pale pinks, creams, brass and a good measure of black. I figure, if she doesn’t like it then I will just move in there.

A couple months ago, I ordered Ellie Cashman design’s Dark Floral linen and had it made into roman shades – with blackout lining for those occasional naps (hallelujah!) img_3937

These were definitely a splurge for the room, but turns out they complete my soul. So it seems pretty worth it.

When I saw the hanging chair in House Updated’s ORC reveal, I had half a mind to call my mother and use expletives for OBVIOUSLY robbing my childhood of such a necessity. As soon as we get on one of those reality TV family therapy shows, I’m totally bringing it up.

That being said – I’ll only be able to use it in this room if the ceiling joists are in the right place since the room is very angular.

Clothes storage will be done in her closet with some sort of pax system, and probs won’t happen in the next couple of weeks. We’ll have to see where I am on the ‘verge of nervous breakdown’ scale.

For the ceiling light, I ordered Lucent Lightshop’s Cerro sputnik. I wanted to have it plated in copper, but my husband chose brass. After I picked my jaw off the floor since he voiced an opinion, I ordered it in the brass finish. Hanging the light fixture always seems the most pivotal to me – it means all the worst and dusty shit is over and the pretty starts.

Ugh – I wish I was to the point of hanging a light fixture. This weekend will be spent with trowel and plaster instead.

Best of luck to all the participants! I can’t wait to see.


One Room Challenge Fall 2015: Week 6 and THE REVEAL

Linda from Calling it Home hosts this 6 week challenge on her blog and invites fellow bloggers to link to her site.

I am very excited to see how everyone’s projects turned out!

After a grueling several weeks, it is finally time for the One Room Challenge reveal. I am equally thrilled to have participated and so happy it’s over.

If you are new to my blog and challenge, I chose to do my living room.

It is the room we spend the majority of our time in, and was the most sorely neglected on our main level. Over past 3 years, it has hosted random furniture and miscellaneous tools and construction debris from other projects.

It started with a room with minimal organization and a lot of random items got shoved in where they fit in. The light fixture was a non-descript basic light that was up when we purchased the house. The wall color was a blah gray that was painted on the drywall that was covering the original 100 year old plaster walls.

After removing the drywall and screws, it left avocado green walls with a ton of screw holes and countless cracks on the ceiling.004

I spent hours upon hours, filling holes and patching cracks in preparation of sanding smooth, priming all the surfaces and trim and painting everything fresh!003

After things got all painted, I lost my mind and ordered a ton of things and then very anxiously waited for them to arrive in the mail, delays  had me stressing that my light fixture wouldn’t arrive in time. It did though, and I was able to start bringing items back in and see the room taking shape.

In week 5, I started on a DIY media console out of two Ikea Sektion wall cabinets.

I was told that my ugly couch, which had finally been sent out to be reupholstered (after a YEAR of waffling over fabric swatches), might not be done in time for the reveal. Cue the wine and sleepless nights.

After an email to the upholstering company explaining the importance of the ORC and impact to my emotional wellbeing, I was told that they would try their best.

AND THEY DID! THE COUCH CAME BACK AND IT IS WONDERFUL.west elm luster velvet celestial blue fabric curved velvet tufeted couch

There is a skirt on it, which was supposed to be removed, and it got (poorly) stapled up by me – awaiting someone to come back and remove it correctly.


While the room is definitely not finished finished (the mirror is a place holder and the room needs more art and the coffee table is still on order, chairs need new fabric, etc. champagne problems), I love how much it has changed with paint alone (the power of paint!)

I ramble too much. Now too many pictures! IMG_1038 IMG_0992 IMG_0991 IMG_0990 IMG_0995 Snowbound, Clark + Kensington Casablanca ; safavieh casablanca rug ; blue tufted velvet couch

Some of the angles give a better idea of how my house floor plan is – and how much the other rooms still need to be worked on! IMG_0980

The media console mostly got finished – enough for right now! It involved a failed attempt with cutting plywood and an emergency trip to Ikea on a Sunday morning (shudders.) I’ll have to do a separate post for that. IMG_0994 IMG_0997

Lara Stone print – The Aestate

You’ll have to forgive my poorly styled (by the interwebs standard) shelves, I mostly put the stuff back up that had been on the floating shelves in the room before. It’s honestly one of the only things in life I don’t agonize over.DSC06247 DSC06245

My daughter’s books were put back on the shelf by her after I asked her to help. I understand they are haphazard and an eyesore to most, they are so important to our family and this room. She spends a lot of time in here reading them, and I want her to know that her belongings are as important as ours. Except for all the toys and crap – they got hidden in baskets and relegated to the guest room!DSC06251


These chairs still need new fabric, in the mean time, the wood got a fresh coat of flat black paint. It looks great with the brass details. DSC06264

That couch tho.west elm luster velvet tufted couch safavieh casablanca rugDSC06252



  • Wall color – Clark + Kensington Casablanca / Casa Blanca (Ace hardware color)
  • Trim – Sherwin Williams Floor and Porch paint in Snowbound 7004
  • Rug – Safavieh Casablanca 9’x12′ (purchased from Overstock and no longer available)
  • Couch – Vintage and reupholstered in West Elm Luster Velvet in Celestial Blue
  • Chairs – vintage craigslist finds
  • Lane Faux Bamboo Étagères – Retro Wanderlust in Hopkins, MN
  • Waterfall Acrylic coffee table – eBay
  • Ceiling medallion – 32″ English Study medallion
  • Light fixture – eBay
  • Curtain rods – West Elm Oversized Rod
  • Curtains – West Elm Canvas Cotton Curtain
  • Pink throw – West Elm Cozy texture throw (so soft!)
  • Leather Pouf – Etsy
  • Black Pouf – Walmart
  • Side table – West Elm Tumbler side table
  • Pillows and copper basket – Home Goods
  • Media console – DIY
  • Blood, sweat and tears – all provided by me

I want to give another huge shout out to Linda, all the fellow bloggers that linked and all the people who left comments. This room would not have happened without all of this support.

Check out the other blogger’s reveals and the linkup!

Work is going to continue on my house (wallpaper arrived in the mail!), please feel free to continue visiting and follow along on instagram.

Now, a nice long Netflix binge on my new couch.



*All images taken by me and belong to tealandgray