Oct 6, 2016

One Room Challenge: Week 1, Fall 2016

Hi there! Are you surprised to hear from me? Well you should be, I haven't blogged in months. I've been busy working on a new project - I'm the editor of Wantfolio, a website & app featuring all the best global lifestyle content from blogs & media, it launched at the beginning of the summer and it's been getting all my attention. More on that later though, I promise! I noticed that the last time I blogged was to reveal my bedroom makeover that I did as part of the One Room Challenge last spring, and guess what...that's what has me back on here again - the fall round of the ORC has arrived! In case you haven't heard of it, the One Room Challenge was founded by Linda of Calling It Home - twice a year, Linda rounds up 20 design bloggers to renovate or redecorate a room in six weeks and blog about their progress every Wednesday. On Thursdays, she invites anyone else who wants to participate to join in on the fun, blog about their room makeover progress, and link up their posts on her website to create a supportive community of like-minded people who come together to cheer each other on as we all work to finish a room in our homes. 

If you're new here and visiting from Calling It Home, allow me to introduce myself! I'm Lesley and I started this blog in 2010 as a way to document my house-hunting journey; I was buying a house on my own as a single woman so my blog had the playful name House Before Spouse, and there's a tab up at the top of the page that links back to those early posts if you want to read all about my adventures in first-home buying (or just click here). Eventually though, I felt the need to rebrand and expand my blog's content, and chose to self-title a few years ago. I don't post on this blog very often, but when I do I like to write about decor, fashion, food and other lifestyle pursuits. 

So let's get to the reason we're here today, yes? I'm turning an under-used room of my house into a guest bedroom! Here are the awful before pictures (I'm so embarrassed to admit that the room looks like this, but at least it will make for really impactful before-and-after pictures, right?): 

So obviously the cat litter boxes have to go, as does the Radiant Orchid wall colour! BTW - I chose this colour a year or two before Pantone did!!! And to be honest, I never loved it. I wish I went way darker with a richer purple. Doesn't matter though, I've never used this room, I always joke that the cats have a bigger bathroom than I do. Seriously, even Choupette can't compete with this!! 

My plan for the room is to turn it into a blue and white, cozy cottage retreat. There's no place I would rather be than at the cottage in the summer, so if I can't spend my winters by the lake in the sunshine, I'm going to bring that vibe to my house in the city. Here are some of the inspiration pics that I've collected, and even though most of them are living rooms I think you'll still get where I want to go with my guest bedroom: 

{img src: Richard Scully}

{img src: House & Home

{img src: House & Home}

 {img src: Farmhouse Touches

{img src: Liz Marie Blog}

I hope you'll stop by next week to see how much progress I've made. Which may not be a whole lot, because - SURPRISE! I've decided to work on TWO rooms in my house. For my very first ORC in Spring of 2014 I turned my master bedroom into a home office, and the more time I spend in that office, the more I need to make changes to better utilize the space. Since my home office is essentially the Wantfolio HQ, it's only appropriate that I blog about my office makeover from the Wantfolio blog - continue reading about that here

A big THANK YOU goes out to Linda for founding the One Room Challenge and for making it the successful event that it is today. She is a gem for creating a supportive and encouraging community of design bloggers who motivate each other to get sh*t done around our homes!!  ;) 

Did you see the projects that the 20 featured designers are working on? I've read them all and can't wait to watch their progress each Wednesday. Link back here to get caught up. And please take some time to visit my blogging comrades-in-decorating by visiting the guest participant link-up here

See you next week! Until then, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat (@lesley_metcalfe). I'm also creating want.boards on Wantfolio for all content related to the One Room Challenge! 

May 12, 2016

Bedroom Makeover REVEAL! One Room Challenge, Week 6 (Spring 2016)

Reveal day for my One Room Challenge bedroom makeover is finally here! The time has gone by quickly and yet it feels like I've been working on this room for much longer than six weeks. There's still work to be done in here - the rug I had planned to bring in from another room ended up being too small, I still need to put up the picture frames for my gallery wall, need to install the ceiling fan, and the trim and moulding will have to wait for a while. But the dark furniture and walls are gone, the room is now filled with lots of light, and once I inject a little more colour into the space it's going to feel as cozy as it did before. Let's get to the photos! 

For comparison, let's go around the room with before-and-after pictures: 


I still have some work to do to get the room more in line with the design board I created, but it will all come together in time. 

Many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for hosting this challenge and inviting guests to participate! Not that I'm finished the room yet but I'm definitely going to be taking a little break from working on it, which will give me time to properly catch up on all my fellow participants rooms - check them out here, there are over 200 of us! And if you missed the 20 featured participants, their reveals can be seen here. I can't wait for the weekend when I can lounge in bed with coffee and my laptop to see all the room reveals. 

I'm hoping to keep up a once-a-week at minimum blogging schedule now that the ORC has ended, so I hope you'll come back for a visit. You can also stay in touch with me on Snapchat (lesley_metcalfe) and on Instagram.  

If you missed previous weeks and want to read about my bedroom makeover progress from the beginning, you can catch up here: 

Week 1  //  Week 2  //  Week 3  //  Week 4  //  Week 5

May 5, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - One Room Challenge, Week 5, Spring 2016

OMG it's Week 5! Next week is reveal week! By now you must know that I'm talking about the One Room Challenge, a decorating challenge created by Linda of Calling It Home where participants transform a room of their house (or a client's house) in only six weeks, updating their progress once a week. But in case you're just tuning in, I'm giving my principle bedroom a makeover (design plan shown above) and you can catch up on my previous weeks here: 

Week 1  //  Week 2  //  Week 3  //  Week 4

When I left off last week, I was due to receive delivery of my new headboard, box spring and frame later that night. All was indeed received, but not without its drama. I failed to realize that the box spring would not be able to fit up my staircase and that I should have ordered a split box instead. This didn't occur to me since the bed I was replacing was only a thin 2" frame as opposed to my new 8" box. I was thwarted by a mere six inches!!! To give you an idea of how narrow my staircase is, here's a progress pic of my solo effort to get the headboard upstairs. 

Did it by myself! It wasn't heavy, just awkward. That sure was a fun night for Snapchat updates! {lesley_metcalfe} 

It was nice to finally move back into this room earlier this week - I didn't think I was going to be camped out on a mattress on the floor of my home office for that long and I was getting tired of it. 

Also this week - I bought a ceiling fan! Remember in Week 1 when I challenged myself to find a sexy ceiling fan? Mission accomplished! Now I just need to find help assembling it in time! 

I installed the wall sconces, not sure I love them because the white shade disappears into the wall, but that's something a little paint can take care of. 

I've been having trouble settling on a drapery choice because I wasn't sure if I wanted a solid colour, something with pattern, or just plain white. I also don't have a lot of money to spend so anything custom is out of the question at this time. But I do need something in the interim, and after checking out several retailers, I think I may have found something I like that I found at IKEA, along with a few other last minute items. It wouldn't be Week 5 of the ORC if it wasn't for an emergency trip to IKEA! 

I still need to get to work on putting together my gallery wall and I can't wait to get to the styling part because the room is feeling a little bit cold and clinical with all this white. It will get there though, and soon! Check back next week because I'll be revealing my new and improved principle bedroom on Thursday, May 12th! I won't be alone that day, I'm in good company with over 200 other talented bloggers/designers who will also be revealing their spaces that day too; in the meantime, see their Week 5 progress here. And for the latest update from the 20 featured designers, check out their Week 5 progress here (these 20 featured designers will be revealing their rooms on Wednesday, May 11th). 

Follow on Snapchat {lesleymetcalfe} and Instagram for sneak peeks before the reveal. See you back here next week!  

Apr 28, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - One Room Challenge, Week 4, Spring 2016

Hello! And welcome back for the latest instalment of the One Room Challenge. A quick reminder that the One Room Challenge is a six week decorating challenge where participants makeover a room of their home or a client's home and provide weekly updates along the way. It was created by Linda of Calling It Home and I'm thankful to her for the work I accomplished on four other rooms of my home. This time around I'm working on my bedroom, and in case you are just tuning in, you can start at Week 1 here. Although I hate to disappoint, today's update is more of a non-update. This would be a much richer post if I told you all the things I didn't get done. But that's okay. Moving on. I got a ton of painting done but I'm so fucking sick of painting at this point, I'm not sure I want to look at another paint brush or roller or can of paint or paint tray or drop cloth or [insert painting accessory here] again for AT LEAST the next six months. ...Oh wait - that will be around the time of the next One Room Challenge! Perfect! I will be ready by then! Who am I kidding I will be painting again in a month from now.  Shhhhh 

My bed is being delivered tonight, unfortunately not in time to provide photos for this week's update, but I can guarantee you'll catch a peek of it on my Instagram or Snapchat (lesley_metcalfe) so make sure you're following one or the other or both to see those updates.  

Other than the pending bed delivery that will be wrapped up later tonight, I still have EVERYTHING else to do, so let me leave you with two pictures. First, here is how my painted dresser, painted knobs and painted mirror situation are coming along: 

Please ignore that the esoteric-looking dresser and mirror are slightly off-kilter. For one, the dresser is not pressed up against the wall so this is a weird angel. For two, I have plaster walls. For the uninitiated, even if you measure correctly 17 times before drilling, alignment is still unpredictable. Oh, the joys of living in a 102-year-old home! Kidding, I love my house. 

Second pic - also thought it would be fun to share how I've been living for the last four weeks - sleeping on a mattress on the floor in my office. Glamping! Fun. :) 

By the way, it's a thousand times messier than this right now. This is how it looked 3.5 weeks ago. I can't wait to get back to a normal home life. 

I'm willing to bet that everyone else is further along than I am - shall we go check on them? Click here to see my fellow guest participants and their progress. And in case you missed yesterday's update from the 20 featured participants, visit their progress here. Always much love and many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for organizing this challenge and kicking us into gear to finished decorating/renovating our homes, one room at a time.  :) 

Apr 21, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - One Room Challenge, Week 3, Spring 2016

It's already Week 3 of the One Room Challenge! I had several commitments to attend to this past week and as a result did not spend too much time working on my bedroom. To quickly re-cap, I've joined hundreds of other design bloggers in a six week challenge to makeover a room of our house (or a client's house) and update our progress each week. Created and hosted by the fabulous Linda of Calling It Home, the featured designers share their progress on Wednesdays, and guest participants (that's me!) share our progress on Thursdays. As it's now week 3 out of 6, you would reasonably assume that I have three more weeks to work on my room - but you would be wrong! You see, the sixth week is all about the reveal photos, which means the last week will be dedicated to photographing the room. So really, I have two weeks left to do the actual work so that I leave myself time to photograph the space. You would think that with two weeks left and a long to-do list that I would be panicking a little right now. Nope! Panic usually doesn't set in until Week 4. :) 

In the last week I finished painting the trim and the frame of my mirror. All other progress has been made in the sourcing area so why don't I share some of the products that may end up in my bedroom. Or not, still haven't made final decisions on everything. 

A sexy lucite drapery rod with brass brackets and rings...
At first I thought I wanted white drapes but now I'm thinking I need some colour. Grey, perhaps? 

Knobs for my dresser. I like the large square shape of AA in this picture but I wish it came in polished brass! I could spray paint the knobs gold, but if I'm going to do that, I may as well just spray paint the round knobs I currently have and save money. After all, these are going onto an IKEA dresser. I don't love the round shape or the gunmetal grey colour of the knobs the dresser came with, but maybe I'll like them more after they've been spray painted gold...

Remember in Week 1 when I talked about how hard it is to find an attractive ceiling fan? I think I may have found one! This 3-blade fan with dome light is very sleek, very modern looking...
And that's all I have to show for this week's update. Next week I hope to have ALL the painting done, and the bed will be delivered and assembled this weekend. Speaking of painting, I'm thinking of giving new life to some old picture frames with a coat of paint. The colours from this vignette that I put together last year are serving as the inspiration for what I want to do with the frames: 

If this image looks familiar, it's because you saw it on my Instagram. And if it's not familiar then it probably means we aren't connected so please follow me there for mid-week updates! I've also been sharing my progress on Snapchat, you can see those updates and a behind-the-scenes look at lesley_metcalfe. 

A quick breakdown of my updated to-do list (how is it growing??): 

paint walls
- paint trim 
- paint dresser 
- paint mirror 
order headboard 
- purchase drapery 
- purchase & install moulding
- purchase & install ceiling fan
- install sconces
- purchase and/or spray paint knobs for dresser

- spray paint picture frames
- select & frame artwork

- purchase bedding linens 
- assemble bed
- style & photograph

I will admit that I haven't had time to check on the progress of my friends and fellow challengers, though I will make time this weekend to get caught up. In the meantime, make sure you aren't missing out on Week 3 progress for the featured designers here and the other guest participants here. Many thanks to Linda for making this challenge happen and kicking our butts to get a room finished! 

Apr 14, 2016

Bedroom Makeover - One Room Challenge, Week 2, Spring 2016

It's Week 2 of the One Room Challenge! Thank you so much for your comments and encouraging words from Week 1, whether on this blog, on Instagram, Snapchat (lesley_metcalfe), or Twitter. I read them all and appreciate all of your support. 

Is it just me, or does time speed up during One Room Challenge season?!! We're only in Week 2 so it's still early, but having participated in four previous ORCs, I know how fast the time can go compared to what needs to be done. That's not to say I didn't accomplish anything since Week 1! Which, by the way, you can catch up on here if you're just joining in. Since I introduced my plan and the before pics of my bedroom last week, I finished painting the walls and got the first coat of trim paint up. I also placed the order for my new headboard and bed frame and it will arrive in two weeks! And finally, I made a decision on the direction I want to go with the moulding. 

Let's start with the moulding. If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know that I've been posting photos I took of The Marlton Hotel in NYC when I stayed there two years ago, and that this hotel has been a major source of inspiration to my current bedroom plans. I want to re-create a Parisian-style moulding similar to this: 
I love the opulence of boutique hotel living so that's what I want to achieve in my bedroom at the end of this round of the One Room Challenge. 

Let's move on to the bed now - here's a picture of the fabric (left) and the headboard (top right). I want my bed to sit higher off the floor so I ordered the headboard only and a metal frame with box spring (that I will situate my existing mattress on top of) instead of the fabric covered platform bed you see in the photo. 

The bed is being made locally and will be delivered in under two weeks. I've ordered from this supplier many times before and will share more details about them in the coming weeks. 

Next up - painting. Here are some progress pics... 

The dark blue-grey accent wall (I painted this room 4 or 5 years ago, when accent walls were all the rage), after patching and sanding: 

Same wall after a coat of primer and two coats of paint:

The other three walls were this light blue-grey colour; 
again here's the wall after patching and sanding:

I still love the blue colour that I chose for this room, and I would use them again in a heartbeat, but I needed a change and I'm loving how much more light is in this room!

That's all for this week! To keep myself on track, here's a list of what still needs to be done: 

Bedroom to-do list: 

- paint walls
- paint trim [halfway done]
- paint dresser 
- paint mirror [halfway done, as you can see from the photos]
- order headboard 
- purchase drapery 
- purchase & install moulding
- purchase & install ceiling fan
- install sconces
- purchase knobs for dresser
- select & frame artwork
- purchase bedding linens 
- assemble bed
- style & photograph

This is a long list to get through, but who knows when I ever would have started my bedroom makeover if it were not for Linda of Calling It Home for creating the One Room Challenge - she lights a fire under our a$$es to finally start a room we've been meaning to work on, and not only that, but FINISH it in six weeks. I have a tendency to leave things hanging, so THANK YOU LINDA. 

Clearly, I'm not in this alone. I'm in awe of the 20 featured designers participating in this challenge and I'm following the progress of as many of my fellow TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY (!!!) guest participants as I can. Please join me in encouraging their progress by linking back and reading their journey! 

Until next week, join me on Instagram and Twitter for sneak peeks, and for live updates follow me on Snapchat at lesley_metcalfe. 

Apr 7, 2016

One Room Challenge: Week 1 (Spring 2016)

Hello, and welcome to Week 1 of the Spring 2016 season of the One Room Challenge! I introduced the challenge yesterday in this post, and today is the day I get to join in with the other Guest Participants and introduce you to the room I'm redecorating. Whether you are a long-time reader or have just found your way here from Calling It Home, I'm so happy you stopped by! I'll be transforming my principle bedroom into a chic and relaxing retreat over the next six weeks and updating you on my progress every Thursday. This is my fifth consecutive time participating in the ORC and I'm determined to make it the best room transformation yet! All while on a strict budget, that is! 

I've put together this design board to illustrate my plan for the room: 

The room I'm working on is tiny so I have to make the most of the space that's available. This room is meant to be a secondary or guest room but I gave up my larger 'master' bedroom to make room for a home office (which, by the way, was my very first ORC! Read more about that here!). I haven't decorated what is now my principle bedroom since moving into it two years ago. It's time this room received some attention! It's going to get painted in a warm white, the existing dresser will also be painted white, the dark brown bed will be replaced with a light grey tufted headboard, sconces installed on the wall since there isn't room for nightstands, proper drapery hung, and artwork that makes me happy, like beach scenes, bicycles and other art that I will enjoy waking up to every morning. 

I'm now about to show you the embarrassing 'before' photos. But hey, that can only mean the reveal will be that much more dramatic and interesting, right?! I will make one comment in defence of the room - I took these pictures at night, but trust me, this room gets the most glorious sunshine throughout most of the day. Okay, here is the current state of this room, shown clockwise from the south wall: 

South wall:
No need to adjust your screens, you are correctly witnessing my shame - that is a piece of blackout fabric that I have draped over a couple of nails. 

West wall:
There's normally a large mirror on this wall that will be staying in the redesign of the room, but I took it down recently and moved it into my office during Toronto Fashion Week so I could have a full length mirror to try on outfits with better lighting and more space. I tried to re-hang it for these photos but couldn't do it on my own. The frame needs to be painted anyway so I guess that's okay.

North Wall:

East Wall:

Panoramic shot of the south-west-north walls:

Panoramic shot of the north-east-south walls:

And finally, the ceiling:
This light fixture is AWFUL and has to go. But instead of getting a cool new fixture I'm going to be practical and get a ceiling fan because this room gets hot in the summer and there is no air circulation. I've set myself an impossible task to find a sexy ceiling fan. Any recommendations???

So there you have it - my bedroom that is in dire need of some decorating TLC. I hope you'll join me next Thursday to see the progress I've made in here. First up - painting! 

In the meantime, check out the other guest participants on Calling It Home who are introducing their spaces today, I know that's what I'll be doing! And make you're following along with the featured designers too, they post every Wednesday. Many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for founding this decorating challenge and for creating a place online where we can all support and encourage each other to see a room through to completion! 

To keep in touch in between posts and for behind-the-scenes look at my progress, follow me on Instagram (lesleymetcalfe) and Snapchat (lesley_metcalfe).

P.S. I mentioned that is my fifth time participating in the One Room Challenge...if you want to catch up on my previous ORC makeovers, find all the details here or by visiting the link in the top menu bar.