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. A big THANK YOU goes out to


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


to get caught up. And please take some time to visit my blogging comrades-in-decorating by visiting the guest participant link-up


See you next week! Until then, you can find me on




& Snapchat (@lesley_metcalfe). I'm also creating




for all content related to the One Room Challenge! 

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!  

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.  :) 

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!