One Room Challenge – Final Reveal


Well here we are and we can all breathe a sigh of relief, right?  The time has come for the big reveal of my renovated/completed Living Room as part of the One Room Challenges TM Linking Event. The last six weeks have been interesting. I’ve gone from being super motivated to complete a space that has been sitting in various states of disarray for the last year and a half, to being completely unmotivated and wrapped up in life. I am happy to say, that I have a complete room that I am very thrilled with. Thank you all for your kind words of support and most of all thank you to Linda at Calling it Home for coming up with this amazing concept called the One Room Challenge TM. There have been some super talented people participating this year in both the sponsored group and the linking group! Be sure to check them all out! Feel free to take a peak back at my journey these six weeks.

Week One: The Plan
Week Two: Productivity
Week Three: Procrastination
Week Four: The Freak Out
Week Five: Go Time
Week Six: The Big Reveal

So without further adieu…..

I give you the before….

 Living Room BEFORE

Keep in mind that the furnishings all belong to the previous owner, so no negative comments please.  But this is the view standing in the dining room, looking down into the living room.  We had a 7″ step down that had an ugly dated banister dividing the space.  So, here we go with the after….




This is for all of you who were on TEAM MAGENTA…. I decided to photograph the space both ways to see how I liked it.  Well, it adds interest, but also weight, which being an inside townhome in Alexandria, you crave natural light.  So anything that took away from that, regardless of how it really started to grow on me, pushed it to the return category.  Don’t worry, I will still be on the search for that perfect lilac/mauve/magenta fabric to make some custom panels.  So until then, my STRIPE neutrals will go back up.



Another BEFORE

BEFORE view into the dining room....

This is the view standing in the living room, looking back at the dining room.  You can really see the whole space and the possibilities here.  So down the banister went and opened up the floor plan for multiple options of furniture placement.  If you have followed me through this journey you will remember my affinity to symmetry.  There are lots of different versions of symmetry, but I am a traditionalist in that sense and crave the balanced symmetry!


So I didn’t officially renovate much of anything in my dining room, I do have plans to replace the table and chairs (inherited in my marriage) as well as replace the light fixture.  In the meantime the chairs got a refresh with the fabulous Charcoal Dot’s fabric by Domesticate!  LOVE IT and they really tie the two spaces together nicely.

 The Details…


My secondary focal wall was important to me.  I have a great focal wall with the fireplace but it was really important to me that you have a great view no matter where you are sitting in the space.  I changed up my original gallery per say, trading out a large white platter, for the amazing gilded angel wings.


The AMAZING Leopard Lumbar Pillows are from the super awesome Betsy at Little Design Co!  My crazy fun throw back to my original Ibis Lamps, the Tallon candlestick, is from Furbish Studio, a wonderful shop in Raleigh, NC. The prints on the focal wall are from the uber talented Charleston artist, Lulie Wallace.  The gilded Angel Wings are from Ballard Designs.


A little nod to all of my Meredith College Avenging Angels out there!



So I decided that I liked the original finish on the coffee table I ordered from Ballard Designs. I am still sticking to my words, they need to open a storefront here in the DC Metro Area!!


I got super lucky with the light on photo shoot day!  However, I didn’t want to interrupt his nap time!  The white and black pillows are made with the fabric Charcoal Dots from one of my favorite textile designers, Andrea and her company Domesticate!  You can find all of her fabulous designs on Spoonflower.
















Ok, so you’ve asked and here it is….


 Living Room Paint Color: Ellie Gray, Sherwin Williams

Dining Room Paint Color: Palladian Blue, Benjamin Moore

Braided Jute Area Rug

Durham Coffee Table

Blue Slipper Chairs

Leopard Lumbar Pillows: Little Design Co

Faux Sheepskin Hide

Gray Linen Sofa

Charcoal Dots Throw Pillows: Domesticate via Spoonflower

Pink and Blue Ikat Dot Pillows: Stein Mart

Zebra Linen Pillow: Stein Mart

White & Gold Round Side Table: Target

Tallon Candlestick

Carved Wood Basket

Mirror & Gold Round Tray:  TJ Maxx

Mercury Glass Votives: Anthropologie

Blue Ginger Jar

Flowers: Safeway

Blue and White Metal Tray: One Kings Lane

Coffee Service Set

Black and Tan Baskets

Artwork Prints: Lulie Wallace

Gold Artwork Frames: Michaels

Round Dinner Plates

Gilded Angel Wings

Black and Gold Lamps

Silver Bamboo Floor Lamp: Pier One Imports

Off white Cabinet

Kids White Table

Kids Whicker Chairs: Ikea

Large Tilt Mirror: NC State Flea Market Mirror Man

Black/Cream/Gray Striped Drapery Panels:  Fabric G Street Fabrics

Drapery Hardware:

Matchstick Woven Roman Shades: Home Decorators Collection for Home Depot

Boxwood Topiaries: Home Goods

Sunburst Mirror: Ballard Designs

Driftwood Frames: Michaels

Dining Room

Rectangular Decorative Tiles – Black and White : Sid Dickens

Zebra Bust: Anthropologie

Wedding Portraits: Emily Alane Photography

Wedding Portrait Frames: Michaels

So there you have it.  It’s been over a year and a half in the making, collecting, searching, purchasing, re-purchasing, minor demo but it is complete and I’ve got great pretty photos to boot!  Thank you all for joining me on this journey.  It’s been a blast and I am already scheming on how I can complete my master bathroom next spring!  It’s really the last major space renovation that we plan to do in the house and I may be crazy for thinking it can be done in 6 weeks. Be sure to take a peak at everyone who joined me on this crazy journey!  I know I look forward to seeing everyone’s results! I am honestly humbled to see how many of you have taken the time to check out what I am doing and provide me feedback.  Thank you, each and every one of you.  I am still amazed that I have had individuals from far across the globe following little old me.  Again THANK YOU!  If I have made you laugh and given you any inspiration, then I have fulfilled my goal!  I’m still relatively new to this whole blogging thing, so this has gotten me in a routine of posting at least once a week.  My personal goal will be to continue that trend.  So stick around, give me a follow.  I will take you on my journey of life as a commercial designer, mommy of a toddler and wife to a die hard Carolina Panther’s fan and excellent daddy!  Until next week!



PS for now, I’m going to relax and hang with my two favorite people!  And seriously, how lucky am I to have a friend like Emily Alane Photography!

A and N


One Room Challenge – Week One The Plan : My Living Room


I’ve been standing in the wings the last few years admiring a really talented group of bloggers do their #oneroomchallenges, just dreaming about the day that I would take it on. Well today is that day!  I’ve chosen to finally complete a project that has been a year and a half in the making, my living room.  When we bought our house, I had great bones to work with, beautiful dark hardwoods and moulding a great scaled fireplace but the walls were rather bland.  They were painted a basic “real estate” ivory and with it being a center unit townhome limited natural light.  As a commercial Interior Designer, I am always challenged to be CREATIVE, AKA cost saving.  I do have that drive in me to try and think outside the box or my proverbial comfort zone.  This seriously terrifies my husband to say the least.  I do believe his words this past weekend were, “you’re going to do what? Why would you take something that works just fine and remove it?” I do believe he thought I had six heads.  As designers, that is what we do.  We are constantly trying to think of ways to be creative or to try something new, often with things that we already have.    I do love you Nick and I assure you, this is not a personal assault on you.  J  Why would I do that, when you know I will be asking for some assistance?

So here is my room (before photos are a bit sketchy, but I never remember to take good before pictures.)

** No judgement zone… All before photos were taken during our walk through inspection when we purchased the house. All of the décor or furniture is that of the previous owner. I realized that I never photographed each room empty, but I think this will work well for comparison. **

LR Before 1
This photo is standing in the dining room looking into the living room. The two spaces are divided by a banister and about an 8” finish floor difference. I am toying with the idea of taking out the banister, but first have to do my due diligence to be sure that it isn’t required per building code.
LR Before 2
The view from the living room, looking back towards the dining room. There really isn’t much division other than the height between these two rooms. I love the open concept feel, minus the banister.
This is the west wall which will become my “second feature” wall.
This is the west wall which will become my “second feature” wall.

Yeah, I told you it was pretty snooze-ville. So this is what I am thinking….


Yep, I am totally out of my comfort zone here. It’s funky, classic with a little dash of modern thrown in there.  For my former and current colleagues, you can all attest, that day that I said I would never use the color…. MAUVE…. Yes, you are seeing that correctly.  I would like to go on record that this is more of a lilac color… HA, who am I kidding its mauve.

Here is what I have already done in the course of a year and a half….

When we moved in, the whole house got painted, lots and lots of paint. The living room is “Ellie Gray” by Sherwin Williams.  This is a beautiful French Gray that would work with just about any design scheme I could come up with.  I am in what I will call my Gray phase.  I purchased the rug around the holidays last year and found a steal of a deal on a couch very similar to the original design intent.   That is the state that my main floor living room as been in the last year and a half.  I will say it has made entertaining somewhat easy, just rent tables and chairs.  I didn’t have to haul out big pieces since I really didn’t even have a sofa up until a month ago.

Here is what I plan to do…. 

Rendered Floor Plan - Living Room
Rendered Floor Plan – Living Room


  1. Remove horrible and ugly dated banister and patch the (hopeful) hardwoods beneath. Please lord, let the hardwoods be in good shape and please let me not have to keep it for building code reasons.  This right here was the “You’re going to do what?” comment…
  2. Center seating area on the fireplace. This has bothered me from day one.  With the banister in place, it really limits you on where you can place furniture.  Until now the couch has been on the banister wall and we have a bowling alley down the middle.
  3. Create a secondary focal wall, so that no matter where you sit in the room, you have a pretty view.  Have I mentioned that I have and OCD tendency for perfect symmetry?
  4. Purchase & Frame new artwork prints from the amazing Charleston artist Lulie Wallace.  Seriously you need to check out her florals and her new tabletop series.  She also has textiles and lunchboxes!
  5. Purchase lighting.  I really don’t understand why builders don’t put overhead lighting in homes.  Let’s face it, cost.  So, I am going to attempt to source some super cool lighting that I can use on top of an existing buffet.  Then the piece de resistance… ceiling swag for the seating area.  I am going to have to get really creative since hubbie is keeping me on a very tight budget for this.
  6. Purchase a coffee table.  Quite frankly it’s embarrassing that I haven’t had one.  Or what is worse that we have been using my daughters play table as our coffee table.
  7. Keep an area for my daughter to have her play table and chairs.  This will also involve the use of creative storage solutions (i.e. baskets galore) to hide those fabulous brain stimulating, make your kid smart, bright and obnoxious toys!
  8. Make throw pillows. I collect fabric and I’ve found some major winners on While I do know how to sew, it is not something I enjoy.  Mostly because to do it right, it requires taking up lots of space and making a MESS!  I may attempt to get my mom to help me on this one, since she is coming for a visit in two weeks.
  9. Drink some wine.  I figure this will more than likely be a vital part of this challenge. Did I mention I have a two year old and a full time job. J
  10. Source and or make new MAUVE drapery panels. Still having a hard time typing that MAUVE…
  11. Accessorize, style and find a photographer to capture some really amazing shots of the completed project.


Here are some of my favorite finds thus far for the space:

Slice of Key Lime Pie and Peas and Carrots prints

Did I mention how much I am crushing on Lulie Wallace at the moment?  I did give my husband a subtle hint that I would love for him to commission her to do an original painting of my wedding bouquet.  It will be our 3rd Anniversary November 13th, just saying, Nick you should really get on that!

Slice of Key Lime Pie by Lulie Wallace
Slice of Key Lime Pie by Lulie Wallace
Peas and Carrots by Lulie Wallace
Peas and Carrots by Lulie Wallace

Leopard Velvet Pillow…. Enough said.

You can find any size you need or want at Little Design Co on Etsy.  I am so excited for this yumminess to hit my slipper chairs!

Charcoal Dots by Domesticate

Go to and check her out.  Amazing textile designer and I’ve already used this fabric to recover my dining room chairs.  It is DEVINE!

Charcoal Dots by Domesticate
Charcoal Dots by Domesticate


To be funky…… or to be eclectic… that is the question…





Shades of Light - Young House Love Wire Globe Lantern
Shades of Light – Young House Love Wire Globe Lantern

Let’s face it, the winner of this battle, will more than likely be the budget… Here’s to a mad crazy search that will let me find the funky but on a shoestring!

Here is what I am thinking for the secondary accent wall. I have a boat load of china from my wedding.  I believe close to 20 dinner plates, 18 holiday plates, etc. etc. etc.  I am a Charlestonian; it’s what we do, collect china when we get married.  I love its simplicity but it is doing nothing stored in the buffet, sooooo, why not bring it out and hang it up on the walls?  This is also a very southern thing.  PS Still need a great source on extra-large plate/platter holders.

This is an Elevation Detail of the west wall.

So there it is, my One Room Challenge. I am so excited to see what the room eventually becomes. I am also pretty jazzed to follow along as other designers and bloggers link up their One Room Challenges.  Check out the links at Calling it Home and thank you Linda for creating such a wonderful avenue for all of us crazy ladies to share this journey.  Check back next week for my progress and whether or not the banister stays or goes.

Be sure to check out all of the other One Room Challenger Linking Participants at Calling it Home here.  As well as check out this awesome group of bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge here .ORC-Participant Fall 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              xoxo, Emily