Week ? ORC–Do or Die Time

I think it’s Week 4 of the One Room Challenge??  I know it Friday…not Thursday when I was supposed to update y’all.  Thank God Linda keeps the link open for us procrastinators.

If you want to start from Week One (and watch the process of a woman losing her mind), click on these:

Houston, we have a problem! — One Room Challenge Kick-Off

One Room Challenge Week 2 — The Room is Still Turquoise

ORC Week 3–At a Standstill and Freaking Out

Speaking of Linda over at Calling It Home, who graciously hosts the bi-annual 6-week ORC, I wonder if she offers complimentary marriage counseling after it’s all over??  Because I’m certainly going to need some!  Now my husband is a wonderful man and a phenomenal dad, but he’ll be the first to tell you that patience is not his strong suit.  🙂

Anna’s room is in shambles and so is the hallway outside of her room.  90% of her belongings are still on the floor in our room.  And then you head downstairs….the living room is holding a large rug delivery that needs to head up to her room, the dining room table is covered in ribbon, trim, curtains, rods and bedding, and the family room is covered in large pieces of furniture in different stages of painting (I didn’t want to risk her beautiful glossy white vanity getting pollen, bugs or woodland creatures stuck to it.)  The only spotless rooms are the kitchen (like I have time to cook!) and the bathroom (like I have time to shower!).  But we do have progress and hopefully I have more pretty pictures to show you next week.

For now all I’ve got is an idea (meaning it has not been executed…so don’t hold me to it) for artwork in the room.  I had lots of options and ideas and started showing them to my client.  All of my options went down something like this: “Nope, no, definitely NO, hate it, eewwww, you call that art, that’s stupid, no and not gonna happen”.  Then my darling 13-year old tells me she hates art!!!????  WT_ (I’m not going there…she might read this).  But seriously, who hates all kinds of art???

She did say recently that she likes Grey Malin’s beach photography (I’m obsessed with his work!!  Seriously LOVE!)  Well, I can’t swing that for her room right now, but that did get me thinking about photography…  We love to travel and Anna especially loves theme parks and our beloved Jersey shore and boardwalk.  So I’ve come up with the below plan and I don’t think I’m even going to run it by her (this is no longer a democracy…we have two freakin weeks left!!!!).

anna's wall/willow interiors

Left to right, top to btm: Seaside Heights, NJ, Lake Tahoe, NV,  NYC, Virgin Islands, NYC, Anna’s hands (BTW, Taylor Swift does this), Seaside again, Yosemite National Park, CA, Seaside Park, NJ, Sligo, Ireland and Killington, VT.

Now I better go finish painting so we can get our house back.  I can’t wait to sit down with a glass of wine tonight and check out everyone else’s progress!!!

Happy Friday and thanks for checking in! – kate


ORC Week 3–At a Standstill and Freaking Out

Hello all!  Okay, I’m kind of in panic mode here so if you don’t want to hear a crazy lady rant, I totally understand if you scroll through quickly and check back in next week.

.:LAND:. Screaming Crazy Lady Bumper

If you’re up for crazy lady rant, here you go:

I got stuff done this week, but I’m not nearly where I want to be at the half way mark!  Once I get some packages that are in route, I see a lot of late nights in my future!

On a side note, we had an amazing family day yesterday!  We went into the city and saw Les Miserables that’s just back on Broadway!!!  I have loved this show for many years…as a child I named our dog Cosette (a weird side note on a side note…got to college freshman year and met my new roommate…turns out she too loved Les Mis and …ready for this…named her dog Cosette as well!!!!!  Weird!  Match made in heaven!), took my husband to it when we were dating and have somehow gotten my children to love the music and know every word of it.  This week was supposed to be spring break, but now we only have today and tomorrow off (due to that awesome winter we had this year…do you remember?…I just woke up yesterday, April 16th, with snow on the ground in NJ…I remember!!!!), so we cut school yesterday (makes things even more fun!) and went to the matinee.  It was so awesome to see the kids enjoy every second of it.  The two older ones, our thespians, loved the whole thing!  Kevin, age 7, loved it, but I think some of the story lines went over his head, thankfully.  It made our decision to bring him perfect when he leaned over two notes into a song and said, “Mom, this is One Day More!”  Another side note, I have been known to blast this song from my car with all the windows open as I drive up the red zone drop off of school on the last day before summer.  Depending on the year, the kids will join in the fun or cower on the floor of embarrassment….good times!  As I type this, they are playing videos games singing, “Do You Hear the People Sing?”.  🙂



Les Miserables — Instagram

Can you tell when I’m freaking out about a lot of work I have to do, my mind is all over the place and I procrastinate! (Hey, I warned you!)

Here are two pieces I was hoping to show you in the room, but they are only partially sanded and I’m hoping to tackle more of them today.  I am painting them both white.

jewelry case

My mother-in-law gave this to me years ago and I think it’s going to look so pretty in Anna’s room.  (I don’t know where I’m going to put my jewelry now!)  I love the pink inside and that fact that it’s from Anna’s grandmother!

anna's vanity

I love this vanity!  Anna has been asking for a vanity forever, but I did not want to spend a arm and a leg (she’s wanted THIS one) and we also wanted one with plenty of storage.  The fun part about blogging is I’ve met some awesome and talented people.  One such person is Kris (Driven By Decor).  She is also doing her daughter’s room…so we are in the same boat in some respects.  Anyway, she posted about Facebook Tag Sales…I had heard of these but wasn’t sure how to access them.  Once I read her post, I joined a couple of sites and this gorgeous vanity is my first purchase.  It was just one town over and I got it for $200!  I can’t wait to see it in the room!

Okay, I could bore you with pictures of trim, ribbon and white curtains that I have ordered from all over the globe (seriously I’ve been tracking my pom pom trim as it left in a container from Thailand…I’m happy to report it’s in Kearny, NJ!!), but we’ll see what gets here in time to concoct a canopy and window treatments…wish me luck!

Happy Passover and Easter everyone and don’t forget to stop by Calling It Home HERE and HERE to read about people actually getting stuff done! 🙂


Thanks for stopping by! – kate


One Room Challenge Week 2 — The Room is Still Turquoise

Wow, that week was quick!  While everyone else went into Week One of the One Room Challenge with a plan, I prefer to live on the edge.  No  plan, just paint…bright paint.
So this week, we painted.  We listened to music and painted.  Thank God for Pandora!  Who else can seamlessly combine Sting and Mumford & Sons (my choices) with country music and One Direction (Anna’s)?
Then we stepped back and took stock of what we have and what direction we want to head in.  And now, we have a plan!  Welcome to Anna’s room.
anna's roomOne of Anna’s many nicknames that I have for her (the first being Anna Banana…she especially loves when I yell that out during co-ed flag football!) is “No Pattern Girl”.  Seriously, the girl can handle a little stripe or two but she’s a solid kinda gal.
It was actually these fashion photos that inspired us to work navy, white and pink into her turquoise room.  The photo on the right has some gold accessories that we will also be adding to the room.
Here is the room as a blank slate and a description of some of our plans.
This paint job took longer than it looks (and I still have to do the ceiling).  There was a ton of spackling and caulking as this room has old wood paneling that had been cut open in parts and the top trim had gaping holes between it and the ceiling.
The first thing we need to address is that window and bed stuck against the left wall.  Anna wants her bed there, so I am going to make believe that window isn’t there.  She’s got two other windows and it’s a pain to lean over the bed to open and close something for privacy.  So I’m hoping to create something like this picture below (with no pattern of course).  Just white with navy grosgrain ribbon trim (see above).  If anyone has a source for white, plain cheap panels (at least 95″ tall and not sheer) please share!  I need 6 of them to rig this canopy…Ikea’s are too off-white and I’m afraid to order anything on line.  The only ones that looked white at my Ikea were the Vivan (but they don’t sell them on line and didn’t have any in stock).  World Market had some that reviews said were very white, but they are not in stock (#$%@!!!).  H&M has these, but I think they are sheer…
I bought two white roman shades online that I hopefully will be able to embellish with navy ribbon as well.  Those will go on the two windows to the right of the bed.  A trimmed out Ikea bookcase on top of the original built-in will add more storage.  In between the two windows a large white vanity and mirror will replace her desk (homework or make-up?? priorities!).
See how much bluer (is that a word?) the paint looks in this photo…weird!
Okay, really old sconce has to go.  To the left is the closet (no you can’t look in there yet…where do you think everything went?)  The right door is to the hallway and the tall bookcase is going.  The plan is to build a floor to ceiling bulletin board on the wall to the right for her to go crazy with Luke Bryan or Harry Stiles posters.  Oh, and we’re still hoping to pull up the carpet in time.
Ya know, all in a couple of weeks…I got this…I think!  I would love to stick around and chat about what the heck we are doing with artwork and bedding, but that would mean I would have a clue as to what I’m doing…  Hopefully, I will have tons of progress to report on next week.
In the meantime, head over to Calling It Home and see what the 20 designers were up to yesterday HERE and check in with the rest of the amazing linking designers HERE.
Peace out and thanks for stopping by!  – kate
PS  Thank you for all the love and encouragement last week!!!  Loved it! 🙂

Houston, we have a problem! — One Room Challenge Kick-Off


So excited and so nervous to start my second One Room Challenge, under the tutelage of Linda over at Calling It Home.  She came up with a way to highlight design bloggers as they complete a room in 6 weeks.  You can follow along or link up.  It was actually the ORC that got me off my tush and to start writing about my obsession with design.  If you recall, I completed Kevie’s bedroom in the fall (if you didn’t see it, you can catch up HERE) and now I have decided to jump in again.  I was hoping to show you that I can design other rooms besides kid rooms, but my mom-guilt got the best of me and I’ve decided to do Anna’s room this time up.

But here’s the problem: I adore Anna, she is my FAVORITE (and only) daughter, but she is also the world’s worst client!!!  🙂

We have been “working” on Anna’s room for 2 years.  Every fabric and paint color I show her has been shot down.  Her walls had about 5 different turquoise swatches all over them…for years.  She has definite opinions on what she does not like, not much input on what she does like.  The seven year old was way easier!

But I am up to the challenge and in the end I know this collaboration will be wonderful, just like her.

I’m also worried because I had a definite design plan when it came to week 1 of Kevie’s room… (silence)… this time, not so much.  I know what I would love to do, now I’ve just got to sell it to my client!  Wish me luck.

So here are some pictures of what we’re dealing with, some tentative design plans and some inspiration…it’s a start.

ORC Anna's Room/willow interiors

This is the only photo I can find of when we first did Anna’s room shortly after moving here in 2005.  I can’t believe I have no pictures of the gray wood paneling before we painted!

ORC Anna's Room/willow interios

So fast forward a couple of years and we’ve moved the furniture around and now live with multiple swatches on our walls…some too blue, too green, too light, too dark.

ORC anna's room/willow interiors

ORC anna's room/willow interiors

I can’t believe I’m showing you these!  Here’s where we are today.  Anna is on a blowup mattress in her brother’s room and I’m trying to wrap my head around decorating a room this color!

Anna finally settled on Benjamin Moore Scuba Green (2046-50).  It actually looks like Tiffany blue sometimes, but when you hold any blue up to it it turns green.  Good times!

We’ve tossed around many colors that we can put in this room and Anna changes her mind on an hourly basis, but I can tell you that I’m thinking this room needs a lot of white.  It’s got 3 windows and 2 doors so plenty of white trim will break up the teal (?).

Here’s what I do know:
– We are painting a beautiful vintage vanity white, which will go in between the two windows to the right.
– Anna wants her bed against the left wall where she has had it for awhile because it opens up the room.  That means it’s in front of a non-centered window and that bugs me (hmmm).
– She needs a lot more storage than she currently has and the closet needs to be utilized better.
– Window treatments are driving me up the wall.  The one window behind the bed I think I’ve got plans for but the other two windows are not working for me either because one has a built-in radiator/dresser that we have to keep for the time being (I would love to rip it out).
– Anna wants to get rid of the carpet.  I tend to agree but I forget the condition of the hardwood (and I have no pictures!!!)
– There is a weird sconce on the wall to the right when you walk in that needs to go.
– Anna wants to put back up all her posters (!!!) and I know that I would like real art that we both like and a designated place (aka bulletin board) for posters of OneD and Taylor Swift.
– Anna likes things simple…she wears minimal floral prints and tends to prefer solids and stripes, so I’m thinking those and maybe chevron, greek key and like one floral pillow!

Here’s some inspiration (aka pretty pictures to get your mind off the train wreck above):

Designer Bedroom for Teens
Soothing…I think we missed the soothing train (see pics above).

 PBteen Raleigh Chevron Pool Bedroom on pbteen.com
Can I pull off navy and white with this color? With a shot of pink?

French Tassel Window Panel – Aqua | Serena & Lily
Lots of white with fun trims.

I’ve got to put in some glitz and glam (aka brass and gold).

The Pink Pagoda

The Pink Pagoda did this room for her daughter during the last ORC.  Picture this, but with blindingly bright walls!

So as you can see from our inspiration, we are all over the place.  Any suggestions are welcome! So I will post some sort of update every Thursday for 6 weeks and we’ll see where Anna’s room and our relationship end up!  No matter what the room looks like, I can be sure of one thing…with Anna as my partner it’s going to be a fun ride (but not soothing)!

Now I’ve got to go and get some inspiration from people that know what they are doing.  Check them out HERE.


Thanks for stopping by!  – kate

Dreams Really Do Come True!

Good morning! Let’s see, we have a lot to catch up on:

First, meet our new niece, Greyson Molly Morgan.

dreams/willow interiors

She is absolutely perfect and we are all madly in love!!

dreams/willow interiors

Okay, look away from the cute baby now.  I know, it’s hard. 🙂

So not only did I have an amazing weekend with my family at my cousin’s wedding, I also scored…get ready…drumroll…a bar cart!!!!  I have been pining away for one for some time now.  Hence, I lamented over this one months ago, HERE and profess my love for them with my collection of them HERE.

So while chatting with my uncle’s girlfriend after the wedding at the hotel bar (Irish weddings go to the wee hours), she was telling me about an estate sale she was finishing up the next day. (That’s what she does for a living! I know right!!?  Love her already, but now…  🙂 )  So the heavens parted and light shone down on her face when she said that there was a brass bamboo bar cart that hadn’t sold yet!  I thought for sure I was hearing things (since I may have had a couple at that point).  The next morning (okay, afternoon) we chatted and I am proud to say that I have a new little baby myself.  Thank you, Debbie!  I haven’t named her, but here are some pictures.  I washed her down and dressed her all pretty.  I kept it alcohol-free, because while I have wanted a bar cart for awhile now, I’m not sure I want booze readily available in my dining room (I don’t have babies…I’ve got tweens!).  I could also set her up as a tea cart down the road.


bar cart/willow interiors

bar cart/willow interiors

bar cart/willow interiors
See how well she goes with my consignment find Asian screen and bamboo brass Jonathan Adler Meurice Chandelier!

bar cart/willow interiors

bar cart/willow interiors

bar cart/willow interiors

Okay, we’ve got a busy week over here.  Be sure to check out all of the amazing One Room Challenge participants tomorrow when they start their 6-week room redesign.  You can find the list over at Calling It Home.  And head back here on Thursday, when I will link up with so many others as they participate as well.  I may have hinted over on Instagram what room I will be doing over here.

And if you didn’t see the room I did in the fall, check out Kevin’s bedroom transformation, HERE.

One Room Challenge

Thanks for stopping by!
– kate