ORC Week 4 –They’re Up and Fabulous!

This is me literally sneaking in under the wire (like less than an hour to still link up over at Calling it Home’s One Room Challenge Week 4).  But I wanted to show you what I’ve been up to.  So look what I just hung at 10:56 on a Sunday night!!

willow interiors drapes



willow interiors family room
 I picked these beauties up from my workroom on Friday and have been dying to see them up!  But first I had to spray paint the rod and rings and while I was at it I gave the bamboo bench a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore White Dove as well.

As you can see my rug came in and looks great under the game table.  I must say that I adore when a company has tremendous customer service.  I placed my order for this rug on Bellacor and then noticed that it could take up to 4 weeks to arrive.  I shot an e-mail to my sales rep and she was on it and got it here in no time.  Thank you Lesa!

Don’t worry we’ve got more color coming in over there in the form of bench and seat cushions.  I found these two Highland Court fabrics for $10/yard at Fabric Factory Outlet (my go to place when I need something quick).

DSC_0012So we’re getting there.  Just trying to figure out what I can get done and what I shouldn’t even attempt to start because I’ve got my son’s First Communion next Saturday and a lunch here afterwards!!!  Yikes!

Don’t forget to check out all of the amazing talent this go around HERE and HERE and I’ll see you here in a couple of days for Week 5!  OMG!

Thanks for stopping by! – kate



ORC Week 3 — What I Like to Call, Shop ‘Till Ya Drop Week (I Love This Week)

Okay, it’s Friday and surprise, surprise I’m late to the game again!  I cannot believe that we are at the half-way point of the One Room Challenge and I’m not sure I have much to show for it!  I can tell you what I did do for it this week…shop!

It started last Saturday morning, when I was scrolling through estate sale sights online and saw a picture that sent me running over a couple of towns to snag this bench:

DSC_0174Now I need to figure out what color to paint it and what fabric to use for a cushion…

Then if you follow me on Instagram you saw I hit the rainbow jackpot at Home Goods where I filled a cart full of happiness.

IMG_8021I still need some more pillows, but I love these blue sweater ones for texture.

I did not luck out in the rug department, so I headed online to order these babies:

fam rm rugsThe blue trellis pattern is for the television area and I scored it on Rugs USA.  It’s wool and was 70% off…ummm okay!  And the round braided jute rug from Bellacor is for under the game table.

My favorite find so far is this fully functioning circa-1940’s carnival wheel that I want to install on the wall by the game table.  I think it’s the perfect piece of art for that wall.

IMG_4494And I was even happier with my purchase when I saw that just the wheel (without the spinning mechanism), like practically the exact same one, just sold on a 1stdibs.com for $1,200!!!!

So that’s where I’m at right now.  Still looking for woven blinds to fit my tricky windows and I have to figure out the best way to stuff deflated couch cushions.  My two main objectives this week are to figure out the best art gallery for the television wall and to decide and act on what to do with my vintage sideboard find.  Maybe you can help with the latter…  Here’s what I’m talking about.


I scored this baby awhile back from Craigslist and it’s perfect for the space and holds all of our games.  I don’t mind the wood, but definitely want to paint or change out the hardware.  But there is a lot of brown in the game area and I kinda want to get funky and paint this like a glossy navy with brass hardware.  Please, any thoughts????
DSC_0172So I must leave you now in search of more goodies, but speaking of which let me leave you with an oldie but a goodie.  The kids and I used to have Friday morning dance parties to this song back in the day (before some of them were cranky morning teenagers).  I think I need to bring back the dance party.  And if this adorable guy’s sign language version doesn’t make you smile and dance this Friday, I’m not sure what will…

And don’t forget to check out all the other amazing One Room Challenge talent HERE and HERE.

Peace out and Happy Friday!!

Thanks for stopping by! – kate

One Room Challenge — Week Two…Kinda Week One (Fourth Time Around this Block)

Here I am, a glutton for punishment or a smart cookie that knows that Linda (from Calling It Home) at the helm equals me a pretty room in 6 weeks.  I’ve been around this block (here I go with the lyrics again “holla back girl”) three times already and it’s always a blast!.  Those of you new to me, my name is Kate Monroe and I’m an interior designer from New Jersey (but a New Yorker at heart).  For those of you new to the One Room Challenge, it is a challenge where designers or design enthusiasts redesign one room in a six-week timeframe and document their highs and lows each week.  A huge thank you to Linda, who has managed to keep this a huge and fun foray out here on the wide world web for all to enjoy, even as she has left me high and cold in New Jersey for sunny Florida.

To be completely honest, I am currently sitting on Megans Bay in St. Thomas on Spring break with my family.  I may or may not have already indulged in a painkiller (I love my job).

I had a complete plan to e-mail myself photos to write you an amazing kick-off post to my One Room Challege (ORC), but I did not get around to it in my efforts to deplete New Jersey of it’s entire stock of sunscreen (we are Irish).  So we are going to work with what I’ve got here on my iPad, but I can promise you that this challenge is going to be awesome!  Why you ask?  Because for the last three challenges my clients have been children…my children…two of which were teens!!!  This time around, I’m the client and I was tossing around finishing up our master bedroom but then this happened:



I have been coveting Schumacher and Celerie Kemble’s Hothouse Flowers for ages, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and order some for my family room.

BEEP   We interrupt this post to tell you the truth…at this point last Wednesday the kids were out to dinner with my folks and Kevin and I were going out for a nice dinner. But my husband patiently waited for me to finish this post and then the next morning everything after my two measly photos had not been saved. 😦

So here we are Wednesday night again, back in chilly, rainy New Jersey and this seems like ages ago:


So back to the family room.  When we moved in 10 years ago (wow, where did that time go?), the room was a random addition with beautiful wood paneling, no air conditioning and very little heat sitting on an un-insulated crawl space.  It was completely set apart from the rest of the house with it’s own door leading to the kitchen.  Here’s are some old pictures I found. Brace yourself!

mike's b-day 131

mike's b-day 129mike's b-day 130It’s hard to see, but it’s an L-shaped room.  You used to walk in to the television on your left and the couch to your right.  If you made a right once you came in the room there was the playroom area.  This is the back room of the house and there was an inside staircase before this room in the kichen that would bring you out to the driveway.

So five years ago (wow, again) we knocked out the wall between the kitchen and family room, made the kitchen larger and the re-did the entire family room also adding french doors out the back to the patio.  We also added a small mudroom and made the bathroom smaller.

Here is how it looks now when you enter the family room off the kitchen (but kids are much bigger now!)

My “office” is to left, after the mudroom and powder room.
IMG_2838To the right is our tv area.

And behind the couch is a game table.


DSC_0446The room is great and we live (I mean LIVE) in this room, so it needs more of “us” in it.  I think we are a pretty fun family so I want this to be a fun and colorful space.

The main jumping off point is the kids artwork.


So my goals for the ORC are:

  • A new rug (I love my two combined rugs, but it gets too dirty so I need something with less white).
  • Organize my “office”.
  • New window treatments and throw pillows.
  • Update some furniture, including stuffing existing couch pillows.
  • More colorful and fun artwork!
  • Fix desk chair and new cushions on game table chairs.
  • Update lighting.
  • And, if I have time, organize mudroom.

Here are some of my inspiration photos:Tim-clarke-interior-design-portfolio-interiors-beachcoastal-traditional-great-room-living-room-family-roomsource


my dream fabric for fam rm panels!  hothouse flowers  Cherry Hills Home of the Year  O Interior Design

See Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka's Renovated (and Amazing!) Harlem Townhouse (PHOTOS)| New York, Kids and Family, David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harrissource


And or course my favorite from Something’s Gotta Give:
Something's Gotta Give in Architectural Dig/willow interiorssource

We got this! You can follow along here every week and more frequently on Instagram.

If you want to check out my other three ORC rooms, here they are:

michael 16 michael 15
Michael’s ORC Room

kevin's-room-willow-interiors       DSC_0130
Kevin’s ORC Room

anna'sbed anna's bed3
Anna’s ORC Room

And finally, you check check out all the other marvelous things people have going on in there challenges by clicking the below images.  That’s where I’m headed right now!!


Thanks for stopping by! – kate