ORC Week 5 — Michael’s Teen Room — Do or Die Time

Confession time, I may have sent Linda a request this week begging her to open up the option of buying extra weeks (I mean come on, she could make a ton of money!).  In my true procrastination form, I kept putting off the giant elephant in the room…the industrial bookshelf.  Well it was time to put up or shut up…so last week I hit publish on my post and headed out the door with my photo/drawing and crazy lady notes to Home Hardware.

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It’s the one hardware store that they don’t look at me like I have 12 heads.  Sure they may think I’m bonkers, but they are creative and they don’t talk down to you.  Not only did I leave there with an awesome and simple hardware solution for my Harry Potter wand display problem (Hank did mention that was a first.  You mean everyone doesn’t have a Harry Potter wand display problem??), I came home with a plan and most of the supplies I needed to make this:



So we have progress and they should have the rest of the pipes in tomorrow that I need to finish this puppy.  It’s going to be the storage that Michael needs for his books and “stuff” and it also has what I’m calling a “writing area”.  I’m not sure I would call it a desk because it is only 11 inches wide but Michael was insistent that he didn’t want a desk because it would take up too much space.  I can’t wait to finish this and start styling.

Michael finally got his hands dirty on this project and on Sunday we prepared all the wood by sanding and staining.



He doesn’t always wear bow ties. 🙂  (Actually he did wear one Saturday night when he helped serve at a fundraiser in his buddy’s home, but he wouldn’t let me take a photo as he ran out the door.)  Here he is wearing the pink onion goggles that I bought my husband a while back (the only color they had, but FYI they really do help).  Safety first!

So I also put casters on this chest to raise it up to be his nightstand:


And just today I picked up this baby at the framers:


I had it framed in a simple black frame that I think will look great in between my two favorite doors!

As soon as Michael saw it he was back to studying and reviewing it with Dad.

I just noticed that of course he is wearing a fishing shirt from a trip fishing in Lake Tahoe two summers ago.  So I found this poster probably 2 years ago.  It’s water damaged and from 1947 and to Michael it’s pretty cool.  Each surrounding fish has coordinates to the map of where you can find them in salt or fresh water around this country.  When I looked into it before I bought it, I saw that these people were selling it for $950!  Granted there’s is in better condition, but I think I paid $50…

So you may have noticed I’m trying something different for the random sconce solution by the bedroom door…

This first picture is what we started with and I’m trying to “man it up” without replacing and rewiring…old house…need I say more?  Next, I tossed the top and just put in an edison bulb.  I like the look, but as a light source it was awful…and this room is dark to begin with.  I’m getting more edison bulbs for another project in 60 watt (this is a 40) so I can see of that works, but walking through Home Depot, this marbleized gray, white and black glass caught my eye.  And now it’s back to giving adequate white light.  So what’s your vote…edison bulb or marbleized glass??


Here’s a picture with it currently lit.  BTW, it’s really hard to photograph lighting!  (Note to self, take a darn photography class!)  Oh, and I painted the old brass base glossy black (I’m on a roll…my whole house may end up glossy black).


So this week was about painting and building, but last week was about shopping…so that means this week is also about receiving:


A lot of my artwork has arrived (yippeee) and if you’ve noticed this is Michael’s Bedroom that I’m renovating and I have yet to address the bed!  I guess I was hoping you wouldn’t notice. 🙂  Well my original plan started with finding this gorgeous scarf and shawl at Marshall’s.  I was planning on making them into pillows and that started my color scheme.

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I still love this idea, but had to abandon it. 😦  Once the walls were painted Revere Pewter and the doors black, Michael’s current navy bed and dresser are looking a little out of place.  I do not plan on replacing or painting them in the near future, so I decided I needed to find blue, gray and black bedding to tie the room together.  Here are two of the many options I’m playing with right now…  I love a mix of patterns with bedding so you may see a couple of options next week.


I thought this was a cute pillow and am hoping to incorporate…


And I picked up this pouf at Target.


In addition to my shopping last week, I have been “collecting” for Michael’s room for quite a while.  This is a small sample of some of the “stuff” I can’t wait to style his room with…


And in an effort to keep it real, here’s what I’m greeted with every day I go in to work on my tween son’s bedroom.  And he has a hamper!  Oh and my 3 Halloween decorations just made it to the porch yesterday and we did not carve pumpkins this year!  Gasp!


So I’ve got to go get the rest of my plumbing pipes, but plan to spend a decent part of my weekend checking out all the amazing progress going on HERE and HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Halloween!! -kate




ORC Week 4 — Come See the Imaginary Industrial Shelving!

Hello all!  Have you checked out the serious amazingness of what is going down at the One Room Challenge headquarters??  Unbelievable talent and inspiration!

So here we are…week 4 of the 6 week challenge to make over Michael’s little boy pirate room into a teen room.  We are talking a little bit rock’n’roll and a little bit country (I interrupt this post to let you know that Michael wants to make it perfectly clear that the only thing we mean by country is his enjoyment of fishing…and maybe Zac Brown Band…but that’s it!)  If you are just joining in here’s a quick recap:

Week 1: We were inspired
Week 2: We finally made a plan
Week 3: We paint, and paint, and paintWeek 4: We are overcome with a sinus-filled head cold, procrastination and indecision

I was hoping to show you some amazing industrial shelving today or least some in progress.  Does tape count?


So this is what I’m hoping the shelving will look like and was trying out different options.  At first I thought I wanted staggered widths on the shelving, but realized that I like them evenly spaced.  The woven blind just arrived and I threw it in there to see  if me likey.  I think with the wood shelving it will look great.  I need to get casters for the trunk on the right to lift it up to bedside height.  And then there is the rug (my excuse why there is no shelving yet).  I wasn’t planning on pulling up the poop colored carpet but I really dislike it…then I saw this rug in Marshall’s and fell in love.  I have called and/or visited every HomeGoods, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s in the area hoping to find a second one, but it remains elusive.  This is 5×7 and I need to combine two to make it large enough.  But even if I was to stumble on another, Michael is not a fan!!!  What??!!  Who ever said that the picky 12-year old who dislikes change was allowed to have a say?  I know that when this room is done he is going to love it, but he is panicking over every little decision.  So if anyone bumps into this Tahari rug in any of the above stores, please let me know!!

We are going to make believe that the bedding situation has magically been addressed (there are multiple shipments coming in from many directions and fingers-crossed that will work itself out).  Let’s take a quick look at some of the art options for the room.

I was eying this large US map with fish and their geographic locations for months in a local consignment shop.  Nobody was that interested in this water-damaged, warped broken framed piece of goodness except me, so I scored a good deal.  My thought was this was going to be a DIY project and I bought braces for the back of the frame…but the wood is splintering and the poster board is so warped I soon realized it was out of my league.  I am happy to report that this has been placed in the hands of the professionals and will be looking all spiffed up in a black frame to match the doors it will live in between.

fish map

Then I’ve got some other goodies in the works for a gallery wall and other parts of the room.  Below are some of them and if you’ve been following on Instagram, you’ve seen my humorous find (but maybe it’s only funny if you are a mom of boys). 🙂

sea circle
urban outfitters

urban outfitters

pop chart lab
I’m also planning on hanging his black electric guitar on the wall.

pop chart lab

Gentleman Rules Print - 11x17
GoodSouth (etsy)

Show Some Class - Sartorial Humor Quote Art Print 11 x 14
wellsillustration (etsy)
Michael loves his bow ties.

Typography Print / Dumbledore Quote / It Is Our Choices ... More Than Our Abilities / Wall Art / Inspirational Art
EntropyTradingCo (etsy)
And he loves Harry Potter.

Typography / I love you bigger than outer space / Poster Print / Movie Quote / Minimalist Wall Art
EntropyTradingCo (etsy)
This etsy seller designed this print for me and I had three made for each of my children’s room because this is what I always say to them. ❤

In addition to these new pieces, I have accumulated (collected, amassed, hoarded…whatever you want to call it) other pieces over time that I will incorporate onto the walls and shelves.  I’m also hoping to incorporate some rock album covers or posters and Michael’s Playbills of Broadway plays that he has been to.  I’m still in the process of figuring out how to display Michael’s collection of Harry Potter wands.  I have two shadow boxes and am trying different hooks and such to display but make it so he take take them out as well…


So that’s it folks.  Time for some NyQuil, sleep (I’m writing this last night) and then today I will measure for the shelving components for the fourth and final time.

Peace out. – kate




ORC Week 3 — Half-Way Mark? Are You Freakin Kidding Me?

Hello folks! Crazy week here and we interrupt the craziness to bring you a brief peek at what I was able to accomplish this week…paint (yes, that’s it, deal).

In my defense, this is a one woman army and I abhor prepping to paint.  Like seriously despise it.  I should have probably hired this out, but I’m trying to accomplish Michael’s room on a limited budget and I like spending money on the ‘pretties’.  But this room, like Anna’s, is wood-paneled.

(Side story warning: We were adding our master a couple of years ago and had to close up a window in Michael’s room and I came home one day to see that the contractor had taken off a couple of the wood panels and underneath was rooster kitchen wallpaper!!!  In a second floor bedroom!  What the what?  I kid you not!  I’m always amazed by old homes and wish the walls could talk.  Do you know any interesting stories about your home?)

So the wood paneling needed tons of spackling and that was a pain so I also hit the store up for some caulk and also caulked where the paneling meets the ceiling.  Then in addition to cutting in all the edges I needed to paint each groove of the paneling because it’s a pain when the roller doesn’t reach them well enough.

Here’s what I mean:

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If you are following along on Instagram, you got a peak into my brain when I thought maybe I should paint the doors and window in the room black.

Well, It is now my favorite part of the room!!  High gloss black!  This wasn’t the easiest walk in the park as these doors have a gazillion layers of paint of them, but I love them and more importantly so does Michael!

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The closet door has the original hardware that just needed a good scrubbing.  The main doorknob has been replaced with a dud…hopefully I will fix that in time…  Look at the high gloss!  The doors are dry in these pictures.

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I still need to paint the window trim in BM White Dove.

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I really dislike the carpet and I tore up Anna’s for her One Room Challenge but I don’t think I can pull it off this time.  Boys spend a lot of time on the floor and the wood floor beneath is not in great shape.  So that will have to wait until he’s a little older…


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Love me some glossy black doors…I might have to do this elsewhere in my house.

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So then there’s the random sconce at the entrance to Michael’s room…the only hardwired light in the room!  He has lived with this flowery, fluted beauty for years, but I can’t seem to find an old-school one that has the switch right on it.  I tried an edison-style light bulb and I think it looks cool, but it too soft a light.  I have ideas for different task lighting around the room, but is a 12-year old boy going to go around and turn them on when he needs them…and is he going to turn them off??  I might need to get him The Clapper.

So let’s recap…we are half-way through and I’ve painted. 🙂  I have ordered a couple of things and I have to finish measuring for my industrial desk/shelf tomorrow.  I will have more for you next week!

Here are links if you missed my inspiration (week 1) and my plan (week 2).

And don’t forget to check out all of these talented people who have done more than paint…HERE and HERE.

Thanks for stopping by! – kate

ORC Week 2 (Translation = Kate finally has a plan…now needs to act!)

Michael's Room/willow interiors
Hello all.  Want to see everything I’ve accomplished this week for Michael’s room?  Well, you’d have to get in my brain, because all I’ve got to show you are some plans that I need to start acting on pronto!  If you missed week 1, you can check it out HERE.
Here some components that I have decided on:
  • Paint choice is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (HC-172).
  • I am planning of building an industrial pipe bookshelf and desk (wish me luck!).
  • Hanging industrial cage lights in the “guitar corner”.
  • Artwork will include rock album covers and a cool vintage game fish map that I found years ago (it needs a lot of work to get it up on the wall).
  • I found that metal, wood and leather chest in Marshalls the other day and I’m hoping to use that as his nightstand.
  • If you are following along on Instagram, you saw I also found some scarves and shawls that I’m hoping to turn into soft pillows.
  • I’m trying to narrow down the perfect colors for plaid bedding.
So basically, I need to stay awake for the next 4 weeks if I have any hope in hell of getting this room up and running for Michael.
If you want to see people that actually have their act together check out all these amazing designers/bloggers HERE and HERE.
Thanks for stopping by! – kate

Let’s Get This ORC Party Started!

I probably should have thought this out better.  This is probably going to cost me thousands in therapy bills down the road.  Did I really complete two One Room Challenges for my other children and leave my middle child for last?   I should have thought this one through better.

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Kevin’s Room

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Anna’s Room

But here’s my chance to redeem myself!  Do you know what today is?  It’s the one year anniversary of me entering the world of interior design and blogging. I can’t believe it’s been a year…thank you so much for all of your encouragement!  It’s also the kick-off of my third One Room Challenge!!  Thank you so much for thinking this brain child up, Linda.  Over the next five Wednesdays (it started yesterday) 20 designers/bloggers will be completing a room and showing us the good, the bad, the ugly and finally the amazing.  Then every Thursday there is a link up party were we can see a ton of talent.  I am hoping to link up on Thursdays and hopefully I will be able to show you how I took Michael’s old “pirate” room and changed it into a teen room every boy would want to hang out in (no girls allowed).

So here’s my client:

willow interiorsMichael is a great kid, but is going to be a tough client.  He hates change…not good.  But he hates his current room…good (that sounds bad).  This is not going to be a themed room because this kid has way too many interests.  He loves football, baseball, skiing, music, guitar, singing, acting and fishing.  Okay.  So what I’m thinking is I will stick with his two main loves music and fishing.  We are just going with a feeling here…are you with me?  So it’s going to be “A little bit country (fishing) and a little bit rock’n’roll (music)”.

Here are some ugly before photos of what we are working with and then I will leave you with some pretty inspiration photos and then I’ve got to go and get to work for my man!

It’s all coming back to me now.  Michael’s room was the first room we did when we moved here (I’ll have to remember that for the therapy sessions).  And I’ve got proof:

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Then his younger brother moved in and we got bunk beds.  After that we added on our master, Michael lost a window but his brother moved out.

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And now his present day tween room has hints of the past, his sister’s old desk I was trying out (was thinking maybe I could paint it…not going to work), an old bookshelf around from our original nursery that has spent time in everyone’s rooms and his electric guitar stuff…

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The only things staying are his Pottery Barn Kids bed and dresser.  I’m guessing he wants his fish hooks gone. 🙂

So here’s some inspiration for a little bit country and a little bit rock’n’roll:

A boy's room full of character and interest/willow interiorsArchitectural Digest

Michael Angus/House&Home

BM Rockport Graysource

teenage boy   gray walls and art/willow interiorsElle Decor

Jeanne Oliver

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Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees


wool blanket/willow interiorsBarrie Benson/Domino

traditional kids by Shannon Malone  love the lights!source

 There you have it folks.  I swear I can do something other than kids’ rooms.  Maybe after this I’ll even finish our master…

Go HERE and HERE to check out all the unbelievable talent the ORC has cooked up this year.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by! – kate





Let the Games Begin

Good Morning!!!  I am so excited! It feels like Christmas!  First up, I am over at Beth’s DesignPOST Interiors dishing on some changes in my home and life.  And while you’re there, check out her amazing home. Thank you so much for having me Beth!

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And secondly, do you know what time it is????  It’s Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge time!!!  (I’m a little excited!)

I get so much inspiration from these amazing designers, bloggers, kindred spirits.  Check it out and watch along as they transform a room in 6 weeks!  And tomorrow starts the link up party!  I participated in both last year (you can check those out HERE and HERE) and we’ll see tomorrow if I can get my act together and jump in.  That is if I don’t spend all day reading today’s participants!  See you tomorrow and thanks again Beth!

– kate

PS  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw we had a little visitor in our town for a couple of hours yesterday.  A 300-pound black bear decided to climb a couple of trees right across from our elementary school and evade capture for 6 hours!  It made for an interesting day, especially at 3 when they still hadn’t caught him and they couldn’t let the kids leave the school.  I happened to be at the library volunteering, so I was with my younger one and fielding texts from my middle-schoolers who were stuck in as well and watching it unfold on the news.  All is well and Yogi has been moved back with his people. Hopefully he’ll stay there and go to sleep for a couple of months.  But, what an exciting day in our hood. 🙂

Bear Tranquilized After Eluding Capture For Hours In Ridgewood, NJ



Anna’s Teenage No Pattern Aqua Room — Finally!

Yippee!!!  It’s done…kinda.  Thanks for your patience.  The artwork is coming but it was on my computer that needed an emergency new hard-drive.  When my computer started acting up last week, I called my computer guy.  Steve Holder (Fix My PC2), who we found over 7 years ago in the church bulletin, is not only quite versed in technology but he’s a really nice guy.  He told me that I needed to shut my computer down immediately because the hard-drive was failing!  Then he had it fixed with a new hard-drive in a couple of days.  So if your are local and need computer help give Steve a call!

So art is coming, as well as an improved closet, a built-in bookcase and huge bulletin board.

Here’s reminder of what we started with:

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And here’s where we are at:

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I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking and I’ll point some of my favorite parts.

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When you make a right after entering her room here’s what we see.  Anna has quite a collection of nail polish so I decided to display them and get some color in the room (because there’s not enough color with those walls?).  I intended to replace the ugly original sconce, but then was leery about pulling such an old relic off the wall.  In the end I decided to gold leaf it and steal some crystals from the chandelier.  I’ve never gold leafed anything before.  It was fun and now I want to gold leaf everything.  I love the way Grandma Monroe’s jewelry chest came out painted in glossy white.

Then you move around to two windows with Anna’s new vanity in between.  Well, new to her.  I found this beauty on Facebook for $200 and painted it glossy white.  I decided to add a surprise pop of pink and pretty lined drawers inside.  Anna loves keeping her stuff organized and we mixed and matched pretty containers, old and new to keep all her pretties in line.

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The little bust holding some of Anna’s bracelets is one of my favorite vintage finds.  The lamp got a make over with some gold leafing and I sprayed the inside of the shade gold and painted the outside pink and glued on some navy pompoms.  The mirrored vanity tray holding Anna’s Taylor Swift perfume collection was my mom’s!

This corner is where I am having a handyman stop by next week and build in an Ikea bookcase so that Anna will have more room for her books and snowglobes.

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Then we get to my other favorite part…the bed!  If you recall, there was a window jammed in this corner and it always bothered me because this is where Anna wanted her bed.  So I came up with a plan to make a canopy to hide the window (relax, she’s got two others).

anna's bed/willow interiors

I take a sewing class, so my instructor helped me hatch a plan and here is the end result.  I bought white panels from Country Curtains and a white bed-skirt from Kohl’s and attached navy grosgrain ribbon.  The chandelier was her old white one that we sprayed gold and one of Anna’s favorite items is the furry rug from Home Decorators.  We also pulled up her old carpet.  I found the pink wire table and elephant at HomeGoods.  The elephant was originally green and I sprayed him pink.  It wasn’t right so I sprayed him white and then played around with some blue and white paint.  I love how he turned out!

I wanted to try and make an upholstered headboard.  In the end I made a quickie one that I attached to her original headboard and actually got the monogram done at the embroidery t-shirt kiosk in the mall!  We tried many different bed covers and no-pattern-girl shot them all down.  I was walking through an estate sale and saw this vintage white coverlet with raised chenille polka dots on it.  It was spotless and they sold it to me for $5!!!  I bleached it and Anna loved it.  While it is plain the texture adds something to give it interest.  I had to find one pillow with all of our three colors to tie everything together and found this at Verdi Blu, a colorful store in Glen Rock, NJ.  The pillow in the foreground was actually a pillow I made years ago when Anna first said she wanted a turquoise room.  I made it out of a robe I bought her while visiting Chinatown in San Francisco.  Once Anna decided on a turquoise this was a little too blue.  I don’t care… it’s staying in the room..deal with it. 🙂

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So in the end, Anna and I are still speaking and we both love the room.  We’ve reused and reinvented and worked within a tight budget, but I don’t think it looks it.  I will be giving more details and updates as we add artwork and stuff.  I am completely dying to check out everyone else’s rooms in the One Room Challenge!  It has been so fun meeting other design addicts and can’t wait for the next one in the fall.  What room will I do next?  I think I’m going to get to Micheal’s room this summer.  He’s the middle child and now that I’ve done Anna’s and Kevin’s room he’s definitely going to need therapy as an adult. 🙂


Thanks so much for stopping by! – kate