We’ve finished week 2 of the Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge and we have the plan for finishing the living room, including a couple projects I added to the list this week and a few of the DIYs, figured out. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Last Fall, this was my project list:

  • Recessed panel wainscoting on two-story wall: I talked in my last post about all of the issues we had with the feature wall and how that stopped us in our tracks last Fall. Here are the pictures I promised last week. Well, I’ve been working for weeks now, and I have the wall pretty close to finished. As I sit in the living room and stare at the wall, I can still see the errors. Most, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who would notice–this wall and I are just about one. But there are a few spots I know I can fix and it’s worth it. I’ll bring you along on that journey when I get up enough drive to do it, but let me post a few pictures of where we’re at now. Coming Soon.
two feature walls, wainscoting and board and batten, visible from living room
I love this view from the living room because you can see both feature walls.
DIY wainscoting with a styled foyer table
This foyer table is so fun to style with the wainscoting.
DIY two-story recessed panel wainscoting with styled foyer table
We LOVE how our DIY two-story recessed panel wainscoting turned out in the foyer and the @atwestend tiered wood and marble display stands set
  • Mantel upgrade with a new thicker, deeper box secured over the existing tiny mantel: Finished last Fall!
DIY Wider and Thicker Mantel Box
DIY Wider and Deeper Mantel Box
  • Fireplace surround upgrade: I purchased a peel and stick tile last fall, but I’m really uncertain about using them. The small lip around the fireplace will be extremely difficult to cover. I’m planning on painting the kitchen granite in a couple weeks and Im leaning towards painting the fireplace surround the same marble look. The company’s website says that it’s usable up to 250 degrees around the fireplace. We don’t actually use the fireplace so as of right now, that’s the direction we’re heading–unless I second guess myself again, of course. Plan set, completion the weekend of May 28-30!
  • TV console/IKEA hack: Last Fall we went to the lumbar yard, found a piece of hickory that was thick enough and long enough for the top of the 3 Eket cabinets we had in the living room. I still need to decide what I’m going to put on the front door panels and how. I had originally planned cane, a herringbone pattern, but I second-guessed that. Now, I’m leaning towards grass cloth, possibly in a cream, so I’m not married with a specific color in that room. I also need to get the trim for the front pieces to cover where each cabinet will be glued to the other.
    • This weekend, though, I found the formula and techniques that I need to use to reproduce the wood tone of the World Market Everett table in my foyer, which is on the same wall as the tv console. More to come, but let’s just say I’ve discovered cerusing and I am PUMPED! Planned for the same weekend as the fireplace surround, May 28-30.
  • New Furniture, rug, accessories: dear reader, I am struggling hard on this. I really want to get a nice, long sofa, a chair-and-a-half, and a new rug. However, I am so incredibly stuck. The serious delay in getting most sofas/chairs is part of the problem, sure. But I cannot decide on what I want for style and fabric either. It’s the same problem I have for the rug. I’m hoping to get out to do some shopping next weekend and I’m rug shopping when I get a free minute. Fingers crossed.
  • DIY coffee table: similar story as the rest of the furniture but a different reason. I purchased 4 wide, spun legs for a Restoration Hardware-inspired coffee table we were both excited for. Then I found out that my husband doesn’t actually like coffee tables. I’m working on a compromise but I may just forego the table all together. Plan in progress. Possibly.

Additions to the project list for Spring:

  • Bannister update: The bannister going up the stairs and across the loft that’s open to the living room below is going for a makeover. I’ve been mulling this over for a very long time, just like the feature wall. I’ve thought about replacing the the spindles that are currently painted white. I haven’t found anything I’m really loving. Then, I found the stain formula for the TV console and I got the crazy idea to use it on the bannister. The most difficult part in that scenario is going to get the top coat and yellow-ish stain off so that I can apply the lighter stain and cerusing. The balusters are a little intricate and will take quite a bit of stripping and sanding in crevices and curved pieces. I can do this!
  • Stairway update: The most exciting development, and one that helped push me towards stripping and staining the bannister, is that we pulled up some carpet on the steps and found solid wood! Often times a builder will put a more cost effective plywood down if they’re just covering it with carpet. However, it felt like solid wood and I knew the previous owners had just replaced the carpet before selling the house. I’m so excited that we pulled it up to check this weekend. I have wanted wooden stairs with a runner for a very long time. The wood is bare so we can stain it or paint it, whatever we’d like. I may get antsy and pull off the carpet this week. We’ll see! And it’s time to start looking for a runner. I have never done this project so it’ll be an experience.
  • Art lamps & art: Now that the wainscoting is in place, I can see we clearly should add art lamps to the box on each side of the TV. We decided that we’re going to run the electric cords behind the wall and plug in the lamps below the TV so they can be plugged in and controlled by Alexa. We did this already with the TV cables so nothing is hanging down below the TV/sound bar and it looks so much cleaner. Then I’m going to make some art to go below each one. I have all of the supplies and ideas on what to paint, as I’ve been wanting to work on some art for a while.
  • Large scale art: I have canvas drop cloth and the 1×2’s that I need to make a framed canvas. I’ve been wanting to put a large piece of art, around 4×6′ or a little bigger on the wall of the stairs going up to the loft. Again, I have the color palate and the basic style settled. I may have to get some pouring acrylic paint. I have the other materials needed and am prepared for a couple different directions the process may take me.
  • Gold strips on the fireplace: Simply put, I’m painting them black before I paint the surround.

I know this definitely looks like a lot. However, a lot of it can be done when the kids are down for bed and we have our undivided attention to give to the projects. Six of the 10 projects left to do are just 1-3 hour jobs I can do at night.

I know this may not seem like a huge update after a week, but actually I’ve been looking for or working to figure out several of these parts of my projects, like the stain formula to match the foyer table, for quite some time. Figuring out those pieces of the design and having confidence in it gives me such a boost to start crossing these projects off of the list!

Stay tuned for more updates to come, including during the week on my Instagram page. Your follows, likes, shares, and comments keep me going even when IG isn’t as fun as it used to be, so thank you!

Also, be sure to check out the other talented participants transforming one of their rooms right now! I’m telling you, there are some impressive projects! I’ll be sharing some of those in my IG stories as well each week! Until then friends,

XOXO Alicia

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