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One Room Challenge Week 2: The Room We Picked & Where We Are So Far

Welcome to week 2 of the Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge! If you’re just joining in, you can check out my post from last week where I talked about the first decision we had to make–which room to make over. I outlined the pros and cons of each room as well as the design plans and I’m excited now to announce which room we’re going to totally redesign. We picked…

Living Room Design Mood Board

We picked the living room! Ultimately, while I’m super excited to redesign our master bathroom, this living room gets the most use. It’s where we gather with friends and family, where we play and rest, and the room that you can see from everywhere else on the first floor. Basically, it’s the heart of our home and I sit on our old sofas and dream of how we could change it. This first week, besides determining which room to make over, we’ve started a few of our projects.

Living Room Project List

  • Mantel upgrade

We actually had a head start on this project before we had even decided to enter the One Room Challenge. Our old mantel was very narrow, just seven inches deep–well, seven inches in some spots, and between six-and-a-half and seven in others. Our journey with this home continues to reveal that most design elements are just a little off–off center or not quite not straight. The good news is, it’s straight now. We ended up adding a box with an open back to slide onto the existing mantel and secured it with several screws. However, in order to do this, we had to cut off a section of the molding under the current mantel so the box would sit flush. Then, we added a piece of molding that matched the molding just above the fireplace surround. I sanded, filled in the holes, and painted the panel and additional molding. We still have to caulk, but I now have TWELVE INCHES of mantel for decorating! I also think the shape of the new mantel is more modern than the smaller original.

  • Fireplace surround tile replaced or painted

Originally I was planning on using a new tile, likely a peel and stick tile, to further modernize the fireplace surround. However, we do have the section on the floor in front of the fireplace and I’m not sure how that would look or hold up with two billy goats boys and a pony golden doodle. So now, I’m leaning towards doing a faux marble paint. I’ve seen folks using it on every countertop surface, including bathrooms and kitchens, to rave reviews. I’ve reached out to the company who makes the kit, so stay tuned!

  • IKEA hack of the cabinets under the TV

In the design plan above, you’ll see a gorgeous white cabinet with cane fronts on each door. While I could purchase a cabinet like that–and there are several on the market–there are a few problems with it. I am having a difficult time finding one that is long enough. I want the cabinet to not only be longer than the TV, but to also have enough length for tall lamps on each end. The cabinets that exist right now that meet that length requirement either do not have a lot of storage (and this is crucial toy storage with two young kids), they do not fit the design aesthetic, or they are expensive. This has been my problem since we moved in and I’ve had the idea to hack IKEA Eket cabinets pretty much since we moved in. I’m sure I saw something on Pinterest while nesting before Eli was born–we moved into this house at 7 months pregnant. My plan is to take the three cabinets, attach them to a solid wood top, add the cane, and possibly swap out, stain, or paint the legs.

I want the wood top to match the foyer table that’s on the same wall, but that is made out of acacia wood, which is nearly impossible to find for this project. We figured out that the closest wood is hickory and we have made several trips and phone calls over the last year to the lumber yards. Well, I haven’t been able to find a solid hickory piece that’s both wide and long enough. Until NOW!

We had a fun field trip to the lumber yard on Saturday to look for the coffee table wood. We took the boys and all 4 of us survived! We ALSO finally found a piece of wood for the top of the TBV console piece. We had them plane and cut it and even had some extra for a charcuterie board we plan to make for the day we get to host a party again. Boy, are we going to throw a big bash for everyone we’ve ever met. And I’m going to hug every. single. person.

Wood piece for our TV cabinet

Anyhoo, the next steps in this project is to stain the wood, attache the cabinets, and order the cane for the cabinet doors. I’m getting SO excited for this!

  • New: rug, extra long sofa, and arm chairs

The good news is that I’ve ordered the rug. It’s the Loloi Wynter-auburn/multi and it is gorgeous. I picked it because it does not shed, it’s fade-resistant and easy to clean. Check, check, check.

Loloi Wynter-Auburn/Multi Rug–I am in love!

The bad news is that I am having a rough time finding a sofa that I like. We have a new, white sofa and loveseat set in the basement that we can use for now, but I really want to get a new sofa ordered. Our plan is to order an extra long sofa–at least 100 inches– get rid of the other sofa we are using, and then add a second arm chair instead. This will completely open up the living room to the kitchen. But, we need the extra seating in the extra long sofa. I’m somewhat ok with getting a fabric sofa because they are doing amazing things with performance fabrics right now. However, I really want leather. Again, two boys, a big dog, and hey, let’s go ahead and add the hubby in that list of reasons. Amiright, ladies?

So…the hunt continues. If you have any hints, I’m completely open!

  • DIY coffee table

Last but not least, this week has seen some movement on the DIY coffee table we’re making. Here’s an image of what we’re going for, which was made by Tiffany @myrusticmodernhome.

Luckily, Tiffany shared with me where they got the legs for their table, which is the one part of this that we really could not do ourselves at this stage in our wood working experience. Design 59 Furniture had a set of 4 legs in stock and even had them to our doorstep in 2 days! I’m super impressed with them, both in the quality of the legs and the response time of the company. So, we have the legs and are still trying to decide on which type of wood to use. More to come on this as well.

One More Project, At Least One

We are planning to fit in at least one more project–the wainscoting on the two-story wall. We’re working on securing the scaffolding and an extra pair of hands for one day in the next couple weekends. I’ve finally decided the look I’d like for this wall–a recessed panel wainscoting. I’m deep into the research for this, but I know Jenna at Jenna Sue Design Co. not only did this in her home twice, she provided a really in depth tutorial for how they did their most recent wall. So that is my inspiration.

I have a significant amount of planning to do in order to pull this off, including picking out the type and size of wood, measuring out the size of boxes, and picking out the inside molding. So, I’d better to get to it! Happy week 2 friends, see you next week.

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