Budget Breakdown: How much does it cost to furnish a room?

ORC: Week 5 – Living Room Transformation

Holy Cow!  We’re already at the 5th week for the One Room Challenge – Living Room Transformation!   I’ve challenged myself to redecorate my Living Room for this Spring’s ORC, started by Linda Weinstein.  But, in all honesty, if you haven’t completed your space by the end of Week 5, you haven’t finished.  Because before Week 6, you’ll need to have all of your room photos taken to show everyone the transformation.

So…..guess what….not too much has happened over here this week!  I started painting my large contemporary painting (tonight! – nothing like the last minute).  But, it needs layers of paint applied – so the creation of my “masterpiece” might take a few days!  Tonight – I put a base foundation of white and a wee bit of light beige.

Starting to paint blank canvas

Tomorrow I plan on adding more color and shapes!  And, hoping it might look a little bit more like this – maybe not so bright…

Colorful contemporary art – “Key West” by Blair Culwell Staky
Inspiration art – my family portrait, circa 1971

And, speaking of art – I do love traditional pieces and have a lot of them to hang up next week.  Most of my art seems to be inspired by water or the ocean.  However, I did purchase a small contemporary print – which I LOVE –  by Britt Bass Turner, a local Georgia artist.  I bought it because I loved the bright, fun colors and I also thought that it would energize my Living Room and make it seem a bit more youthful.  If I had unlimited funds, I would probably commission her to create a large piece for me.  However, inspiration images will have to work for now!  But, I love her work – so fun with lots of energy and lots of color!

Small contemporary print by Georgia artist, Britt Bass Turner

Back to the One Room Challenge.  In all honesty, I spent this past week working for my clients.  I didn’t work at all on my Living Room transformation because I already knew that I wouldn’t be able to successfully complete the 6 week challenge.  I was a little “down-in-the-dumps” about it.  Until I received a group email from Linda Weinstein this week, which I (belatedly) read last night.  As I mentioned before, she’s the host of this Challenge and started it about 7-8 years ago with some of her blogging friends.  But, it was as if Linda had read my mind.  Basically, she said – “don’t give up, keep going – and if you aren’t able to finish within the 6-week period – update your last blog post with the final shots of your room when you have them”.    Well, that’s how I “READ” the email.  It  was inspiration – it was hope!

One Room Challenge, guest participant

And, do you KNOW what happened today?  A couple of great things!

  1. My upholstery workroom told me that my sofa was finished and ready for pick-up!
Sofa fabric with Scalamandre trim applied to base of skirt
Newly reupholstered sofa

2.  My Zebra Print chairs are finished and in the room!   (but, I forgot to take a photo of them before writing this!)

3.  My back-ordered F.Schumacher fabric (that was supposed to come at the end of May) shipped and arrived TODAY!  (my ORC stars are aligning folks!!)

F Schumacher fabric packaging and Yangtze River fabric

I will take this fabric to my pillow workroom tomorrow, so they can fabricate two (2) 18″ pillows of this F Schumacher print, “Yangtze River, aqua” to be placed on my pink zebra chairs!  Wowee!  Pattern on pattern!!  I love it!

4.  AND, best of all – my green area rug is at my carpet vendor’s warehouse in Atlanta.  I just need to have it delivered!  This is the best news because I wasn’t going to have any of my upholstery pieces delivered until the rug was completed.  Now, my old rug can be taken up, the new one laid.  And, then all of the upholstery pieces can be brought in and placed.

Couristan “Antibes, mojito” area rug

Here are the finished throw pillows that will be placed on the white sofa.  I love how they turned out!  Each pillow has a small white contrast flange – which visually outlines the pillow fabric, but also adds a luxe detail and elevates the design.

Lee Jofa”s “Nirvana Shadow, pink” & Cowtan & Tout’s “Le Rosier Union” (discontinued) fabric pillows to be placed on the white sofa

Those 4 things happened ALL in the past 24 hours (combined with Linda’s email) made me feel hopeful about finishing this project (more or less) within the 6 week period.  Let’s just say that I’m hopeful, but realistic.

  • I am waiting for 2 Gainsborough Library chairs, a Silk tableskirt, and 2 stool cushions – from my upholstery workroom (and I only just dropped off the tableskirt fabric and stool cushions with fabric yesterday!).
  • I need to drop off my F Schumacher fabric to get those pillows made.
  • I need to reupholster my two (2) side chairs (I’ll do it myself – as I reupholstered them previously on my own)
  • I’d like to purchase “brass” air vent registers for my floor
  • Re-hang all of my art, mirrors and accessories

So….as I said…I’m hopeful – but realistic.  I understand that this probably all won’t happen within the next week.  But, I can try.  There’s no rush – I’m happy with my progress and can’t wait for the final reveal!  (which may be in 2 weeks instead of 1!)

If you are interested in my progress:  CLICK HERE – for Week 1     CLICK HERE – for Week 2       ClICK HERE – for Week 3       CLICK HERE – for Week 4   @oneroomchallenge   @housebeautiful

Stay tuned!!   – Barclay

If you’d like to see what the Featured Designers are creating in their spaces, click HERE.  And, if you’d like to see what the other Guest Designers, like myself, are up to, click HERE!

One Room Challenge: Week 4 already?

This One Room Challenge is flying by!  I’m hoping that I’ll have all of my upholstered furniture back before the end of this challenge – as well as the area rug that I just ordered!   Decorating a room can be challenging enough without the added pressure of doing it in six weeks and posting your progress via a blog (for all the world to see and judge!).

Feeling frazzled?

But, in truth, I DO feel like I have this under control.  Whether I am able to finish the space within the allotted six weeks – time will tell.  But, I know, for sure, that I will finish the space because I have a plan and everything’s been ordered.

So, let me quickly tell you what happened in Living Room World this week.  The painters left and the pale pink room with white gloss trim turned out fabulously!

Drapery rod ….going up!

With the paint dry, I was able to start pulling the room together.  I re-installed the existing gold-leaf wood drapery rod.  And, hung the brand new white silk drapery panels.

The pink, yellow, peach and soft green “faux silk” tassel trim was a great addition and very affordable.  The colors really blended well into my room scheme!

Overall, the white panels brighten and lighten up the room – creating a soft and feminine space.

I was hoping to start working on my contemporary art piece.  However, it’s been dark and gloomy all week.  And, the thought of painting a bright and summery-colored canvas in my cold, dank and dark basement wasn’t appealing in the least!  Sooooo…..I’ll save that creativity for this weekend!

Instead, I did a very minor project.  It may seem silly to some – but, overall, it will make a subtle impact in the room.  I have a large secretary in my Living Room.  Inside the cabinet, the back of the cabinet is lined with a yellowed fabric and the nails are hidden with a gimp trim accent.

Here is the before photo of the interior of the secretary.

The BEFORE shot is fine.  No one really looks inside the cabinet anyhow.  But, details make the difference in a designed room.

A close-up shot of the BEFORE.

So, I tore out the original liner and replaced it with a bright white cotton fabric and used some leftover green Brunschwig & Fils gimp that I had in my storage box.

Using the existing liner as a template for creating the new liner

Then, I start stapling it into the cabinet.

OOPS!  Wait a sec – I’m completely exhausted.  Time for a short cat-nap!

Okay – now I feel refreshed – and am able to hot glue gun in all of the trim!

Lastly, I started another project – but haven’t yet finished.  I have a void in my Living Room.  And, to fill that void – I thought that I’d add a bit more seating.  Something casual that can be moved around and something that wasn’t a huge investment.  I purchased some really cool acrylic cross-leg stools from Overstock.  The “Vicky Ottoman” was a great find and one that I think will be a fun addition to my “formal” living room.  

A pair of these benches will round out my conversation area.  I currently have a rectangle coffee table and my new floor plan kind of wishes that I would’ve sprung for a new square coffee table.  But, I’m not.  I’m being realistic and my current coffee table is perfect for the space and I can easily work around it.  Hence!  The benches! 

And, lucite/acrylic is a perfect material to add to my traditional mix.  This room has a lot of brown furniture and traditional pieces.  Infusing a bit of acrylic will freshen up the space and keep the tone light!  So, I’m excited about them.

I just don’t know what I’m going to reupholster them in.   I have extra yardage of these 2 fabrics – but was thinking maybe a creamy white might be good.  And, possibly, use the trim from my yellow drapery panels…..

  1.  Green
“Tao Fretwork, jade”

2.  Pink

“Nirvana Shadow, pink”

And, that’s it for this week!

To read more about the Challenge and to see some of the featured designers’ work, click HERE.  And, to see what the other Guest Bloggers are doing with their spaces, click HERE.  Enjoy your week – and look at my Instagram account to see how I’m progressing HERE.

ORC: Week 3 – Living Room Transformation

How to decorate a room in 6 weeks!  That’s the main goal of the One Room Challenge.  My ORC transformation room is my Living Room.

The 3rd full week of the One Room Challenge is now complete.  Quite honestly, I’ve had a busy week (being sick and then with work).  So, unfortunately, there aren’t too many visible signs that things are progressing on the room.  I am hopeful, however.  Most of my fabrics have been ordered and are either in transit or are already at my workrooms.  Here are a few of my workroom projects:

For my birthday in January, I bought myself this pair of George II style Gainsborough Library chairs.

George II style Gainsborough chairs

I found them online two years ago and nearly gasped in delight.  The Rose Tarlow “Kent” chair is, in my opinion, a gorgeous speciman of art with those dark scrolling legs!  I fell in love with this chair 25 years ago and never thought that I’d be lucky enough to own one (let alone two) of my very own.  For two years, I stalked them and imagined them in this room.  Finally, in January, I made the decision.  This is how I decided to bite the bullet.  I asked myself “would I be upset if someone else bought these chairs?” – after hemming and hawing to myself – I agreed that I would be very upset with myself if I didn’t buy them.  So, I contacted the owner, Erin at Erin Lane Estate in Oakland, CA  to ask a few more details.  She and her husband, Carlos, were extremely gracious over the phone and answered all of my questions.  I very much enjoyed working with them and highly recommend that you go to their gorgeous website and see what other goodies they have.  I hope to work with them again – as I had such a great experience.

These Gainsborough Library chairs never made it to my house – they were shipped directly to my upholsterer.  She’s going to reupholster them in Jim Thompson’s “Paradise Vine, pink” linen.

Jim Thompson’s “Paradise Vine, pink”

For my two existing upholstered chairs, I will have them reupholstered in Pindler & Pindler’s “Zanzibar, pink” zebra cotton and ornament the skirt with a sherbert pastel tassel fringe.

Existing yellow chair to be reupholstered in this “Zambezi, pink” zebra print fabric
“Zambezie, petal”

Here are a few other fabrics going into the space:

“Tao Fretwork, jade”
“Nirvana Shadow, pink”

And lastly – one of my surprise favorites for the room is this F. Schumacher’s “Yangtze River, aqua” fabric.  It, literally, was a fabric I picked up very last minute for a Client project.  But, after realizing it wasn’t going to work for her, I noticed the colors worked really well with my scheme!  So, surprise!  I’m going to have a couple of pillows made with it and place them on the pink zebra chairs.

F.Schumacher’s “Yangtze River, aqua” will be made into pillows for my pink upholstered chairs.

The only problem is that the fabric is back-ordered and won’t be shipping until the end of May.  So, it looks like I’ll have to post-pone my professional shots until some time in June….

The only real noticeable improvements taken in the Living Room redecoration this week was the trim color.  That’s a minor drama in itself.  But, long story short, the handyman that swore he was going to come on Friday to give me a final quote didn’t show, nor did he answer my calls and texts.  So Saturday morning I hopped over to the BenMoore store and bought my gallon of  “Chantilly Lace” paint and a good trim brush.  Thinking that I’d probably have to paint all of the trim myself, I spent Sunday afternoon taping off the fireplace area and a bit of Monday beginning to put the first coat on.  However, after a few hours of tedious trim painting, I had to quit.  I resolved to call one of my reliable painters.

Mike and his team answered my painting prayers.  Mike came over Tuesday evening to give me a quote.  And, by Wednesday afternoon, he and James came over to begin repair work on my trim.  Mike and his crew arrived bright and early this morning and applied the first coat of semi-glossy paint on my trim.  Already the difference is staggering!  I can’t wait for them to finish tomorrow.  

So that wraps up Week 3 for me!  Go ahead and see what the Featured Designers are up to HERE and the other Guest Designers HERE.

One Room Challenge, guest participant

Thanks for following along!  Please don’t forget to leave me your comments!

Until next week – Cheers!

One Room Challenge: Week 2 of my Living Room Transformation

I can’t help it, in my heart, I am a PINK girl!  I have a husband and two boys – so, pink isn’t really the color of choice in our house.  In general, I’m okay with that.  But, for 18 years I’ve done my best to steer away from using large quantities of pink in the house.  Until now.  This Living Room transformation has changed all that – PINK – will rule in my re-decorated Living Room!

Living Room fabric scheme

This was my first hands-on week for the ORC.  I was out of town last week, but made sure to have most of my key design elements in place before I left.   I’ve been playing with the furniture arrangement (which desperately needed to be re-arranged) to make the most of my large, but narrow Living Room.  So, my transformation will include more seating (my guests will thank me).  I’ll draw up a floor plan for next week for everyone to see.

This week, I sent all of my upholstery to my workroom.  So, in essence – my space is kind of empty.  Which, TA-DA! – is a perfect opportunity to paint a space!  So – this week, I nailed down my paint color options.  I was looking for a white paint that has a hint of pink in it.  I didn’t realize how difficult that task was going to be!  I must’ve looked in every paint deck I owned – Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Pratt & Lambert, Pittsburgh Paints and Farrow & Ball.

Best Blush Pink Colors!

I got samples of several that seemed like the right tone (albeit, they weren’t as white as I would’ve hoped).

Narrowing down paint selections

Essentially, I landed on Farrow & Ball’s “Middleton Pink”.  I got the sample, painted a large swatch of it and taped it to my wall and looked at it (ad naseum) for about a week.  Knowing that I was running out of time, I didn’t think too hard, got a tinted primer (Exaltation #7001-21 from the Valspar collection at Lowe’s) in a color that I thought best matched the Middleton Pink and started priming my walls.  (Side note:  I was at a baseball practice and didn’t have my “Middleton Pink” sample with me – had to chance it!)

A sample can of “Middleton Pink” from Farrow & Ball
Primer coat going on!

Valspar’s “Exaltation” primer coat looked so good, I opted to use it for a second coat!  But, UH-OH!  I didn’t like how the pink suddenly turned into lilac when the sun went down.  So, I quickly changed my direction and selected a very pretty off-white paint color called “Naivete” from Valspar’s collection at Lowe’s.  And, guess what?  I LOVE it!

The trim is a greenish/beige white color and really clashes with the pink.  So, since painting trim is my least favorite thing to do.  I’m going to hire someone to do that for me.  He’s coming tomorrow to give me a quote.  Hopefully, he can start soon!

ART.  I’ll be painting a large contemporary piece of art (basically, splashes of pretty colors that reflect my fabrics/trims) to go over my loveseat.  I happened to be at Michael’s yesterday and saw a fantastic deal – 60% off all canvases.  

So I bought my 48×60 canvas (originally priced at $100) for $43.00!  The only problem was – that I didn’t think about how it would fit in my car!

No matter!  I finally got it in there, phew!

So – that’s it for this week.  Not too much is happening at the moment, but I’m sure there will be lots more to tell you next week.

If you have a chance – hop over to the One Room Challenge site HERE and read the Featured Designers blogs to see what they are up to!   And click HERE

to read what the Guest Participants (like myself) are up to!

Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see you next week! – Barclay

One Room Challenge: Living Room Transformation

HOLD YOUR HORSES FOLKS!  It’s coming!  The One Room Challenge is back for the Spring season!

One Room Challenge, guest participant

The One Room Challenge is a 6-week blogging diary of a room transformation. This spring, I’m going to re-decorate my Living Room.

View of current Living Room

The One Room Challenge is now in it’s 7th year!  Amazing!  I was an avid follower early on – and then decided to try my hand at it.  Back in 2011, I turned my basement storage room into a tidy and bright Office space.  The results were (meh) – okay and it was definitely a transformation.  However, I had no idea how professional this challenge was – meaning, most participants hired professional photographers to shoot their AFTER photos (and, of course, I hadn’t thought of that – nor did I feel like my basement room merited professional photographs).  So, it took a few years for me to join in the fun again, but I did!  I started with my Family Room/Den back in the Spring of 2016 and since, have successfully finished 3 rooms.  And now, I’ll be transforming my Living Room.

Here is a photo of my Spring 2016 Den transformation.

One Room Challenge, spring 2016 DEN

And, my Fall 2016 flooded bathroom renovation.

One Room Challenge, Fall 2016 Guest Powder Room renovation

My Fall 2017 Client bathroom renovation turned out beautifully, but for various reasons, I can’t post any professional or overall shots of the space right now.

One Room Challenge, Fall 2017 Bathroom renovation scheme

Linda Weinstein, the Founder of the One Room Challenge, recently hosted a panel in Atlanta to discuss “Growing your Digital Brand”.  At the time, I wasn’t even remotely thinking about joining in the Spring One Room Challenge festivities.   However, after listening to Linda and her panel guests, I decided to rethink my decision.  I didn’t have any particular room in mind (as ALL of the rooms in my house need love!).  What’s that saying?  “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”?  Well, this designer’s house has no decorated rooms!   So, I could’ve selected any room – Dining, Entry, Master, Guest…but, my Living Room is the room that all guests see first.

MY LIVING ROOM.  It isn’t in deplorable shape.  As a matter of fact, I LOVE this room and use it often.  I decorated it in 2001 and the design easily transferred to our Atlanta house when we moved here back in 2007.  But, it’s been 17 years – and quite honestly, I’m just tired of looking at the yellow walls.  And, if you look closely – well, don’t – as the upholstery is a bit faded and stained (due to two wild boys running thru the space with muddy shoes and chocolate bars).  Plus, I’m ready for a change – something a bit softer.  And, the space planning could be updated – I’m not using the room to its full seating capacity!

existing Living Room (photo taken on a good day a couple years ago)
Existing Sofa

What I love most about the One Room Challenge, is that it forces me to make smart, but quick decisions.  I can make design decisions easily for clients, but when it comes to making decisions for myself, I definitely have too many options to choose from.  Often, I want to wait until the Spring line comes out or the Fall lines come out before I can make my final decision.  But, not this month.  No – this month – I will finalize and move forward with fabrics and trims that I’ve coveted for the past few years.

INSPIRATION.  The inspiration for my room is this oversized family portrait that was painted back in the early 70s.  I absolutely LOVE this painting and had hoped that I might “inherit” it when my parents downsized.  Unfortunately for me, it fit perfectly (in size and color) in their smaller house.  So, I won’t be able to use it in my transformation.  Instead, I’m going to paint my own contemporary art piece that will mimic the colors in this portrait – pinks, whites, soft turquoises, and soft greens.

Family Portrait – circa 1971
(I’m clutching my mom’s arm on the left)
Living Room fabric scheme

Sooo….stay tuned for what happens next week!  I can’t officially start yet – as I’m out of town for Spring Break.  But, you can be sure that I’ll be busting my butt trying to catch up with all of the other ORC Bloggers!  This should be fun!  And, tp see what the other ORC bloggers are doing – click here!

Please follow me and help boost my morale by posting comments every week!

Cheers! – Barclay

Bathroom Renovation: One Room Challenge – Week 5

Welcome to Week 5 of our Bathroom Renovation in the 2017 Fall One Room Challenge event!

As you may remember, I am transforming and renovating an outdated and dysfunctional bathroom into a sophisticated, functional, and inviting guest bath for my discerning client, Rebekah.

If you are new to this blog and would like to read about the Bathroom Renovation’s progress – read the earlier blog posts:
Week 1 here – where I show you the before photos of the lurid space and provide you with the mood board that I gave my Client.  The, demolition begins!
Week 2 – design elements are refined, wall elevations are created, and the contractor prepares the space for tile installation.
Week 3, tile and more tile!
Week 4, okay, sooooo I skipped writing a blog post last week!  Sorry!  But absolutely NOTHING happened in Week 4!  We were waiting on the wallpaper hanger.  I probably should’ve written a blog, to help with SEO, keep others interested in knowing more about my project.  But seriously, there were crickets chirping in there last week!

Sooooo…..welcome to Week 5!

Wallpaper is ready to be hung!
Week 5 was great!  I’m not gonna lie.  We got a lot of items checked off my list and the bathroom is starting to look more and more like a brand new, shiny penny.
Tub panel in initial stages of completion

1.  Bathtub Wood Panel.  I haven’t really talked about this add-on project, but it’s a sensational idea and turned out fabulously!  The circa 1940s style tub was looking a bit too…..flashy? dated? Okay, ugly for the likes of this soon-to-be pretty new bathroom!

The dated tub style
I didn’t want the tub to be the ugly step-sister in the room!  So, we decided to hide it with a wood panel!  I found a great visual on Pinterest for my Client and contractor.  The concept is surprisingly simple, but the results are HUGE!  It’s still a work in progress.  We’re missing the marble slab that will hold on top of the wood panel.  We were originally planning on using 3 white marble thresholds.  However, my contractor isn’t keen on having seams in the marble.  So, he’s going to have a single narrow slab of marble fabricated for the top.
Wood fillets added to outside frame. Creates a prettier and more traditional look to the tub panel.
The panel began as a flat sheet of wood, cut to size.  1X4 wood planks were cut to create the frame.  And filler pieces created the more graciously detailed traditional look I was after.  When painted gloss white……TA-DAH!  Totally FAB!

Wood panel installed on tub face in bathroom
2.  All trims were painted gloss white and the ceiling was painted a flat white.  The walls were primed with 2 coats of Zinzer 123.  We’re now ready for wallpaper!
Installed panel, now painted in a gloss white finish
Nelson rolling on the Zinser

3.  Wallpaper installation.  The bathroom area is tiny!  The Thibaut “Bahia”  wallpaper went up very quickly.  And completely transformed the look of the room almost instantaneously!  Seriously though, don’t you agree?  The wallpaper has a beige ground with a darker brown metallic starburst.  The metallic starburst color replicates the metallic browns in the specialty tile in the tub/shower area.

1st roll of wallpaper – GOING UP!

Bathroom wallpaper installation is complete.

4.  Electrical.  You may recall that the previous bathroom only had one switch, which turned on the lights.  There wasn’t a switch to the exhaust fan (whaaa?  Then, how did it work? It didn’t).   There wasn’t even an outlet for a guest to plug in her hairdryer!  (Say it ain’t so Barclay!). I KNOW!!

Visual Comfort “Etoile” sconces are installed
So, the electrician came in, installed all of the plugs, and also installed the two new Visual Comfort “Etoile” sconces in burnished gold!
And now that Week 5 is over, I’m very very nervous that we won’t be able to finish this Bathroom Renovation Challenge on time.  We’re waiting for the sink vanity to be finished.  Once it’s finished, a myriad of small tasks will need to be accomplished AND we have to get it professionally photographed.  Unfortunately, I feel certain that (despite being granted an additional week to finish by the ORC committee) we won’t hit the deadline.  But, fingers crossed. I’m still hopeful.  Let’s send some positive juju vibes to my furniture maker!  We need the vanity to complete my bathroom renovation!
Here’s my LIST going forward – let’s see what I can knock out by next week!
1.  Order niche glass and glass clips – install
2.  Vanity arrives – install
3.  Baseboard underneath vanity – install
4.  Order marble vanity top, have cut, attach undermount sink – install
5.  Install shower fixtures, new toilet, sink fixtures
6.  Install towel rod
7.  Install mirror
8.  Have client approve and order artwork to be placed over toilet (thinking tonal landscape images 2 or 3 framed)
9.  Monogram towels
10.  Photograph space
There are lots of other Guest Participants in the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge event.  If you’d like to see progress on some of the other bloggers’s rooms – click HERE to take you to that page.  The main group of blogger/renovators progress can be see HERE.
Thanks everyone for reading my bathroom renovation progress!  I’d love to hear your feedback on the project! (okay, that’s sort of a shameless way of asking you to give me happy comments!)
Until next week!

Bathroom Renovation: One Room Challenge – Week 3

Hello Everyone!  You’ve landed on Week 3 of my Bathroom Renovation for the One Room Challenge!   

To recap, I’m renovating my Client’s 1st Floor Guest Bathroom/Powder Room for this Fall’s ORC.  The beginning stages during renovation were a bit nerve-wracking, (disintegrating floor, the tub was actually yellow and not white, electrical deficiencies, etc..) but after successfully fixing those “nail-biter” problems after the 1st week, we were able to start and finish Week 2 on a good note.  If you’ve got time and energy, you can go back and read about Week 1 here and Week 2 here.

We ended last week with (essentially) a clean slate.  All of the bathroom walls and floors were prepped and ready for Week 3’s tile installation.  So that’s what happened first thing. TILE!!  Here’s a photo of the very first marble tile being applied to the shower/tub wall.

And, TA-DAH!  Just like that – we started the tile work!  Piece piece installed!

Prior to the first tile being installed, there’s a lot of discussion going on between the tile installer and myself.  Basically, we need to verbally “lay out” the design.   I want to be sure of how the design is going to look before it gets cemented in stone (literally – ha!).  The tile setter and I have to think about cuts and seams, etc.  It takes a while, but it’s best and safest for both of us to be on the same wave-length before we begin.

Installer putting in 1st piece of Jeffrey Court specialty mosaic tile

I have to admit that I really love this phase of the renovation. When tile starts going up – the transformation almost becomes instantaneous!  I mean, you can really start visualizing what the finished space is going to look like.  And, it’s SOOO exciting!

“Bahia, beige metallic” by Thibaut

We selected this great looking hexagonal mosaic tile for its simplistic pattern and it’s color.  The ground is a honed calcutta white marble.  The beige metallic mosaic inserts blend perfectly with the Thibaut wallpaper, “Bahia” that will grace the walls.

Once the focal wall was finished, my contractor Emilio, moved on to tile the new niche.  We used an antiqued mirror subway tile for this area.  It added a bit of sophisticated glamour to the small space (plus, the price was right!)

Next step was creating the herringbone patterned floor design.  We selected 12×24 marble tiles for our floor because I wanted to have long tiles for the herringbone pattern.  The 12″ width was too wide to create a herringbone pattern.  So, they were cut in half – making he finished tile size 6×24.

Tile installer cutting the large tiles in half.
the 6×24 tiles stacked up and ready for installation

We started the pattern “V” right in the center of the doorway, to make the most impact.

Tiling pretty much took up most of the week (+ more).  Soon after these photos were taken, the installer grouted all of the walls, the niche and the floor.  He wanted to wait 24-48 hours for everything to settle before working in the space again.

That pretty much sums up our past week.  Next week, we’ll be creating a wood panel front for the tub.  We’ll prime the walls, ceiling and trim.  Then paint everything.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the wallpaper hanger over (but, I’m not certain that he’ll be able to make our ORC deadline!) before next Thursday to install the “Bahia” wallpaper.  If he isn’t able to make it – then, next week’s post will certainly be a little THIN!  Fingers crossed for us (as it is out of my control)! Don’t forget – this is happening in real time!

If you would like, read the blogs of the other One Room Challenge participants HERE.  It’s fun to see how others approach renovation or decoration projects. Also, don’t forget to look at the ORC Guest Participants blogs HERE.  There are a lot of us participating in this One Room Challenge. And, it’s always so awesome and appreciated when our readers and fellow bloggers take the time to read our blog posts, make comments and motivate us!

Have a great week!   Cheers!




Bathroom Renovation: One Room Challenge – Week 2

2D Rendering of Bathroom Renovation Elevation

Are we ready everyone?  It’s Week 2 of the Bathroom Renovation for the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge!  And, guess what?  We’re plowing ahead and making great progress this week.

To recap, I’m an interior designer living in Atlanta and I’ve just started a bathroom renovation for my client, Rebekah.  She was kind enough to let me blog about this process (at the very last minute), so I’m hoping that we will be able to move quickly and successfully through the first phase of this challenge.  If you want to read my blog post from Week 1 Challenge , click here.

DEMOLITION DAYS:Demolition of Bathroom space demolition of bathroom space  

So, this past week we started her bathroom renovation project.

My contractor brought in a couple of guys to work in this tiny 4×8 space (not including the tub) to knock out the existing tile on the bathroom walls, shower/tub walls, and floor.  I think it was 95 degrees outside during the two demolition days.  No fan was allowed in the space because it would spread more dust and dirt around.  So, my poor guys had to tough it out.old toilet, now outside of house

No surprise.  We encountered a few “bummers” during demolition.  If you’ve ever done a renovation, you know what I’m talking about.  You hope and pray that whatever is lurking behind those walls is harmless, but, inevitably, something nasty pops up and “bums you out”!  Well, we had a little of that going on last week.Wall tile and medicine cabinet removed

The first bummer was the bathroom’s SUB-FLOOR (or what was left of it).  But, I anticipated that we’d probably have to replace the wood sub-floor (due to rot or age) and warned my client of this.  However,  (surprise, surprise!), in our case, the sub-floor wasn’t even wood – it was CEMENT!  Well, that threw us all for a little loop!   The cement was practically sand it was so worn down.  My contractor, Emilio, quickly and efficiently resolved that problem by chiseling out what was left of the existing cement sub-floor and replacing it with a new sub-floor with moisture barrier.

The next issue, however, really bummed me out as I could see that it was going to affect my re-design.yellow of existing tub

When the contractor removed all of the existing shower/tub tile, we could see that the “WHITE” tub was actually a YELLOW tub!  The previous owners had sprayed the original yellow tub  – white!  This was a problem for me because there was about 2 inches of yellow on the top face of the tub.  How the HECK was I supposed to mask that and pretend the yellow never existed??  I had to bring in Rebekah immediately and try to find a solution.  We had 3 options:

  1. Replace the existing tub with a new one.  This would be time-consuming AND costly.
  2. Re-surface the tub and make it all white.  Again, time-consuming and costly (although clearly not as costly as a new tub).  OR
  3. Build up the walls with enough layers of sheet rock + tile + sealant – to safely hide the existing yellow ground peeking out.

It was a no-brainer.  Rebekah went with option #3.  And, Emilio added a total of 3 layers of sheet rock to build up the back wall!  (yikes – that’s a lot of sheet rock!)  So, happily, crisis averted.


With the demolition of the bathroom behind us, we are ready to pick-up speed and start putting the space back together.  This process takes a lot of juggling with tradesmen to get it right and keep the wheels churning.  Before our contractor can continue putting the walls back in, we needed the plumber to come out and update our shower fixtures – raise the shower head, re-plumb the sink faucet, etc..plumber working on the tub fixtures

Rob, the plumber, came in – did his handiwork in a short matter of hours then left us.  Done!  Rob will make a re-appearance later on! (possibly Week 5).  He will need to install the toilet and sink fixtures for us (after the wallpaper hanger comes in).

Next up – the electrician!  Julio is our amazing electrician for this bathroom renovation.  The existing bathroom only had one switch.  This switch turned on the one light fixture and that was it.  I need to mention that there is also a fan vent in the bathroom.  A fan that doesn’t work and doesn’t have a switch for it either.  Odd.Electrician measuring exact spot for sconces

Julio spent maybe a day with us.  His job was pretty important for the final success of this renovation because this bathroom is currently not very functional.  There are no outlets in the space.  So, if you were a guest – you wouldn’t be able to blow-dry hour hair in here or use any appliance that needs to be plugged in.  Also, the room is very dark.Electrician adding sconces

We’re removing the dated overhead sconce and replacing it with a pair of sconces.  We’re also adding a can light to the shower area, so that guests can see better when taking a tub or shower. Electrician adding can light to bathroom renovation project Lastly, we needed Julio to hook up the fan vent so that one could just turn it on with a flick of a switch (basically, connect that bad boy for ventilation!).

So, all of this was completed last week.  Somehow, when I write it down it doesn’t sound like a lot – but, it was.  Prepping the space for tile takes time and patience.  But, we’re in a good spot now – we’re ready for the tile and the pretty to begin!can lights added to shower areashower area with new niche

Rebekah and I made our final selections for tile.  We’ve ordered a very pretty Jeffery Court mosaic for the feature wall in the tub area.Homeowner selecting tile for her bathroom renovation project  With the exception of the niche, the remaining tile in the bathroom will be white carrera marble.  For the niche area, we hoped to use the Jeffrey Court mosaic, however, it’s pretty expensive.  bathroom schemeSo, we had 2 options – a beige glass subway tile or an antiqued mirror subway tile.jeffrey court mosaic with glass subway tile  Once again, when Rebekah and I saw the mirror tile – it was a no-brainer!  The niche HAD to be the mirror tile!  It will add a bit of glamour and sparkle to this fun bathroom renovation project.  We were so excited to find the mirror subway tile.  It added a little pep to our step last week!mirror subway tiles

Stay tuned for next week!  Tile and more tile!  It should be fun – the progress photos will really feel like things are coming together.

If you’d like to see some other One Room Challenge spaces, click here!  But, otherwise, I’d love to hear your feedback!  How would you have handled the yellow tub fiasco?  Did we do the right thing?

Cheers!  Barclay



Bathroom Renovation – One Room Challenge: Week 1

bathroom renovation One Room Challenge

Follow along with me – we’re doing a Bathroom Renovation!  Yeehaw!  Yup, it’s October and it’s time againI for the the semi-annual ONE ROOM CHALLENGE!

The ORC is a six-week challenge for bloggers to transform a room and make it gorgeous!  Every Thursday from now until November 9th, bloggers will post their progress on their websites/blogs and social media.  It’s 6-weeks filled with high-energy and lots of stress!  But, it’s FUN, too!  A challenge is always fun and I’m completely up for it!  This fall I’m going to renovate a Bathroom.

My friend and client, Rebekah, was considerate enough to respond in the positive yesterday when I asked her if I could use her Hall Bathroom as the One Room Challenge space.  She’s ALL in for the good, the bad, and the ugly!  But, it’s ALL going to be good.  When we’re at the end of this 6-week challenge, the room is going to look FABULOUS!!

But, hang on a sec – please let me show you a little bit of what we’re starting with!!  This is the “bad and the ugly” portion of the post.

bathroom renovation One Room Challenge
bathroom renovation One Room Challenge
bathroom renovation One Room Challenge
bathroom renovation


bathroom renovation
Mood Board

A couple of years ago, I brought Rebekah a Thibaut wallpaper.  I suggested that it might work well in her Hall Bathroom (down the road when she decides to renovate).  So, Rebekah held on to that sample and brought it out when she decided that we were going to renovation the space.  “Bahia, metallic” is one of our inspirational sources.

The second inspirational source is the Powder Room renovation that I completed last winter.  I participated in last Fall’s 2016 One Room Challenge, but had to quit when I decided mid-renovation that I really wanted to expose a window that had been tiled over.  The window took 8 weeks to come in, and the ORC was over by that time.  No matter!  You can read about it here, if you’d like.  But, here are a few photos of the finished space!bathroom renovation from One Room Challenge Fall 2016

bathroom renovation One Room Challenge

bathroom renovation project One Room Challenge 2016

bathroom renovation project One Room Challenge 2016


There are definitely a lot of challenges involved with this project.  The most important is going to be the coordination of the trades – who comes when, what will they be doing, etc…Timing is always crucial during a renovation – and if you are working with several trades  – the contractor, a plumber, an electrician, a tile installer, a cabinet maker, a wallpaper hanger – the designer or homeowner is going to have to make a list of all of the renovation steps prior to starting the project.  Inevitably during a renovation, things will go a little haywire – it’s to be expected.  So, we’ll see!  Fingers crossed.

If you’re interested in what the other Bloggers are doing for their One Room Challenges, click this link HERE to read what the others are doing!

Next week is demolition.  Stay tuned!

Cheers! Barclay



Design 101: Stair Runners – What You Need To Know

Stunning "Leopard Rose" Stark needlepoint stair runner with leopard and roses print. Accented with a brass stair rod.
Stunning “Leopard Rose” Stark needlepoint stair runner with leopard and roses print. Accented with a brass stair rod.

STAIR RUNNERS:  4 Reasons Why You Need a Stair Runner:  A Helpful Guide.  There are many folks out there (and, you may be one), who love the simplicity of a bare hardwood staircase.  But, not me.  I MUCH prefer a carpeted stair runner to a bare tread!   And, let me tell you why (hint: reason #4 is my favorite!):

Let’s be honest; stairs take a beating.  Think about it.  If you have stairs in your house, how often are you traveling up and down those babies?  LOTS.  Do you have kids?  Dogs?  How often are they running up & down those stairs?  Look at the treads – is the evidence of wear & tear showing?

Worn stair tread
Worn stair tread

If you don’t have a stair runner already, here are some reasons why you should think about installing one.

  1.  SAFETY.  Stair runners provide more traction and cushion to the steps – helping to prevent slippage.  (ex: socks on hardwood)
    Beige geometric stair runner on steps with brass rods
    Designer: Helen Green
  2.  NOISE REDUCTION.  I make a lot of noise when I wear my heals!  Stair runners mute those heavy footfalls!
    Greige geometric stair runner. Waterfall application down stairs.
    Greige geometric stair runner. Waterfall application down stairs. Photo: The Carpet Workroom
  3.  PROTECTS HARDWOOD.  It’s expensive to refinish hardwood floors and stairs!  Maintain the beauty of them by covering up the most visibly used area with a stair runner.
    Olive,black & eggplant wool plaid stair runner with decorative brass stair rods.
    Olive,black & eggplant wool plaid stair runner with decorative brass stair rods. Photo: Carpet Runners, UK
  4.  LOOKS FABULOUS!  Okay, now that’s the designer in me.  But, it’s true!  Stair runners, visually, warm up your entryway.  They help “invite” someone into your home.  The carpet you select for your stair runner offers you an opportunity to add your personality to it: do you prefer a casual, welcoming striped runner or a sexy and flirty cheetah spot?
    Wool cheetah print stair runner finished with a narrow cotton binding
    Wool cheetah print stair runner finished with a narrow cotton binding. Photo: The Carpet Workroom

Okay.  Now that I’ve got you in my court, I want to forewarn you about a few decisions that you’ll have to make prior to installing your stair runner.

CARPET SELECTION.  There are numerous options out there.  However, I just want to caution you to a few facts.  Not all rug weaves are suitable to be a stair runner.  Since a stair runner gets the highest traffic in a house, an ideal carpet for this area would be a tightly woven wool or cotton.

  • TIP#1:  Select a tightly woven or dense pile wool with a low profile (low sheered cut piles or small loops).  Carpets with a low profile are best (low sheered piles or small loops) because when the a tight or dense pile is bent over the tread, one is less likely to see the web backing of the carpet.

If you aren’t sure if the loop or pile is tightly woven or dense, try this test.  Take the carpet sample and bend it over a tread.  Do you see the back facing of the carpet?  If you do, then it’s not going to be a great choice for the stairs.

A split image of two carpet samples for a stair runner. The tight looped carpet on the left is ideal for a stair runner. However, the high pile carpet on the right is too plush. One can see the carpet web backing when it is bent.

  • TIP#2:  Some examples of rug weaves that might not be good options for stair runners are: Hand-knotted rugs, high cut pile carpets, rope weaves (too thick), jute rugs (too hard to clean), paper-fiber rugs (only suitable for low-traffic areas), cotton chenille rugs, polypropolene or outdoor rugs (too slippery), and some sisal rugs (again, might be too slippery).
    Flat weave style rug stair runner from Merida, great edge detail woven in!
    Flat weave style stair runner with great edge detail woven in! Photo: via Merida Carpets

Once you’ve selected your stair runner carpet.  You’ll need to make a couple more fundamental decisions.  When your professional carpet installer comes to your house, he (she) will ask you these 2 questions.  Your decision will affect how much carpet will need to be ordered.


A wool stair runner bound with a wide cotton tape shows about a 2-3
A wool stair runner bound with a wide cotton tape shows about a 2-3″ wood reveal. Photo: The Carpet Workroom

This is kind of a personal choice – as not all staircases are made equal.  However, there is an industry standard for the width of a stair runner.  In general, most runners are about 27″ to 30″ wide.  Personally, if you have pretty hardwood underneath, I think it’s great to show it off a bit.  I usually request a 2-3″ reveal on both sides.  There is no right or wrong answer.  However, the wider the stair – the more reveal you can have!

An example of a fully upholstered stair runner.
An example of a fully upholstered stair runner. Photo: The Carpet Workroom

And, let me add that some stairs are treads are not stained or meant to be visible (maybe they’re made of plywood).  In that case, a wall-to-wall installation is most appropriate (see photo above).

Question #2:  INSTALLATION STYLE:  Waterfall vs. Hollywood Wrap

I can hear you over there!  You’re saying “WHA???”  What the heck is Barclay talking about?  Okay – the visuals will be best to describe the two applications of installation.  But, here goes….

  • WATERFALL INSTALLATION:  This is the most common installation and it takes the least amount of carpet.  Essentially, the carpet is attached at the base of each riser, allowing the carpet to cascade over the tread – hence, waterfall.  This application is fantastic for patterned or striped carpets as the design runs fluidly down a straight staircase.
    A waterfall installation of an Antelope style stair runner.
    A waterfall installation of an Antelope style stair runner. Photo: Nicole Cohen
    A waterfall application of a woven cotton striped stair runner.
    A waterfall application of a woven cotton striped stair runner. Photo: The Carpet Workroom
  • HOLLYWOOD WRAP or UPHOLSTERED INSTALLATION:  In this application, the carpet is completely hugging each step.  The carpet is wrapped under the nose of each step and also attached at the base of each riser.  This installation requires more carpet and more installation time, but it gives a more tailored and refined look to the stair runner.
    A Hollywood wrap or upholstered style stair runner being installed.
    A Hollywood wrap or upholstered style stair runner being installed.

So…that’s it for now.  I hope that you’ve come away learning a bit more about stair runners.  But, if you should have any questions or need my help with selecting a stair runner for your house – don’t hesitate to contact me!

Cheers! – Barclay

Almost there! 50%

Budget Breakdown:
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