One Room Challenge: Week 4 (The Punch List)

One Room Challenge: Mix & Match Design Company's home office. Photo of workspace progress.

Welcome to week 3 of the One Room Challenge! If you're new to this whole thing, here's a quick intro: Linda, of Calling It Home, invites bloggers to participate in a six week makeover challenge twice a year, and this time around I decided to jump in as a guest participant! I'm giving my home office (AKA the Mix & Match Design Company headquarters) a fresh start. Feel free to go back to Week 1 (the "before" and inspiration images), Week 2 (the design plan), and Week 3 (workspace progress) to catch up on what's been happening.

If you came for pretty photos today like I shared in last week's post about the progress that's been happening in my workspace, you're going to be sorely disappointed. That photo at the top from last week's post is about as close as you'll get! 😜  This week, it's all about the punch list - i.e. the little things that seem like such minor tasks, but they always take longer than you think to complete. And they're not very exciting to talk about, but since they're oh-so-necessary, and this challenge is about sharing everything that goes into a six week makeover, that's what you're going to get in today's post!

It also could've been titled "It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better." If you've been tracking the behind the scenes stuff on my Instagram Stories, you had the privilege of seeing a video when the room was at its worst earlier this week. Here's a screen shot from that video (sorry about the low quality) to give you an idea of what we were dealing with:

 
 

Oy. Everything was pushed into the center of the room so I could paint the trim and I had just brought home a bunch of supplies from Home Depot that ended up in the middle of the floor, so it was a hot mess. Thankfully, we're past that now!

So! With that lovely image now forever imprinted on your brain, here's what was on my punch list:

  • Paint trim, baseboards, closet moulding, radiator, door, and window casings Behr Ultra Pure White (my favorite bright white for trim)
  • Replace dated brass door handles and hardware with satin nickel set
  • Remove bifold closet doors
  • Fill nail holes from closet door removal and paint that area
  • Wash, iron, and hem new curtains that will hang in place of the bifold closet doors
  • Paint new curtain rods and brackets matte brass
  • Install curtain hardware

I love how this challenge has pushed me to try new things and flex my DIY muscles. I consider myself to be pretty handy, and for small handyman-type projects, I always like to try and tackle it myself before calling in a professional. (This line of thinking definitely has its limits, but in low risk situations, I figure why not try!) 

A prime example of this "try it first myself" mentality was replacing the shiny brass door hardware and handles. Have I ever done that before? Nope, but I had the tools for it, and knew that the worst that could happen was that I couldn't do it and had to call someone in to fix it. And guess what? It wasn't hard! I replaced the hinges, door knob, and associated hardware pretty quickly without too much frustration. 

Here's what they looked like before with the shiny, dated brass (this is our guest room door) and after (on the office door):

Those new satin nickel knobs and hinges pulled those doors out of the '80s and into the modern day! Remind me why it took me a year and a half to make this happen? I can't wait to swap them out on the other doors in the house. In the photos of the new hardware, you can also get a peek at the newly painted bright white baseboards and door. It's amazing how much of a difference paint can make.

The only thing I didn't get to finishing on that punch list before I snapped photos for this week's post was hemming the curtains*, but I did get the rods painted and installed. If you remember way back in Week 2, I was debating on what to use for rods, and if I should hang them inside the door frames, or above. I settled on going the inside route, and decided to make my own rods using a little DIY action. 

I liked the look of a solid rod, rather than an adjustable/extendable one, so I purchased two wooden dowels and two sets of closet pole sockets so I could hang them right inside the frame. I painted all of the pieces using my favorite matte metallic brass paint from Modern Masters and installed them as close to the top of the door frame as I could. Then I hung the gray curtains from them using brass ring clips. I love how it all turned out!

Using a curtain as an alternative to bifold closet doors (prior to hemming curtains).

These are so much better than the janky bifold doors we had in there before! I can't wait to show both closets to you once the curtains are hemmed.

We're down to the final two weeks of the ORC, and I'm feelin' good about finishing up this room in time for the reveal on May 11th. Next week, I'll hopefully be sharing some progress on the "lounge" side of the office - stay tuned!

 
 

*This post contains affiliate links. That means when you buy through my links, I'll earn a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Mix & Match in this way!

 

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Before & After: A Teeny Tiny Powder Room Makeover

A small powder room makeover with marble hex tile and round mirror over a small, narrow vanity.

In January, I finished up a powder room project for some awesome clients, and they were kind enough to share the "after" with me after the install - everything turned out absolutely beautifully! My clients happened to be local, so I asked if I could come by and snap some photos to share with y'all, and they said, "yes!" My goal in sharing this project with you today is to show that sometimes, small changes can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a space - even if it's not a big one!

To give you a little backstory on this project, my clients live in a really cool one bedroom condo in an historic building in Philadelphia, and they've been slowly working on making it their own over the past several years. They're excellent DIY-ers, and have great instincts for what good design looks like, but wanted some guidance from a designer on how to bring everything together to achieve the look they had in mind. They also wanted to make sure that whatever they did improved not only their personal enjoyment of their condo, but also increased its resale value if/when they decide to sell down the road. After coming across Mix & Match in Philadelphia Magazine, and hearing about the concept of e-design, they thought that kind of service might be a perfect fit for them, and they were right - it turned out to be a great match!

BEFORE

Their small, but mighty, powder room (it's a luxury to have a half bath in a one bedroom apartment!) was the first of several projects they wanted to work on over the next couple of years. Here's what it looked like before I jumped in to help with the redesign:

Powder room "before"
Half bath "before"
Half bathroom "before" - toilet side

The bright blue paint was a little overwhelming, so we decided to tone things down with more neutral colors. Their builder-grade toilet wasn't working very well anymore, and they were ready to replace it with one that had a modern style that would fit in well with the look of the rest of their home. They also wanted to replace the mirror above the vanity and the fluorescent light fixture. Needless to say, I was excited about the idea of giving this small half bathroom a more modern, customized upgrade that didn't break the bank! 

DESIGN

The plan was to give the space a fresh start with gray paint, and add visual interest back in with an accent wall of tile behind the vanity. Since we were keeping the dark brown vanity and cabinet over the toilet, we wanted to balance those pieces out with some lighter elements. We chose a large, round mirror with an asymmetrical frame to compliment the square edges of the vanity and cabinet, and a new ceiling fixture with some bling.

Here's a look at the finalized design board for the space that includes both the toilet and vanity sides:

We toyed with a few tile options, but ultimately landed on a 2" polished Carrara marble hex tile* with light gray grout. It's so pretty in person, and the clients loved it so much, they ended up tiling the wall behind the toilet as well, which looks fantastic (told you they had great design instincts!). And because people always want to know grout color, we went with Polyblend #115 Platinum Non-Sanded Grout - it works beautifully with Carrara marble.

The mirror is from CB2, and at 24" in diameter, it's a great size for this small space. The black crescent shaped frame adds just the right amount of whimsy.

We actually did a last minute switcheroo with the toilet, and ended up with this one, which is very similar, but has a taller back piece. It looks awesome in there though, so if you're on the hunt for a modern-looking, dual-flush toilet, this is a great option!

The last piece we changed was the light fixture - we swapped the not-so-awesome fluorescent one for this blingin' crystal flushmount. It's such a fun, unexpected element, and I give the homeowners all the credit for that inspiration! They had shared a photo of a fixture with a similar style when we were in the initial planning phase, and I'm glad we went that route. 

That's the story about how we came up with the design, so let's get to everybody's favorite part - the "after" photos! This room was quite a challenge to shoot since it was so small and didn't have any natural light. Thanks to my trusty assistant (a.k.a. my sweet husband, who came with me on photoshoot day), we got it all lit up though, and I was quite happy with how it all turned out. My preference is always to shoot with natural light, but sometimes you have to make do when that's not an option! :)

AFTER

A small powder room makeover with marble hex tile and round mirror over a small, narrow vanity.
A small powder room makeover with marble hex tile and round mirror over a small, narrow vanity.
A small powder room makeover with marble hex tile and round mirror over a small, narrow vanity.
A small powder room makeover with marble hex tile and modern toilet.

Such a change from where we started, right? Goodbye, bright blue, hello marble hex tile! I'm thrilled with how it all turned out, and so are the clients (which is the most important part anyway!). This bathroom is a prime example of how a few simple changes can make a big difference - you don't always have to do a gut renovation and start over completely. Another great part about this design is that it has mass appeal. If they do decide to sell down the road, this powder room will be a nice feature that many buyers will love. 

SHOP THE LOOK

If you'd like to "get the look" of this little powder room redo, you can shop many of the items below. If you have any questions, or would like to work with me on a room in your home, send me a note - I'd love to help you out!

If you're on a feed reader or receiving this in your email, you'll need to click over to the full website to use the tool below. 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means Mix & Match earns a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. 

 

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One Room Challenge: Week 3 | Workspace Progress!

Workspace progress for my One Room Challenge home office makeover.

Welcome to week 3 of the One Room Challenge! If you're new to this whole thing, here's a quick intro: Linda, of Calling It Home, invites bloggers to participate in a six week makeover challenge twice a year, and this time around I decided to jump in as a guest participant! I'm giving my home office (AKA the Mix & Match Design Company headquarters) a fresh start. Feel free to go back to Week 1 (the "before" and inspiration images) and Week 2 (the design plan) to catch up on what's been happening.

We're making progress! That's always a good thing when you're in the middle of a six week makeover challenge, right?! 

This week, I focused on getting my workspace in order so I can still #getstuffdone (i.e. work on client projects, blog, etc.) even though the rest of the room looks kind of disastrous. I was hoping I would get some of the messy, boring projects done like painting trim/baseboards this past weekend, but unfortunately, I ran out of time and they'll have to wait a little longer. I do have some good progress shots to share with you this week though, so let's walk through the updates!

Here's a nice, wide shot of the workspace area you can reference as we chat:

One Room Challenge Week 3: bright, modern/bohemian office makeover progress in the workspace area.

First up, my new desk came, and it's so pretty! I'm a big fan of how simple and clean the lines are, yet it's still visually interesting - just take a look at those angles on the base! When I was making plans initially for the office, I was inspired by the Strut table by Blu Dot, but it was a little above my ideal price range, and I also wanted drawers for miscellaneous office storage. I will say, the drawers in this desk don't have a ton of height, so while they're great for storing items like business cards, pens and post-its, they're too short for even something as small as a stapler to stand upright. 

The other big item you'll notice is the CB2 Stairway bookcase. I love it so much! It fits in that small (and also strange) alcove perfectly. It did require assembly, but it was super simple - I really only needed my husband to help when it came to securing it on the wall. That baby isn't going anywhere thanks to the big ole anchors I used in the drywall.

This bookshelf provides so much functional storage and display space. I can't wait to style it up and organize it! For now, I've just got a few random pieces on there that needed a temporary home, but soon it will be lookin' mighty fine. 

CB2 Stairway bookcase installed in the Mix & Match office.

If you're really observant, you might have noticed that the ceiling fan has made an exit and has been replaced by a new Sputnik-style light fixture. I DIY'd that and hung it awhile ago. It was a really simple project - I used a combination of Y splitters, a keyless lampholder (the part that's attached to the ceiling), and a flexible light bulb socket extender, and then spray painted it a bronze color. It was a fun experiment that ended up turning out well! It was initially supposed to be temporary, but it's really grown on me and I think it will stay for now, until I can upgrade to something like this fixture from Lucent Lightshop. :)

DIY Sputnik-style light fixture for office.

Another smaller update is that the windows are no longer naked! I added these cordless bamboo roman shades from Home Depot, and they're awesome. They filter the strong afternoon sun that pours into this room, but don't block it completely, which is perfect for what I need. I wouldn't suggest these for heavy daily use, because I worry that the mechanism for raising and lowering them isn't the highest quality, but if their for decorative or occasional use, they're great.

 

Modern home office update: progress for One Week Challenge Week 3

Lastly, one wall of this room got a little art upgrade, courtesy of my living room. I painted this piece of abstract art for the living room in our old house, and it never felt quite right in our current one. So, I got a bigger canvas (40"x40"!) for above the sofa in the living room, and this smaller one moved up to the wall right by my desk. I love the color - and little bit of gold bling - it adds to this otherwise neutral area.

DIY abstract art in home office.

We're moving right along in this space! Next up, it's time to tackle the not so fun stuff - i.e. the punch list. The office is kind of a mess right now, but I'm sure it will all come together in the end! If you want to read more about the design plan for the whole space, head back to Week 2.

See you back here next Thursday for another update!

 
 

*This post contains affiliate links. That means when you buy through my links, I'll earn a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting Mix & Match in this way!

 

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