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Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office - Week 4

I'm so excited for this week, the most exciting transformation in the process so far, wallpaper!!! 

It was the wallpaper that inspired this entire space, so I knew it would be the most exciting part to watch come to life. 

Initially, I found the wallpaper on Wallpaper Direct and ordered a sample to make sure I liked the colors and everything in person. As I suspected, it was love at first sight. The problem was, it was quite pricey. I tried finding a discount code and tried seeing if they wanted to do a partnership with me on trade, but no luck! After a lot of searching, I found what appeared to be the exact same Wallpaper on a German site called Wallpaper from the 70's. My hesitation was that, although it was the same photos advertising the paper, it had a different name. And since it was a German site I was worried about fees and if it wasn't the same, I didn't think I'd be able to return it. 

I decided to put my internet sleuthing to the test, and I looked at the tagged photos from Wallpaper from the 70's instagram account, and reached out to a few creators who used it. They were so kind to reply and give me feedback. It was all positive, they loved the product and had a good experience with them. One person had to pay taxees, but with the amount I needed I wouldn't have to. All I ended up paying was a small foreign transaction fee. 

By purchasing from Wallpaper from the 70's, I saved over 50% on the cost of the paper! I highly recommend checking them out if you're planning to add wallpaper to a space in your home. (No, this is not sponsored, but maybe my next project will be)!

I was a bit nervous when the box arrived only a few days after I ordered it, I even waited a little bit to open the box because I was already at max capacity with the paint color saga. Thankfully, the wallpaper was perfect. Although it had a different name on the website, it is still the Morris & Co, Meadow Sweet paper from the same dye lot. Phew! 

Although some people say hanging wallpaper is actually quite simple, I knew this was not a task I could do myself. There are quite a lot of cuts around the window and cabinets, and I just knew with time and the challenge, I wasn't up for the task. My friend had a great experience with her wallpaper installer, so I scheduled with her for the install. For any local folks I am happy to share her contact, she did a fabulous job and was so kind. She even sent me a thank you card afterward! 

To say I am thrilled with the paper is an understatement! I love how it coordinates with the countertop, and I'm excited to see it come together once the cabinets are repainted. It already makes the space feel more cozy and inviting. 

I'm excited to get this space finished and add all the fun details. Our room has been filled with boxes of everything inside my office cabinets for a couple months now, so we're ready to have it all unpacked and back to normal. Thankfully I finally selected the new paint color for the cabinets, and I'm hoping that will be completed next week in time to update you on Wednesday! 

Thanks so much for following along on this wild ride to redecorate my office! I thought this would be an easy "little" project, but it's turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected. Here's a look at what we still have to accomplish in the space. 


Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office - Week 3

Well, we've only made it to week 3 and there is already a speed bump in my home office makeover! Why is paint SO hard to choose? I agonized over the paint color and felt like I did everything "right," so it was so disappointing seeing the color going on the cabinets. It just wasn't it. 

My goal was to choose a color that was a nice warm, taupey brown that would complement the stem color in the wallpaper. I ordered several samples and hung it around the room to see the color in all times of day and lighting. And I left them up for a week to be sure I had found the right color.  

Day one for painting was prep. Taping off the spapce, removing cabinets, sanding everything, then adding a primer. So by the end of the first day I was still excited and feeling good about everything. But on day two, I snuck upstairs to take a peek after they did the first coat, and I just knew. Immediately, all I could see was purple, or as Andrew called it mauve. I don't think it's necessarily a bad color, but it doesn't work for this space. A little girls nursery or bathroom, maybe.    

I felt so bad because the painter could sense my disappointment when they were finished, but I told him it was my fault with the color choice, his painting looked great. We already had the wallpaper installation scheduled, so there is no time to re-paint it before that gets completed. He assured me that he could paint the edges with a brush and not damage the paper, but I'm so nervous! I'm sure he'll do a better job than I would, but it's still frustrating that I didn't just get the color right in the first place. 

I cannot get a photo of the completed paint to translate the same way it looks in person. In photos, it doesn't look so bad. But in person, all I can see is purple. So now, I have to try and figure out a new color, and quickly! He said he's schedule is filling up quickly. I already had anxiety trying to choose a color, and now it's reached a new level. There are so many options, and I want to make sure I don't make the same mistake again. 

I've been scouring the internet for various brown, but I know photos don't always represent color, I also want to stick to Sherwin Williams, and I feel like the longer I look the more confused I get. There is a designer I follow who I love, and she recently posted a photo of a space she designed that is a nice lighter brown that I love, so I am getting a sample of that. And I've already made one trip to Sherwin Williams for more samples, but I still don't know if I found the right one. 

I'm wondering if I should change course and do a darker green that will blend in with the counters a little bit. I could also do a really dark, brown or continue to search for the right, lighter shade of brown. I am getting better at looking for undertones to make sure I don't choose something that leans red/pink/purple, but it's so hard. It's funny, when I first chose Cocoa Whip, I didn't see any pink or purple. It never crossed my mind, but now when I look at the paint sample it is so obvious! I hope I'm at least learning something so I don't make a mistake like this again. 

I would love any input from you on what you think might look nice. One person said to match the stem of the wallpaper, but it's really quite yellow. When I tried matching to samples in the store, it was quite gold and I don't want that, especially with the green countertop. 

I'm hopeful our painter will be able to come back next week to re-paint, so I really need to get this color choice nailed down. My mother in law is in town this weekend, so perhaps she will be able to help me narrow things down too. 

I have so much admiration for interior designers! Color is seriously hard. It made me think of this time at my first job in San Francisco, they hired a color specialist to come in and select the office paint colors. I didn't really get the choices he made and thought it seemed like such a funny expense, but now I have so much respect for that color specialist! Side note: that's a pretty cool job especially in San Francisco, he would help people select colors for the exterior of Victorian homes in the city. 

Anyway, back to the office...HELP! 

Signed, a very stressed out Mom playing interior designer. xo


Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office - Week 2

We're already 2 weeks in to the One Room Challenge. So far, we've cleared everything out so we can get to work on the fun part. I'm also realizing how much stuff I need to purge, and create a organization system after this makeover is complete. The twins were 5 weeks old when we moved into this house and I literally just threw things into cabinets and called it a day. I'm embarrassed to say it hasn't improved, it's probably gotten worse!

This week I wanted to share my design for the space. There is so much potential to create such an inviting and beautiful space for me to work each day, and it's so exciting to imagine it completed! I really hope I can pull it together in the next few weeks. 

When I originally started the design plan for this room, I was only planning to add wallpaper on the window wall for an accent. But, I follow several designers and I remembered a few said that if you're doing paint or wallpaper you have to do the entire space, having only one wall done will look dated. My only struggle was that because my office is a loft, there isn't an obvious stopping point on the larger wall that extends over the entry way. Thus, I figured wallpapering the entire space was just not in the cards, and I'd still be able to achieve the look I wanted with just one wall. But once the idea was in my head, I could not stop thinking about it! I figured that I could eventually add trim to that wall to create a stopping point where the ledge is. Ideally, when budget allows, I would love to create a faux beam and trim work to really define the space a little. Unfortunately, I don't think we have the budget for that now, so it will be phase 2 of this project! 

Ok, back to the inspiration and design for the space! 

The statement for this room is going to be the wallpaper. Originally, I had found this darker floral pattern that I loved (see my original mood board at the end of this post). But once I laid eyes on this room from Caitlin Flemming using Meadow Sweet by William Morris, I knew that was the paper for this space! When I started looking at wallpaper samples, I had to keep in mind the desktop surface. Because the built ins have this nice Corian surface, I didn't plan to change the desktop and needed to select something that would play well with the dark green color. I think Meadow Sweet will do that beautifully.  

When I saw this room on Caitlin's Instagram I stopped immediately. I just love the traditional, cozy feel of the space. It feels lived in and aged in the best way possible. It's exactly what I want my office to feel like. Obviously, it's not an office, but with any luck I think I can capture the same style and feeling here.  Also, the trim in this first photo between the living and dining room is what I imagine to eventually frame out the loft a little bit and define the space. 

The next decision was cabinet color. Originally, I thought I wanted to refinish the cabinets with a darker stain to add some warmth to the room. Our house is painted White Dove throughout, and I'm craving more warmth and color. Unfortunately, I realized the cabinets have a veneer surface, and I thought it would be more time consuming and costly to refinish and stain them. With that decision made, it was time to select a paint color. And as you probably know, that is the MOST difficult task in interior design. So many options! 

I ordered several samples from Samplize to hang around the room and watch in various light. I had considered a taupe/off-white color, or something brown to compliment the flower stems in the paper. The designer who shared the paper originally said that Swiss Coffee was her go-to with this paper. But like I mentioned, we have so much white in the house already I really wanted to warm it up a bit. Finally, I landed on a nice brown called Cocoa Whip by Sherwin Williams. It's very similar to the stem on the flowers and I think it will warm up the space and be neutral enough for the green desktop and wallpaper.  

And now for the fun part, the details! I want to add a bit of interest with a subtle pattern valence above the window, similar to the curtains in my inspiration photo. I hope to DIY (with my Mom's help). I also want to create a cork board area under the cabinets to put my vision board each year. On the wall adjacent to the window that you see from our bedroom and the hallway, I plan to do a gallery wall of family photos. For the hardware, I'm planning unlacquered brass with a combination of bin pulls and knobs. I'll also need a new desk chair, light fixture, and fun decor. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for an antique cabinet for added storage as well. 

I need to be better about sharing progress in stories on Instagram, I'll post some videos I took so far later today and get you caught up! I imagine once we really get started with the work I will share updates more regularly. So far it's mostly just been planning what I want to do for the space and scouring over paint colors. I have such anxiety about choosing the wrong color! But the painter is scheduled and there is no turning back now!

I have a whole new appreciation for all the designers who are participating in the challenge. And just designers and DIY enthusiasts in general. Especially those who are working full time or have young families! I already have decision fatigue. 

Be sure to check out what everyone else is working on over at the ORC link up page! Next week, I'll be able to share a cabinet painting update!! Fingers crossed it all turns out as expected. I decided to hire it out because I can't imagine how long it would take me to do myself in little bits of time after the kids are asleep or during nap on weekends. My entry table project literally took me an entire year to complete. So, it's in everyone's best interest, ha! 

Be sure to follow along on Instagram to catch the progress in real time!

Here's a look at my original design board for this room, before I found the Meadow Sweet wallpaper! 


Spring '24 One Room Challenge (ORC) - My Home Office

The One Room Challenge has been around since way back when I was first blogging (it started in 2011)! Before everyone even really knew what a blog was, and long before the term 'influencer' was coined. I've always wanted to participate. I love the concept of community coming together to celebrate each other and cheer one another on during a project. It reminds me of two challenges I participated in back in my early blogging days, Blog Everyday In May and the Pinterest Challenge. In the old days of blogging, these types of challenges were pretty common, and the blogging world in general was more about building community and friendship than anything else. Lately, I have sensed a shift back towards that mentality and I am here for it!

While I've always wanted to participate in the challenge, I generally make excuses like; I am too busy, I don't have time, the project is too expensive, etc. But, I'm done with excuses and would rather lean into the fear and put myself out there anyway. So here we are! 

I'm excited to officially be a part of the Spring '24 One Room Challenge "ORC." I've decided to tackle my office space. It's a small and manageable space to overhaul in 8 weeks, and I think it will have the greatest impact. I spend the majority of my time in this room, and it's generally a complete disaster and catch all/drop space. This disorganized mess makes me feel overwhelmed and unproductive, not ideal for the room I spend the majority of my time. Not to mention it's attached to our primary bedroom so that sense of disorder and chaos spills over into that room. You may remember, I had planned to join the Fall '23 challenge, but the timing with my Motherhood Retreat and busy fall season, life got in the way. And as I learned in my 'Doing Things I've Been Avoiding' series on Instagram last week, there is no time like the present to tackle these projects, a little bit at a time adds up. I'm excited for what we'll accomplish over the next 8 weeks! 

My office space was actually a really big selling point to this house. Since Andrew and I both work from home, we needed a dedicated place for us both to work. My office is a loft space above the entryway that you access from our primary bedroom. It has a window overlooking the front of the house, and has a really nice built in desk and shelving. It's just enough space for an office and because of the window and loft space, it's bright and airy. Because Andrew has so many meetings and needs a quiet space to focus, he uses the extra bedroom. I don't spend too much of my day on the phone or WebEx video calls, so the loft works well for me. 

While the bones of my office area great, it is definitely uninspiring and boring. I need to add a little character and warmth to make it someplace I want to spend my time and inspires me to be productive. Plus, if it's beautiful it will motivate me to keep it clean and organized! Right?

So without further ado, here are the before photos of my office! The only changes we made to the space since purchasing the home was painting the interior Benjamin Moore White Dove and replacing the carpet as well. The countertops, although not what I would choose, are a nice Corian material. The dark green is definitely a statement and will be tricky to work with, but it's so nice to have this quality built in work space!

I have so many ideas for this space and I think within these 8 weeks, we can make a big impact! I'm excited to take you along for the transformation! I hope you come back next week for the inspiration photos and mood board I created so you can visualize the direction I hope to take this cute little space. Here is a list of some of the items I hope to tackle with this project! 

  • Clean out office cabinets and organize
  • Hang new shelf 
  • Vision board
  • Wallpaper
  • Valence 
  • Gallery wall with motherhood photos
  • New light fixture
  • Paint cabinets and add hardware
  • Hardwire internet 
  • Style desk top
  • Vintage pine or oak cabinet for storage 
  • New office chair
Also be sure to head over to the ORC page to look at what other creatives are working on this time! There are so many inspiring folks out there, I'm excited to be inspired and cheer them on!

Be sure to follow along on Instagram where I'll be sharing in real time on stories as well as posting there. 


Retreat at the Ranch - Day 3

The final day of the retreat began with a casual breakfast at the big house. We all wore our matching pajamas for a photo, drank coffee, and visited with each other. We had all bonded over the past few days and it felt like we were buzzing, trying to get in as much as we could those last couple hours together. 

After breakfast and getting ready we had a fun session planned with Jenn for a content creation workshop. She does a series with her Mom on the social media that took off during Covid quarantine and so her Mom came by to help. They baked cookies and she showed us how they would film it for an ad for that series on her Instagram/TikTok. She gave us several tips for how to make the video catchy and keep the audiences attention. Another thing she and her mom are known for is dance videos. They'll learn TikTok dances together and film them to share, so of course we did that too! I am so shy when it comes to dancing. I'm not very coordinated, don't have much rhythm and too worried about what others might think. I hid in the back but made sure to participate. And guess what, it was SO fun! I definitely messed up, but it was a fairly easy and short routine so I didn't do too terribly. You can watch it in Jenn's story highlights here. But honestly my take away was just how fun it was. She said they do it because her Mom has such a focus on health and fitness, and Jenn has been trying to incorporate more of that into her life. She talked about adding in more play with her two sons and how it has made her feel. What a concept, more play in our lives! It keeps us young and I know my boys will love it. I've always wanted to do those dance videos I see in Reels and on TikTok and now I have the courage to do it! I'm definitely making all my besties do a few with me on our next girls trip! 

Once we did the dance, we took a little break before hearing from Logan. She was a bit rushed since we were behind schedule and still had the mastermind planned next. But Logan gave such great insight to branding and running your business. She talked about having a mission statement to help focus your brand, so this is something I need to work on. Why are they coming to me? What do I do? And who do I do it for? I know I need to focus on building a genuine connection over shared interests with community. I want to remember when I am putting content out there, how I want to make the audience feel. My favorite take away was "No one is you and that is your power." For the things that I struggle with, that have held me back in the past, this is so key. I'm going to print it out and post it in my office! 

The last session was a mastermind with the group. We went around the circle and briefly described what our business was and our struggles or current roadblocks, and then Jenn and Logan (but also the group) gave feedback. We each had about 10 minutes so everyone would get a turn. It was pretty quick, but really effective and fun. I was so nervous to really say anything since I don't technically have a business like most of the other women there did, but I knew I made the decision to attend for a reason and I deserved to get the most out of it. I actually recorded mine because I didn't want to be distracted by taking notes, and I'm so glad that I did. I played it back before writing this and wished I could have recorded the entire retreat because there were so many great tips I had already forgotten. One thing is I need to watch my language and how I speak about my blog and making it a business. I tend to downplay it and treat it like an unimportant hobby, rather than own it and say what I want it to become. Jenn told me that she's a big fan of "fake it till you make it." I told her the series I want to start on the blog and she told me just do it, pretend I am being paid and eventually the sponsorships will come. Brands will start to notice, and then I have examples of the type of content I provide once I am offered paid partnerships. They also said at this stage it's important to review my progress monthly. To see what was successful, what works, what doesn't. And my number one mission right now is getting approved for LTK. I am so motivated and ready to show up and make this happen! 

Overall this was such a wonderful experience. I grew so much from it, doing something completely on my own like this was way out of my comfort zone. I am so proud of myself for following my intuition and I'm on a mission to stop getting in my own way. 

Thank you so much for reading and being a part of my little blogging community. I appreciate you so much and hope you'll stick around for the ride. 

I just wanted to also give a shout out to the sponsors who gifted such amazing goodies for those of us attending, as well as the amazing women that I was able to meet and connect with while at the retreat. 


Lizette Alvarado | Syn Skin Aesthetics @synskinaestgetics
Abbie Icamina | Gray + Graham Salon
Jessica Gonzales | Makeup Artist
Caroline Pies | Fleur De Paris Shop
Anna Kornick | Its About Time Podcast
Emily Mendler | Memmy + Co
Caroline Abarco | Goodness Gracios Ceramics
Emily Bravender
Lydia Witte | Tiny Play All Day
Theresa Magliozzi | From Foothills to Fog
Abigail Reller | Abigail Reller Art 
Marnee Diaz | My Littlest Loves 
Michelle Messina | MPreau Photo
Brandi Heath | The One Pot Momma
Lindsey McDaniel | Realtor
Olivia Summers | The Hudson Social

Event Sponsors:

Hosts @theschoolofstyling @hauteofftherack
Event Venue @za.ranch
Furniture @partyrentalsnola
Backdrop Design @thegracefulhost
Journals + Pens @graphicimageny
Home Design @eleve.designcollective
Snack Station @mackenziechilds
Beauty Bar @tartecosmetics
Hair Tools @t3micro
Pajamas @showmeyourmumu
Insulated Mugs @brumate
Charcuterie @snacx4u
Party on the Patio @donsseafood
Photographer @aperture_photos_co
Hair + Skin Products @colleenrothschild


Larson Family Winery Pumpkin Patch

We joined Larson Family Winery way back in 2012, I think. I discovered it from another blogger who shared that it was dog friendly. At the time we brought our dog Louis with us everywhere. He was our baby! We loved how the winery was fairly close to San Francisco, and that we could bring Louis with us to enjoy the wine and setting on weekends. We also loved the affordability of the wine while still being really good! Their Larson Family Winery label wines are my favorite, but the 3 Lab Cab and 3 Lab Chardonnay are great too. Honestly we enjoy nearly all of them! Larson Family has continued to be a staple for us through all the various stages of life. As time went on, we continued to visit frequently with our friends and our pups. We also went on my Bachelorette party weekend and I learned to saber a bottle of champagne! Now, even though we have moved, we stay members because they are kid friendly and host so many great family events. We make it a point to go every year for the Harvest celebration and pumpkin patch that started back in 2020, as well as our favorite Santa meet and greet in December. Even though it's a bit of a drive now, and always requires a lot of planning and coordination, we love visiting! 

We went down on a Sunday which was nice because it was less crowded. We got seated at the edge of the tasting deck in a nice lounge area that was perfect because we could watch the kids run around and play in the pumpkin patch area and on the trailer used for hay rides during the harvest celebration. The boys all love climbing up the hay bails and sitting on the vintage red tractor! 

This year, the harvest celebration wasn't in October so the pumpkin patch hadn't started yet. We decided to plan our day for the pumpkin patch rather than harvest. Hopefully next year they do them together because last year the kids had a blast stomping grapes, going on hay rides, and picking pumpkins. They also usually have live music and a food truck at the harvest event. Even without all that, we had a great day. I always try to bring an activity like kinetic sand to entertain them when they get bored running around. And of course, all the snacks! It was fun to spend a few hours together with our besties enjoying a wine tasting and watching the kids play. Plus we had Gamma with us for an extra set of hands. 

We can't wait for our next visit to see Santa in December! Here are a few of my favorite photos from Larson Family Winery over the years. I wish I had a photo from our first visit when we joined. We had the best time with a few couples we met traveling from Texas. We even went on an adventure walk trying to find the ghost town Wingo nearby, we turned back before we found it but it was so fun! 

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