One Room Challenge / Our 6 Week Living Room Makeover - Week 6 REVEAL!

IT'S REVEAL TIME! We had so much fun putting together our living room the past few days, and we're excited to share our final post for the One Room Challenge! As many of you know, we started with two people (my husband and I) moving in together (3 years ago), each with their own furniture. The end goal was to create a unified aesthetic, and while we kept many original pieces from the room, the vibe is now completely different. It feels like a home for both of us.

Our new living room.

Our new living room.

A reminder of what we started with.

A reminder of what we started with.

We replaced the original sofa cushion backs with soft loose pillows.

We replaced the original sofa cushion backs with soft loose pillows.

Moving the lamp to the perimeter of the room created openness.

Moving the lamp to the perimeter of the room created openness.

Plants and flowers always help complete a space.

Plants and flowers always help complete a space.

We loved sourcing the neutral textiles to mix.

We loved sourcing the neutral textiles to mix.

Coffee table essentials.

Coffee table essentials.

The art of layering rugs - these were purchased in Morocco 10 years ago!

The art of layering rugs - these were purchased in Morocco 10 years ago!

A close up of the customized oak coffee table designed by Form + Field.

A close up of the customized oak coffee table designed by Form + Field.

Thanks so much for following along with us for our first One Room Challenge! We're so glad we did it, and we're looking forward to finally updating the rest of our condo...

What do you think of the makeover? What do you like most about the new space? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Missed the previous weeks' posts? You can catch up here: 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

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Check out the finals posts and reveals of the other bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge:
Guest Participants
Featured Designers

All photography by Christine Lin.

One Room Challenge / Our 6 Week Living Room Makeover - Week 5

Accessories - those small touches that contribute to the unique character and life of a space. While they may not seem important compared to furniture, accessories can often make or break a space. They impact how a space feels, and ultimately you want a space that feels personal, authentic, and complete. In our post for week 5 of the One Room Challenge, we’ll be sharing our approach to accessorizing your home.

A vignette of objects both decorative and functional from our Brooklyn Co-op Project

A vignette of objects both decorative and functional from our Brooklyn Co-op Project

We take a Goldilocks approach to accessories: not too many and not too few! Too many can feel cluttered while having too few can feel like you’re living in a hotel. Via a thoughtfully curated selection of accessories, you can add depth to your spaces and amplify the beauty - all without sacrificing functionality.

For our living room makeover, we selected several key new pieces that add visual interest. We're also mixing in a couple trinkets that we’ve collected over the years that have sentimental value. It's always important to select varied materials, colors, and textures that create a collection of accessories that feels personal and unique to your story. Don't be afraid to put together different styles, metals, or finishes as long you as you love it - that's exactly how you avoid a showroom or over-designed look. 

Clockwise from top left:  1  /  2  /  3  /  4

Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

What are some of your favorite accessories that you've collected over the years? We'd love to hear the stories about your most treasured pieces!

Next week, we’ll be sharing the big reveal in our final post for the One Room Challenge!

Missed the previous weeks' posts? You can catch up here: 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

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Check the progress of the other bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge:
Guest Participants
Featured Designers

One Room Challenge / Week 4, or How to Select Indoor Plants

I’ve always loved having plants inside the home. Growing up, my mom kept spider plants, palms, jasmine, cacti, and various other species in our best lit rooms. When I moved into my own apartments in my twenties, I quickly realized I didn’t have my mom’s talent for keeping plants alive, or so I thought…. In this fourth week of the One Room Challenge, we’ll be discussing indoor plant life, and how to turn your black thumb into a semi-green thumb.

No space is complete without plants (  image source  )

No space is complete without plants (image source)

The first step in learning how to keep plants alive is to select the right plants for the lighting in your space. I’ve found this to be the most critical factor in whether a plant lives or dies. Too much or too little light can easily stress a plant, and stress leads to disease, pests, or premature death! The difficult part is determining what kind of light exists in your space as the differences can be subtle. Here's a quick primer on how to determine the lighting for your plant's location:

LIGHTING PRIMER FOR PLANTS

DIRECT LIGHT
South or west facing windows with direct light all day long. It has a minimum of 5-6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

PARTIAL SUN/SHADE
East or west facing windows that have a couple hours of sun a day, avoiding the heat of the midday sun.

INDIRECT BRIGHT LIGHT
South or west facing windows but located far away enough from the window to avoid direct sun. The plant doesn’t receive direct sunlight, but does get indirect light 5-6 hours a day.

LOW LIGHT
North facing windows or rooms partially shaded by trees, or the deep interior of a room far from windows. If it’s a spot where you can’t easily read a book, then it’s probably low light.

Illustration of different lighting levels (  image source  )

Illustration of different lighting levels (image source)

While we’re only talking about light in this post, there are other factors to consider such as watering, temperature, humidity, and seasonal changes. The most important thing is to try different locations until your plant seems happy and healthy. Also, ask your local garden store expert for their recommendations of plants based on where you plan to place your plant.

Flora Grubb, one of our favorite garden stores in San Francisco (  image source  )

Flora Grubb, one of our favorite garden stores in San Francisco (image source)

Our living room space for the One Room Challenge has strong light from south/west facing windows, but we’re placing the plants in more shaded areas of the rooms that receive indirect light. We went to Flora Grubb, one of our favorite garden stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, to get advice on which plants will work best for our situation. We learned that many, if not most, indoor plants work well in indirect light, so we decided on the Peperomia Thailand and the Philodendron Cordatum. We love the shape of their leaves!

Our selections: Peperomia Thailand and Philodendron Cordatum

Our selections: Peperomia Thailand and Philodendron Cordatum

Now we just have to source some great pots. Let us know in the comments below if you have more tips for keeping plants alive!

Check in next week for a discussion on layering accessories for the living room. Missed the previous weeks' posts? You can catch up here: 
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

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Check the progress of the other bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge:
Guest Participants
Featured Designers

One Room Challenge / Our 6 Week Living Room Makeover - Week 3

Here we are at week 3 of the One Room Challenge, where bloggers take 6 weeks to transform a room and document the process. In the two previous weeks, we shared the room we’re tackling, and the new plans for the space. This week: progress photos!

Fresh white walls

Fresh white walls

We’ve been busy with the project management stage of the project which includes procurement and execution, and placing orders for all the new items for the living room space and overseeing installation. Some of our new pieces have started to come in or be completed: new paint, new sofa legs and cushions, and new bookshelves. You'll notice we still have to declutter and rearrange a bit...

New cushions, sofa feet, and bookshelves are in

New cushions, sofa feet, and bookshelves are in

Now that some of the major pieces are in place (with more new items arriving soon), we’ve been thinking about layering - the small touches that greatly contribute to the unique character and life of a space. Our next two posts will be focused on adding plant life and accessorizing with decorative and/or functional objects. No room is complete without these last steps! 

Check in next week for a primer on selecting the right plants for your space. Missed the previous weeks' posts? You can catch up here: 
Week 1
Week 2

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Check the progress of the other bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge:
Guest Participants
Featured Designers

One Room Challenge / Our 6 Week Living Room Makeover - Week 2

We love short turnaround times - there’s nothing like a 6 week deadline to force quick decision-making! In our second installment of the One Room Challenge, we’ll begin by sharing our design process and concept for the living room. 

Our starting point for the living room makeover

Our starting point for the living room makeover

Assess the Situation

We start every project by getting the lay of the land and assessing the situation. In this case, the living room (and condo in general) had a couple major issues that needed to be addressed.

Issue #1: Our furniture is a hodge-podge of pieces that I and my husband have collected individually and the overall space lacks cohesion.
Goal: Unify the aesthetic of the space by replacing select furnishings and decor.

Issue #2: Lack of color harmony with yellow undertone walls (it’s hard to tell in the before image) and gray undertone floors.
Goal: Update wall colors to match undertone of floors.

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Create the Design Concept

After gathering all the relevant information and setting the goals of the project, we then create the concept for the look and feel of the space. My husband and I agreed on a mostly neutral palette to provide a place of calm in the midst of the hustle and bustle of our location next to the train station in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood. We’re going with white walls, mixed woods, and soft patterns and textures for a clean, cozy atmosphere.

What I’m most excited about is upgrading the artwork in the living room to bring a new level of sophistication to our home. I fell in love with a mixed media piece by Robert Szot a couple months ago, and purchased it from the Jack Fischer Gallery, one of our favorite local San Francisco art galleries. This first new piece will be the perfect anchor for the space!

The anchor for the living room: Robert Szot's Demirep from the Jack Fischer Gallery (  image source   )

The anchor for the living room: Robert Szot's Demirep from the Jack Fischer Gallery (image source)

To help illustrate the vibe we’re going for is this stunning space from Malene Birger, a Danish designer.

The living room of Malene Birger's London flat via  Lonny

The living room of Malene Birger's London flat via Lonny

Source the Pieces

After the design concept is firm, we start sourcing pieces that fit the concept and goals. One of the hardest parts is deciding which pieces to keep and which to let go, especially when you don’t agree with your husband! I’m personally not a big fan of the Barcelona chair especially for a small space like ours, but that’s his favorite piece so it stays. The full rundown:

  • Coffee table: We have an oak dining table, and a few walnut pieces, so to remove some of the chrome and bring in balance and warmth, we’ll be replacing the marble coffee table with a custom oak coffee table.

  • Sofa: We love the bones of the sofa, but need to replace the legs as they were too tall and not the best style for the space. We’ll also be replacing the back cushions and some of the upholstery to make it more loungey and cushy.

  • Bookshelf: The bookshelf is too industrial-looking and heavy for the space so we’ll be replacing this bookshelf with minimal book shelving.

  • Walls: The creamy, almost beige walls have got to go! Same for the red accent wall. We’ll be starting over with a fresh white base.

  • Artwork: We’re starting to up the sophistication and only collect pieces we really love, so existing artwork will be replaced.

  • Accessories: We’ll be replacing and layering on accessories to make this space ours.

New furniture.png

Stay tuned for next week's post where we'll be sharing progress photos! Missed the first week's post? You can catch up here: Week 1

Check the progress of the other bloggers participating in the One Room Challenge:
Guest Participants
Featured Designers