Traditional and Neutral Christmas Decor – How to Blend

I never thought I’d blend traditional and neutral Christmas Decor, but never say never, my friends! When I think of Christmas, I think of family, joy, and kindness! Now more than ever we need to spread love and compassion, through our words and actions. While this year has brought many challenges, it’s how we react in the face of these struggles that show our true sense of character. Let’s not forget who we are and how strong we are!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase using any of the included links. As always, your support is greatly appreciated!

Neutral and traditional holiday decor
Pine Cone Grapevine Wreath

With all the displacements my girls have experienced this year, I felt it was important to make Christmas extra special for them. So, when The Home Depot invited us to participate in their Style Holiday Challenge, this was the perfect opportunity for me to have some styling fun with my 7-year-old daughter! Now I’m a neutral lover at heart, but my daughter loves every color of the rainbow.

The Home Depot has everything you need to decorate your home for the holiday season! My daughter and I were able to make all our fun selections online and have them shipped right to our front door. Want to see all the goodies we snagged and how we were able to blend both traditional and neutral Christmas decor? Then head on over to The Home Depot Blog to read all about it and check out the space we decorated! Do you usually blend decor styles for the Christmas holiday? How would you describe your Christmas decor style? Until next time friends!

Aminah Chung

Love How We Cozied Up Our Home Office – Fall Edition

I love how we cozied up our home office, just in time to welcome my favorite season! For me, fall symbolizes a slowing down period. With the crisp, cool air and falling leaves, this is when our family soaks up extra quality time. Living in Arizona, fall allows us to be more outdoors and I’m most excited to go for walks with my girls again!

Love how we cozied up our home office with some pillows, throws and dark greenery.

2020 has been a year for the books, am I right? Given the chaotic year we’ve had so far, I think it’s even more important to create motivating and inspiring workspaces. Hubby works from home and so, my goal for our office space was to create an environment that fosters growth and mental clarity. With the help of some new furniture pieces, gifted from Inmod, I think I managed to achieve our home office goals!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase using any of the included links. As always, your support is greatly appreciated!

Add wood tones

Adding wood tones is one way to bring some fall vibes into a space. Our home office is very light and bright so I love the rich contrast of our new coffee table and end table in this room! The natural oak finish on both pieces is so lovely and I’m a big fan of the Scandinavian design. Their stain and scratch-resistant features are an unbelievable, added bonus, particularly when you have accident-prone children and husband!

Add textures

Love how we cozied up our home office with some pillows, throws and dark greenery.
Taylor Sofa – Charcoal Gray || Pillows

The quickest and simplest way to transition through the seasons is by switching up your throws and decorative pillows. When it comes to styling with color, yellow in all its glorious shades, is my favorite. I love the richness and warmth of this mustard throw! It pairs beautifully with my assortment of black and white pillows, creating a comfy and inviting sitting area. If you’re on the fence about making the switch to pillow covers, then check out my Decorative Pillows blog post, where I list my pros and cons of both pillow types. A fabric sofa naturally lends to coziness! We chose the Taylor sofa in charcoal gray because of its clean lines and subtle details. It’s the perfect balance of simple and modern comfort! Even our coffee table decor is adding textures and layers to the overall aesthetics of the room. These selected pieces include a ceramic vase, a concrete candler holder and slate coasters. Add more dimension to your styling by using items with various heights, widths and textures!

Add dark greenery

Shelf Styling – BEFORE
Shelf Styling – AFTER

Instead of traditional fall florals, I chose to include darker greenery in my decor. This is just one more way to enhance the moodiness of our office space. I also refreshed our bookcase by swapping out a few decorative items. Do you struggle with shelf and bookcase styling or are just curious about my shelf styling process? Then check out my Bookcase Styling blog post where I walk you through my process!

Love how we cozied up our home office with some pillows, throws and dark greenery.

Welcome to my favorite view of our home office! There are so many beautiful details to love in this corner. Do you spy my little cuties on the wall?! Our color block accent is serving as the perfect backdrop and adds more dimension to our office space. If you’re interested in learning how we created this geometric accent wall, then check out my Color Block blog post.

Home Office – BEFORE
Love how we cozied up our home office with some pillows, throws and dark greenery.
Home Office – AFTER

I love how we cozied up our home office for the fall season! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of our office space! On the opposite side of this view is our actual workspace and maybe one day I’ll share that view as well. For now, continue to digest all the yummy, cozy details of our home office fall refresh! Have you decorated for fall or planning to? I’d love to know what you think about our home office update! Until next time friends!

Aminah Chung

How To Make A Simple And Affordable DIY Desk!

If there was ever a time for a super simple and affordable DIY desk, it’s NOW my friends! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 7-year-old daughter will be online learning for the first quarter of the new school year. We have the option to reevaluate our decision quarterly and switch to in-person learning when we feel more comfortable with her safety at school. We are now in WEEK 2 of at-home learning and let me tell you, please send help and/or WINE! I love my girl, obviously, but I’m certainly not qualified to be her educator. I’m also learning that my patience level could use some work! They say what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger, so I guess I’ll be coming out of this situation a damn WARRIOR!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase using any of included links. As always, your support is greatly appreciated!

Simple and Affordable DIY Desk layout and construction.

Hubby and I decided to make this a POCKET DESK for the added storage functionality! I laid out all the cut wood pieces to really envision the final result! The top portion of this DIY desk was built using Birch Plywood (desk top) and Sande Plywood (desk underside), while the legs were constructed from Pine Board. The plywood gave us the perfect desk depth, without having to join wood pieces, while the pine boards gave us great legs!

DIY Desk Construction

Desk top: 1 – 48″ x 20″ birch plywood
Desk underside: 1 – 48″ x 20″ sande plywood
Desk back: 1 – 48″ x 3.5″ pine board
Desk sides: 2 – 18.5″ x 3.5″ pine board
Each desk leg: 2 – 24″x 3.5″ pine board || 2 – 18.5″ x 3.5″ pine board

We used 2 different types of plywood to reduce our final cost. We also placed the back of the pocket desk about 0.75″ away from the edge. I love this little added detail, but it certainly isn’t something a 7-year-old would appreciate! We kept each piece of wood in place with wood glue and then further secured them with screws.

Stain and Paint

DIY desk stain is a natural finish.
Stain – Minwax Natural Oil-Based Interior Stain

Paint – SW Pure White

I was drawn to the swirl patterns in the plywood. I chose to enhance this pretty detail by simply using a natural stain! I’m a huge fan of wood and white combo and so you’ll notice strategic inclusion of white paint throughout this desk design! I can never say this enough, frog tape is your best friend!

Simple and Affordable DIY Desk in 2 tone combo of wood and white paint.

We’ve been slowly repainting our interior walls in SW Pure White. This bright white color was so perfect for our DIY pocket desk! The contrast is very striking in all the right ways! As an alternate design to the pocket desk, you could create more of an open look as seen above. I really don’t think you can go wrong with either choice!

DIY Desk Reveal

Simple and Affordable DIY Desk fully built and styled.

I’m beyond OBSESSED with how this DIY pocket desk turned out! Hubby and I are all about subtle details and this desk definitely delivers that! It pairs beautifully with this 2-tone chair! I had to style our latest furniture piece at least once before it made its way into our daughter’s bedroom, never to be seen or heard from again! I’m happy to report that so far it’s still in excellent condition. No visible crayon or pencil marks … yet anyway!

Ready to learn how much this desk cost us?! Including taxes, we spent $88.38 on materials which was so worth it to create this modern piece! If you’re looking for a simple and affordable DIY desk to build, then I hope you consider this option! If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, then be sure to check out our Modern DIY Slat Wall!

I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have on this project. Comment below and let me know what form of schooling you chose for your kiddos. This was a very difficult decision for our family but we feel at peace with our choice. There’s no wrong answer here, only choices and solutions that best fit your own family! Until next time my friends!

Aminah Chung

One Room Challenge Week 8 || Master Bedroom Makeover || REVEAL DAY FOLKS!

It’s the end of Week 8 and our Spring 2020 One Room Challenge participation is coming to an end. I’m so happy Linda Weinstein created this event! It gave us the encouragement and motivation we needed to buckle down and complete our master bedroom makeover!

This post contains affiliate links and I will earn a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using any of them.

Master bedroom makeover mood board.

If you’re now joining us and you’re unfamiliar with this event, here’s what it’s all about. Each Spring and Fall, 20 Featured Designers are selected by Linda Weinstein and the ORC team for a 6-week challenge where they each take us along on their room transformation! Feeling inspired? Guest Participants, like yours truly, with a blog or Instagram account can register and join in on the action. This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the challenge included an additional 2 weeks of work time which was so helpful for newbies like me and Hubby!

Before

A before image of our master bedroom showing our bed and nightstands.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane! I still can’t believe that just 8 weeks ago, this was OUR bedroom! Looking back at this photo, I have a true sense of appreciation for how far we’ve come and all we were able to accomplish as a TEAM! For more details on individual DIY projects we completed as part of our master bedroom makeover, check out the following One Room Challenge Weekly Updates :

Week 1 || Week 2 || Week 3 || Week 4 || Week 6 || Week 7

After

I’m experiencing many EMOTIONS right now my friends! I’m beyond EXCITED to share our master bedroom makeover with you all and I’m so incredibly PROUD of the time and work Hubby and I have put into this project! I hope you LOVE it as much as we do!

Master bedroom makeover reveal photo showing black shiplap, a photo ledge with framed prints, new bedding and nightstand decor.

I’m OBSESSED with how well our DIY shiplap wall turned out! I think the dark, moody vibe is absolutely perfect, and just what this space needed! Sherwin Williams Iron Ore has never let me down and it delivered once again!

Faux Window Trim

So believe it or not, our initial plan for this wall with the large window was just to add some shelving. We figured with all the other updates we were doing, this wall could be kept simple and minimal, however, our plans quickly evolved!

In addition to shelving, we repainted the wall in Sherwin Williams Pure White. Just to keep it interesting, we also created this faux window trim using Sherwin Williams Iron Ore. I’ve always loved the added dimension window trims create, but I knew that wasn’t a project we’d be embarking on … not now anyway! The painted trim was the next, best thing and I scoured Pinterest looking for inspiration but found none. So remember my friends, you saw this PAINTED (FAUX) WINDOW TRIM here FIRST!

Cozy Corner

My plan for this corner was to add warmth, layers, and coziness. I wanted to create a little area suitable for reading, working or just hanging out with a cocktail.

I think we achieved our goal for this space. They’re so many beautiful details I adore here and I look forward to many comfy moments! I actually shopped my home for these pillows because the ones I ordered from Crate&Barrel didn’t arrive in time. I’m living for them in this space so maybe I’ll just leave them be!

Color Block Mural

I know in the home decor world, displaying one’s TV is a hot topic! Personally, I have no qualms showcasing my 75″ TV, however, she needed to be dressed up first!

When we decided to paint a color block accent wall, our original plan did not include the space behind our TV. However, after painting the first half of this 19 ft wall, we soon saw how incomplete this space looked. Extending the color block wall behind our TV was a smart decision. Now our TV isn’t the only interesting thing in this view! And yes, that is a mini-fridge! I like to keep my ice cream close!

Color block accent wall as part of our master bedroom makeover

Night Stand Decor

I intentionally kept our nightstand decor minimal and yes, we have no lamps! Our bed has a built-in light that provides the perfect ambiance, so although we could have purchased lamps for aesthetic purposes, we chose practicality … this time! These little, ceramic trays are perfect for your TV remote, phone, and jewelry. We keep a couple of coasters in ours for those WINE down evenings!

Gallery Hallway

Hallway of framed art prints as part of our master bedroom makeover

I’m so glad Hubby suggested we create a hall of frames. As much as I enjoy looking at these white walls, the black and gold metallic frames break up the white and provide some ease on the eyes. I’m also digging the black and white, architectural prints we selected! It appears we’ve created our very own little art gallery!

Cube Shelving

I love collecting decor pieces of various textures and styles! Vases, books, and greenery are some of my go-to styling items that have never let me down. These cubes have so much styling potential and I look forward to playing around with them in the future!

West Elm Inspired Shelving

DIY horizontal shelf as part of our master bedroom makeover.

DIY vertical shelf as part of our master bedroom makeover.

One of my favorite DIY projects from our master bedroom makeover is the West Elm inspired framed shelving Hubby created! The frames are painted while the actual shelves are stained, creating an illusion of metal and wood. I’m seriously OBSESSED with these and I love their overall clean, modern look! I must have more of them in our home!

DIY Modern Blanket Ladder

Brown and white blanket ladder as part of our master bedroom makeover

Hubby felt this particular view of our master bedroom needed some contrast against the dark shiplap wall. He came up with the brilliant idea to create a blanket ladder, but of course, a traditional blanket ladder wouldn’t do. He angled the top and bottom rungs of the ladder which added so much more dimension and character! The half-dipped finish was the icing on the cake! A beautiful union of stain and paint!

Bedding

Green and gray bedding as part of our master bedroom makeover.

We can’t ignore one of the most important upgrades in our master bedroom – the BEDDING! I’ve been having some of the best sleep of my life on our new bedding set! I searched high and low for the perfect, affordable olive sheets, and would you believe they were on Amazon this whole time?! That’s not even the best part. I paid $34 for the king sheet set and no, a zero isn’t missing! Our Belgian Flax Linen duvet cover, in frost gray, pairs perfectly with the olive sheets. A little pop of brown leather was all that was needed to complete the look!

Closing photo of our master bedroom

I cannot believe it’s a wrap my friends! It has been an honor being apart of the One Room Challenge community. I’m so GRATEFUL for the love, support, and encouragement we’ve received along the way! THANK YOU for following our journey and I hope our master bedroom makeover was worth the wait! Be sure to check out the reveals of the Featured Designers and other Guest Participants of this event! Until next time!

Aminah Chung

One Room Challenge Week 7 || Master Bedroom Makeover || Shelves A Plenty

It’s the end of Week 7 of the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge. So glad you joined us! If you’re unfamiliar with this event then you’re in for a treat. Each Spring and Fall, 20 Featured Designers are selected by Linda Weinstein and the ORC team for a 6-week challenge where they each take us along on their journey to an incredible room transformation! Feeling inspired? Guest Participants, like yours truly, with a blog or Instagram account can register and join in on the action. This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the challenge includes an additional 2 weeks of work time which is so helpful for newbies like me and Hubby!

I love the affordability of IKEA furniture but man, they’re no fun to put together! I’m thankful Hubby indulges me with all my crazy ideas because this one was a pain! We decided to install 11 of these cubbies which took much longer than anticipated.

We created our pattern and started with the bottom section because it was a lot easier sliding these cubbies in place from bottom to top. You’ll definitely want to draw lines to indicate where you’d like to place these. This install process was really trial and error with a sprinkle of just pure luck!

Larger cubbies – 13.75″ W x 13.75″ H x 13.75″D || Smaller cubbies – 13.75″W x 13.75″H x 9-7/8″D

You may notice that we used 2 different depths for these cubbies just to add more dimension and interest to the overall, finished look. You can literally arrange these pieces in any pattern that tickles your fancy. They’re so fun and really allow your creativity to shine! Our room wouldn’t be complete without a pop of yellow somewhere so I had to include the mustard ones of course!

Hands down the best part of having these cubbies are all the various ways I can style them! I rounded up some of my favorite decor items and got to work!

I think the color palette of these cubbies complements the rest of our space so well. I tried to keep the styling simple, but interesting. This may darn well be my new favorite cozy corner of our home!

Not to be outdone by our new cubbies, our new bedding is equally as impressive! It’s Belgian Flax Linen in Frost Gray. The faux eucalyptus stem gives you a hint to the sheet set we plan to pair it with!

I can’t believe this is it my friends! Come back next week when all will be REVEALED! Be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Instagram to stay up to date on all future projects! Definitely also check out the Featured Designers and other Guest Participants of this event! Alright, so who’s ready to see some transformed spaces?!

Aminah Chung

One Room Challenge Week 4 || Master Bedroom Makeover || Hall of Frames!

Welcome to Week 4 of the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge. So glad you joined us! If you’re unfamiliar with this event then you’re in for a treat. Each Spring and Fall, 20 Featured Designers are selected by Linda Weinstein and the ORC team for a 6-week challenge where they each take us along on their journey to an incredible room transformation! Feeling inspired? Guest Participants, like yours truly, with a blog or Instagram account can register and join in on the action. This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the challenge includes an additional 2 weeks of work time which is so helpful for newbies like me and Hubby!

The idea for this DIY shelving project came while sourcing home decor from West Elm. I saw these beautiful metal and wood shelving collection and it was instant LOVE at first sight! Do you know what I didn’t love? The price! These framed shelves cost $50 – $100 depending on the size.

Tall Vertical Framed Shelving || FRAME – 30″ x 12.5″ || SHELF – 12″ x 6.5″
Short Horizontal Framed Shelving || FRAME – 19.25″ x 14″ || SHELF – 18″ x 6.5″

Hubby managed to recreate 2 of these shelves, entirely out of WOOD, for a total of $30! Let’s hear it for handy Hubbies! We installed one on each side of the large window in our master bedroom. To simulate the metallic look of the West Elm version, we painted the framed section in, you guessed it, SW Iron Ore! I think it’s safe to assume that any dark color in my home is likely this paint. What can I say? It’s super versatile and so pretty!!

Pine wood stained in NATURAL AMERICAN – 95% NATURAL STAIN and 5% EARLY AMERICAN STAIN

Now let’s talk stain! I was not a fan of staining because the colors never turned out as I’d envisioned. After trying many brands and colors, I came to the realization that achieving what I want would require some MAD SCIENTIST action! So allow me to introduce you to our OWN CREATION and the ONLY BROWN stain I’ll ever use – NATURAL AMERICAN!! This gorgeous color was birthed from Minwax Natural stain and Varathane Early American stain. Through some trial and error, this color was created using 95% Natural and 5% Early American stain. If you’re like me and have been struggling to find the perfect brown stain, then I highly recommend trying this concoction! You’ll thank me!

So this little hallway update wasn’t a part of our initial mood board! Once the hallway got painted, Hubby came up with a brilliant idea to create a photo gallery aka Hall of Frames! The original frames we wanted, were wooden ones from Target but when they all arrived completely shattered, I was very disappointed. I guess the silver lining to that was we were able to see how easily those frames could be destroyed. I returned the broken, wooden frames and purchased METAL ones in black, silver, and gold. I also received all my prints from Shutterfly and I absolutely love them! The architectural theme is so our style and I couldn’t be happier with the entire look of this space. Of course, the impractical hallway styling was only for a photo opportunity, but gosh if only our bedroom hallway was wide enough to accommodate this staged set up! Oh, and do ignore the SW Swiss Coffee door. We plan on repainting all our interior doors but that’s a project for another time, outside of the one room challenge!

What You Missed Last Week

What I haven’t shown you is our repainted wall we tackled last week. I decided to switch from SW Pure White to SW Agreeable Gray which is a super light and warm gray! I will share a photo soon with our wall cubby install! I snagged a few home decor pieces from Target as well and received a CB2 delivery so this girl is in home decor heaven!

This Week’s Agenda

COLOR BLOCK is happening!! We’re grabbing samples to determine the colors we’d like to use. Selecting paint colors hasn’t been in my favor as of late, but I’m hoping inspiration strikes and we’ll have some success! Wish me luck!

It’s such a good feeling to check tasks off our list! Be sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on Instagram to stay up to date on our personal journey in this event. You’ll also definitely want to follow along and see what the Featured Designers and other Guest Participants are working on! Anyone a fan of color block painting?!

Aminah Chung