Bold Design In A Small Space – How To Achieve It!

Creating a bold design in a small space may seem challenging, but it’s very possible my friends! I’m going to walk you through our recent stairs nook update, sharing exactly how we transformed this useless space into another functional area in our home. I’m beginning to believe that home builders include these wasted square footage to taunt us! Am I right? For years I’ve watched this little nook space. I’ve felt irritated that it existed and frustrated because I didn’t know what to do with it.

Inspiration

Those feelings are long gone because while repainting this little corner, inspiration struck in a big way! I decided to combine 2 design features we recently used in previous projects. When dark, moody shiplap meets the simplicity of a pocket desk, the end result is pure MAGIC!

Materials and Tools

We started out by building the middle section of the pocket desk/shelf using Pine Board. A 90- Degree Corner Clamp comes in handy for supporting the board pieces prior to securing them together. This section was installed first to help create a leveled foundation for the shiplap install. I couldn’t imagine completing the shiplap install, only to then find out all the pieces were slanted! Eek! If you’re looking to reduce your project time then I highly recommend Primed Shadow Gap Shiplap, simply because the spaces are already built-in and the primed feature makes painting a breeze.

90-Degree Corner Clamp
Middle section of pocket desk:
2 – 17.5″ x 3.5″ || 1- 24.5″ x 3.5″

Attempting any wall treatment around the stairs can be tricky. I’m also convinced that we do not have a single straight wall in our home! Airing on the side of caution, we literally measured, cut, and installed each shiplap piece ONE at a time. The actual install was super easy with the help of our trusty nail gun! Another fantastic tool is our miter saw which allowed us to create all our beautiful, angled cuts! Lastly, we filled and sanded all the imperfect areas, leaving a lovely smooth surface that was ready for painting.

Painting

I can honestly say I didn’t think twice about choosing a paint color for this nook space. If you’re ever looking for a bold color to create a beautiful contrast, then Sherwin Williams Iron Ore will always be my FIRST pick! It was absolutely necessary for us in creating this bold design in a small space! We used a paintbrush to paint the corners and a mini roller to paint the rest of the shiplap which resulted in a smooth, even finish.

Staining

How do you find the perfect stain? I like to play mad scientist and mix several options until my dream color is birthed! My personal favorite is combining Varathane Early American Stain with Minwax Natural Stain. I think this combo produces the perfect, rich brown that really enhanced the natural wood texture and details of the Birch Plywood. We also tried something different and added a gloss protective coat on top of the pocket desk, to help eliminate stains and scratches. Fingers crossed it works out!

Birch Plywood for top and bottom of pocket desk: 2 – 18.25″ x 24.5″
Bold design shiplap wall with pocket deck reveal
Paint color: Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

The Reveal

I can’t tell you how many times I walk upstairs now and just admire this little corner! It is so striking against all the surrounding white! The final design is the perfect balance of beauty and functionality. I styled this space using minimal decor elements that enhance our design without overwhelming or compromising the overall look. I’d say mission accomplished on creating a bold design in a small space! Even the budget was small because our final cost for this project was less than $60!

Bold design shiplap wall with pocket deck reveal
Bold design shiplap wall with pocket deck reveal

I hope our transformation of this blank canvas into another gorgeous, functional space in our home, inspires you to look at these areas differently! See them for the potential they hold and rise to the challenge of creating more usable square footage in your home.

Bold design shiplap wall with pocket deck reveal
Bold design shiplap wall with pocket deck reveal

I did a quick little switch of the greenery to get you thinking about Fall. I’m quite partial to yellow and its contrast against the moody shiplap makes my heart happy! Never be afraid to take bold risks in your designs! The result just might surprise you in the best way!

Be sure to check out our DIY Pocket Desk and Master Bedroom Reveal to view this nook space design elements on a larger scale. Now tell me, do you have any odd nook spaces in your home? Have I convinced you to tackle them? 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 3 || Master Bedroom Makeover || Serving Up Moods!

Welcome to Week 3 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!

Are you a fan of dark, moody accent walls? I for one am OBSESSED with this look! There’s just something about the dark, rich color, particularly in bedroom spaces, that adds another layer of warmth and coziness.

Without a doubt, I knew I wanted the shiplap in our master bedroom to be painted in a dark color, however, I debated on whether or not I wanted to stick with good old faithful SW Iron Ore (on the bottom) or try something new like SW Carbonized (on the top). I took to Instagram stories, asking for everyone’s opinion and 75% chose SW Iron Ore!

According to Hubby, painting shiplap is no fun. He ended up painting the entire wall using a paintbrush instead of a roller because with the roller, paint was collecting in all the shiplap grooves. Another good option and likely, an even better option, would have been to use a paint spray gun.

Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with SW Iron Ore! The amount of lighting in your space will obviously have an effect on how this color appears. With natural daylight, it appears as a warm, charcoal color and at night, depending on your bulb type, it can appear as a much darker, almost black color. Either way I love it and I’m so happy with my decision!

WALL #1 || BEFORE – SW ACCESSIBLE BEIGE

This was definitely the week of PAINTING! In addition to the shiplap wall, we also tackled 2 other wall spaces and our bedroom hallway. Our original room color, SW Accessible Beige, was such a warm color and at night, it was straight up TAN which has bothered me ever since we moved into this house, some 3 years ago!

WALL #1 || AFTER – SW PURE WHITE

Needless to say, the pressure was on to find a replacement color that would work better in our bedroom space and compliment the SW Iron Ore. I really wanted white, but finding the right white was easier said than done! I took to Instagram once again and contacted friends with white interior walls, compiling my list of white paint options. The 2 main choices that came highly recommended were SW Pure White and BM Chantilly Lace.

WALL #2 || BEFORE – SW ACCESSIBLE BEIGE

When we tested both color options, the BM Chantilly Lace appeared too warm with a yellow undertone. The SW Pure White looked more like a true white and so that was the decision we made.

WALL #2 and HALLWAY || AFTER – SW PURE WHITE

I think the pressure to find that RIGHT color is getting to me because I’m not so sure I’m 100% loving this white. The lighting varies so drastically on each wall in our bedroom that it’s becoming quite the challenge to choose ONE consistent color! While the wall with the large window and our hallway both look great in SW Pure White, the wall on the opposite side of the room is picking up hints of blue and purple. I’m going to have to think real hard about my next move, so to be continued …

Our photo ledge measures 6ft in length so as to be in proportion with our king bed. We used pine wood for the ledge and stained it with Minwax Natural Oil-Based interior stain to simply enhance the natural color and beauty of the pine wood. I also added some sheer curtains on both sides of our large window. This is another decision I’m not 100% committed to. I love the light and airy element these curtains provide, but I don’t know if they’re the best choice for our space.

This Week’s Agenda

I’m going to order picture frames and a few home decor pieces from Target. I’m taking full advantage of their 2-day shipping! We’ve decided on a MODERN architectural theme for the prints and I’ve already ordered those from Shutterfly. I fell in love with some metal and wood wall shelves from West Elm that Hubby is going to try to recreate using ONLY wood!

It’s such a good feeling to check projects off our list! I’m going to be mulling over my paint and curtain decisions and thinking about what other options might be a better fit. 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 else having doubts about some of their design decisions?! Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

Aminah Chung

One Room Challenge Week 2 || Master Bedroom Makeover || Shiplap is a WRAP!

The Spring 2020 One Room Challenge is finally happening! 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!

You guys, I learned so much about myself this past week that it’s kinda scary! I knew that order and organization were important to me, but I had no idea how vital they were to my everyday life until we started working on this shiplap install. I may or may not have had a panic attack … once or twice, but after I calmed myself and was able to think rationally, I understood that a bit of chaos was needed to create beauty! For this project, we purchased 6″ x 8′ primed shadow gap shiplap which was perfect from a convenience standpoint. Shadow gap shiplap is self spacing and removes the hassle of having to manually space each individual piece, significantly reducing our install time. The added benefit of this shiplap already being primed should also make painting easier.

You’ll notice vertical markings across our wall which indicate the location of the studs. It’s so important to identify your studs if you want to properly secure your shiplap. We also chose a horizontal layout because it’s a simpler process and doesn’t require any additional wall structure set up prior to the install. By choosing these options we were able to really maximize our work time!

FYI my friends, a nail gun is highly recommended when installing shiplap. It speeds up the process and because the nails are so small, it allows for a smoother end result. Hubby did a lot of cutting in this process, so to create a smooth surface for painting, he’s going to fill in the cracks with drywall putty (what we have on hand) and sand it.

The horizontal, white shiplap definitely lends more to a farmhouse style, however, I think once the wall is painted and our bedroom is completely styled, it will have more of that cozy modern vibe we’re going for!

We selected a pretty minimal trim that will border both windows and the rest of the wall, allowing the focus to remain on the horizontal shiplap. Adding trims is a great way to create a cleaner, finished look since it hides any uneven cuts made!

This Week’s Agenda

With the shiplap install complete, it’s time to select a paint color! I have 2 contenders in mind but you’ll just have to wait until next week to find out what we chose! We will also be building, staining, and mounting our photo ledge! We even decided to add one more LITTLE project to our growing list so come back next week to check out more progress!

It’s such a good feeling to check projects 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 else participating in the ORC? Comment below to let me know so I can show my support and celebrate your transformations!

Aminah Chung

Vertical Shiplap For Less Than $150

As I sit to write this blog, my heart is lighter and happier. I spent some time this past weekend sorting through Kaiyah’s old baby clothes. My mother-in-law asked if I had any clothes I’d be willing to donate to a new mom. This was the perfect opportunity to declutter Kaiyah’s closet and be charitable at the same time. It felt liberating to have another organized space in our home. Whether you start with that junk drawer in your kitchen or ambitiously tackle your entire closet, I encourage you all to think about your belongings and purge what you’re no longer using. You could help someone in need along the way.

Now let’s move on to this fun DIY, our FIRST in 2020!

This post does include affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase using them. I would truly appreciate your support by using the links as this helps with the blog site maintenance.

Have you ever loved a design feature or wall treatment, but couldn’t figure out how best to incorporate it into your own home? I’ve wanted a shiplap accent wall for some time now but wasn’t sure we were up to the challenge. We have plans to DIY a large shiplap wall in our master bedroom, so updating this nook space in our loft seemed like the perfect mini project to get us started. This was a 3-day project because of our work schedule and family life, however, once the shiplap arrives it’s totally possible to complete this in 1 day. Already having the necessary tools and only needing to purchase materials made this a super cost-effective project for us. Your anticipated cost will vary depending on the tools and/or materials you already have, plus whatever you’ll need to purchase.

Our previous home decor was very much inspired by Fall colors. When we moved into our new build we brought some of our existing home decor items with us. Now that we’ve established a more neutral color scheme, it was definitely time to say goodbye to the reds and oranges, but not the yellows. I like to include a pop of yellow ever so often in our decor stylings, as an homage to our FIRST home!

the preparation

After reviewing Home Depot’s selections and based our measurements, we chose the 6″ x 8′ primed shiplap, which is sold as a 10 pack. This left us with marginal room for error but we were fairly confident we’d be successful with just the 10 pack. Since this product is not available in-store at our local Home Depot, we ordered it online.

This worked out even better as we do not own a vehicle that could transport 8′ tall shiplap. Upon delivery, we made sure to inspect each individual piece and were relieved to find they were all in great condition! Minor blemishes would be hidden under paint.

day 1

The goal for the first day was to get all the shiplap cut and installed. Now our 2 girls tend to keep our hands pretty full so it’s often a challenge completing any project within the timeframe we set for ourselves. Our usual solution is to divide and conquer, so while I was inside trying to keep our little humans alive, the Hubby was outside cutting the shiplap. Last year, in anticipation of the myriad of projects we have planned, we purchased a miter saw. According to Hubby, it worked like a charm and made a huge difference in the cutting process. It took him less time and yielded very straight, even edges.

So funny story … we kinda sorta forgot a somewhat important step when installing vertical shiplap. And by somewhat, I mean necessary.

So what was this omitted KEY step you ask? Well, since the wall studs also run vertically, that meant there was no way we could simply nail the shiplap onto our wall. We realized the error of our ways after trying to nail in several pieces of shiplap, only to have some fall right down because they were missing the studs.

day 2

It turned out we needed to install 4 pieces of 2″ x 4″ wood onto our wall FIRST, before even attempting to nail in any shiplap. It was a rookie mistake we won’t soon forget. So lesson learned and after shaking off our poor lapse in judgment, we attacked our second day with gusto! Having already cut all the shiplap the previous day, the plan for Day 2 was to get all the shiplap installed, including the trim.

We selected a pretty minimal wall trim to keep the focus on the vertical shiplap. We chose to add a trim because it created a cleaner, finished look. It’s also an easy way to hide any uneven cuts made, but that’s totally not our reason. Hey my name in Arabic means “honest” or “trustworthy” so you know you can take my word (wink) for it.

FYI my friends, a nail gun is highly recommended when installing shiplap. It speeds up the process and because the nails are so small, it allows for a smoother end result.

day 3

When it comes to painting, the Hubby has ONE rule and one rule only. He will paint a wall for me as many times as I’d like until I’m certain of the color, but he will only tape ONCE! He absolutely dislikes taping. It’s “painstaking and challenging to get the lines perfectly straight,” he says. Go figure that’s where he draws the line, but I respect his rule so I know not to remove any tape until I’m in love with the resulting paint color.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore for the win! I’m literally obsessed with this color you guys! I discovered it last year when we decided to paint a moody, mini accent wall in our kitchen, and now there’s no going back. It’s a warm, charcoal color that adds a lot of depth and contrast. Both the texture of the shiplap and the color selection really transformed this nook space. I couldn’t be any happier with the finished project, including the decor pieces I chose to complete the refresh. There’s definitely more confidence and excitement to get started on the master bedroom wall!

Is there a project you’ve been meaning to work on or a technique you’ve been meaning to try? Let’s stop doubting ourselves and our capabilities! Working in the health care industry, I’m constantly reminded that life is too short. Step out of your comfort zone and you just might surprise yourself! I’d love to hear about any new or ongoing projects you’re all working on, including setbacks and tips you’ve picked up along the way. You can always follow me on Instagram and be sure to tag me in your project posts so I can support you!

Aminah Chung