One Room Challenge Week 2: Lots of Paint & A New Light Fixture

Hello! Week 1 of my first One Room Challenge has officially ended!  (Click here to go back and check out my Week 1 post)

I finished painting the closet area of our room Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams and painted the baseboards Pure White (also from SW).  In addition to painting the baseboards, I’m also going around and caulking between the bottom of them and the floor.  It looks like there may have been wall to wall carpeting in our room at some point because there is a decent sized space there.  This step is going to add a lot of time to my project, but we have these tiny spiders that like to hangout up by our ceiling and I’ve read that they can get in through cracks in your baseboards.  Spiders are the bane of my existence, so I’m willing to spend however much time I need to in order to keep them out of our house!!


I’ve also made a lot of headway in the shopping department.  I went to IKEA and bought a new pendant for our closet area—and it was on sale for $5.99!  I thought it would be an easy switch for me (even though I’ve never done it myself before… I’m starting to see where my son might get some of his false confidence from).  So I switched the breaker to off, and then unscrewed the old light fixture.  Once I took it off, the inside of ours looked nothing like the pictures I found on the internet!  Ours has a lot of other wiring in it aside from just the wires to hook the light up.  So I had to call in some backup from my dad! My dad came over and took a look at it- turns out that even though I switched the breaker to this light off, there were still live wires in there!! Luckily, I didn’t touch any when I was trying to replace it! He was able to figure it all out and get the light hung. He also gave me his volt sensor in case I get the urge to replace any more lights! LESSON LEARNED: Always flip the main breaker when doing electrical work!!

Also in this part of the room, I bought a wood spice rack from IKEA to hang up- originally thinking I would hang it upside down and use the bar to hang necklaces on.  I did this and ended up not liking how it looked.  I want to keep a simplified look, and the necklaces hanging down were too much of a distraction.  Plus, I really don’t wear big necklaces very often anymore (Nathan pulls at them!) and I have more than enough room to hang them in our closet.  All I really need the shelf there for is a place to put my wedding rings at night.  So I flipped the shelf over and I love it!

Some other things I bought from IKEA: a small striped rug, black wall hooks ($2.99 for a 2 pack—I might go and grab several more packs just to have!), wood wall hooks, wood wall frame, wood bench (only $39!), 2 pillow covers, and a large thin white bedspread.  In total, I spent around $150- I signed up for the IKEA family card and got a coupon for $20 off a purchase of $150 or more. I had kind of always assumed that since IKEA prices are already so low, that they didn’t have coupons or sales… but I saved a decent amount of money just by signing up for the family member card!

I also stopped at Target & TJ Maxx.  I picked up a simple table lamp for our dresser at Target for about $20.  At TJ Maxx I found a gorgeous throw blanket for $16 and a rectangle throw pillow (I think its 12”x24”) for $12.  The throw pillow isn’t what I originally had in mind- it’s a gorgeous dark green velvet- but I knew the price couldn’t be beat and it still fits in perfectly with my design.

I’ve been to a couple of different consignment and antique stores as well.  I still haven’t found a pair of vintage nightstands, but I haven’t lost hope!  I did find an oval wicker mirror for $12 though!  Right when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for the closet area.  I have a feeling there will be plenty of minor changes to my original design as I keep shopping—it’s obviously impossible to plan for the treasures you might find when vintage shopping.

Paint rest of the bedroom walls Pure White
Caulk baseboards
Paint baseboards and window trim
Move dresser + switch out knobs
Find nightstands
DIY black and white abstract art
Find area rug
Find window coverings (I think I’ll have to settle for drapes since they’re more affordable)

In this post I also wanted to include more of what I’m using as inspiration and a little deeper insight to how I go about designing a room. I mentioned that I am going for a neutral, calm feeling- and that I’m using some rooms by Amber Lewis as my inspiration. Here are some bedrooms designed by her that I love:

Once I have my inspiration photos, I analyze them and pick out what they have in common- this helps me understand what it is I’m really looking for. I could definitely try to just recreate one of her looks on a budget, but I think studying the looks and figuring out why different things work well together helps me more in the long run.
Aside from a relatively neutral color palette and furniture with clean lines, I picked out 5 things that I always love about her designs and are things I can keep in mind when putting our room together.


1. The Color Black: All of her designs have black in them in some way.
2. Mix of Textures: Whether it’s a shag rug, woven bench, or pom throw blanket- Amber Lewis is amazing at mixing different textures! This is the best way to keep a neutral room from feeling boring.
3. Wood: All of these bedrooms have some type of wood furniture or accessory. It warms up the design, and keeps the rooms from feeling too modern.
4. Greenery: The angles I have of these rooms don’t show the greenery in each one- but it’s there! Hanging plants or big trees are definitely my go to for when I’m stumped on what to put somewhere! Also— try to picture the bottom two photos without the greenery… they would be so boring and bland! The pops of green really bring a lot.
5. White Walls: I obviously love white walls (our whole house is white except the dining room). Fresh white paint is so pretty, and provides a great backdrop to make your design stand out!

There is obviously a lot more that goes into designing a room, but doing this exercise helps me focus my thoughts and ideas.

That’s all for this week!! Be sure to check back next Thursday for another progress update! And follow along on my Instagram :)

Check out the other guest participants here & the featured designers here!


Living Room Updates: Neutral, Calm, and Cozy

Our living room has a changed A LOT in the almost year and half that we’ve lived here! When we first moved in, we just had to find a way to make the furniture from our old apartment work in the new space. Then as we lived there a little longer, I made little changes here and there and it sort of always felt a bit off. I think my recent changes are finally getting it to a point that feels like more like me. Finding the right design for a space can definitely take time (and mistakes)! It’s so good though when you finally find what works! (FYI- I linked up most of the sources to everything at the very bottom of this post!)


Obviously the main upgrade we did (and that I already posted about) was getting our new sofa from West Elm. It’s now been a few months since we bought it and we LOVE it! It is so comfortable!

Once we switched out our dark sofa with the lighter one, my plans started falling to place. I decided I really wanted a more neutral, calming space. Most of our days are spent with toys scattered everywhere and Nathan running around being a little crazy man! So once he goes to bed, I want a serene feeling space to relax in. To achieve this, I switched out our blue pillow covers for a few neutral colored ones from West Elm. I also picked up a muted, sage green lumbar pillow from Target. I knew we needed a bigger rug for this space, but had such a hard time deciding on which one! I ended up buying this Moroccan inspired shag rug from RugsUSA and it’s perfect. It’s an off white with a very minimal black design on it. It’s so comfortable to walk on and the shag isn’t so long that it gets stuck in the vacuum cleaner!


I really wanted (and still do) this big jute pouf from CB2, but everytime I went to order it- it was sold out! We needed something to put our feet up on, so I found this papasan stool from Pier1 and then ended up just making a cushion myself.


I’ve always had trouble deciding on what to put in that corner behind the couch. I found this mirror at Target for a decent price and decided to paint the frame white. I think that the mirror and the faux plant fill this spot perfectly!

Another pretty big change is our bamboo shades from Home Depot! They were incredibly easy to install and look SO much better than long drapes. The only thing I would say is that in the future, I will definitely look more into cordless shades. It’s not that big of an issue but it is sort of a hassle having to finagle with the cords to make sure they lay straight across.


This shelf above the leather chair has been styled and restyled a couple of times. I found the two pieces of pottery and that tan and brown framed art at Goodwill! I love them all together.


The last change I made was trimming up that faux tree in the corner and putting it in a new planter. Just because it isn’t real, doesn’t mean you can’t cut the branches! Also— putting it in a new planter made a huge difference. The other one was a tan basket, and I felt like the room already had enough of that texture/color. I wanted something more sleek and found this plastic container at Target on clearance for about $5! I wasn’t originally thinking plastic, but I definitely think it works!

There’s a good chance that I’ll be doing another big update post in a few months because I have decorating ADD— but I feel pretty good about how it looks and feels now!!

Sofa | Velvet Throw Pillow | Silk Throw Pillow | Lumbar Pillow | Rug | Papasan Stool
Wall Sconce | Leaning Mirror | Poppies Wall Art | Bamboo Shades






One Room Challenge Week 1: Master Bedroom Plans

Hello!  I am SO excited to announce that I’ve decided to participate as a guest in my first ever One Room Challenge!!  If you’ve never heard of the ORC, it is a bi-annual event that showcases 20 designers (in addition to tons of guest participants)!  Everyone chooses one room to makeover and share weekly updates on over the course of six weeks.

Today marks Week 1 of the challenge.  Every Thursday I will post an update of my progress and on November 8th, the big reveal will be posted!  Be sure to keep following along on here and on my Instagram account (@meredithlynndesigns) for glimpses into my progress and planning!

If you’ve clicked over here from the One Room Challenge site, hey there! My name is Meredith and I’m so pumped to be participating as a guest in this season’s challenge. My husband and I bought our first home in May 2017 and I’ve been slowly updating it room by room to make it feel more like home. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy!

Now onto my plans… I’m choosing to makeover our master bedroom. For whatever reason, I have never made our room a priority. But I am tired of it being neglected and I’d love to transform it into a space that I actually like being in. Since moving in, all we’ve done is paint the walls. And even that was never totally finished! We were on a tight deadline when moving in, so all we did was spray a light layer of white paint over the ugly beigey/yellow/brown color that it was.

My number one favorite designer is Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors. I love the way she mixes neutral colors and natural textures to achieve a laid back, California modern vibe. I’m really hoping to be able to mimic that feeling in our room.

I’ll begin with showing you the listing photo so you can see the “true before”.


And here is what it looks like today…


No rug, mismatched nightstands, and yes- there are two knobs missing from our dresser. So. Embarrassing. I REALLY didn’t want to show the before, but I’m hoping that now since this is out there on the internet- it will keep me motivated to work hard!

There is also a cut out area, where our closet is on one side and then a small master bath is on the other side…

A while ago, I knocked out that vanity thing and in a momentary lapse of judgement I painted the one wall green. I had plans of incorporating green throughout the rest of the bedroom, but these plans obviously never came to fruition. Since then, I’ve painted over the green with Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams and have started painting the other two walls the same shade. Here is how this space looks today…


Oh- and also due to some unexpected expenses over the summer (new water heater & HVAC), I’m also under the constraint of a tight budget! In order to keep costs down, I’m going to be scouring thrift stores and Facebook marketplace for a few key items (nightstands + random accessories) and then sticking to IKEA and other big box stores for everything else.  It’s definitely going to be a tough to create a unique and pulled together look on a budget and on time, but I totally do my best work under pressure!

Here are my overall plans - I wanted to put it together like this so you can see how it all works together. I’m really hoping to be able to find some vintage mid-century modern nightstands, but in the likely event that I don’t, I have a backup plan.

Here are all the elements I’m hoping to incorporate into my design:

And then here is it all laid out together so you can get my vision a little better:


-Paint entire room (almost finished with closet area)
-Caulk between baseboards + floor
-Paint baseboards and trim around windows
-Replace all outlets

-Matching nightstands (Hopefully vintage MCM)
-White comforter
-Throw pillows
-Throw blanket
-Affordable window treatments (hopefully bamboo shades)
-Affordable 8x10 area rug
-New knobs for dresser
-Table lamp for dresser
-New ceiling fan (if budget allows)
-New ceiling light for closet area
-Wall hooks
-Wall shelves
-Small rug for closet area
-Wall art

Not so bad, right?! I think the hardest part will be keeping the cost down- but I’m pretty good at coming up with creative solutions! Keep checking back to see my progress and be sure to head over to the official One Room Challenge site to check out what the other guest participants + featured designers are up to!