The Hunt for a NEW Dining Room Light

We replaced our dining room light fixture pretty soon after moving in. The one that came with the house was dated, always lopsided, just plain ugly! I chose this 3 light pendant from Lowes and I still really like it! However, I feel like our dining room needs something that makes a bigger statement. Here is how it looks today:

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It definitely still looks nice, but then when you step back and look at the bigger picture, I feel like it gets kind of lost.

Before I get into my ideas, here is a listing photo from when we bought the house. We’ve come a long way!

I put together some images of our space with different lights to see how they look. I usually do stuff like this just for my own personal use (and to try and persuade my husband that we actually DO need new stuff!!) but I decided to make a post around this so you can see what my thought process is! I used both of the photos above to create these images, so you can see how it looks close up, as well as how it looks with the living room decor. They’re all from Wayfair except for one that I threw in for fun from Anthropologie.

 

ONE| Beaded Chandelier
This is the only boho style light that I chose and I kind of love how it softens up the mid-century table and dresser. I also love how it looks with the shag rug in our living room. This one is probably my top contender!

TWO| Four Light Sputnik
The rest of the fixtures are all sputnik style lights (except for the one from Anthropologie)! This one only has 4 lights, which I think is great for someone who likes the idea of sputnik lights but isn’t sure about diving right in with a big one.

THREE| Brushed Brass Sputnik
Here is a more traditional style sputnik light, with 6 lights. I like how the brass looks against the dark blue walls but I’m concerned it might be too much going on for the size of our room.

FOUR| Black Sputnik
The photo of this one has edison bulbs, but I would probably use round ones instead. The edison bulbs give it too much of an industrial vibe for me. I like how the black helps to kind of make it blend a little more, so it doesn’t feel as busy. I also have a lot of black accents in our living room that it ties into.

FIVE| Anthropologie Tilda Light
Andddd just for fun- this light from Anthro! Totally out of my price range but I love how the shape is more like a classic chandelier, but then the unexpected use of wood really makes it stand out! This would definitely be an awesome statement light to have!

So there are all my ideas so far! It’ll probably be a while before we actually replace it, but I’m always brainstorming! Let me know which one you like the best (just please don’t let it be the Anthro one)!!

**Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission off your purchase at no extra cost to you.

A Roundup Of My Fav One Room Challenge Spaces (Guest Participants)

Hello! I’ve gone through all of the guest participant One Room Challenge reveals and decided to post some of my favorites here! There were over 200, so what I’m posting is just a small, small sample size of the amazing talent out there!

1.) First up is this incredible kitchen transformation by Kristina Lynne. She was able to make her kitchen look like an entirely different space in just six weeks!! It’s insane! I love how she was able to create a feeling of warmth within her all white kitchen. And the styling on those open shelves is perfection!!

2.) Little boy’s nursery by Sypsie Designs. The wall treatment and paint color are just amazing, and I LOVE how the brass light fixture pops! The whole room has such a cozy feeling, which is exactly what you want in your little one’s room!

3. Shared toddler room by The Learner Observer. Another room with board and batten wall treatment, painted a moody color! I’m in love with how she chose a neutral wallpaper to put above the dark wall and that shelf between the two is so adorable! I also love all the fun little kid touches in the art, toys, and pillow.

4. Powder room by Girl and Grey. Courtney’s powder room reveal is one I was definitely excited to see! The flamingo wallpaper is SO fun, and the wall treatment below it looks amazing. What I love most about it though, is the sink… which you can’t see in this picture so I probably should have picked a different one— but go to her blog and check it out! It’s so different and perfect!

5. Family room by Susie Brown. Susie’s ORC challenge progress is another that I followed very closely from almost the beginning. Her reveal did not disappoint! Her family room now has such a warm, collected, and cozy vibe to it and I LOVE it! The color palette and mix of materials all work together to make this space super dreamy! Plus she’s got a super cool eye ball lamp! ;-)

6. Playroom by Harper Rae Design Co. This little girls playroom is so adorable. What little girl wouldn’t want this sweet little space to be theirs?! I love how there is plenty of color, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. That modern shelf & big baskets look like super stylish yet functional storage— which is something I’m always on the hunt for!

7. Bathroom by Studio Gaspo. I first became obsessed with this ORC design when I saw the floor tile she chose! Then I saw her stacked subway tile, and all her other plans and it quickly became one of my faves! The end result turned out beautifully! I love how she turned a mid-century dresser into a vanity!

8. Master Bedroom by Cate Holcombe. This room just screams cozy!! The velvet drapes, plaid headboard, vintage art, and brass sconces all compliment each other perfectly! I would have such a hard time ever leaving this room!

So those were just some of my favorites from this Fall’s One Room Challenge Guest Participants! This was such a fun experience for me and I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some awesome designers that I otherwise might not have met! Do yourself a favor and head over to the ORC blog and check out the other participants! (Only when you have a few hours to spare though because you will totally get sucked in!)

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”.

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And here is what it looks like today…

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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…

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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:

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

TO BUY:
-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
-Bench
-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!

Painting Interior Doors + My Top 9 Paint Colors

After seeing the millionth picture on Instagram of someone's amazing painted black interior doors, I decided to finally take the plunge and try it out in our house.  I chose the color "Cyberspace" by Sherwin Williams -- it's dark but not totally black, with some warm tones.  We painted the door in our kitchen that leads to the laundry room and powder room, and we LOVE it!!

// BEFORE PAINTING (boring!!)

// BEFORE PAINTING (boring!!)

// AFTER PAINTING (amazing!!)

// AFTER PAINTING (amazing!!)

I was shocked at what a huge difference it made!  It's such a simple, affordable change that is like a major face lift for your home!  Since painting this door, I've also painted the other door in our kitchen that leads to the basement AND our coat closet door in our living room (see below)!

// BEFORE PAINTING [coat closet is sort of upper right]

// BEFORE PAINTING [coat closet is sort of upper right]

// AFTER PAINTING (BAM!)

// AFTER PAINTING (BAM!)

And since I'm an ALL (and then some) or NOTHING type of person, I've come to the conclusion that no interior doors should be white (with exclusions of course: if your walls aren't white, if you have really nice doors, if you're going for an all white look, etc).  I've gathered up some amazing inspiration for painted interior doors below (including some that prove you don't have to choose a bold, dark color!):

via  Kate Marker Interiors : I mean how AMAZING is this?!  The color, the hardware, the rug-- everything!

via Kate Marker Interiors: I mean how AMAZING is this?!  The color, the hardware, the rug-- everything!

via  Domino Mag : This is the perfect greige! How boring would this wall be if the doors were white??

via Domino Mag: This is the perfect greige! How boring would this wall be if the doors were white??

via  Monika Hibbs : This is a beautiful, subtle gray color by Behr

via Monika Hibbs: This is a beautiful, subtle gray color by Behr

via  Apartment Therapy : For a  bolder look, aqua is a fun choice!

via Apartment Therapy: For a  bolder look, aqua is a fun choice!

via  The Inspired Room : And of course you can't go wrong with a nice charcoal!

via The Inspired Room: And of course you can't go wrong with a nice charcoal!

I definitely encourage everyone to try this at home!! Especially if there is an area that just feels boring and you're not sure what it needs.  The great thing about paint is you can always go back!  I listed out my top 9 paint colors below- if a darker color is intimidating to you, you could always try a light gray/ greige!  I'll do another post soon of all the beautiful hardware options that are available!

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Right Near The Beach!

Places I'd Like to Visit | The Surfrider Malibu

Image via  The Surfrider

Image via The Surfrider

I came across the Surfrider Hotel in Malibu when I was browsing Pinterest for California inspired interiors.  When I discovered that the beautiful bedroom I was looking at was from a HOTEL, I knew I had to add it to my list of places Luke and I need to visit!!

I immediately went to their website and looked through all of their photos; every single room I saw made me want to completely redecorate our house!!  The rooms are very neutral, but not boring at all – something that is challenging to pull off.  The different textures (jute, natural wood, linen, and shiplap to name a few) all come together beautifully with the clean lines of the furniture to create the perfect combination of laid back yet luxurious.  Plus there is a guests-only rooftop restaurant with a gorgeous view of the beach (right across the street).

The Surfrider has definitely moved to the top of my list of places to visit!  Now I’m going to go figure out how to make my house look exactly these rooms…

Surfrider+Rope Chair.jpg
Image via  Jillian Turner

Image via Jillian Turner

Image via  Goop

Image via Goop

Image via Goop

Image via Goop

Image via  Goop

Image via Goop

PLACES I'D LIKE TO VISIT | The Beach Lodge

The Beach Lodge in Hollywood Beach, CA has been on my list of AirBnBs to visit for a while now.  They have over 60k Instagram folllowers and have been featured in major blogs like West Elm, Domino, and Arch Digest.
I love the mid-century/ eclectic vibe they have going on, and even the exterior is Instagram worthy!  It's located just steps away from the beach -- I don't think it gets any better!  Check out their Instagram (@TheBeachLodge) or their AirBnB listing here.

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PLANNING MY NEXT DIY PROJECT | Upstairs Guest Bathroom

After we finished painting our kitchen counters, I told my husband that I needed a major break from DIY projects!  I wanted to just sit back, relax & enjoy my pretty new counters!  Well… that lasted all of two weeks before I started planning my next DIY.  This time I’m tackling our upstairs guest bathroom.  First I’ll show you the awful listing photo…

Yellow + beige... seriously?!

Yellow + beige... seriously?!

This was the one room in the house that the previous owners actually re-did... and thank goodness for that that!! I don't even want to imagine what they would have done everywhere else!  (They were terrible people so I don't feel bad saying that).
Anyway - so far we've painted the walls white and nothing else.  Here is how it looks today...

Before I get into my plans + the DIY part of it, I'll show you some of the designs that inspired me.  I'm going for a California/ Modern/ Boho type feel...

Now here is the design board I put together with some different options I'm considering...

We're not putting in new tile floor -- I'm going to paint over our exiting tiles!  There are several tutorials you can find online where people successfully did this and since I'm still really feeling myself after our counter top success, I've decided to go ahead with this!  A lot of people use chalk paint and then apply an epoxy seal, but we've decided against that in case we do want to renovate in the future.  Epoxy would make it much more difficult (ie: expensive) to remove the tile.  Instead, we're going to use an outdoor paint which should hold up pretty well.  I'm also going to make my own stencil to mimic the look of those beautiful Moroccan style cement tiles.
We're also going to have to paint the shower tiles white and I'm going to paint the vanity a shade of blue + add new hardware.  I'm hoping to have all this finished within the next month or so!!  Stay tuned for any progress!

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE | Spring 2018

The Spring 2018 One Room Challenge began last week!  If you haven’t heard of this, it’s an event that takes place twice a year (in the Spring and Fall) where 20 featured bloggers + numerous guest participants transform a space in just six weeks.  Once a week, they post about the progress of their project and then on the sixth week the big reveal is posted.


Seeing all of these projects on their website and all over Instagram is so fun, it’s definitely interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the entire process of planning and then bringing a design to life!  Follow @OneRoomChallenge on Instagram or visit their website—One Room Challenge—to make sure you don’t miss out!!  Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to take on this challenge!

Here are some of my favorite makeovers from featured + guest designers of the past...

This dining room will   always   be one of my favorites!! (via  Suburban Bees )

This dining room will always be one of my favorites!! (via Suburban Bees)

Chaney (a fellow Philly girl!!) created this bright & beautiful home office! (via  Mix & Match Design )

Chaney (a fellow Philly girl!!) created this bright & beautiful home office! (via Mix & Match Design)

This powder room was created totally from scratch!! (via  Laura Design Co )

This powder room was created totally from scratch!! (via Laura Design Co)

This laundry room is what dreams are made of!! (via  BrePurporsed )

This laundry room is what dreams are made of!! (via BrePurporsed)

Definitely go check out all of these awesome accounts, and go to One Room Challenge to see more projects of the past + keep up on what's going on this season!

OUTDOOR LIVING | Plans for our Deck

We've had a lot of issues with our house since moving in... but the one thing that always reminds us that it has all been worth it is our deck.  We love sitting out in the sun, listening to music, and enjoying a nice adult beverage or two!  When we moved in last May, I was 8 months pregnant.  Then our son was born in the middle of July so we really didn't have much time or energy to hangout on our deck last year.  We are SO ready for this summer though!  I've had these photos saved as inspiration for a while now...

via  ZevyJoy

I want our deck to feel cozy and inviting, and to be almost like an extension of our indoor living area.  I love the look of having a lot of plants and layering different textures through throw pillows, blankets, and rugs.  Here is how our deck looks now (don't judge!!):

There are sliding doors at the far end that open to our dining room.  The side door around the corner opens into our laundry room.

There are sliding doors at the far end that open to our dining room.  The side door around the corner opens into our laundry room.

I put together these design boards and so far we've already bought the two chairs + love seat from Target, as well as the ottoman. We bought the gray dining chairs last year, and we also already have an umbrella that my husband bought... but he got the wrong color PLUS an entire village of spiders have made it their home soooo I'm hoping he'll eventually cave and let me get this tasseled beauty!! (Luke if you're reading this... Mother's Day is coming up!!)

I want to have a lot of greenery... I think it helps fill in the space and makes outdoor spaces feel more cozy. I'm also hoping we can figure out how to add posts to the deck railing so we can hook outdoor lights to them from the side of our house -- that is my dream!!

We're so close to completing my vision, now we just need Spring to finally get here and we can start enjoying it!!

OPALHOUSE - BREAKDOWN OF MY FAVORITE ITEMS

Target's new line, Opalhouse, officially goes on sale this Sunday!  The good news is that there are SO many awesome products in this line!!  The bad news is that I'm going to have to avoid Target until I learn some self control... I could barely narrow down my favorite things for this post!

I separated them into four of my favorite categories -- but they also sell outdoor items, bedding, and bath!  So definitely check out everything for yourself here!!  The links to all the products are located under each collage.

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links.

There you have it -- some of my favorite items from Opalhouse!  The prices are all very affordable, with the most expensive item on my list being $200.  The average price of everything I put here is around $50-- with most things being $15 - $30.  I'm excited to host some outdoor summer dinners using their fun plastic dinnerware!

Don't forget -- THIS Sunday 4/8 is when everything will be available to purchase!

MY LIVING ROOM - FUTURE PLANS + INSPO

I posted earlier on my Instagram a few photos of how our living room has evolved since moving in.  I have an overall plan in my head of how I want the finished room to look and we've been getting there little by little.  Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors is definitely my main inspiration-- I'm completely obsessed with how all of her designs perfectly combine mid-century modern, California laid back,  and bohemian styles.  The way she mixes different textures and materials is flawless.  AND-- she started out by writing a blog documenting her experience as a first time homeowner (sound familiar??!)!  Here are some living rooms designed by her that have inspired me.  (You can check out all these + more on her website).

amber interiors + living room 2.jpg

Now here are some shots of our living room.  The first BEFORE photo is the listing photo.  Maybe one of these days I'll do a post on staging your home for listing photos... Anyway... the three photos after that show how it looked after we moved in and to how it looks today (last photo).  When we moved in, we moved all of the furniture and decor from our previous apartment.  We've been slowly swapping pieces out and will hopefully soon get to the look that we want!

listing photo.jpg

I've put together a design board of how I want our living room to end up (links to the products will be posted under it).  Of course there's a good chance that I change my mind a million more times before we finish it!!  Let me know what you think, and follow along on my Instagram to keep up with the latest changes!

OPALHOUSE - TARGET'S NEW HOME COLLECTION

Mark the date - April 8th.  This is when Target's new home collection, Opalhouse, will be available online and in stores!!  This time, Target's design team traveled around the world to find inspiration in order to create unique and authentic feeling pieces.  The line of around 1,300 pieces has an eclectic/ global feel to it.  The products span across bedding, bath, furniture, decorative accessories, and tabletop; with most pieces costing under $30.
Looking at the photos, it seems like Opalhouse will be full of great texture, some rich colors, as well as beautiful neutrals.  I can't wait to get my hands on some of those throw pillows!!  And I definitely spotted that amazing wicker elephant planter in the bedroom photo!! HEART EYES EMOJI! <3  SO here's to hoping everything doesn't sell out right away and that we're all able to get the pieces we love!

I see you, elephant!!

I see you, elephant!!

The line even includes wallpaper!

The line even includes wallpaper!

That bath mat though!!&nbsp;

That bath mat though!!