Small Foyer, Big Results – Week Eight Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

I’m excited to wrap up the One Room Challenge. It’s such a great way to motivate yourself to work on projects, and the community is already inspiring and positive. To remind you, I took this opportunity to turn our small, plain entry into a welcoming space that added function and style. I’m happy to say, mission accomplished!

You can see details on my choices and process in the posts from previous weeks. Here are some more pictures of the finished space!

Thank you so much to the One Room Challenge team and Apartment Therapy for a great event! It’s a great motivator and the most positive community. I’m already considering a project for the fall challenge…

You can head over to the One Room Challenge site to see some more room transformations!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Favorite Retro Flush Mount Lighting – Week Seven Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

It’s hard to top last week’s Mini Mudroom reveal. The conversion of our standard entry closet in to an eye-catching and functional focal point was a real thrill (True, I don’t get out much!). This week’s project for our foyer makeover was changing out the bland ceiling fixture for something that makes a statement!

Our space is small, and the ceilings are only 8.5′ high, so I was looking for a modest flush mount fixture that would add some character to our entry. Here are the beauties that made the short list:

  1. Ballard Designs Luna Star Ceiling Mount I love this! It’s the inspiration for my final choice – keep reading!
  2. West Elm Sculptural Faceted Flushmount I came so close to picking this! In fact, it’s the light I had on my moodboard from week 1
  3. Pottery Barn Teen Bailey Recycled Glass Flushmount I also came very close to buying this fixture! I particularly like that it echoes the shape of the Serena and Lily Capiz Scalloped Chandelier in the adjacent room, but I digress…
  4. Possini Euro Orilla Ceiling Light This caught my eye for the shape and the elegant timeless look
  5. Gold Star Light Fixture This was my final choice!

I ended up choosing the simple Gold Star Light Fixture, and I paired it with an oversized bulb (affiliate links). It’s not quite as elegant as the inspiration from Ballard Designs, but it’s definitely added style to our little entry way!

I’m going to add some finishing touches and take some more pictures to share for next week’s grand finale! In the meantime, head on back to the One Room Challenge site to see some more room transformations!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Mini Mudroom Reveal – Week Six Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

It’s so satisfying when a space comes together! I knew the hall closet was not working for our family, and now we have a mini mudroom that is functional and also beautiful – I am so happy with the result!

After building the space,

  • I painted the shelves, trim, and ceiling in a semi-gloss paint that I had color-matched to the wallpaper.
  • Next, I hung the beautiful Ronald Redding Aspen wallpaper. If you’re hanging wallpaper that contrasts with your walls, prime the wall (or, if you are lazy like me, paint stripes of primer where the seams will be), so the wall color doesn’t show through at the seams.
  • Finally, I installed these brass coat hooks I found on Etsy. I wanted double hooks for more storage and was looking for something that felt traditional but not too antique, and these turned out great! I did curse the matching flat head screws a few times, because they’re much trickier than a Phillips head, but I managed to install the screws using bigger pilot holes and hand-screwing them in. Now that it’s done, I do like the more clean traditional look of the screws.

Enjoy these photos of all the details!

There’s something so luxurious about a glossy dark painted ceiling… even if it is in a closet 🙂


I would never have guessed that a closet could make me so happy!

Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge site to see some more room transformations!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Building a Mini Mudroom – Week Four Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

I am so excited to share this build! At our old house, we had a cloakroom-type space, with shoe racks and coat hooks. That space was not directly visible from the living areas, so I did not mind it being a bit more more casual and utilitarian. I was looking for the same functionality in our new home, but I was a bit stumped by how to accomplish this with a small hallway closet that is immediately visible from the entry and living room. I researched various closet conversion ideas, but many of them seemed more casual than what I was looking for. I knew I had finally found my solution when I stumbled on the “California Mudroom” created by Jessica D’Itri Marés of Renovate 108 featured on Real Simple (below right) Can you see ours (below left) coming together? Please say “yes!”

This project involved just the right level of DIY for me – I got to work on my skills but not get too stressed. In this post, I will share the construction steps to convert a standard hall closet into a mini mudroom. I’ve been chipping away on this project for a while (because job! and kids!), and now I am excited to bring you up to speed with where I am!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the door and door hardware
  • Use a pry bar to remove the door stop trim, so the opening looks more like a framed entry than a doorway
  • Remove the hanging rod
  • Patch holes – in addition to spackle and caulk, I used some craft sticks and wood glue to fill in the areas where the door hardware was attached. I’m sure that’s just what the professionals do!
  • Add shelves to the top. Mine already had one shelf, and I wanted to add a second. Both shelves are supported on wide trim, mounted into the studs.
  • The wide trim will be perfect for installing hooks
  • Patch and caulk
  • Prime all the surfaces

Now that the structure is in place, the fun begins… Actually, the building was very fun! But anyway, next up is painting, wallpaper, and accessories!

Be sure to visit the One Room Challenge page to see more home transformations!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

FREE Campaign Cabinet – Week Three Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

While I get the main project – our mini-mudroom – ready, I’ll show you more of the smaller projects going into our foyer makeover. I wanted closed storage for shoes, and I didn’t want it to look obvious or utilitarian. After spending too much (or just the right amount) of time browsing options for new or thrifted furniture, I found the perfect piece! If there’s anything you know about me, it’s likely my addiction to vintage furniture. Free is best, as is anything mid-century and/or with an Asian influence. Call it a gift, a fatal flaw, or just many hours browsing Craigslist… I spotted this free(!) cabinet and saw that the hardware had a beautiful mix of campaign and Asian details.

When I first saw it, I assumed it was too big for our space. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I when I asked for dimensions, it turns out this is a petite cabinet that fits perfectly inside of our closet!

The wood finish was too pretty to paint, but it had a lot of scratches and marks on it, especially on top. I briefly thought about trying to refinish it, but it is veneer, and I’ve never done that before. I decided to try sanding it lightly and then using furniture polish – I’m happy to report that it worked!

I made some other modifications, because we are using this as a shoe cabinet. I painted a strip of wood block and installed it behind the front legs, so that we would not get too much dust and other stuff stuck underneath. I also lined the inside with clear, contact paper, and drilled some holes in the back, so that we can store shoes inside.

Next week, I’ll show you the mini-mudroom build, and we’ll see some big changes in this small space. In the meantime, head over to the One Room Challenge page to see more fun projects!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

“Tile” Vinyl Floor Mats – Week Two – Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

Ready, set, go! While I work away on projects for the space, I’ll share some of the other features of our foyer. One element that always gets comments and questions is the “tile” floor mat. I bought this mat for our rental house, because I didn’t want us to track water onto the wood floor, and luckily, it fits in our new home’s hallway also!

The flooring looks like tile or a carpet, but it’s actually a vinyl floor mat. I bought mine from ArtMatHome on Etsy, and I love their patterns and variety of sizes. This type of product is getting more and more popular, so there are many options available, and I’ll share some more of my favorite finds here!

Here are some photos of the floor mat in our rental house:

And here are some others that I’ve got my eye on!

Clockwise from top left:

  1. Hexagon Mosaic Tile Mat
  2. Floral Tile Mat
  3. Geometric Tile Mat
  4. Mosaic Tile Pattern Vinyl Mat
  5. Tile Border Floor Mat

Check out more projects at the One Room Challenge site!

This post includes affiliate links.

Up next week, details on one of my favorite (I’m kidding – they’re all my favorite! – vintage furniture finds)!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

Small Foyer, Big Plans – Week One Spring 2023 One Room Challenge

  • Week One – Small Foyer Inspiration

I’m really excited to take on our foyer for this One Room Challenge. It’s the first space you see coming into the house, and it’s visible from our living room, so I wanted to give it some style! This is a small area – basically a hallway and a closet, so the project feels very doable, but as the title says, I have big plans!

The biggest part of this challenge will be converting our closet to a “mini mudroom.” I’m also sharing our flooring, which always gets lots of comments, a fabulous free furniture makeover, and a new ceiling light fixture. Here are some inspiration pictures for our “new” foyer. I’m so excited to share the process and results!

I knew I wanted to transform our hall closet into some kind of attractive open storage, and it took me a while to land on a design. The closet conversion that best matched my vision is this gem by designer Jessica D’Itri Marés of Renovate 108 featured on Real Simple.

“California Mudroom” Jessica D’Itri Marés

I also love this closet makeover by Jeweled Interiors.

Closet conversion by Jeweled Interiors
However, it turns out, we can all be assured it is better than the starting point!

Definitely go back to the One Room Challenge page to see all the other participants’ projects!

I’m looking forward to sharing this project! Here we go!

Julie AKA “Jewels”

New Entry – First Impressions Count!

When we bought our house last summer, the style did not suit us at all. I give a lot of credit to hubby for seeing past the pink and frills to appreciate that this could be our home.  Now we’re updating this place bit by bit, and I’m happy to say that it feels like home! We started inside with a renovation upstairs that gave us our new master bath, laundry area, and nursery. More about the upstairs, when I finally get the rest of it cleaned up. We decided to put off a downstairs renovation, due to cost and convenience, but I did spruce up our powder room with some wallpaper and a new chair rail and vanity.

Once our upstairs bedrooms were comfortable, the next priority was painting the exterior, where the paint on the trim was peeling, and equally importantly, the house was pink!


BEFORE: Pink and stuffy entry did not reflect our personality.

BEFORE: Pink and stuffy entry did not reflect our personality.  The house number sign was white plastic!

Hooray for

  • new paint
  • a new house number sign (the old one was white plastic)
  • our whimsical doggy statue
  • and some old pots and flowers

Now, our entry is casual and pretty, which is much more our style.  The dog our light-hearted take on more serious front door statuary.  I found him in a flower shop in Toronto more than a decade ago, and he reminded me of our dog, Cooper, so I gave him to Steve for his birthday one year.  Now that Cooper is no longer with us, it’s sweet to have him as our guardian angel.

I tried to hang up the house number sign, but the stucco was defeating my masonry bit and my adhesive, so I just propped it up, and I actually like it there!  There’s lots more gardening that could be done to improve our curb appeal and functionality, but for now these little touches make it feel like home when you walk up to the door.

A new house color and some flowers at the front door make this place feel like home.

A new house color and some flowers at the front door make this place feel like home.

A new house color and some flowers at the front door make this place feel like home.

20120730-230807.jpgA new house color and some flowers at the front door make this place feel like home.

I usually putter around inside the house, so I can thank this little helper for bringing me outside. He had a lot of fun digging, and I had to work hard to channel his energies into the right areas!

Welcome Home!