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One Room Challenge Fall 2015 :: The Reveal

It’s here and all I can think of is how quickly the past six weeks have flown by! Today’s the big reveal of my Foyer for the One Room Challenge and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. It’s such a happy space and am thrilled with the result!

formal foyer // one room challenge // @simplifiedbee

As you may know, for the past several weeks I’ve been sharing the whole design process (including all the ups and downs!). In case you’ve miss any and need to catch up, here are the links:

Week One – Foyer Before // Week Two – Wallpaper & Paint // Week Three – Furnishings // Week Four – Lighting // Week Five – Art & Accessories

To refresh your memory and to appreciate the transformation, I’ve included a few before images in combination with the reveal images.


traditional front door // ORC before //


fall front door // one room challenge // @simplifiedbeefall front door // one room challenge // @simplifiedbee

I love the new black door painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pitch Black. It makes such stately entrance to our home. The handsome hanging lantern via Lowes was also a terrific addition. And isn’t the antler doormat by Mark & Graham just perfect?


Foyer Before // ORC // www.simplifiedbee.comFoyer Before // ORC //


chinoiserie chic foyer // design by @simplifiedbee

This is really a happy space. I’m in love with it all. The large-scale feather bloom wallpaper by Celerie Kemble for Schumacher sets the tone immediately. The gorgeous navy lacquer console by oomph is the perfect compliment. I’m also so pleased with the chinoserie chic touches in the fabulous x benches in Clarence Houses Tibet Print, gilded faux bamboo mirror, pair of elegant table lamps and vintage blue & white porcelain bowl housing the cacti & succulents.

entry console table // by @simplifiedbeeformal foyer // one room challenge // @simplifiedbeecacti & succulent arrangement // @simplifiedbeefoyer staircase // @simplifiedbee

As I mentioned in this post, the stair-runner got held up in customs. Unfortunately, it still hasn’t arrived. I’m so bummed not to be able to show you a finished project, but the reality is that sometimes we have no control over these things. It’s a great lesson in patience in this need to have it now society. When it is installed, I will be sure to share it with you! I still love this image because it showcases the lovely scalloped pendant from Bellacor and high-gloss painted ceiling in Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light so beautifully!

minted artwork // staircase landing // @simplifiedbee

I also love how the staircase landing turned out. The dyptich artwork through Minted compliments the original door chimes which we modernized by adding a clean-lined teak cover. For texture and to balance the space, I added a small bench covered in a cozy sheepskin rug.

vintage chandelier + window valance // staircase landing // @simplifiedbeegallery wall // one room challenge // @simplifiedbeemichelle morin artwork // design by @simplifiedbee

At the top of the stairs, I left the original vintage chandelier – it is so timeless that it didn’t need to be changed out. However, I updated the window valance and have it covered in a beautiful hand-blocked textile from Galbraith & Paul. It’s layered it with a matchstick woven roman shade in white. The adjacent gallery wall filled with Michelle Morin’s whimsical birds and bees is another spot that makes me smile.


farrow and ball paint // oomph console table // decoratorsbest fabric for x benches // bellacor pendant light // bassett mirror table lamps & wall mirror // minted dyptich artwork // lowes outdoor lantern // mark & graham doormat


celerie kemble wallpaper for schumacher // vintage blue & white bowl via chairish // artwork by michelle morin // natural diamond pattern rug // sheepskin rug for bench // corn-husk wreath // seagrass basket for the fiddle fig // x benches by livenupdesign

PHOTOGRAPHY :: candace & kurt williams of photo-tecture

Thank you so much for following my One Room Challenge journey! I’ve been so touched by all the lovely comments and encouragement.

Now to all the other final reveals of the other 19 ORC participants – I’m so excited to see all the gorgeous interiors from this talented group!

A huge thank you to Linda at Calling it Home for organizing everything, securing such fabulous sponsors and including me in The One Room Challenge Fall 2015! It was such an incredible experience and one I’d be honored to do again! 

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Read full story By on November 11, 2015 in chinoiserie, console tables, etsy, foyers, furniture, gallery wall, interior design, Interiors, lighting, mirrors, monograms, simplified bee portfolio, textiles, traditional, wallpaper, window treatments

One Room Challenge :: Week 5

Say what?! It’s week five of the One Room Challenge and I’m starting to sweat bullets! In case you are here for the first time, I’ve been designing my Foyer in our new house. Here’s a look at week one, twothree and four.

There is good news and there bad news this week. Let’s just get the bad news out of the way first (sigh).

painted staircase before runner // @simplifiedbee

Until late last week, I completely thought I had this challenge all under control. I’m a stickler for timelines and was realistic about what I could do with the Foyer within the amount of time allotted. But, sometimes even with all the careful planning and detailed timelines, things get out of your control. This is the reality of interior design. My carpet for the stair-runner (which is a showstopper!) is somewhere in customs and will not arrive in time for the photo-shoot (super sad face).  I’m still not giving up hope that it does arrive and is installed before the final reveal, so at least I can take an image myself for you to see. Fingers and toes crossed.

top of the staircase before // @simplifiedbeeetsy artwork // birds // @simplifiedbee

Now onto the good news! I’ve selected some fabulous artwork for the top of the staircase and landing. First, I’ll start with the top of the staircase on the second floor. I knew from the start that I wanted a gallery wall at the top of the landing. I’ve adored Michelle Morin’s illustrations for some time and finally had the opportunity to create a gallery of her work. I selected 5 birds and one bee (had to!) for the collection and had them framed locally in a faux bamboo. Here’s a look at the arrangement before installed. Love, love, love them!

staircase before // @simplifiedbee

The landing needed art desperately, yet was a very tricky spot because of the placement of the doorbell chimes. I could have done a couple things here; 1. Relocate the chimes to have more freedom for artwork or 2. Work with the chimes and place art one either side. I decided for option #2 because it was more cost effective and it didn’t change the original architecture of the home. Because the series of bird illustrations was already committed for the opposite wall, I wanted a pair of larger images to go on either side of the chimes. Here were some of the ones I narrowed down from another fab ORC sponsor, Minted (yes, they offer so much more than just beautiful holiday cards!).

art selections // one room challenge foyer // @simplifiedbee

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Selecting the two pieces for the space proved to be challenging. Minted has such an amazing collection, it was super difficult to narrow down. I knew I wanted color and an abstract. But finding two pieces of art that were complimentary, the same orientation (running vertical) and would work with the door chimes was indeed a challenge. In the end, I selected #5 a beautiful dyptich, High Cascades by Amelia Gluba. The abstract image works beautifully with the chimes, pulls blue from the wallpaper in the Foyer and gives a nod to the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountains surrounding our home.

dyptich artwork at Minted // @simplifiedbee

The entry needed a few accessories too. A fresh doormat is always a great way to spruce up the space and welcome guests in style. Here are a few fun doormats I considered:

doormat options // one room challenge // @simplifiedbee

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

I quickly narrowed down the options to doormats that could be personalized. I’m a sucker for monograms so I ended up selecting the Antlers Graphic Doormat from Mark and Graham (a go to destination for fabulous personalized home decor). It’s was personalized with our family initial. Here’s the image I shared earlier this week on Instagram. Isn’t it perfect for a mountain house?

monogrammed antler doormat // @simplifiedbee

I have a few other accessories to add to the Foyer before the photo-shoot this week. One is a floral arrangement for the console table. I’ve been going back-and-forth on what to do – traditional orchids? cut seasonal flowers? cacti & succulents? I’m still deciding.

cacti + succulents // @simplifiedbee

Again, I’m keeping hope that the stair-runner will be installed soon and would love for you to drop by next week to see the final reveal!

Check out what the other ORC participants are up to – holy cow, there’s so much talent here!

* Big thank you to Minted and Mark and Graham for their support and sponsorship of this challenge!

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Read full story By on November 4, 2015 in color, curated look, etsy, foyers, gallery wall, home accessories, interior design, Interiors, monograms, pattern, simplified bee portfolio

One Room Challenge :: Week 2

blue & white wallpaper // entry // JK Kling Associates

The vignette by JK Kling Associates above is fresh and inviting – just the way I want our Foyer to feel.  The existing 1970s textured wallpaper not only covered the walls in the Foyer, but extended down the hall, up the stairs and then down a very long hallway. It was way too much pattern and 70s flair for me, so it had to go.

wallpaper removal // one room challenge // www.simplifiedbee.comwallpaper removal // one room challenge //

There is always a big unknown when you start removing wallpaper in an older house. How easily will it come off? Will the walls be in good shape? In our case, there were three layers of wallpaper. The first (hard to see in the above image) was a true paper wallpaper and had a subtle toile pattern from the 1940s. The second (my favorite) had a beautiful teal and steely blue leaf pattern. Really stunning. The third of course was the textured 1970s damask pattern in an faded olive green.

wallpaper removal // one room challenge //

Once the layers of wallpaper was removed from the foyer and hallways, we were blessed with gorgeous plaster walls. Yes, the original plaster walls were in perfect condition and smooth as silk. After a coat of primer, they were ready for the next phase. Paint or wallpaper? From the start I knew I wanted to hang new wallpaper in the foyer, so that’s the first material I sourced. Here are a few that made my short list:
orange_blue_chinoiserie_wallpaper_thumb25255B125255Dfoyer design process // one room challenge //

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

In the end, I selected Celerie Kemble’s Feather Bloom for Schumacher. It’s an embellished grasscloth that features a hand printed over-scaled floral motif in shades of China blue. The choice is a bold one and I’m definitely taking a risk on this!

Celerie Kemble Feather Bloom wallpaper // one room challenge //

The blue color scheme was a great one as well because it coordinates with the palettes in the adjacent living room, library and dining room. It’s my opinion that color palettes in side-by-side rooms should coordinate to create flow and bridge a story from one room to the next.

paint color sampling // ORC //

For this reason, it was important to select paint for the hallway walls in a color that would compliment the cool wallpaper tones, yet still be neutral and contemporary. With the help of Farrow & Ball (a fabulous ORC sponsor), I narrowed down the wall color to Blackened No. 2011. It is the coolest of their whites and changes in intensity depending on the light. A perfect color to let the beautiful architecture of the is home take center stage.

Farrow & Ball Borrowed Light //

In the Foyer, I decided to add a little drama and glam by having the ceiling painted in a shade of blue. After going back and forth on Parma Gray No. 27 or Borrowed Light No. 235, I selected the lighter shade of Borrowed Light. The light blue picks up hints of gray and in a high gloss reflects light beautifully.

front door before // ORC // www.simplifiedbee.comfront door // farrow & ball pitch black //

The Front Door was all white like the rest of the outside of the house, so to add contrast and to create a more stately entrance, I had the front door, screen and transom window painted black – an accent already used on the shutters throughout the house. I selected Farrow & Ball’s Pitch Black No. 256 in a high gloss. Classic. Timeless. Love it!

Here’s a breakdown of the Farrow & Ball paint colors used for my One Room Challenge. Also, be sure to check out their amazing new wallpaper collection that launched this fall!


Please check back next Wednesday – I’ll be breaking down furniture selection!

Don’t forget to check out the progress of the other One Room Challenge participates… there’s lots of magic happening!

The One Room Challenge is Trademarked by Calling it Home. Huge thank you to Farrow & Ball for providing paint for the Foyer! 

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Read full story By on October 14, 2015 in color, foyers, interior design, Interiors, simplified bee portfolio, vintage, wallpaper

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 :: My Foyer

For the past few months I’ve been keeping a few secrets. The first is we’ve moved! You may have seen glimpses of our beloved ranch style home on the San Francisco Peninsula featured in Rue Magazine. We have so many fond memories of the house, neighborhood and community. It was a very difficult decision to move outside the San Francisco Bay Area and away for dear friends, but we were longing for a slower pace and to be closer to Lake Tahoe where I grew up. We were blessed to find a wonderful 1940s traditional style house in the Reno / Tahoe area that we fell in love with. The only catch is it needs a gut job ton of work. It’s the money pit an adventure! So when Linda of Calling it Home offered me a spot in her One Room Challenge (aka ORC) this fall, I jumped at the chance (that’s the 2nd big secret I’ve been keeping!). For those that don’t know, the ORC is a collection of 20 bloggers that take on the challenge of making over one room in six weeks.

One Room Challenge Fall 2015The first challenge for me in the process was determining which room would get the face-lift. The 1970s kitchen? The dis-functional laundry room? Our pink master bath? Every inch of this home and property is vintage and needs some TLC! I ended up deciding that the Foyer was a great place to start for several reasons. One, it welcomes our guests and is a great space to set the tone of the home. It is also a room that will not have any walls, windows or doors changed out or moved at a later date.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing my design, the process and many of the sources used throughout. Each Wednesday, there will be a new blog post as well as Instagrams, Tweets and Facebook posts. I hope you will follow along!

Here’s a look at the space before – starting from the front door and leading up to the upstairs landing.

traditional front door // ORC before // www.simplifiedbee.comFoyer Before // ORC // www.simplifiedbee.comFoyer Before // ORC // www.simplifiedbee.comFoyer Before // ORC // www.simplifiedbee.comFoyer Before // ORC // www.simplifiedbee.comFoyer and Landing Before // ORC //

I’m thrilled and honored to be among the following bloggers chosen for the One Room Challenge Fall 2015 edition!


ORC would like you to join in the fun too! Tomorrow, Thursday, October 8th, it’s the return of the One Room Challenge™ Linking Event. For six consecutive Thursday’s you show off your transformed room as well.

*all photos by Cristin Priest of Simplified Bee

**The One Room Challenge is Trademarked by Calling it Home

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Read full story By on October 7, 2015 in foyers, interior design, Interiors, simplified bee portfolio, traditional, wallpaper