3 Things

I am going to attempt a post topic called “3 things.” I will even break the grammar rules and put “3” instead of writing out “three.” Efficient. Thrifty. And, I may only write in bullet points.

Here are the top 3 things on my mind:

1. My new Lo and Sons “OMG” bag for work travel

* Fits my new MacAir (yeah!)
* Packed it for a work trip that never came to fruition, but I DID get mad props from the lady behind me in the security line.
* I looked at a few but I really loved the unique shape of the OMG


2. I am getting overly annoyed with Bloggers that are compensated/given free shit.

It used to be so refreshing to see big ideas and innovation. Now, I just see bloggers rooms almost fully decorated by FREE stuff that is given away. It’s just not the same. The authenticity isn’t there anymore.

3. Stitch Fix.

* It’s addicting. Just one time I would love to buy all five things just to get that discount. It may happen. Someday.
* I just signed up for Fabletics too. Issues. Any advice? I’ve heard the tops aren’t that great.



Talk to me.

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Weird angles

I am staring at the fireplace (and surrounding junk) trying to figure out how to fix it. I wanted to add some thin trim above to add some character.

imageBut I am stuck on the fact that my ceiling is so angled and I have that weird dust shelf to the left.

What to do?!

(PS I do have a star shaped mirror to hang instead and break up all of the rectangles.

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Ch Ch Changes

You know you don’t write often when you forget your password…

I looked at the last post and it was about my One-Room Challenge I tried to initiate – and failed!  Oh well.  The room is actually almost done; I just couldn’t do it in 6 weeks.

A lot going around over here.

1. I made a company change after a 12-year stint at my last one.  Moved to an even larger Fortune-25 company.  Despite the fact it’s larger, the culture is a complete change for the better.  However, it’s hard to make such a jump when I look back at the fact that I had so many milestones at the last gig: got married, had two kids,  lost my father, and lost a co-worker.  Looking back, I can’t believe how emotionally invested I was while working there – between how much the work and culture affected me to the fact that some of my closest friends worked along side of me.  It’s been a weird transition, but I know it is for the better.


2. I lost my sweet sweet puppy last week.

romy and bob 2009

Again, 12.5 years.  The decision to give him peace is one I am still wrestling with.  Was it too soon?  That’s what I keep asking myself.  But, I try to think about how he lay awake at night to gnaw at his poor paws, how sad he looked when he went potty in the house (and probably didn’t know it at the time), and how his personality just started to slip away.  He was my constant shadow and loved his mama unconditionally.  I’m crying as I write this so I need to jump to #3.

3. My house.  It’s a disaster.  Between half-attempted projects, recovering from a lice incident last fall and now a little issue my husband brought back with him from his many hotel stays… I can’t take it.  I’ve had to cancel a couple of entertaining events and it makes me sad.  I looked around the other day at all the “stuff” that needs to be dusted, cleaned, dried, and steamed and nearly lost it.  I can’t win the battle between the side of myself that wants to “create” and build a lovely house and the side that says “SIMPLIFY.”  Right now, out of necessity, the SIMPLIFY side is winning.    My friend Rita came over the other day and said “you need to turn this creative energy over to helping others.”  She’s right.  I think it will release the pent-up energy while allowing me to pare down on this place and focus.

Here is a pic of our almost-finished-basement.  We are getting a new rug as that one makes my eyes bleed.


And my husband’s pride and joy:

IMG_0002So that’s it.  Entering the final weeks of 2014 ready to simplify and sanitize.  2015 will be focused on exercise and creative release — NOT the accumulation of stuff — and stress!

Happy Holidays to all of you.


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K WILSON DESIGN 6-Week Challenge

So, I’ve seen this concept on various blogs on the Internet and thought — why not do a 6-week one room challenge?  It’s not enough with a full time corporate job, busy summer activities with the kids, getting asked to do design plans, etc.  I like to LOAD IT ON.

The benefit though is that I am participating myself — which hopefully will lead to at least one room that passes the 90% finished mark.

I think I may be the only challenger… which helps keep expectations low.  I’ve decided to work on my home exercise room, which is part of the Project Down Under – for more info, check out these posts here, here, or here.

The other rooms in the basement really have too many high tickets items that require a build-up of funds or a big fat commission check — so I am making do with the least complex (read: cheapest) of them all. (update: we are getting CLOSE!)

I took some really poor photos of the “before”.  It’s a windowless room so I plan on trying to incorporate as many mirrors and reflective surfaces as possible.

workout room doorway

There is a little nook in the back corner that needs some light and inspiration. It’s a sad lonely space now.

workout nook

The back wall is bare for now but will eventually have cabinets built-in that back into the crawl space.  I really shouldn’t hang anything heavy on this wall since it’s just dry wall.

workout back wall

The other wall has 2 access panels for pipes and water shut-off.  I’d like to hang something over the top panel but still ensure it lines up the best way on the wall.

workout room panel wall

So, my list for this room:

  1. light(s) for back corner
  2. Bulletin board for inspiration and work-out reminders (i.e. glute activation exercises!)
  3. Art & decor tidbits
  4. Mirror(s) (to check FORM and bounce light…NOT to see the large amount of rolls or how horrible my curly hairs looks during a sweat sessh.
  5. Organization

I think I only have 3 weeks to go which means I am behind the ball.  Want to join NOW and see what you can do in 3 weeks?!

Wait until you see my husband’s TV contribution… that’s next.



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Project Down Under: Bathroom Process

I really stink at the bits and pieces posts, but oh well.  We are down to the 10-15% of the basement — that portion that seems to take a REALLY long time.   I need to break out the big girl camera and take some shots!

The one room I haven’t mentioned yet is the full bath.  We wanted to put a full bathroom in for guests that may camp out in the basement.   It turned out to be a REALLY large room so there is plenty of space to toss an air mattress down in the corner for those last minute guests.

Here is a really bad sneak peak at the floor and vanity.  It is really hard to get a decent photo with the lack of light in the back hallway.  I did turn on my (favorite) sconces, but they were too bright.  I will figure this out!


One of the hardest decisions was the sink/vanity.  I wanted a pedestal sink, but the husband wanted a vanity for storage (we have a giant space off to the left that will either be a closet or cabinets and shelves).  As you can see, he won.  There weren’t a lot of choices out there that I liked and that were under $1.5 million and I had to be reminded again (“it’s our basement”).

So, for the bathroom, we still need:

  • Working faucet
  • Shower walls
  • Finish caulking around the shower
  • Shower head and dial installed
  • Towel hardware
  • Decor!

Stay tuned.

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Project Down Under: Kitchenette Cabinets

We are making a lot of progress on the basement.  She is  slooow but steady.  I can’t wait for the FUN part of actually decorating this place.

Here is the kitchenette from a few weeks ago — I need to update it with my favorite new lighting over the sink.  I’ll tease you along and make you wait for more.


Due to Uncle Sam and his greedy taxes, we may have to do a Phase 2 for the appliances.  #highwayrobbery

Also, I am PROUD to say I finished the whole30 program today and I feel pretty damn good.  30 days without peanut butter is a sacrifice but I did it.  I am 10# down and haven’t had a stomachache in… guess.  Yep, 30 days.  I am actually going to do a semi-Whole 45 and introduce a little PB back into my life and see what happens.

PS, does anyone even READ this blog anymore?  Sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself.  Give a lady a shout-out if you read this post.  :)

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Project Down Under: The Beginning.

I am going completely out of order on the basement blog posts, but OH WELL.    That’s what happens when you remember you have a blog about décor/design/DIY midway through a décor/design/DIY project.

When we started planning the basement, my husband and I both agreed we wanted to employ an architect.  We wanted to make the space functional while eking out as much useable space as possible.  And since I walk around various houses thinking, “god, didn’t this builder use an architect?!”  (sometimes I just think there is the goofiest mis-use of space or a randomly placed window/door, etc.)   I thought I would practice what I preach.

Our architect took our vision and just sort of tweaked it and made a few recommendations. (by the way, if you are local, I highly recommend our architect!  You can find her here.)

Here is the original plan:


However, when we moved a bunch of giant piles of crap, our contractor noticed a few pipes and made a recommendation to flip the kitchenette and TV zone to save us money on plumbing.  I think it all worked out for the best.

On one side, we have the “entertainment zone” that will someday house my husband’s 10000000” flat screen TV.    There will be cabinets on either side with shelving on top

basement cabs

The plan is to remove the front panels on the cabinet doors and install screening such as this so that the electronics can “breath.”

The cabinet on the right hand side will actually be modified a bit to house our sump pump.  Speaking of that, we also installed a back-up system after a near disaster after the great thaw of 2014.  We will still add the screen to the front, but NOT remove the panel so that it will muffle the noise.

On the other side we have the kitchenette .


We opted out of the typical stand-behind bar set-up as we didn’t want anything so permanent and wanted some flexibility with the space.    This is where I feel very self-indulgent when I start describing our plan.  First, I need a double oven.  That “need” may only happen 3-4 times a year, but I still “need” it.  We could have modified our kitchen to include the second oven, but thought it would be easier to add it to the basement as we were starting from scratch.  Above the oven will go a microwave that we already own.   The original plan was to add a dishwasher drawer instead of a full sized dishwasher.  But, this would increase the cost of the cabinets since they would need to be custom.

Fortunately, we have a very nice stainless steel fridge in the garage that we can move downstairs…otherwise, I’m almost penniless with the construction and other appliances!

That’s it for now.  More to come!

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Project Down Under: Paint

The perils of picking paint!!

I always (strongly) suggest my clients get a few paint samples and do large (e.g., 3′ x 4′) swatches either on the wall or a piece of poster board.  You really need the size to judge the color.  The teensy paint chip won’t cut it.   Plus, you always need to try it IN THE space with all the variability of lighting that takes place.  It’s amazing how the actual space and lighting can impact the color.  Otherwise, you will be out $40/gallon and your time… that is, unless you have a professional paint it.  Then, take that amount and multiply it by a million.  #commoncore

Did you know Home Depot sells this nifty little post-it type thing (called the “Sure Swatch“) to paint on and THEN you stick up on the wall!  For only $.98 apiece you can more successfully choose your paint color.

My first issue with the basement paint color is I was limited by my husband’s need to save money and go with Behr paint.  I was already aware of two popular gray colors I could choose, Dolphin Fin and Silver Drop.   I dutifully used the post-it method and we chose Silver Drop.  However, as you can see in the photo below, it looked REALLY beige – not the direction I wanted to go in (the largest swatch on the left).   So, at 10:00 pm, 8 hours before the painters came, I threw up as many gray samples as I had on hand and went crazy.  DECISIONS!


We ended up going with Dolphin Fin after all.  On the swatch, it looked like it had a lot of green undertones, but it looks fine on the wall!  It might be the second or third one on the left… I can’t even remember.  Photo coming soon!

For the bathroom and the workout room, I had Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl matched in Behr paint.  It went on swimmingly.  Much darker than normal, but those rooms don’t have any natural light.  Photos coming soon!


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The Project Down Under

Once again, I am almost at that 6-month mark between posts.

I know I have explained that my creative mojo has dwindled… but somehow in the mix, I forgot I had a BIG new project in the works…. my basement!

We have waited over 5 years for this project to start and desperately need the space (sleepovers, entertaining, March madness addictions..). The absolutely BEST part is my WORKOUT ROOM! WOOHOO.
I really hope this will instantly allow me to shed 25+ pounds.

Here are a few photos to gaze upon (iPhone photos, sorry):

Looking into my WORKOUT ROOM!  The open space in the back is the crawl space.  We are going to have the access on the other side of the basement and build cabinets back into this space.  I can’t stand the giant wasted space of a crawl space…

If you want to see some ideas for the workout room, you can check out my pins here. 


This is the view as of yesterday.  When you walk down the stairs, there will be a kitchenette to the left (with plenty of cocktails) and the entertainment zone to the right. Having the drywall up gives you a true sense of how big/small the rooms are but the dust is making me cranky and stabby!


From a design perspective, I really am trying to make it a part of our overall house — to make it flow.  Keep it consistent.  But I am battling with a very persnickety client who wants a man cave.  I DON’T want this. Not judging… just not me.  I will however, carefully curate the sports paraphernalia and work it into the scheme!   If you want to see some of my basement ideas, check out my board here.

I still need to do a couple of design boards, but I have ONE done for the bathroom.  What do you think?

OB-wilson Basement Bath v2jpg

Hopefully I will have more time and energy to keep these posts going!

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My Christmas Home Tour…

…basically starts and stops here.


I did manage to empty a box or two.

Technically, I do have the tree up. And the nativity scene. And cookie crumbs. And the world’s laziest elf.   But that’s it.  And I canceled my yearly cookie exchange.  What’s wrong with me?!

This post validated me.

Merry Christmas!

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