One Room Challenge Week Five – The Living Room

I can’t believe it’s week five of the One Room Challenge with Calling It Home! I’m making good progress, but I’m going to have to bust a serious move in the next week. Considering I’m posting about week five a day late, there’s a good chance I won’t be at 100% by next Thursday, but it’s looking good anyway. This week I tackled the biggest DIY project – taking basic Ikea shelving and creating the illusion of a built-in bookcase.

Take a basic Billy bookcase from Ikea and turn it into a DIY built-in bookcase.

How to fake the look of built-in bookcases

The standard Billy is very basic in terms of design, and I want a little more visual appeal. I assembled three of the short Billy bookcases from Ikea. Then I bumped the center bookcase forward 3 inches to create the effect of built-in bookcases. Using 3/4″ MDF, I added topped all three bookcases to disguise the gap behind the bumped-out bookcase. The MDF was 11 1/2″ deep on the two end bookcases. The center piece was 14 1/4″ since the trim adds about 1/2″ to the overall depth.

Transform basic Ikea bookcases into built-ins.

Finally, I added trim to the front, following this general plan from I Heart Organizing. I used a miter box to cut trim pieces from some leftover chair rail that we had. Then I nailed everything on with a hammer and sunk the nails with a nail-set.

Transform basic Ikea bookcases into built-ins.

I caulked all the nooks and crannies, and painted the MDF and trim with a bright white to match the bookcases. This project would be easier with a nail gun and power saw, but I’m proud that I was able to do it without power tools. My arms are tired but I’m so happy every time I look at our new “built in” bookcase.

Transform basic Ikea bookcases into built-ins.

Here’s a list of projects that needed to be tackled to complete this room. I’ve crossed off everything that’s done so far.

Hang new curtains

New sofa & chair

Built-in bookcase project

Game/project table with benches

Console table behind sofa

Style bookcases

Hang art

Dresser or console on empty wall

Paint & stain railings

Throw pillows for sofa & chair


Good luck to all the other challenge participants in this final week!

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One Room Challenge Week 6 | Updated Den Reveal

One Room Challenge | Den Reveal | Living Room Inspiration

Here we are at the final week of the One Room Challenge, and I’m sad to say that I can’t share the full reveal of our den quite yet. Due to delays with the contractor, our fireplace redesign isn’t done. BUT… I’m still showing the part of the den that is finished! As a bonus I’m sharing another part of the room that I didn’t include in my original plans for the ORC!

When we bought our house, the den included a bar area. Though my husband lobbied hard to keep it, the bar was very outdated. It’s not a space that we need at this phase of life. I mean, the kitchen is a whopping ten steps away.

Once our kids are off to college, we can revisit the idea of a wet bar. For now it’s much more useful as a family command center and work station for the kids.

I didn’t show this area in my plans for the ORC because the construction was already finished and the decor and organization really just needed some fine tuning. But since I’m left without my big exciting fireplace to reveal, I’ll give you the finished work station as a consolation prize.

First, check out the other side of the den first. You can peek at week one where I showed the before pix of this room. Week two I shared a basic layout of the room and my plans to update the room. Week three and four were very slow in the progress department but I did share the cute throw pillow I ordered from Society6. In week five, I gave a sneak peek of our new drapes and talked about how I saved both money and natural light by making some adjustments.

Now to the fun part! Time for some before and after photos!

The Den Before

Here’s the view from our initial walkthrough of the house…

den before pic

And after we replaced the floors, repainted, and took out the old fan and light fixtures…

den before pic

And here it is now (at least part of it)

One Room Challenge | Den Reveal

den reveal B

That feels a little anticlimactic so here’s the lovely bar during our first tour of the house…

bar area before

The door leads to the garage and just to its right is the powder room. You can see the first phase of that transformation here. The bar was so outdated. As part of the area where we spend the most time as a family, it made sense to turn this nook into a child-friendly, functional space.

our new workstation

One Room Challenge | How we turned an outdated bar area into a functional work station.

work station reveal 1

I can’t wait to have the fireplace finished so I can share a full reveal. Until then thanks for stopping by to check it out! Be sure to stop by Calling It Home to see all the other fantastic rooms that were part of the challenge.

UPDATE: Check out our amazing fireplace transformation here.

{Linking to Calling It Home, Just a Girl & Her Blog}

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Food Storage Revamp

Today I had the chance to go grocery shopping by myself. You know you’re a mom of small children when going to the grocery store alone feels like a vacation! When I got home and put everything away, I realized it was time for some major fridge reorganization. Food storage can turn into chaos quickly. First I grabbed a few pictures for inspiration off Pinterest.

I searched for side by side examples because that’s the style we have. I included the last example even though it’s french door style because it has some good tips about actual food storage. In the name of keeping it real, here are the before pix of my fridge and freezer. I love them being full, but hate that all the organizing I’ve done in the past has kind of fallen to the wayside.

Time for some fridge organization. Check out these before and after photos.

Time for some fridge organization. Check out these before and after photos.

Freezer reorganization.

Umm…. whoa. The freezer alone looks like it could all come tumbling out at any minute.

First, I tossed out anything expired or questionable. Then I grouped similar food items together. I used plastic bins to corral packaged items. I removed the fruits and veggies from their plastic bags so we can see what we have.

Time for some fridge organization. Check out these before and after photos.

Time for some fridge organization. Check out these before and after photos.

Time for some fridge organization. Check out these before and after photos.

Time for some fridge organization. Check out these before and after photos.

Each week I check for any food that needs to be thrown out on the night before the trash gets picked up. I also remove unnecessary packaging just to carve out space. It’s also easier to see what you have if it’s not in a box.

What are you tricks and tips for keeping your fridge organized?

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