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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Welcome to my Challenge!

I’ve been redecorating rooms for over 30 years.  I’ve had the privilege of owning 3 homes – 2 ranch style homes and 1 Victorian home.  My tastes have evolved over time, but I like to experiment with traditional, contemporary, Asian, Plantation…okay I need to stop here.  It’s clear that the idea of designing in different styles has always appealed to me.  That said I have learned that a cohesive design for a home (at least on one floor!) is easier on the eyes and spirit.  My family and friends just smile when I point out a paint color, wall texture, or any other décor I like in a restaurant, on TV, or basically anywhere.  I feel so empowered when I plan a project and see it through to completion.    So, why would I challenge myself in such a public way?

The first reason is that I simply enjoy the process and, of course, the result.   Tied closely to that is that I’d like to inspire others to make the spaces where they live provoke the feelings of comfort and pride, and to provide the functionality that enhances their lives.  No, I’m not writing a hallmark card, but I’m trying to envision the feeling I get when I look at an area of my home after a project is successfully complete.  If I can smile, I’m home.

So let’s get to this challenge!  The 3 areas I picked are

1.  Our Foyer – a space that is approximately 9 feet by 7 feet

2.  Our main bathroom, which I use as the place to get ready for the day – approximately 7 ½ feet by 7 ½ feet

3.  Our Den – a space that is supposed to be our office/library, but ends up getting all the items that have no real place to go…it’s a mess and it needs to change!

I’m starting with the Foyer. Oh EASY, you say? This is a challenge and that means a budget. I have expensive taste, but I don’t enjoy paying full price on most things because I’m always seeing ways that I could do things for less. This first project has a couple of challenges:

The closet doors (or lack of): 
I took off the closet bi-fold doors years ago when we had the floor tile installed.  They ended up ½ inch too long.  I came up with the idea of using a curtain, but I’m over that.

I’ve shopped a couple times a week in the last month to search for new (gently used) bi-fold doors at the Habitat Restore (a great place to shop and contribute to a cause that helps keep so many items from the landfills), but at this point, I haven’t found the size I need.  

 And, did someone say BLAND?

The lack of functionality: 
Doesn’t everyone have a Wurlitzer organ in their foyer?  I’ve found that many times I just put up with items I have.  I get used to seeing them, so they seem okay.  

I’m taking a fresh look at this area and want it to be inviting and functional.  I want a place to take off my shoes, hang up a coat, scarf, or purse, and tell visitors that this is place where creativity is celebrated.


Clutter and more Clutter!  
I don’t even know what is in that laundry basket on the shelf above the coats.  My family members don’t want to use hangers; I do.  There is enough height in this closet to add another shelf and perhaps relieve some of the clutter in my Den (project #3).

My goals
  • Add color – I just purchased a gallon of Behr paint which will cover the wall behind the soon to be gone organ and the inside of the closet. 
  • Organize the closet – I’ll be building a simple storage structure, adding hooks for the anti-hanger family members and removing items that don’t belong there.  
  • Build a bench and then some: I want a bench to sit on that has character, storage, and class.  I bought 6 heavy wood shutters from Habitat Restore for a total of $12.  There’s going to be a lot of sanding and an antique painting technique applied to hopefully give them new life. 
  • Change lighting - I will update the lighting, but plan to keep the style in line with the rest of my home choices.
  • Do all this by Christmas and with a budget of no more than $300.00.

Another reason I’m doing this challenge so publicly is that I’d like to gain credibility as a home decorator.  Busy B’z’ Designs could be the start of a new career for me some day.  You will have opinions and may or may not like the direction I take or a decision or two I make.  I’d love to see your comments.  I plan to post on every other week starting 11/8/2013.  I don’t want to make you wait, but I will be doing these projects while blogging and I want you to see my progress.   A couple of weeks of work in between posts should give me a chance to do my day job (as a software developer), get the decorating fun done, and ensure my family that they will like the result as much as I will. 


  1. Great first Blog! I am excited to follow along with your progress!

    1. Thanks, Harmony, for testing the comment function. It isn't obvious, but you've proved a person can comment by selecting anonymous or by selecting the 'name/url' profile without entering a url.

  2. Looks good, B! It'll be fun to follow along!