ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

 
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

I can’t believe that I’m sitting down at my dining room table to write this blog post. It’s been a long time coming. We bought this home almost exactly a year ago. When we moved in, the space had ketchup and mustard colored walls (why?!).

It was a great room but it lacked character. That was something we really wanted to address when creating our dream dining room, so Alex worked to build this amazing shelving. It looks like it’s always been here and holds ALL of our collected dishes. We made the look even more authentic by adding little black latches from Emtek.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

To add even more character, we partnered with Metrie to outfit the space with amazing moldings. We added a high wainscoting, chair rail, crown and picture rail molding to the room. Painting the trim white provided the perfect balance to the wonderful, colorful wallpaper.

As a lover of wallpaper, I knew I wanted this room to feature something charming and bold. I looked at dozen of options, but ultimately fell in love with this quirky one from Cole & Sons. Once the major “fixings” were in place, we could move in our new furniture and lighting.

We invested a lot of money and a (heck of a lot of) time into creating this space and are so thrilled with how it turned out. We couldn’t have created such an optimistic and inviting space without the help of the sponsors who partnered with us.

Hudson Valley came through with the most incredible lighting. I actually used their sconces in my last ORC for my master bedroom. Those sconces were one of the first picks I made for that space, so I was thrilled to work with them again. You’ll see that the sconces linked here have actually changed. I went to Highpoint earlier this month and popped by their showroom, as I do every season. While there, I spotted these cuties and made a mighty fast sconce switch. Luckily, Hudson Valley was happy to oblige with my fickle design brain. I’m also glad that they didn’t second guess me when my intro email to them requested two chandeliers for the space. What’s a girl to do?! Lighting is the jewelry of any room; it’s not meant to be understated.

Sitting pretty underneath these feminine chandeliers is a more masculine table from Article and a very soft blue rug from Hayneedle. The head chairs, provided by Selamat, add an extra element into the space. The caning of these chairs really elevates the set up.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

On the wall opposite the built in, you’ll find two different types of bar stations. The white, open bar cart (from Selamat) was a piece I had been eyeing for months. It’s a pretty big size for a bar cart - which I love. It really makes its presence known. On the other side of the window, on the same wall, lives the black, closed bar cabinet (from Article). I feel like this piece is more “Alex.” The mix of brass and black adds a little bit more moodiness into the room and provides lots of storage.

I styled both bar pieces with items I already had on hand, with a few exceptions. The night before the shoot, I made a last minute run out to stock the bars with pretty alcohol bottles and in the pursuit of the perfect mini candle to sit with the vintage match striker I acquired just one week earlier at a local flea market. I am a big believer that the styling makes the space. I’m constantly shopping and collecting, so I have a lot of great pieces on hand. The cast bust for example - like who else has one of those on hand?! Just me?! Ok…

cage_sproul_dining_06.jpg
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

Sprinkling the space with plants and flowers always adds life to any room. On the center of the dining table, I placed this stunning bowl, created by Jill Rosenwald, and filled it with hydrangeas. Originally, I planned to hang a bit more art in the space than actually wound up on the walls. In the end, I didn’t want to cover up the gorgeous wallpaper print. Ultimately, however, this “cool girl” print from Minted went up as planned. I love discovering new artists on Minted. Kaitie Bryant photographed this piece, aptly titled “Movement” (not “cool girl”, but maybe it was a name she considered).

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

I always find the reveals so fascinating. Since each room is done so quickly, things often come together at the last minute - and in ways you may have never expected. As I shared my dining room’s journey each week, did you see it coming together this way? I hope I did a good job sharing some insight into the design process.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 6: Revealing My Dining Room

I couldn’t end this season’s challenge without sending some major THANK YOUS out into the world!!

Linda, thank you for creating a challenge that encourages creativity and always leaves me with a fantastic finished space to come home to.

Sponsors, thank you for partnering with me to bring this space to life. You all were so easy to work with and I hope you love the end result as much as I do.

Alex, you are the world’s most amazing husband and the best person I know. Thank you for always being my biggest cheerleader and for always having a “make it work” attitude. These rooms come together because of your hard work and skill. You’re the real deal.

Readers, thanks for tuning in each week to see what I create. It still boggles my mind that so many people care about what I’m designing and relate to my sense of style.

Now I’m off to poke around everyone else’s posts. Reveal Day is like Christmas morning in the design world!!

At Home with Ashley | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Nicole Cole

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | Style MPL

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

 

ORC Week 5: Styling The Dining Room

 

Well, folks, we made it. Alex and I spent the entire weekend preparing for the dining room photoshoot, which took place yesterday. We had very little “down time” between assembling lighting, installing hardware, setting up the furniture, flower shopping and styling. The final pieces for the room showed up just the night before the shoot - talk about a time crunch!!

This week saw a lot of progress. The wallpaper went up last Friday, which meant that we could finally set up the room. It’s totally crazy to think about what was accomplished in those 3 short days between the wallpaper installation and the photoshoot. We really do complete these rooms in 6 weeks. We start the process a few days early and also end a few days early. We have to work this way in order to hit the reveal day deadline with professional photos. If I was shooting the space myself (you’d cringe), I could wait until the very last minute to do so. However, I can’t operate a camera to save my life and I want the room to be shown off in it’s best light, so I always hire a pro to shoot any projects I plan to put out into the world.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise by revealing too much of the room. Instead, I’m going to share some detail shots. My photos wouldn’t do the space justice anyway, so you’re better off waiting a week for the good stuff!!

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 5: Styling The Dining Room

Let’s touch on some of the new arrivals aka we finally have furniture again! Goodbye, folding table!

I was thrilled to work with Article again. I had partnered with them about 2 years ago, outside of The ORC, on our basement makeover in my last home. Article has some great pieces at great prices and I had been eyeing The Oscuro Bar Cabinet for the space. I also had my heart set on some pretty fantastic chairs. One of the hardest things to manage in this challenge is the tight timeline. These chairs would’ve been lovely in the space, but they would have arrived after the reveal/shoot, so I had to purchase something that not only looked the part but came on time. To continue the partnership, we swapped the chairs out for a dining table. I needed something sturdy and simple and The Seno Dining Table hit all the marks. It’s a larger room than in our last home and we plan on hosting family here. We needed a table that accommodated as many people as possible; this one is extendable, which works well for when we host family and also for when we eat tacos by ourselves.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 5: Styling The Dining Room

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I chose the black latches from Emtek for the built in doors. They really POP against the white cabinetry and play with the bits of black that bounce around the room. I’m typically much more of a brass person, but I loved the sleekness of the latch design and thought the black finish really drove that idea home. I am so amazed by what Alex created from nothing (remember, we started with an empty wall) and love how he was able to make something so totally custom - just by selecting the right cabinets and hardware.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 5: Styling The Dining Room

So with the shoot behind us, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief. We’re so thrilled with how the room turned out and can’t wait to share the end result with you all in just a week. Beyond what I shared above, you can get a good sense of how we spend out weekends by viewing the time lapse video below.

Just as I do with every project, I can’t help but critique my own work. I wish I realized sooner that the large piece of art was blocking the view - but this is real life, people, and I was in my zone. Styling is WORK!! For anyone who things it’s easy and fast, I’m here to debunk that myth. Styling, while loads of fun, is absolutely exhausting. I spent no less than 8 hours getting the styling just right for this room - and I already owned all of the props.

If you’re sick of hearing me talk about this space, I suggest you take a look at what these other talents are cooking up. I’m just as excited to see their rooms as I am to share my own. Be sure come back next week for the full reveal!!

At Home with Ashley | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Nicole Cole

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | Style MPL

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

 

ORC Week 4: Let's Talk Finances!

 

How much is that doggie in the window?

Well, before I tell you the price of the pup, I need to tell you that you’ve asked the wrong question. The leash is $40. The food is $60. The vet bills are $75, $50, $135. Surprise! Here’s another (random) $200 vet bill. You’ll need to get an electric fence which could run you $1500. Your new best friend will inevitably chew your brand new rug, so you’ll need to replace that $1800 purchase. The dog walker will run you $225 a week and then there’s the boarding fee every time you go on vacation. Oh the dog? Just $300.

Things are expensive and with most items you purchase, there are hidden fees. On that note, I want to talk about sponsorships. Let me start off by saying that I am SO SO grateful to have the sponsors that I do for my dining room makeover. The room would not happen without them (or Linda) and they have all been truly wonderful to work with. THANK YOU!!

That said, in addition to Alex and I both putting in countless hours to make this project happen, we’re footing the bill on a lot of what you might not “see” aka “the hidden fees.”

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 4: Let's Talk Finances!

For example, I received a discount on the amazing wallpaper in this room. While wonderful, I paid a portion of it and also am paying for the installation. (Wallpaper, we don’t do). The trim and moldings certainly take this room to a whole other level. I am lucky that Alex can manage that install himself, but they needed to be painted. We hired that out. I know a lot of people think painting is one of the easiest tasks for them to do on their own - and they aren’t wrong in thinking this. However, our house is really old and was uncared for when we purchased it. It would be easy to slap some paint on well-maintained walls, but we didn’t have those. They needed so much prep work before they were ready to receive paint. We hired our tried and true paint crew to tackle the job of patching and painting.

As we become busier and put more on our proverbial plates (aka buy a fixer upper for fun, running a design business), we are more and more careful with the work we (cough * Alex * cough) do versus the work we hire out. We knew our painters would do a better job than we would caulking, spackling, puttying, etc. so we left that job in their very capable hands. Given that we only have 6 weeks (and we really stick to that timeline), it wouldn’t have been possible to do a project of this size ourselves and still keep our sanity.

I guess where I’m going with this is to a place of understanding. Reality TV is not real. Television has you believing that you can renovate an entire home in 48 hours for $5k. What you pay to your local trades people is totally dependent on your market - and unless you are doing every last little task yourself, you’re paying trades. What I can tell you about where I live - hold onto your hat - is that it is taking my painters two weeks to do the dining room and I’m shelling out more than $5k for that. Time is money people. Yes, I could’ve likely gotten someone out here to do the job for a thousand bucks, but they would’ve been done in a day when the room really needed more attention than that. You get what you pay for, which is why it’s important to be open-minded when hiring the RIGHT professional for the job.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 4: Let's Talk Finances!

So screw it, I’m just going to break it down for you. I was hoping to avoid talking specifics (because I’m too lazy to write it all out), but I want to drive my point home that things take time and cost money. Money makes people funny, but does anyone out there really think I’m outfitting this space for a few hundred bucks?

Let me address the time first; that one is going to be a shorter topic, as it is much harder to quantify. Alex has/will be spending every day of every weekend of the 6 week challenge working on our dining room. He has also spent many nights after work ordering, installing, etc. to get this room to the state it is in now (and eventually will be).

I started pulling the design together a bit before the challenge started, but we don’t touch the room until that first week. However, with the way the sponsors trickle in, I wound up revising said design numerous times. I then spoke with all the brands, placed orders and scheduled deliveries. I found a photographer - and when the photoshoot date gets closer - I will style out the space. Once styled and shot, I will be amping up the social media and press promotions. Oh, I’m cataloging and blogging about it all along the way too!

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 4: Let's Talk Finances!

Money. Yikes! I love talking money, but it is always scary when you don’t know how it will be received. I don’t want to come off as ungrateful. I’m SO grateful. I just want you to know that this challenge costs me money and time - even if it looks free and fast. This is something I do within my business. It’s work. I work for money (or in this case furniture). So, money! I like money. I like talking about money. I like telling other people how to make the most of their money. Let’s talk about it!

So back to your burning question. How much does the dog cost? Let me break it down for you (in round numbers). Know that, as a featured designer, much of the product is provided in exchange for exposure. These rooms would not happen if these partnerships weren’t in place. I will denote which items are provided to me, but share their full cost with you.

Base cabinets for built in - $3100

Upper shelves for built in (material only) - $400

Latch hardware - $180 (sponsored)

Ceiling Medallions (2) - $100

All trim + moldings - $450 (sponsored)

Wallpaper - $1600 (provided at a discount)

Rug (+ pad) - $1050 (sponsored)

Dining table - $1200 (sponsored)

S/8 white dining chairs - $600

S/2 white head chairs - $3100 (I paid freight).

White bar cart - $1700 (I paid freight).

Black bar cabinet - $900 (sponsored)

Chandeliers (2) - $5500 (sponsored)

Sconces (4) - $1100 (sponsored)

Table lamp - $200 (sponsored)

Window Treatments (2) - $325 (sponsored)

Labor (anything not done by Alex) - $7000

TOTAL: $28,505

And that’s excluding the accessories and art selections.

I hope that sheds some light on what all goes into these challenges. They’re never easy - but super rewarding to have a completely finished room when they are done. There’s a lot of work (and money) that goes on behind the scenes. I’d love to see other featured designers (linked below) follow suit and speak to their expenses. I’m genuinely interested in the spending habits of others, especially when it comes to interior design.

At Home with Ashley | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Nicole Cole

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | Style MPL

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

 

ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper

 

Let me start off by saying this…I KNOW. I KNOW it’s a bit out of order to see the built in details before the full room design. I KNOW everyone and their mother shared their design boards last week. I KNOW I’ve kept you waiting on the details of what furniture, wallpaper and lighting is going into the room. Trust me, I had a good reason. See, I KNOW wallpaper. I have picked out some pretty fantastic styles for clients, if I do say so myself. (See evidence of this statement here, here, here, here and here).

You get it.

So back to me. I knew that if I showed you all a wallpaper that I wasn’t 100% certain about, you’d fall in love and want it real bad…then I’d break your little hearts when I told you I changed it to a different but equally amazing style. I was doing you a favor, really.

To cut to the chase, the wallpaper is on it’s way; it’ll be here by Friday…so now we can talk about it.

I’m jazzed because I sure do love talking about wallpaper. I really dig throwing a BOLD style into a space. Wallpaper can make the room. With wallpaper, I suggest going FEARLESS!! Your dining room is a great space to experiment and should definitely be decked out.

Let me make my case…

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 3: Revealing The Room's Wallpaper

So we all dig the wallpaper, right? More on that later…

I’m thrilled to say that I have an amazing team of sponsors making this room a reality. Before I share the sponsors with you, let me say that there is no way this would be happening without my husband; I just can’t gush about him enough. This guy is spending every waking hour of this weekend making this dream dining room a reality. He is working on the space in the evenings and just making whatever I designed WORK.

I was away Saturday through last night at Highpoint Market with Nicole Cole (another featured Philly designer). I kid you not, I’d be lost without Alex. When I returned home from my trip, there was all of this magical progress in the dining room (see my highlights). He’s just the best and I’ll likely remind you of that every week (as I already have in Week 2).

So let’s talk sources. What’s coming into the space to create this kickass design? Article is sponsoring with this amazing bar cabinet and dining table. Underneath the table, Hayneedle is coming in with this (#sponsored) stunner of a rug. At the head of each table will sit these PERFECT chairs from Selamat. I’m so grateful to have Selamat as a sponsor, especially since they’ll be sending me this AMAZING bar cart that I’ve been eyeing FOREVER. On each side of the table will be these cutie chairs (#notsponsored #paidforbyme).

Two huge sponsors for this room are Hudson Valley Lighting and Metrie. HVL is coming in strong with a table lamp, sconces and the chandeliers of my dreams. I already went into detail about the amazing moldings being provided by Metrie in last week’s blog post. If you want to see some progress on all that, again, hop on over to my IG highlights (or peep my husband’s IG). IT’S SICK STUFF!!

Lastly, what you’ve all been waiting for…THIS is the amazing wallpaper I’ve chosen for the dining room. Cole & Sons is providing me with a pretty great discount that allows me to afford the install on this bad boy - because the one DIY we don’t do is wallpaper. No doubt, this print splashed all over the walls will be what makes the room. It’s all I’ve ever wanted in a wallpaper. I’m one lucky lady!

Alright, I’ve yapped enough. That’s all from me, y’all. Be sure to see what the other bloggers/designers are up to this week. I see some good things a-brewing!


At Home with Ashley
 | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Nicole Cole

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | Style MPL

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

 

ORC Week 2: The Built In

 

Every interior designer needs a reliable contractor - and luckily I married mine. Well, that’s not entirely true. Alex and I were together long before we starting renovating homes. We met in a college dorm freshman year and have been inseparable ever since (10 years together, baby). While in college, we volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and an organization that went to Mississippi to rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina. Once we graduated, we lived in apartments for two years before we purchased our first fixer upper together (which we’ve since sold). Now, we’re in what we hope is our “forever home” and are taking extreme care and consideration with every renovation.

Alex is the best executer I know. I create all the design plans - based on my wildest dreams - and Alex is the one to make them happen. I do not hide the fact that I am not the one swinging the hammer. It’s not that I’m against getting my hands dirty, it’s just that Alex and I have different focuses. I’m the designer and project manager. He is the contractor. We play to our strengths and make a good team.

Now onto the FUN STUFF…the built in!!

Next week, I will share the full design plan with you. It’s maaaaaybe 92% done and I don’t want to share it until it’s at 100% - BUT one thing we know for sure is that we’re creating a massive built in along the back wall. As I mentioned in last week’s post, this was our jumping off point. We have another time lapse video to share some additional insights - as well as photos that capture the step by step process.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In

YEA yea yea, Alex is amazing - I can’t argue that. Moving on. We purchased a trio of inset cabinets for the base of this built in and Alex turned a pile of wood into the top shelving. We’re building it into the wall and making it look original to the house by applying uniform moldings throughout. Metrie is supplying us with the trim and we couldn’t be more excited. I have seen many bloggers and designers create wonderful rooms with their products; we’re pumped to join that “dream team.”

So what’s the trim plan? Metrie is providing us with chair rail, crown molding, picture mold and panel mold. You can see the intention for the what the wall trim will look like in the middle image below. Underneath that, you can see that we (Alex) already got started applying the crown molding. We are SUPER SUPER EXCITED to get all this trim work up on the walls. This room is pretty open to the rest of the house and it’s going to be amazing to have it be such a showstopper.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 2: The Built In

As of now, we can happily say we’re on track with this challenge. That said, it’s a reeeally tight schedule and becoming increasingly stressful with every passing day - especially with all of the work traveling happening this month. I feel so lucky to have many partners in this. Not only do I have Alex, but I also have some wonderful sponsors coming through with some amazing products that I can’t wait to talk about. Linda (who is also a huge help) organizes a great challenge and keeps us all on track. While there is a tight timeline, we are left with wonderful rooms at the end of this six weeks to enjoy.

The talented line up below knows exactly what I’m talking about. If you’ve been following along with their posts, you’ve seen that they are all designing some super excited space. Personally, I’m watching Kelly Golightly’s ORC closely. I’m itching to design a teenage girl’s room - especially decked out the way I know Kelly will. Her style is super fun, bold and bright and I’m DYING to see how she transforms the existing space for her niece. Which rooms are you most excited to see unfold?

At Home with Ashley | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Nicole Cole

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | Style MPL

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

 

Get The Look: Alana's Vintage Boudoir

 

It’s been nearly a year since I revealed Alana’s Vintage Boudoir on the blog. If you recall, I designed Alana’s space as part of last Fall’s One Room Challenge. Right now, I’m in the middle of another ORC, but thought I’d throw it back a bit. Alana was such a dream to design for. I strive to bring my client’s personalities out into their spaces - and we did just that here. Her style is eclectic and sophisticated - and she favors a splash of vintage.

Since come time has gone by, a lot of the pieces we purchased are no longer available. The look I pulled together reflects the original bedroom design, but is slightly more updated with in stock items that you can run out and snag for yourself TODAY!!

Michelle Gage // Get The Look: Alana's Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // Get The Look: Alana's Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // Get The Look: Alana's Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // Get The Look: Alana's Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // Get The Look: Alana's Vintage Boudoir

It’s time to give the people what they want - the sources!! As with every design project, I get A LOT of questions about where I find everything. Typically, these sources are between myself and my clients. They are hiring me for a service - which costs them money - and I don’t want to then take the work that they paid me to do and spread all around the internet for others to copy.

For this project, however, I didn’t charge Alana. This was a collaboration and I provided her with complimentary design services in an effort to complete The One Room Challenge. For that reason, I feel comfortable showing you how to get the look yourself. A lot of what we chose for Alana’s space was vintage, so these links lead to similar options with plenty of stock. I’d love to hear from you - what pieces will you be buying for your bedroom makeover?

So onto the sources…

Brass Bed (half-priced option) / White Lacquer Nightstand / Black + Brass Sconces / Lavender Metallic Wallpaper / Oriental Rug / Blush Pillow / Baby Blue Pillow / Maroon Mongolian Fur Pillow / Wedding Blanket / Natural Leather Moroccan Pouf / Rattan Chair / Mini Gold Mirrors / Blue + Brass Velvet Vanity Bench / Sheepskin

 

ORC Week 1: Meet My Dining Room

 

Can you believe it, baby, we’re back at it again. The Fall 2018 One Room Challenge is in full swing, with a killer lineup of amazing designers and bloggers. This challenge is going to be unlike any other. Why you ask? Well, normally we have six weeks to transform one room of our choosing. However, this season, I’m practically gone for the whole month of October aka the whole ORC. I’m traveling A TON for work this month and have lots of (exciting) client projects to tend to in between trips. THE PRESSURE IS ON!!

Luckily, I have an amazing husband to tend to the home front. It’s no secret that Alex is the muscle behind my designs. He is my #1 contractor. I feel so lucky to have someone by my side who can add and remove walls at my whim. I meeeeeean, did you see our last challenge? The man turned a hallway into a closet, which makes him a hero in my eyes.

So what room are we working on? Well, I’m glad you asked - we’re making over our dining room!! If you’ve been checking in on Instagram, you would have seen that Alex started doing some framing for the killer built-in he’s making. That piece is going to be EPIC and totally transform the space. As of now, the room is pretty square. Usually, dining rooms are a little long and narrow - or at the very least obviously rectangular. Our dining room is square, which is proving challenging to design - but we’ll make it work.

Alright, the moment you’ve all been waiting for - THE BEFORE PHOTOS (& a video)!!

Disclaimer: This is what the space looked like when we moved in and we’ve done next to nothing to it (just refinished the floors) and it’s what the room looks like now. For the last few months, we’ve been eating at a folding table. While that sounds terrible, currently we have no table to eat at so I miss that folding table very much. AND NO, your eyes don’t deceive you, these walls are in fact a terrible butter yellow, accented with a ripe ketchup color. The previous homeowners had interesting taste.

Alex created a time lapse video of the work he started on this weekend. He did all the work, but I uploaded in to Youtube, which no joke, has me wondering if you’re reading the blog of the world’s next big Youtube star. First Youtube video here and BAM your girl nailed the upload.

Michelle Gage // ORC Week 1: Meet My Dining Room
Michelle Gage // ORC Week 1: Meet My Dining Room

Well, that’s all she wrote. Be sure to check out each featured designer’s blog post today and the participant’s tomorrow. I always feel jazzed and inspired when The ORC rolls around - people creating all around the world and web…ahhh magical!!

At Home with Ashley | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Nicole Cole

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | Style MPL

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

 

'Tis The Season: Gearing Up For The One Room Challenge

 

Well folks, here we are again. The One Room Challenge is upon us and I’m entering my fourth season. I had so much fun participating in the last three rounds, that I came back for one more. For my very first ORC, I took on an e-design project. I chose my client from her Instagram profile and together we create a Perfect Palm Springs-Inspired Oasis. For the next season, I found an equally awesome client (she designs shoes, hello!) and gave her a glam bedroom makeover. Last spring, I finally worked on a room of my own and tackled my new home’s master bedroom.

This new season starts in ONE WEEK!! Can you believe we’re here again? I am VERY EXCITED about the space I am about to makeover. It’s going to be EPIC and dare I say - my favorite room to date? Sound off in the comments on what room your think I’ll be taking on. I’ll give you a hint, it’s in my home and there will be wallpaper (duh) - and maybe some cake. ;)

Michelle Gage // 'Tis The Season: Gearing Up For The One Room Challenge
Michelle Gage // 'Tis The Season: Gearing Up For The One Room Challenge
Michelle Gage // 'Tis The Season: Gearing Up For The One Room Challenge
 

One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master

 

IT'S REVEAL DAY, BABY! I can't believe we finally made it to week six. Let me tell you something, these challenges take A LOT out of ya! There is a lot of work to be completed in a short amount of time. It's physically, emotionally and somewhat financially draining. As a featured designer, I've been lucky to get connected to some really great sponsors. That said, I'm a picky girl. I would never work with a company that didn't align with my brand vision. I wound up partnering with some really wonderful companies - and turning down some others that weren't the right fit. 

At the end of the day, this is my job. Designing interiors, while I love it, is work. I take time away from the core of my business to participate in these challenge - and I am happy to do it. I am in no way "spilling tea" on this topic. I just like to keep it real. Like anything you want in life, it takes a ton of dedication and hard work. I happen to enjoy working myself to the bone, so maybe I'm in the right business. ;) Just know, everyone playing a part is putting in a massive amount of energy to make this a success. 

I partake in The One Room Challenge because I think it is a truly special community of uber-talented designers and bloggers. It's a genius set up, led by the wonderful Linda Weinstein. She's a real hoot! I've gotten some really wonderful opportunities from participating in The ORC. Heck, I got selected as a featured designer after my first submission. After each challenge wraps, I get all excited for the next one. I truly feel like I create my best work when racing to the finish line with other talented folks - and I'm so excited to share The Massive Master with you!

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master

BEFORE...

 product sources:  dresser ,  artwork

product sources: dresser, artwork

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master

BEFORE...

One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master
 product sources:  wall paint ,  bench ,  printed pillow ,  artwork

To those who are wondering, yes, I did change the floor plan from my initial design. BUT UH I TOLD YOU I LIKELY WOULD! This was one hard room to work with. As mentioned before, the previous homeowners removed a wall that used to separate these two big rooms - to make something massive. It's honestly more room than anyone needs in their bedroom. 

When we walked through the house, as perspective buyers, all of their furniture had already been moved out. We didn't have the chance to see how they chose to arrange the furniture in this space. Don't forget, what is now the closet actually used to be the hallway. The room's entry door scooted down a bit. The floors were sanded and stained - walls patched and painted (and wallpapered, duh). This room received quite the transformation - beyond the design work done (which is exceptional, if I do say so myself). 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master

BEFORE...

 product sources:  rug  (similar),  end table  (similar),  chairs  (similar)  sconces ,  leather pouf ,  printed pillows ,  artwork

product sources: rug (similar), end table (similar), chairs (similar) sconces, leather pouf, printed pillows, artwork

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master
 product sources:  vanity ,  vanity stool  (similar),  mirror ,  planter

product sources: vanity, vanity stool (similar), mirror, planter

So what do you think? I tried to top my previous challenges (see Spring and Fall 2017) - but but that's a tall order! I purchased a lot of the furniture pieces myself (outside of sponsorship) and linked what I could; some items are no longer available. The wonderful white bird chairs, for example, are no longer sold through Anthropologie. I had actually purchased one while I was working as a buyer for the company in 2015. The other, I stumbled upon at a thrift store. It was totally disgusting, covered in coffee. I used a Rug Doctor to get out 95% of the filth. Lesson learned: don't be afraid to put in a little elbow grease. This pair of chairs totally makes the space, so I'm glad I saw through the grime. 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master

BEFORE...

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Massive Master

All of this closet stuff is on sale right now, people. If you hop on over to The Container Store before May 13th, you'll get 25% off all your closet storage needs. Their design staff can also help you with the space planning. If you're like me - an exhausted designer - you can put that part in someone else's capable hands. YIPPEE!

All of the products used in this project are linked on this pinboard. If you have any questions about how the space came together, sound off in the comments. Be sure to also take a look at what the other talented peeps produced this spring. Whether you're a featured designer, guest participant or just following along - HATS OFF TO YOU! There is so much inspiration to be captured in each and every space. Designers, it's been wonderful to work alongside you. Readers, it's be great having your support. I'd like to extend a final thank you to Linda, who makes this challenge possible and the sponsors who partnered with me to create such a colorful space. It was wonderful to work with teams of people who trust your design talents enough to sit back and let you DO YOUR THANG. I hope to have done everyone proud. 

ORC Spring 2018.png

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive

Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design

Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators

Sacramento Street | Shannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Bisou Style

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

 

Thank you to all of the wonderful sponsors for providing product to make this challenge a BIG success. Sponsored product was received from the following brands: Milton and King, Lamps Plus, The Container Store, Globus Cork, Haiku Home, Farrow & Ball, Minted, Chairish, Grey Malin, Bunglo, Casper, Pom Pom At Home, Jill Rosenwald, Bellacor and Overstock.

 

One Room Challenge: How To Prep For A Photoshoot

 

This is a topic that I have previously found very little information on - or at least little GOOD information. When I started my design business, I was pretty clueless as to what all went into make a stunning shot. Prop styling such an intuitive and visual art, that it's a hard topic to write about - and I thirsted for this information. Truthfully, good styling comes with A LOT of practice. Oftentimes, items appear differently on camera than they do in your own (or your client's) home. I want to shed a little light onto the process, so that you can start to take baby steps towards being an amazing stylist. 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: How To Prep For A Photoshoot

1. Find The Right Photographer.

Having the right photographer is key. The right photographer should make your work look better in photos than it appears in person. Finding the right person may take some time - and trial and error. Try out a few pros to see who is the best fit for you and your style. Instagram is a great place to start your search. Be sure the photographer's style meshes well with yours and take the time to grow that relationship, as it could be a long-term one!

2. Review your shot list. 

Do this in the space with your photographer. Be sure you both have a count of the vignettes you wish to capture. Be flexible and trust your photographer's eye. If you're proposing an impossible shot, rethink it and let your photographer suggest another. Arrange your shot list in order of importance, in case you start losing daylight. I always walk the room solo first, taking iPhone snaps along the way to get an idea of what shots will work.

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: How To Prep For A Photoshoot

3. Hide all cords (& ugly stuff).

Tuck all of your cords away. Hide them behind dressers and under rugs. Nothing ruins a photograph more than an ugly plastic cord poking out. On that note, shut the door on any disasters. We shot our master bedroom and closet, but didn't intend to touch the bathroom just yet...so it became a dumping ground for all of the construction clutter. No one needs to see that.

 chairs + rug from Anthropologie (old);  sconces  from Lamps Plus;  pouf  from Overstock

chairs + rug from Anthropologie (old); sconces from Lamps Plus; pouf from Overstock

4. Clean your windows.

Use a microfiber cloth to clean your windows. The grime on them can really appear enhanced in a photo. 

  bedding  from Pom Pom At Home; sconces from Lamps Plus;  rug  and  pad  from Overstock

bedding from Pom Pom At Home; sconces from Lamps Plus; rug and pad from Overstock

5. Sweep and vacuum your floors. 

Be sure to clean up any dirt on your floors before the shoot day. Sweep and vacuum, Cinderella.

6. Turn off all lights. 

It's very rare that a shot looks better when the lights are left on. Leaving your lights on can add odd coloring to other items in the space - and be blinding at times. It's best to turn the lights off for shooting. 

  art  from Gray Malin;  dresser  from Overstock

art from Gray Malin; dresser from Overstock

7. Freshen up with flowers (& plants).

I cringe every time I see interior designers skip this step. Adding floors (or fresh fruit, depending on the room) can really liven it up! Bringing flowers into the space can also bring in color. Sure, you can use white ones if you need that balance. However, if you want to bring a POP of pink (or another accenting color) into the space, this is an easy way to do it. This step is totally affordable too! I get flowers from my local grocer and plants (like this $10 one) from Ikea. 

8. Books, books and more books. 

Books are the #1 needed item for any photo shoot, especially when styling a shelf. If you're thinking that you wouldn't use them to style a bedroom, you'd be wrong. While you certainly don't need many there, you still need some. For example, I styled both nightstands with a small stack of books. Books were crucial to getting varying heights on a flat surface. 

***

For any of you who still have yet to shoot your space, I hope you found these tips helpful. There is so much that goes into photoshoots, so it's best to be prepared. Following a few of these steps will ensure styling success. 

I'M SO EXCITED to share my finished space with you. It's one of my favorite projects to date and I'm so grateful that it's mine. In the previous two seasons, I worked on room's in other people's homes. I was sad to say goodbye to those spaces - and this time I don't have to.

If you're trying to catch up on the last few week's progress, you can read up on week one, week two, week three and week four by clicking the embedded links. Be sure to come back next week for THE BIG REVEAL!!

To stay up to date on what the other fantastic featured designers are doing, check out their blogs, linked below. 

ORC Spring 2018.png

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive

Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design

Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators

Sacramento Street | Shannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Bisou Style

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

 

Thank you to Overstock.com, Lamps Plus, Pom Pom At Home and Gray Malin for providing product to make this challenge a BIG success.

 

One Room Challenge: I Finally Have Progress Pictures

 

In last week's post, you got a lot of text. I had a lot to say, but not a lot to show. Truthfully, we didn't make much progress in the master bedroom. All of my ideas were still on paper...or on order, but not yet received. 

This weekend was a whirlwind. We spent three straight days sprucing this space up. I would never say that interior design is "difficult" - but there are a million moving parts. If one thing goes wrong, it can throw off every intention you had for the space. It's a giant puzzle and you're always missing a piece - and it's never under the couch cushion. The missing piece is always hanging out in the kitchen cabinet, between the bags of chips, where you'd never think to look...because you've never put a puzzle together there. Make sense?

We dealt with a delayed dresser delivery, missing components to the bed and a busted bench. Even with the best laid plans, things can just go awry. You have to keep a clear mind. These things don't HAPPEN TO YOU, they just happen (insert shrugging girl emoji here).

To top it off, I spent the previous week away in Highpoint, North Carolina, shopping the market for furniture for my design client projects. While I was away, some pieces trickled in. THANK GAWD for Alex. He was home to receive and lug in this rug, pad and pouf from Overstock.com. THEY'RE GORGEOUS! He also put down the cork floor, from Globus Cork, in our new Elfa closet

With all those wrenches thrown into the mix, we still made major progress - and I finally have the pics to prove it.

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: I Finally Have Progress Pictures
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: I Finally Have Progress Pictures

Last week, I got to pick out some storage items from The Container Store, which was a dream come true. I selected some wooden hangers, black boxes and copper bins to outfit the space. I was like a kid in a candy store; I filled my cart up so fast. My twelve year-old self wouldn't believe what I get to do for a job now at twenty-eight. If you want to take yourself on a little shopping spree, The Container Store is running a 25% off sale now thru May 13th. GO GET YOU SOME!

In the closet, we chose to install a cork floor. It was super easy (I say, having not done it myself). Alex put the floor down all by himself. He's done tile work before - and has totally sworn it off. The cork, he says, went down much easier. Everything came pre-cut and ready for install. Alex has been DYING to get cork flooring somewhere in the house. The closet was the perfect place to give it a go. Why? Well, remember, he swore off tile so that wasn't an option. I don't like carpet. The hardwood floors would've been impossible to match. Also, I wanted COLOR. Globus Cork has a range of colors and patterns to choose from. We chose the sage green, nugget cork in pattern #8. We're pretty pleased with how it turned out. The color works with the birch wood drawers and soft grey walls very well. 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: I Finally Have Progress Pictures
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: I Finally Have Progress Pictures

Are you following along on Pinterest? No?! Well you should be! I'm stashing all the juicy product information here. If you want to catch up on week one, two and three...be my guest. Be sure to check in on the progress from this uber-talented crew too!

 

One Room Challenge: The BIGGEST Change We're Making In The Master Bedroom

 

Alex and I have been sharing a bedroom since graduating from college in 2012. Yes, we lived in unmarried sin for four years. Get over it. 

Right as we graduated, we sensed that our little apartment was missing one thing - a playful pup! We got our first (rescue) doggie a month after signing our lease. She was our first baby, so we naturally spoiled her. She was quickly became the third body in our bed. For the first year, she was small enough to tuck into the crook of our knees. As she grew, our space diminished. She quickly learned that the coziest spot in the bed was right in between the both of us. 

Fast forward six years and we have dog #2 - can you guess where she likes to sleep? So, we're upgrading from a queen to a king bed. NO...a larger bed does not mean more space for the pups. After many, many nights of fighting for blankets, we've resolved to kick the dogs out of the bedroom. They're getting the boot. The doggies will be staying with the queen bed in the guest room. After all, it was always their bed; we were just sleeping in it.

The new bed and bedding we're getting is real nice, people. I have some wonderful sponsors to thank for that. Pom Pom at Home is providing a full bedding set. We are finally tossing out our tired, dog-chewed duvet in favor of a much nicer one. Our polyster sheets are going linen, as is our duvet. While we resolve to leave the dogs at the door, this set is machine washable...should we *cough* "break" *cough* our own rule. 

There are a few reasons why I chose neutral-colored bedding. First, Alex. I've put that poor boy through enough with wild floral printed patterns. Second, I knew I wanted crazy bold wallpaper and a pink rug. You need to be careful not to take print-mixing too far. This combination pushes the boundaries while still remaining tasteful (and not tacky) - all thanks to the light grey-toned bedding

Alex might marry our new mattress. I'm not kidding; he's obsessed with it. I worked on an event with the good people at Casper in February. I fell in love with their mattresses and honestly their customer service. That's a big thing for me. As I've gotten older, I've gotten busier. I am all about supporting companies that make my life easier. With Casper, I was able to try The Wave in the store and get it shipped within 24 hours. No joke. It might have been 20. The mattress came wrapped in a box and was left at my door. Since the mattress arrives in a box, I didn't even have to be home to receive it. As someone who has wasted many an hour sitting around for deliveries that never come, I was pleased as a peach. 

Another major change we're making is to the closet. Previously, the space that is now closet was once hallway. Remember, our bedroom used to be two rooms - so naturally you needed a hallway to get to each one. 

This is my first time having a big girl closet. All of my life, I have always had the dinkiest closets. Now, I'm no clotheshorse, but I do like seeing all of my pretty things on display. I partnered with The Container Store to outfit this space - and boy am I glad I did! On our initial call, they suggested that, as a designer, I might want to design the closet myself. NOPE! I have about ten thousand things on my plate right now, so I was happy to leave this one in their very capable hands. I worked with a designer that who put together a custom closet based on our needs. For once, I got to play the client!

Andrea at TCS designed us a his and hers closet - one side for me and one side for Alex. We were able to make tweaks throughout the process. For example, I don't have nearly as many high heeled shoes as she suggested storage for, so we traded that space in for some drawers. The Elfa system has a few finishes you can choose from and Alex and I both agreed on the birch.

Simple touches really get me giddy. My favorite part about the closet is the built-in jewelry drawers. I may not have a lot of heels, but I have A LOT of jewelry. I've always struggled with how to store it. For the last few years, I've had it all living in vintage dishes on my dresser. I honestly hate having them out, but that was the best way to contain it all - or so I thought. It's always collecting dust and truthfully looks a little junky sitting out. The Container Store outfitted the space with two jewelry drawers, with many tiny compartments for all of my itty bitty pieces. When I saw that they included that, my heart skipped a beat. FINALLY someone who gets me. Everything can have its own little spot, neatly stored and is easily accessible. 

If you're itching for your own closet makeover, The Container Store is having a MAJOR closet sale - now through May 13th. Hundreds of products are on sale for 25% off - so RUN! Their store staff can help you create your very own dream closet. 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: The BIGGEST Change We're Making In The Master Bedroom
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: The BIGGEST Change We're Making In The Master Bedroom
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: The BIGGEST Change We're Making In The Master Bedroom

Okay, so we've talked through some of my favorite topics already - comfy bedding, king sized beds and organization of clothes and jewelry. Onto another favorite topic of mine - art! 

I gotta lotta art for this space. Just how we never got that fan we always wanted (until now), art has always been lacking in our past bedrooms. Our bedrooms have always been fairly undecorated spaces. I find this to be the case with my clients too. First, you do the living room. Next, you design the dining room. Bedrooms will usually be third or fourth in line, but they're rarely #1. 

If you're familiar with my style, you know I LOVE colorful art. I've always collected art. I've never really had anything all that expensive, but I've always had a lot of it. What can I say - ART IS MY JAM. I got lucky with sponsors this round, because I got to pick out some pretty amazing art from some of my favorite places to shop. First, Gray Malin (a featured designer for this challenge), donated this lovely piece. I've always dreamed of owning a piece of his. He's so genuinely talented and his work is incredibly upbeat. He fits my style perfectly. I had a hard time landing on which print to pick, but ultimately went with this The Reef for its beautiful blue tones. Alex loves it as much as I do.

Chairish also sent me some art. I have been a HUGE supporter of Chairish since they first launched their site. They offer some of the world's most amazing vintage goodies. I shop them a ton when I'm searching for one-of-a-kind finds for clients. Most recently, a client of mine snagged this knockout rug. I also sell my own vintage finds on Chairish. I find myself shopping more than I should - and I can keep that up by constantly reevaluating what might be able to part with. If I don't love it now as much as I did when I bought it, up on the shop it goes!

For my #massivemaster, I selected this colorful piece from Kate Roebuck and this blue and white beaut from Leslie Weaver. I have always been a big fan of Kate's so it's a dream come true to own her work. I discovered Leslie Weaver through Chairish's print shop and I'm so glad I did. I love organically discovering new artists. 

Not to be missed, I'm also putting this cheeky print in the closet and this guy in the sleep space. If I could continue to litter my walls with art, I'd happily shop my little bum off. I'm still eyeing some gems for other rooms of my house. This would look really sweet in a living room. This one would be perfect in a powder room. How about this one for a kitchen. 

Next up, we're laying the cork floors in the closet. Be sure to follow my stories to stay up to date on all things ORC - and read up on week 1 and week 2 here.

ORC Spring 2018.png

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive

Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design

Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators

Sacramento Street | Shannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Style Me Pretty Living

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

Thank you to Pom Pom At Home, Casper, The Container Store, Gray Malin, Chairish and Minted for donating product to make this challenge a BIG success.

 

One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper

 

I get asked all the time about what kicks off a room's design. I am a big believer that any item can be the design's starting point. In this case, my starting piece was the wallpaper. I knew that I wanted to wallpaper the wall behind my bed and knew that it HAD.TO.BE perfect. I looked at A TON of styles, before ultimately landing on this one from Milton + King. I sampled 12 Farrow + Ball paint colors to make sure I got the perfect bright blue tone pulled out from the lighter spots within the print. I knew matching the wall to the deep indigo tone would've been WAY too dark. I want the space to be punchy and uplifting, which is where Blue Ground came into play.

The wallpaper actually went up on the second day of the challenge, April 5th. I had the hanger scheduled for late March, but they were working on other rooms in the house first. Did I mention we're in the middle of a crazy total home renovation? Anyway, we felt it was serendipitous that thinks kicks off for the bedroom right on time.

Alright, wanna see some progress pics?! Full disclosure, we (Alex) worked on the demolition prior to the challenge's start date. There was no way that we could've fit that stage into six weeks. This room was a wreck - and don't forget, it was actually 3 separate spaces!

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper

This is where we are now. The wallpaper is up. The paint is dry. The fan is installed. The floors are sanded. AND * BOY OH BOY * DOES IT FEEL GOOD!

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper
 
 

I'm pretty pleased with where things are so far. The wallpaper is perfection; it makes a HUGE impact and the quality is spot on. It's not something I would've picked out for myself a year ago, but my style is always evolving. I plan to print mix it with some other wild patterns and am so obsessed with the thought of that. The deep indigo tone makes for the perfect backdrop and really draws your eye to the back of the room.

I got to use Farrow + Ball paint for the first time with this room. I sampled like ten bajillion colors to get the perfect one - and I NEVER do that. I'm usually super decisive - BUT the wall color needed to match back to the shibori print perfectly and lots of colors came reeeally close but weren't right. 

While Alex typically leaves all design decisions to me, he wanted to have a say in the fan. In our first home, we spoke about replacing our bedroom fan for the full three years we were there; we never did it. He loves making our house SMART. We have all kinds of gadgets that can be controlled by our phones, truly more than I could tell you. (We've got Nests, Google Homes, Alexa Echos - you name it). Alex has wanted a Haiku fan FOREVER. He loves the smart technology and I love how sexy it looks. Ceiling fans aren't always pretty; they can be truly tragic sometimes. This one, however, is so gosh dang good-looking and totally the right style for this recently renovated space.

We are so thrilled to have the shell in place; now the fun part begins. IT'S DECORATING TIME! I'll give you a little sneak peek of where the design in heading below. It's honestly still a bit of a work in progress (yes, people, this six week timeline is real here), but here's where I'm at with some of the bigger statement pieces. You can see some of my other selections for this space by following my #massivemaster pinboard.

 
 
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Let's Talk About Paint + Paper

Spoiler alert: If you follow me on Instagram, be sure to check out my posts, stories and highlights. I share some additional photos there. I've also started to place a few pieces in the room and they are worth seeing. I mentioned in my first ORC post that things were likely to change from the original plan. Well, call me Miss Cleo because THEY DID. I'm pretty sure the floor plan is being reworked. I'm working through it. (Insert palm-face emoji here).

Stay tuned and be sure to follow as these other featured designers work through their spaces.

ORC Spring 2018.png

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive

Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design

Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators

Sacramento Street | Shannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Style Me Pretty Living

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

Thank you to Milton + King, Farrow & Ball and Haiku Fans for donating product to make this challenge a BIG success.

 

One Room Challenge: Introducing The Massive Master

 

Well, guys, here we are again. It's challenge season! I'm SO excited to be playing along as a featured designer for this round. I've been absolutely itching to design our bedroom. It's our first true master bedroom - sitting room, walk in closet, attached bathroom. We've never had so much space to ourselves. We're even considering keeping the dogs out of this room. I KNOW?! How will we ever pull this off?! The pups are commonly found in a deep slumber, snuggled in between us in our queen size bed - feet in face. For this space, we're getting a king bed, baby - and no, more space does not mean more room for the doggies. They'll be banished to the guest room (mark my words).

I'm really eager to get rolling on this room. I'm stepping a bit outside of my box on this one. The space is going to be slightly more bohemian than any I've done before. I plan to use shibori prints and sisal textures - a mixture that I've done for clients but never in my own home.

This room WAS a funny one. It used to have its own hallway. Off of that hallway, there were 3 doors - 1 to the bathroom and 2 doors to separate bedrooms. The previous homeowners had torn out the wall that separated the bedrooms, making for one massive master. To keep some structural support, they left a bit of wall. We really don't have the option to remove it, so we're making it work. That wall will separate the sleep space from the sitting space. The hallway is becoming the walk-in closet. We moved the bedroom's entry door to accommodate the change. 

Keeping our total home renovation timeline in mind, we scheduled painters for late March back in December. I always envisioned wallpapering an accent wall behind the bed and that's a task we always hire out. I spent a good amount of time hunting down the perfect paper, ultimately landing on this navy shibori style from Milton + King. I'll be pulling out the light blue tone for the adjacent painted walls.

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Introducing The Massive Master
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Introducing The Massive Master

These "before" photos show the space as it was when we moved in back in November. Those hideous closets are leaving, as are the radiator covers. Alex is in the process of refinishing the floors. We're not going to have the time to touch the bathroom in this round, but you will see a completed bedroom and closet. Can you believe these photos prompted us to call our realtor, requesting that we see this home ASAP?!

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Introducing The Massive Master

Milton + King | Homepolish | Amber Interiors

It was difficult to pull inspiration images for the space, since the design really came together in my head before I had a chance to head to Pinterest.  It sort of started with the wallpaper. I always say that any item can kick off the design plan; in this case, my starting point was wallpaper (duh.) After all, would it truly be a "Michelle Gage Interiors" room without IN YOUR FACE wallpaper?! I'm calling the inspiration "bright bohemian." The room is going to pack in a lot of patterns. It's time to flex my print-mixing powers.

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Introducing The Massive Master

This is the floor plan vision for now. One thing I've learned doing these challenges is that THINGS CHANGE. With the Spring 2017 ORC, we did a last minute switch up on which wall we wanted wallpapered. During the Fall 2017 ORC, I think the dressing room's floor plan changed three or four times. My point being - I know new ideas will arise as this thing gets going. There are always new discoveries within the design process and I'm excited to take you on that journey. Stay tuned to watch the magic unfold! 

 

Are You Ready For The One Room Challenge?

 

You all have seen me post about The One Room Challenge before. I participated in the challenge for the first time this time last year - then again in the fall. Each time, I designed a room for someone else. Each time, I was jealous of the room I left behind. 

The truth is, I wanted to join in on the party, but my home was already completely renovated and styled. I needed a blank slate and was lucky enough to find one each time. 

This time, it's all about me. I'm in a new house and every single room is in need of work - A LOT of work. I'm excited to say that I will be a featured designer for this round. (!!) I could barely contain my excitement when I was asked to join. I immediately knew which room I'd makeover...and I will reveal that next week. Hint: it's one of these 3 spaces.

Be sure to stop by each Wednesday morning to see the space progress. For now, let's look at photos from the last two challenges. How am I going to top these?!

Michelle Gage // Are You Ready For The One Room Challenge?
Michelle Gage // Are You Ready For The One Room Challenge?
Michelle Gage // Are You Ready For The One Room Challenge?
Michelle Gage // Are You Ready For The One Room Challenge?
 

Signature Style: Stranger Art

 

It's so secret - I'm into some funky artwork. My favorite subject is PEOPLE. I love finding vintage oil paintings of unfamiliar faces - or what I like to call "stranger art." 

I find it so fun to sprinkle photos of strangers throughout the house. In our last house, everywhere you turned, you were greeted by a friendly face. Our walls were littered with friends of all ages. Our shelves were lined with these painted pretties. 

I am thrilled to say that I am working with a client right now who is as obsessed with this look as I am. She prefers black and white photographs to painted canvases, however. We're going to line her set of newly built floating shelves with images of her ancestors. She has a great collection and I am tickled pink to play with these frames. I really dig the look of displaying these pieces together to create a collection; it makes a much bigger statement when like items are shown in one spot rather than scattered around the room. 

Michelle Gage // Signature Style: Stranger Art
Michelle Gage // Signature Style: Stranger Art
Michelle Gage // Signature Style: Stranger Art
Michelle Gage // Signature Style: Stranger Art
Michelle Gage // Signature Style: Stranger Art
Michelle Gage // Signature Style: Stranger Art
 

One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir

 
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir

Well, folks, this is it! The big reveal is finally here. I am SO SO excited to present The Vintage Boudoir to you. This season, Alana, Kyle and I collaborated to transform Alana's bedroom into the vintage retreat of her dreams. Complete with a quaint (and moody) dressing space, Alana's bedroom is one for the books. Alana is an amazing shoe designer with serious style; she needed a space that reflected her personality. As lovers of all things vintage, Alana and I aligned immediately when it came to the overall vision of her space. 

Even though we were pretty well paired in terms of style, this space still saw a few rounds of revision. After the initial consult, we communicated primarily over email (and Instagram). After the groundwork was set, we did a little thrift store shopping together to acquire the right accessories. On the morning of the photo shoot, I showed up early to do the final styling. Those touches really took the space over the top. Those little details are not to be missed - the perfect pillow or decorative prop can add so much interest to a space. Luckily for us, Kyle was right there to capture all of these magical moments. She has an insanely talented eye when it comes to shooting a space. 

Fun little fact, the 3 of us all used to work at Anthropologie's home office. Our paths rarely crossed (if at all), but we were connected by social media a few years later. Small world!

Be sure to read up on how everyone else's space turned out here. Thanks for following along for these last 6 (well, 7) weeks! We hope you love the space as much as we do! 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Revealing The Vintage Boudoir
 

One Room Challenge: Behind The Scenes Snaps

 
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Behind The Scenes Snaps
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Behind The Scenes Snaps
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Behind The Scenes Snaps

Folks, it's week 6 of The ORC. Normally, you'd get the reveal today. However, the founder chose to add a week to this challenge, due to the unexpected delays the weather has caused. Luckily, Alana, Kyle and I didn't experience any delays with our products - but we could certainly use the extra week. Kyle could use the time to edit photos and I am actually moving TODAY! We did finish the shoot last Friday, so I felt it was only fair to share some behind the scenes snaps. The professional photos are what will really show off the space best - but my iPhone shots will have to do for now. Be sure to come back next week to see the full space in all its glory!

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Behind The Scenes Snaps
 

One Room Challenge: Whatchu Know About Wallpaper?

 
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Whatchu Know About Wallpaper?
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Whatchu Know About Wallpaper?

GUYS, the wallpaper is finally up! Can I tell you the struggle we faced here? We had multiple cancellations from the hanger - so many that Alana considered doing the work herself. However, hanging wallpaper is NO JOKE and I highly discouraged her from it. We still have a long way to go on the set up, but we've been waiting for the wallpaper to go up first. This is a going to be a BIG WEEK in terms of progress. Believe it or not, but the shoot is FRIDAY! I'll share some behind the scenes sneak peeks via Insta-stories as we ready up this room.

If you haven't already heard, the reveal got pushed out a week. All of the recent natural disasters have delayed a good bit of product, so Linda (ORC founder) has added a week to the challenge. Since I am in the middle of a major move, we are sticking to our original shoot date and plan. Next week's post will likely just be a sneak peek (one photo) and then you can see the full space on 11/16. 

Be sure to follow along to see how everyone else is handling their projects. You can also get some insight into what we've been sourcing by checking out our project's pinboard. 

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: Whatchu Know About Wallpaper?
 

One Room Challenge: What We're Styling With + Budget Breakdown

 
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: What We're Styling With + Budget Breakdown
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: What We're Styling With + Budget Breakdown
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: What We're Styling With + Budget Breakdown
Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: What We're Styling With + Budget Breakdown

Alright, folks, are you ready for week four? I'm just going to come right out and say it - this post is a quickie! We have made so much progress on The One Room Challenge to date - but have a looooooong way to go. The painting and wallpaper was done earlier this week, but I'm saving those photos for next week.

This week, we're talking about the almighty dolla dolla bill, ya'll. Let's break down the budget. Where did we spend? Well, truth be told, we didn't get too spendy here. We planned to keep the budget low, but didn't anticipate that we could pull both rooms together for less than $2k. So how did we do it? Well, we did our best to work with the existing items in the room. The bed, for example, was begging for a little "umphf." To highlight this piece, we wallpapered the wall behind it and added sconces beside it. Next to the bed, we scored the steal of the century - a set of Anthropologie nightstands for $300! How? SUPER SALE! They were a little damaged and discounted to reflect that. After coming up short in that category, we pounced!

Alana and I also put our thrifting skills to #werk. We spent an afternoon hitting up all of our favorite thrift stores. We scored some pretty fantastic artwork, mirrors and decor. They will all come together in a gallery wall above the little blue bench and will make the space POP - but also help to keep the budget in check. You can check out all of the other items we considered for the space here.

All in all, we're super excited to be on budget. We're jazzed about how the space is turning out, but are honestly getting a little bit burned out. Pulling two rooms together in six weeks is NO JOKE! On top of that, Alana (client) is currently on a work trip in India and I am in the middle of a major move. Buying and selling homes at the same time is one of the more stressful things I've ever done. I can't wait to be on the other side of things. 

Wish us luck as we crawl towards the finish line.

Michelle Gage // One Room Challenge: What We're Styling With + Budget Breakdown