Press Room & Den Reveal (Finally!)


Yep, it's done!

Ok peeps - this post has been over a year in the making, so warning: it's long. And jam packed with photos.  See that room above? Remember when it looked like this?

Yeah... It was a look I like to call "vintage McDonald's." Things actually improved when we gutted it down to the studs.

Anything was an improvement, right? But after a year of hard work, most of which Mike did himself, we now get to admire this view every day (including kitty photobombs):

Here's another before/after view of the other side:

We took the staircase out to make room for some Pax wardrobes from Ikea to store all of my paper and press materials. Ella is quite happy in her new home, and the mirrored doors really amplify the light in this space.

The painting above the press is an original Erica. I'm way too cheap to buy artwork so I just painted some (and if you like it, a smaller version may be coming to an Etsy store near you).

Since this room houses my press and imposing table, I also needed to make it functional. Some more storage solutions from Ikea help me wrangle smaller supplies, and some magnetic boards on the wall display my current collection.

Let's talk about the fireplace:

Instead of removing the brick, Mike just recovered the entire wall in cement board and tiled right over it. I'm totally in love with the modern, white porcelain tiles that look like a natural stone. Even though we got a contractor's discount on the tile, it was still a splurge item for us. Worth. Every. Cent.

The mirror is a discount Stein Mart find, and we hung it up using a suspension system that is used in art galleries so we wouldn't have to dig into that pricey tile. The Diana statue was a birthday gift to myself this year. I won't get into it (because it will take up the whole post) but Diana is my girl (I'm a Cancer = ruling planet = the moon = Diana, Goddess of the Moon). She's the reason I got into archery when I was younger.

You also may have noticed that the wedding silhouettes that used to hang over our bed have been relocated. I love them in their new spot!

You guys have already seen some of the in-progress shots of the built-in bookcase Mike created, but here's it finished and full:

I had fun filling up the bookcase with some personal, meaningful mementos. Now that our silhouettes are down here, I thought it would be cheeky to make a couple for the kitties:

My faux coral problem shows no signs of slowing:

And I seem to have picked up a brass animal addiction. The lion (for our kitty, Leo) is from Target, and the whale is from an antique shop in New Hampshire. We picked him up during a visit north this summer for my birthday.

I love this little geometric piece I got for a dollar at Jordan's - he's holding down the stack of my HGTV magazine collection.

My mother found the owl bookends at Marshals, but they were an ugly brown color. I gave them a coat of some gold rub n'buff and now they really shine.

Of course, I had to make all of the pillows and curtains myself - all the fabric is from Ikea. The kitties just love the new window which lets in a ton of light.

The coffee tables were another DIY project. They formerly belonged to my cousin (who sold them to me at a family yard sale for practically nothing) and were up in our living room for awhile. I painted them white and gold leafed the top. I created one of my infamous faux succulent centerpieces for the top along with some beautiful wooden boxes I found at Homegoods (that hold the television remotes) and a little owl who was a gift from my friend Tanya.

I'm totally, absolutely, undeniably in love with this room. It feels amazing to finally find my style. It's like my brain exploded onto the walls. It also feels really good to have something DONE. Although, we kind of hate the black handscraped floors and may replace them down the road.

Now, I just need to make the rest of the house look this good. In designing this room, I tried to stick to a simple formula: color, pattern & texture. I used my favorite colors - black, white & gray - as a base and built on that. Many lessons were learned here - ones I'll be incorporating into the rest of the house.

Here's the part where most home renovation bloggers would break down the cost of the project and tell you how much they saved. Yeah... I can't do that. I have no idea. I know, we're bad - we should keep better track of projects. But this one took so long, and numbers make me nauseous, so that didn't happen. I know we saved a ton of money doing everything ourselves. Well, Mike did everything - I accessorized. But there's a lot in here that we dropped some dimes on. That gorgeous black and white chair for example? That was a clearance find at Homegoods. And it was teal. I took a trip over to my local designer discount fabric place and scored that luxe black and white fabric for $6 a yard. Then, we had it recovered, for the price of tuition at a community college for one semester. Man, was that expensive! Worth it, but expensive.

Other things were surprisingly affordable - like the carpet. I had a large remnant cut down at a local carpet place to fit our awkward space and actually got 3 rugs out of it - cost per rug came out to $130 or so each.

Next up, we'll be tackling my office. We hope to gut the room this winter and start rebuilding. I'm already dreaming of Tanzania wallpaper, a glass topped desk, and gorgeous butterfly prints. Stay tuned - hopefully it won't take us another year!


  1. Erica! I'm dying! The room is GORGEOUS! I would live in that room 24/7. I am so impressed at all the steals and deals and little details that make it so unique, and so YOU! I may just be hitting you up for some interior design tips... and how to be patient! Darn I wish I had an Ikea within reasonable distance, or a homegoods for that matter!

    Congrats girl! It looks AMAZING!

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Rita! It was definitely a labor of love. I can't wait to take a sledgehammer to the room next door (my office) so this level of our house will be totally done! Although, I guess when you own a home, nothing is ever really done. :)

  2. Wow! It looks amazing! I love the light in there!! So happy for you! :)

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! It was a total cave before (I made a lot of troll jokes...) - so it's great to have a lot of light to work by now!

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything. It turned out so beautifully and so "you" (which is the same thing). And your photos are amazing too!! Magazine-worthy, 100%.

    1. Thanks, t! I'm loving my new 50mm lens! I have renewed hope for better photos for the blog!

  4. This room is just beautiful! I love how you used neutrals throughout with a few bold accents thrown in- a great way to change things up if you want a different colour in the space. And I love that porcelain fireplace surround- it came out lovely.
    I've made myself a throw pillow in the same orange IKEA fabric- I change the colours up seasonally and love the orange in the fall. IKEA has great fabric for a modern esthetic- the one and only fabric chain in my area has boring patterns but IKEA has a decent selection of contemporary patterns at a great price. I think I will have to pick up some of that black with white dots- sadly it looks like the other black & white fabric you've used is no longer offered :(
    Congrats on a job well done- you guys should proud of your room.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I love IKEA fabric - I'm actually opening up another shop next month and will have a lot of pillow covers made from IKEA fabric - it's just so durable and pretty and graphic. The other black and white pillows I didn't make, but they still have them: - only $12.99!


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