Thursday, May 7, 2015


Greetings dear friends and visitors!

Welcome to week six, the final week, of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE!  

Let me preface the title of my post by saying the "semi-reveal" or the "soft reveal"!  Week six really could have been titled:  REVISIONS...  Therefore giving me a second week five!  LOL!  Not the case.  Well, my sofa sold!  It sold in less than a week and I was seriously thrown for a loop!  It just so happens that the shipping company was in Minnesota when I booked the shipment and they picked up the sofa yesterday.  Their next scheduled trip to the area is in three weeks.  I simply didn't want my client to wait over a month to have her sofa delivered to her home in California .  

I admit, I've needed more than a day to REVISE my floor plan.  The photo, below, was a test shot I snapped right before the sofa was picked up; you can see a sliver of it in the photo.  

My sincere apologies and please forgive me for any disappointment or underwhelm I've caused.  I'll be posting photos throughout the WEEK, so PLEASE remember to return to BONGRANDE to see the fruits of my labor...

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Well, folks, here we are again!  Week five of the One Room Challenge!  A huge dose of gratitude to Linda of the wonderful blog, Calling it Home, for conceiving the ORC!  Linda, your vision has truly inspired and empowered a movement amongst bloggers and designers alike!  We are all working so diligently to conceptualize, document, and implement the design of our perspective "one rooms" in a six week time period.  Without this challenge, I'd still be swimming in an ocean of moving boxes.  As with any design process, revisions are a reality.  Whether it's a delay in materials, a wrong choice in paint or fabric, or just a "simple" change of mind; revisions are part of the process...
Trust me, I've come a long way, baby...

Here's one of my 1st revisions- the Ward Bennett chairs (I know, I know, don't remind me!)...


After all of that upholstery drama, I'm totally out of love with the Bennett chairs!  Can you believe, it?  Yes, after having them re-reupholstered!  In pure design fashion and Craigslist (CL) karma, a pair that I prefer, far more, popped up on the Chicago CL 2 days AFTER I returned to Duluth- a pair of, 1 owner, mint condition, vintage Westnofa chairs and the ottoman (wow!) for a bargain and a half!  That's exactly what I get for strolling on CL after returning to Duluth!  I fell in love and had my girlfriend and her husband drive 1 hour out of the city, they got lost so it was 2 hours, to purchase them for me.  Now the chairs are in Chicago and I'm in Duluth.  I've listed the blue Bennett chairs for sale- hilarious!  Not exactly sure if the Westnofas will make it to Duluth by week six.

Took A LOT of pressure off by deciding not to refinish the 4 metal cabinets during the ORC...
Laura Soskin

Urban Remains

Or the 20 cases for the 4 metal barrister bookcases...  

Nor will I ceruse the oak chairs...

Thank goodness I took the pressure off by deciding NOT to attempt these projects during the ORC!  Trust me, it's been enough to MOVE from one state to another, unpack, and find a place for everything.  I am thankful for the ORC because it's kept me moving, creating  the momentum I need to meet my goal of getting my place together relatively quickly.  Otherwise, I might have attempted to live in a labyrinth of boxes and misplaced furniture for a few months, after I caught my breath!  Ha!  However, I'll be stripping paint from metal and polishing metal cabinets most all of the summer.  Good thing I like the work!  This, essentially, is "jam" week, for me!  I've gotten all packing/packaging materials out of my life.  Just when you think you've gotten the last packing peanut out of your life another 5 pop up, literally out of nowhere.  

I will, however, have to employ someone to hang my objets d'art above the kitchen shelves, hopefully their schedule will work with mine.  

Have to hang about 100 gilt Florentine mirrors and frames.  
Former Chicago apartment

Oh!  My desk was delivered!  The stain is delicious!  However, as much as I've been babying it, some of the urethane has chipped off!!!  Come on lady!!!!  Why didn't someone tell me NOT to have it varnished???!!!  I should have had it oil finished- geesh!  Or did she use a poor quality product?  Hmmmm...  She's agreed to (re)refinish the desk, but she's been GHOST since her promise!!!  It's somewhat unfortunate because it cost $$$$$$$$  to hire her for the job; FAR more than I planned or wanted to pay for the work.  On a positive note, I was able to save $$$ by having my building engineer hang my large mirrors and a map that I purchased from a VERY aggressive auction here in Duluth!  

As if all that's not enough, my kilim is too large for the sisal I planned to place under it!  Oh brother!  I'll have to move the sisal to the bedroom.  Too bad, because I was really looking forward to that look.  Of course, the kilim will look better with the dag-on WHITE SOFA!!!!  

Guess what?  I felt so desperate for a white sofa that I had an impulse to drive 2 1/2 hours to buy one from IKEA, as a place holder (and I dislike place holders!)???!!!!  LOL!!  What am I???  Delusional???  How could I have had the thought, especially knowing how I feel about Ikea?!!  I cannot even imagine assembling a SOFA, for goodness sake!  The sofa conversation will continue after the ORC.  I believe I've found one that may just be the panacea!

Also, I TOTALLY forgot about my mid century Danish lounge chair and ottoman that need new cushions and webbing.  I've been stalking the only company that I know of that sells custom size, down feather gusseted pillows, to no avail because they're not answering their phone or respond to emails regarding placing an order.  So, I've decided to get an estimate from an upholsterer to make (hopefully down-wrapped) foam pillow inserts for the chair and ottoman, plus install new webbing.  Can he do it for $100???  **UPDATE**  NO, he cannot!  It's going to be $2hundredsomething; perhaps over 3!  In all reality it's a fair estimate, considering what I paid for the 2 pieces and the value of the chair.  Needless to say, the upholsterer won't have it completed for a month or more.  I'm just dreaming about how much I'd like to pay.  Ha!

By the way, mirror, mirror may not hang on the wall for week six.  I'm disappointed about it.  Unless the installer can place the mirror in the frame for $100-$125 it's not going to happen this week.  **UPDATE**  NO, he cannot; $215 is his estimate.  My budget just needs a nap!  I feel like now I'm just trying to get everything done for $100!  Ha!

No budget time to receive the silk velvet ikat fabric from Turkey that would have to be shipped to my seamstress in North Carolina for her to sew custom pillows.  I prefer custom pillows because the dimensions I want are not sold by the seller, additionally, I'm partial to pillows with the same front and back pattern/fabric.  The fabric and pillows shown are from etsy.

Don't you think, those pillows will better compliment a WHITE sofa over my current one?

I'm discovering that I need stuff/tchotchkes/knickknacks!  TOTALLY forgot about coffee table books, statuary, vases, flowers, etc., etc.  Where the heck is Alex Papachristidis when you need him???!!!

I'm so appreciative that you came by to take a look at my project.  Leave a comment letting me know what you think!  Be sure to peruse the blogs of my fellow ORC participants; they are a talented bunch!  Remember to return here, next Thursday, for the REVEAL...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Greetings friends!  The past week flew by and here we are at week four of the One Room Challenge (ORC) sponsored by Linda of, the blog, Calling It Home.  Week four has been more productive than week one, week two, and week three, combined!  It's the week where the fruits of your labor come into fruition.  Since we've visited last, I broke up with Mr. Upholsterer.  I know, he deserved it, right?!  No longer am I in Chicago!  I've moved my furniture to Duluth!  I'm in utter amazement!!!

Remember my storage unit, from week two?  Keep in mind, this photo does NOT accurately represent just how full it was, prior to sending the furniture to the upholsterer!

Here it is now!  Well, how I vacated it, I'm sure someone's rented it by now.  I couldn't even believe that it was empty after the movers cleared it!  I actually felt a bit teary eyed!  I sold furniture out of that particular unit for over 5 years.  It was the perfect amount of space to house my ever growing, ever changing inventory.  Believe it or not, the photo does not do it justice!  LOL!  The painted brick walls were terribly attractive, especially, the extremely high barreled brick ceiling.  I used to fantasize about staging it as a studio apartment...  Ever designing!

I could hardly believe that my belongings filled an entire 24' truck!!!  I knew I had a lot of stuff, but, I HAVE A LOT OF STUFF!  I've moved several times and have lived a few places- D.C., California, even France, to name a few; but this was my first experience organizing, rather orchestrating, a move of THIS  magnitude!  

It was rather bittersweet...

Remember the "kitchen" I loved to hate???  Specifically, the cabinets I DETESTED....


GONE!  OMG!  Looks 1000% better!  So much more lighter in that area.  You can see a difference in paint color where the cabinets were...

I was seriously concerned if the new white paint would perfectly match the existing wall color.  I simply did not want to have the ENTIRE (refrigerator) wall repainted; it runs the length of the apartment.  Fortunately, the paint was a PERFECT, EXACT match!!!
The stainless shelves are from Ikea (& here).  I am not a fan of Ikea.  EVERY TIME (seriously, without fail!!) I've bought something from Ikea, it's bumped, bruised, or scratched (in the box!)- these shelves were NO exception!  I would have returned them, however they were shipped (had I made a store purchase, I would have opened each and EVERY box to inspect the contents!), the nearest Ikea is 2 1/2 hours away, plus I HAD to have them installed- there was no negotiation of time.  The shelves look good (professional), even better, they worked with the budget.  Commercial restaurant grade shelves priced me out!  The Ikea shelves were a fraction of what a set of commercial shelves cost.  

Remember my living area and how I had been living for 7 months?

Welcome home!!!

My movers were THE most responsible, conscientious, professional team.  They knew I was very concerned about my belongings-  LOTS of glass, high ticket items, fragile pieces.  Every single item on the truck traveled safely into my apartment.  What a blessing!  

I was so exhausted, overwhelmed, and sleep deprived on move day, but I HAD to bring some semblance of order (and aesthetic) to the room...

I was soooooo right about my "new" sofa!  It's lovely, but far too dark for the look I'm seeking to achieve!  eBay & etsy, here it comes!

Those arm chairs look 1000% percent better, don't they?  Remember, during week three, I had the pair upholstered in the Brunschwig & Fils chocolate velvet and pink embroidered fabric?  I know, don't judge me!!  I disliked them so much that I had Mr. Upholsterer (re)reupholster them in the Robert Allen fabric and it's done them complete justice!  They are very chic, now!
Give it to me straight!  Does it look like I have a lot to do???  I really cannot tell.  Looking at this photo, I'm reminded that I still have to get the mirror replaced in the frame; I'm unsure if that's going to happen- the budget is getting a tad bit weary. 

Will my inspiration room become a reality???!!!  I just love that nearly every element of this room is a "conversation piece".  It's the the kind of vibe I hope to attain when week six appears.  Again, with the white sofa- I love a white sofa, I have to get one and fast!  

Glori Salva

Last, but certainly not least!  My Milo Baughman desk!  I've had this piece since '08.  Of course there's a story behind it!  Horrible Craigslist photo, but, I KNEW it was something, just as I did with the Schaefer bench.  Drove over an hour to take a look at it and snapped it up for a song, from the original owner.  Fast forward to the present...  I've located a refinisher who has agreed to lay down her principles and stain it ebony for me.  The walnut has more than a few issues; while I'd love to have it stained it's original color, it's best to employ a dark stain.  Dark, but with some translucence; I want to be able to see the grain of the wood- I do NOT want it to look painted dark.  More importantly, she can deliver the desk next week.  We shall hope and see.  

The three drawers are busted and wrapped.  I don't have a referral for the refinisher, I just pray she's not like my ex, Mr. Upholsterer!  As much furniture as I've had refinished this will be my first time working with a woman.  Go girls!  Lady, PLEASE do me proud!  

An updated version of my things to do...


-Remove kitchen cabinets
-Buy kitchen shelves
-Hang kitchen shelves
-Find someone to remove cabinets & hang shelves
-Buy kitchen work table "island"
-Locate and buy interesting art  Have a few cool pieces; could use more.  Paint a few large canvases???
-Hang LARGE mirrors
-Find someone to hang mirrors!
-Order round glass tops for side/end tables
-Sandblast metal cabinets (in Chicago; 4 pieces)
-Refinish 5 metal cabinets & 4, 5-stack metal barrister bookcases  Won't happen during the ORC!!!
-Refinish & ceruse brown wooden chairs  Won't happen during the ORC!!!
-Locate & buy pillows (custom pillows???)  Purchased 4, had 4 madeNeed MORE due to upholstery change!!!  Won't happen during the ORC!!!
-Select & buy upholstery fabric
-Upholster furniture (in Chicago; 14 pieces- by a professional of course!)
-Buy lampshades (in Chicago; have custom made???)
-Have lamp rewired & made taller into a floor lamp
-Locate wood refinisher (in Duluth) & have desk repaired/stained/refinished
-Have mirror replaced in frame
-Place furniture
-Lay rugs (possibly buy a couple!!!)  Purchased 2; using 1!
-Custom drapes (after further consideration, noooooo way $$$$$$$$$)  Not making the INVESTMENT!!!
-BUDGET???  WHO KNOWS!!!  I'll let you know!

Well, the show is still going on and is in perpetual motion, over here!  See you next week, by that time I shall have every piece of cardboard, peanut, bubble and stretchy wrap out of my life.  Be sure to visit my fellow participants in the ORC, leave them a cheery comment, they are all quite talented.  

Review my progress: