Do y’all remember waaaaaaay back when I revealed my latest set of Project Elephant goals?

If you don’t (and I don’t blame you), here’s what my list looks like now with the updates:

project elephant checklist #3 updated

Despite the fact that it’s taken me forever to post about it, I’ve been chipping away steadily at all of the tasks on the list (except those darn curtains and window seat, which, honestly, aren’t a huge priority right now) and even getting some things done for the space (like this ampersand marquee light) that weren’t on the list. (Also, if you’re a stickler for details and noticed that I marked out the gallery wall but didn’t actually do a gallery wall—you’ll see what I mean in a minute—I’m okay with that because I solved the problem of the big empty wall to my satisfaction for now, and I’m just going with it).

Oh, and also remember those awesome scrolly end tables from trip down the junking rabbit hole? Well, I painted them, and they’ll be important at the end of the post when I ask you a question. So…yeah. Keep those in mind.

If you recall from the “imperfect room reveal” that got this particular Project Elephant list rolling, our upstairs sitting area was perfectly fine, if a bit lacking in pizzazz. But I wasn’t quite ready to call it good. After a bit of tweaking, though, I’m really liking the changes.

Let’s start with a few befores and afters, shall we? Those are always fun.

Here is the straight on view towards the dresser before I painted or styled it.



And here’s the after:


{Hello, color!}

Wanna try that again?



Aaaaaaand after:


And, now, doing a 180, here’s a before shot from the opposite direction toward the book shelf.


And here’s the after:


{Grrr… I just now  noticed that my kiddos messed up the spacing between the books before I took these pictures}

I went ahead and painted the trim around the book shelf the same blue as the dresser: Benjamin Moore’s Pacific Palisades (which I had matched at Sherwin Williams). I love how it makes the trim pop against the wall and ties together the room a little more.

Another thing that helps make the room feel more cohesive?

Pillows. Specifically the teal pillows that play up the blue of the dresser and the trim perfectly.


{See him peaking out from the behind the bird pillow?}

I made them with this Premier Prints Cameron Aquarius slub fabric that Online Fabric Store was nice enough to send me. They actually provided me with the pillow forms too as well as several other gorgeous options (I got to choose, so as you can imagine, I had a field day with that one) that you’ll be seeing more of as I complete a few more fun projects I have planned for them. You should definitely head on over and check them out. But I warn you, if you’re a fabric lover, and you don’t have a few hours to spare, don’t go right now. You just might end up frittering away half your day browsing through all of the eye candy. (You can see some of my faves from my vibrant home decor fabric post).


I love the subtle wood grain-esque pattern up against the large scale geometric print of the rug.

You know what else I love?

The fact that this…


Now looks like this:


What a difference a few accessories make, right?

Especially this little guy.


His name is Ramsey. : )

And now it’s story time. I went to Goodwill last week looking for a frame to transform into a piece of chalkboard art for the baby shower I’m hosting this weekend. But I left without one because, even though my Goodwill is still crazy reasonable compared to most, their prices have been creeping steadily upwards for the last year or so, and I couldn’t find a single decent-sized frame for less than $9. What?? (I mean, we’re talking about prints of Raggedy Ann in a plastic frame, y’all).

I did, however, spot Ramsey languishing between a piece of 1983 kitchen art with ducks on it and a half-used candle from 1965. I didn’t even look for a price tag because, hey, I know this Goodwill, and he was going to be $1 tops. But then I got him to the register, and the girl couldn’t find a tag, so she said, “Um, that thing is $2.” I just stared at her. Because a) hello, “that thing” has a name? and b) $2????

In case you think I’m being chintzy (all right, I am being chintzy), I’ll have you know that Ramsey did not start out pretty and smooth and shiny gold. He was chippy and a weird, mottled shade of muddy copper. So, while yes, $2 is a fine price for a random decorative thingamajig elsewhere, my Goodwillhad no business even attempting such a racket.

Anyhoo, when I didn’t respond, she went on ringing up the rest of my purchases (which included a HUGE awesome lamp + shade for $4; can we say random pricing at its best?) and eventually came back to Ramsey. She cast me a sheepish glance and muttered, “Um, actually, I think he might have been a dollar. That okay?”

And I nodded regally, taking care to conceal my smirk of triumph.

Oh, and since I’m on such a big before and after kick, let’s take one more quick gander from yet another angle.



And after:


I think my favorite addition to that side of the room is that gold chair (remember?) and pillow that I made from Amy Butler’s Passion Lily fabric.


Another fun detail?


The knobs I scored at Hobby Lobby to really make that gorgeous deep teal of the dresser pop. They were $2 each, and I needed 7, which (in combination with the amount of paint that I used from the gallon of Pacific Palisade I bought) brought the grand total of my dresser revamp to about $20, with $14 of that going to the knobs. Not as cheap as it could have been, but they really do pack a punch in terms of impact.

And now we really need to talk about those end tables. (I told you they would come up again).


I love how the gold warms up the room, but obviously, I don’t love how  they look without anything in the center of them.


{Kind of weird, no?}

I mentioned that I might be able to get the glass for them if the lady that sold them to me can find it. So, there’s an option. But I also think it might be fun to put a cushion in the center of each and make them into table/stools. Obviously, with all the color and pattern I already have going on in the room, I would keep the fabric neutral. Maybe a burlap or an oatmeal-colored linen to contrast with the shine of the gold?

I’d love to have you weigh in on this one? What’s your vote? Glass or cushions?

What do you think of the rest of the changes? I’m really happy with how much more finished everything looks, not mention all the happy colors. I literally grin every time I walk up the stairs now.

P.S. Did you notice I didn’t show you the side of the room with the window seat? That’s because it will be getting its own post soon(ish).


  1. Love the room!! Cushions are more practical with kiddos…but maybe you could do plexiglass if you wanted the glass affect. You probably wouldn’t really be able to notice a difference, and then it would be more kid friendly. 😉

  2. Cushions–very practical with kids and still can be used as tables. But I confess that the idea of burlap or oatmeal linen with that lovely gold sounds blecky to me. What about a cream fabric that has gold scrolls on it? Or even apricot scrolls? Or maybe just a very small pattern with cream as the base color and only one other color, so that from further away it looks neutral-ish. Ooo! What about plexiglass first and then top that with removable cushions!! (Definitely no glass with the small kiddos around, though. Plexiglass looks surprisingly good–you would never know it wasn’t glass until you snapped your finger against it.)

  3. I also thought of the wood on the couch but I wouldn’t do it the same blue. I think that would over do it and mess with the good mix of colors you have. I’d leave it (you have that color in the pillows and things) or at the most paint it a completely different color… like maybe the nice yellow of the one pillow (but then that might not look great with the gold accents). Just wanted to put in my two cents worth just in case you were considering a change there. 🙂

    1. I dont know… maybe you COULD get by with a nice yellow on the couch like the lamp and drawer knobs. I think that’d really add some kick! (Like you asked… :/ haha)

  4. Im thinking the tables might be a bit tall for cushions but that’s hard to tell for sure… I’m not sure I’d love plain glass either… what if you put your fabric under the glass? It’d hide the ledge where the glass rests and give them just a little more visual weight… I guess I dont see bamboo and glass as a normal combo. I feel like iron and glass or cherry wood and glass but that style is something different. I think your neutral fabric under the glass would give some texture but keep it sturdy and protected. You could even add pics or print outs of sayings or reading pages but I think plain fabric would be nice.

  5. I totally agree that goodwill prices are so random. I was there the other day and they had a little stuffed doll (the kind that holler when you push their belly and the mouth opens to show a couple of cute teeth) that my friend has been looking for. It worked and the price was $1.00 so i grabbed it up and continue looking. Then i found another one, same doll, different color with her hair cut off and a note that said “works, no batteries” for $1.50. Weird, got both of them but mentioned it to cashier when I checking out and she said they can’t do marked price changes without sending it to the back room first. So the price varies depending on who is in the back room I guess.

  6. Ack! If you did a 360 (which is a full circle), you’d be right back where you started. The angle you’re showing of the opposite side of the room means you did a 180 degree turn.

  7. Wow, the room looks wonderful!
    Did you think about also painting the edge of the sofa (that is now light blue-ish) the same color as the dresser?

    Also, I vote for glass, but I’m a bit worried it would break. Your kids could get hurt. What about some transparent plexi glass? Perhaps that would be safer.

  8. I vote glass. They have a nice edge on them to keep the glass protected from the kiddos (and the kiddos protected from the glass), and cushions would cover up the bamboo too much I think.

  9. I vote on cushions! Glass makes me think fingerprints or that they might get broken by a little one and cause an injury!

  10. love the colors. just a suggestion…maybe you could put a slightly bigger shade on the lamp for a little balance? it just seems like the on there is too small for it.

  11. Your sitting room is adorable!

    I like the idea of cushions, but not sure they would work with those tables (they may be too fragile to sit on?). Glass may not be practical with young children in the house. What about getting some mdf board cut to fit the tops and cover it with pretty wallpaper or fabric to compliment the room?

  12. I’d go with the cushions in the tables rather than glass. Extra seating
    if needed and no cleaning like a glass insert will demand.

  13. I think you should get that faux marble contact paper and cover the glass or a board with it. Check out “I Heart Organizing”. She did it to her round coffee table and it’s awesome!

  14. I like the cushions as long as the tables are sturdy enough to be used as stools. I’m always afraid of glass with little ones toddling around. (Of course, I’m possibly a bit paranoid, but still…) Although I like a neutral color, do you think that little fingers will ruin a light color quickly? Just a thought. My little ones attract mud, dirt, chocolate and many other wonderful, wonderful fabric altering substances all day, every day. 🙂 I’m terrified of white and any light color! LOL I just love the room though. It’s really beautiful. And I’m glad you gave Ramsey a home. 🙂

  15. Definitely cushions…if you need a hard surface to set things on you could have a small tray on one of them or cradled in the middle of the two end tables. Maybe the tray could pull in more of your blue color. I love how you pull colors together…your room looks great 🙂

  16. Cushions! You could then place a cute tray on top if you need to put a drink/snack/book, etc on there.

  17. Fun updates! Have you considered painting the bookshelf shelves (oye that’s a mouthful) to match the wainscoting? I think that would significantly improve the overall look 🙂
    I vote glass top on the tables. Lowe’s will cut it for you very reasonably priced!

  18. Cushions!With five kids, two of them inquisitive gorgeous toddlers, you may want to skip out on glass lest someone break it!

    By the way, the room looks gorgeous! I love that build in bookcase! I would need four of those because I have {my husband says way too many} a lot of books.

  19. I think the glass would be preferable. Only worried that constant sitting on them is going to loosen the legs and theyll start creaking and break quickly since they werent built for 5 kids sitting and climbing on them contantly. Plus they are also a little high and wide for “stools”. I love the paint job on them though! Very classy!!

I love hearing from you guys!