the prettiest ugliest room

Hi, loves.

I intended to share more kitchen projects today,
but if I don’t share this,
it won’t be fresh and then I’ll stash the photos away in a folder and forget about them.
(Can’t tell you how many times that happened last year.)

If you are at all squeamish, look away now.

My husband and I had a dumpster delivered on Monday morning
to purge years of clutter and leftover do-it-yourself project remnants in the basement.
We also tore up the old berber carpet in my craft room/studio to get to the hardwoods beneath.

I will be renovating this room soon and using it as our master bedroom.
(Edyn still shares with her twin brother, so she’ll get our current room.)

My craft room is the {potentially} prettiest ugliest room in the house.
It has the most existing character, but became that room off the kitchen where I stored all the stuff
that didn’t have a proper place yet, projects that I intended to work on, boxes, etc.

I don’t sew in there.
I don’t paint in there.
I don’t do anything in there…except fill it up with miscellaneous.
Oh, and there was that one time I answered the door in there when my sweet new neighbor returned a dish
that I sent over with freshly baked asparagus.
He saw my awful mess in all it’s glory.

I wanted to die for 14 seconds.

Yeah, so…such a wasted space with huge potential.

Here’s my diamond in the rough.
The rough rough.

A bay window with soon to be new windows that are presently sitting in my hallway
(and custom linen cushion, pillows, and window treatments)…

Built-in shelving on the opposite wall will be freshly painted white along with the walls
to freshen and and brighten this room up.
We all know that plan could change 15 times before I actually buy the paint…and a few times after.

This room is a bit small (even smaller than our current bedroom).
I did some measuring and our king size bed will fit along with a dresser.
According to the measuring tape, my armoire will fit too,
but I won’t know for sure until everything is in there and I get a feel for the actual space.
It will certainly be cozy!
I may need to nix the armoire and come up with a solution using the built-ins,
whether it’s making the left side a little deeper to make a spot to hang my clothes
and covering it with a pretty linen curtain. I can tuck my tees and socks in little fabric bins.
I’ll use the right side and below the window to set out frames and such.
Not exactly symmetrical though, so again, I’ll just have to think on it and cross that bridge when I get to it,
which I’m not touching until the kitchen is completely finished!

To the right of the shelving is a door that leads to our back patio area.
I love the idea of having a door right off the bedroom.
(We believe in the 2nd amendment around here, so that doesn’t worry me.)

My husband accidentally blasted the door with a quart of French gray paint (lid wasn’t on tight)
and I didn’t even bother to get it all off.
(He also spilled a quart of disgusting fingerprints. Uh. Embarrassing. Keeping it real.)
It will be getting some new paint soon anyhow.

And here is my thorn in the side…

A gigantic-way-too-big-for-the-space-just-like-my-other-fireplace-fireplace.
This thing is a monster and throws off the symmetry of the entire room.
(It’s to the left of the bay window.)

One nice thing about it is the unintentional inset for a flat screen TV.
Hopefully painting it white with the walls will let it blend in to the space a bit more.
Oh, who am I kidding?

There is a little history with the bricks themselves though.
They were salvaged by the original builders from Elmira N.Y. Brick Works,
which made bricks in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
(This house wasn’t built until 1964, so I’m not sure where the bricks lived before this fireplace.)
That said, I will appreciate it and make it work.

The hardwoods definitely need refinishing!
I think I may just sand them and paint them a grayish white.
(I love the look of painted floors and would do the whole house if the man was on board.)
Lifting the carpet revealed this mess in one small area…

Despite being warped from an obvious moisture issue at one point,
I’d actually love it if all of the hardwood planks in my house were separated like that (intentionally, not from damage).
For a half-second, I actually considered “accidentally” leaving a hose on and running through
my living room window the next time we leave for vacation.
Totally kidding.
Farmhouse floors are lovely. Mold and mildew is not.

Told you it was the {potentially} prettiest ugliest room in the house.

I can’t wait to get started.

I hope you’ve had a lovely week so far,
even it involved a little of this…

Feels so good to simplify and get rid of the things that weigh our minds down.

Do you have a “catch all” room in your house that could be so much more than it currently is?

I’ll put together a little mood board with ideas & inspiration this weekend if it doesn’t interfere with kitchen progress.
I’m not letting myself get distracted in 2013.

Shine bright like a diamond,
Jami (and Rihanna)


  1. So glad you’re back Jami! Missed your lovely posts during your blogging break. I’m sure the room will turn out gorgeous. I actually think the brick fireplace makes for a great architectural feature…adds a lot of character. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. everything you do is always so beautiful. :)
    Jessica @ Dear Emmeline recently posted..White Empire DresserMy Profile

    • Jami says:

      Thank you so much, Jessica. Happy you can see the potential. This is only my second post since returning to blogging, so I was a little nervous to air my ‘dirty’ laundry already. ;) I wish I could love that fireplace a bit more like every one else…I would if it were half the size. I have such HUGE fireplaces in my not huge house. I’ll make it work though. Just needs a white paint brush and a little attention like the rest of the space! I actually thought (after I wrote the post) that a white tufted panel instead of a TV inside that little inset might be pretty. Then I can tack sweet photos of my little ones, etc. to it. Thanks for the note!

  2. Jill Flory says:

    Why oh why do people stick brick fireplaces in crazy places??!! I’m sure you will make it work just fine. And I love the realness of this post. My catchall for the past few years has been our bedroom. I am so ready to make it a lovely retreat instead of a storage room where we happen to sleep! Maybe this spring.
    Jill Flory recently posted..Lilla Rose – Sponsor FeatureMy Profile

  3. B says:

    WELCOME back Jami! Glad all is well. :)

  4. Rebecca says:

    Oh yes – just about every room is a catch-all; for now with (de)construction. I love seeing all the potential with empty rooms. All the best – Rebecca
    Rebecca recently posted..First attempt at filmMy Profile

  5. Chris says:

    Way to use that dumpster! I am excited to see your new beautiful WHITE room. :)
    Chris recently posted..Purse for me + zippy pouchMy Profile

  6. SueAnn says:

    Can’t wait to see the room…esp as you go along! Exciting

  7. Anne says:

    Doesn’t it feel good to purge! I love getting rid of things that I don’t use anymore.I either donate or if it is beyond that i just throw it out.
    Yes right now my catch all is my studio.It is quite messy in that room right now.Getting ready for a show and keeping up with my inventory.Hopefully it will look better in a month LOL!
    Anne recently posted..Simply ShabbiliciousMy Profile

  8. Thistle says:


    I am so happy to see you back!!!!! I totally missed you! I know that your room is going to be AMAZING when you go all freckled laundry on it!

    Have a great day rock star!
    Thistle recently posted..The Little Office That CouldMy Profile

  9. You will make that room a rock star, Jami. It must feel really good to get rid of all the unwanted junk. I think that was a great thing to start with.
    Elizabeth@ Blue Clear Sky recently posted..Decorating with PlatesMy Profile

  10. Lynne says:

    Hello darling blogdaughter!
    I have missed you!
    Jay’s old bedroom is the catch all room! It holds my craft stuff and remnants of his childhood. Last summer I sent 3 rubbermaid boxes of baseball memorabilia back to Idaho with him!
    I think that your ugliest prettiest room is going to be amazing!
    Lynne recently posted..wrapped in the light blue notes of Dolce & Gabbana for less that a dollar a day…My Profile

  11. fireplace, wood floors, built-ins and a door to the garden–your room is a diamond in the rough, jami:) painted floors are on my to do list–love that idea!
    lynn at shabby story recently posted..simply shabbilious magazine…My Profile

  12. Linda says:

    Love that bay window …. and how lucky you are to have all the bookshelves! And did I say I LOVE that bay window?

  13. Denise T says:

    Wow! Can’t wait to see the makeover

  14. B-rend says:

    Exciting – I just wanted to offer my two bobs worth of opinion on your fireplace. I think it looks too bricky. If it were mine I would add more grout so that the it became a flatter surface with not so much individual brick exposed – then paint it. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing.

  15. Marian says:

    Girl! So glad you’re back! I have total dumpster envy. How amazing to get rid of it all in one fell swoop. I dream of days like that.

    So while you were gone, I got brave and signed up to be a vendor at the spring Lucketts fair. You coming?

  16. Diana says:

    I’m so happy that you are back, you were missed. Love that bay window can’t wait to see more!

  17. Jo says:

    I’m so glad to have you back. It was sad to me, everyday checking, and everyday you not there. While I love your daughter’s adorable head (12/24), I love your new blogs as well. Regarding that fireplace, first of all I love painted brick. I think if you did something with the actual firebox area – something more trendy – it would be gorgeous. Once you get the TV up and maybe add a couple sconces, it will be lovely.

  18. bj says:

    What a great room this will be…somehow, somewhere, I got the idea it was a basement room but I see, from the outside door, it isn’t.
    ANYway, it will be an awesome bedroom….
    xo bj

  19. Colleen says:

    Oh that room is going to be amazing. I really like the fireplace. The wood floors, the built-ins, the bay window. You have so many features to make lovely!

    *glad you’re back*


  20. OOOOHHHHH i see stuff in the dumpster i want LOL
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  21. Janice says:

    Welcome back Jami! Love the room – does the fireplace work? I have one in my bedroom and love it. I agree with B-rend, fill in the grout and paint the whole thing and it will look less “toothy”. I wonder if you could put a flat screen in that inset – how would you wire it? Maybe the tufted board would be better there. At first I thought that if it were my room I would take down the bookcase – I hated having a bookcase in my bedroom, seemed like too much clutter. But, I’m sure you can make it work (mine was actually needed for books!) It would be more space though without it :) I can imagine a single glass french door leading out to that patio area! And I love your idea of painting the floors. Whatever you do I’m sure it will be just beautiful.

  22. alima says:

    Can’t wait to see how to transform this room into something beautiful, as you always do!

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