Handmade Modern Mosaic Tile

kitchen profile pic


When Mercedes Austin with Minneapolis’ Mercury Mosaics reached out and wanted to collaborate on a kitchen backsplash design together I nearly passed out from excitement. My husband and I always wanted tile in our kitchen but when we designed the kitchen a few years ago, that was taken out of the budget to make room for other things. To get creative I came up with the idea of installing shiplap to the back of our range wall for character and dimension foregoing the boring blank wall of drywall.

KT Before

This is the before:


Shiplap kitchenjpeg

Disclosure: If you’re in the market and researching Mercury Mosaics these are my words, review, and opinions only and should be taken as such.


All Good Things Come To Those Who Wait.

Fast forward 3 years to where our handmade modern mosaic tile journey began.

I first was introduced to Mercury Mosaics through my friend Morgan with Construction2Style when she revealed her beautiful, custom kitchen. I think it broke the internet that day, I’m sure of it. I instantly fell in love, how could one not? I thought to myself someday Lea, someday…

So when Mercedes herself reached out to me one day for a collaboration idea (well, first I hyperventilated when I saw her name drop in my email inbox) I instantly jumped to the idea of working together! For I knew I was in good hands (sort of like Allstate but much better, ok I digress). First, Mercedes really wanted to get to know more about me and my husband to truly understand our styles and lifestyle. As a stylist myself I knew the importance of creating this relationship because that’s truly where the magic begins. Understanding and relating to one another (it’s like a dance or speed dating) and then BOOM! the ideas flow out. So we did the tile tango together and after receiving the first mood board I instantly was like YES! It was full of beautiful BOLD color!


But wait…I sat on it and sat on it and sat on it, kinda like a mama bird waiting for her egg to hatch (not literally) and I showed my husband who was like sure, I like it! Hmpf…not the answer I was hoping for (let me follow that up with, he pretty much gives me full reign when it comes to design in our home and by pretty much, I mean all of it). So I turned to our two children, both in their early 20’s and MUCH more creative than their father (I wonder where they get their creative genius from…hmmm…) and they both said it’s beautiful BUT…(ever hear that saying where anything before the word ‘but’ is irrelevant?). Gasp!

My darling and realistic children said you’re a stylist. You change the look of our spaces frequently, do you really want to commit to a color that will direct your story? (Ok, maybe they didn’t say that verbatim but something along those lines). So over a few more conversations with Mercedes, she could hear the ‘change’ in my voice and guess what? She picked up on it (like the mystical person she is) and spoke on it before I even had to say well…

And off to the drawing board, she was! While Mercedes was doing her thang (she gave me a homework packet of taking measurements of the proposed space and I was like girlfriend where were you when I was in 5th-grade math because I would’ve aced math by your direction)!

Making it rain…

After a couple of months (I told Mercedes we were in no rush, I wanted this to be as organic as possible) the day came when I heard from Mercedes and she had some drafts of what the project would look like. I opened my inbox and out popped the quad of her creativity (she gave me 4 design renderings). So what does a girl do with FOUR options? Run it past her Instagram audience of course! I mean…

After polling Instagram in a ‘She Designed, Yall Figure Out What I Should Do Now’ poll the masses chose Option 4.




I turned over the consensus to Mercedes and Laura (her trusty sidekick) and the Tile Elves got busy in the workshop and I decided to take a trip to Mercury Mosaics myself so that I could see all of the magic happen.

Mercury Mosaics Factory

Mosaic Tile Making

Our Tile

It is here where you realize it’s more than tile.

It’s art.

Tile Cut

Tile Score

Cutting Tile

The amount of expression, passion, and skill that I felt and witnessed that day as I passed so many dope creatives was emotional.


Glazing Tile

All the tile gets laid out according to the rendering and placed on a mesh backing.

layout 2

But coffee first..

but coffee first

One by one…

layout 1

All layed out

Here they are in the layout process and set up according to the map for the installers.

Tile on mesh

Tile Layout


I believe it was here in the storyline where Mercedes had the brilliant idea of collaborating with Morgan and Jamie of Construction2Style for the tile installation. I mean who else would be a better fit?

  1. They’ve installed many, many Mercury Mosaic tile projects so they were SUPER familiar with the tile and process.
  2. They’re kickass
  3. They’re just all-around good humans

They said Yes (or I’m sure Morgan was more like ‘hell yes!’) and the Trifecta to this project was born.


Now came the hardest part. Waiting for the tile to be ready. I could barely sleep. I was like is it ready yet?, is it ready yet?, is it ready yet? How about now, is it ready yet?


The skies opened up one day and…

The day finally came and I saw that email from Laura and I looked over to my husband and said ‘Let’s Go!’

Off we went to Mercury Mosaics to pick up our babies, I mean tile.


I couldn’t wait to get home with the boxes to open them up and to pick them up and hold them tight and lovingly gaze into each one and tell them how much I loved them. I may have pressed them against my face a few times.


Another sunshiney day…

Next came the day for my babies to have their moment. Morgan reached out to me and scheduled the date that she and her team would be on-site for the installation.

And just like that..down came the shiplap. Buh-bye greasy, grimy and yellowing shiplap!


The C2S team kicked ass! Here they are prepping the layout by the included map from Mercury Mosaics.




here comes the install…

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and voila!

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Is that it?…

No, no, no…you know I had to pretty it up! That’s what stylists do!

If you know me, you know my love for supporting local businesses and especially women in business, so when Jennifer with Sage E Photography reached out to me for a photoshoot opportunity I said bring it girlfraannnd! Jennifer kicked it up a notch with her own posse that included the magnificent Ann with Dear Hyssop and boss babe Lisa with Hackwith Design House.

Are you ready for the reveal?

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mosaic tile back splash

mosaic tile kitchen


Ann is a botanical goddess!

mosaic tile profile

mercury mosaic tile

Lisa supplied the ‘fits to make this girl shine bright!

kitchen profile


Girl Power!

This collaborative effort with all of these amazing women in business helping one another, linked hand in hand and reaching out with their open arms to help me cultivate my haven and tell MY story is an experience I’ll never forget. THIS is women empowerment! #squad

Theee end!

mercury mosaic tile

front profile kitchen



Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


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A VERY special thank you to…

Custom handcrafted tile by Mercury Mosaics

Tile installation by Construction2Style

Photography by Sage E Imagery

Florals by Dear Hyssop

Wardrobe by Hackwith Design







A Dream Come True

Never in a million and one years did I EVER see this coming!

That I (me) would be featured on Emily Henderson’s blog! Please pinch me. Wait. Don’t. I don’t want to wake if this is a dream. Because it was my dream come true when Arlyn’s name first appeared in my inbox.

Dining Room

The day I saw Arlyn’s name drop into my email inbox and I saw the message come across my phone I literally held my breath. Was this a spam email, did she mean to send this to me, what did she want, was this a group email, did I sign up for something? All of these thoughts were running through my head instantly. I went through a whirlwind of emotions in what felt like hours but in all reality were probably minutes or even seconds. I told my husband (who was sitting next to me) I said do you EVEN know how BIG this is!?! His reply? (blank stare on his face) So…what did she say? “I don’t know!” I quickly replied I haven’t opened it yet! To which he said, well, open it. I quickly, maybe even violently responded with a sharp NO! He looks dazed, even confused. I lowered my voice and I said, I’m scared….

Scared of what?

You guys. Have you ever wished so hard for something and when it begins to happen you pull back because no way, this could be happening to you? It’s too good to be true. That’s what I was feeling. I instantly felt not good enough. That may have been one of the only moments outside of high school where I thought that to myself and meant it. I turned to my husband and I said, “you don’t get it, I’m not good enough.” Let me preface this all with my husband is one of the most supportive people on this planet. Seriously. He’s also the type where if I have a brainiac idea or a flood of thoughts and emotions and ideas spewing out of my mouth he’ll respond with “ok” “do it”. Not in the sense that he doesn’t care, but out of if that’s what you want to do and believe in, go for it! He’s my biggest cheerleader.

So I did. I opened that email from Arlyn titled “Hello From Emily Henderson Design” in the email header.

Inside was the request to collaborate on a home tour together, MY home tour. I was in amazement, ecstatic, and disbelief all at the same time. I think I actually re-read it a couple of times VERY slowly to make sure I was reading correctly and it wasn’t a contest or an email intended for someone else. I immediately said YES! (in my mind) but I didn’t reply. I waited. Kind of like that first time you start dating someone but you want to come off cool as a cucumber and not completely embarrass yourself even though deep down inside I wanted to reply to her email the second I read it like as fast as you hit the buzzer on Family Feud? So, my inner grown-ish self said all major decisions should be slept on. So I did. The next day I responded with HELL EFF YEAH! Let’s DO THIS! but then I deleted it and composed myself and typed out something much more appropriate.


The next couple of months I was busy pulling the house together (not anything that wasn’t already in the plan prior to the email) but wrapping up the projects I had already in motion so that we would be ready for a photo shoot. I actually maintained complete control during this phase, I wasn’t a maniac running around “sprucing up” our home, I think I was actually the complete opposite. Something washed over me and said, girlfriend, you got this. Breathe.

…And here’s the result, you can read HERE for yourself.

Vintage Style

I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

PS – I ran around like a maniac the day before the post went live and I don’t think I slept that night.



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It’s Getting Hot In Here!

Summer is in full swing and like anyone I hate being late to the party! Or does it go something like the star always arrives late? Oh, I digress…

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Blame it on the rain!

I recently collaborated with POLYWOOD and wanted to really spruce up my front porch and share how beautiful our front porch is and how we love to entertain out here while we gaze at our neighbors strolling by and cue the clanking glasses and laughter and sizzle from the grill in the background. I started the process by using this easy quiz to help me determine what the right fit would be for our space.

BUT it rained! And it rained. And it rained. And just when you thought that was enough it rained some more.

Is this even Minnesota? I was like who are you?

Sadly, our front porch sits grim and in dire need of being stained but with all of the rain, the question was WHEN? That’s when I needed to #RethinkOutdoor


If you’re in the market and researching Pollywood these are my words, review, and opinions only and should be taken as such.


It’s my party and I’ll…

So what’s a girl to do? I mean, I am a blogger and summer is flying by and I can’t roll this out in November so…

(We moved the party elsewhere. I mean I have been put out of better places).


Rethink  Outdoor…

The front yard can actually be a great place to create an impromptu get together! You can comfortably lounge on your beautiful POLYWOOD furniture set while making all of your neighbor’s jealous (until they go out and buy their own POLYWOOD furniture).

Polywood Outdoor

Polywood Rethink Outdoors




I’ve only enjoyed our furniture set for about a month but when I previewed it with my audience on Instagram the responses were outstanding! I hear it holds up amazingly well to the weather (even the all-day, high heat sun of Miami) and the color never fades nor is the material compromised. Which is no surprise given their Color-Stay Technology and all-weather durability (it’s made from recycled plastic!).  AND a 20 year warranty! Peeps 20 years! I mean…

While I can’t speak to the full potential of living with these pieces year-round (just yet), I will say that I was impressed by the construction and form. I prefer simple lines, so this contemporary style of their Prescott Collection I selected fits into our lifestyle and aesthetic well.  Check out their quiz to explore which style best fits you and your family!

Outdoor furniture can be expensive and unlike indoor furniture, it needs to hold up to the elements. I’ve gone with some alternative outdoor options in the past and I guess it’s like the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ because nothing has felt as good as or held up to or performed like POLYWOOD, where it’s proudly made in America.

Without trying to sound pitchy in this post (these ARE all of my own and honest opinions). I do want to say I really am impressed by the furniture I received.




Click here for an easy to navigate outdoor furniture planner quiz!

Party time…

Ok, so what DO you need to create a quick and fun outdoor get together?




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This Post was Sponsored by POLYWOOD. All opinions are my own.

Photography by Sage E Imagery

Incorporating Smart Technology Into Your Home

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I wanted to share with you how I incorporated Smart Technology into my own home during the One Room Challenge but time got a bit away from me and well, sometimes technology pictures aren’t the prettiest. But today’s the day!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. By clicking an affiliate link on my website and purchasing from that retailer, I may earn a commission from the retailer.

If you’re in the market and researching Google vs. Echo these are my words, review, and opinions only and should be taken as such.


First I’d like to start off that while I was gifted this Smart Light starter with a C by GE bulb and a Google Mini to review I do already own Google home which I purchased on my own.

So why did I chose Google over the Echo or any other Smart Technology system? My answer is pretty short. Google’s smarter.

Yes, speaking “Alexa” rolls off the tongue a lot faster and easier than “ok Google” there’s no doubt about that. I also considered aesthetics, which basically weighed about the same to me except that Google Home was about to launch the Hub! I’ll be that one standing in line on Black Friday to get this piece of gorgeousness!

Ok, but I did mention smarter. While both are pretty comparable and compatible with many other add-on devices such as the Ring, Sonos, Nest, Hue, etc. Google’s infrastructure has been around a lot longer than the Echo’s and therefore Google’s search engine is larger and smarter. Not to say sweet Alexa won’t get there but as of right now she has a little catching up to do.

Now, back to the C by GE.  As I was saying, I already had a Google Mini but that’s ok, I needed another one when they sent me the kit.

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I have a reading lamp in this room I wanted the C by GE bulb installed in and let me tell you it was a breeze. Like setup in under 40 seconds type of breeze.

I screwed in the light bulb into a vintage pharmacy lamp that I have in this room.


Next, I set it up through my Google Home app.


You guys. It was that simple. And now I can turn the lamp on/off, dim, control color temperature and/or set up a schedule.

But with the Holidays quickly approaching at  $55 the C by GE Starter Kit is a great gift!


As always thanks for visiting and I hope this helped you as well as a great gift suggestion!


Happy Holidays!



Modern, Rustic Family-Friendly Media Room – Reveal Week

We made it! It’s Week 6 of the One Room Challenge and you all know what that means! It’s Reveal Week! If you’d like to catch up on the prior weeks’ progress click Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.


Disclosure: I am an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. By clicking an affiliate link on my website and purchasing from that retailer, I may earn a commission from the retailer.


Since I spoke to the processes behind the scenes in previous week’s posts I won’t do that again here because we have a lot of ground to cover in this post! I’m adding my mood board here so you can easily remember my design concept. Let’s get started!

CWH Media Room

This year I am going to do something a little different. I am going to not only share with you the products I chose and of course my honest opinion on why I chose them for my home but also I want to speak to my vision for the room, my inspiration and my failures.

First, I want to get this out of the way. I told you all I would share how I incorporated technology into this room and I don’t have any good photos to share with you so I am going to save that for another post and hopefully capture some video for you. So if you’re here just for the techie talk I apologize I disappointed you with this post.


Next, let’s talk about the aesthetics of this room for a bit. I had envisioned this room to be a place we can escape to when we need a quiet place to read, meditate, listen to some music or a podcast or even play a board game together. I wanted this room to feel cozy and warm and a little nostalgic but with modern elements. A room that brought back memories at the cabin but in a more modern way.

Are you ready to see?



I set this up to the tune of friends playing a fun game together enjoying some beverages.

If you remember in the beginning weeks I spoke about finding inspiration all over for this room and specifically my own state of Minnesota. We are surrounded by green (or white) LOL! We do enjoy all 4 seasons for sure and while winters seem long to most of us, we all equally look forward to spring, summer and fall. I wanted to capture some of that in this room, from the natural oak paneling to pull from the many oak trees, and the existing maple flooring to represent the forests in our state, to the blue sofa to pull from the many lakes (we are after all the land of 10,000 lakes). I also chose to paint the walls white (not just because I love the color, which I do.) but because it represents our winters here and the freshness and quiet beauty they bring. They are the pause.



I love tjonathanlouis.net/…/the-alchemy-collectionhis color blue. It was the perfect blue. The funny thing? Or things? One, I wasn’t originally searching for a blue sofa. It was either green or brown. But blue spoke to me one day and I dove right in.  Second, now that I have a blue sofa of my own I am seeing blue sofas everywhere. Where I hadn’t before. So that must’ve totally been a subconscious decision. So why blue? And why this blue? This blue speaks happiness to me. It’s a fun blue, an energetic blue, it’s a neutral blue. Wait. What? Blue is neutral? Yes, blues unlike typical neutral colors such as whites, beiges, grays, and browns can act in many ways as a neutral backdrop. Think of the sky, the ocean, the lakes, rivers, pools, etc. blue acts in many ways in our everyday lives as a backdrop.


This sofa is the Alchemy condo sized sofa from Jonathan Louis who so generously gifted this sofa to me for this challenge and where I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with their experts. You can find more about this sofa Here.


I chose the condo size for it’s smaller scale as this room isn’t large enough for a full-scale sofa without letting the sofa dominate the room like our old sofa did. I didn’t want that for this room as it proved to be chaotic to me. I like calm. Waters are calming so thus this is the perfect blue. In fact, Jonathan Louis should rename this blue to “the perfect blue”. LOL!




Ok moving on, (I will share more about this sofa in a couple weeks where we talk sofa talk).

Next, we desperately needed a ceiling light fixture for general light in this room. Before we had just a single light bulb. It was time to make the change and this was my chance. I knew it needed to be special. Something that could stand on its own without being lost in the ceiling and that’s when I laid eyes on the Satellite 6 chandelier by Schoolhouse Electric. I have been such a fangirl of everything Schoolhouse for such a long time, everything they do just speaks to me, it’s just natural to me. Their ethos and brand really opened my design eyes and helped me to realize my enthusiasm for the handmade. This fixture to me represents the stars. With its polished nickel finish (it does come in other finishes) this reminded me of being up north, laying on our dock at night and looking up to the sky and staring at all the twinkling stars or catching a falling star.

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I also knew this room needed a fireplace. Because I think they are a staple in every Minnesota home as pools are to warmer weather states. I wanted a mid-century fireplace because I love the modern lines found in mid-century design. I searched high and low and found one, in particular, it was green. I loved it. But as I returned to my design boards it wasn’t feeling right. So I ran a search on Craigslist and it was like fate! A black mid-century fireplace with all it’s parts in excellent vintage condition. So I hit reply to inquire about it on Craigslist and I prayed and prayed for a speedy response and that they would tell me it’s still available. The Craigslist gods heard me and I received my response. The next obstacle? This was waaaaay out of my price range. Again I hit reply and presented my best offer and crossed my fingers and held my breath. They counter offered. But only $25 more than my offer. Whew! Thank the fireplace heavens! So I made arrangements with these nice folks (the nicest people you’d ever meet in your life I promise) and my husband and I drove 3 hours (yup, you read that right) to pick it up. My husband rolled his eyes but like a very loving (and smart) husband, he said yes dear. Because after 22 years he knows if mama ain’t happy…you know the rest.


(I now realize how stupid this beer situation looks in this photo),

The original owners gave us the original installation and operation guides and I hope they’d be proud to hear that it is in a loving home and now it sports twinkle lights. (we don’t have a fireplace hook up and that was not going to get done for the One Room Challenge).


What else did I need for this room to pull off my modern rustic vibe? Well, I needed a coffee table and some more seating.

First, let’s talk coffee table. This room isn’t large so I knew I wanted to soften it with a round table but I wasn’t finding one I loved in a circular shape that was either in my price range OR didn’t look like the one in our living room downstairs. I reached out to Inmod because I love their modern furnishings and like the dining chairs we have I knew I could trust their quality in mid-century style furnishings. I selected this Saarinen Tulip Oval coffee table and a little skeptical at first because the top isn’t real wood, I’m pleased to say I was impressed and it’s a great cost-effective solution if you love mid-century but need to feed your family too.




(Do you see what I was trying to do here? I was trying to create a fun game night vibe but this whole beer bottle thing is totally not working.)

I also knew we needed more seating. I wanted a reading corner with a good reading lamp (task lighting). Homepop supplied this cool vintage-inspired chair and ottoman called the Dean Modern accent chair and I chose the color light brown, as well as this little side table for my challenge. This chair was the perfect scale for this room and the neutral brown color worked well with the blue on the sofa.




I love this little table because it has a USB port in it so that charging your devices is suuuuuuper simple and convenient, especially when listing to a podcast or working on my laptop I never have to worry about the battery dying.



This is also where I love to journal. I keep this little Gratitude journal to jot down everything I’m grateful for or when I read or hear a great quote.


Speaking of gratitude. Developing friendships and the support from other women in business is something I’m eternally grateful for. This rug was gifted by local business owner Ellary with Henslin. To be honest rug shopping hurts my heart. Ok not really. But I don’t enjoy it because most rugs that I fall in love with are so far out of my price range.  I searched and searched for a rug and when practicality came into the bigger picture I knew most of the rugs I had pinned were not going to work. Because cat throw up and puppy accidents. You know. Life. I have 3 other vintage rugs in my home and let me tell you they are worth their weight in gold. While they cost a bit more and the first time you spill on one you’re going to freak out a bit. I promise you they are sooooo forgiving. I mean, after all, they have lasted a lifetime or two. So this one, sweet Ellary pre-selected for me after I sent her my design board so she had an idea of the room and the direction I was going to take it. Tip: When you’re up in the air on rug choices ask the expert. And trust them to do their thing. And Ellary did her thaaaannng! Ha!




Before I talk about the accessories and odds and ends and bits and pieces. I want to circle back to the oak-paneled wall by Stikwood that I worked on with my dad. Some of you know he had a terrible battle with cancer over a year ago which landed him on life support for a month but miraculously and all praise to God he left the hospital walking on his own. Fully recovered. Except now it’s back. And having this special time together means the world to me and documenting it here I know I will be thankful for later. This is our second chance. Our chance to learn from what we wish we had done before last year’s experience. All the regrets, all the had I knowns are thrown out and we’re living life! And spending more time together. So although Stikwood didn’t know that their gift of Stikwood was truly a gift of memories, it was and is.


I also can’t thank Black + Decker enough. They gave me the tools we’d need to tackle this DIY! And truth be told, it made my dad envious. LOL!

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This photo of my dad and me decked out in our Black + Decker safety gear before we got started on the project will always be one of my favorite pictures because I told my dad right as this picture was taken to channel his best American Gothic look. He turned and said what? I said you know, American Gothic the two old farmers (man and woman) holding a pitchfork. Oh yeah, he said. So I go, don’t smile. Ha! He thought it was crazy. He also thinks social media is crazy and that “followers” is a “thing”. I tried to explain brand influencing in under 10 seconds so not to lose his attention but he just shook his head and said well how are we going to take pictures for them while we’re working? Great question dad, great question. So needless to say I don’t have many because you know holding power tools and an iPhone in the other hand taking pictures isn’t the safest thing in the world as well as cutting wood with a table saw through your iPhone lens. Do NOT do that. (and no, I didn’t either).

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Stikwood 1

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I really hoped to have gotten to that wall on the left to wrap the Stikwood around the fireplace but we ran out of time and I wasn’t 100% positive I wanted two walls in wood or just keep one as a focal point.


I think I spoke about my decisions on all the larger pieces of this room design so let’s talk about the little details that go into making a room personal. Like this little sign “What good shall I do this day?” isn’t that what we should all ask ourselves as we begin our day?


Working on a budget ($2000) that may seem like a lot, but if you read my previous week’s post you’ll see how I broke it down.


This may look like a room full of curated treasures that took me months or even years to build upon but nope, it took me two weeks. I surprise myself with how resourceful I can be and Craigslist and Marketplace were great resources to keep costs down vs. scouring through antique stores.


Well, as you can see this room is used for many purposes, from a game of dominoes (crafted by the amazingly talented Andrew Perkins at Fire Road) or meditation with a singing bowl by Renoo this room is well used.


So what are some of my failures with this challenge?

  • Let’s call out the elephant in the room. The dumb beer bottle. #fail
  • Window coverings, the wireless shades I worked on with Blindster did not arrive until the following day so I will post about them soon.
  • Curtain panels, I couldn’t make up my mind quick enough and therefore time got away from me and I missed out on plaid curtains to pop against the all-white wall.
  • 2nd wall of wood paneling, I again couldn’t make up my mind quick enough if a 2nd wall was needed or not. Currently, I think not but we’ll live with it for a while and see.
  • Smart Technology, I didn’t get as far as  I had hoped and visually you can’t see it so that was a bummer. Ha! I will share a blog post before Black Friday so in the event you’re on the fence about incorporating smart technology into your home you can read my review first.
  • Some accessories such as a log holder, I may go and buy the one from Rejuvenation as it’s the only one that seems to catch my eye. Originally I was going to add a bench but when the fireplace went in and the bookshelf and coffee table there wasn’t much room left and I didn’t want the room to look cramped. Because it is really small.
  • There are a few other things I had on my wishlist but you know…budgets…not to say they won’t debut later.

I hope you have enjoyed our 6 weeks together and that if you’re starting a project of your own or looking for ideas, I hope that I helped inspire you.

Oh, and when life makes little messes Black + Decker is my go to! This cordless handheld vacuum gets alllllll the pet hair up and you can find it Here. With 3 pets in our home, this was a necessity.




A HUGE THANK YOU! This post would not be possible without the generous donations by the following sponsors.


Black and Decker







And the hosts of the One Room Challenge and official media partner!

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Photography by:



Please stop by and visit the other wickedly talented Guests of the One Room Challenge!



Until next time, wishing you all my best!


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Modern, Rustic Family-Friendly Media Room – Week 5

Hello! Thank you for stopping by and continuing to check on our progress! I can’t believe we’re at week 5 (with just one more week to go) if you’d like to catch up on previous weeks click Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.


Disclosure: I am an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. By clicking an affiliate link on my website and purchasing from that retailer, I may earn a commission from the retailer.

Ok,  are you ready to get started and see what we’ve been up to?  This week was another big push because if you remember last week we didn’t finish the Stikwood paneled wall.

While I don’t want to show you too much (because I need to save that for next week’s reveal) I will share that I can’t believe how much this has transformed this room!

Stikwood 4

Again, I chose Stikwood’s Golden Oak because I really wanted to create a warm and rustic vibe.

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I love all the knots in the wood.

While I shared my DIY skills are a 3 on a scale of 1-10 I have to admit I could not have done this project without the help of my dad.

Stikwood 3

These angles were really tricky and as you know ceilings are uneven and houses settle over time which causes little discrepancies when measuring. I’ll admit I’m not the greatest with measurements so I relied heavily on this guy right here. As you can see I didn’t install a trim piece so all the measurements had to be solid so the Stikwood planks would butt straight up against the wall and ceiling.

Stikwood 1Stikwood 2

So what have I accomplished in the 5 weeks so far?

Plus shopped and found all the other goodies that will go into this room to pull it all together because as you know, it’s alllllll in the details.

Remember this was my concept board:

CWH Media Room

I create these for clients but also for myself because they’re not only a great way to visually “try on” a look together but also a great way to keep all of the items you need as a visual checklist. Do things change from these design boards? Absolutely! But if you are working on your own project making or keeping one of these as you go does help keep your design eye from wandering too far off track.

What are some of the things I still need to do?

  • I designed a custom shade for the window with Blindster but I’m waiting for its arrival and I hope it’s here in time.
  • I decided on plaid curtain panels to frame the window out but I don’t have the time to have them made by next Monday (when the photographer is on site)
  • I haven’t setup Smart lights yet because I need to stay within my budget of $2000. Here’s a little project cost breakdown (before tax):
    • Fireplace $475
    • Record Player $180
    • Google Home Mini $49
    • Decor and accessories $1100
    • Painter $100
    • Styling props $50 (flowers and plants)

All other items (i.e: furnishing, speaker, plank wall, tools, decor, and accessories) are all gifted by generous sponsors which I will share in the reveal next week because I don’t want to give too much away this week.

Ok, do you want a little sneak peek though? (I’m going with you’re shaking your head yes)

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Yes, most everything here was thrifted or purchased at an antique store or on Craigslist! I love how this all turned out!


That’s all I’ll be sharing with you this week as next week is Reveal week and I have so much in store for you!

Thank you so much for visiting and be sure to check out the other Guests of the One Room Challenge!


See you soon!








Modern, Rustic Family-Friendly Media Room – Week 4

Gah! Can you believe we’re at week 4 already!?! Like whaaaaa…. Having participated in a couple One Room Challenges before I know how important Week 4 really is. For me, it’s the week of a massive push. If you want to read more of the following weeks, click Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.


Disclosure: I am an affiliate marketer with links to an online retailer on my website. By clicking an affiliate link on my website and purchasing from that retailer, I may earn a commission from the retailer.

This week was all about painting, paneling, rug sourcing, and installing the ceiling light fixture!

First, we had to clear out all that big, oversized furniture out of the room so we could make room for painting. Remember this is what the room sort of looked like before…

Before 2Before 3

Just waaaaay too big and not functional and really, really ugly.

We chose to paint using leftover paint we had from the last One Room Challenge. This is by local and family-owned Hirschfield’s and the color is Shell Tint. What I love most about working with Hirschfield’s is not only their years and years of experience and expertise but they truly welcome you as part of their family and invite you in. Now that’s a company I can get behind. This room is such a small room and I only needed 3 walls painted so it was nice to have leftover paint already on hand and of course that helped keep the budget down. I did have a painter paint this room and I would like for you to know that it took a solid 3 coats of Shell Tint to go over the old dark color without it bleeding through.

Next, we also installed the ceiling light fixture. Remember in Week 1 I talked a little bit about the three types of lighting (general, ambient and task)?

Want to see it?

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Isn’t it gorgeous? And the bright white background truly allows this fixture to stand out like a piece of art.

This fixture is the Satellite 6 Chandelier by none other than Schoolhouse Electric. Schoolhouse is based out of Portland, Oregon and their light fixtures like many other items they curate are handmade in their own factory. This was custom made to my specified stem height of 18″. (we have 8 1/2′ ceilings in here and I enjoy when ceiling fixtures hang a little lower such as over a table). Click here to take a tour of their factory! Understanding their ethos has really made me appreciate the work and craftsmanship and artistry that goes into each piece and the love they all share for their work. I’ll share more about Schoolhouse Electric a little later on as well so stay tuned.

Next, I went rug hunting! Rug sourcing can be challenging and daunting in some cases but this time I partnered with the right person who truly was a saint! (Ha! If you know me and alllll my questions you can understand how patient she was with me). Take your time when sourcing rugs, especially antique and vintage rugs. Get to know your dealer and ask them questions and for ideas, they truly are the experts when pulling rugs together to create the look you’re envisioning!

Ok. Meet Ellary.

HENSLIN founder Ellary Asche started her shop with a rooted vision to create one of a kind homes with one of a kind pieces.

Henslin 1

This past weekend I finally had the honor of meeting sweet Ellary in person and take a little tour of her one of a kind pieces at a fun pop up event where I was so inspired!
HENSLIN is a curated collection of handmade and one of a kind antique or vintage rugs. The one I sourced from her dates pre-1905 and is a beautiful Persian rug which I’ll share more of below.
Henslin 5
Based in Minneapolis, Ellary prides the work of each new collection through the thoughtful practice of slow curation. With this process, HENSLIN has grown beyond just rugs.
Henslin 2
Henslin 3
HENSLIN also creates one of a kind pet beds from antique and vintage rugs that were beyond repair, the Pet Collection was established and recently launched online. Click here to shop!
Henslin Pet
You all know how much I love supporting local and small and independent businesses. Finding brands/people that I can truly stand behind and share with all of you is an honor and a privilege that I don’t take lightly. Curating our homes is personal and finding the right resources and brands to bring into our homes that cherish the same values we hold dear is so, SO important to me. Have I made mistakes along the way? Yes, of course, but I’ve learned so much and have grown so much at the same time from those experiences, and now I try to source more thoughtfully and intentionally.
Ellary like me, has quickly learned the power of collaboration and no longer associates a business’s success with numbers but instead with the relationships created along the way.
Henslin 4

If you’ve followed my journey along Instagram I have certainly grown since I first started out on that platform and while I’ve learned so much traveling down the path of social media I have changed. I no longer look at those numbers and base value off them. I do appreciate each and every person who has followed my journey and stuck it out with me and everyone who leaves such inspiring comments, I’ll be forever thankful for them! All of that just to say that I try very, very hard to source the right brands and products to share with all of you. Products that I really do use in my own home. For those following me on Instagram (@creekwoodhill) you may have also noticed that I shop more independently than from big box stores (not saying I don’t run to Target or Ikea, I most certainly have and do!).  But for my more investment purchases I turn to heirloom quality pieces and find those from retailers like Schoolhouse Electric and many others I’ve shared with you in the past and will share with you in a couple of weeks.

Wow, that got way off topic quickly didn’t it?   Squirrel!

Ok, want a sneak peek of the rug I selected?

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Again, I just love how the colors pop against the all-white backdrop! Sooooo good!

With all of that going on this week (I told you this was a big week for me) I also installed the paneling! (with the help of my dad of course). We didn’t quite finish but we don’t have too much more to go.

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Here we’re channeling our American Gothic vibe.

The material I used is from Stikwood and I chose Golden Oak with a European oil finish. I love that Stikwood uses wood from recycled material and of course, they’re Responsible Forestry Certified. Stikwood was so easy to work with and their simple peel and Stik install were just what I needed especially working on such a tight deadline and with my DIY skills (which on a meter of 1-10 is a 3. I’m a solid 3 though so it’s fine, I’m fine).

Stikwood 1
Golden Oak

Stikwood even has a handy calculator to help you determine how much material you’ll need or feel free to give them a call or chat!

Stikwood 2

Next, I gathered the necessary tools we needed for this job. I’ll make a list below.

I’ve also partnered with Black + Decker because what girl doesn’t love power tools, right? Black + Decker was so generous to provide all the necessary tools we would need to install the paneling and of course safety gear, because Safety First!

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First I prepped by wiping down the walls so that they’re free of any dust or grime that might would cause the Peel and Stik not to stick.

Next, I sort of pre-sorted the different pieces of wood so we had an idea of what we were working with and what pieces we’d need and where.

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Then together we…measured and measured (and measured) and cut. Measure twice, cut once, right?

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Getting this angle right was the most complicated part. I didn’t want a piece of trim to hide the cuts against the wall so our measurements (or my dad’s, let’s just be real) had to be 100% precise.

I was gifted a Black + Decker circular saw with a laser for precision cutting but we ended up needing a table saw (which is what my dad had) so, me being a newbie with DIY’s didn’t know that…however, I can’t thank Black + Decker enough for their generosity and you can find the circular saw here if you’re shopping for one.

After making our cuts which I’ll share a little later because it was tough cutting and trying to take pictures. Ha!

We held the panel up for extra measure to make sure it was an exact fit before sticking to the wall.

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Triple making sure it’s level while tightly butted up against the wall.

I then removed the peel and Stik paper backing.

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Just like that and up went the first board on the wall!

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After securing the panel to the wall, using the Stikwood recommended J Roller I rolled across the panel to ensure it was secure and remove any possible air bubbles.

Next, we moved on down the wall.

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As stated earlier, we didn’t finish this in the few hours we had together but we did make it up this side of the wall. I’ll share more progress next week with the final reveal of the wall. Ok, so what do you need to get started on a Stikwood panel project?

Tools Needed:

Level                                                                                                                                                              Safety glasses and gloves                                                                                                                     J Roller                                                                                                                                                          Miter Box (unless using a table saw which probably adjusts to the angle’s you’ll need)  Measuring Tape                                                                                                                                          Table Saw (in my opinion was the best solution over a circular saw)                                      Sander (this came in handy, but not necessary) we used a sander to shave off just a schmidge in some parts because as you know, houses settle)                                                      Trim Saw (again, this isn’t necessary) but it helped when we needed to rip down a couple panels once we got down to the baseboards.                                                                      Jig Saw (another tool not necessary) but helpful when making cuts around outlets and door frames.

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In this picture, I’m noticing a couple boards look like they’re popping out but in real life, I assure you they’re not. It may have been my angle.


Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read this week’s post (I know it was a pretty lengthy one) we certainly had a lot to put into it!

See ya next week where I’ll move onto more of the Stikwood wall, what Black + Decker tools I used or found helpful to tackle this project, the fireplace installation and furnishings, and accessories alllllll before Reveal Week!



As always don’t forget to check out the other Guests of the One Room Challenge!



















Modern, Rustic Family-Friendly Media Room – Week 3

Welcome back! Well, we’re halfway through the challenge and I don’t feel like I have anything accomplished so that’s a little scary. What’s even scarier? I am not panicking. Like I should be having a full blown meltdown right now. Completely freaking out. But I’m not.



Call me crazy but I’m just rolling with it this year. Yes, I did plan a little ahead and source materials and accessories but I do have a few things on back order, I need a light fixture installed, I need to install wood paneling and share my DIY (sponsored by Black + Decker), I need to paint, I need to install a shade on the window, I need to set up smart technology, ahhhh the list goes on.

I will tell you today that this past weekend I drove alllllllll the way to Wisconsin (ok, it was only 1.5 hours but I’m a dramatic person) to pick up the fireplace for this room. Do you want to see it?

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This is a pretty rough picture but I was so excited I had to snap one real quick and I can’t wait to see it installed up in the media room.

Let me tell you this couple that previously owned this fireplace was absolutely the cutest! They kept all the original parts and pieces and even the owners manual and were so so happy to hear that it was going to a good home and not left to rust outside as an outdoor firepit. (although I do love that idea and I am in no way knocking it) This Preway was just too good to do that to though.

So last week you saw a couple of my inspiration pics for this room, here are a couple more:

Hewing hotel
Hewing Hotel

I love the masculine and feminine balance here and the plaid just gets me!

Ben Carstensen

I love the wood tone, the fireplace (naturally) and of course the balance of new and old.

Speaking of old. I’ve been a busy bee finding amazing one of a kind vintage and antique pieces. Like this (sneak peek):

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When I purchase new furnishings and pieces I try to balance out with old. Like for every 2 new pieces, there’s one old piece. I feel like that’s the depth. That’s the character. While I love vintage and antiques I equally don’t want my entire home filled with them, that’s why I try to balance. I don’t consider myself a collector but I do appreciate a good found piece.

Accessories are fun and they’re sort of like the cherry on top when designing so I’ll get into more of the accessories I chose for this room and why later.

This week will be a big push and I hope to move onto painting the room, sourcing the right rug (and I’ll share quite a bit about this because sometimes rug hunting can feel daunting), a little DIY with Stikwood and new window treatments. In the coming weeks, I’ll also share more about incorporating technology and specifically smart technology into a space as well as accessorizing.

Please check back next week for lots of progress!


See ya soon!



PS – Don’t forget to check out the other Guest participants of the One Room Challenge! You can read more about what they’re all up to here.






Modern, Rustic Family-Friendly Media Room – Week 2

Hello and thank you for stopping for another visit, this is now Week 2 of the One Room Challenge! You can read more about last week’s post (week 1) here.

This week I want to talk more about how the room looks before (or now) and what inspired me to take it in the direction it’s going.

ORC Logo

Currently, this room is just a  hodgepodge of leftover furniture from our previous homes and it’s sort of becoming somewhat of a dumping ground. The furniture is too large and not comfortable and it’s become my husband’s “man cave”. I want to change that. Not to take away from him, finding places for everyone in our home to feel comfortable in is the most important to me but this room needs work and we do have an entire finished basement (which hopefully, will make its debut in next year’s ORC).

Ok back to this room. It’s dark (but east facing so it can be much brighter). The walls are a deep, moody grayish-green which is a lovely color BUT so wrong for this room (similar to what was going on in our master bedroom which you can read here). This room (like the master bedroom) has steep roof pitches from the shed dormers outside so this moody color on the walls only calls it out more prominently in the ceiling. See below for what I mean:

Before 1

We have a photobomber too.

Before 2

Before 3

Ok, you get the idea for the ceiling and how the two colors meet and how they don’t work together at all because frankly there’s not any architectural interest here to highlight.

Here is a view of the doorway and from the outside hallway looking in:

Before 4

See how tight the furniture is squeezed into this tiny room?

Before 5

This room is so small as you can see and equally the furnishings in it are much too large for this space. I want to create a room that’s a good fit for everyone in our family who is looking for that quiet space to retreat to or be together enjoying some quality time without a TV.  This tiny room will need to work hard and pack a huge design punch. BUT, that will be part of the fun! The challenge!

Already, my design concept has changed just a bit, here is a little update of some of the design details that will go into this room.

CWH Media Room

I’m hoping to create a fun and relaxing retreat where we can read a good book, play a board game, enjoy a favorite podcast, listen to music or all of the above! I will be looking to incorporate smart technology into this room because in today’s world we’re all connected somehow and someway and I want to share with you how easy that can be without taking away from the beauty and simplicity and rustic nature of this room. Balance. This is what will be key to pulling this design off successfully.

Here are a couple pictures I drew my inspiration from:

Inspo 1
Photo from Architectural Digest

As you can see, I took my wood tones from this inspiration. Living in MN we are surrounded by trees and lakes and greenery so it was only natural to stay “natural”.

Here is another source I drew my inspiration from:

Inspo 2
Photo: Schoolhouse Electric

This photo reminds me of the rustic woods and comfy and cozy woolen blankets I grew up with.

So now that you’ve seen the before photos and some inspiration photos, I’m hoping to share some progress or in-progress photos with you next week. I’ll tackle a little DIY this year where I’ll share a step by step tutorial and then I’ll take you on a small tour of a local boutique where I source some of my favorite pieces.

Until next time!

Thank you for visiting and don’t forget to check out the other Guests of the One Room Challange!







Modern, Rustic Family-Friendly Media Room

Welcome! It’s that time of year again where we are kicking off a brand new season of the One Room Challenge! This year I will be creating a media room for the family (furry members included of course) and I hope you tune in every week to see what I’m up to!

ORC Logo

So what do I have planned? I will create a space that’s warm and inviting for the whole family and yet modern for the way we live and interact today. While we do live in a world of technology, my goal is to take this room back a step or two in time. A place where we can gather as a family and play board games and hang out or a place when a quiet reading spot is coveted. There won’t be a TV (at least, for now, that could change in years to come). But, we all know media comes in many forms so I will incorporate charging stations and speakers for the many times we want to listen to our Spotify playlists or our favorite podcasts.


Let’s get started with some of the initial details that we need and are on our list.

Modern-rustic, Family-Friendly Media Room Must Haves:

Comfortable seating


  • General
  • Ambient
  • Task

Soft and cozy textiles

Activity surface



Sound/charging stations

Rad Décor


I’m pulling my inspiration from the Midwest (MN in particular) because well, that’s where we live. I love looking at the things and places around me for guidance. Here there will be lots of textures and woods.


Taking center stage will be this sofa by Jonathan Louis Furniture. I chose the Alchemy sofa in the condo size and in the Hugo Indigo fabric. First narrowing down the style was difficult for me, I knew I wanted a mid-century style sofa but I don’t necessarily want to create an entire mid-century room. I also had to keep in mind the room I’m making over isn’t large so we needed a small scale sofa. I think the most fun thing about this room for me is the challenge of a small space that needs to work hard. While it must work hard, it must look aesthetically pleasing as well and as always quality is VERY important. When selecting staple pieces for a room such as a sofa, I will always go with quality and craftsmanship over price. Splurge a little on the sofa and save on the decor when you can because decor changes and trends change. If you’re looking for a sofa like mine or where you can find one in your area, click Here.

Next, I needed to figure out a color. When first walking into this space the sofa is the first thing you see so it’s a focal point in the room. Can furniture arrangements change? Absolutely! And ours probably will to some extent over the years but in this small space, there aren’t many options for placement. I knew I didn’t want to go neutral, I knew I wanted something a little bolder because this room is about creativity and fun! I went back and forth between greens, browns (don’t ask) and ultimately had my Ah-ha moment with blue. I must’ve pulled a thousand and one fabric swatches. Finally, I chose a Polyester/nylon blend called Hugo in the Indigo color. It’s soft, easy to clean and has a little bit of a brushed twill feel to it. Nothing fancy, we’re not fancy people! Besides, in this room, I don’t want to have to worry about spills and if you’re laying around on the furniture. Go ahead, take that nap!

Here’s a little close up so you can see the color and weave.

Blue sofa fabric swatch

JL Fabric Back

So while the sofa was in production (I had to get moving because I’ve learned the hard way with this One Room Challange that time is your biggest adversary). Since writing this post, the sofa has been delivered and she’s a beauty!  Next week, we’ll get into some more of the details going into this new room!

Here’s a little sneak peek!

Blue Sofa

Until then share with me your favorite Podcasts so I can start channeling some of my modern rustic media room vibes!


See you next week and thank you for stopping by! Be sure to check out the other Guest participants of the One Room Challenge!