One Room Challenge – The Big Reveal – Living Room

living-room-22Today is the big reveal. Six weeks of the One Room Challenge are over, my sanity is back, and my living room looks so much better.

(Here is Week 1Week 2Week 3 Week 4 and Week 5, in case you want to see.)

This time, the challenge wasn’t as crazy as when we participated this last spring. For the last ORC, we designed my kids’ room. It was a complete makeover. You can take a look at it here. The change was impressive and the results beautiful.

This time, I didn’t have the budget or the time to do such a huge overhaul, so I committed myself to make an impressive change with a small budget. To do this, there is only one real and loyal friend: paint. I created a mural and it looks so good.

Before I show you more photos, I need to give a big thanks to my friend Daniela and Yassi. Dani helped me painting the mural. She is a graphic designer and an artist. The mural was labor intensive and fun to do. Luckily, Daniela has a huge attention to detail and made me work hard for it so it looks good. (Here is the tutorial about how to make this mural).

Yassi helped me styling my shelves. This was a major endeavor. Months ago, I went to her house to take photos of her shelves for this blog, because she is good at decorating and doesn’t get overwhelmed by a big amount of real books. She took her job seriously and did a great job (you can judge by yourself below).

The mural and bookshelves made a big difference for our living room. I still have to buy a new light fixture and furniture, but that would happen another time, when cash is more abundant. Right now, I am very happy with the progress we made. Also, I have become a huge advocate of creating cool murals to get fun walls. They make a huge difference for little $$$.

How do I feel about the results?

Ecstatic! The biggest surprise was how much larger the living room seems now that we painted this mural. It looks luminous and grand. I wouldn’t have been able to anticipate this change. The wall went from blah to stunning.

At the other end, the bookshelves look sophisticated and colorful. This change just took serious reorganizing. Nothing else. You can do so much good to a room by having the right eye. That is all. Changing furniture, painting, adding or taking out decorations, are all easy solutions to a big design problem.

OK, let the photos do the talking now.

Here are the before pictures so we are reminded of how the space looked like before.

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And here, ladies and gentleman, are the after pictures. First, the mural all by itself:

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Cute, ha?

About the bookshelves. Here is how they looked a week ago:

white walls

And here is how they look now:
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So, that is the big reveal for now! I hope you like it.

If you are interested in learning how that mural became a reality, tune in next week. I will be posting a tutorial about it.

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate it!


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One Room Challenge – Week 5 – The Beauty Of White Walls


(Note to future self: Do NOT participate in the Fall One Room Challenge ever again, unless you have a clear plan and timeline. If you happen to make this mistake, Halloween and other Holiday events will be extremely stressful because, how could you possibly: hang spooky decorations, figure out the custome situation, host carving pumpkin parties, attend parades and carnivals, buy enough candy, AND be emotionally available, while having your attention diluted in the pressure of re-decorating a room of your house? Not possible, future Mila, not possible.)

On that note, we made a LOT of progress this week on the One Room Challenge– while my kids suffered major sugar crush breakdowns. Here is what we have been up to during the last couple of weeks:

Week 1Week 2 Week 3Week 4

This week (Wk 5) our main push was to paint the walls of the living room. We used Decorator’s White from Benjamin Moore and it made such a difference.

Our living room is small – 240 sq ft – but gets a decent amount of light during the afternoon.

As a way of opening and brightening it up, I decided to paint the walls true white. Off-white wasn’t working for this space because it gave it a dull and dirty look, plus, walls and molding needed to be freshen up.

The result is beautiful because of its simplicity. I like it so much I am considering not adding art or anything else to the walls… -Whaaat?! I almost believed that for a second! -Who am I kidding??? If you follow this blog or my Instagram account, you know color is my thing and minimalism is NOT my thing, but I am so tempted to leave the white walls as is.

My house is small and any extra space and openness is addictive. Now, four days after painting, I still haven’t added much decor yet. When you see the photos below, you will know why.

I did go on a photo frenzy though. I took many pictures of my vintage pieces in front of the white background because they all looked gorgeous.

Take a look at how the room has improved already:


one-room-challenge-week-5-white-walls-2one-room-challenge-week-5-white-walls-12As a reminder, here is a before picture of the same space:jestcafe-com-living-room-before1Here are other photos of art in front of the white walls because, why not??
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At the other side of the living room we built a bookshelf. We bought all the same materials that we used for the shelves for the One Room Challenge on April. I sprayed the metallic parts with gold paint and it looks really cute. I was very happy with the result, but, something in me wants to leave the shelves empty and clean, as they are right now, don’t you think? Here is a photo:

white walls

OK, that is all I have for you today. Next week is the big reveal. Hopefully you will like what you see! Thanks for stopping by.

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one room challenge

One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Living Room Update

one room challenge
I am late with this post about our living room, I know, but if you knew what I have been up to this week, you would congratulate me just about posting something.

Let’s start with the main reason you are here: an update on the One Room tChallenge. Here is Week 1Week 2Week 3 of the challenge, in case you missed those posts. (Also, a post about the challenge I participated in last Spring, if you care to see.)

The good news is that I have a much better idea of what I am doing (see photos above and below). The bad news is that I wasn’t able to implement any of these ideas this last week because: 1) I have a job, 2) I have two children, and, 3) my husband decided to launch an Indiegogo campaign for one of his BBQ products on Monday.

The problem being? Well, last Friday the girl from Indiegogo emailed him to say that his photos and graphics were not great. She recommended delaying the launch of the campaign a week. After all the hard work he had put into it that was NOT and option, so we had to reshoot all his photos and d his graphics all over again… two days before going live… it was crazy, but guess who had to do most of it… You guessed right: ME!

(If you have friends and family that like to BBQ and you need a Xmas present for them, you might want to get what he is offering. Here is his Indiegogo campaign – The Chimney of Insanity-. Also, I want to give thanks to my friend Miguel, who is an art director and sat down 5 hours in front of a computer on Saturday to create some of the graphics.)

Now you can understand why the One Room Challenge was not a priority this last week, but I am not giving up, and this weekend we are working on major updates to the living room. First of all, we are painting all walls Decorator’s White from Benjamin Moore, to bring light and create that white canvas I need for the mural.

By we, I mean my friend Daniela and I. Dani is an artist and graphic designer. She has offered to help me in this adventure and I am truly grateful. The only worry I have is that she is very detailed oriented and won’t allow for any cheats or half a** jobs, which sets the bar very high for my next two weeks.

Why is this a worry? Because winter is coming (yes, GOT fan here) and I just want to lay under my covers and eat cookies all day while watching romantic movies. Daniela won’t let this happen, I know.

See below the final colors I am using. Among them is the Benjamin Moore color of the year 2017: Shadow 2117-30. shadow-2117-30

Isn’t perfect?

Other photos here:
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Photos done by Daniela with the Pantone app. If you like interior design and colors, you need to get that app!

See you next week. I promise a good post with updates.





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One Room Challenge – Our Living Room One Room Challenge is here!

Don’t know if to get excited or terrified.

Here are the basics: Linda from Calling it Home hosts this challenge twice a year. It lasts 6 weeks and a lot of bloggers participate. It is a great opportunity to meet others (via the cyber universe) and share ideas.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to participate this time. Participating back in April was a LOT of work and very expensive. It is not easy to re-do a whole room in a budget. You might remember I decorated my kids’ room. The final result is in the photo above. For more details about that, click here.

OK, so, what to do? My living room needs a major change, but I can’t spend a bunch of money replacing everything that needs to be replaced so, what about changing just some of it? A whole corner if you will.

And, how to do it in a budget? I want something that strikes you as soon as you see it and makes me (you) very, very happy. Thank goodness I have the perfect solution: paint.

If you follow this blog or if you follow me through social media (if you don’t, please do! Here are my links to my Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter accounts), you know that I have posting a lot about murals lately.

Why? I have seen photos in design magazines that have made me jump with excitement after seeing the potential of paint for decorating. Let’s take a look at my inspirational photos.



Aren’t all of these beautiful?

Here is a photo of something that is NOT beautiful: my living room.


jestcafe-com-living-room-before1 jestcafe-com-living-room-before2 jestcafe-com-living-room-before4jestcafe-com-living-room-before3Everything about these photos scream boring, don’t you think? Well, by the end of this challenge, hopefully, this wall will be screaming greatness, sophistication, and happiness. Let’s see if I can pull it off.

Here is Week 2

You are welcome to follow along. There is a sign up form in the right side bar of this post or at the bottom. Also, make sure you check out all other participants. There are some great things happening out there!



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Florence Lopez’s Bold And Colorful Design

jestcafe-com-florence-lopez6So far, Florence Lopez is my favorite discovery related to interior design this year.

Weekly, I look through interior design magazines and blogs; so many photos of beautiful places, and only a handful of times I am truly love struck at how creatively genius some people are! Of course, Lopez’s style resonates with me, but, even if it is not what you like (for example, if you prefer white walls and Scandinavian style), surely you can admire the capacity for courageous design.

I would describe her work with four words: bold, colorful, original, and vintage. She is a Parisian antique art dealer that has decorated her apartment 18 times in the last 24 years. Yes, she is THAT creative and restless.

Her style is unique and powerful. I am drawn to her wonderful vision of color, her furniture choices, and eclectic mix.

For example, let’s look at this painted mural in her studio, inspired by Brazilian landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx:


It is a good replacement of art and it is beautiful. How fun to choose a strong hue with that navy blue accent scattered throughout the room, and that lemon yellow as the spotlight. Brave, very brave.

And her bedroom:


The grey walls surprised me. They silence the room. Very sophisticated.

My other a-ha moment was the kitchen.


In the midst of color, a dark grey kitchen fits right in.

Here are more photos of her place… to find endless inspiration. Hope you like them.

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