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.

jestcafe-com-living-room-before1 jestcafe-com-living-room-before4

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:
living-room-14living-room-17 living-room-16 living-room-15living-room-13 living-room-12
living-room-6 living-room-5 living-room-4living-room-3 living-room-2living-room-18

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??
white wallsone-room-challenge-week-5-white-walls-9

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 – 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:
one room challenge week 4one room challenge week 4one room challenge week 4

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 – Week 3 – Vintage Decor


Hey Interior Design aficionados! If you read this blog once in a while, or follow me on social media, you know that I have been working on the One Room Challenge situation – the challenge for bloggers that Linda from Calling it Home hosts twice a year.

I almost didn’t enter this time because how could I possibly make the time (and the money) to change one of the many rooms at my place that need fixing! Then I came out with the brilliant idea of focusing on a vignette of my living room. A space that is in desperate need of an upgrade. (Here is Week 1 and Week 2 of the challenge).

Paint will be my main tool (I am creating a mural, in case you didn’t know), but, in the mix, I also need (WANT, HAVE TO HAVE) vintage articles, because life is soulless without history and a room is sad without at least one vintage piece – although, in my book, you need more like 20 or 30.

I went to the Rose Bowl last week in search of goodies. Why is this flea market SO AWESOME!?? Every corner has a beauty. Every stand has something worth stopping for. It fills my soul with vintage happiness. I will be writing a post about it soon because I have been to the Rose Bowl so many freaking times, I might as well write a post about it, don’t you think? Stay tuned. Useless to say, the trip was VERY successful and I bought my share of unique, crazy, gorgeous things, because I am a thing hoarder.

But then, perusing my Pinterest feed and my older posts, I found some amazing ideas and decor that I want to try to emulate.  The image above this post is one of them. Here is the other one (BTW, if you don’t follow my Pinterest account, please do so here! I am working hard on getting my stats and followers up on that app. It might just work. We will see):

jestcafe-com-vintage-portraits-frontSeeing these photos has given me the idea of hanging old vintage portraits in front of the mural. Which ones you might ask?

A couple of months ago, I got these two painting from my dad. They have been in our family for as long as I can remember.vintage decor 11vintage decor 6

They are not in perfect condition, but they are PERFECT in my heart! And living room! I want to place them in front of the mural, in some strategic spot that stresses the dichotomy between old and modern. and that shows the awesomeness of seeing two opposites in the same space. It is unpredictable and risky. Let’s see if it works!

Other pieces I am considering using are the following (all of them purchased through long years of thrifting and shifting)


These theater chairs are close to my heart because George got them for me as a Christmas gift. They are the best gift anybody has ever given me, which is a little bit weird to say because George is not the best gift giver, but with these ones he got a million points that will serve him for years to come. I wonder if I should finish them again, though. Probably yes, don’t you think?

halloween-decorations-2 vintage decor 5

This vintage mannequin is something else, don’t you think? I saw it at a thrift store and RUN for it… I NEEDED TO HAVE IT. I asked for the price, then requested a discount, paid for it, and left the establishment with a grin. This is NOT how most of my trips to thrift stores go. Usually, they are a humongous disappointment, but not that time my friends, not that time.

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This lectern also comes via my daddy.
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This lamp was $15 at a thrift store. It didn’t work when I bought it but my personal handyman fixed it. I really like it. It can be adjusted to different heights and it has that cute knob to turn it on. It is from the 60s or 70s.

This weekend I am going to finalize the design for the mural and will start painting soon. Wish me luck and wisdom.

Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate it.

Image 1 via Carla Aston/ Image 2 via Anthropologie

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One Room Challenge – Week 2- Choosing a Color Palette


image via: @tangledgarden

Here we are, in the second week of the One Room Challenge. Very fun!

If you read about my plans for the living room last week, then you know I want to paint a mural on the wall. If you didn’t, you can read all about it here.

Choosing the right color hue for the mural is M-A-J-O-R. Probably the most important decision. I want it to be happy and calming. Bright and muted, is that even possible?

I want fun colors like purple, orange, and green, but in a calming version. For example, lavender would be a nice shade of purple, don’t you think?

When I am in a color dilemma, I like to visit This is a website run by Jessica Colaluca, and it is full of color inspiration. She finds beautiful images and matches them to its corresponding color palette; she chooses approximately 6 colors that are the main shades of the photo.

I like to look for color palettes inspired by nature. They are a sure way to find elegant and beautiful tones, without craziness, but great taste.

I was roaming through this website and found a lot of ideas. Here are the hues I liked the most (including the one on top of this page):

jest-cafe-colornature1_150  image via: @carolyn.evejest-cafe-florapalette1_150 image via: @theflowercultjest-cafe-heavenlyhues2_150 image via: @ozgecenbercijest-cafec-succulenthues_150

image via: @traceybolton

What do you think? Which palette should I choose for the mural?

I am leaning towards the flower cult photo. It has orange, purple, green, and grey. The colors are a perfect combination that is not overpowering or too vibrant.

What do you think?

My plan is to choose colors this week, find vintage decorations next week, come up with a final design, and start painting in two- three weeks. Wish me luck!

For more on this challenge, here is Week 1.

Thanks for stopping by!

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