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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One Room Challenge, Week 6 – Kids’ Room -The Big Reveal

So, I have been participating in this challenge called the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda from Calling It Home. The idea is to transform a room in 6 weeks. I have been working on my kids’ room and today is the big reveal day. You can catch up to what I have been up to here:

Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4 // Week 5

These 6 weeks have been full of busy weekends and physical (and mental) exertion, but that is all over, and I am very, VERY proud with the results. My kids’ room looks so good, but you can judge that by yourself.

Let’s get to the photos because that is what you are all here for. First, here are the before pictures, so you can be reminded of all that ugliness: here are the after photos of that same space. Be ready to be impressed! the beginning,  I was afraid the dark wallpaper and walls would darken the space too much so, to brighten it up, I painted one wall and the ceiling in true white. I chose Decorator’s White from Benjamin Moore. It was the perfect choice for the space. For the light fixture, I chose IKEA’s shade Overud. It is a beautiful statement and it matches the copper tone of the walls. It was super coincidental because I went to IKEA one day and didn’t find any lamp I liked, but I had to go back the week after to get some other things and I took a moment to walk around the lamp section again, just in case. Well, lucky me because that time I found the Overud shade hanging in all its glory. They had hung it the day before I came back! It was so lucky. I saw it and I knew immediately that this was the light fixture the space needed. Won’t you agree?

But, the best part of this room is, without a doubt, that Underwater World wallpaper from Hygge & West. It is so dramatic and gorgeous! It has beautiful copper details that I didn’t want to cover with a bunch of art, so I decided to paint the fourth wall in the same blue tone and create a gallery wall. Here is the result: of the art in here are vintage finds from thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. The other half was art created by me. I took all the photos and painted the yellow/black painting, plus, I painted the solid emerald and black paintings on the top left – I like having solid colors in a gallery wall to give a break to the eye.  All the frames are from IKEA. The panda accent is from Target – I thought it would be a cute addition to the gallery wall adding some movement to the straight lines.

I also fixed the old dresser, added corners from Home Depot and pulls from Orchard Supply Hardware and you can see the result above. Isn’t it cute? So much better than how it looked before (see before photos above). I also painted the door with a darker and more orange yellow (Lemon from Benjamin Moore) and it looks a million times better than the light yellow I had before. chair was a thrift store find that George did years ago. It is an old fake Eames chair  that we reupholstered in white leather. It used to live in the living room, but it looks so good in this space, I might leave it here. The rug is from Anthropologie. The toy storage units are Trofast from IKEA – I painted them emerald and the reason why is here. – they are a great way of storing the kids’ toys because they are easy to access. I bought the plants and planters locally at Rolling Greens, the best (and most expensive) nursery in the West Side. They have the best plant selection and the staff is always so nice to me and my kids; I really love this nursery. The black planter is from IKEA. Paintings are vintage finds. the books, we built floating bookshelves. In this post I wrote details about how we built them and why we chose to do floating shelves. I really like the result, don’t you? and other decorations on the shelves are vintage finds. The books are real books for kids that my children actually read! Can you spot the golden Nate Berkus lions in the photo above? I love those lions. The idea was to have a bright, beautiful, fun, and functional room. The bunk bed is from IKEA. I bought it in pine finish and painted it with Decorator’s White, to match the walls. The bedding and pillows are from target. That little copper light is from West Elm. I bought it last year and I don’t think they have it available anymore.

The photos above the beds are mine. Frames are from IKEA. I wanted to have black and white photos and frames in this part of the wall- something muted but elegant. At this point, I didn’t want to keep on bringing more color and noise into the room, so these photos seemed like the perfect choice. Also, they were taken in Punta Arenas, Chile, were I am from, so they are a little reminder of my home – I wish I could get rid of the reflection on the photos, but this is the best I could cute is that white vase with the tulips? I bought it in the Flower Market in DTLA. I got the hand at the Rose paintings above are from the Rose Bowl and a estate sale. vintage school chairs are also from a estate sale. As soon as I saw them I felt in love. They are so darn cute! and the perfect size.

In the photo above you can take a closer look at how the dresser turned out. Do you love it as much as I do? Specially after drilling more than a 100 holes to put those corners from Home Depot. It all came together so nicely and this guy and I are so happy. my big GIF fail from last week? Well, this week I tried harder and I think I succeeded! Take a look at how I built the gallery wall:

This is the first time I decorate a room from scratch and photograph it. I think it was a major success, if you ask me. Who would have thought I could pull it together? I am already thinking about the next One Room Challenge and what I could do. I just need more rooms to work with. Maybe you are interested in a room upgrade?

I hope you like how the room turned out. I LOVE to read your comments, so, please, don’t hesitate to write your thoughts. I always answer.

Also, some posts on where to find wallpaper for your nursery, how to paint your own walls, and, cute art for your kids’ room.

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ORC – Week 5 – Building And Fixing Furniture Room Challenge – Week 5 –

For previous weeks, click here: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4

The most important news this week is that I have done my very first GIF. It is a total fail: I couldn’t keep the camera in one place (Max decided that moving the tripod with the camera on it was his Sunday’s priority), the photos are badly frame (vertical & horizontal lines are not straight), and the color of the pictures don’t match (taken at very different times of the day), but, as much as a bad GIF this one is, it took me forever to learn how to do it and it is my first one, so… ENJOY:

I am already nauseous watching that GIF! Too busy. Let’s look at that last photo instead: you can see, we built bookshelves this weekend (and by we, I mean George). I was planning to buy a bookcase, but after looking at the space, and listening to Domicile 37‘s advice, I decided to build floating bookshelves instead. This decision opened up the space and helped fitting more books, because I custom built them to fit the space (again, by “I custom built it,” I mean “George custom built it” – love you, George).

I left an open area in the middle of the bookshelves so I could fit a painting I bought in Costa Rica from a painter that lives in Playa Carrillo, right in front of the sea. This man changed a busy life in the US for a quiet and modest life in Costa Rica. A beautiful way of growing painting is not the obvious choice for this space. It is very colorful and noisy, but it fits just right for my taste. It brings a nice edginess to the bookshelves and it opens them up. It draws your eye and unclutters the shelves with that open space.

Deciding to use this painting was a difficult decision. I loved it, but I was afraid that a lot of readers wouldn’t. It is not the easy choice! A white, neutral, funny quote poster is the easy decision for here, but I have to be true to myself, and appeal to readers that like my aesthetics, so, why cheat? I went with the crazy red/blue girl painting instead.

For the big reveal, I will need to do a better job at styling these bookshelves, which means organizing 500 children’s books in a nice manner – an impossible task – I will probably put some books away for the shoot, but then they will come back to this original, messy position. the I decided to style it like a campaign dresser. First, I bought these corners at Home I didn’t want gold hardware, so I sprayed them with Rust Oleum – Antique Brass before installing them. Now I need to do a post on drilling! There are many details on how to drill appropriately. It is not as easy as pressing a button. Tutorial about it coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Here is how the corners look now (there is a general view of the dresser in another photo below) am going to have to repaint some of the details with a small brush  because paint came off when installing them. - orc wk5 -7These are the bail pulls I ordered. I am hoping they will get here on time for me to spray and install them before next week. it will suck if they don’t. I don’t love the finish of the pulls, but it doesn’t matter because I will spray them before installing.

And now, about that gallery wall. If you follow this blog, you know what my method of doing gallery walls is not conventional. If you don’t know what I am talking about, here is a post about the topic.

As a reminder, here is how this wall looked before I started the, here is how it looks right now: this photo you can see how the dresser is coming out – I have a lot more drilling to do but I like how it looks)

I want this wall filled with art that I have collected throughout the years (I spoke a little bit about this plan on last week’s post), but I realized I don’t have enough to complete the wall, so, yesterday, I went to IKEA and bought a lot of frames of different sizes, then I made paper dummies of all the art I have and started playing this puzzle call “make a gallery wall that looks decent, if possible.” The photo above is what I ended up with. It is not perfect, there are some frames that I want to move around, but, overall, it looks pretty good! Next week it will look even better, when all that art is hanged where it belongs. I am planning to use of my own photos in some of these frames (cheapest solution), so today I went to Kinkos to get everything printed, and it should be done tomorrow…The clock is ticking. Wish me luck!

Here is my Instagram account, in case you want to follow what I do this upcoming week. Also, I want to thank Linda from Calling It Home for hosting this fun challenge.


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ORC – Jest Cafe – Wk3 – Painting Furniture week, for the One Room Challenge, I had to make decisions about color for the bunk beds and storage units to organize the kids’ toys.

1) Storage units – As I mentioned in this post, I decided to buy Ikea furniture. If you buy furniture with pine finish, it is very easy to paint, unlike other IKEA finishes.  I bought two TROFAST storage units and tried deciding on a color later. I wanted a dark green, and I was deciding between Lawn Green or  Emerald Isle from Benjamin Moore. In the middle of this process, I saw this post from Justina Blakeney. Can you believe the coincidence? THE day I was trying to make this decision she posted that. Well, people, I believe in signs from life, and this was obviously one so I had to go with Emerald Isle. No regrets! Here is the Emerald Isle You definitely need two coats when painting IKEA pine furniture, and remember not to paint inside holes because you will need to assemble this furniture later and will need those holes to be their original size! is how it looks now: after painting and assembling…I really like the green, even though this photo doesn’t make it justice… Also, the unit is great for storing toys because they give easy access to children.

2) Bunk Bed: I went back and forth about which color to use for the bunk bed. I thought about grey, yellow, but, ultimately, settled on white. I used decorator’s white – Benjamin Moore. Same color I used for the wall and ceiling. The furniture is glossy and the wall is flat.

I decided to use white to brighten up the room and give it some cohesiveness. Also, having a colorful bunk bed would have been too busy, as I already have an emerald storage unit and a yellow door. The kids love the bunk bed. Well, maybe love is an understatement, because they have decided to play and eat up there every single second of the day, which means an adult has to be near at all times because Max is only two and not able to make wise decisions regarding child I got this light fixture from IKEA. It has copper, just like the details of the wallpaper and I really like it. I think it looks good with the rest of the room, don’t you think? Copper is IN!

This coming week, I will be looking for art. I want to do a gallery wall on the blue wall. Other things I need to do are:, organize this

Here is what went on in Week 1 and Week 2 of this challenge at my place.

Here is my Instagram account in case you want to follow other details of the #oneroomchallenge. Also, any advice on how to decorate this room is welcome!

Thanks for stopping by.



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