7th House on the Left

I know we’ve been MIA for a while and I’ll hopefully be posting a long yet oh-so-informative post about what we’ve been up to soon. We’ve been getting a lot of questions/emails/comments/speculations about our absence. So, just so you guys know, everyone is wonderful, healthy and all is well in casa de Brown. But, as I said, more on that later. Today, I’m going to just jump right into it…

A project Greg and I have been tackling off and on over the past two weeks is the multi-purpose room at our church building. This isn’t typically the sort of project we’d post about, but since this is something we’ve been up to and it has to do with renovating/decorating, we thought it would be fun to share the progress with you guys as we went.

Church Renovation / Sanctuary Before + After / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I mentioned a while back in this post how we were taking a week off to help prep the newly acquired building in time for our first service. The above photo is a side-by-side of what the sanctuary looked like when we got the keys and what it looked like on our first Sunday. Since we had so much other ground to cover in such a short period of time (we’re talking completely renovating, repairing, painting and decorating an entire building in 5 weeks), the multi-purpose room was put on the back burner until recently. To start off, here’s a little glimpse of what the room looked like when our pastor was handed the keys to the building…

Church Renovation / Multi-Purpose Room Renovation / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Yeah. The first thought that came to mind when I saw this was, “Hmm, interesting…”. The photos really don’t do it justice. There were multiple flooring materials, missing/sagging ceiling tiles and lots – and lots – of spray paint… err… “art”. To give you a better understanding of how the room is laid out, here’s the floor plan…

Church Renovation / Multi-Purpose Room Renovation / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Over the course of the renovation process, the guys in our church did an incredibly amazing job of totally transforming the space (and the rest of the building for that matter). In just a few short weeks, it went from dark, sad and slightly scary to open, clean, bright and usable…

Church Renovation / Multi-Purpose Room Renovation / 7thhouseontheleft.com

SO. MUCH. BETTER. I wish I had taken the time to take better before photos, but these are just some quick iPhone photos. For starters, the room was pretty much gutted. I believe everything except for the windows were replaced. After the needed repairs were completed, the room got multiple layers of Kilz to cover up the “art work” left by the previous owners, a coat of fresh paint (Woodsmoke by Valspar) and the flooring was replaced with neutral carpet tiles. Probably the biggest and most drastic change was the removal of the drop ceiling. A local company actually came in, donated their time/materials, and drywalled a new vaulted ceiling for us. We also had recessed lighting installed – which made this girl super excited. Seriously, we have the best team of people ever.

The function of this room needs to be four-fold: LifeGroups (weekly small group Bible studies), leadership meetings, a general “hangout” space and a place to store small items such as extra t-shirts, visitor cards, etc. Trying to fit all of these purposes into one room, the first thing we had to do was come up with a layout. After quite a few configurations, here’s the final layout I came up with…

Church Renovation / Multi-Purpose Room Renovation / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I actually struggled a lot with the furniture layout. I basically just played around with it in Illustrator until something popped. When I finally stumbled on this configuration, I thought, “Why didn’t I think of this in the first place?! Duh!” The idea is to have a designated seating/lounge area as well as a meeting table area. That way, it can accommodate pretty much any form of meeting, small group, lunch or workshop. With this design, the room could seat up to 24 people and still have plenty of room to bring in more chairs if needed.

As for decorating (now we’re getting to the fun part, right?!), we want a relaxed modern space with a splash of the rustic/industrial vibe. It was also important to keep it relatively inexpensive but still good quality so we’re not replacing the furniture in 6 months. Taking all those things into consideration, here’s the plan we came up with…

Church Renovation / Multi-Purpose Room Mood Board / 7thhouseontheleft.com

01 // I’m normally not a fan of accent walls, but in this case, the room really needs something to ground the space. I really, really – one more – really wanted to plank the whole wall (the one with the door that leads to the outside) with the same wood we used on the stage in the sanctuary. That was the plan until we realized the wall was actually a layer of drywall directly over cinderblock. Whomp whomp. Technically, it could be done, but with it being such a large wall, the cost for anchors and masonry screws would be outrageous; not to mention that it would be really difficult to do. So, the backup plan is to paint the wall navy – Basin Blue by Valspar to be exact. By the way, that color is my favorite go-to navy blue wall color.

02 // I’m just crazy about this wall art from CB2. It’s basically modern wooden row houses that you can form into your own shape. Buuuut – don’t you hate but’s? – since making this mood board, CB2 has stopped carrying it. I was so bummed! The idea was to get three sets and configure our own large piece of wall art to go on the blank wall over the sofa. The wood tones would have looked awesome against the navy accent wall! I’m now on a mission to find something just as cool or even better. If you guys have any ideas, share! The only thing is that it needs to be pretty large in size.

03 // Two of these beauties were delivered last week and we couldn’t be more happy with them. Before placing the order, I actually hadn’t seen it in person – which made me a bit nervous since we were ordering two and paying extra to have them delivered. However, I had a “gut feeling” they would work out and prayed they would. And, oh my goodness…. They. are. perfect. I was honestly shocked at the quality for the price (only $799!) and couldn’t get over how great they fit in the room. They’re also a bit larger looking in person – which is great for this project. The bonded leather is super durable and should stand up to lots of wear and tear. I just really can’t say enough good things about this sofa.

04 // We’re going to ditch the matchy-matchy leather pillows that came with the sofa and add our own for a pop of color. If this were going in our house, I’d totally load the sofas up with lots of graphic, fun pillows. However, since this is going to be a room for a lot of people going in and out, I’m going to keep it simple with just an extra two or three pillows. Otherwise, they’d just get in the way. Well, that, and every time I go in there, I’d be wanting to straighten the pillows. Haha!

05 // If you’ve been reading here for long, you know I’ve been a fan of this chair since the day Ikea previewed it. I dedicated an entire post to it and have used it on multiple mood boards since then (this one being my favorite). The fabric color (which is our church’s “color”) and price were just too good to pass up for this project. I also love how it juxtaposes with the style of the Chesterfield sofa. As far as style goes, it’s a huge bang for your buck.

06 // We’re concocting a plan for a large DIY industrial rustic coffee table. We’ll be back to share more about that later, but we can tell you that the top will be stained Special Walnut by Minwax – our all-time favorite stain color. That color is so perfect – I can’t even tell you.

07 // For extra seating around the coffee table, we’ll be bringing in two poufs. Right now, I’m really digging these from World Market. They are made with indoor/outdoor fabric, so I would hope they’ll be pretty durable. On the other hand, coming in at 14″ high, they might be a tad short for an adult to comfortably sit on. So, the jury is still out on these.

08 // I want to bring in some realistic faux greenery. “Greenery” is such an ugly word – but I’m taking about succulents and a fiddle leaf. We purchased this faux fiddle leaf fig tree (such a great price, right?!) and I’m currently keeping my eyes out for some good-looking faux succulents for the coffee table.

09 // I searched high and low for an affordable version of these oh-so-popular chairs. The problem I was running into was that the affordable ones were too short (they’d slide under the edge of the table) or they had horrible reviews (stories of them coming apart, scratching, etc). I finally found a “just right” size at an affordable price at Restoration Hardware (here). And, get this: they were cheaper than the smaller version on Overstock. Go figure! They were originally $140 a piece, but we were able to snag them for $99 a piece. Sure, it was a good chunk of the budget, but good chairs aren’t cheap. Thankfully, these are great quality and will probably last forever.

10 // This table is the inspiration piece for the DIY table we (“we” as in a group of crazy handy guys in our church) are going to build. It’s not exactly what we’ll end up with, but it will be the same pipe base and wood top combo with a similar wood tone.

11 // I’ve always been a sucker for chalkboard walls, and over near the meeting table will be the perfect place for one. I’m so super pumped about this – probably a little too much.

The room is currently “in progress” and I’m SO anxious to get it done and see everything put together the way I see it in my head. We’re actually waiting for the last of the furniture to be delivered, but I’ll be sure to pop in again SOON to give you guys another update.

A quick side note before I let you go… A super special thank you to all of you guys who have stuck around with us during this “transition period”. We’re so happy and blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive blog family.

Play Date: Part 1

posted by Ashley  /  19 Comments

This weekend, we have a really fun project lined up that’s something we’ve never tackled before. However, before I get into the details, let’s back up a bit. As you may know, Greg and I are lucky enough to be a part of Target Inner Circle. We love working with the Target family. We’ve had opportunities to go to fun places, been able to work on some super fun projects and get a look “behind the brand.” Well, a month or so ago, the folks at Target asked us if we had any project ideas for Spring. We rolled a few ideas back and forth and thought it would be really fun to switch it up a bit lot, stretch our brains and spread the Target love. We ended up with something that would be completely different than anything we’ve ever tackled before… We’re decorating a playroom, people!

Playroom Before & After // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Meet Josh, Tiffany, Brayden and Judah. (Brayden is the big guy and Judah is the little guy.) If you’ve been reading for a while, you might recall me mentioning my “BFF Tiff” whom I tried to convince she should paint her nursery navy blue, is married to “Mr. Christmas” (Josh is obsessed with Christmas), hates Miracle Whip and helps me generally stay sane. Well, this is that Tiffany. We’ve known each other since I was about 9, and she’s been my best friend since freshman year of college. Actually, Josh, Tiff, Greg and I all “grew up” in the same church and went to the same college together. Fast forward a few years, Josh and Tiff have been married for eight years and have two absolutely adorable – I mean, handsome, sorry Josh – boys.

So, here’s what we’re doing: Josh is a pastor (our pastor, actually), and he often works from home. As a result, Tiff and Josh are in the process of reassigning a few rooms in their house so he can have a designated office space. One project they’re tackling is turning their rarely-used formal dining room into a playroom. That’s where we come in! Right now, the playroom basically consists of a bunch of toys lined up against the walls with a train table in the middle of it all. Seeing as how Greg and I don’t have kids, we’re really excited about helping them out with this project, and we hope it will be a nice change of pace. Here’s a quick iPhone photo of what it looks like now…

Playroom Before // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Brayden and Judah are currently 3 years and 7 months old, respectively, so this really needs to be a room they can grow into. The playroom is open to the living area, so Tiff and Josh want a space that “cleans up nicely” when people come over, meshes well with the style of the rest of the house, and functions as an area where they can spend time as a family.

Ordinarily, I’d suggest removing the chair railing so it would look less like a dining room and more like a playroom. However, since this room might become a dining room again sometime down the road or if they ever decide to sell, we’re going to work with it. Another thing we’re going to keep is the wall color. They recently had it painted, and they love the color (it’s Valspar’s Winter Flannel in case you’re wondering). It’s a nice “greige” blue color and I think it will serve as a perfect starting point for the room.

For starters, we needed to come up with a “room plan.” Here’s what we came up with:

Playroom Layout // 7thhouseontheleft.com

First off, the layout. Since Brayden plays with the train table a lot, it needs to stay in the middle of the room. It and the toy storage pieces we’ll be bringing in are narrow enough to still offer enough walking (and running, hopping, skipping, jumping) space around the table. Speaking of toy storage, we’ll be bringing in two short storage pieces as well as a toy basket or two. We needed to keep the path between the two doors pretty open, so we decided to put a reading chair in the corner to the left of the doorway and tuck the arts & crafts into the corner on the right since the easel will take up less floor space than the chair.

Now for my favorite part… decorating! I put together the initial mood board, asked Tiff what she thought, and then we tweaked it here and there until we came up with a solid plan (Greg and Josh will join in when it’s time to put furniture together and hang curtain rods, haha). Here’s what we came up with…

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com // #targetinnercircle

Pieces of the mood board might look a tad “grown up” for a playroom, but once we add all of the toys and fun stuff, I think it will be perfect. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Tiff and Josh want a room that will mesh well with the rest of the house and “clean up” nicely when people come over, so it needed a slightly more “grown up” vibe. Here’s the breakdown of the mood board…

1 // The moment I saw this chair online, I knew it would be the perfect reading chair. In person, it’s like a small adult/large child sized chair – perfect for a playroom. The fabric is also pretty durable, so it will be easy to clean up if necessary.

2 // This pillow looks a lot cooler in person than it does online. It’s the perfect mixture of fun, trendy and traditional. The touches of yellow in the design will go nicely with the curtains.

3 // Speaking of the curtains, I love these. The design is kind of like a “rustic paisley” – if that makes any sense. Tiff & Josh have some touches of yellow in the adjoining living room, so these will be a perfect way to marry the two spaces.

4 // As I mentioned earlier, they recently had their walls painted Winter Flannel by Valspar. In some lighting, it looks blue, in others, gray. It’s a really nice color and will be a great backdrop for the punches of color we’re bringing in.

5 // I’m so excited about this. We’re going to be DIYing a marquee letter (just like the one we did for our carport-turned-patio). Only this time, it’ll be a bit smaller, and we’ll be doing a letter “P” for their last name.

6 // These baskets have always been a Target favorite of mine; they’re perfect for so many things. We’re going to grab one (maybe two) of these to store some toys.

7 // Poufs are all the rage these days, and this playroom has the perfect space for them in front of one of the windows. Not only are they the perfect size for the kids to romp around on, they’re also large enough to serve as extra seating for mom and dad while the kids are playing. Plus, the burlap covers are super durable and will be easy to clean if needed.

8 // We’re going to be taking their existing art easel (which is a natural wood color) and giving it a mini makeover with some spray paint to help it tie in with the black/brown storage units we’re bringing in.

9 // I love this clock because it will bring a fun schoolhouse chic look to the room. The large, clear numbers will come in handy when Brayden is learning to tell time in the next year or two.

10 // These are the baskets we’ll be using for the bottom rows of the Expedit Kallax storage units. We might be adding some toy labels a la iHeart Organizing – she’s a genius – but the jury is still out on that one until we get all of the stuff in the room. Update: since making this mood board, we’ve switched to these baskets.

11 // Pretty much every kid at our church is between Brayden and Judah’s ages (yes, something is in the water over there), so they will have many many friends to play with in the space. Hence why I love this plaque for a playroom.

12 // We’re planning on filling up the “arts & crafts” corner with a bunch of toddler-friendly craft items and repurposing plastic jars and such to store art supplies.

So, that’s the plan, Stan. A lot of the mood board items are sitting here in our living room waiting to be taken over to Tiff & Josh’s house this weekend (and a few things are still on the way). We’ll have the finished room for you guys next week with before and after photos (and a really fun Target giveaway!). In the mean time, make sure you follow us on Instagram to see playroom updates over the weekend!

Now I have the sudden urge to watch Disney Channel (which, actually, I do all the time anyway) and color in a coloring book… anyone else?


I love putting together random mood boards as the mood strikes (pun totally intended). It’s fun to play around with styles you normally wouldn’t go with, be able to pull off in your own house or would love to have in your dream house someday. I haven’t put together a random board in almost a year. So, needless to say, it’s high time I post another one. This particular one was inspired by two things…

The first: Malibu. In general, I really miss California. I haven’t been out there since August, though it seems like it wasn’t that long ago. We’re planning another trip out there this fall, but it can’t come soon enough. I miss the perfect weather (and how everyone treats rainy days like snow days), being able to walk pretty much anywhere from the apartment in downtown Burbank, the quaintness of Disneyland, the place I get my hair done (haha)… Well, the list goes on and on. I also miss the laid back and relaxed atmosphere of Malibu – and the fact it’s only a short drive away. Shopping at the Lumberyard and dinner at Gladstone’s is definitely on our list of things to do as soon as we get into town.

The second: When I was a teenager, I really really wanted a surfboard. Not to actually use – no, no – to hang in my room. I thought it would be “like the coolest thing like ever” and was determined to find one. I ended up compromising for a working traffic light and then all was right with the world. Nevertheless, my inner teen still yearns for a vintage surfboard. Seeing as how that wouldn’t really jive in our 1970’s brick ranch, I’ll just express my surfboard love by way of a mood board…

Mood Board: Malibu Living // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Finishes: White walls, touches of blue, rustic wood accents and splashes of gold. // Club Spray Sofa // York Pendant // California Love Print // The World is Your Oyster Print // Claude Walnut Dresser (Look for Less: Take a Craigslist dresser and update the hardware with chunky brass knobs) // Seagrass Baskets (Look for Less: HomeGoods and World Market) // Pappelina Lisa Rug // Moroccan Gold Metallic Pouf // Taylor Chair // Wynne Coffee Table // 72″ Fiddle Leaf Tree // Reversible Cross Pillow // Triangle Cushion // Metallic Velvet Pillow Cover // Metallic Chevron Pillow Cover // Aztec Pillow Cover // Vintage Surfboards

So, what is everyone’s plans for the weekend? One of the things on our To-Do List is to hang a light fixture above the new dining room table. We have to cut/wire a whole new “socket” (actually, what is that called?), so it’s a little more involved than just hanging a new light fixture. Thankfully, we have my dad near by to help us with the wiring and all that jazz.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Richmonders, enjoy the weather because they’re calling for snow again on Tuesday – I know, right?! Happy weekend, everyone!