Living By Design Virtual Showhouse Feature

The Living By Design Virtual Showhouse

Well, the first Living By Design virtual showhouse has officially launched! This is a unique opportunity to tour the Living By Design showhouse completely virtually, from the comfort of your couch. I love that on the tour, you can actively click on links to the elements of each room and get inspiration for your own home. And is it any surprise that I designed the craft room? So I’m particularly excited about that. All you have to do to access the tour is visit this link and peruse the rooms to your heart’s content.

The Craft Room

Be sure to check out that craft room! There are a lot of elements in there that I’m particularly jazzed about, like the wallpaper, art, and that amazing crafting island. Minted was my go-to for the art, and I have to say they made the decision-process difficult. So many lovely options that complimented the space so well! And those dreamy velvet curtains? You have Calico to thank for those.

But what really had me excited was all that amazing storage and furniture, thanks to California Closets! You know how important craft room storage is to me. I mean, it’s essential to have a functional space that’s easy to keep organized when you’re an avid crafter. I love how it all came together for the craft room!

Architecture and 3D Visualization

I can’t talk about the craft room without giving a nod to the amazing architecture by Brandon Architects. It’s always more enjoyable to design a space when the architecture really lends itself to the design. And since this is a fully virtual experience, I should also mention the impeccable 3D visualization by YouSee.

Special Thanks

I’d like to also give a special shout out to all of the tour’s sponsors: California Closets, Carrier, Minted, and Monrovia. It goes without saying that this Living by Design virtual showhouse tour wouldn’t have been possible without them.

Also, thanks to Martha Stewart Living, the showhouse national media partner. And we can’t forget the amazing producer/production team Embello.

More Inspiration

Did you love the Living By Design virtual showhouse, and especially that craft room? You might also be interested in this post where we talk about how we organized our craft room!

One Room Challenge: Week 6 final reveal

We made it, you guys! The final week of One Room Challenge! Are you still with us? Well, if there’s ever a time to tune back in it’s NOW! Sit back and enjoy an absurd amount of “before and afters”–it’s going be good!

If you’re just joining in, we focused our attention on this 6 week challenge with 20 other bloggers and a handful of generous vendors on Mary, our business director here at Lars, and the new house she bought a few months ago. It was in nice condition, just lacked…finesse and style. And I do believe that we BROUGHT IT!

What do you think?! 

Read more about the vendors we worked with, what lessons Mary learned along the way, and the three things she’d recommend for an equally dramatic kitchen transformation.

One room Challenge Week 4: The details

We are four weeks into our One Room Challenge and the sprint to the finish line has begun.  With a tight timeline, sequencing and scheduling are significant factors, and this week we tackled four large components:

We’re going into a LOT of detail here and it’s all to help you know what to avoid and what to do in your own renovations. Let’s go!

One Room Challenge Week 3: Demo and Installation

We’re three weeks in and things are starting to come together.  Literally! This week we share everything you ever wanted to know about 1) Kitchen demo and CliqStudios cabinet installation, 2) Bertazzoni range and oven selection and tips for a seamless installation 3) GE refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave selection. There’s a lot here so make sure you bookmark for your next reno!

One Room Challenge Week 2: Furniture and Accessories

Ye haw! Things are swimming along with Mary’s 6 week kitchen renovation (gah!). As you may know, any renovation is challenging to complete in 6 weeks, but kitchens are particularly tricky as there are more elements than normal: electrical, HVAC, windows, appliances, you get the drift. And because Mary has bigger plans, this also included moving walls and windows. Ain’t no thang! 

Last week we showed you our vision for this round’s One Room Challenge and this week we’re talking about what exactly is going IN the space as far as decor and furniture goes. Let’s take a look!

One Room Challenge Week 1: Spring 2019 Room Reveal

You may have seen our Instagram announcement last week and if not…we are thrilled to announce that we are participating in a new round of One Room Challenge with 19 other fantastic designers. Huzzah! We loved being involved last time, though it was a little (ok, A LOT) frantic with the renovation of one of our office spaces (see here), and this time we’ve had a bit more breathing room so we are stoked to get going and show you every inch of the process!

One Room Challenge, now in its 15th season, is a 6 week event where bloggers and designers transform one room of a house into magic in partnership with stellar brands. It’s churned out some really great eye candy (see previous years here). You can see everyone’s progress on their respective platforms (see the links at the end of this post) week after week all culminating with a feature on Better Homes and Gardens at the end. They’re all so different and it’s really amazing to see how everyone is presented the same options but use them in dramatically different ways.

So far, we’ve kept our intended space a secret…any guesses which room we are tackling (besides the major hints with these photos)?

One Room Challenge Week 7: Final Reveal!

One Room Challenge The House That Lars builtYou guys! Can you even believe we made it to week 7, the final reveal (click here if you’re just joining in)? I’m pretty surprised myself! This One Room Challenge was a TON of work and it’s all thanks to so many generous people who made it possible as well as my awesome team, particularly our business director Mary, who put in so much time and enormous effort into making every detail perfect. In addition to running the business side of Lars, she plays an amazing contractor/DIY role. I mean, the detail work of that floor is nothing short of a miracle. Every single point lines up perfectly! I’m absolutely floored at the work that she did along with some awesome volunteers (victims???). We are so grateful for the countless hours, the late nights, and the sore muscles people sacrificed to help us make this office truly magical. Because it is! I’m so pleased with how this vision came to life. From top to bottom this office has been completely transformed with the help of some amazing companies we were privileged to work with. We’re going to take you through all the elements and little details that brought the entire look together, so buckle up and get ready!

One Room Challenge The House That Lars builtTake a look at the full reveal and all the details!

One Room Challenge Week 7: Final Reveal

We’ve got to start with the moldings from Metrie. The wall paneling and molding we installed elevated the room and made it so much more sophisticated. We used the New Traditional Design Option from Metrie, making it easy for us since they made all the decisions for us. We installed everything ourselves (and by “ourselves I mean Mary and Adam. Thank YOU!!!) and you can view a tutorial in the Week 4 post!

Metrie also provided our new gorgeous doors. We were lucky enough to get 5 of them for all of our office doors and man, what a difference! The doors are by True Craft Door- Solid and painted white with Farrow and Ball’s Wimbourne White.One Room Challenge The House That Lars built


I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, paint is the ultimate transformation tool. We were lucky enough to use the lovely paint of Farrow & Ball. This stuff is the highest quality and their signature finish left our whole staff amazed. It’s like buttah. For the walls we used Oval Room Blue, and the floor pattern was created with Wimborne White, Pitch Black, and Teresa’s Green.

Let’s just take a moment of silence for the floor, shall we? We chose to create a tumbling block pattern, inspired by the pattern used in ancient Greek and Roman interiors. The floor is definitely the show stopper of the space and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. View a tutorial on how to create it in the Week 6 post.tumbling block floor patterntumbling block floor pattern


When it came to furniture, we wanted to stick primarily to white pieces with touches of gold for a polished and clean look. The Mine was a great resource for office furniture. We found this beautiful bookshelf with gold accents that also had drawers which were an added bonus! We also found the beautiful Monarch desk. It originally had chrome detailing, but we spray painted it gold to better coordinate with the bookshelf and other pieces. We’d choose gold over silver almost any day! You can never have too much storage, so we got this filing cabinet to hold all our odds and ends.

Hayneedle also proved to have a ton of furniture options. For an additional desk, we chose an L-shaped style that could be set up for a corner or rearranged for a longer option. The flexibility is great, especially for us as we’re often changing things up and moving things around. The desk also has tons of cubbies and storage options which will be perfect for supplies and in-process projects. The white and gold chairs are the ideal desk chair in our opinion. Style and great functionality in one!

Velvet is such a luxurious fabric that I couldn’t pass up having in the office! We found the most beautiful velvet chairs from Article that added the perfect addition of texture to the room. If softened everything up and it is one of the comfiest chairs I’ve ever sat in! The chair comes in a myriad of beautiful colors, but we chose Pacific Blue. Complete with a velvet pillow, this chair is a dream and just where I want to be sitting for a meeting.

Prior to seeing them in person, we chose out a blue and the blue green and found that the blue green worked much better in the space. Take a look. I know I styled it a bit weird with the yellow pillow so it’s looking super odd, but I think you can still get a chance to see how the blue green is a better choice. What do you think?


You can’t miss the mirror when you walk into this room! It’s such a great statement piece. I love how much larger the mirror makes the space seem. The mirror is from Bellacor, as is the other rectangular mirror. We also found all our lovely brass lamps from Bellecor. Lamps have the ability to warm up a room and we like how they tie all the other gold accents together. We chose these three lamps to brighten up the space.

To add some more pattern, this lovely floral pillow from Arianna Belle was just the right dose of softness and color cohesion. I couldn’t design a room without some sort of flower pattern if only just a bit! We love the elegant but playful feel it brings to the room. We a couple of options for pillow and chair colors and we played around with the options before settling upon the greener chair in the office versus the blue and the hummingbird pattern lumbar pillow verses the square floral, as seen here: 

It’s so pretty, but the blue just wasn’t working out in the space, and we realized we needed a pillow with slightly less impact.

A Few Extras!

Now, let me remind you, this process was not all smooth sailing! There were a lot of ideas and things we wanted to make work but in the end, just didn’t. We fell in love with this Dash and Albert Kenzie Wool Woven Rug from Annie Selke the minute we saw it. I know it’s a popular and rather safe choice, but we wanted to keep the floor somewhat neutral without being a solid and this Moroccan diamond pattern is such a great choice. However, once we decided on our tumbling block painted floor, we just couldn’t make the rug work. Don’t worry though, we’ve got big plans for it in another office! Here’s how we tried to make it work: 

Additionally, we knew we wanted to use all gold hardware to coordinate with the theme of the office. Most of our furniture was outfitted with silver or chrome hardware, and that just wasn’t our cup of tea. We ordered some great drawer pulls from Emtek to work with our desks and cabinets, but unfortunately, they weren’t the right sizes. There’s always a bump in the road, right? We love the gold finish of them though and would highly recommend their products!

Lastly, though I’m not a lover of ceiling fans, because of the hot Utah summers and our not-so-reliable AC, we were desperate for a fan option. These fans saved the day! They are clean enough to be unobtrusive and shapely enough to be cool (pun totally intended). These are also from Bellacor, where we got the gorgeous fans. This one is by Minka Aire Java Flat White 54″.

ALSO! We were soooooo thrilled to FINALLY replace our fluorescent lighting with a different option. Recessed was our choice for even lighting and once again, Bellacor saved the door. The lights are Lithonia Lighting 13 Ultra Thin Recessed Ceiling Light and we put 4 into the space. What a world of difference it has made in our mood and well being too. There’s nothing better than replacing harsh, hideous lighting as fluorescent boxes.

Lastly, I just have to give a shout out to these peonies that are fresh and beautiful and exist in November. That’s all. 

Thank you so much for joining us on this ride. I’ve given a ton of sneak peeks over on Instastories and it’s been so fun to hear your reactions as we’ve been doing it live. Thanks for your feedback and input. Now, go and check out the other participants. I can’t wait to see the magic they’ve created. This is the best week by far, huh?!

SourcesNew Traditional Design Option moldings from Metrie  |   True Craft Door- Solid and painted white with Farrow and Ball’s Wimbourne White  |   Oval Room Blue for the walls and  Wimborne WhitePitch Black, and Teresa’s Green for the floor  |    White and gold bookshelf  |   Monarch desk  |   filing cabinet  |   L-shaped style desk  |  white and gold chairs  |  velvet chairs from Article   |  velvet pillows from Article  | round  mirror  |  rectangular mirror  |  desk lamp  |   desk lamp 2  |  floor lamp  |  lumbar throw pillow  |  square floral pillow  |  Moroccan rug   |   Emtek handles  |  ceiling fan  |  recessed lighting

One Room Challenge Week 7

You can check out our previous weeks here: WEEK 1  |  WEEK 2  |  WEEK 3  |  WEEK 4  |  WEEK 5 | WEEK 6

Boxwood Avenue | Coco & Jack | Design Manifest | IBB for DWD | The House That Lars Built | Little Green Notebook | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | Old Brand New | Old Home Love |  The Painted House | Megan Pflug Designs | Pink Pagoda | Erica Reitman | Sacramento Street | Simply Grove | Jill Sorensen | Sugar & Cloth | Vintage Rug Shop | Waiting on Martha *

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC

Photos by Clara Sumsion Jones

One Room Challenge Week 6: DIY Tumbling Block Painted Tile

how to paint a tumbling block pattern floorOur studio is all painted and I’m in awe of what a difference it makes! We’ve been in white studios for a long time. White is such a clean and bright neutral to work with, plus it gives us more options for shooting space. However, I’d forgotten how lovely and moody a darker room can be! If you haven’t checked out the before pictures, see them here! I have always believed in the power of paint, and using the paint from Farrow & Ball has made my wildest dreams come true! Now I can wholeheartedly jump on the wall molding bandwagon as well! But, we’re not done yet… We’ve got the walls and the ceilings covered, but what about that floor? We took some inspiration from the above photo and a number of others (see below!).

And here’s what we have so far this week: How to make a tumbling block

There’s nothing better than a beautifully tiled floor. My most recent excursions to Cuba and Paris both left me in awe of the stunning tile work. So when we began to brainstorm ideas for our studio makeover, I knew immediately tile would be my flooring of choice. That is until I realized I would have to sell my first born child to afford it. I racked my brain for alternatives and decided we needed to do a DIY rendition. Almost a year ago we painted our floor to imitate a multi-colored checkered floor, and if we did it once, we could do it again!

One Room Challenge: Week 5

One Room Challenge week 5

Please note! The above photo is NOT the paint color. It’s the primer for dark colors and it’s more of a “what not to do” photo. See below for full explanation.

As you know, One Room Challenge has been extended an extra week and we couldn’t be happier for the extra time! We realized that we might have been a little ambitious when it came to our design plan, but go big or go home! We’ve completed all the moldings and paneling and it looks pretty amazing! See our tutorial here from Week 4. Of course, it takes a bit of time to complete the whole process from cutting, to installation, to caulking, but it will save you loads! Not to mention the difference it makes in a room: wall paneling completely transformed the space. The room seems so much larger and regal. Though, it’s not too difficult to improve from where we started!

One Room Challenge Week 3 featuring: The Mine, Article, Bellecor, Hayneedle, and Annie Selke

One Room Challenge Week 3The fact that it’s already week 3 in the One Room Challenge is making me feel equal parts excited and terrified! We still have so much to do! However, everything is in the works and I can say with full confidence that this office space is going to be amazing. It’s taken awhile to get a firm plan of action, so many decisions! But, we’ve finally gotten a handle on the overall design. Our color palette has shifted a bit from our last post (see Week 2, HERE) and it is going to be quite dramatic, especially when compared to where we started (see Week 1, HERE). We’re all about making an impact here!

Check out all the components and get a peek inside our design process!

One Room Challenge week 2

We have joined 20 bloggers (see the full list below!) for the biannual One Room Challenge. Join us for 6 weeks as we show the start to finish of our office makeover! 

Last week I announced our participation in the One Room Challenge and showed some ahem, glorious, before photos of our office that we will be renovating. We got a late start on the challenge so we are in massive make-up mode over here, not to mention it’s our busiest time of the year plus two major deadlines this week. Doesn’t this crisis mode always seems to happen at the same time every year? Or maybe just every 3 months? 1 month?

I wanted to start with some inspiration for the room like this one above.