r e m o d e l + r e n e w

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The last time I posted anything about my home was almost exactly a year ago, November 23, 2018.  I attempted to blog again in February this year and then radio silence ever since until just a few days ago when I posted the reason behind my  absence, my husband and I divorced in July.

2019 was not a good year. I was in pure survival mode.

Part of my personal process of picking up the pieces is returning back to myself, nurturing my creativity and love for writing and as hesitantly and as courageously as possible – sharing my truth.  As a writer, I know that authenticity is the cornerstone and bravely sharing our honest experiences with one another is the very basis of creative expression.  Art is humanity’s pursuit to capture our truths.  From pain to joy to love to loss.  We write about it, we paint about it, we sing about it. We photograph it, we make movies about it, we endeavor to capture our stories.  And by doing that we connect the threads of humanity that bind us together in a shared understanding of life’s most wonderful and most heartbreaking moments.

And so here I am, blogging again in my glasses and sweatpants on a cold November Saturday morning.  I do feel that the darkest part of my year is in the rearview mirror.  And because of that I wake up each morning with this intense feeling of gratitude and joy rooted in my thankfulness for the present peace in the quiet morning and the promise of a new day.  Sure, this isn’t the future I planned, this isn’t the dream that I dreamed but that doesn’t mean I can’t plan a new future and dream a new dream.

If you follow me on Instagram (@audramehl) I did document my (our? – I don’t know what pronoun to use.  Hmmm, I’ll stick with my as that is the present truth) home projects there this past year as I was able.  That was my attempt to maintain some sliver of my creativity in the midst of a personal crisis.  My favorite home transformation I am going to showcase today will, therefore, be familiar to some of you as it does currently live as story highlights on my Instagram page.  And damn it, I do love this room!

I’ll do a quick before and after photo series and then dive into the design elements.  Those of you living in a dated 1990’s home are going to love this . . .




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Pretty incredible, isn’t it?

The basis of this transformation included the following design elements:

  • Removal of the half mirrored wall, replaced with a custom built in entertainment center.  I chose shiplap and reclaimed wood along with built in lighting for the shelves flanking the television.
  • Board & Batten features along every wall
  • Shiplap ceiling
  • Updated and reconfigured sound system that now lives behind a custom barn door where the original oak built in for the 1990’s television situation was housed.
  • Low pile carpet
  • Wallpaper feature down the hallway
  • White Walls – this is a half basement and it oddly was an extremely dark space. By brightening the walls and ceilings with bright white the entire space opened up.

When the room was first completed I furnished it with my existing furniture that was too small in scale for this large room.  I absolutely love Pottery Barn so I sourced all of the new furnishings from there; however, it took eight weeks for the new pieces to arrive. So I rolled with what I had with the exception of the Pottery Barn rustic/metal sofa table that did arrive immediately.

Phase One – Existing Furniture + PB Sofa Table 

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The first two Pottery Barn furniture pieces to arrive were my ottoman and accent chair, so you can see the space start to evolve.

Phase Two – PB Accent Chair & Ottoman 

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My Pottery Barn sectional arrived a few weeks later and . . . it was the wrong fabric! It was supposed to be the same nubby texture as the ottoman and it was not.  I had about five seconds of dissappointment but then I just decided – oh well. (I did research it and yes – I ordered the wrong fabric. So it was my own fault.)  But the size, scale and comfort were there and it still fit into my color scheme so I didn’t sweat it.

The final piece of my design plan includes an area rug in a lighter tone to brighten the room even further and break up all the monochromatic grey going on. Rome was not built in a day so I still have not purchased the lighter area rug but I have a few in mind I’ll unveil it on Instagram when it is in place.

Phase Three – Wrong Fabric but who cares? 

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Fittingly, these photos are decorated for winter and Christmas since I took them roughly a year ago.  I’ll be posting current photos of this room when I decorate for Christmas in a few weeks, I plan to insert a lot of red into it – red really looks great in this space for the holidays.

Thank you so much for following along!  The fact that my own life has been remodeled and renewed is not lost on me.  And although I do not show any photos of the remodeling process that happened during this transformation, we all know that home improvement is very messy business.  The creative process in itself is messy business.  Every artist/creative is covered in the elements of their craft when they dive into the pool of creativity.  From painters covered in paint to writers who don’t shower for days and live on coffee to the sculptor in their studio covered in clay.  The end result is always beautiful but the process is anything but.

I think that this is such a metaphor for our own lives. After all, God is our creator.  And as the ultimate creator, it is absolutely amazing the beauty that he can create from a mess (us).

I firmly believe God is working in my life.  He is making something beautiful, and just because it was (and still can be) a messy process does not mean something beautiful is not on the horizon. In fact, it might be more beautiful than I ever could have imagined?

I heard a great quote a few weeks ago:

We may not have the choices we would have were we writing the script, but we always have choices. 

This really resonated with me.  Because the script I would write is never the story I end up living. Never.  We have so littel control over so many variables and circumstances that play out, people who confuse us and never act the way we wish they would. But what I do have is faith. And what I can control is my attitude and my response. I always have choices.

So instead of choosing bitternness, anger, resentment, saddnesss – I will strive to choose love, joy, patience, compassion, respect and understanding.

God has a plan, and He is the playwrite I trust unwaveringly.

And you should, too.

Peace, Joy, and Blessings!


Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, the will walk and not be faint. 

Isaiah 40:31






One comment

  1. Words of wisdom from my daughters writings today, have reminded me that I, too, need to reflect and be joyous about the bad with the good. Gain strength in that, not defeat. Love to all!


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