Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Room Challenge Kicks Off!

Greetings, friends! 

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I've been in the process of redecorating my living room FOREVER. Seriously -- it's gotten pretty extreme. I've been planning it for at least two years, and began by repainting back in April -- and that's pretty much it. I've collected lots of stuff, accumulated lots of ideas, but keep managing to get sidetracked by work, the shop, and life in general. The room has been in complete disarray for months. Well, my friends, it's time for that to end!

Luckily for me, the fabulous Linda from Calling it Home is about to launch another of her famous "One Room Challenge" series. And get this -- she's opening it up to everyone this time! The challenge will feature a weekly link up for all the participants to share their progress alongside the designers and uber-bloggers she hand picks to participate. I seriously couldn't be more excited!  So here goes, folks -- I'm in!

For the next six weeks, I'll chronicle my efforts to finally transform this beast of a room. I'm hoping the challenge will add a layer of accountability that's been missing from my procrastination-fest so far. Wish me luck!

To kick things off, I'll share some some shots of my living room. I live in a 1940s bungalow, so it's a teeny-tiny space.

I initially painted it a gray color when I moved in about five years ago. And I love gray, but this one is gross. It's way too blue, way too shiny (my 75 year old walls are not quite as smooth or pristine as I'd like!), and way too boring. It sucks all the light,  and life, out of the room.

Sorry -- not sure why this photo is so grainy; I guess even my camera hates this room! In my own defense, I had to pick the paint color from a fan deck before I even moved in, so my "painting crew" could get it all painted before my furniture arrived. That sort of snap decision never ends well.

Here's another angle:

You can really see the "blueness" of the paint color in this shot. And the lack of a rug. Sigh.

One more angle. On top of everything else, the room is pretty bare. I have a cozy family room on the other side of the house, so this room mainly gets used as a pass through - a glorified entryway, if you will. It's full of mismatched furniture and very little personality. Cold, dark and boring just about sums it up.

My goals for the space are, in essence, to add color, warmth and life!  More specifically, behold my wish list for room:
  • Repaint, with a focus on light, bright and neutral.
  • Incorporate the pretty animal print rug I purchased eons ago
  • Replace the existing drapes, or at least find a way to give them some personality!
  • Use more artwork. I'm loving large, abstract, colorful paintings right now, and I have SO much art in storage.
  • Add more light! Perhaps by using some large mirrors to bounce light around?
  • Create more storage via built-ins - or at least more freedstanding shelving - to house my massive collection of books and vintage "objets"
  • Make sure the furniture in the room works with its diminutive scale
  • If space allows, work in a fabulous bar cart to display my collection of vintage barware!
It's a long list, but I know I can do it! To add to the challenge, my budget for the space is small-to-nonexistent. I plan to rely on my crazy thrifting skills, a little DIY action, and repurpose as much as possible from other parts of the house.

To help give you a sense of my general style, here are a few inspiration images of my all-time fave living rooms:

{Clockwise from top left: Leigh Mowry for Olive Interiors, photographed by Emily Jenkins Followill, via The Zhush; DesignLoveFest designed by Emily Henderson;; Laurie McFarland via La Dolce Vita}

So there you have it. I'm hoping this public declaration will help motivate me to get things done! I'll be posting here each week of the challenge, so please feel free to drop in and see how things are coming along!

See my week two progress here!

Check out my week three update here!

Week four report here!

Will I make it? Week five report here!



  1. Such a great start! Can't wait to watch it evolve!

  2. Love those vibrant inspiration photos, and your animal print rug will be a great addition ~ glad you joined the party, have fun!

  3. Loooooove your inspiration picks. That orange chair is amazing! I'll be back to check it out next week...

  4. Sounds like you have a great plan for this room. Can't wait to see what you do. Thanks so much for the follow too!

  5. I'm sure you will be able to transform your living room into something very pretty, love those inspiration pictures :-)

  6. Hahah, even my camera hates this room. Now, that's funny. I love your inspiration and think it will be fun and bright. Good luck and thanks for joining in.

  7. Great inspiration photos! I have a leopard rug in my living room and I love it; it's amazing how many stains that thing hides. Can't wait to see the finished room!

  8. love your space and love your inspiration photos! you've got a great space to work with! can't wait to see how this transforms! I'm a new follower of your blog too! glad to have round you thru the ORC!

  9. Oh yeahhh that rug will be so great, along with the bright and happy colors in your inspiration photos! And I am jealous of the fact that you have art in stock... Can't wait to see them displayed :)

  10. I love that mid-century credenza you have in the room! I think with your inspiration board and all the great stuff you already have, this room will look great! can't wait to see, for sure, I'll be following along!

  11. Best of luck to you! I know you'll do an amazing job. I think you are right - you won't need lots of cash, just some paint and some lovely items you have collected. I love the inspiration images! Makes me want to add more colour to my rooms. :)

  12. Oh, I'm so glad you're participating in this series. You have a great eye for vintage finds and I know it will translate into a fab new space!!

  13. I'm excited to watch as you go through this little adventure! Think of how good you're going to feel when it's all done.


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