One Room Challenge, Week Eight – FINAL REVEAL!

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One Room Challenge Week 8 Title Image

I can’t believe reveal day is finally here!!

The past 8 weeks have flown by. And even with all the planning and prep early on, it seems like everything happens at the eleventh hour. This week has felt a little like that last few minutes of a college final with the professor calling out “time’s up, pencils down!” Oh, the anxiety.

For those just joining me, I’ve been a guest participant in the Spring 2020 One Room Challege, an semi-annual online event during which hundreds of designers and design bloggers take on a room in their own home and share the process online. It creates accountability to finish the project (and stay on track) and also builds momentum with the excitement of watching everyone else move their projects forward.

See this project from the beginning:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5&6 | Week 7

Today I am thrilled to share with you my husband’s (nearly) completed home office! I say “nearly“ because due to Covid, our ceiling fan was delayed for nearly a month. It has finally arrived, but we could not get an electrician in on short notice, so the fan and lighting are still not done.

Reveal Week: Before and After

If you remember from my Week 2 post, the look we were going for was Warm, Natural, Masculine, Comfortable, and Polished.

Mood board for a men’s home office

Here is our before:

Office cabinetry before beginning the one room challenge

Built-in office cabinets in unfinished oak

And here is the after:


After: Built in cabinetry in home office
Photo by Melissa Taylor

After: Home Office Built in Desk


Home Office Built In Desk Soft Gray Cabinets and Navy Wall
Photo by Melissa Taylor

I am beyond pleased with how the space turned out, and my husband loves it too.

Photo by Melissa Taylor
Photo by Melissa Taylor

Take a Chance, Take a Chance, Take-a Take-a Chance-Chance

As designers we are always pushing the envelope to create something new, unexpected, or artistic, and that nearly always means taking a risk. There were a couple of risks we took here that paid off:

1. Cut a Rug

One feature of the room I really wanted to include was an area rug, both for sound absorption and to ground the palette and really soften the room. The only problem was, there was a built-in peninsula desk taking up half the room. So to make it work, I would have to cut the rug. It sounded great in theory, but then the day came that I actually had to cut the rug.

I had to work up the nerve, so I cut a tablecloth first as a dry run. Because, that’s totally the same thing.

Then I turned the rug over, reversed all my dimensions, took a sharpie and a straight edge, marked my cuts, and marched into the Forest of No Return, armed with a pair of very sharp scissors.

Cutting a rug around the built in desk

It should have been a disaster, but it turned out exactly as I envisioned it! The desk appears to be sitting on top of the rug.

Blue and Cream Rug cut around built in desk
Photo by Melissa Taylor
Photo by Melissa Taylor

By the way, I’m in looove with these Polished Nickel and Gunmetal cabinet pulls!

Rug cut to fit built in cabinets

2. Forest Run

Speaking of the forest, let’s talk about those botanicals on the feature wall. Remember we were going for warm, natural and masculine with this room, but also polished? Well, I had the crazy idea of using real pine branches from one of our favorite places.

I should mention that the mountains are kind of our family’s love language. The times we’ve spent in the forest are some of our favorites of all time. The very sight of those majestic pines and mountain peaks coming into view as we drive to our destination reminds us to appreciate the beauty that is all around us.

So in the midst of reveal week, we headed up to the mountains and spent some time in the forest, and I clipped a couple of pine branches before we headed home. We DIY’ed these boards out of shiplap, 1×2’s and burlap, a custom mixture of 3 stain finishes and some shellac for the pine branches.

It was a risk I’m so glad we took, because it truly brought the wall to life.

Botanical pine branches and file holders
Photo by Melissa Taylor
Pine Branch botanicals above home office desk
Photo by Melissa Taylor
3. Screen Time

To keep our home network equipment hidden and still maintain ventilation, I wanted a material that I could paint to match the cabinets and that would still have an open enough weave to allow for plenty of air flow.

We chose to use screen mesh and painted it to match the cabinets. It obscures the view of the boring equipment and cables, while still allowing heat to escape the cabinet for optimum performance.

Screen mesh instead of speaker cloth
Photo by Melissa Taylor

The pine cones and photos throughout the space are also from some of our favorite forest memories. I’m turning this finished project over to the hubby to enjoy now, and am looking forward to spending a few coffee dates in there with him soon!

Some parting thoughts…

I want to take a moment to give a huge shout-out to the featured designers on this season’s challenge, who have posted some amazing reveals. If you haven’t been following them, I’d highly encourage you to check them out here.

I’ve also been blown away by the guest participants’ room transformations. If you are looking for some inspiration, whether it’s for a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, office or even a patio space, you won’t be disappointed!

Last, I want to thank Linda Weinstein for creating the One Room Challenge and Better Homes & Gardens, the official media partner of the One Room Challenge. This is my first time participating, and I have to say that without a deadline, this project would never have gotten completed. As in, I was literally painting baseboards at midnight and pressing forward every day to make progress, while the dishes and laundry piled up, because I was so driven to get this One Room done.

And it’s a wrap!

After: Home Office Update

Now, I’m off to enjoy a celebratory glass of wine. Pro-tip: wine always tastes better in a completed space you love!

Designer Crystal Hackl in the newly completed space
Photo by Melissa Taylor



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  1. Beautiful job, Crystal! I can’t believe you braved cutting that rug – it looks terrific! And I love the personal connection of your feature wall art. Congratulations on a beautiful office space!

  2. Crystal: What a stunning and beautiful transformation you’ve achieved for your husband and your home. This is what love looks like –making sure he’s surrounded by personal memories, and coordinated beauty, while he works.

    I love all of the personal touches and congrats for getting the rug cut out perfectly. You are right: you would never know it’s not underneath the desk too. That was a stroke of genius!

    I hope you enjoy your *coffee dates* in this beautiful new space…and some wind down wine dates, too!

  3. Thanks for taking on this LONG OVERDUE project to complete my home office. You’ve made it a relaxing space to work and filled it with reminders of family and my
    Love of the forest and mountains. Thanks for being a wonderful wife and a wonderful designer. You truly have a talent and skill in design, which others will benefit from.

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