One Room Challenge Week One – Spring 2020


One Room Challenge Week 1

Well, it’s official: I’ve completely lost my mind.

In the middle of sheltering in place, full time parenting, working from home, crisis schooling and earning some professional certifications, I’ve decided to participate as a guest in the One Room Challenge. For those who are unfamiliar with the challenge, it’s a biannual event during which a whole lot of amazing designers revamp a room in their own house in 6 weeks, and share progress updates and photos every week until the big reveal. You can read more about the event here. I encourage you to check out the incredibly talented featured designers, like Kyla from House of Hipsters and Rebecca from Studio Plumb, as well as the 350+ guest participants who are all working on rooms in their homes as well.

For the Spring 2020 challenge, designers have been given a little extra time (8 weeks) to complete the challenge, due to shelter in place restrictions in many areas, mine included. We have also been encouraged to be creative and use what we have, to be prudent when hiring trades to work on our homes when needed, and to minimize our need to leave the house to get what we need.

This will be my first time participating, and I’m insanely excited to get started. For this challenge, I’ve chosen to update my husband’s office. It has been partially updated, and is the shoemaker’s kid of this designer’s house. Also, I do not have carte blanche to do what I like; my husband is my client for this project. Well, we are both my clients. I do this every day for other couples, but in this case I have to take off about 80% of my wife hat to make sure he loves the space.

Like I said. I’ve completely lost my mind.

So, when we first moved into our house about 10 years ago, we found that the previous occupants had torn down a wall between two bedrooms and created this bizarre giant bedroom with 2 windows and off-centered lighting and HVAC vents.

Before photo of the home office space

So our first project was to convert the odd room into a hallway and 2 bedrooms. One became the guest room and one became my husband’s home office.

The next thing we did was to install a built-in. We had brought with us a built-in desk I had designed for our last house. Eventually it was removed and saved for such a time as this. Though the rooms are not the same size, we reworked the desk to fit his new man-cave/ office. We painted the room a green beige, and installed a ceiling fan and some new window casing.

Built in file drawers

Built in desk before the One Room Challenge

Then, a few years ago (the day I started this blog, as a matter of fact…), I left some water running, forgot about it, and came back 2 hours later to learn I’d flooded a bedroom, bathroom and hallway. That night, utility knife in hand, I bid a panicked farewell to our carpet, and chucked it out into the rainy night.

Subsequently, we put down laminate flooring throughout the house and replaced the baseboards.

Installation of laminate flooring in hallway

The most recent project in the office was to have some additional storage cabinets built for the office, to match the existing desk.

Built-in office cabinets in unfinished oak

We hired a friend of ours, who is a cabinet maker and built the original desk, to build and install some additional pieces. But, we asked him to install them unfinished so we could have all the cabinets painted. And if you peek extra carefully, you’ll notice those baseboards we removed and replaced have never been painted.

And that is where we have left it for now.

So, here is our before:

Office cabinetry before beginning the one room challenge

We have a built-in desk in a deep cherry stain, and some new pieces that are unfinished. And it’s about time to get this room done!

And here is the project list we’ll be tackling to make it happen:

  • Sand and paint the cabinets
  • Replace the wire pull cabinet hardware with something much more manly
  • Have glass installed in the glass-prepped cabinet doors
  • Repaint the walls and ceiling
  • Replace the ceiling fan & light with a new fan
  • Install 4 recessed can lights on a dimmer switch
  • Replace the white wood blind with a top-down woven shade, pending sample approval
  • Replace the ugly chair
  • Add an area rug for sound absorption, warmth and to repeat the accent wall color
  • Add some decorative accents
  • Reframe the existing certificates and move them to the other side of the window
  • Add an art piece over the desk.

You guys, it’s a good thing I’m sheltering in place. There is no chance I’ll be leaving the house for the next 8 weeks anyway.

Stay tuned for my weekly progress updates!

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