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I’m Doing the One Room Challenge!

I have some exciting news – I decided to enter the One Room Challenge!   It’s my first time entering the ORC – ever.  And it means that I’m making over a room! 

What is The One Room Challenge?

The ORC is a popular online interior design event (you might have seen some of the finished rooms from past years).  In a nutshell, it’s a design challenge: start and finish decorating/renovating a room in 6 weeks.  Better Homes & Gardens is the official media sponsor and there are so many amazing brands that sponsor this challenge too (see them all here).  There are chosen designers and decorators who are featured, but it’s also open to anyone else (like me – or you!), to join in the fun and share progress from each week and then the final before/after.  Hundreds of decor bloggers and pro designers join in every fall and spring, and I’ve always sat and watched from the sidelines.  This year I decided to enter, but I’m really nervous because things don’t normally go my way.  Remember the main bathroom renovation?  I got THREE damaged tubs and had to drive across the border to a city three hours away – twice! – to finally get a tub that wasn’t chipped or cracked.  This tub drama delayed our tiling by weeks and weeks.  So a six week deadline is a little terrifying given my history, but last fall we tackled the bunkie bath renovation at the same time as the ORC and we got that done!  I regretted not registering for the ORC because that project went so swimmingly.  So I’m hopeful. 

What Room Am I Doing?

I originally wanted to do the laundry room but it’s such a big project, so I decided to do something smaller: the powder room!  When we first did the cheap-o Phase 1 main bathroom makeover (before we renovated), I used the leftover supplies to update the powder room.  It looked better, but still blah.  I didn’t spend any money or much time in here, because I knew we’d renovate this when we do the kitchen.  But the kitchen renovation has been delayed for another little while, so this room was also put to the back burner.  Meanwhile, guests spend a lot of time in here and I’m always making apologies for how it looks.  With big new windows, it’s a bright and welcoming space begging for a little help.   So I decided to refresh it a little, with an eye toward what I can use when we really renovate (so the light, sink, faucet, etc., will stay when we finally upgrade the cabinetry). 

Here’s the before/before:

And after my $0 spruce:

What’s The Plan??

I’m not done the plan yet – so this 6 week deadline is already off to a bad start, lol.  But here’s what I have figured out.  First, I’m using a painting by Hubby’s grandpa as my inspiration for the design:

This painting is pretty new to us because we recently traded it!  When we were picking out the five paintings his grandpa willed him, we loved this one and it turned out many people did too.  But we didn’t love it enough to make it one of our five.  We made our choices, but couldn’t stop thinking about this one.  Plus we loved how much everyone else loved it – it made us want to give it a home (it was previously in storage). 

Then Hubby’s mom told us we can trade.  So we decided to trade in this green one:

I’ll be honest, the green painting was never a favorite of mine.  It hung in the bathroom, but then also in our shared home office too.  Don’t get me wrong: I like it – it’s beautiful – but I did sometimes struggle to find it a home even though I really love green.

The new painting is so warm and happy, and definitely reflective of the forest that envelopes us on this side of the house.  So I’m using this as my inspiration for not only the color palette in the powder room (think coppers and greys and turquoises), but also the woodland vibe.  So here’s my checklist of what I am doing to this space for the ORC:

  • Keeping the vanity and painting it a fresh new color to match the wallpaper (TBD)
  • Adding new hardware to the vanity (TBD)
  • Adding more storage to the space (with some IKEA medicine cabinets we already bought awhile ago)
  • Replacing the counter with the walnut KARBLY (c/o IKEA)

How stunning is this sink? I cannot wait to see it in person and I love how it picks up the copper I’ve been incorporating into my decor, along with the nature inspired energy I want in this space – that little butterfly! Swoon.

You know you’re old when you’re the most excited about a new toilet that uses less water when it flushes, lol…

We already have a new – massive – window in here and it is sporting the same custom blinds all of the bedrooms/bathroom have, so that’s done!  I’m also not touching the flooring because this flooring runs through the powder room, laundry room, entryway and kitchen so I’d rather not mess with it just right now.  We will probably update it when we tackle the laundry room (spring ORC?), but for now the painted charcoal vinyl will do the trick.  I also haven’t figured out art (beyond Bert’s painting) or accessories.

I am waiting on wallpaper samples and when that’s decided, I’ll have a much stronger direction.  So for next week’s update, I’ll have a fully fleshed out mood board and plan – plus things will start arriving, so hopefully I can give you a glimpse of the new bits and pieces.  I’m already behind, but that’s what I thought would happen!  It’s a tiny space so I’m sure I can wrap this up in no time at all.  #famouslastwords  Because (some) things are still TBD, feel free to chime in here, or on Instagram, with your suggestions!  And I’ll be sharing a new update every Wed or Thurs – with lots of progress in my Instagram stories too.  Although I have a feeling this will be a slow roll until the last couple of weeks when I crash around like crazy getting it done…




  1. cathie
    October 2, 2019 / 10:38 pm

    I can’t wait for this!. This is such a cool idea. A simple powder room, how hard can that be, six weeks, no problem!. Those paintings of your grandfather in law, sigh, I’d take them all. I love that sink, but the butterfly looks like a bow and shouldn’t it be copper on the outside as well?. I’ve heard regrets over installing these vessel basins, water everywhere, hard to keep clean and awkward to use, but for a powder room I guess it doesn’t matter. I do not like the mixing of metals with the faucet and the sink, but that light fixture is a great match with the sink.

    • October 3, 2019 / 2:31 pm

      I was also thinking that a powder room is a safe bet: no plumbing to move, it’s small… did I just jinx it?

      We actually had a vessel sink in our last house and I LOVED it, although I know not everyone is a fan. I am hoping the brushed nickel of the faucet is a good match to the silver of the sink, and that the copper of the light will be a good match to the sink as well, so it will be a lot of silver and copper in this space. But sometimes it’s difficult to tell from photos online so we’ll see when everything arrives! There are so many shades of the same metal tones. I rarely mix metals but it’s super trendy, so this is a little adventure for me.

  2. October 3, 2019 / 9:26 am

    I can’t wait to follow along and see how this turns out! This is my first time doing the ORC, and I’m loving seeing everyone elses posts going up today!

    That painting is BEAUTIFUL! I love that the family was fighting over it too LOL

    • October 3, 2019 / 2:28 pm

      Yay, another first timer! Thanks for your kind words and I am definitely going to hop over and see your plans too.

  3. Ashley
    October 3, 2019 / 9:44 am

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see it all finished.

    • October 3, 2019 / 2:27 pm

      Thank you! I will take all the good luck I can, haha, and hope this goes smoothly!

  4. October 5, 2019 / 11:27 am

    Love the copper sink! I’ll be following along to see how it comes out.


    • October 6, 2019 / 1:12 pm

      Thanks so much! That sink arrived already and it’s even more amazing in person – I’ll share photos soon!

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