Week 5 One Room Challenge! So very, very close!

The One room Challenge week 5

A whirlwind of 6 weeks of fun, fashionable furniture, frugality and frivolity!

For those of you just joining in, or those who need a gentle reminder, The One Room Challenge is a 6 week long now international event where designer and bloggers are challenged to complete a room over a 6-week period and document the progress, challenges, and process. In reality though, it is actually only 5 weeks, because, well you need photographs to celebrate the big “reveal” which happens next week.  Maybe those with huge tv budgets and a dozen sets of off-camera hands could pull this off without a timing hitch, where their biggest real-life drama is waiting for the paint to dry before the next step can be accomplished.

Nope. This project is real life folks with a real-life budget and a real-life timeline. I’m happy to say I was able to pull it all off with only a minimal hitch that I will not divulge because I don’t want to ruin your fantasy. Sorry. You will not pull it out of me, so don’t ask. Sometimes what we think are “mistakes” are the very best part of a project.

One Room Challenge BEFORE

So here is the before.  A nice sized living room with a beautiful 12’ bay window and not much else. The room was dark and bare. The only things staying were the grandfather clock built by the homeowner’s grandfather, the mini grand piano, chair Jill sat in while playing the mini grand piano, the sentimental wooden church pew in the foyer and the street art the homeowners found during a trip to Paris. Nothing Else. Pretty easy, huh?

Now, let’s add the biggest challenge. A $5000ish budget. Yup. That’s for the entire room. Not just the sofa, or the art, or the rug, which many designers would consider an average and reasonable price for a new quality piece designed to last generations. That’s $5000 for the whole room. Could I do it? Honestly, I wasn’t sure, but I was up for the challenge!

My homeowner Jill wanted bright, cheery and whimsical. But she also wanted timeless, but fashionable. Oh, and color. Plenty of sherbet colors that bring out the pink in Jill’s cheeks and the sparkle in Troy’s eyes. (yes, ya’ll- they really do sparkle and they are just the sweetest couple ever! #relationshipgoals)

My Happy clients, Jill and Troy

My Happy clients, Jill and Troy

This request for classic and timeless with a nod to whimsy was perfect for me! Because I love vintage and antique pieces mixed with found treasures, I felt pretty certain I could find great pieces. But where to find all these pieces for a bargain?

Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook Marketplace is as great place for someone like me who knows which brands are historically well built, which design lines are timeless, and what materials are proven to endure! Plus the feature that I felt was the best benefit secondary to price point? No need to wait for production times. No need to gamble that it may or may not come in time – or in one piece.

This ain’t no little detail either. At budget price points and online shopping, so many, many pieces come in damaged. I’ve personally experienced the situation of ordering an online dresser for a client that came in three times damaged! When they couldn’t be bothered to fix it or pick it back up, suggesting I throw it away or donate it, I realized that was pretty par for their course and I was not impressed. So, when given the option between ordering a new budget item that is made of fast-fashion disposable materials or finding a genuine antique or vintage item that has already stood the test of time, is a classic line, and is right there in front of me just waiting to be taken home like a lost puppy?? I’ll pick that one every single time!

It’s a bonus for both me and my clients that we can find a well-constructed vintage piece at a fraction of the cost of new of similar quality! Did you catch that last phrase because it’s important…?

So back to my story. It all started with a pair of Schumacher drapes I spied about a week before I decided to participate in the ORC. There was about 16 yards of classic linen SCHUMACHER printed fabric beautifully constructed, lined and interlined, with fabulous fringe trim accent for a whopping $50 for the pair. Yes folks. Fifty big ones!

Schumacher Drapes

Those drapes literally begged me to buy them, but I made a vow to myself to “quit buying fabric and stuff I don’t know where I will ever use” in an effort to live simply. So I walked away. But they kept talking to me. I no joke dreamed about these drapes. I called friends and family I knew to share this great value with them. I felt a personal responsibility to re-home this stunning specimen. Look, if you aren’t a fabriholic or a vintage junkie, you will never understand the feeling. And that’s ok.

(Amendment to previous paragraph – Those of you who adore fabric and love to buy it and dream of the potential projects, there is no judgement! You go girl! Save all that yardage and enjoy your daydreaming! Added because my proofreading mom, also a fabricholic felt I was “a little too harsh to those who love to touch and keep fabric” Clearly, it’s a generational sickness)

The idea about participating in the ORC kept rolling around in my head. But what to do? How was I going to find a willing participant? Troy and Jill popped into my brain. I went to school with Troy a bazillion years ago (yeah class of ’87!). He reached out to last summer about working with their living room project, but timing and budget were bad at the time. So I thought, I’ll ask again! Budget was still an issue, but this time I had an idea. Let’s check Facebook Marketplace! I had been selling some of my own items there and in the process did a fair amount of pretend shopping on my own. I was so impressed by the offerings there! They agreed and thankfully, I think they trusted me. They liked the idea. They liked my design direction and more than anything they liked the budget!

Within a couple of days, I secured the key pieces. Rowe Sofa, 9’x12’ wool Karastan Rug, Pair lamps, pair vintage Hekman end tables, Large round mirror, Vintage Ethan Allen coffee table, Foyer rug, and of course those fabulous Schumacher drapes with set the color scheme for the entire room!

I also found a pair of chairs at a local estate sale and sent them in to be reupholstered along with the cute little piano chair. I sent the pair of drapes into my local workroom to be shortened. I also had their sentimental art piece professionally framed by my local art gallery, Prairie Brook Art. Other than that, it was all do it yourself. And let me tell you…that DIY punch list was a really, really long list!

If you would like to know more about each of the DIY projects I did below, please subscribe to my blog here Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be uploading video and how-to tips!


·        Sewed 6 pillows and 2 bolsters

·        Stripped layers of paint off of the Facebook Marketplace lamp’s solid brass finials

·        Refinished the tops of the pair of vintage end tables

·        Replaced the glass in the coffee table

·        Added aftermarket Greek key trim to pair of pillows found on clearance at Home Goods

·        Added nail head trim to tufted storage bench I found at Home Goods

·        Gilded the round mirror found on Facebook Marketplace

·        Gilded 4 picture Michaels clearance frames to match mirror

·        Painted walls Sherwin Williams A dollop of Cream, windows and trim Alabaster

·        Hung 12’ curtain rod and drapes (I hate installing hardware!)

·        Installed Foyer Light fixture

·        Painted a dresser Jill had since she was a little girl

·        Created two fresh flower floral arrangements

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, I attempted to NOT eat the entire bag of Werther’s that was purchased for display in the candy jar. Okay, so this one I didn’t do such a great job with. I probably crunched down at least a dozen. Who could blame me??

Werthers candy...Yum!

So now it is all together and today I had it photographed by my friend Rodney Moore of Images by Moore. You done good. Thank you, sir!

Sorry. No more peeking. The full reveal and final dollar tally to be continued next week…

If you would like to find out how I can help you with a space in your home, just like I did here, please contact me!

Thank you One room Challenge sponsor Better Home and Gardens

5 Comments /Source

Richelle Plett

I have a bit of a "thing" for chairs. I love the social aspect of seating. Think about it...we have special chairs for everything! A time out chair, a potty chair, Dad's chair, mom's chair. Archie Bunker's worn out Lazy Boy. Goldilocks and the Three Bears broken chair wouldn't be the same without each character picking their own special space! Chairs are functional art. Self expression. I love them!