Welcome to Week 1 of the Spring One Room Challenge! This season I’ll be giving my dining room a modern, eclectic style makeover. Follow along for some DIY ideas and to see how my dining room transforms in just 6 weeks!Read More
With the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge quickly approaching, I thought I’d put together a post of tips I learned from my first challenge last fall. If you’re not familiar with the One Room Challenge, it is a bi-annual design event that takes place every April + October. Over the course of six weeks, 20 featured designers along with a ton of guest participants work to makeover one room in their home. Every Thursday, everyone involved posts an update of any progress that’s been made. The last day is the big reveal. One of my favorite aspects of this event is that it’s not looked at as a competition- it’s definitely a supportive community where everyone cheers each other on!
I participated for the first time last Fall, and it was a lot of fun. Before starting, I was worried that the restrictions on my budget, time, and resources would prevent me from creating a design that people would find interesting enough to post about. I decided to just go for it anyway, and I’m so glad I did! I made over our master bedroom, and it didn’t take me long to realize that you don’t need a ton of money to create something beautiful! As long you as you plan ahead and get creative - you can totally do this challenge! Keep reading for some tips I put together!
TIPS + ADVICE FOR YOUR FIRST ONE ROOM CHALLENGE:
1. PLAN AHEAD. If you’re anything like me and like to change up your design about 10 times before you actually settle on it, then definitely start planning this ahead of time. Start putting your design boards together at least a month before the challenge actually starts. The One Room Challenge website also lists out the dates of when each blog post is due (here). I really recommend jotting those dates down and thinking about the possible blog post topic you can cover on those days.
WEEK 1: APRIL 4th - Post before photos + design plans
WEEK 2: APRIL 11th - Post any progress photos (paint? furniture moved out?)
WEEK 3: APRIL 18th - Post any products I’ve bought + any DIY projects
WEEK 4: APRIL 25th - Post any progress shots, possible styling ideas
WEEK 5: MAY 2nd - Post about differences between original design plan + actual design/ unexpected problems
WEEK 6: MAY 9th - REVEAL POST! Post after shots + sources
Obviously you won’t stick to what you plan exactly because you can’t predict the future, but it definitely helps to have some sort of an idea of what you can write about. Also remember that not every post has to be a novel- if not a lot has changed from one week to the next, then write that! You can add in what you hope to accomplish by the following week.
2. SCHEDULE YOUR BLOG POSTS. I usually scheduled my blog posts a few days in advance, even if I didn’t have all the photos taken yet- I’d still save the written portion as a draft and go back to add photos later. This makes life a lot easier. I also recommend having the post go live on your personal blog on the Wednesday before (link up to the ORC site is every Thursday). When you link up to the ORC site, you need to have the URL ready… you also need to think of a title/caption for when you upload to the ORC site. I suggest putting your blog/Instagram name in every title so it’s easy for people to follow along with you. Also make sure you select a good photo for your thumbnail (it will automatically default to the first photo that appears in your blog post). I know that when I’m scrolling through the hundreds of guest participants, the ones with good quality photos always make me click first!
3. ALWAYS HAVE BACK UP OPTIONS FOR PRODUCTS. This sort of goes hand in hand with the planning ahead point - when you’re putting your design board together, have back up options in mind just in case something sells out, or ends up not looking right in your room, etc. You don’t want to have your heart set on something that doesn’t end up working out and then have to scramble to think of a replacement!
4. TAKE BEFORE PHOTOS FROM EVERY ANGLE. This is something I didn’t do and wish I did! Having the exact same view in a before and an after will help people see the extent of your transformation. You don’t have to use all your before photos in your first post, save some for the reveal.
5. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE QUALITY AFTER SHOTS. In my opinion, the reveal photos of your room are incredibly important! It would be such a shame to spend so much time creating a beautiful design, only to have the photos not do it justice. Allow yourself enough time to get the right shots- and definitely plan for a couple of days just in case one of the days doesn’t have sufficient natural light.
6. HAVE FUN + SUPPORT THE OTHER GUESTS AND DESIGNERS. I discovered so many amazing people throughout my first season! I tried to spend an hour on Sunday or Monday going through the other guest participant posts and commenting on their blogs or Instagram. It’s great having a little “tribe” of people who understand you and have the same interests!
Those are all the tips I can think of! If you have any of your own, let me know!! Hope to see you all in the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge!!
Hello! I’ve gone through all of the guest participant One Room Challenge reveals and decided to post some of my favorites here! There were over 200, so what I’m posting is just a small, small sample size of the amazing talent out there!
1.) First up is this incredible kitchen transformation by Kristina Lynne. She was able to make her kitchen look like an entirely different space in just six weeks!! It’s insane! I love how she was able to create a feeling of warmth within her all white kitchen. And the styling on those open shelves is perfection!!
2.) Little boy’s nursery by Sypsie Designs. The wall treatment and paint color are just amazing, and I LOVE how the brass light fixture pops! The whole room has such a cozy feeling, which is exactly what you want in your little one’s room!
3. Shared toddler room by The Learner Observer. Another room with board and batten wall treatment, painted a moody color! I’m in love with how she chose a neutral wallpaper to put above the dark wall and that shelf between the two is so adorable! I also love all the fun little kid touches in the art, toys, and pillow.
4. Powder room by Girl and Grey. Courtney’s powder room reveal is one I was definitely excited to see! The flamingo wallpaper is SO fun, and the wall treatment below it looks amazing. What I love most about it though, is the sink… which you can’t see in this picture so I probably should have picked a different one— but go to her blog and check it out! It’s so different and perfect!
5. Family room by Susie Brown. Susie’s ORC challenge progress is another that I followed very closely from almost the beginning. Her reveal did not disappoint! Her family room now has such a warm, collected, and cozy vibe to it and I LOVE it! The color palette and mix of materials all work together to make this space super dreamy! Plus she’s got a super cool eye ball lamp! ;-)
6. Playroom by Harper Rae Design Co. This little girls playroom is so adorable. What little girl wouldn’t want this sweet little space to be theirs?! I love how there is plenty of color, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming at all. That modern shelf & big baskets look like super stylish yet functional storage— which is something I’m always on the hunt for!
7. Bathroom by Studio Gaspo. I first became obsessed with this ORC design when I saw the floor tile she chose! Then I saw her stacked subway tile, and all her other plans and it quickly became one of my faves! The end result turned out beautifully! I love how she turned a mid-century dresser into a vanity!
8. Master Bedroom by Cate Holcombe. This room just screams cozy!! The velvet drapes, plaid headboard, vintage art, and brass sconces all compliment each other perfectly! I would have such a hard time ever leaving this room!
So those were just some of my favorites from this Fall’s One Room Challenge Guest Participants! This was such a fun experience for me and I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some awesome designers that I otherwise might not have met! Do yourself a favor and head over to the ORC blog and check out the other participants! (Only when you have a few hours to spare though because you will totally get sucked in!)
Week 6 of the One Room Challenge is here! I’m so excited to show the final product of our master bedroom makeover. I’ll let this post be mostly photos (because that’s what people really care about)! But be sure to check back for a second post where I’ll show some more before/afters + progress photos— I’m also planning to go into more detail about why I made certain decisions (and then sometimes changes to those decisions).
Just in case you need to catch up on my previous posts-
(Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, & Week 5)
And now.. here are the pictures:
I really wanted to turn our room into a calm and cozy space. I’m so happy with how it turned out- the pictures really don’t do it justice! I also did my best to keep the cost down- shopping at thrift stores whenever possible (including that brown leather chair for $15!!). Most of the pieces I got were from Goodwill, IKEA, Target, and HomeGoods. That gorgeous print above the chair was provided to me from Sarah Nightingale- the quality of the print is amazing! You can see every brush stroke perfectly!
I debated on what to put over our bed for a while, and then I came across this round wall decor I got at Target a couple years ago! I’ll probably replace it once I find the perfect piece of art, but for now I think it works pretty well in this space! I also LOVE that colorful, vintage painting I found at a local thrift store! It adds some fun into the room without being too crazy.
We literally JUST added these shelves today and I love them!! Something about how it looked before just didn’t feel right to me. I could have just let it go and it still would have looked fine, but I knew that it could be better! I’m definitely going to paint over the white brackets with the same paint color as the wall so that they blend in more. In this area, I also decided to paint the closet doors this dark gray/black color (Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams).
And just in case you forgot, here are the BEFORE photos of our room…
ANDDD I have to put the listing photo in for good measure!
There you have it! Thank you so much for following along with my first (but definitely not last) One Room Challenge! Be sure to check out the featured designers + other guest participants, there are SO many awesome designs out there! HUGE thank you to Linda Weinstein & the One Room Challenge team for organizing this event! It’s been so fun and full of supportive people! Looking forward to next season’s challenge!
It’s Wednesday, so that means another progress post on my One Room Challenge master bedroom makeover! It’s also week 5, so the next post will be the reveal… and since I need to take the “reveal” photos this weekend, I really only have the next few days to finish!
(If you need to catch up: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4)
I honestly didn’t get as much accomplished last weekend as I had hoped. I didn’t finish painting our walls - but I’ll be able to do that pretty quickly. I also didn’t decide on what I want to hang above our bed- I have a couple ideas, but I need to try them out! I did find that black metal plant stand in the photo above at Goodwill. It didn’t have a top to it though, so I had to come up with a creative solution. I had a spool of macrame cord leftover from an older project, so I used that and started wrapping it around the top - I had no clue what I was doing so I didn’t bother to take any tutorial type photos!
I love how it turned out! It ended up being the perfect little side table to this chair, and can’t beat only spending $6! I also started using hemp cord to weave a bottom shelf on my nightstand. I was inspired a table that Amber Lewis sells in her shoppe. I don’t have any photos of my progress on that, so you’ll have to wait until next week!
Here is a good view of our new rug. It ended up being absolutely perfect, and it was under $100! I’m still playing around the styling and placement of art, so this view could be a lot different next week! Let me remind you of the “before” view of this angle…
I’m so glad I signed up for this challenge - it was the push I needed to tackle this space! I’ll be working super hard the next couple days to get all the last minute details taken care of. Can’t wait to show off the finished design, and even more excited to have a master bedroom that we love! Don’t forget to check back next week for the final post of the challenge!! You can also head over to the official One Room Challenge site to check on everyone else’s progress!
One of the main things I did this past week was decide to paint our current nightstands. I was having such a hard time finding nightstands that I liked that were the right height. I guess our mattress is abnormally tall?? I know that in the past, I would try and rush the process and that’s when I end up with pieces that I want to replace like 3 months later. I really didn’t want to waste my time or money making that mistake, so I tried to think of a interim solution that still looks good and wouldn’t ruin my design.
I remembered that we still had a ton of leftover paint from when I painted our downstairs interior doors “Cyberspace” by Sherwin Williams. The color is the perfect dark gray/ almost black in certain light! I painted both of our nightstands this color and I really like them! I can’t even tell you how many times paint has come to my rescue!! I’m still going to keep searching vintage stores for the perfect nightstands, but this way I can actually wait for the right ones!
I replaced the knobs on our dresser with these simple black ones from Amazon. Such an easy update, but they look SO much better!
I also found this amazing painting at local vintage shop! I love the colors in it, and I’m trying to brainstorm a way to use those colors in other areas of the room!
Other things I got done in the past week:
- Almost finished painting our walls Pure White by Sherwin Williams
- Rolled out our new rug, with help from my husband (I don’t have a photo of that yet, sorry!!)
What I have left to do:
- Finish painting walls
- Decide what to hang over bed (DIY abstract art??)
- Decide where to hang other art/ plants
- Style nightstands
I also feel like something is missing from my design but I can’t put my finger on it. I’ve been thinking about possibly painting the window trim to be the same color as the closet area (repose gray)?? Or painting the closet doors that cyberspace color? Change the light/plug switch covers to matte black? I don’t know - but hoping I figure it out soon!
Check back next week for my last progress post!! And as always, scroll through the amazing progress of the featured designers + the other guest participants!
Hello! Another week, another progress post! Since my last update, I’ve finished caulking and painting the baseboards and I’m almost finished painting all the walls! I was able to get so much done by doing a little bit here and there- on my lunch breaks, after Nathan went to bed, and pretty much any other free moment I could find! I’m so soooo thankful for my husband, who has picked up my slack these past couple weeks. We usually split house cleaning duties pretty evenly but with all of my spare time focused on our bedroom, he’s stepped in and been doing all of the kitchen work!
(P.s. Catch up on my previous posts here: Week 1, Week 2)
And just a little reminder of the “before” view…
Aside from painting and caulking, I’ve also done the following:
-Moved our dresser to under the window
-Picked up a brown side chair from Goodwill for $15
-Bought new hardware for our dresser (not installed yet)
-Bought + hung curtains (ended up being about $120 cheaper than bamboo shades)
-Went to about 4 different thrift/vintage stores to (unsuccessfully) find nightstands
-Bought an area rug (not rolled out yet when I took the progress photos)
Speaking of area rugs…. I posted a few rug options in my stories on Instagram last week. They were all very similar, with varying shades of gray and white. Then as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across this photo (on the left)…
I fell in love with the warm, neutral color palette immediately! I went and scrolled through the rest of this account and found an older photo of this room with a different rug. It was a gray and white rug and made the room feel totally different. This made me realize that I needed to pick a rug with more beige tones in it to get the look that I want. Can’t wait to show you all what I ended up choosing!
Here’s what I still need to do:
-Finish painting walls white
-Hang art/ hanging plants
-DIY abstract black + white art for above bed
-Bring tons of clothes to giveaway
AND if there is still room in the budget after everything:
-New black ceiling fan
-End of bed bench
-Small side table/ plant stand next to chair
That’s all for this week’s update! As always, be sure to check out the progress from both the featured designers + the other guest participants! So much talent out there!!
Hello! Week 1 of my first One Room Challenge has officially ended! (Click here to go back and check out my Week 1 post)
I finished painting the closet area of our room Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams and painted the baseboards Pure White (also from SW). In addition to painting the baseboards, I’m also going around and caulking between the bottom of them and the floor. It looks like there may have been wall to wall carpeting in our room at some point because there is a decent sized space there. This step is going to add a lot of time to my project, but we have these tiny spiders that like to hangout up by our ceiling and I’ve read that they can get in through cracks in your baseboards. Spiders are the bane of my existence, so I’m willing to spend however much time I need to in order to keep them out of our house!!
I’ve also made a lot of headway in the shopping department. I went to IKEA and bought a new pendant for our closet area—and it was on sale for $5.99! I thought it would be an easy switch for me (even though I’ve never done it myself before… I’m starting to see where my son might get some of his false confidence from). So I switched the breaker to off, and then unscrewed the old light fixture. Once I took it off, the inside of ours looked nothing like the pictures I found on the internet! Ours has a lot of other wiring in it aside from just the wires to hook the light up. So I had to call in some backup from my dad! My dad came over and took a look at it- turns out that even though I switched the breaker to this light off, there were still live wires in there!! Luckily, I didn’t touch any when I was trying to replace it! He was able to figure it all out and get the light hung. He also gave me his volt sensor in case I get the urge to replace any more lights! LESSON LEARNED: Always flip the main breaker when doing electrical work!!
Also in this part of the room, I bought a wood spice rack from IKEA to hang up- originally thinking I would hang it upside down and use the bar to hang necklaces on. I did this and ended up not liking how it looked. I want to keep a simplified look, and the necklaces hanging down were too much of a distraction. Plus, I really don’t wear big necklaces very often anymore (Nathan pulls at them!) and I have more than enough room to hang them in our closet. All I really need the shelf there for is a place to put my wedding rings at night. So I flipped the shelf over and I love it!
Some other things I bought from IKEA: a small striped rug, black wall hooks ($2.99 for a 2 pack—I might go and grab several more packs just to have!), wood wall hooks, wood wall frame, wood bench (only $39!), 2 pillow covers, and a large thin white bedspread. In total, I spent around $150- I signed up for the IKEA family card and got a coupon for $20 off a purchase of $150 or more. I had kind of always assumed that since IKEA prices are already so low, that they didn’t have coupons or sales… but I saved a decent amount of money just by signing up for the family member card!
I also stopped at Target & TJ Maxx. I picked up a simple table lamp for our dresser at Target for about $20. At TJ Maxx I found a gorgeous throw blanket for $16 and a rectangle throw pillow (I think its 12”x24”) for $12. The throw pillow isn’t what I originally had in mind- it’s a gorgeous dark green velvet- but I knew the price couldn’t be beat and it still fits in perfectly with my design.
I’ve been to a couple of different consignment and antique stores as well. I still haven’t found a pair of vintage nightstands, but I haven’t lost hope! I did find an oval wicker mirror for $12 though! Right when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for the closet area. I have a feeling there will be plenty of minor changes to my original design as I keep shopping—it’s obviously impossible to plan for the treasures you might find when vintage shopping.
STILL ON MY TO-DO/ TO-BUY LIST:
Paint rest of the bedroom walls Pure White
Paint baseboards and window trim
Move dresser + switch out knobs
DIY black and white abstract art
Find area rug
Find window coverings (I think I’ll have to settle for drapes since they’re more affordable)
In this post I also wanted to include more of what I’m using as inspiration and a little deeper insight to how I go about designing a room. I mentioned that I am going for a neutral, calm feeling- and that I’m using some rooms by Amber Lewis as my inspiration. Here are some bedrooms designed by her that I love:
Once I have my inspiration photos, I analyze them and pick out what they have in common- this helps me understand what it is I’m really looking for. I could definitely try to just recreate one of her looks on a budget, but I think studying the looks and figuring out why different things work well together helps me more in the long run.
Aside from a relatively neutral color palette and furniture with clean lines, I picked out 5 things that I always love about her designs and are things I can keep in mind when putting our room together.
1. The Color Black: All of her designs have black in them in some way.
2. Mix of Textures: Whether it’s a shag rug, woven bench, or pom throw blanket- Amber Lewis is amazing at mixing different textures! This is the best way to keep a neutral room from feeling boring.
3. Wood: All of these bedrooms have some type of wood furniture or accessory. It warms up the design, and keeps the rooms from feeling too modern.
4. Greenery: The angles I have of these rooms don’t show the greenery in each one- but it’s there! Hanging plants or big trees are definitely my go to for when I’m stumped on what to put somewhere! Also— try to picture the bottom two photos without the greenery… they would be so boring and bland! The pops of green really bring a lot.
5. White Walls: I obviously love white walls (our whole house is white except the dining room). Fresh white paint is so pretty, and provides a great backdrop to make your design stand out!
There is obviously a lot more that goes into designing a room, but doing this exercise helps me focus my thoughts and ideas.
That’s all for this week!! Be sure to check back next Thursday for another progress update! And follow along on my Instagram :)
Check out the other guest participants here & the featured designers here!
Hello! I am SO excited to announce that I’ve decided to participate as a guest in my first ever One Room Challenge!! If you’ve never heard of the ORC, it is a bi-annual event that showcases 20 designers (in addition to tons of guest participants)! Everyone chooses one room to makeover and share weekly updates on over the course of six weeks.
Today marks Week 1 of the challenge. Every Thursday I will post an update of my progress and on November 8th, the big reveal will be posted! Be sure to keep following along on here and on my Instagram account (@meredithlynndesigns) for glimpses into my progress and planning!
If you’ve clicked over here from the One Room Challenge site, hey there! My name is Meredith and I’m so pumped to be participating as a guest in this season’s challenge. My husband and I bought our first home in May 2017 and I’ve been slowly updating it room by room to make it feel more like home. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy!
Now onto my plans… I’m choosing to makeover our master bedroom. For whatever reason, I have never made our room a priority. But I am tired of it being neglected and I’d love to transform it into a space that I actually like being in. Since moving in, all we’ve done is paint the walls. And even that was never totally finished! We were on a tight deadline when moving in, so all we did was spray a light layer of white paint over the ugly beigey/yellow/brown color that it was.
My number one favorite designer is Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors. I love the way she mixes neutral colors and natural textures to achieve a laid back, California modern vibe. I’m really hoping to be able to mimic that feeling in our room.
I’ll begin with showing you the listing photo so you can see the “true before”.
And here is what it looks like today…
No rug, mismatched nightstands, and yes- there are two knobs missing from our dresser. So. Embarrassing. I REALLY didn’t want to show the before, but I’m hoping that now since this is out there on the internet- it will keep me motivated to work hard!
There is also a cut out area, where our closet is on one side and then a small master bath is on the other side…
A while ago, I knocked out that vanity thing and in a momentary lapse of judgement I painted the one wall green. I had plans of incorporating green throughout the rest of the bedroom, but these plans obviously never came to fruition. Since then, I’ve painted over the green with Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams and have started painting the other two walls the same shade. Here is how this space looks today…
Oh- and also due to some unexpected expenses over the summer (new water heater & HVAC), I’m also under the constraint of a tight budget! In order to keep costs down, I’m going to be scouring thrift stores and Facebook marketplace for a few key items (nightstands + random accessories) and then sticking to IKEA and other big box stores for everything else. It’s definitely going to be a tough to create a unique and pulled together look on a budget and on time, but I totally do my best work under pressure!
Here are my overall plans - I wanted to put it together like this so you can see how it all works together. I’m really hoping to be able to find some vintage mid-century modern nightstands, but in the likely event that I don’t, I have a backup plan.
Here are all the elements I’m hoping to incorporate into my design:
And then here is it all laid out together so you can get my vision a little better:
-Paint entire room (almost finished with closet area)
-Caulk between baseboards + floor
-Paint baseboards and trim around windows
-Replace all outlets
-Matching nightstands (Hopefully vintage MCM)
-Affordable window treatments (hopefully bamboo shades)
-Affordable 8x10 area rug
-New knobs for dresser
-Table lamp for dresser
-New ceiling fan (if budget allows)
-New ceiling light for closet area
-Small rug for closet area
Not so bad, right?! I think the hardest part will be keeping the cost down- but I’m pretty good at coming up with creative solutions! Keep checking back to see my progress and be sure to head over to the official One Room Challenge site to check out what the other guest participants + featured designers are up to!
The Spring 2018 One Room Challenge began last week! If you haven’t heard of this, it’s an event that takes place twice a year (in the Spring and Fall) where 20 featured bloggers + numerous guest participants transform a space in just six weeks. Once a week, they post about the progress of their project and then on the sixth week the big reveal is posted.
Seeing all of these projects on their website and all over Instagram is so fun, it’s definitely interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the entire process of planning and then bringing a design to life! Follow @OneRoomChallenge on Instagram or visit their website—One Room Challenge—to make sure you don’t miss out!! Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to take on this challenge!
Here are some of my favorite makeovers from featured + guest designers of the past...
Definitely go check out all of these awesome accounts, and go to One Room Challenge to see more projects of the past + keep up on what's going on this season!