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Before the One Room Challenge

by - Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Hi friends. I hope you are keeping safe and healthy. I had shared the good news on Instagram but I hadn't yet shared it here so I'd like to fill you in on what I'm working on next. I'm excited to tell you that I will be one of 20 Featured Designers for the Spring 2020 One Room ChallengeTM(ORC)! If you're unfamiliar with the ORC, it's a biannual event where 20 designers (and anyone who wants to sign up as a guest participant) are challenged to makeover a room in just six weeks.

I'm lucky to have been a Featured Designer twice before (click over to see our preppy traditional living room and serene master bedroom projects) and always walk away from the ORC feeling inspired, supported, and accomplished. It's great to do a project on your own, but it's another thing entirely to be doing it alongside hundreds of other design enthusiasts, everyone cheering each other on.

Still... it's a weird time in the world to be focused on home renovations and buying things and sharing products provided by sponsors... when many in the world are worried about their jobs, their health, their families, and focusing just on surviving and staying sane. 

I get it. I worry about those things too.

I do want to remain sensitive to others - I would never want to encourage you to spend money on home decor when there's other more pressing needs - but I do recognize that the ORC provides more than just a break from the routine. Tackling a months long project can give you a purpose to your days, it can provide an escape from the endless news cycles, and, at least for me, it brings hope. Hope that someday soon, things will get back to 'normal' and we'll be enjoying this new space with family and friends.

Given that most of us are at home social distancing and many shops have closed, the One Room Challenge, originally slated to start today, was postponed to start May 6th. Hopefully, the world will be in a better place by then. I have almost all my materials on site and we've started some of the work already - it's a very big and ambitious project! I won't share the actual progress updates until the official start of the ORC, but in the meantime, I will be sharing some of the behind the scenes, share some of my smaller DIYs, and talk about different design options. Follow me on Instagram to see what I'm up to.

This time at the very beginning of any project is my absolute favourite: the planning, the designing, the weighing of options. You can go in so many different directions; a bare room is overflowing with possibility! I'm excited that this extra time will allow me to share more of the How's and Why's behind our renovation and not just the What.

So I hope you'll enjoy this extended look at our ORC project. For now, let me show you what room we're doing!

The Basement



For this six-week challenge, we'll be renovating the largest untouched space in our house: the basement. 

Apart from moving some furniture in, we haven't done anything with the space since we moved in three years ago. We've lived with the tan walls and the rustic (feels like plastic) floors for too long. And that fireplace? Definitely an eyesore that needs to be updated in a big way.


If you can believe it, this is actually the "improved" version. I did a small update of the basement a year ago by bringing in some art and accessories. Here's how it looked before then:


Obviously, those cosmetic changes were not enough because this basement still feels awkward and hasn't lived up to its full potential. But, we aim to remedy all of that with the One Room Challenge! There are LOTS of changes planned for this space. I hope you'll join along on the journey.

So, tell me... what would YOU do with this basement? What would you put here? A big screen TV? A games room? And what would you do with that fireplace??

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