We made it! It’s here. The end of the six week madness that is the One Room Challenge.
I found the ORC to be challenging for sure, but also fun and exciting once I got the ball rolling. The thing is, this concept doesn’t seem THAT hard when you are starting the project… It seems simple, oh ok, you order a bunch of stuff, it comes, you install, you’re done. The challenge is that you have to make decisions quickly, act on them quickly – no products lingering in carts for weeks like normal – and then you have to execute them in lightening speed, trouble shooting and fixing the mistakes/problems along the way. It’s kind of like a house of cards, each layer of the room is built on the next, and if X doesn’t work, the whole room and design falls apart. (Like when the fabric that I needed for the drapery was out of stock until mid May, and I had to paint some myself.) Thanks to the VERY GENEROUS sponsors without whom this room makeover would not have happened, I had a lot of beautiful products at my disposal. But because of time constraints, I saw almost none of this stuff in person before ordering, which is scary. Organizing all of the pieces of the puzzle was the number one challenge, and if you will notice, there are much less blog posts on this blog the past 6 weeks because of how many man hours I’ve had to put into the ORC. Also, the first 3 weeks of the challenge are basically waiting around for my orders and then the last three are a mad dash installation. So, while it wouldn’t theoretically be hard to do a room in six weeks for yourself, it is REALLY hard to completely turn around a room from “Before” to photoshoot-ready in time. In fact, it could take 6 weeks JUST to style, shoot, choose photos with client and edit photos to perfection for a publication. I’m not even close to kidding. We did all that in 2 days! I’m really glad we got to do this though, because if we weren’t part of the ORC this makeover would never have happened, and even if it did, it would never be finished with this level of detail. It would just be a roller shade, and a bed and thats probably it ;/. Anyway, lets go back to the very beginning. My sister is a student at FIT and my longtime assistant. She’s cool and stylish and fun. She was living in her childhood bedroom, which had this amazing bed that was my mother’s when she was a kid. The room was very 90’s bedroom fabulous in a horrible/amazing kind of way, but the main thing bothering my sister was the complete lack of function in there. She had no desk, no efficient window covering and a bed that was too rickety, and small for her. (Don’t worry, we are keeping the bed for my daughter!)
Before Pic, more before photos HERE: I wanted to do this room for her, as a gift for being such an amazing sis, and to make her feel special.
Enter my mother, a woman with a complete aversion to any change whatsoever. She was fighting me tooth and nail over this in the beginning. Second guessing every move. Telling me she wanted nothing to do with it and almost not even allowing it. She questioned and critisized every single thing I did: “That looks drab, bed frame looks like ikea, the mattress came in a box! Who ever heard of that?!” (Everyone has heard of it, it’s called memory foam! She ate her words when she actually lay down on the delicious Sealy mattress from Bellacor!) She was NOT seeing the big picture… I think it took until we hung the drapes and installed the table skirt for her to actually get excited and finally start liking it. By the time yesterday rolled around, shoot day, she was propping out the room with me, positioning the shoes and steaming drapes with the best of them! All I wanted was for them BOTH to like the room: a millennial cool girl who likes art, hip hop and fashion; and my mom, a person who veers heavily toward the traditional. Happily, they are both THRILLED. They told me they all watch movies in there together and my mom said it’s her favorite room in the house! HA!
Here was the plan: I wanted to keep the room pink, and this isn’t your pinterest “blush” colored pink. This is dead on bubble gum pink from the 90’s. I liked it. I liked the way it changed from purple to peach depending on the sunlight. You can see some of that in the photos, sometimes it looks bluer and I didn’t edit it out because thats true to life, its almost impossible to see white as white in this room. The pink reflects so intensely on everything. I liked the way the ceiling was also pink, and most importantly, I LOVED the way the doors looked. The single best feature of this very small room.
But I had to mitigate such pinkness. I had to balance it with softer tones. I chose a linen headboard from Allmodern, and a lush gray and white wool carpet from Karastan. One of my sisters friends came over and asked if we moved a wall, because the space feels SO much bigger. Even though we got a bigger bed, the bed is lower and more soothing to the eye, plus more people can sit on it -so the space feels so much bigger. It’s a misconception that small rooms need small furniture.
I started to bring in other textures like the wood Z chair, and the white lacquer desk. I designed a color palette that would balance out the pink by playing with all the colors surrounding pink on the color wheel: red, purple, blue. I added black and white to add contrast and a younger, modern, more masculine vibe to the room. The buffalo check roll that Arianna Belle made for us is PERFECT. (We filled it with a roll pillow from West Elm, I 100% recommend doing this. It’s awesome. ) The Z lamp from Lamps Plus is perfect for reading in bed, and also gives the desired effect of balancing out the feminine colors and fabrics.
I also foraged through my mother’s home and my grandmother’s. We found that round mirror from my mom’s first apartment in the basement! The turquoise lamp is Murano glass that was given to my grandmother by her father (maybe 60 years old!), the stool was also from my grandmother and we thought the colors and antique vibe were perfect in the room.
One of the most transformative moments of the install was when we put up the mirror.Putting a mirror across from the windows tripled the light in the room, instantly making it feel brighter and happier as opposed to gloomy and drab.
The art obviously plays a huge role in the room.
The condition of the walls were not great, AND I had to counterbalance the pinkness, so I decided to do a huge art wall. Plus, duh, I make art, it’s the only resource I have, why not use it! The first piece we chose was the red and white abstract I made (there is a slightly larger blue one available!). After that, I wanted to use black and white images as well as pink prints to keep the room cool/fresh.
I let my sister pick them out, her favorite is the watermelons – mine too- and the print of the pink doors that we knew we HAD to hang in the room, just cause it’s funny/meta.
Through the generous sponsorship of framing company Livestock, we were able to get all of our prints matted and framed in these beautiful white wood frames. I chose the white/white framing option, because frankly that’s my favorite for all my work.
I also added in pieces that mean something to my sister. I always try to hang personal objects in a room. The hats are from a trip she took, a piece of bark from Yosemite that my brother brought back for her, little drawings that she had done, a Beatles record. We added it all in. We used a picture light from ikea and prints from Alex Proba unframed to fill in the gaps and keep the room whimsical. We propped art as well, to keep the room from looking too forced. We created a little “library” as my sister calls it. She collects vintage tea cups. I bought this one for her years ago. The bedding in the room is one of my favorite things, and sadly, the only thing we aren’t keeping for “real life” as opposed to just for the shoot. I looked all over for red hotel betting, which is hard to find, and I ended up buying this set which is way too pricy to keep. (I have my mom on Home Goods alert, aka look for red hotel bedding every time she’s there. Sometimes it pops up!) The bedspread- a coverlet by Kelly Wearstler– is a keeper though. I bought it in a King size so that it would hit the floor on all sides and she wouldn’t need a bedskirt. I love this look, it’s just clean looking. The gray textured coverlet, the black and white buffalo check roll and the single KW Edo Linen pillow are a win. I added a pink throw from H&M home at the foot. On the nightstand – she already owned this nightstand – we just made a new skirt with Miles Redd fabric for Schumacher from Decoratorsbest (tailor made it a square not a round, this will be rectified now that we are done with shoot!) We had a new glass top made, I finished it off with a lamp from West Elm, a few bud vases from H&M Home (which is my new favorite place for props/acampcessories!) and some Tom Dixon nesting bowls that I already had at home. We tried to balance masculine and feminine, soft and hard. I actually want to make myself two of those skirted tables because I freaking LOVE them so much. I framed a few polaroids from my trip to Paris for her and hung it between the doors. For the desk, I choose a very clean white desk with great lines from Joss and Main, paired it with a Z chair from Wayfair – replicating the Z of the lamp and adding the warmth of wood. The mirror and lamp are vintage, as mentioned. All the accessories are from H&M, including candle, waste basket, bud vases and even the coasters. The pillow is also from Arianna Belle. The drapery- as you know- was a DIY fabric that I made with RIT dye in my kitchen one night. I purposely made them short, although I’m kind of wondering if that was too weird. The black out shade, hanging hardware, drapery rod, lucite finials and hanging hooks are all Allen + Roth from Lowes. We love them! Anyway, we hope you love the room as much as we do. We can’t thank Linda from Calling it Home and all of our generous sponsors enough! Because of you, I was able to make my sister’s life more comfortable and more beautiful. Thanks to everyone who followed along!
Z Chair | Headboard | Rug | Art | Lamp |Desk | Mattress | Pillows | Framing |Bedskirt | Lavender fitted sheets |Red hotel bedding | Kelly Wearstler Coverlet Many thanks to our sponsors, without which, this room would legit not be possible. Without you, we couldn’t have done a thing.
Thanks to Karastan for the beautiful wool rug. It is currently National Karastan Month – During National Karastan Month you will find the lowest prices of the season. No interest until January 2019 plus a $1,000 back coupon. Whether the preferred decor is high style, trend-conscious, family living or romantic escape, Karastan has a product that helps consumers #livebeautifully. National Karastan Month is going on from April 21 through June 7th at participating retailers. Thats a $1000 coupon back!
Be sure to check out all the other blogs to see everyone final reveals – And check back on last weeks in case you missed it!