We made it! It’s here. The end of the six week madness that is the One Room Challenge.

sketch42 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  ;/. sketch42 one room challenge 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: IMG_4483 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! sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge 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.  sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge The art obviously plays a huge role in the room. sketch42 one room challenge 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.
sketch42 one room challenge 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.

sketch42 one room challenge 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
sketch42 one room challenge 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.  sketch42 one room challenge sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge We created a little “library” as my sister calls it. sketch42 one room challenge She collects vintage tea cups. I bought this one for her years ago.  sketch42 one room challenge 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!) sketch42 one room challenge 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.  sketch42 one room challenge sketch42 one room challenge 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!) sketch42 one room challenge 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.  sketch42 one room challenge I framed a few polaroids from my trip to Paris for her and hung it between the doors. sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge 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. sketch42 one room challenge 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! sketch42 one room challenge 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! sketch42 one room challenge

Z Chair | Headboard | Rug | Art | Lamp |Desk | Mattress | Pillows | Framing |Bedskirt Lavender fitted sheets |Red hotel bedding Kelly Wearstler Coverlet sketch42 one room challenge 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!

Also thank you to  DecoratorsBest, Allmodern, Joss and Main, Lowes, Lamps Plus, Arianna Belle   Karastan, Livestock and Bellacor for donating to our room! sketch42 one room challenge x,

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!

Thank you for having me Linda!
All the photos are by me ;) PS, this crashed my iMac and I had to edit on a tiny laptop attached to a hard drive!
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  1. OMG….I seriously love every inch of this room. Your sister must be so beyond to have this as her space- if I was 20 something I’d be down with all if this too! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  2. best

  3. I have been anxiously awaiting the pink room reveal, and it did not disappoint!!!! That library……OMG. xx

  4. You already know my feels for your room. It perfect in every possible way I can think of and I’m envious of your sister for getting to soak it all in every day. The pink is maybe my favourite shade ever and on those doors, it just makes my heart happy. And then all that ridiculous art…just yes. And then the fabrics…it’s like you took all of my all time favourites and mixed them in a way I never would have thought of. It’s so damn good Nicole. Truly. I’m in awe of you and your artistry. xo

  5. Mila @jestcafe says:

    I love the gallery wall and that blue lamp! the room looks much better.

  6. Cheri says:

    We are loving every inch of it!!! You make magic happen!!! Thanks … Love ya, Mom

  7. I love it! I am so, so happy you kept the pink. It would have been so easy to just paint the room white, but the pink is so striking and looks so good with the other details. Love your gallery wall and that KW bedspread is killer! Congrats on a job well done!

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Thanks! I honestly think my mom would have freaked out if I brought in a painting crew!I mostly kept it pink because I don’t think she could have handled the change. I was thinking about painting it white, but the rest of the house is so “done” that a white room would have looked very unfinished and weird! But yes, thank you!!!

  8. Danielle says:

    nicole, that was is amazing!! i love how you described your childhood bedrooms. Such great memories from there and that relaxed/uptight vibe is priceless. I know that sounds ridiculous but thats how it felt in there!!! well done xo

  9. I love it so much Nicole!!! That bubblegum pink is sensational…and your art!! WOW!! Loving your new photographs and your art. So glad to hear it is their favorite room in the house now. And your grandmother’s treasures are the best. COngratulations!! And I love how you explained the challenge. I agree 100% it seems easy and then you got to move at lightning speed to make up for mistakes along the way….Now to enjoy!!! My reveal will be tomorrow!

  10. clairecbrody says:

    What a dreamy space… I love your attention to detail!

  11. That pink color is stunning! What a beautiful shade, love how this turned out!

  12. The room came together beautifully! It’s feminine, edgy and eclectic. The art wall is absolutely gorgeous and perfect combination of prints!

  13. As I was reading through the post, I was thinking oh I love that, that’s my favorite detail in the space. Continue reading and soaking in pictures and pretty much everything is a favorite! Fabulous details, and a stunning way to transform the space. The art, the z chair, the cinnamon gum in the ‘library’ LOL. Love it all, great work!!

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      She had that gum in her room already! I thought it was too funny/cheeky not to use! The “library” lol.

  14. Other than the smart use of this space, you are absolutely right in all that art – WOW! Just perfect!

  15. You had me with pink and your perfect description of ORC being like a house of cards! WOW, what a fun and chic bedroom! From the hardware to the art to the upholstered headboard with nail head how could you not LOVE it! Love the pop of blue with the lamp too! Bravo on a job well done!

  16. LOVE this space. It’s sophisticated and chic. The art gallery and textiles rock!


    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Thanks! It was hard making it grown up but also fun for a young twenty something!

  17. Pink Perfection sister! Your art is to die for in the space. Why haven’t I seen the black and white pants lady before? I need her to come live with me!

  18. Julie in Philly says:

    Just gorgeous. Specifically love the mix of masculine & feminine, hard & soft, edgy & romantic, which you are exceptionally good at creating. You are a design rock star ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  19. Naomi Stein says:

    It’s so good. I love the art wall. I’m on awe of your mixing ability. And the fabrics are just divine. Amazing job.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Thank you! Means a lot to me coming from you! I can’t believe you tackled a whole kitchen PLUS more!

  20. Nicole….kapow…you are one of the masters of putting it all together without it looking like a hot mess:) Mad skills! I would be thrilled to come home to that space everyday!

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Thank you! I was trying to walk the line between cool and sophisticated. i wanted it to look young but not like a kids room, or like a dorm room!

  21. Eileen Millan says:

    Nicole, your sister is one lucky chick! It turned out to be such a happy and warm space that she will probably spend alot more time in that room. Excellent Job!

  22. Jessica says:

    I love what you did! It is warm and cheerful and soothing. I can imagine wonderful dreams brought on falling asleep under the influence of such a cocoon of a space. ONE QUESTION! I love the asian inspired ceramic plant stand (one of many things I could call it) The piece in front of the little library…I’ve read your text carefully and sorry of I missed you sourcing it but do not see where it is from. It is my favorite pice in the room. Thanks and all the best.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      Thank you! I love it too… its a vintage stool from my grandmother! I can try to look for one online for you though!

      • Jessica says:

        Ok. I will also look. Sorry for my typos earlier… I actually can spell it’s the glasses I’m resisting!

  23. Monika says:

    You are so freaking talented! I drooled over the curtain fabric… only to find out you made it?!? The vibe of this room is so cool, yet girly, yet glam…and sophisticated. Excellently done! Is your Mom going to let you do the rest of the house? if so, please share!

  24. I was really nervous for you, but you did it and it looks amazing. Next time, send your mom on vacation while you do your thing. I hope you sister is over the moon happy and will always remember that you did this for her. Love your photographs and definitely love the picture of the doors. Brilliant.

  25. Beyond amazing! So so frigging cool. I love the mix of art with the pink. And te touches of red. Your sister is one lucky girl.

  26. What a fun and chic space for your sister…love all the art and the personalized elements! And the fact that you made that drapery is just mind blowing!! Fantastic job!

  27. Marla says:

    Your sister is a lucky gal! Very nice!

  28. Grams says:

    Love this girl love her face her hair her children
    Her thoughts ,talents I love Her!!!!!! Grams

  29. Lori Matsui says:

    What a fabulous mix! I love it when “out of date ” finishes or colors are reused and brought up date rather than just discarded. Not only is it “green” but more importantly in my mind it brings a layer of history and personality that is completely missing from rooms that are stripped bare and totally changed. I think it takes far more imagination and problem solving skills to go this route rather than copy catting the current styles. GREAT JOB!

  30. tnic says:

    Just found you through the Makerista. Wow, you are soooo brave to keep the pink, and it worked! This room looks fabulous, exciting, interesting, just what I love in a room but am always so scared to do! Great work!

  31. This room is incredible! You mixed textiles, patterns, and styles (not to mention all of the amazing art) so well! I love the Z lamp above the bed and the soft backdrop the new carpet provided. Balancing all that pink looked like such a challenge at first but you did it so well!

  32. Cynthia Carranza says:

    Omg this room is amazing and that room color is exactly what ive been looking for i love it!! By any chance would you happen to know what shade/brand it is ? I must have it 😍 thanks and great job!!


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