One Room Challenge: Week One

If you’re new around here, two years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.

I’m so excited to be participating as a featured guest in this season’s One Room Challenge™. This is our third One Room Challenge (Guest Bathroom, Master Bathroom), but the first one on the big stage as a featured designer. After the last season, my ORC master bathroom project was chosen by Sophie Dow Donelson of House Beautiful to become a featured designer (mind. blown.), so here we are! As a quick refresher, 20 designers will be tackling transforming a space over the next six weeks and will be sharing their progress every week.

This time around, we’re putting away the tile saw and focusing on our Master Bedroom and Walk In Closet (but really walk-through closet!). These two rooms have been part of a long-term project for us. At the start of the year, we moved out of our bedroom into our guest bedroom (don’t worry, no complaints there, it’s one of my fave rooms in the house), in order to completely reconfigure our master suite.


When we started the room looked like this (these are the original listing photos):


It was awkwardly shaped and highly inefficient. Like what is going on with that corner by the window? In the corner on the left is the closet and straight ahead is the original bathroom. Below is the view from the hallway into the room.


And some never before shared photos of the long, skinny, not luxe master closet. Yes, I know I’m fortunate to even have a walk in closet, but I saw the potential for SO much more.





But we lived with it for a year and formulated a plan for how the space could work so much harder for us. This was the original floorplan:

snapshot-Sat, 09 Dec 2017 19-25-32 GMT

Which turned into this new, far more efficient floorplan:

snapshot-Thu, 27 Sep 2018 01_11_23 GMT

We gutted our super narrow walk in closet to make space for our luxe marble shower.

And in the process, we moved the radiator in the bedroom to the other window, so we could move the bed to be visible from the door to the room. Then we added a wall between the remaining space not used by the Master Bathroom to create a walk through closet, with double pocket doors.




And then we refinished the floors with natural hardwax oil (details on that DIY here). Then we took the summer off to enjoy the beach and travel. So here we are today, totally rested and with a blank slate of a space:


All our furniture in this room had been re-purposed from the bedroom in our previous apartment, a much smaller room, so we sold most of it off (minus the three dressers and two nightstands we have stored in the garage… because well, I’m a vintage furniture hoarder).


Don’t worry though, we still have SO much work left to do, because when we do a space, we don’t just paint, decorate and call it a day. What we’re going to be tackling in the coming weeks includes:

  • Replacing both windows (the one in the closet is totally rotted out)
  • Shifting around electrical outlets and lighting rough-ins
  • Repairing the older drywall
  • Installing an IKEA Pax closet system
  • Making said IKEA system not look AT ALL like IKEA
  • Building a window seat
  • Building a radiator cover
  • Installing baseboards, casing, crown moulding and wainscoting
  • Painting everything
  • Installing wallpaper in both rooms
  • Building an upholstered bedframe
  • Refinishing vintage nightstands
  • Sewing a window cushion
  • Installing all new lighting (I’m certainly not sad to be seeing that ceiling fan go)
  • Furnishing the space

Plus lots of other small items, because you know how it goes!


And because it’s cruel to leave you guys without a taste of what I have planned for the space…

The vibe is going to continue the new traditionalist theme we’ve set throughout our house: equal parts classic 1940’s architectural details meets fresh, modern fixtures. Oh, and we’re infusing some moody colour! The objective is sophisticated, tailored, and fresh.

Here’s the inspiration board for the bedroom:


Clockwise from top to bottom: One, Two, Three

And, the moodboard for the closet:


Clockwise from top: one, two, three


Come back next week for the design plans, and (hopefully) lots of progress. To follow along in real time, there will be lots of stories on my Instagram Stories.

Check out progress from my fellow One Room Challenge™ featured designers below!

At Home with Ashley | Bre Purposed | Dabito | The English Room | Erin Kestenbaum

Harlow & Thistle | House of Brinson | J & J Design | Kelly Golightly | Linda Holt

Megan Bachmann | Michelle Gage | Mimosa Lane | Murphy Deesign | Vestige Home

Old Home Love | SG Style | Shay Geyer | Sita Montgomery | SMP Living

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens | TM by ORC

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29 thoughts on “One Room Challenge: Week One

  1. I’m ecited to see what you’ll do with the space. BTW, it is Fall ORC 😊. You made an error in your post.

  2. I love what you did to your bathroom and can’t wait to see your progress in your bedroom next week. I love your layout and inspiration photos.

  3. I cannot wait to see the transformation. I love that closet. This will be an exciting 6 weeks for us all!

  4. LOVED you bathroom makeover in the spring, and can’t wait to see what you do in the bedroom and closet. What an ambitious plan! I know it will be gorgeous! I’m doing our bedroom as well, and I’m so excited to sleep in a pretty space!

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