One Room Challenge: The Reveal

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. Make sure to catch up on our One Room Challenge™ progress from past weeks (week one, week two, week three, week four, week five).

I can’t believe reveal day is here! I’m so excited to share the photos with you.

Before I jump into the photos you’ve been waiting for, I wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone who made this massive project happen: Linda–the One Room Challenge founder and organizer who masterfully facilitated this entire challenge, the generous sponsors who helped to bring our vision to life–getting to work with such incredible brands have created an even more beautiful space than we could have done otherwise, my husband, Cory–who has been working around the clock with me to get this space done (we’re talking about things like painting shelves before leaving the house for work at 6A, and staying up until 2A building a custom radiator cover from scratch), my parents–who spent their vacation to NY keeping us fed while we worked and even lent a hand by sanding our vintage nightstands (my mom’s first time using an orbital sander!), and all of you–who kept me motivated to keep going, even after our tenth consecutive night working on the space until 1A.

My husband and I did all the work ourselves (minus the wallpaper install), despite also having full-time jobs, so this transformation happened during nights and weekends. It was a lot, but so completely worth it for the final result.

Now, let’s remember where we started. Originally the room was very awkwardly laid out, with an unnecessarily narrow (barely) walk-in closet, lots of dead space and overall was highly inefficient.

ORC_2ORC_1

Before starting the One Room Challenge, we tackled putting up new walls to define the new closet footprint, new electrical, had the radiator moved to the adjacent wall, and refinished our Red Oak floors with Rubio Monocoat in Black. So, this is where we started six weeks ago: a completely blank space.

UM5A4476

UM5A4442

The Master Bedroom

UM5A9997.jpg

Wallpaper

When it came to designing this space, I knew that I had already set the bar high with our guest bedroom and that I had to level up the master bedroom, and that wallpaper was the perfect way to give this room even more personality and sophistication. It took me quite a bit of time to convince Cory that wallpaper was a great idea, but eventually he gave in to the idea (for the record: since it’s been installed, he’s now obsessed and has reversed his stance on wallpaper!).

The wallpaper was provided by Fabricut, and it was so hard to narrow down the pattern because there are so many incredible options in their catalog. I wittled it down to two options: this patterned paper that’s a modern, fresh, abstract take on clouds and a safer, classic blue grasscloth. At the end of the day, I knew that the risk would pay off and define the space, and boy was I right. This paper is absolutely incredible. It’s bold but totally livable, and the wide variation in color and tone allows for a lot of freedom in furnishing the space. This wallcovering is part of Vern Yip’s brand new collection for Trend Fabrics and it’s very cool to know that we’re among the first to install this paper. Because the walls are so defining, we opted for quieter, more neutral choices in most of our other textiles.

Trimwork

UM5A0001.jpg

We again, worked with Metrie for trimwork in this space, and I continue to be astounded by how much a bland, boring room can change when you add trimwork. Adding trimwork instantly adds character and polish to a space, and I will forever be obsessed with good trim. In the bedroom we used the same casing around the doors and windows as in the adjoining bathroom and the chunky but elegant trim from the Fashion Forward collection really brings the room together. We also used the same Fashion Forward baseboards and crown moulding, where installing crown is always a challenge in an older house that doesn’t have 100% square walls, but it’s so worth it for the finished look it provides.

For the walls, we knew we wanted to add panel moulding and a chair rail to allow this room to flow from the hallway, which features panel moulding on the lower part of the wall. Using the new Option{M} collection, we were able to find a panel moulding profile that matched our hallway and was proportional to the space. Trimwork can be overwhelming to decide on (especially digitally), so the best part of the Option{M} collection is that you can narrow down the trimwork to a curated collection based on style (I opted for New Traditional) and then see options that are appropriate for either standard height ceilings (that’s us) or 9’+ ceilings (not us, but I wish it was!). Proportion is critical when it comes to trim, so this was hugely helpful.

For the panel moulding, we ended up opting for wider boxes than in the hallway to keep the space simpler visually. I knew that once we installed the furniture, the wider boxes would feel more sophisticated, and boy was I right!

We painted all the trim out in Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Pearl finish, which is the perfect colour. This paint has enough gray in it to keep from vibrating or overwhelming, but enough pigment to read as blue, and not gray. We’re obsessed.

Lighting

UM5A0107.jpg

I knew I wanted a statement light fixture in this space, and that the lighting should mirror the trend I’ve used throughout the house: modern ceiling lights paired with classic ceiling medallions. It’s a tension between modern and traditional that I can’t stop loving, and the Ace fixture from Troy Lighting, a Hudson Valley Lighting brand, is absolutely perfect for the space. The mix of black, brass, and opaque white globes makes me so happy and ties all the bedroom finishes together, while also feeling cohesive with the rest of our house (which is so important!)

UM5A0028.jpg

I knew I wanted the light to drop visually into the view from the closet, but choosing a light fixture with a drop when you have standard ceiling height can pose a challenge. However, the adjustability of the drop on the Ace allowed for the right clearance into the space, that’s both visually dramatic and totally functional. I’m smitten.

UM5A0035-2-Edit.jpg

Windows

UM5A0111.jpg

I adore a layered window – it’s such a great opportunity to bring in some texture, while also being very functional. On the windows, we worked with Select Blinds to add bamboo shades, which pull the texture from the rug up to another plane of the room, the windows. The shades are the prettiest colour and were installed so easily. Not only that, they feature a blackout liner, so this room will get super dark at night.

For the drapery, I went with inexpensive IKEA Ritva curtains in a very pretty woven cotton (it’s hard to beat $15/panel) and hung them on a black cast iron French rod. I love the look of these rods, and for the quality they’re pretty good value. On the window over the bed, we doubled up the curtain panels and hung the rod extra wide to ensure the window didn’t look particularly small against the King sized bed. I used drapery clips to simulate a euro pleat (fun fact: I realized at the last minute that I’d ordered the wrong type of drapery clips for the pinch pleat I’d planned, but I’m rather happy with the end result).

UM5A0084.jpg

I should also call-out that Cory made that radiator cover completely from scratch, and I can’t get over how seamless it is, where it looks like it’s always been a part of this room.

Hardware

We paired with Emtek on the hardware for this room, and can’t get enough of our new doorknobs. My objective was to mirror the vintage knobs that we’ve added in other rooms of our house, but with the modern convenience of privacy locks and super smooth usage (vintage knobs tend to stick), and these Astoria knobs far exceeded my expectations. We opted for unlacquered brass to match the other doorknobs in our house, and because it’s my absolute favourite finish (I’m a sucker for a living finish that patinas over time, making it look authentic to the home).

UM5A0080.jpg

Bed + Bedding

UM5A0009-2.jpg

We built the wingback headboard ourselves using a super pretty linen ticking stripe (that was also wide enough to keep the stripes vertical), and love how it turned out. I’m really into tone on tone pattern play right now, and I love how the soft stripes look against the patterned wallpaper and natural herringbone patterned rug. Our plan had been to build a full bedframe, but we ran out of time and placed a last minute bedskirt order (thank goodness for Amazon Prime!) to go over a basic platform bed. We have every intention of building the bedframe once we recover from this project.

UM5A0048.jpg

For bedding, I worked with Company C and opted for their Jewels sheet set and Ellora Matelasse coverlet and shams. I’m a huge percale fan – I just love how tailored it looks, and how crisp it feels when you get into bed, and it always reminds me of a fancy hotel – and these percale sheets are the nicest I’ve ever owned. They’re so smooth to the touch and the organic cotton is super soft, plus the embroidery detail is so chic. I’m a huge fan of a layered bed, and a matelassé coverlet is always one of my go-to’s, this one is so soft to the touch and the pattern brings such great modern texture to the bedding. These sheets make me want to jump right into this bed.

UM5A0022.jpg

At the eleventh hour, I made a run to Homegoods for the oversized throw blanket because the bed was in need of another layer and subtle hint of colour – the grey adds a bit more depth and I used my trick of adding volume with a duvet insert to keep the throw blanket from looking too flat.

UM5A0003.jpg

I’ve been lusting after this lumbar pillow for over a year and it was one of the first items on my vision board for this room. SWD Studios did an amazing job custom making this Graffito lumbar for me, and I’m obsessed with how the black grounds the bed. My absolute favourite way to style a bed is with a long lumbar and four sleeping pillows stacked vertically. I use this formula over and over again and it never fails me, plus having a single throw pillow allows for 1) easy bed making and 2) a budget-friendly way to integrate designer fabric. In my home, I’ve been focusing my efforts on a single large decorative item, over many smaller ones for a greater overall impact. SWD Studios has such a great selection of pillows, that I’m already bookmarking for my next project.

Nightstands + Lamps

UM5A0031.jpg

These vintage Ming nightstands were a free find off Facebook Marketplaces, that we sanded down and repainted using a spray gun with a mid-tone grey (more specifically Benjamin Moore Timber Wolf). The scale is perfect for this wall, and I’m thrilled with how perfectly they fit on the rug.

UM5A0050.jpg

The lamps are without a doubt my favourite lamps I’ve ever owned. They were provided by Couture Lamps and I absolutely adore their chunky size and shape. I also love that the marble base ties in with the marble clad Master Bathroom. It’s so cool that they have acrylic integrated into the base as well, which allows the blue walls to peek through, plus some gold leaf to pull it all together. I never would have known to look for a lamp this cool and sleek, but now that it’s in the space, I can’t imagine anything else in its place.

UM5A0101.jpg

With these oversized lamps, it allowed for super simple nightstand styling: the left one, my side of the bed, features a cool modern vase (super inexpensive too), and my Jonathan Adler elephant ring dish (a gift from my husband following our engagement – our college mascot was an elephant, so we’ve amassed quite the collection).

UM5A0034.jpg

On Cory’s side of the bed, I styled it with a black and white inlay decorative box and a walnut wood catchall for his ring, watch and loose change.

Bench

UM5A0072.jpg

I’ve always loved the look of a bench at the foot of the bed (is there anything more grown-up?), and I also knew that this room needed some leather, where I try to hit on as many materials as possible for a super layered space. So, this Article bench was the absolute perfect choice. I love that the base is light and airy, but modern and fresh. And how cool are the asymmetrical legs? The leather is so buttery soft to the touch and I can’t wait to see how it patinas over time, I suspect it will only get better with age, if that’s possible.

UM5A0095.jpg

UM5A0096.jpg

On the bench, is also a wool blanket that actually inspired the colour story for the entire bedroom. Over the summer, while on a family vacation to Portugal, we stumbled upon a local wool artisan brand who crafts stunning throw blankets. My parents wanted to get us one as an anniversary gift and barred me from choosing any neutral colours, so I opted for this beautiful light blue reversible blanket. I love that it reminds me of so many things: my marriage, my family, and a vacation to one of my favourite countries.

UM5A0103.jpg

Rugs

I wanted to bring the texture of a natural jute rug into the room, but when we went to look at rugs, Cory was not a fan of the texture of the jute rugs we looked at and wanted something softer to the touch. So, we compromised on this jute and chenille herringbone rug in the 9×12 size, which was pretty affordable for the size and quality. The chenille adds the perfect amount of softness, while still providing the natural texture I wanted for the room. I also love the added layer of tone on tone pattern play provided by this rug.

UM5A0071.jpg

To join the bed area with the seating area, I worked with Hayneedle on a zebra printed cowhide to layer over the jute rug. I love that this cowhide adds a graphic pop of black to the room, and it’s such a chic design moment. Because of the curved shape of the cowhide, it makes it a perfect option for creating a layered, collected look. This was my first time shopping on the Hayneedle site, and I was so impressed with the curated selection of contemporary and modern furniture and decor.

Seating Area

For me, a defining feature of a grown up bedroom is having a seating area, and I knew that since we were gaining so much storage in the closet, that we could easily do without a dresser, paving the way for an epic armchair.

UM5A0010-2.jpg

And epic armchair it is. This velvet upholstered armchair came from Article as well, and we’re over the moon about how perfectly the inky blue-green velvet mirrors the colour of the walls in the closet. Not to mention that this chair is so comfortable, and will be the perfect spot for curling up on weekends and reading a book. I adore the shape of this chair so much, that I ended up leaving it without an accent pillow, because I couldn’t bear to cover up any of this velvety goodness. I also adore how those walnut legs play off the light cowhide.

UM5A0046.jpg

Next to the chair, I shopped my house for the smallest accent table I could find, an older one from Target. And then I added the piece de resistance: a custom vase crafted by Jill Rosenwald. This handmade vase is really a piece of art, where I opted for the Rose vase with the West Palm print in Amaco Rose, this gorgeous pink. It’s not visible in the photos, but there’s this incredible gold rim on the top edge of the vase that makes my heart beat just a little bit faster. I’m in love with this vase, and know I’m going to be gifting other pieces from Jill’s collection for special occasions.

UM5A0100.jpg

Art

UM5A0005-2.jpg

All the art in the room was gifted by Minted, and it was so hard to narrow down the selection to just a few special pieces, but I’m thrilled with all the pieces we ordered. All the art was from the fine art collection, which means they are limited edition and only a certain number of prints are produced per size before they sell out. It’s very cool to have this kind of access to under the radar artists, without needing to track down each one individually.

On the wall with the door, I knew I wanted a single, large piece of art to fill up the empty wall, but that the piece couldn’t compete with the wallpaper. I gravitated towards this abstract landscape by Melinda Laszczynski, because the colour palette was spot on, it had a lot of negative space (so the focal point would stay on the art and not drift towards the wallpaper), and the perspective of the landscape really draws you in. I always opt for one large piece (this one’s 40×30) over many small pieces, as it tends to make more of a statement.

UM5A0043.jpg

On the wall next to the window, I knew I wanted include one more print and was so captivated by this line drawing by Cecilia Hospers. I framed this one in an acrylic floating  gallery frame and I’m so happy I did, because I’m absolutely obsessed with the way the wallpaper peeks through the frame and highlights the art. The art feels light and airy, but still has a presence.

The Closet

UM5A0040-2.jpg

IKEA Hack

We’re so excited to finally have a luxurious walk-in-closet, and hopefully you’d never guess that our custom closet is actually an IKEA hack! We started with the IKEA Pax system as a base for the closet and then added lots of trimwork, paintable grasscloth wallpaper in the backs of the units, drawer fronts, recessed lighting, wood hanging rods, and hardware. We then painted the entire closet in a super moody Farrow and Ball Inchyra Blue, that is a colour with tons of depth that looks different in every light. We’re absolutely smitten. I will be writing a more detailed post in the future on this hack, so make sure to subscribe for email updates for that post.

UM5A0170.jpg

I honestly, can barely tell that this closet was originally IKEA.

We ended up not adding doors to the shelves on the right because of some issues with the materials we had on-hand, and to be honest, I kind of love keeping the shelves open. By moving our shoes to the right side, there’s less of a chance of staring at messily folded clothes, as well. So, TBD on whether we’ll be adding door fronts in the future.

Trim

UM5A0186.jpg

We continued the same Fashion Forward trim from Metrie into the closet, where we used casing, crown moulding, and baseboards. It hid the unsightly gaps above and below the wardrobe fronts, creating a very seamless built-in look.

Hardware

UM5A0153.jpg

Adding brass cup pulls from Emtek elevated all the drawer fronts that we added over the front of the IKEA drawers. These pulls are so substantial and heavy, not to mention that they’re also unlacquered brass, so lots of patina-ed goodness is in our future. I opted for the larger size, so we could get away with a single pull per drawer, minimizing any visual overload.

UM5A0030-2.jpg

We also added the same Astoria Knobs to the French doors that lead into the Master Bathroom. They add the perfect touch of vintage glamour to both rooms.

UM5A0028-2.jpg

Wallpaper

UM5A0174.jpg

Since this room is such a jewel box, and a space that you literally pass right through, I wanted to utilize every possible surface to create a heightened experience, and the ceiling felt like the perfect place for a wallpaper moment. Here, I added an aptly named Closet Stripe wallpaper in black and white, and since the paper is made by dragging paint along the surface, the gradiation in the stripes is so stunning.

Lighting

UM5A0148.jpg

In the closet, we added two Rye flushmount lights from Hudson Valley Lighting in a beautiful brass. Good flushmounts are hard to find, and these are absolutely stunning and the nautical nod is perfect for our house, which is in a coastal New England town.

UM5A0186.jpg

Mirror

UM5A0120.jpg

If you can believe it, Cory and I have never had a full-length mirror! So we were so excited to stumble upon this gorgeous one on the Hayneedle site. The vintage antiqued glass around the edges are so pretty, and I adore how the curved shape contrasts with all the straight, square edges within the space. Plus, this mirror is super solid and heavy, which definitely speaks to its high level of quality.

Window Bench

UM5A0059-Edit.jpg

We built this window bench to cover up an unattractive radiator, and to provide a spot for putting on shoes. I was a bit uncertain of how the atypical shape would work out once installed, but the bench feels totally seamless and intentional in the space.

UM5A0063-Edit.jpg

On the bench, I added a gorgeous chinoiserie-inspired pillow from SWD Studios, which helps to pull the black and white down on to the bench. I love how detailed the pattern of the fabric is, and this pillow provides such a beautiful moment on the window bench.

Also, over the window we added the same bamboo shades from Select Blinds, except that these ones have a privacy liner, instead of a blackout shade, to better suit how we intend to use the closet.

Art

UM5A0069.jpg

At the opposite end of the closet, I added another art print from Minted, called the Tour de Force, which is a super dynamic abstract. I love how the oversized print takes up most of the wall, creating a high-impact art moment, without competing in colour with the walls or clothing in the closet.

And a few final shots of the rooms, because I can’t help myself…

UM5A0134.jpg

UM5A0038-2.jpg

UM5A0009.jpg

UM5A0052.jpg

UM5A0014.jpg

Please be sure to check out all of the talented featured designers’ final rooms (linked below) and the guest participants who will reveal their rooms tomorrow!

Media Partner Better Homes & Gardens| TM by ORC 

ORC fall 2018 Small

50 thoughts on “One Room Challenge: The Reveal

  1. Susie says:

    You are a decorator that I would absolutely move out of my house and hand you the house keys citing that you can call me when you are done with the project. This is the highest compliment I can ever pay to you. Of course, I LOVE your spaces….every. single. little. detail. And I’m already plotting how to copy that fabulous IKEA hack system in the closet. Congratulations on an amazing ORC… beyond excellent. ~~Susie from The Chelsea Project

    • erinkestenbaum says:

      That is one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received, genuinely. Thank you so much for your kind words, Susie!!

  2. Caroline Culver says:

    I looked at the before and then thought, “wow, what a nice inspiration picture.” I then realized that was your room. OH MY GOSH! What a transformation. It is absolutely beautiful! I have been looking forward to seeing your closet, but your bedroom completely stole the show. I love everything. Congratulations on finishing! Your ORC is stunning!

  3. T. Reid says:

    This is soooo beautiful! I love everything about it. You executed your vision so well. Your hard work paid off. Congratulations.

  4. Jessica Brigham says:

    I don’t even know where to begin, Erin. This is so magnificent. What a fabulous blog post, too! Every intricate detail. The commitment. THAT CLOSET. Such a striking and inviting space. You and your husband are so incredibly talented. A true masterpiece!!!!! 🏆

    • erinkestenbaum says:

      Thank you so much, Jessica! We totally sweat the little details, so it’s so awesome to hear them getting noticed!!

  5. Marie Mut' says:

    Oh my, it’s really, really beautiful ! The millwork is definitly one of my favorite, along with how your closet looks now… That colour !! And the bench at the foot of the bed is beautiful. Questions : will you make a tutorial about the wingback headboard Aaaaaaaand how your husband build the radiator cover ? Aaaaaand the bench in the closet ? please, please, pretty please ? 🙂

    • erinkestenbaum says:

      Thank you so much! Definitely working on one on the window bench, the other two were done in the middle of the night with very few photos ha! But, we have a radiator cover to build for another room that we can write up a tutorial on, and perhaps I can scrape something together to illustrate the headboard process 🙂

  6. Kirsten says:

    I don’t know where start! Per the usual it’s perfection without looking too perfect. Which is what makes a truly well designed room. I’ve kept coming back to your reveal throughout the day and finding new favorite details. I’m in love with how you made the curtain look custom. Like amazed! How on earth did you make the pleats so perfect with juts clips!? Hats off to you and Cory. Such a talented team. I’m truly inspired

    • erinkestenbaum says:

      Aw thank you! I love hearing that! We stressed over the little details, so it’s so great to hear that they caught your attention 🙂 Honestly, I eyeballed the pleats until they looked just about right – definitely made for some sore arms but totally worth it for the end result!

  7. Albertina || Mimosa Lane says:

    Brava!!! This is amazing! I love the bedroom wallpaper with that color trim!! So good! And I adore your closet! that striped ceiling is everything and so is the color of your closet. COngratulations!! This is outstanding!! Now you get to enjoy!!!

  8. Marie says:

    Oh my god…….. Just no words honestly. That room is so soft and lovely it’s insane, and that closet. This should be pictured next to the word “genius” in the dictionary (sorry Einstein lol). I’m speechless.

  9. joyfulderivatives says:

    Wow, just wow!! This space is spectactular. I agree, the wallpaper and moulding really add a lot! And that moody paint – to die for. Well done!

  10. Jay says:

    Omg so in love with this closet 🤩 are you planning on doing a deeper tutorial on your ikea hacked closets? Would love to know how you decided how many units you needed and what configuration to use (shelves vs drawers vs rod etc).

  11. Hope says:

    I could stare at this room and closet all day. You did such an incredible job – everything looks amazing! Your work is so inspiring and gorgeous and I hope you can rest and enjoy your wonderful space now that the hard work is over. Congratulations on completing such a great project!

  12. Lauren says:

    This room is so beautiful! I’m so impressed! Would you mind sharing your tips/products for the IKEA curtain hack with the drapery clips for the pinch pleat? Thanks!!

    • erinkestenbaum says:

      Yes! I’ve been so surprised by how many requests I’ve gotten for this, despite it being an eleventh hour project since I picked up the wrong drapery hooks to create a proper pinch pleat in the IKEA curtains! I’m going to write up more detail in a blog post soonish with photos, but at a high level, I just used these clips off amazon (https://rstyle.me/n/dbkucscd8gx) and then created big loops every 4 inches in the curtain that were also 4 inches in total width, which I then folded inward to create the double pleat, and then I clipped that double fold about 1″ from the front of the curtain pleat. I used 7 rings per panel. Sorry if that isn’t the most clear, I think visuals would help a lot! And if you don’t want the clips to be visible, these are the correct pinch pleat drapery hooks: https://rstyle.me/n/dbkuq3cd8gx

  13. Nina says:

    Holy incredible wowness! I love every single detail. And to know you did the work yourselves….well, super congratulations! I couldn’t possibly love it more.

  14. Sarah H says:

    Could you tell me what the dimensions are of your bedroom and closet? It’s really inspiring and I am trying to pluck up the courage to divide a large bedroom in this way!

    • erinkestenbaum says:

      Absolutely! Breaking up the bedroom was the best thing we could have done for the space (even if it was a bit scary!). The bedroom is now 14.5×14 and the closet is 14.5×6.5 – hope that helps!!

Leave a Reply