(To jump to Week 2 ➙)
One Room Challenge: Spring 2019 Week 1
If ever there were a way to finally get a room finished, it’s deciding to be a guest participant in the six-week One Room Room Challenge.
Twice a year, in spring and fall, the One Room Challenge selects 20 featured designers to each design a room of their choice in 6 weeks. They blog about their progress along the way, and it all culminates in an exciting reveal of the completed rooms at the end of the journey. Over 200 guest designers like me decide to follow along and take part with their own design and blogging as well. So, here I am, ready to finally take on our master bedroom—and share the project with you, start to finish!
Can a room that looks like it belongs in a frat house become our master bedroom?
We live in a 3-bedroom colonial and we have 3 girls, ages 7, 10 & 13. It certainly is cozy, all of us upstairs in the three bedrooms with 2 of the girls sharing a room (groan). The best part might be all 5 of us sharing the one bathroom (is my sarcasm laid on too thick?). When our oldest reached age 12, Andy and I decided it would be best for our long-term sanity if somehow we could make it work so each girl had their own room. (And can you imagine if we didn’t have to share a bathroom with them??)
How could this possibly work?
Well, we do have a small office/guest bedroom behind the family room and across the hall from the 3/4 bathroom on the main floor. It’s cramped. A little over 12’ x 10’. And, we have a big bed that we are unwilling to part with. We had it made for us when we lived in Singapore a long time ago. It’s teak, it’s a platform bed, it’s got that kind of Southeast Asian vibe that I really, really like. So it’s staying, despite the fact that it doesn’t really fit in this new office-turned-bedroom. (So when you see the final reveal of this room and think to yourself, “that bed is way too big for that room.” Just remember, I warned you)
We decided we’d move into the office/guest bedroom until the girls head off to college (or at least the oldest). So, this will be our bedroom for at least 5 years and more likely 10.
We moved into the room last year right around this time—right around when it seemed like WWIII had erupted among the three girls upstairs. It wasn’t a day too soon. Andy and I quickly decamped into the old home office to shelter ourselves from the battles above. And have done nothing since. (That’s why I needed the One Room Challenge to kick my you-know-what into gear!).
The room functioned quite well as an office. Here it is in one of the listing photos from when we purchased the home 7 years ago:
Enter The Frat House/Dorm Room
It didn’t work quite so well when we moved our humongous bed in there and needed quick window treatments (a.k.a sheets). I know, not my best look…
And, I don’t know about you, but as much as I love built-ins, in rooms like this that don’t get many visitors, built-ins quickly become storage places for my secret hoarding tendencies. Or a solution for FSS (Flat Surface Syndrome). To straighten up the rest of the house, I just move stuff cluttering other flat surfaces and plop them on these shelves. (umm, and yeah, under the bed too, as you can see…).
So, the built-ins must go. We are too hungry for square footage in here to leave them.
And here is a list of all that needs to happen in this room over the next six weeks:
Highlight that amazing Bermuda tray ceiling! One of the best features in this room is the tray ceiling the original owner built himself. I’d like to highlight the ceiling somehow in my new design. (Ignore 1980’s ceiling fan and terrible canned lighting and the awful, awful blackening of the paint due to our oil-burning furnace—is there a remedy for that?!).
Replace the cans and the fan
Update the lighting/fan. I know, ceiling fans are rough. But we love having a fan in the bedroom, so I’m going to see if I can find a decent one that’ll fit in this small room and won’t overwhelm us. We’re also going to switch out the housings and trim on those cans. I would eliminate the recessed lighting altogether, but because we don’t have much space for lamps, I think we may need some overhead light.
Install hardwired sconces. Because space is at a premium, I’d like to install bedside sconces instead of table lamps
Install floating nightstands. Again, the bed here is the hulking beast in the room. The less furniture on the ground the better. Small, floating nightstands seems like the best solution.
Paint! But what color to choose??
Two bureaus: I know it looks like there is a closet in here. And there is, but it houses a huge filing cabinet that I just don’t have in me to organize and move elsewhere. So, for now, we really need two bureaus in here. One will go in this nook to the left of the closet…it’s gonna be a little tight over there…just sayin’. And one will go somewhere in the second photo below.
Window Treatments, please!!! High on the list of priorities is losing the frat house look. This sheet-cum-curtain situation going on in that bay window has got to go. The elementary school is right behind us, so we definitely need some privacy, but c’mon, a sheet?!?! It’s time to move out of the frat house I’d say…
In this small bedroom, I want it to feel cozy yet airy…and a little earthy—there’s no denying its diminutive size, so I may as well embrace that and create a cocoon. The room gets fantastic natural light, so I’d like it almost feel like it glows. I want to play up our Indonesian teak bed and the Bermuda tray ceiling, channeling a touch of “British Colonial in Southeast Asia “ flair. I’d love to incorporate dark olive green, a soft blush color, some woven materials—like a grasscloth or woven wood roman shades, and a few other great textures and patterns.
Next week, I’ll share more on my design ideas, but for now, here are a few inspiration photos that I love.
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