Here we are and it is the final and reveal week of the ONE ROOM CHALLENGE.
I am so excited to have reached this point as there were many moments when I questioned my decision to participate due to time constraints and other things happening at the same time.
But the experience was great and exhilarating and a sort of exercise for me to push myself to do something creative and enjoyable, and not at a “good time”. Sometimes we wait and wait to do something we enjoy because we are under the illusion that there will be a perfect time… there is no perfect time.
There is always going to be projects, clients, moves, todo list and it always not quite the right time – I have been wanting to enter one of the many spaces I have created for design competitions since early 2000, and always thought- Nah! it is not the right time, next time. The next year would roll around, I would see calls for entries and -guess what? not the right time again.
So there is no time like the present.
So the room is complete and although I will continue to improve the storage and display situation, I will add some key pieces that I think would really tie it all together as time and budget allows. But for this challenge the room is complete.
The desk and chairs did not make it because the Sponsors did not come through and by the time I found out it was too late to order and have it here in time for photos.
The wallpaper got hung and I cannot say enough good things and positive feedback about Milton & King Wallpaper. The wallpaper is not only beautiful, the pattern was perfect for this project, the quality is amazing and I loved using it.
Although my wallpapering skills had not been used for a while I managed to recall a skill that I learned many moons ago & my oh my, has wallpaper come a long way since.
Sometimes our design vision and or persistence makes us do something we know is not a good idea. Would this project have been for a client I would have never done it or accepted to do it, I know better. But here is what I learned, when you know that wallpaper should not be applied to a wall or surface that has texture- stick with what you know.
I wallpapered a wall with textured and it required a lot of additional work that I did not need while fighting the flu.
Fortunately, due to the quality and thickness of the paper, the forgiveness of the pattern and colors- it looks fine. But would not recommend it. However, I strongly believe that that wall needed to be a focal point and the office overall looks better with the wallpaper on in an L (shape) – than if I would have only wallpapered the long wall.
See for yourself and let me know what you think.
The Artwork is not the final artwork. I have had a difficult time deciding on what I want for those two walls. The window wall is concrete and not easy to drill so I don’t want to start drilling until I am a 100% sure of what Artwork I will display. My dream art piece would be a Lauren Williams piece, either her wool live canvas or one of her prints.
Another great artist I swoon over her pieces is Carolyn Gavin, her pieces are very colorful so it may look really good on those two walls or may be totally wrong. Another gal on Instagram often posts her watercolors of birds and I would love to add some birds to my flowers.
Can you believe that is the same space? Not really visible but the window is hideous so the panels I added makes it look kind of mystical and soft.
A cozy and inspiring work area.
With all the comforts to create beautiful spaces and an inspiring space to Rock some business from.
Soft panels to hide the ugly window and provide a flowy backdrop for my fiddle fig.
The new area where I display a few cabinet doors, tile, flooring samples, backsplash etc… is a lot smaller than the one we had at the 750sf shop. So, what is a girl to do? Pear down, and show fewer pieces but make the area sort of an intimate selection center for the client, inspiring and well lit.
Now, we typically source specifically for the client and the project but it is important to have a few samples of what we offer for clients to get an idea of the quality, the finishes, colors etc. Ultimately, after each project, we end up keeping most of the samples we sourced so that we can show what we have pulled together and show different materials.
At the other studio this area lacked accent lighting, but here at the new location, we found the perfect solution.
Cedar & Moss Tilt lighting was the ideal solution to add some needed light to this area but also create a statement and nice addition to the small office. I chose daylight round bulbs 40w – so that the light doesn’t overwhelm the samples. The bulbs complement the fixtures nicely and the finish is a patina grey that complements the wallpaper, the floors nicely too.
I am adding one additional tilt light (available in tilt long and tilt and various other finishes) to an area below the wall cabinets. This grey display has been and will continue to be the workhorse. The area below the uppers and above the counter is where I have a pinboard and often that is the area where I open sample books, catalogs, look at fabrics etc. But I did not want your average under cabinet lighting, I wanted something different and good looking.
Well, I got both with the Tilt short fixture same finish as the long ones. Although a longer one would have worked well in this area also, the short one does just fine. As the name says it I can tilt it to be slightly bent at the “elbow” but not 90 degrees down as the ones by the display area.
Unfortunately, that install did not happen for the Grand Finale but I will post photos later of that area showing the different positioning options.
New display area/gallery wall.
Same area no lighting.
Here is the whole project for your viewing delight. Ceiling tiles we will address in the future.
Now that corner is nicely lit and ready to host some presentation and signature appointments.
The black chairs with gold legs I specified and so desired were not possible but I made these ones work temporarily with a pair of mud-cloth pillows in black & white. Not sleek and chic as I had hoped but temporarily workable.
Fiddle Fig is happy, new stakes and tie backs and new marble rock.
Standard planter/pot from big box painted matte black enamel.
More Gallery Wall Featuring Cedar & Moss Lighting
WINDOW TREATMENTS & FIXTURES
Window panels from HomeGoods, Donna Karan – With a bit of texture to add additional interest. Trying to let the puddle grow on me to add softness to the space but may end up having these hemmed.
Window hardware from Wayfair, an excellent convenient and functional option for panels that will get a lot of movement. The gliding system with clips makes it a breeze to open and close.
THE DISPLAY HUB
To the right of the desk, the grey display serves as the hub where I store all other samples, sample books, catalogs, and more. There is also a nice counter space to layout finishes and tear sheets when working on projects.
I love keeping my favorite magazines, books and inspiration books nearby so that inspiration flows.
Although those storage boxes are cute, they are not right for this space. A bit too girly/infantile for me so let the search for black professional looking boxes continue.
Still waiting on cubby storage piece to go under the mirror to house additional samples, books etc. & maybe more flowers too.
A small area by the window but not too obvious our little refrigerator to keep cold waters and snacks. Additional storage for easy access during busy days.
Eventually, I want to raise the ref. with a platform painted in white so we can store our supplies below in boxes/baskets. Then a top of the ref so that we can make a good cup of joe during early mornings or long days.
Pink floral and white & gold boxes no longer work but until the right ones come along we still keep anything ugly hidden in pretty boxes.
A little inspirational message that can be changed any time. Chalkboard paper, peel & stick. Easy to apply and to remove and fun for playrooms or even in the kitchen.
Flowers, candles and great books.
Since the move I have misplaced the label maker so sticky notes it is for now. It must be in one of the 100 boxes at the warehouse.
Terracotta planter and saucer painted with the same enamel matte black paint as the other pot. A nice brushed gold trinket to give it a little sophistication.
A nice ceramic Buddha so my printer paper doesn’t fly away.
A little table to keep drinks and surplus papers when working. Love these versatile little tables.
Chaulk paper also good for suite number outside the door.
BEFORE & AFTER
I added chalk paper to the area below the wall cabinets, will add an additional Tilt light fixture from Cedar & Moss and switch handles.
The wallpaper really makes this room. But this little corner here is very important, it is the hub and pulse of the office.
It is a hardworking corner and therefore it has to ooze style. The lights from the display wall and from the window help a lot by keeping it bright. The simplicity of the black and white and some greys give me the space both visually and perceived to create.
Window wall before and after, it is a drastic change but really not much has changed. Wallpaper, window treatment & hardware, and white panels to hide the ugly window, yet allowing in the much-needed light.
Entrance & Future Sample Wall added lighting, bright white paint, and some shelves to display our favorite samples. Would love to switch those chairs for the black leather ones with gold legs but they did not make it in time.
MY EXPERIENCE PARTICIPATING IN THE CHALLENGE
Well, it goes without saying I am so glad I participated. Of course, there were moments when I questioned my decision and times when I asked myself why I did commit?- Especially when wallpapering during the flu and at 2 am one night when I was in the thick of it.
But I am glad I did and that I had this challenge to push me through what was a difficult transition, but it took my focus from having to give up the other space to how to make this little office a nice place to work from.
What I learned. I learned that it is good to consider committing to something such as a challenge even when I think it is not the right time. Why? Because it is never the right time, there is always going to be “more important” things to get done, new projects and tasks to complete. As entrepreneurs, we sometimes are so focused on the “running a business” part of our routine so much, that we forget why we got here in the first place.
I don’t know about anyone else but for me – part of my why – is because I love creating, I love transforming spaces, especially small spaces into inspiring little places in the world where people dwell, work and enjoy. I truly believe that your environment affects your mood, state of mind and your energy.
Would I do it again? Absolutely, without a doubt and hopefully next time I will be better prepared and have a nice budget to work with. In fact, I cannot wait – although I am not ready to start again right away as there are a few details to button up here first. I hope to be ready and go for one of the spots as a featured designer next time.
Sponsors? My experience with the sponsors was pretty great for my first time and kind of treading blindly into the process of entering the challenge, navigating the challenge and executing while some elements were still unknown.
In my experience, the “big boys” (large retail, manufacturers, vendors) are not really interested in sponsoring and it is difficult to aim the request for sponsorship to the right department or person. I guess this is compounded by the time restrictions.
But other companies such as MK Wallpapers, Cedar & Moss, Tempaper, and sister company were amazing and very responsive. They were very helpful and understood the limitations of time and the results would not have been possible without their product and generosity.
Hope you enjoy the progress made in this Rebirth Makeover.