One Room Challenge Week 1: Befores & Plans

October 3, 2019

I’ve been looking forward to doing a One Room Challenge myself for years! If you’re not an avid blog follower, the One Room Challenge is a, well, challenge to complete an entire room makeover in six weeks with the encouragement of the blogosphere. There are official participants (established bloggers and the “winning” guest participants from the previous season) who get cool perks like partnerships, but anyone with a blog can join in. Each week participants share an update. I’m a guest participant so I’ll be posting on Thursdays.

The Room

The room we’re making over is the sunroom! It started with a drop ceiling, dingy wallpaper, moldy carpet, an old ceiling fan, very heavy curtains and overgrown bushes blocking the views. We want to make it into a light-filled room for game nights, deep chats over wine, a good book on a Sunday morning and overflow space for entertaining. The room is almost all windows, so we really wanted to accentuate the brightness.

This is what the room looked like when we bought the house:

But, it hasn’t looked like that in months. We couldn’t live with that drop ceiling for even a day (insulation is totally better) so we removed the drop ceiling, curtains and carpet before we moved in. We’ve been living with insulation and subfloors for four months (has it been four months already??). We’ve also been periodically working on wallpaper removal, so it’s been quite the eyesore. It’s also been a catch-all for extra furniture. On the bright side (pun intended) the giant overgrown bushes outside the sliding glass door were removed a couple months ago, which brought in so much more light.

Ignore the random circle – I doctored this photo for a convo with my dad

The Plan

In just six weeks we’re going to turn this shell of a room into a bright, casual, comfortable, light-filled family room. As the room is a gutted box right now, we’ll be putting a lot of effort into the bones: new walls, built-ins, ceiling, new trim, moving electrical and AC, installing lights. Unfortunately, we can’t do new flooring, so I’ll have to find a manageable solution. We’re moving walls in the connected portions of the house (someday) so we can’t do flooring until the walls are moved.

The to-do list doesn’t seem as overwhelming when you simplify every task, so here’s the basic list:

  • Add two skylights
  • Move the AC
  • Build built-ins
  • Paint the floor
  • New trim everywhere
  • Plank the ceiling
  • Install new lights
  • Blinds and curtains
  • Furnish & decorate!

The Design

The walls will be an almost-white with slight green undertones (it’s Turning Pointe by Sherwin Williams, though I used a different color (Icicle) in my mood board because the online swatch looks nothing like the paint in real life. I’m imagining lots of creams, whites and blacks, with wood tones and lots of plants. I’d say the style is California Casual with a dash of Mid-Century Modern and Bohemian.

We’ll be re-using the couch from my house and Zach’s childhood dining table as a game table. We found some great vintage cantilever chairs last fall and reupholstered them in a beautiful blue green, so those will come in too. As for the rest of the design, it’s really a “make-it-up-as-you-go” approach, but here’s a general idea:

The Budget

The plan is to reuse and reimagine as much as we can to keep costs down. My dad is coming down next week to help me complete all the major projects, which will save us on labor. I’m claiming our total budget is $4,000 because we initially planned to hire out the work dad and I are now doing and got a quote for $4,000, which Zach agreed to. Unfortunately, the contractor never showed. Sigh. So now we’re doing it ourselves for much less. I think that means I get to use that full amount for my budget, right Zach?

I’ll get more specific as we work on the project, but here’s what we’ve spent so far:

  • $1240: Skylight installation (spoiler alert: that’s done!)
  • $360: Skylights
  • $250: Built-in cabinets
  • $115: Trim boards
  • $150: Ceiling Planks
  • $200: Drywall, recessed lights and miscellaneous supplies
  • $280: Wallpaper (!)
  • $150: Furnishings

Check back every Thursday for progress updates!

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