What is the ORC?

 It is an event held twice a year that challenges designers and DIYers to focus on transforming one room in 8 weeks.  This event offers the opportunity to discover new creators to follow, gain inspiration and grow a community.  Every Wednesday for eight weeks, I will be posting the room progress I am transforming.  I am selecting a room that I think will offer the most value for homeowners looking to elevate their space on a very tight budget.  Let’s dive in!

Do you have a room in your home that needs a design makeover but don't have the budget?

.........Well, I'm taking on THAT Challenge

I decided to make this challenge a real challenge for me, and I’m doing something I’ve never done before.  I’m taking on a multi-purpose room with a TINY BUDGET, outdated furniture, with many design challenges.

As an interior designer, I primarily work on upscale home renovations, and most projects have large budgets, which provide an abundance of resources and possibilities.    I’m blessed to have that design benefit in my business.  

But what happens when there isn’t a budget or good resources?  Can I still design?  Can the space still be beautiful and a room the owners can be proud of?  Honestly, I’m nervous about this, but I think creativity arises when challenged, so let’s find out.  If you’re in this situation, I hope to inspire you to start your makeover.  

I’ll take you through my entire decision-making process along the way, showing you how to make informed choices that will make the most out of your final result.  I will NOT be using sponsors, will NOT use any paid labor, will do most of the work myself, and STICK to a maximum budget of $1000.00 (I hope to come in less, as I am footing the bill and this room is not in my home.) 

I’m sure there will be some mistakes and challenges along the way; you can see how I navigate them.  You’ll also see how each decision I make impacts the final result at the final reveal. I’m sticking to the budget, so something will have to give……would you have made the same choices seeing the final reveal?

Why This Room?

When I meet someone socially and they learn I am an interior designer, they often start describing a room to me and asking me, “what should I do…….”  The room I am making over is from one of those conversations.  I approached this person about the challenge because I felt the room she described and her design questions were typical for many families.  (She also lives about 5 miles from me, so she’s close.)

She said she’d be thrilled for me to redesign the room.  When I asked what design direction she would like, she said, “You decide everything..….”   Some people are brilliant!  But seriously, this helps since we have so many restrictions already.  To achieve the best result, we have to be flexible where we can; to make up for where we can’t (budget, existing furnishings, etc.).

The room is the childhood bedroom of her adult son, who moved out years ago.  It is used as a guest bedroom about four times a year, but several times a week, it is used for video conferencing and making videos.

So let’s get to the room.  It’s completely different from what I envisioned based on her description, but that’s often the case

The Room

I’m seeing a LOT of orange wood tones!

There’s quite a bit of dusty blue

Angles and Shadows Everywhere!

OK, I’m ready to run, how about you?

Here are the requirements

So design-wise, I’ve got complete control, but there are some stipulations.  And they are:

  1. Use the antique bed, washstand, and gentleman’s wardrobe.  They currently need refinishing, so painting is fine, and any updates that would not impact a complete refinish down the road.
  2. There must be an entire video conference set up with a Sony camera, ring light, and an external microphone that can be started up in five minutes. This setup must use natural light from one of the room’s windows.  (Honestly, this is the biggest challenge…….I mean, that stuff is ugly.)  But this is real life these days for her.
Her wish list:
  1. A lighter and brighter space
  2. A more calming space
  3. Up to date design
  4. It would be great to have two setups (backgrounds) to video from.

And there’s some good news:

  1. She’s open to shopping the house for furniture pieces and accessories
  2. They have 2 barns with old stuff and junk I can look through for items.  (I LOVE doing that!)

Next week I'll be laying out:

The Design Plan

  • Budget
  • Mood Board
  • Color Palette
  • Layout
  • Work Schedule / Action Plan

What would you do next?


                              Leave a comment and let me know!

Click here to see inspiring rooms for other participants:

8 thoughts on “One Room Challenge WEEK ONE”

    1. Thanks, Audrey! I’m pretty nervous, this is outside my comfort zone, but I’m still excited. It won’t be my best room, but it will be better! I hope to show anyone they can elevate their home….but you already know how to do that!!!!

  1. Mike- This is going to be fun to watch! George and I can’t wait to see what you are going to do! Have fun!!

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