For those of you just tuning in, I’m nervously struggling along with about 80 other bloggers trying to re-design a room in 6 weeks – The One Room Challenge! You can click on the other bloggers links here.
My challenge is my future Basement Office. To review look at Week One here, (I was out of town for Week Two and not much to show for it – so, I broke ORC rules and skipped my blog post), Week Three here, and now Week Four (yikes!). But, today is the beginning of Week Five and I’m ACTUALLY beginning to feel GOOD about my project! I still don’t know 100% if I’ll finish by next Thursday, but I’m aspiring to – and the best part about all of this is – I NOW have a plan!
My initial problem when I signed up for this challenge was that I had no plan. I knew I needed to organize and create a working space for myself, but I had no clear-cut PLAN on what I was going to do. So, each week I focused on the larger things – like what desk to buy, what lamp to purchase, lampshades, office desk. I was looking at the bigger pieces and not thinking like a designer. What makes my rooms special are the details. And, what this One Room Challenge OFFICE lacked was details!
So, after complaining to my friend and client, Rebekah, last Friday about all of the challenges of my Office; Rebekah just said – well, what about your office – how are you going to finish it? Rebekah didn’t want to know about all of my set-backs (although she listened with interest – “thankyou Rebekah”!) – she wanted to know and see the finish outcome! So, with her interest in wanting to know how the story ends, I put on my best Designer Hat and started thinking of solutions to my problems.
Problem 1: I bought one Crystal Column lamp last summer from Home Goods. I needed two, but there wasn’t a 2nd lamp to be found anywhere. So, I nixed that idea and bought a 2nd set of lamps for my desk. Only problem was – there were Art Deco style column lamps and not at all what I had in mind for my Office.
Problem 2: All lamps needed lampshades. But, finding a basic, inexpensive lamp shade isn’t just as simple as you’d think! What it all amounted to was this – in general – an Office doesn’t call for using many fabrics in it. In order for me to bring more “fun” and color to this space – I thought introducing color to my lampshade would be a much-needed jolt of interest in this project.
Problem 3: Painting these BLACK bookcases WHITE is more of a hassle than I orginally thought! It’s taken me several coats to finish the first bookcase. I dread starting and finishing the 2nd bookcase. I’m trudging through this ordeal, but not happily. Suffice it to say, that I will never be painting a piece of furniture again (well, not until 2014!). This doesn’t include the piano bench that I found and have painted the legs white!
SOLUTIONS! Where there is a design problem- there MUST be a solution! My job as a designer trains me to find creative solutions to problems. I wasn’t tacking this Challenge correctly! I’ve found my solutions!
Solution 1: I went online and googled Crystal Column lamp. I think I may have found the match to my Home Goods lamp! I ordered it and it will arrive Friday!
Solution 2: I found beautiful silk pagoda-style lampshades at my local lighting store. Problem was – the Hot Pink Pagoda shade that I fell in love with was discontinued – only one in stock. I bought it anyhow. But, I also found a pair of gorgeous green silk shades from the same company – that were discontinued and selling for a VERY reasonable deal! Purchased!
Solution 3: Went to Home Depot yesterday and bought White Enamal spray paint and a small can of Primer paint. Best to start off the second bookcase with the correct materials!
Solution 4: I wanted to add more color to the backs of my IKEA Billy bookcases. As you might remember, I was lamenting that I bought them in the stylish brown-black Wenge finish (trying to be cutting edge, ya know!). Anyhow – I’d originally planned to paint the backs PINK. But, after struggling with painting my bookcases, I realized this was a horrible idea for me. Instead, I decided that applying a pink wallpaper might be a better and more sane idea. The pale pink leopard wallpaper “Bagatelle” from Osborne & Little would be the perfect complement! Problem – it’s discontinued – no stock (story of my life!). After about a day of tracking down dead leads on the internet, I found a solution for my pink wallpaper. EBAY! I love eBay! I found a cute pink wallpaper (leopard, of course) on ebay that I purchased. When the owner contacted me to tell me that she only had one roll in stock (not the two that was advertised), I told her to just send me the one and I improvised! While in my powder room, I realized that I had the perfect solution! Remnant powder room wallpaper would remedy the problem. This blue/pink Chinoiserie paper will go on the backs of my White Knot bookcases. It will bring in more color to the room and brighten up a boring wall.
Solution 5: Details. It’s all in the details, folks! I dashed out to Hancock Fabrics yesterday to find grosgrain ribbon. I didn’t find what I was looking for – but found the finishing details for my room plus trims for my window valences.
Solution 6: Art. Since I didn’t blog last week – you won’t know that I found the most fabulous mirrored frames at Target! You don’t need to know that I must have scoured 4 or 5 Target stores to find these frames (when I was able to locate these frames, disappointment was palpable when I’d see huge chips or cracks in them). But, I have three of these beautiful frames. And, I’ve put two of Jennifer’s from The Pink Pagoda, prints in them. I love how they look! The third frame is empty and I’ll probably fill that will a swatch of colorful fabric.
Piano bench – painting phase
leftover Osborne & Little fabrics – over for bench
SO – long story – longer! I am happily on my way to finishing by Week Six of the ORC. But, now, I’m happy with my room. Thanks for hanging in there with me! I appreciate it!
I'm an interior designer and a busy mother to two precocious, fun loving boys. I love a good laugh mixed with a side of silly. I'm hopelessly obsessed with trims and colorful fabrics. And cheese. (and frozen margaritas)
Hopefully, my blog will show you a bit more about who I am and how I can help you create a more comfortable and inviting home. Let's go through this journey together - I promise to make it interesting!