The One Room Challenges

Every spring and fall, Linda, of the blog Calling it Home, hosts a challenge which she has trademarked: The One Room Challenge. Linda handpicks 20 bloggers to make over one room in five weeks. She helps them along by finding sponsors for them. They, in turn, keep us up to date on their progress, week by week for six weeks.

At the same time, Linda throws open the challenge to anyone who chooses to accept it. We post on our progress the day after.

I have done it four times. I've only ever finished on time, once.

1. Mom's Bedroom (Spring 2014)

For my first challenge, in the Spring of 2014, I took on my Mom's bedroom.

We started with only a few days notice and an inspiration picture from Amber Interiors.

After on the left, inspiration on the right.

Here's the story of what me, my Mom and my husband can do in just seven weeks with less than $1500. (Cdn. :))

Week One: the room and our vision.

Week two, I showed you the work we did to knock down the closet. (What we replaced it with was another ORC adventure!)

Hump week was all about shopping.

Week Four: I titled the post Eeeek week with good reason.

Week Five: Cross Your Fingers.

Week Six: Not the reveal post it was supposed to be, but I did show you what we had accomplished and it was quite a lot.

Week Seven: Done. It really was worth all our hard work.

I did one more post and talked about the whole process, here: Reflections on the ORC.

After your first ORC, you realise that the Challenge only runs five weeks, not six, unless you have already put some work in before the first week (and I highly advise you do). Week One is usually the Before shots, and if you start then, you have only five weeks until reveal day. It is not a lot of time! Or maybe my projects are too ambitious?

2.  My Living Room (Fall 2014)

This was so much fun. I enjoyed being able to work in the mornings before my job and in the evenings.

Week 1: The Befores, The Vision and the Punch List.

There was no post for week 2 as I flew to my Grandmother's funeral.

Week 2&3: Catching Up. I did a few small things. The punch list is impossibly long.

Week 4: Barely Hanging On. I was working a lot of hours. I had very little time for this project.

Week 5: Tickety Boo. My team (my husband and my Mom) and I kicked it into high gear this week and moved things along swimmingly.

Between weeks 5 and 6, I went into hyperdrive and posted every day but one. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, The ORC Diary.

Day 5.1 and 5.2: The Drapery Saga
Day 5.3: More Paint
Day 5.4: What I Did with my Free Hour. Daylight Savings ends and I make a drapery panel with my extra hour.
Day 5.5: Stylin' Shopping. I shopped for 7 1/2 hours.
Day 5.6: Photo Day Eve. The excitement builds.
Day 5.7: Photo Day. It is actually a work day. My mom comes over and gives me a ton of help. We finish with just two hours of day light left. It is enough.

ORC Finale: It's Unbelievable. And it really, really was.

One last post. I decided to be transparent about the cost of it all. A Grand Makeover.

By the following Spring, it was clear, I was addicted. I decided to tackle my own dining room as I was already in the process of transforming it. But, this time, I wasn't just late, I stalled out completely, so very, very close to the finish line.

3. My Dining Room (Spring 2015)

Inspired by Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (affiliate link), I began working on this room in January. Then, I used it as my focus for the Nester's course, Cosy Minimalism. The ORC happened just about then, so I rolled the project into that one. I shouldn't've.

But still.

Week 1: The Befores and A Vision

One of the great things about emptying out a room (which is the first thing Nester's course had me do) is that it makes it very easy to paint!

Week 2: The Painted Room

In week 2, I had let a light fixture I'd loved get away. In week 3, I had to pick one after looking at thousands. And wrestle with a few other things.

Week 3: The Agony of Decisions

In the middle of all this, I decided to join some dear old on-line friends for an "Oraniz-a-thon."
Of course, I chose to work on the storage pieces in my room.

The Organiz-a-thon
The Organiz-athon is Done

In week 4, I wove what I knew from England's own Abigail Ahern and what I was learning from the Nester about texture and made a wall hanging for my room.

Week 4: Texture and Art

Then, it all began to fall apart.

Week 5: Nuthin'

Looking back, I think I thought I could work for a solid week and get it all done--just as I had during the Living Room ORC. I even tried to resurrect the ORC Diary. But it didn't work. I'd left myself too many things to do--and two big projects which both needed my husband!

Reading these over, you can almost hear how breathless I am.

Day 5.1
Day 5.2
Day 5.3
Day 5.4
Day 5.5

Short one board.

And that was the last anyone ever heard about the Dining Room ORC. Until this epic post.

4. Mom's Dressing Room (Fall 2015)

I am not entirely sure what kool-aid I was drinking. You remember we had taken out the closet in my Mom's bedroom in the spring of 2014. Here it was, 18 months later and she still did not have a decent place for her clothes. So, I decided--without anyone's input at all--that I would create a dressing room for my mother for the fall 2015 ORC. She was actually quite sick--and looking after a toddler! I forged ahead in spite of her objections.

Week 1: Creating a Dressing Room from Chaos. I included a floorplan to help orient ourselves to this odd little ell shaped space.

Week 2: Down and Out or is that Out and Down? I finished emptying the space--and taking down walls. Why does a project at my Mother's always involve taking down walls?

Week 3: Coming Out of the Closet. No, Wait, It's the Closet Coming Out. Woo hoo! I got to use a sledge hammer and a sawzall!

Week 4: From Dry Walling to Walls Drying. When you discover that dry walling really isn't DIY.....

Week 5: The Infrastructure is In! A good week of solid work. Mom was beginning to feel better.

Week 6: The Walking Deadline. Well, it's supposed to be reveal day, but, sadly, it's not. But we did make great progress.

Week 6b: The Final Act: The Tiniest Dressing Room. Finally. It took just a few more days, but we got 'er done. And now I remember why I do these things.

And that, my friends, is Alana's Adventures in Decorating on an insane schedule. But, it gets things done!

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