Eleventh Hour Reflections | ORC Week Six

Perhaps this is because it's nearing 9pm EST, but I am having a horrible time writing an introduction to today's post. Which should have been posted about 14 hours ago and should have included some very different photos... Story of my life these last six weeks? Haha.

So I admit, that I took on the One Room Challenge pretty much on a whim. I didn't consult Anthony, not that I needed his permission or that he wouldn't be willing to help me, but there were some significant things I overlooked before I wrote my Week One post. Namely, a wedding we would be traveling to upstate NY for and finals week for Anthony's online classes. Honestly, these last six weeks have been some of the craziest of my life but instead of telling you the 39 reasons why I didn't finish the One Room Challenge, let's just skip ahead to the room update part. 

It's not lost on me that my "Reveal Day" photos look more like most participants "Before" photos. In fact, according to the master outline I wrote during the first week of the challenge, today I'm where I thought I would be after Week Three. But even though our Master Bedroom is still an empty room, it's an empty room that's undergone quite a transformation! Here's a reminder of what this room looked like when we bought our house:

First, we ditched the random sink. Then we craftily covered the oddly placed window with our DIY Faux Brick Accent Wall (we hung a mini-blind up first so from the outside you can't tell!). Then we tore up the existing carpeting, the linoleum underneath and the underlayment underneath that. We removed roughly 900 tiny nails from the original hardwoods (whoever put down that underlayment was seriously overzealous). I painted the walls once, hated the color, primed and painted the walls again (still not sure about the color, hopefully I will love it when I get the trim painted a brighter white). I became very well acquainted with our new/old hardwood floors after hours and hours spent scrubbing and sanding them on my hands and knees. With the help of my mother-in-law, Lisa, we finished off the sanding, cleaned up and put down the stain last night. We chose Minwax English Chestnut, a pretty close match to the original finish that was still hanging on in some areas. 

I was hoping to have the room loaded to photograph today, but because of the humid weather we're experiencing in PA, the stain is still pretty tacky. Also, I forgot that I should probably apply some polyurethane and let the whole thing cure for a good week before I try moving heavy furniture over it. (Note to self: next time you do a six week challenge, for the love of God, refinish the floor before the challenge begins!)

So since I only have photos of an empty room for today's "reveal post", I decided to play around with some of the art and accessories I've been collecting for the room to set up these two vignettes to show you guys. 

Pillow: c/o Spark Modern | Arched Mirror: Thrifted | Artemis Bust: Ross | Fur & Gold Stool: Thrifted/DIY | Diamond Quilted Sham: Wayfair | Vintage 1920's Beaded Purse: Thrifted

About the Vintage 1920's beaded purse: I actually found this at the Sablon Antiques Market in Brussels, Belgium while I was studying abroad. I probably spent way too much money on it but I loved it so much that I carried it at our wedding and used the chevron design in my DIY invitations. 

I've been looking for an arch-top mirror ever since I sketched this design of our Master Bedroom a few months ago. But being the enormous cheapskate that I am, I refused to order the plentiful options I found online because spending $100-200 on a mirror gives me the heebie-jeebies. The stars finally aligned for me this Tuesday when I found this adorable and super heavy mirror at one of my favorite consignment shops for just $9.95.

Faux Roses: HomeGoods | Ceramic Lamp: Interiors Home Outlet | Everything else: Thrifted!

Another fantastic find from Tuesday's thrifting trip was this aerial drawing of downtown York circa 1741 by famous local midcentury artist, William Falkler. I'm such a fan of William Falkler's paintings. He has painted countless landmarks and buildings around York County in his signature watercolor style. I had never seen a drawing by him before, so I was happy to snatch this print at just $10. I love that I can recognize the streets and a few buildings that are still standing today!

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four + Five

I've heard that the One Room Challenge is difficult even in ideal circumstances, and darn near impossible if the stars don't align for you, which they definitely did not for me this time around. I still plan on "completing" this room in the next few weeks, so I promise to keep you all updated with my progress! I learned a lot from my first experience with the One Room Challenge and I already know what I will do differently for the next one. 

To satisfy your "before and after" cravings, I highly recommend checking out the reveals of the 20 Featured Designers! There are some really incredible makeovers in that bunch. I'm thinking I'll pick my top 5 favorite to share on the blog next week. 


Claire Brody  | The Curated House  | Design Manifest  | Driven by Decor  | Honey We’re Home  | Hunted Interior  | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | My Sweet Savannah |  Pencil and Paper Co. | The Pink Clutch | Savvy Home  | Simplified Bee  | Sketch 42  | Jill Sorensen | Orlando Soria  | Thou Swell  | The Vault Files  | Waiting on Martha  | The Zhush 

 Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH 

Also, be sure to check out the reveals for the other Guest Participants! You can do so by clicking here. I also love scrolling through the #OneRoomChallenge tag on Instagram! So much inspiration. 

Now it's nearing 10pm EST, and it's time for me to go to bed! Thank you for all of your encouragement over these hectic last few weeks. Whether you are a new reader or an old friend, your support means so much! 

Finally Making Headway | ORC Week Four + Five

My One Room Challenge project got a little derailed for the last two weeks (a story for another blog post!) but I'm happy to report that I'm back at it and finally starting to make some progress! 

This week, I finished priming and painting the walls in Sherwin Williams Useful Gray. Tomorrow, I'll probably finish up the trim, which will be Sherwin Williams Alabaster. 

I tested out some stain options for our newly uncovered hardwood floors. I'm debating between Minwax English Chesnut and Jacobean. The top left and bottom right swatches are both English Chestnut and the bottom left and top right are the Jacobean. Our floors have so much variation that all of the samples look different. I'm a little torn, but I'm going to decide after I look at them in the daylight tomorrow. Which would you pick?

I also did a fun DIY upgrade to this foot stool I picked up at the thrift store. All it took was some gold paint and some faux Grizzly fur I picked up at Joann's and this little guy has a luxe, new look. I'm planning to place it near my closet as a place to sit down to put on shoes. 

It was a fairly straightforward DIY, I just unscrewed the top from the base, cleaned and spray painted the base with Valspar Metallic Gold Spray paint and used my new Stanley Staple Gun to recover the top, first adding another layer of foam to beef up the cushion. I used a serrated bread knife to cut the foam, but the best thing to use is an electric carving knife. It works like a dream!

Once I added the thick fur fabric, the screws that connect the base to the top weren't long enough to make contact. So in these pictures, I just have the top resting on the base. Next time I'm at the hardware store, I'm going to find some longer screws. 

So I've come to terms with the fact that our Master Bedroom will not be completely finished by the One Room Challenge deadline, but I do plan on sharing a reveal of sorts next Thursday! We will at least have all the big pieces in the room, even if they are still in need of some DIY makeovers and finishing touches. The big test will be to see if we can get the floors done this weekend. But don't worry, challenge or not, I will continue updating you guys on our progress with the Master Bedroom until it's complete! 

Master Bedroom Progress | ORC Week Three

Just now joining in? Here's Week One | Week Two

A little into the first week of the One Room Challenge,  when I was hit with the reality of what exactly I had signed up for, I sat down and wrote an outline of my project. It was broken down by week and included blog post topics and to-do lists. What I had planned for today's post was to share about how I had successfully refinished our hardwood floors, painted all the walls, installed new thicker baseboard trim with coaching from my dad and installed our new chandelier. We're now halfway through the challenge, and my goal for this benchmark was to have the entire "shell" of the room complete. 

(Insert Laugh-Cry Emoji here)

So what really happened since last Thursday? Well, with the help of our wonderful friends Tim & Jess (Owner of Revolt Style Studio) we finished demoing the existing flooring on Saturday night. Then while I was at work on Sunday, Anthony and his dad finished installing our new outlets and our new chandelier, although I still have to attach all of the crystals. That's it, folks! So instead of showing you progress photos of a room that doesn't look much different than last week, I'm going to talk about some recent developments and what's going on in my head at this stage in the game. 

Pillow Joy + Despair

I was so excited to receive my new Pyne Hollyhock throw pillow from Spark Modern this week! I'm stoked to be partnering with them for this challenge. I honestly believe that this gorgeous Schumacher fabric will make the room. It's such a beautiful mix of neutral colors in a feminine yet classic floral pattern that I think will be the perfect counterpoint to our more masculine wood bed. 

On the other hand, the pillow I ordered from West Elm is starting to cause some despair. I ordered this pillow way before I even decided to participate in the One Room Challenge. I fell in love with it in the clearance section and ordered it as a birthday present to myself last month. Originally it was scheduled to arrive on March 24th. Then it got pushed back to April 4th, then 13th then 20th and now it's not expected to get here until April 28th. That's cutting it pretty close to my May 12th deadline. If this trend continues, who knows if it will ever get here, let alone in time for the reveal! I already emailed customer service, but never got a response back. I'll probably call them sometime this week to figure out what the story is. I hope I don't have to cancel my order, I still really like the pillow!

Rug Indecision

In my design board, I included a large, natural jute rug. I was waiting to decide on a size until after we had uncovered the hardwood floors. If they were horrible, then I would have ordered a bigger rug. Since our new/old floors are looking like they'll clean up nicely, I'm realizing that I don't want to spend $400 on an 8' x10' rug when half of it is going to be hidden underneath our new king size bed. I'm now considering the idea of two runners to flank the bed on either side. 

But of course now that I've reconsidered the size, I'm starting to reconsider the type of rug too. Do I really want to step onto rough jute every morning? I love the texture and simplicity of these woven rugs, but they aren't the softest things underfoot . Should I order shag rugs instead? But wouldn't that look basically the same as the wall-to-wall carpeting we just ripped out? Should I stick with the jute and just buy some nice, new slippers? These are the questions I am stuck asking myself. If I'm going to order something, I need to do it soon so it can get here in time for the reveal! What would you pick?

My plans for this week are give the hardwood floors a good scrubbing and then decide what my next step will be (i.e. how much sanding, if any needs to be involved before I apply a light coat of stain), sample wall colors and make a final selection, have our new bed delivered and maybe try to do one of the five remaining DIY projects I have planned. We'll see how far I get this week! If you would like to follow along with my progress in real time this week, you can find me on Instagram @steviestorck. 

Read the Week 3 updates from the 20 featured designers:

Claire Brody | The Curated House | Design Manifest | Driven by Decor | Honey We’re Home | Hunted Interior | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | My Sweet Savannah | Pencil and Paper | The Pink Clutch | Savvy Home | Simplified Bee | Sketch 42 | Jill Sorensen | Orlando Soria | Thou Swell | The Vault Files | Waiting on Martha | The Zhush 

Browse the projects of my fellow Guest Participants, here!

New Master Bedroom Design | ORC Week Two

Whew! A lot has happened since Thursday, when I announced I will be participating in the One Room Challenge! If you missed last week's post, you can read it here. Today, I'm sharing my design board and a progress update of what we've accomplished so far.

Here's the plan for our new bedroom:

Vintage Neutral Master Bedroom Inspiration Board by Stevie Storck Design Co. - Rustic wood, olive green, antique brass, bronze and crystal chandelier, Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock, vintage map, shag fur stool, jute rug, kilim pillow #OneRoomChallenge

Sources: Chandelier | Bed | Nightstand | Roses | Rug | Floral Pillow c/o Spark Modern | Arabesque Pillow (no longer available) | Vintage Map | Fur Stool

I'm going for a nice balance of feminine and masculine details, in my beloved neutral color scheme of white, grey, brown, green and blue! Our new chandelier arrived this week and our new bed will be delivered next Saturday. While I'm not using this exact nightstand, it is serving as inspiration for an IKEA hack/DIY I have in the works. Same thing for the fur foot stool. It's a tough contest but my FAVORITE detail of the new design has to be the floral pillow from Spark Modern. I have been obsessed with this pattern for ages, to the point that even Anthony knows it's name (Schumacher's Pyne Hollyhock) because I talk about it so frequently. When I found it in the Spark Modern Etsy shop, I knew I had to use it for our master bedroom design. I can't wait for it to get here! If you are looking for the perfect pillows to pull together your room, I highly suggest checking out their shop! Their selection of designer fabrics is what dreams are made of (my dreams at least!) and it's organized by color family which makes finding the perfect print so easy!

But before all the pretty details can come together, we had a big transformation in store for this space. If you've read previous posts about our master bedroom, you'll know that in addition to a random sink (which we have since removed) there is also an oddly placed window on the only wall I can put the bed against. I've been brainstorming solutions for this wall since before we even closed on our house. I was originally planning to do a wall of curtains behind the bed, but with three additional windows in the room, I worried we would feel like we were swimming in fabric. No, I wanted something clean, simple and architectural. Since this truly is the only wall I can place the bed on, I started researching the idea of using paneling to semi-permanently cover the window. I came across this tutorial on the Bower Power blog and knew I had found the perfect solution!


I drew the wall to scale and found out we would need four, 4'x8' brick panels to cover the wall. We bought our brick panels at Lowes for around $25 a piece. To prep the window, we removed the trim and sanded down the wood framing so it was flush with the wall. Then we installed a $4 mini-blind so you wouldn't see the back of the paneling from the outside. 

Installing brick panels is a fairly straightforward DIY project, and shouldn't take more than a few hours if your home is newer construction like the Bower's. It ended up taking us the entire weekend because behind our drywall is the original plaster & lath and behind that was a seemingly random arrangement of studs. It took the guys about two hours with the stud finder to map out the location of each stud. This wall has vertical and horizontal framing that starts and stops where you would never expect it to. I have some theories as why this is (a. This room was once a kitchen when the house was split into a duplex so maybe we have some horizontal rails that were there to support the upper cabinets and b. I suspect there was previously another window on this wall that was covered over during a previous renovation) but truly, this is just a "joy of buying a hundred year old house" situation. It took some time upfront, but mapping out all the studs like that made the actual panel installation go so smoothly. Not surprisingly, our walls are little out of square, so we did have to trim a little off the panels to make sure the brick pattern matched up. But since I had decided to paint the bricks an opaque white, this wasn't anything a little caulk couldn't fix.

Here's what the wall looked like when we finished installing it! In the photo, it looks pretty awesome but in person the screws and seams between the panels were pretty evident. I decided to prime first, and then caulk the seams and the edges where the panels didn't quite meet the ceiling or walls.

After primer...

After caulk and the first coat of paint...

And then I had an epiphany. About a month ago, I finally convinced Anthony that we should tear up the carpet in the Master bedroom as a test. We knew there were hardwoods under there somewhere, we just weren't sure what else might be in between. I realized if I was going to have the floors ready for our bed to be delivered next Saturday, I needed to put painting on the back burner. So at 9:00pm Tuesday night, I turned up my Spotify playlist and started tearing up the carpet...

...and found some patchy vinyl over cardboard underlayment. But underneath that, beautiful, 113 year old hardwood floors! 

Like I said in my Instagram caption, the floors are going to take a lot more work but we are just thrilled that they seem to be in good condition! This room is the test, as we would eventually like to uncover all of the hardwoods throughout the house. It's definitely a labor intensive project but I can already tell it will be so worth it!

So that's what I've been up to this week! I have a lot more to accomplish this coming week. I'll be sharing sneak peeks and updates on Instagram. I am so excited to see this room come together!

What do you think of the design plan? Is there anything you would add or change?

Click here to see the other Guest Participants Week Two posts!

Master Bedroom Inspiration | Moody, Masculine & Vintage

Yesterday began the first step of our Master bedroom redesign. Our new king size mattress was delivered! To keep it simple, we had it set up in the front bedroom so we would have it out of the way when we start painting in a week or two. You can see our temporary sleeping quarters in yesterday's post, here. Our goal for this weekend is to remove the random sink the Master and prep for painting. This month, we will also be ordering our new bed frame, which I am super in love with and can't wait to show you! 

Here's a reminder of what we are working with: 

Master Bedroom Before - Stevie Storck Design Co.
Master Bedroom Before - Stevie Storck Design Co.
Master Bedroom Before - Stevie Storck Design Co.

I already had a vintage, masculine vibe in mind for this room, but when I found this oil painting at a consignment shop in Kennet Square (with Haley!), it really solidified everything for me. Someone told me it looks like an old art school project. I love everything about it. 


You guys know I love me some dark walls. It's been a long standing love affair, that I've talked about here and here. Very soon, these white walls will be painted deep, smoky, gray-green. I think Eclipse by Sherwin Williams is just the ticket. 

Chelsea Cabot via Pinterest

I'm still waffling on how I want to address the off center window on the wall I'm planning to put the bed on. I've considered about 7 different options, but if you asked me today I would probably choose my first idea, which is some variation on this look:

Sarah Gibson via A Beautiful Mess

On Monday, I met Jamie during her lunch break to peruse the discount room of the wallpaper manufacturer she works for. (If you live in York, you know which one!) We found this awesome/kooky/vintage/cool scenic design by Ronald Redding. It has a navy background and all these funny little characters. I'm planning to use it in both of our closets for a fun accent.

While our house was built in 1903, just about all of the original details were stripped between it being renovated as a duplex (and back again) and a fire in 2011. One of our big goals is too add some character back into our old farmhouse, so I like that this wallpaper looks like something that might have already been there, that we decided to keep for fun in just the closets. 

Speaking of the closets, another thing I plan to upgrade is the doors. I  HATE sliding doors for closets. In theory, these space saving solutions make a lot of sense, but in practice you can only access one half of your closet at a time. Dislike. I'm thinking buying some cheap bi-fold doors and making them look more expensive with moulding and some fancy hardware. I would love to do some kind of chunky, brass ring pull. 

That's all for now! Hopefully I'll have some nice progress photos to show you in a couple of weeks!

Are you starting a new project? What's at the top of your to-do list?