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!