One Room Challenge Week Three – The Living Room

It’s week three of the One Room Challenge with Calling It Home and things are happening! You can see the before (and the way before) pics of our living room here in week one’s post. Last week I shared the basic furniture layout that I planned.

Take a peek at my design plan for our living room as part of our One Room Challenge makeover.

The only part that my husband wasn’t really on board with was the tall shelving that would go against the far wall. He felt like it might be too much for the space. Since he mostly lets me make the decorating decisions in our house, I try to respect his opinion when he voices it. So instead we’re going with the shorter Billy bookcases from Ikea. These shelves are pretty basic so I’m planning to use a combination of this tutorial and this one to give them a little extra appeal.

billy bookcase

My curtains arrived, but unfortunately one of the panels has a stain so I’ll have to send them back. Luckily, is pretty speedy so it shouldn’t hold things up. I’m still working on finding the right sofa for this room. I go back and forth about the size. Once the bookcases are assembled and in place, I’m hoping it will give me some guidance. FYI if you’re in the market, Joss and Main is having a big sofa sale today with some great options!

I’m feeling great about where this room is headed. Things seem to be coming together little by little. Because life would be boring if we only had one thing going on (insert eye roll,) we’re also painting our house next week. I’m so excited to have the outside spruced up! Don’t forget to go check out some of the other ORC guest participants!

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One Room Challenge Week Two | Living Room Design Plan

It’s week two of the One Room Challenge, and while it hasn’t been the most productive week, I’m starting to see some direction for the living room. You can take a look at all the lovely before pictures of this room here. One thing that our home lacks is a dedicated playroom.

We debated using what we refer to as the den for the kids’ play area, but it’s a natural gathering area during get-togethers because it connects to the kitchen. Some people can be up in the kitchen area, while others can be on the couch, and yet, we can all be part of the same conversation if we want.

The kids obviously hang out there as well, but over the past year it felt like the toys were starting to take over. We realized that it would be nice to have a play area where the kids are still nearby.

The living room is the best spot for a play area. We’ll stick to a grownup aesthetic because it’s part of our main living area. Before I go into a few of the details that make this room a challenge to design, let me share the truly amazing layout  80s fiasco that I created on the free design planning site,

living room plan

Let’s just all agree to pretend that the furniture in this room reflects choices I would actually make! is limited in many ways. I didn’t waste time on the particulars, and since I don’t have photoshop, this and imagination are all that we’re left with.


Apart from the size  of the windows, the measurements are accurate. We really do have a fairly large corner window with another feature window 15 inches away. And of course, this living room is a sunken room so it’s two steps down from the entry (on the right in this view) and the dining room (to the left.) doesn’t have an option for railings without stairs so you just have to imagine them instead of walls as noted above. You can see one railing in the picture below, as well as our bizarre window configuration.

living room progress

Living Room Design Plan

My plan divides this large room into zones for better function. There’s room for a table where we can play games, build legos or do crafts. The other zone needs a tv so the kids can play video games or watch a movie. There’s also plenty of storage.

Despite its challenges, this room has lots of possibilities and I’m looking forward to it becoming a functional space for us to enjoy. Stay tuned for more progress!

{Linking to Calling It HomeThoughts of Home, The Inspiration Gallery, Weekend Retreat}  

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One Room Challenge Week 6 | Updated Den Reveal

One Room Challenge | Den Reveal | Living Room Inspiration

Here we are at the final week of the One Room Challenge, and I’m sad to say that I can’t share the full reveal of our den quite yet. Due to delays with the contractor, our fireplace redesign isn’t done. BUT… I’m still showing the part of the den that is finished! As a bonus I’m sharing another part of the room that I didn’t include in my original plans for the ORC!

When we bought our house, the den included a bar area. Though my husband lobbied hard to keep it, the bar was very outdated. It’s not a space that we need at this phase of life. I mean, the kitchen is a whopping ten steps away.

Once our kids are off to college, we can revisit the idea of a wet bar. For now it’s much more useful as a family command center and work station for the kids.

I didn’t show this area in my plans for the ORC because the construction was already finished and the decor and organization really just needed some fine tuning. But since I’m left without my big exciting fireplace to reveal, I’ll give you the finished work station as a consolation prize.

First, check out the other side of the den first. You can peek at week one where I showed the before pix of this room. Week two I shared a basic layout of the room and my plans to update the room. Week three and four were very slow in the progress department but I did share the cute throw pillow I ordered from Society6. In week five, I gave a sneak peek of our new drapes and talked about how I saved both money and natural light by making some adjustments.

Now to the fun part! Time for some before and after photos!

The Den Before

Here’s the view from our initial walkthrough of the house…

den before pic

And after we replaced the floors, repainted, and took out the old fan and light fixtures…

den before pic

And here it is now (at least part of it)

One Room Challenge | Den Reveal

den reveal B

That feels a little anticlimactic so here’s the lovely bar during our first tour of the house…

bar area before

The door leads to the garage and just to its right is the powder room. You can see the first phase of that transformation here. The bar was so outdated. As part of the area where we spend the most time as a family, it made sense to turn this nook into a child-friendly, functional space.

our new workstation

One Room Challenge | How we turned an outdated bar area into a functional work station.

work station reveal 1

I can’t wait to have the fireplace finished so I can share a full reveal. Until then thanks for stopping by to check it out! Be sure to stop by Calling It Home to see all the other fantastic rooms that were part of the challenge.

UPDATE: Check out our amazing fireplace transformation here.

{Linking to Calling It Home, Just a Girl & Her Blog}

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One Room Challenge Week Five | Budget Curtain Hack

Oh man. I can’t believe that we’re already at week five of the One Room Challenge. That means that next week is supposed to be the big reveal. I say “supposed to” because if this room is finished on time it will be a minor miracle.

If you’re here for the first time, let’s do a little recap. Linda from Calling It Home organizes the ORC, in which the goal is to completely make over one room in six weeks. The first week was all about showing the before pictures (and the way befores when we did our first walkthrough of our new home.)

The next week, I shared the basic layout of our den and a little about my plan of attack for fixing it up. Week three was a very brief update as progress had stalled a bit. And week four was… umm… a slow week.

In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t have taken on this challenge if I had remembered that week three and four would coincide with our school’s two week fall break. Kids at home 24/7 doesn’t allow as much time for productivity around the house.

We also had a little setback with the contractors coming to work on the fireplace. I’m still hopeful that it will be mostly done by next week, but it’s going to be a photo finish.

Den Progress

This past week was all about curtains. Because we have an open plan living area that includes our den, kitchen, and dining room, I wanted the curtains in the den to coordinate with what I have in the dining room since you can see both at the same time.

I found these striped Nautica drapes on The colors are very similar to the dining room curtains but the patterns are totally different.

striped curtains

I really like the drapery rods we used in the dining room, but I couldn’t find the same ones. I did find some that were a similar size in a silver finish. Because the curtains in the dining room span a corner, we had a few extra end pieces. I spray painted the rods and the hardware and mounted them above each window.

drapery rods

Another issue with the windows is that they are set far apart and each window hugs the corner pretty closely, as you can sort of see in the pic above.

Having two full drapery panels on each window was blocking a lot of the window itself and cutting down on the natural light in the room. You can see in the before picture below how little space exists between the corner and the window frame.

den before pic

If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek of my budget curtain hack. I cut each 52″ wide drapery panel in half. After finishing the raw edges, I hung the two halves on each window and bam! Problem solved.

The windows still have curtains, but they aren’t blocking the windows themselves anymore. I’m very happy (and relieved) with how they turned out. Also because I cut each curtain in half, I only needed one set so I saved some money.

den curtain preview

You can also see a peek of my new Craftberry Bush throw pillow from Society6. I love it!

Okay lots of work to do before this room is complete. Wish me luck!

{Linking to Calling It Home, Think & Make Thursday}

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One Room Challenge Week 3 | Stalled Progress

Welcome to another (very uneventful) week of the One Room Challenge. You can see the first week here when I showed the before photos of our den. Last week I shared a basic layout of the room and my design plans. And this week… not much has happened.

Our contractor is busy finishing up another job so he isn’t available to work on the fireplace yet. We’re in the midst of fall break with both kids home full time, so my productivity has stalled a bit.

We’ve been gathering supplies and waiting. I’m hoping to get curtain rods up and work on the gallery wall this weekend, but the curtains themselves won’t get here until Monday.

I did order this little treat from Society6. I love Lucy from Craftberry Bush and I’m excited to have one of her watercolors on a throw pillow!

You can also see some of the inspiration photos I gathered here when we were trying to make a decision about our fireplace design. I can’t wait to see how ours turns out.

Hopefully I’ll have some delayed progress to post on Monday!

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