Today, we’re sharing our favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers!
For the past few years, during the Spring and Fall, we’ve participated in an event called the One Room Challenge. If you’re not familiar with the ORC, it’s a biannual event where guest participants and featured designers work to makeover their spaces (usually from top to bottom) in 6 weeks.
On the outside, 6 weeks seems like a long time to finish a room makeover. You basically start with a sketch, a design board and a plan. Then you begin chipping away at your to do list which feels longer than a CVS receipt until the space is completely transformed.
Even for the most seasoned bloggers and DIYers though, the event is not without challenges or tears because the process is totally exhausting.
That said, it’s equally as exhilarating to stand at the door of a finished room you’ve poured your heart and soul and dreams into knowing you stayed the course and didn’t give up for 6 solid weeks.
Spring 2016 Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers: The Office
Our first One Room Challenge was back in 2016. We transformed my old office into a new and improved work space. Even now when I look back at the old pictures, I can’t get over how much the room changed in just 6 short weeks!
Here’s a look at my dated office before…
and after the ORC makeover.
It’s crazy to think my original design board started out with a black wall, industrial pipe shelving and a printer’s cabinet desk. Team Crowned Goat (my parents and bestie, S) had VERY strong opinions about my initial ideas though.
They lobbied hard against the black wall, which changed the look of the entire room. I’m not gonna lie, it took a ton of compromising along the way.
The office makeover will always be my sentimental favorite because I had to learn how to communicate my ideas effectively, troubleshoot design issues on the fly, navigate the art of compromise and become decisive about my style – all in 6 weeks.
You can read more about our One Room Challenge Office Reveal here.
Spring 2017 Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers: Master Bedroom
With the excitement of the office makeover under our belts, we decided to take on one of the bedrooms in the Spring of 2017.
As with the original office, the bedroom was definitely dated. Over the years, we tried to “spruce it up” with paint and linens but it fell short of the retreat space we envisioned.
It wasn’t until we installed the board and batten
and pulled up the carpet to stencil the concrete floors that we found our signature style.
Up to that point, we hadn’t previously tackled many wall or floor treatment DIYs. Without a doubt, those two projects changed everything!
Ultimately, the grief of my mom losing both of her parents about 36 hours apart took over, and we struggled to the finish line. Looking back, I thought participating in the One Room Challenge would help keep our minds occupied given the heartsick sadness we felt each day.
Now I realize, it just delayed our grieving process.
Still, I’m grateful for the experience even though we had to finish a few projects after the initial reveal.
You can see our full One Room Challenge Master Bedroom Reveal post here.
Spring 2018 Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers: Laundry Room
By the Spring of 2018, we were ready for a fresh start. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to help give the laundry room at my childhood home, Loblolly Manor, a makeover.
I knew this project would be tough from the beginning because we all live several hours away from Loblolly. We were also down a teammate because my bestie S who had helped on the previous ORC makeovers was scheduled to have shoulder surgery and could barely lift a hammer.
Through it all, we found a way to soldier on and just before Mother’s Day we were excited to reveal a French Country cottage style laundry room to my Mom. She loved it!
Of course, I never intended for the air return to be 8 feet tall. But as always, my Dad takes our design dreams and makes them even bigger ?
You can find even more details in the Loblolly Manor: Laundry Room Makeover Reveal Post here.
Fall 2018 Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers: Kitchen & Pantry
Once the laundry room project was finished, I spent the Summer painting most of the walls in our house Valspar’s Bistro White. As I was painting, I decided we should add character to the kitchen with shiplap and give the pantry a small makeover for the Fall 2018 ORC.
Looking back, I was SO naïve as to how long it would take to actually install the shiplap. Never mind, painting the shiplap, plus repainting the kitchen cabinets and painting and stenciling the textured walls of our tiny pantry too.
Despite my naivety, three weeks into the One Room Challenge we were making great progress as we neared the finish line. Our project completion date was the first week of November.
Then S had a major fall down the stairs at work and severely damaged both of her legs.
I can honestly say, the next two weeks were a total blur as my parents helped to finish the kitchen and pantry. All while simultaneously building ramps for S’s wheelchair, and making sure we had food and supplies.
It was not an easy task.
Especially given they were also trying to steady my nerves for everything that encompassed having to be the sole caregiver of someone that was completely dependent while living in a construction zone.
I am not even playing when I say, I could work every day to repay my parents for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket to how much they helped during that time.
The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the entire house. I see my parents hard work and love in every seam of shiplap, every brushstroke of white paint, in every bee stenciled in the pantry and in every crystal in the chandelier. They are total rock stars!
You can read all about our adventures, in our ORC: Kitchen and Pantry Makeover Reveal Post here.
Spring 2019 Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers: Bedroom
By the Spring of 2019, I really needed a break. Honestly, I was this close to not participating in the One Room Challenge. S’s care had taken a lot out of me both physically and emotionally. But I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling of “If not now, when?”
That’s the great thing about the ORC, it forces you to be fully committed and doggedly persistent for 6 weeks, laser focused on accomplishing your goal.
S was still in the recovery phase of her accident and was unable to help. So, I talked it over with the rest of Team Crowned Goat. They graciously offered to help me complete the bedroom.
It was supposed to be the easiest of all the ORC makeovers.
After all, I had most of the furniture already in place. We weren’t installing any wall treatments and the room didn’t need more than new linens, curtains, a bed crown and a fresh coat of paint.
About two weeks into the project though, my Dad had a heart attack.
You can’t make this stuff up.
I was ready to give up on finishing the bedroom makeover when he told me he fully expected to rally to the finish line.
And rally we did.
My favorite project we completed for the Spring 2019 ORC was definitely the bed crown my Dad built. It was another one of those ideas that changed the space entirely.
You can read about our Spring 2019 One Room Challenge Bedroom Makeover here .
While we’ll miss this season because we’ll be traveling and celebrating the anniversary of S’s recovery during the One Room Challenge, it’s still an event we look forward to each year.
It’s amazing to see the way so many makeovers come together over the course of 6 weeks. You can visit both current and past seasons of the One Room Challenge here.
Our Favorite One Room Challenge Makeovers and Project Takeaways
If you’re planning to tackle a new project or room refresh, my best takeaways from our favorite One Room Challenge makeovers are…
1. Have a design plan, color palette and a game plan in mind before you get started. Even if it’s just a loose idea, it will be easier to complete the makeover in your desired timeline.
2. Understand your priorities and non-negotiables from the beginning. It will help you manage your budget better, especially if an unexpected expense comes up
3. Before you order rugs, linens, curtains, artwork and accessories, make sure the larger pieces of furniture you’ll be using for the makeover are in place.
4. Don’t be afraid to mix high/low costs items, it’s a budget friendly way to get a layered look
5. If you’re working on multiple spaces at once, shop holidays sales to help stretch your budget even further. Most of the time, you can pick up everything from paint to furniture to rugs to accessories at a discounted price.