Welcome to week four of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda of Calling It Home and sponsored by House Beautiful. If you are new here, so glad you found me. Please do stick around a bit and check things out. New to the challenge? You have come to the right place. Each spring and fall, design bloggers test our skills and try new things in a six-week challenge to refresh or finish or completely transform a space. Want to catch up on this project? Here’s what happened in week 1 (and 2) as well as our progress from last week.
For whatever reason, I’ve had a portion of the voice over from the Muppets veterinary hospital skit rolling through my head for the last week. Totally dating myself, but c’mon. Anyone remember it? “… [T]he continuing stooooory of a quack who’s gone to the dogs…” Definitely watch the whole clip (after you finish reading this, of course). When was the last time you heard that many corny jokes in a row? Life has been a little bit like an overdramatized soap-opera around here lately (and I'm not talking about this challenge). I think it is going to my head. Like Rolf, I’m hoping my sense of humor is staying intact.
What does this have to do with the One Room Challenge you ask? Plenty. Decorating can be oh so dramatic if we let it. But really, it isn’t rocket science. It’s just decorating. And all the time lines or budgets or setbacks in the world don’t change that. Decorating is definitely a place to keep your sense of humor.
Remember how last week, I told you that we settled on a room layout? It looked like this:
We found space for a study area and found cushions for a cozy little nook and still had space to walk around (albeit not a ton).
Scratch that. All of it. In the past week, the furniture in this room has been moved at least three more times. Remember how I said we couldn’t put Nicky’s bed against a wall to give her the cozy corner bed that she was so keyed in on? I was totally wrong. I said it would be awkward and dismissed it as not possible. Guess what. The corner, my friends, is exactly where Nicky’s bed is today.
I’m stating the obvious when I say that a kid’s wishes for his or her room and a parent’s wishes for that same room are often in conflict. If my youngest daughter had her way, the Skittle rainbow would throw up all over her room and there would be Gryffindor flags flying from the ceiling. Not going to happen.
In this case, Nicky really wanted her bed in the corner, piled high with pillows. She may not have been ready to say that’s what she wanted when we started this project or maybe she didn’t really know that’s what she wanted until we tried some other “cozy corner” options. Meanwhile, Nicky’s mom, Deb, wanted a traditional bedroom arrangement with two bedside tables balancing out the headboard and matching lamps on either side. In all fairness, Deb mostly wanted this because she didn’t have a place to put the other bedside table and lamp. Also, practically speaking, you and I both know what happens to beds piled high with pillows: pillows all over the floor (umm, stuffed animal collection anyone?). So Deb had a decision to make as a parent: was it more important to keep all the furniture where it “should” go or let Nicky create her own space? Neither was the wrong answer and neither was the right answer, they were just in conflict.
It’s easy for me to sit here and say “let the kids make their space their own”, but since there are NEVER going to be Gryffindor flags hanging from a ceiling in any room of my house no matter how much my daughter may love Harry Potter, that statement wouldn’t be completely sincere. Truthfully, though, there are battles we chose to fight as parents and those we chose not to fight. Two bedside tables was not a battle Deb needed to fight. (Let me be clear here that there was no actual battle. Nicky had an idea, and her mom knew it was what Nicky really wanted. Deb went with it because it seemed like the right thing to do and there wasn’t any real cost to the decision. No drama, no battle, but a good reminder to the rest of us.)
SO. We shifted our inspiration ever so slightly and the furniture is now set.
You may not think there has been much progress. I mean, the desk is in the same place that it was when we started this project. Trust me, there has been a ton of progress. In the last week, that desk has been on every wall in this room. This week, we decided on a furniture layout (again), decided to skip the existing bedding in favor of a clean white duvet, and decided to paint the ceiling blush (I’m a little anxious about this one if we are being honest – threw it out there as the idea girl that I am and it stuck so, you know, no pressure). We talked a lot about paint colors, specifically distribution of values (we will move on to the law of chromatic distribution quickly, I think), we looked at a lot of rugs, we sorted through the first round of art, and made some pillow selections.
I had every intention of writing about rug selection and bedding this week. Truth: you can read about rug selection and bedding anywhere. Isn’t it really what’s behind the design that makes this challenge interesting? Isn’t it the process and the changes and the curve balls and the suspense that maybe the room won’t actually get done by the (somewhat arbitrary) deadline? This isn’t a project about a rug and bedding. It is a project about a teenager. It’s about a girl who is developing a voice and we get to see a little snip-it of that in how she creates her universe (in this case, her bedroom, because if she’s anything like my teens, her universe is connected to her phone and I’m not even going there). Don’t worry, I’m not getting all Miss Piggy dramatic on you. It’s still just decorating. But let’s not forget that there are humans living in these rooms that we challenge ourselves to transform.
Tune in next week, when you’ll hear Nurse Piggy say, “What has become of my bookshelf? And where will I do my makeup?”
You know what to do next. Go check out the 200+ transformations linked up on Linda’s blog. (For the record, I’m totally loving Rachel’s project so far and I love Abby Manchesky so am following along closely with her official challenge project.) See you all next week!