After sitting out last spring, I am thrilled to be participating in my third One Room Challenge, the bi-annual blogger extravaganza put on by Linda at Calling it Home (whom I had the pleasure of meeting this past summer, what a treat!).
If you are new to the ORC – here’s how it works…20 preeminent design bloggers are invited each April and October to transform a room in just 6 weeks, while documenting the transformation each Wednesday on their respective blogs. I am not one of these bloggers :). Linda also graciously opens the doors to anyone and everyone who would like to play as guest participants; we post our updates on Thursdays and link up at Calling it Home.
Thanks to ORC, I mustered the motivation (and the deadline!) I needed to finish two projects in my home:
1.) My vestibule
I am back to tackle another neglected space in my house – you can’t really even call it a room! It’s a landing area on the 2nd floor, sandwiched between my son’s bedroom and my office. I’m creating a place for my boys (ages 5 and 2) to play Legos and cars, and for the whole family to read together, play cards, and stage intense games of Monopoly for many years to come.
Here’s what the landing looked like right after I had it painted in 2014…
And we never did anything with it after that, except store a faded sofa from our previous home that didn’t fit in the room, and my son’s old changing table, which he no longer needed after becoming potty trained.
The antique chandelier was brought here by the previous owner of our home. It was excluded in the real estate listing, but I loved it so we negotiated. She said it once hung in a Parisian opera house.
I held my phone high for that shot, and made a mental note of how much more striking it appeared against the dark background (vs. the first picture above, where the opaque glass shades get somewhat lost on the white window trim).
My plans to do ‘something’ with the landing were derailed by the infamous New England winter of 2015. As a result of the incessant and prolific snows, and perpetually frigid temps, we all added “ice dams” to our vocabularies that year. We learned how to use a roof rake, and how to fabricate an ice-melting sausage with rock salt and pantyhose. We, along with so many New Englanders, watched helplessly while water penetrated our homes numerous times during the course of the season, causing both anxiety and real damage. By the end of the winter, we had 9 different locations in our home that had leaked – some worse than others. The landing was actually the last to succumb.
The damage was not catastrophic, but we did have bubbling plaster and warped and misaligned (as a result) window casings that needed to be fixed.
Flash forward to September 2016, just a couple of weeks ago, when we finally got around to starting the process of repairing the damage!
OK, so now that we have a sense for the current state of the room, let’s have a little preview of my preliminary scheme for the finished product, shall we?
[If you follow me on Instagram, this might look familiar. I did indeed post this several months ago. I am just now getting around to actually doing something to bring it to fruition. I’ll tell you more about it next week!]
The landing is approximately 7′ x10′ – and part of that floor space is occupied by immovable, yet quite beautiful radiators. (Incidentally, these radiators are also preventing me from being able to hang draperies on these windows. Sigh.). So the floor plan is going to be pretty simple – two lounge chairs on one side, a small sofa on the other, and a coffee table in the middle. Fresh paint, a rug, a window treatment, artwork, and possibly a little side table and a task floor lamp or two, and the room will be done!
Sounds simple…right? I wish it were. Every round of the ORC presents a unique challenge. This time around, I’m most concerned that Humpty Dumpty will not be put back together again, so to speak, in time for the reveal. The repair process goes something like this: A restoration company comes and rips open the wall, making sure there is no additional damage or mold lurking behind the circa 1896 horsehair plaster, lathe, and fireblocking. Then, my contractor will come and make it look like nothing happened. My contractor is also working on some exterior repairs, also related to the infamous ice dams, and they are under some time constraints to make sure they can finish before the exterior painting season is over in this part of the country. I am just crossing my fingers that they can get them both done, right around the same time!!
That’s my plan – I can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to this session! You can check out the 20 featured bloggers here, and the who-knows-how-many guest participants here. I’ll be posting ORC updates on Instagram, too (#KRIProjectPerfectLanding), as will many others (just search on #oneroomchallenge to see what I mean!). For Week 2, I hope to have a positive construction update, and I’ll share where I’m at with the decorating process. I hope to see you back here then!