Here we go again! For the seventh time, I am throwing my hat into the ring for the One Room Challenge.
To date, I have transformed four rooms in my own home, as well as two with great clients as part of the One Room Challenge. If you are not familiar with this twice-annual event, allow me to explain! The whole concept is that participants jump on board for a whirlwind 6-week project in their home (or someone else’s!), documenting all the ups and downs, wins and losses, etc. on their blog and/or Instagram each week, leading up to the big reveal.
(And if you’re not familiar with me…hi! My name is Kelly Rogers – I live and work in the Boston area with my husband, two sons (aged 9 and 6), and our 12-year-old beagle son. My business is Kelly Rogers Interiors, a boutique residential interior design firm which is focused on creating family-friendly interiors for its clients both near and far!)
Linda Weinstein is the evil (but actually super nice 😉 ) genius behind the ORC. Each season she hand-picks 20 featured designers – I was lucky enough to be one a couple of years ago – and invites EVERYONE else to be a guest participant. It is a really fun thing to do, and the sense of accomplishment when you finish keeps me coming back for more!
If you’ve known me and have seen the rooms I’ve transformed, as well as followed along with my home renovation a few years back, you’re probably wondering how I could possibly have more rooms that need help. Well let me tell you, I have more than a few! Including every single bathroom in my house, which was built in 1896. Projects for many more years to come…
If you had asked me six months ago what the next project would be here it would have been our main bedroom suite, including the bathroom and closet. Followed by several other spaces (bathrooms!). Somewhere in the bottom two on a lengthy list would have been dealing with the shell of a home theater, left for dead after the previous homeowner took all of the state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and custom furniture with them when we bought the house back in 2013.
Its first incarnation, if you can call it that, was as a makeshift playroom. Pretty much any adult male who came into the room was like, aww c’mon man! They couldn’t believe we would squander such a badass home theater, and worse, fill it with a bunch of baby toys. The horror!
I always imagined that one day, years from now, I would give the theater a facelift and recommission it as a theater. And then (cue record scratching noise) March 2020 rolled around, and everything changed in our world. We found ourselves confined to our home, and clinging onto some feeling of normalcy by continuing our passions at home via Zoom, rather than at the studio. I had started ballroom dancing (Latin and Rhythm styles) about a year and a half ago and it quickly became a ‘serious hobby’/near-obsession. Both of my boys have been practicing Kung fu – I really love the dual focus on physical fitness and self-discipline/moral development.
We have a very small home gym in our basement, so we started out doing everything in there. It seemed like the natural thing to do. After a couple of months, though, it dawned on me that we already had a room with hardwood flooring and a lot more space to move – the theater room! Henceforth, the theater room became our headquarters for all of our ‘movement’ activities.
And the more time I spent in there, I began to realize that, although our need for Zoom might be temporary, the way in which we were using the room need not be. We didn’t really need or have a big desire for a home theater or media room anyway…why not make it into a proper studio for dance and Kung fu practice? Why not make an investment in the health and well-being of my entire family? It may have taken a global pandemic to make me realize it, but having this space under our roof will improve our collective physical and mental health tremendously.
The floor is pretty good right now, but it could be even bigger if we remove the platform/seating tier. It will be so exciting to be able to do samba practice without spinning around in little tiny circles! And aesthetically…there is a lot of work to do. It was intentionally made to be a very dark, sound and light-absorbing space. We need much better lighting, an actual built-in sound system (the freestanding speakers were taken by the prior owners, too), and a screen larger than my iPad Pro :), and some color up in here.
Once this project unexpectedly floated to the top of our family’s priority list, I also started thinking about some other odds and ends I wanted to address in the basement – namely, sprucing up the little kitchenette / snack bar directly outside the theater room, as well as the hallway connecting the theater to the home gym. And while we’ve got the painters here, I think we’ll go ahead and paint the gym and repair the head-sized hole in the wall, from where my son Eamon (6) fell off the treadmill a couple of years ago while trying to impress a playmate.
I reached out to the contractor that did our home renovation back in 2017, and fortunately they are available. And seemingly able to turn around the project within the necessary timeframe. Let’s do this!
So here is the plan for the next six weeks:
- Demo! Remove all of the pilasters/heavy millwork and upholstered wall and ceiling panels
- Implement audio/visual solution with a TV screen, Apple TV, DVD player (yes, we still use exercise DVDs!) and built-in speakers; integrated with our home’s existing Sonos-based system
- Add blueboard/plaster walls, paint, wallpaper, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors
- Replace all lighting fixtures
- Procure Kung fu equipment and storage solutions
- Paint cabinets and replace hardware in kitchenette
- Paint basement hallway and existing home gym
- Source and hang artwork
- Photograph the finished space and reveal here
- Start enjoying our new and improved dance, Kung fu, and movement studio!
I’ll be back next week to reveal my big design plans for the studio! I will also be sharing some of the process on my Instagram feed, so you can follow me there as well. The project hashtag is #KRIProjectILikeToMoveIt.
Until then, hop over to the One Room Challenge to see what the other guest and featured participants are cooking up. I can’t wait to see what projects everyone is tackling this season! And I hope to see you here next week for my Week 2 update!
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