Country Loft Retreat- ORC Spring 2019 ~ Soul in an Empty Room

One Room Challenge
One Room Challenge- Spring 2019

Finishing Touches ~ Adding Soul to a New Room


Week 6 – One Room Challenge Reveal!!

Whether you are building a new space or renovating completely, once the hard work of construction is complete you are faced with an empty space.  What do you do now?  We are completing the One Room Challenge where designers, design lovers and DIY’ers have committed to completing a room (or space) in 6 short weeks!! We have all come down to the final week where we are scrambling to do all the finishing touches, decor, photography, etc. to get ready for OUR REVEAL!

Now we begin the task of bringing the room to life, creating soul in the space that says something about the people who live here.  We have started that process for the Country Loft Retreat by adding all important texture with wood trim, salvage barn boards for the fireplace, wood tongue and groove boards to highlight some architectural details and of course, the wallpaper, carpet and paint.  These are the bones of the room and they have to start to tell the story.  Then we move onto the furniture and decor, lighting, window treatments, and art.  Today I am going to give you a few sneak peeks as well as a bit of philosophizing.

I have always intended this room to be an all purpose space for reading, relaxing, and socializing.  A comfortable space for sitting high up with a view to the woods, reading quietly, and maybe just daydreaming!  This room should also be a nice place for playing games or cards with a few friends, or maybe just a quiet place to gather with friends for a drink.  The added bonus of the fireplace up here will make this a cozy place in the winter or fall.

Furnishing with Antiques or Vintage

When furnishing a room with soul or character, I love to have some vintage pieces incorporated into the design.  The patina, or the impression they have “lived a life” definitely creates a sense of pieces gathered over time, a part of personal history.  Something you just can’t get from a whole room full of new furniture!  I have a beautiful rattan sofa that I absolutely love and it has been a piece of furniture that I have had with me since I owned my first house back in the 70’s.  My mother, grandmother, and I have all shared a love of wicker and rattan since I was a youngster – I grew up with it, and I am always drawn to interesting pieces whenever I see them at shops or estate sales.


Antique German cupboard door

rattan chair from my vintage set

Another large piece of furniture that I am using in the room is a large antique German cupboard that was handed down to me from my mom.  My parents found this piece somewhere in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the 40’s when they lived in a big Victorian in Hackettstown, NJ.  When I was a kid it always was our board game cupboard, and my younger brother’s Lego were in one of the bottom drawers.  I have always loved this piece for its strong lines and simple construction, plus it breaks down into pieces, making it easy to move around, a real bonus in a large armoire/cupboard type piece of furniture.  I have had it here in Hollis for the last 30 years and hope to hand it down to one of my sons.  It makes me smile to think that the simple country builder who made it would like that it is still practical and usable over 1oo years later!

Art, Fabric and Special Touches

I also want this room to be fresh and bright so I am using the color palette and the art to lighten the space.  In addition, I am going to keep the room fairly open to encourage the sense of spaciousness.  The fabrics you choose for a room design are often the start of the color palette and overall “feel” of a room.  If you want the room to feel cozy, you might use woolens, knitted throws, mohair and leather to create lots of tactile textures.  Natural fibers like linen and the texture of the weave of a fabric create a sense of lightness or softness.  The popular “hygge” sense of calmness and serene coziness is evoked by the fabrics and materials used.

I think the art you select for a space should be pieces you love and that speak to you – but those choices will absolutely create a “look” and “feel” for the room you are placing it in.  I have a lot of art that I just have not had the place to display and I am excited to be able to create some rotating displays along one long wall.  Changing up the pieces along that “gallery ” wall will keep the look fresh and new every time I move a piece.

I always have more books than places to put them, so having a place for more books that I can dip into is going to be a real pleasure.  There are some quirky items that speak to me, some “found objects” that are memories for me that will find a home in this room.  A piece of driftwood from my time in the Pacific Northwest, mementos from other trips, every item has a story….what might you select that tells your story?

Embrace Your Story – Create a Room with Soul

I hope the illustrations I mention above got you thinking about your rooms?  What do you have in your home that tells the story of you and your family?  What family pieces might you pull out of hiding and give a new lease on life?  Do you have something that reminds you of your beloved Grandmother, or a favorite time in your life?

Reveal – Items Yet to be Complete

Baseboard and flooring installed – finishing almost done

Carpet Install – Home Depot -happening Monday, will post in updates

Paint woodwork, walls, stairs – in process

Install window treatment – my installer Warren ~ scheduled for Tuesday

Decorate! – in process, waiting for carpet install and painting to be complete

Photograph – final shots will be in updates

Wallpaper will be here, but unfortunately, my installer is not available until the 24th… sad…but it is the name of the game and we try to roll with the disappointments…

I find this is reality for any renovation….many of the items that will complete the room have been delayed for scheduling issues, shipping issues, and availability issues.  My room is so close to having everything complete and beautiful for photos, but right now it is not ready for its close-up!  I have taken the room from a completely cluttered attic space to an open spacious room – but it is essentially still an open white box! I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to put the soul into this brand new space…..

The One Room Challenge is exactly that…A CHALLENGE!!  I so admire everyone who participates and it is such an energizing community as we all work on our projects.  I am always inspired to take part and I have several rooms in my home that have benefited from the process.  I completed a client room for one challenge session and they are still loving the work we did on such a quick timeline.  Seriously, when Linda Weinstein of Calling It Home created the whole One Room Challenge, she had a genius idea that has inspired so many people over the years and it is still going strong!

Be sure and visit the One Room Challenge website and see all the beautiful rooms that have been done this session!  The Featured Designers have completed kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms, bathrooms and a whole apartment in these quick 6 weeks!  A kitchen in 6 weeks!!  Amazingly good work has also been done by the Guest Participants, from a whole space done for under $500.00 to colorful master bedrooms and everything in between – seriously good work and so much creative excellence!  I will be back in a week (or two, max!) to share updates and the photos of my Country Loft Retreat…I am very excited to be this close and I can’t wait to show you the completed vision I have been working toward!





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