One Room Challenge – Spring 2016

 Here we are again at the beginning of another One Room Challenge!

eric cohler raffia wall

Eric Cohler Design

This wonderful hallway with a glimpse into the intriguing bedroom is one of my color inspirations for the rooms that I am choosing to do this round.  For those not familiar, or who have found our conversations for the first time, the One Room Challenge (ORC) is a little internet/blogging/design challenge where we commit ourselves to transform a space completely in 6 short weeks.  This is the 10th year of the ORC created by Linda of Calling it Home and this is the second time that I have decided to join in the fun and excitement ( somewhat scary, but fun to push oneself, yes?)  The last time I did a wonderful friend and client’s Dining Room. (You can read all about the ups and downs we had along the way!)


tom scheerer decorates cover thumb3

I love Tom Sheerer’s work and I loved this room with the brown and red and all the layered textures and patterns!  Add a good dose of black to the room and we are all set with our color palette.


Every project starts with an inspiration, as well as a problem space.  I have decided to tackle 3 areas in my own house that are all connected and interrelated, and they have been put on the back burner for far too long!  The rooms are my Family Room/TV room and the attached small half-bath and laundry room.

I live in a fairly routine center entry colonial built in 1979 in Hollis, NH.  There are several nice details that make the house special, but basically it is the same type house that has been built all over New England since 1960.  Hollis is a lovely, classic, little New Hampshire town (Town green, antique farms, apple orchards, and everything!) and a great place to raise our family.  But, like many designers, my own home has been neglected while I have grown my business AND my family!  Now that the boys are grown, I feel I really should pull these rooms together and start enjoying the empty nest… (too empty and quiet, but still….)

I’ve been gradually updating and redecorating along the way, but honestly, every space needs a re-do and I am working my way through every room.  The main baths need a major overhaul, though we had to replace the windows throughout the whole house this winter, so the baths have moved a little further down the list. (cobbler’s children have no shoes, remember?)


castine maine in fall Loi Thai from tone on tone

Loi Thai from Tone on Tone Antiques took this great photo in Castine, ME….how’s that for classic New England?


But, back to my home.  Problems that I need to solve with this makeover:

  • Small rooms, fairly dark and with a few proportion issues that make them less functional than I would like.  We aren’t doing any true renovations, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to improve things.
  • Neglected decor and the rooms have become quite a catch-all for random items and clutter.  Plus, a general lack of storage.  But, several of those pieces of “clutter” are treasured memories and pieces that I can’t part with – so I need to honor their place in my life.  “Honor the History – Live for Today” goes for me as well!
  • The family room is our real “gathering room” so we need to have lots of seating in a relatively small space.  The laundry needs to be a MUCH more enjoyable place to be!  The half bath is going to be elevated to “Powder Room” and I plan some interesting details, including a crystal chandelier!
  • Right now everything feels pretty boring…so I want to really amp up the pizazz.  More color, and MUCH more lively!!  But still cozy, relaxed, and inviting.


OK….deep breath… is the SAD state of affairs that I am starting with…we have a long way to go, and as a designer, I am reee-ally pulling back the curtain here, so I hope you cheer me on along the way!!  At least come back next week where I can show you some of the plans and details I will be using in each room…I’ve been in this house for over 20 years and we have  some necessary interim work to show you before we can get to all the good stuff!

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Getting ready to paint so we have a clean slate to work with

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Priming out the pine board paneling- amazing how the light even in a dark room can affect the pine.

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Refinishing the floor – I manhandled that floor sander!

Door on the left is the Laundry room and the door on the right is the Half bath.


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Still getting to that clean slate!

laundry drywall chase

Removing too small broom closet from laundry allowed us to have a place for the new heating system venting.

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  Laundry after removing old wallpaper and installing new tile flooring

bathroom before

Half Bath Before-

Be sure and visit all the interesting designers doing a 6-week makeover – the 20 featured designers are doing some amazing projects, and the linking partners on Thursdays are a talented and dedicated group.  I can’t wait to see what they are up to!



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