One Room Challenge – Week Five


I am beginning to feel a little nostalgic coming into week 5 of the One Room Challenge, brought to us all by the fabulous Linda of Calling it Home. Partly because, well the majority of everything is complete; leaving me mostly with styling and photographing the space for the big final reveal next week.  For those of you who have just joined us, welcome.  Please feel free to take a stroll back through memory lane of my journey the last five weeks.  I’ve certainly learned more about myself and my comfort zones than anything else these last several weeks.

Week One: The Plan

Week Two: The execution

Week Three: The procrastination

Week Four: The freak out/progress…

Here is the updated master to do list. Next week I will include a source list for all items found in the space, both completed within the One Room Challenge and those that I already had (in the basement “design shop”)

  • Remove horrible and ugly dated banister and patch the (hopeful) hardwoods beneath. Please lord, let the hardwoods be in good shape and please let me not have to keep it for building code reasons. This right here was the “You’re going to do what? Comment.
  • Center seating area on the fireplace. This has bothered me from day one. With the banister in place, it really limits you on where you can place furniture. Until now the couch has been on the banister wall and we have a bowling alley down the middle.
  • Create a secondary focal wall, so that no matter where you sit in the room, you have a pretty view. Have I mentioned that I have and OCD tendency for perfect symmetry? Well this is three quarters done. I still have to paint and mount my large platter holder, but I did get all of the artwork up as well as the other plates, and I am really digging the results.   ,So I didn’t like the way the large platter was reading from my original design plan and felt like the room really needed a slightly more interesting pop in the middle of the two new lamps. So I found a little gem in the Ballard Designs holiday catalog that is a fabulous find, and a little nod to my Alma Matter (Meredith College). I have to save exactly what it is for the final reveal, but I think it is just HEAVENLY!
Can you guess what I am?
  • Purchase; Frame new artwork prints from the amazing Charleston artist Lulie Wallace. Seriously you need to check out her florals and her new tabletop series. She also has textiles and lunchboxes!
  • Purchase lighting. I really don’t understand why builders don’t put overhead lighting in homes. Let’s face it, cost. So, I am going to attempt to source some super cool lighting that I can use on top of an existing buffet. Then the piece de resistance… ceiling swag for the seating area. I am going to have to get really creative since hubbie is keeping me on a very tight budget for this. Super excited that my package from Shades of Light arrived way early of the ship date. Now, will it make it into the space or not?  Here is my design dilemma, this upcoming holiday we will be purchasing a big, fancy, new LED TV to put over the mantle. Everything that I have wanted to do (with the exception of pot/can down-lights) will impede the vision of the TV. This is not to say whatever I purchased for the space will not find it’s way into my home. In fact, I already know exactly where it is going. Stay tuned to find out, in the room or else where.
  • Purchase a coffee table. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing that I haven’t had one. Or what is worse that we have been using my daughters play table as our coffee table. It’s fair to say, that while the finish may not be exactly what I was hoping for. It really isn’t bothering me enough to make more work for myself. I guess I can always go back and stain the top, but for now, it will remain as is.
  • Keep an area for my daughter to have her play table and chairs. This will also involve the use of creative storage solutions (i.e. baskets galore) to hide those fabulous brain stimulating, make your kid smart, bright and obnoxious toys!  Does anyone else have the issue of toy multiplication? We try to keep all of my daughter’s toys downstairs in a huge finished basement/family room. However, for some reason, I feel as if these toys multiply overnight and spread throughout the house. Until now we’ve done a great job of keeping them consolidated, but I guess now that we actually have furniture and have been spending time in the room, a certain someone wants to spend time in the room as well.
Hey Cinderella, how you doin' ?
Hey Cinderella, how you doin’ ?
  • Make throw pillows. I collect fabric and I’ve found some major winners on While I do know how to sew, it is not something I enjoy. Mostly because to do it right, it requires taking up lots of space and making a MESS.
  • Drink some wine. I figure this will more than likely be a vital part of this challenge. Did I mention I have a two year old and a full time job.
  • Source and or make new MAUVE drapery panels. Still having a hard time typing that MAUVE… So, I may be retreating on the mauve Well here is the big internal fight I have going on in my head this week. Mauve has now turned into Magenta…. Do I, or don’t I. While I do love that the magenta is out of my comfort zone and adds a pop of color that ties in all of my accents. This particular hue of magenta is so rich that it really darkens the space both visually and physically. The room feels heavy, which I really do not love. I found these guys at a recent trip to Ikea and the fact they were done, cheap and done were rather appealing, so they came home with me for a visit. I am giving them one week hung to see how I feel. I custom made my gray/black/ivory horizontal panels for my last home and I have really loved them for their simplicity and ability to go with just about anything. We shall see, what is your vote? Team Magenta or Team Neutral (gray/black/ivory)
What is your vote? Team Magenta or Team horizontal stripe?
What is your vote? Team Magenta or Team horizontal stripe?
  • Accessorize, style and find a photographer to capture some really amazing shots of the completed project. Still searching for that photographer in the Northern VA area that may want to help build their portfolio and help me photograph the final product. I’ve come to the realization that I will be my own professional photographer for the final reveal. Good thing I have a couple classes under my belt, see honey, I do get to use that big fancy Interior Design Degree with a minor in Studio Art…. Actually, I do use this daily in my day job in the land of Interior Design for the Federal Government.
Hit up NeoCon East today.... Not nearly as glamorous as Chicago, but it will do.
Hit up NeoCon East today…. Not nearly as glamorous as Chicago, but it will do.

I’m super excited with all of the progress I‘ve made and while I wasn’t as ambitious as some of my fellow One Room Challengers, it has really forced me to get in gear and finish this space.  I’m already planning how I can do my master bath next Spring!  Of course in true designer fashion, I already own my granite slab and it has been waiting at the fabricators for its install for almost six months now… Design commitment for myself is not as easy and straightforward as one would think.  Anyways, until next spring!  Be sure to check out the amazing One Room Challenge participants on Calling it Home here. Also take a look at the linking participant’s journey to crazy town!  This has been one heck of a journey for me.  I am proud to say, it has been a relatively argument free zone with the hubby.  Partly because I prefaced the whole process with, no commentary on what you like and don’t like until it’s been complete for a month and then, I will take your opinions and discussions.

So next week is the big reveal, so until then I will be in the land of super deep cleaning, flower shopping, styling and photographing!  Pray for a bright and sunny weekend, so I can capture the room in great light!  Until then!


XoXo, Emily


Inspiration Station….. Floors and Ceilings

Today I am sharing some personal photographs from my trip to Italy a few years back.  It always amazes me to see craftsmanship from many moons ago and realize that they did all of this without the technology available to us today.

Beautiful Floor 2 Floors 2

This floor is from one of my favorite Catherdral floors, Brunelleschi’s  “Santa Maria del Fiore” in Florence.  I am just thinking how many versions of this floor design were there? 🙂 Yes, I wish I was more patient, but I am a CAD drafter.  I will usually start with a sketch, but that left brain logical side of me, always wants it to be technically perfect, so CAD it is. Notice that the floor color scheme is a nice neutral mix of black, gray, white and tan marbles….. That is so that even as ornate and detailed as the floors, it doesn’t clash with the amazing frescoes….

ceilings 3

Designed by Giorgio Vasari but executed by Frederico Zuccari.

Mosaic tiles at Paestum 2

It really amazes me to see patterns like the one above and realize that this is still popular now.  The photo is from the Greek ruins of Paestum, in the region of Cilento south of the Almafi coast.  This site it truly an amazing one and a must see if you are in that neck of the woods.  It has some of the most complete Doric temples in Italy.  Not to mention walking the grounds really takes you back and is such a treat to discover the details of the mosaics that are still in tact all these years later!!

ceiling Floors

I couldn’t do a post about floors and ceilings without mentioning one of my favorite Cathedral’s,  Duomo di Pisa, which is an amazing masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.  It has so many details everywhere, from the mosaics on the floor that create an area rug of sorts, to the AMAZING black and white marble horizontal stripes that surround the columns, pure heaven for my eyes.

st peters window 2 St peters 2

I couldn’t post without a photo of one of the most amazing, religious experiences that I had on my journey.  St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.  The photo on the left, was the first experience I got walking into this hallowed ground.  The beam of sunlight in the left window that perfectly highlights an adjacent relic in one of the side chapels.  Now that is detail not to mention gives you chill bumps!  I actually had to walk the whole space and experience it all before I went back in a second time to photograph it.   Let just put it this way, I wish I had my laptop with all of my notes from Art History class…

I had to put this all in perspective and really appreciate the fine art of not only the design of the details but the execution.  We can design the most amazing spaces in the world but if you don’t have a good tradesman to do it for you, then it really doesn’t matter how great your design is, all anyone will see is the flaws.  Do your homework before hiring any contractors.  The best value may not always be the low price, but the combination of previous experience and amazing references.  As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.