• One Room Challenge - Guest Participant - Fall 2019 Week 1

October 03, 2019


It’s the most wonderful time of the year for so many reasons. For me, it’s when I get to participate in the most inspiring interior design and décor event – the One Room Challenge with official media partner Better Homes & Gardens. 

In this 6-week long event, participants transform a room with the best before and after pics you’ve ever seen. Every week participants share progress, tips, sources and pics all the way up to the final reveal. I was a guest participant last spring and I am doing it again this fall. Last season, I took on the kids’ bathroom with a complete gut job that took it from a dated 70’s cave to a more functional and stylish restroom. This year, I am taking on our living room and we’re focusing on the fun part…decorating.

I always start a project with some good eye candy and inspiration pics. These are my two main inspiration pics for the California modern look I’m going for.

Step 1- Inspiration


 Photo of Jenni Kayne's home.  Photo by David Tsay for One Kings Lane

I find it easier to start a mood board on Pinterest. It makes it easy to pin pics from the web and keeps it in a nice organized spot. You can also cut out pics from magazines, furniture catalogs, or whatever works for you. My favorite sources of inspiration are:



ORC – previous seasons


Schoolhouse Ideas



Emily Henderson blog

Better Homes & Gardens

Looking at the pictures, I pull out and analyze the things I love most. In this case, as with most of my house, it’s the white, wood and natural elements. That means white walls, warm wood furniture and loads of natural textiles such as sisal, jute and organic décor.

First on the agenda, paint the walls Simply White by Benjamin Moore. They were China White, also by Benjamin Moore, but it wasn’t enough contrast to the furniture and décor I want to bring into the room. Painting a room is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a space, especially if you paint it yourself.

In the 10 years that we’ve been in this house, this room has gone from dark, worn wood floors, with dark paint and even darker trim. There was also small door connecting it to the adjoining room. Our first step in updating was replacing the floors with wide-plank maple wood, painting the room a light color and painting the trim bright white. We used this room as a dining room for the first several years until we opened up the wall between this room and the adjoining room.

We then swapped the living and dining room and what a huge difference this made. It brought so much more light into the space and moved the dining area closer to the kitchen which improved overall functionality and flow within the open concept we wanted.

You A few years later, we installed recessed lights in the ceiling adding even more light to the space.

Now we’re at the fun part…decorating.

We liked the décor we had before, but wanted a more California modern look. This room opens up to other rooms in the house so it has to be cohesive with the same overall style…. hence the white, warm wood and other natural elements.

So far we are making great progress. Week 1 down and we are loving the new Benjamin Moor Simply White on our walls. It’s a great backdrop for the bright and airy, California modern look we’re going for. Next week I’ll be highlighting all the places I shopped for seating. Who knew this decision would be so hard. So many choices and so little time. If you are in the market for a new sofa and/or seating, you won’t want to miss my seating round up of all my favorite places to shop and my runner-up picks for this room.

Head to the One Room Challenge blog to see all the other participants and the rooms they are transforming. It is truly inspiring to get ideas and visuals from all of these creative people.

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