Week six of the One Room Challenge is here, which means I made it to the finish line: we have a sewing room (I mean who doesn’t, right?).
If you haven’t been following along, for the past six weeks I’ve been participating with hundreds of other designers and DIYers in a supportive and collaborative project that challenges participants to refresh one room. I can attest to the amount of work this takes (even in a room that’s only 25 square feet) and there are some amazing transformations by the 20 featured designers and 200+ guest participants which I’d highly recommend checking out. You can also find my posts documenting each week’s progress at the following links: Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, and Week Five.
Before I jump into the full reveal, let’s reflect on where we started. When we first moved in, this room was literally white space–a small but mighty room with great storage. From day one, the room became our catchall: home to linens, books, random tchotchkes, Lego sets Jon is saving for the boys, even an extra (and nasty) toilet. It was easy to forget about the space because we could just close the door. But she always had potential, especially because of the great afternoon light.
I’ve had a vision for this space for quite some time, and without this challenge as a motivator everything would have likely remained a vision for several more years. Seriously. Our project reality with two active little boys running around here mean a lot of project stops and starts; and without a deadline staring me down, there are more stops than starts (and even if there are starts, the end never really seems to be in sight). Enter the ORC and a firm end on which I could set my sights. AND I DID!Without further ado, here’s our vintage sewing room.
Overall this project was pretty straight forward. My plan included clearing out the clutter and refreshing the built-ins and molding with paint (when we did our major renovation a couple years ago, we had the windows replaced and painted black–LOVE THEM–but we had to install new stops (speaking of starts and stops–no pun intended–that’s a project we started two summers ago and got stops and trim installed all over the house, but never finished caulking, priming and painting them. Thank you ORC! One window down, 15 more to go!). Then I painted the ceiling and back of the bookshelves… THREE TIMES (really six times because I painted two coats with each different color I tried). It was an avoidable process, but I couldn’t be happier that I FINALLY found Sherwin Williams’ Gale Force. Next I took down the old hook railing (that had been painted over many, many times), with the intent of stripping down the hooks and reinstalling them on a beautiful walnut plank (it pays to have a tree farmer for an uncle), patched and primed the wall and then installed the removable wallpaper. I sourced the perfect new pull chain light fixture from Schoolhouse Electric Co. (pull chain because: old house) and had it installed by an electrician (professional install also because: old house). Changing out light fixtures is actually a relatively simple project and something I would normally do, but the wiring to this fixture was still knob and tube, so I wanted a pro to come and handle it. I installed oil-rubbed bronze electrical plate covers (a simple switch that really elevates something so functional) and then styled the shelves to my heart’s content (and oh my gracious, IS. IT. EVER!).
I’m planning on a few follow-up posts highlighting some of the DIY projects I took on with this space: hanging the temporary wallpaper and refurbishing the rack of hooks–I’m beyond thrilled about how they both turned out.
All-in-all, I transformed this room for around $200. The wallpaper was on sale for half off(!) and I could have saved $50 had I not had my navy paint debacle. And everything on the shelves I got by “shopping my house.” In fairness, I bought the light fixture by pooling together several old Visa gift cards I had laying around… so technically we came in at $450. But the love I feel for this room is at least tenfold the cost. Creating spaces you love doesn’t have to break the bank.
This is my rookie One Room Challenge, and I will definitely back for more. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s rekindled a love for design and DIY projects that have been idling within me for the past several years. Beyond that, and more importantly, it fosters such a supportive community of other likeminded people who are pursuing a common (yet completely personal) goal. In this age of internet trolls and the vitriol that pervades social media, it’s been so heartening to find a positive and supportive network–I’ve found a design tribe.
One of the things I love most about our home is the fact that we live in all of it–there’s not a room that isn’t well used. And until this challenge that was mostly true, except for this room. Now? Now, this room is my happy place. I’m using it right now. THIS POST IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE ROOM! I can’t wait to keep my creative juices flowing… and even start planning for ORC Fall 2019 right here. Thanks for following along!