It’s here!  Week one of the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge. I am still on cloud nine after being chosen to be one of the twenty featured bloggers but now reality has set in. I have to transform a room in six short weeks!  Actually, it’s only five weeks since the photography has to be done sooner for the week six reveal.

Now in it’s thirteenth season, The One Room Challenge is a highly anticipated room makeover event. Twenty featured bloggers have six weeks to transform a room of their choosing and blog about it each Wednesday. Hundreds of other designers and bloggers join in on the fun by linking up and blogging about their own room transformations on Thursdays.

Today is day one and I am so excited to share my room with you. The room I will be transforming is a little different from the other participant’s rooms. You see my room is really not a room at all. Let me explain. One of the sponsors of this Spring’s One Room Challenge is the Boston Design Center. The building is under new ownership (Jamestown L.P.) and is now called the Innovation and Design Building.The building has eight floors of design showrooms and offices and this is where local designers go to source for their clients.

The Boston Innovation and Design Building: Boston Design Center

The Boston Design Center marketing group asked me to make over a space located on the fifth floor of the building. The plan is that I will borrow furniture and other items from different show rooms to create my room. Now I know what you might be thinking. “What’s the big deal? She can just pick whatever high end item she wants and create a kick ass space”. Well, not exactly true.

Unlike a room of my choosing where I call the shots and anything goes, this is a commercial space. There are building rules and regulations as to what I can and can’t do. Plus the biggest challenge is that I have to work with what the showrooms are willing to take off their floor and lend me without it looking like a collection of mismatched furniture.

So drum roll please….this is the space I will be making over for the One Room Challenge. It is both awesome and overwhelming.

Innovation and Design building BEFORE makeover

ORC Room Before

Innovation and design center Boston

ORC room before

As you can see, there are a few challenges besides the tight six week deadline.

One Room Challenge number one:

I can’t design in my usual way. Normally, after much discussion with my client, I come up with a design plan and then go about implementing it. In this case though I have to work backwards. First I’ll see what I am allowed to borrow and then I will create the design plan around those elements. It’s kind of like being given a bunch of groceries (cheerios, yogurt, strawberries, chicken)  and then being asked to create a meal based on those given ingredients. To add a little more pressure, imagine thousands (tens of thousands?) will be tasting your creation.

One Room Challenge number Two:

Since this a temporary project I am not allowed to alter the walls or ceiling in any way. The unsightly HVAC pipes are part of the space and there is no hiding that “design element”.

One Room Challenge loft make over space

One Room Challenge number three:

You can see from this angle a big cement block abutting the window frame. I would like to add drapes to soften the space but that block is problematic. I’m still trying to decide the best way to treat this window.

Cement block abutting window

Seriously though, it’s all about location, location, location….right? The first time I saw the space I was practically jumping up and down when I saw the view.That’s Boston harbor out there in the distance. It’s awesome just being in the space and for the next six weeks I am going to pretend I’m designing my future home. Since there is no client involved to dictate design direction, I am the client.

Boston harbor view from 5th floor of Boston Design center

MY design thoughts

It goes without saying, that the space is what it is. There is no point in trying to make it look anything other than a very cool, hip, loft space. Depending on what I can borrow from the showrooms and use from the sponsors I have decided to transform this space into my very own dream pied-a-terre city loft. I would LOVE to own a space like this. Unfortunately, since Boston is the third most expensive real estate market in the country, this make believe pied-a-terre is probably as close as I’ll ever get.

To get started I found I few inspiration photos.

city loft space

I like this first one except it needs artwork!

city loft with brick wall and artworkNow this one has more of the vibe I am going for. Lot’s of artwork and a little less “showroom” feeling. Also, plants. I want plants in my loft.

open loft space big windows and white floor

Similar to this inspiration photo my pied-a-terre will not only be my work space but a place to entertain and host epic dinner parties. I imagine every weekend all my hip, artsy and designer friends will come and hang with me. Be sure to let me know if you want an invite…oh and bring wine…or champagne…or whatever the cool hip urbanites are drinking these days. You might not guess it from looking at me but in my fantasy pied-a-terre I am a 30 something hip urbanite.

Even though it is still a mystery what I will be allowed to borrow, I created a preliminary floor plan. The space measures 31″ x 21″ and similar to the inspiration photos I envision a large area for relaxing and entertaining and a second area that will double as a work/dinning area. Obviously I need a lot to fill this space!

Pied-a-terre floor plan

Before I head off to the Design Center to begin my hunt (begging) for furniture, I have a quick story to share.  About six months ago I was walking down a hallway of the Boston Design Center and passed this empty showroom below. I saw the light coming through the window and I posted this photo on Instagram.

empty studio space at Boston Design Center

As you can see, my caption reads “Just imagine the possibilities”. Now, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that the Universe always gives you what you ask for. Pretty freaky coincidence. I now have a space very similar to this and have been granted the opportunity to not only imagining the possibilities, but to create it!

Crazy how the Universe works… right???

Starting today be sure to follow the other nineteen designers as they begin their room transformations and on Thursdays, the link up designers

Apartment 34 | Beginning in the Middle | Coco & Jack | The English Room | The Gold Hive

Gray Malin | Jenna Sue Design | Jojotastic | Kelly Rogers Int. | Linda Holt | Marcus Design

Michelle Gage | Natasha Habermann | The Painted House | Rambling Renovators

Sacramento Street | Shannon Claire | Sketch 42 | Stephanie Kraus | Style Me Pretty Living

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC


Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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