One Room Challenge Week Three

Here we are at the One Room Challenge week three. In case you happen to randomly land on my blog, I am participating in a six week design challenge called The One Room Challenge as a guest participant. I am decorating the living/dining area of our new small condo. Since the condo is brand new, it is primarily a decorating job.

One thing I am doing is installing a kitchen back splash and having a storage cabinet built. The pantry is scheduled to be installed the last week of October (week five) and I am waiting on my tiler to be free.

All the furniture has been ordered, so mostly, I am anxiously waiting around for things to arrive.  If you missed week one and two you can get caught up below..


                                   One Room Challenge week One                         One Room Challenge week Two


ORC guest badge


Week three is the point in the challenge where the nerves start to build. The time line gets shorter and often times things can go sideways. As of now, knock on wood, everything is moving along without any major issues. I have two updates to share. My beautiful Currey and Co. chandelier is installed and the rugs arrived. I love the chandelier. It adds so much character to that dining nook. The rugs are gorgeous, I’ll show you a glimpse of those at the end of this post.

Currey Brownsea chandelier

For week three,  I want to continue explaining my design choices for the space. Let’s start with the dining nook.

Dining Nook design board

Kitchen dining nook design board

The first things I chose were the lighting and back splash tiles (which I explained last week). Next I looked for a dining table. The size was critical because I wanted it as long as possible but it also had to be narrow since it sits right off the hallway. After looking for weeks I came up empty handed. It was one of those cases where I’d find a good length but the width was not right or vise versa.

The dining table

When I design a space, I like to do a mix of high and low priced items. I once heard a very famous designer say, “always decorate with high and low furnishings…never decorate in the middle”. I took that saying to heart and now no matter what my client’s budget is, I do a few splurges mixed in with lower priced items. The spurge can be anything from a fabulous fabric, a gorgeous rug or a custom piece of art.

In my case, the dining table is where I decided to splurge and ordered a custom Dunes and Duchess table. I’ve always loved their unique personality filled pieces. Stacey and I worked together to create a table of the exact size and finish that I wanted. I will leave it as a surprise as to what I came up with but my inspiration is the photo on the board above. It was taken at the Dunes and Duchess booth last Spring at High Point Market.

Getting the size just right was not easy. I made several templates out of cardboard to get every inch possible out of the space without getting too close to the future pantry or too far out into the hallway. I chose an oval shape for easy maneuvering around the edge of the pantry.

ORC cardboard table template

The dining bench

Since I splurged on the table I went low on the bench which will be on the window side of the table. My bench from Currey is in front of the adjacent window, so I looked for something similar in size for symmetry. A lucky find was a bench from Article that is almost the exact same dimensions as my Currey bench. It came in a dark gray fabric but since gray is not in my color scheme I’m having it reupholstered. I also went low budget on the fabric and found a Duralee discontinued gold and white checked fabric for under $25/yd to reupholster the bench. I love how it compliments the chandelier.

Duralee gold and white checked fabric

Dining chairs

To complete the dining area I chose two Aegean chairs from Mally Skok for Dowel Furniture. Mally’s new furniture collection for Dowel debuted last Spring at Market. The moment I saw the chairs I knew they would go in our new condo. I love everything about them but I chose them because they are not too large and they are very comfortable. They are perfect dining chairs but also can double as extra seating in the sitting area when we have more than five guests.

Aegean chair from mally Skok for Dowel Furniture

The Hardware

I had always planned to replace the cabinet hardware in the kitchen. There is nothing wrong with it except I am sick to death of the style. Three houses ago we renovated our kitchen. I chose those exact same brushed nickel knobs and pulls. That was in 1998! Twenty one years ago. We also had the same hardware in our previous home as well as in the apartment we rented for a year. It must be the most popular hardware in history and I am ready for a change!

white kitchen with stainless steel and brushed nickel hardware

I decided to go in a different direction this time and warm up the space with a gold rather than silver finish.

I narrowed it down to two different options. My husband liked one option and I liked the other. After MUCH debate we couldn’t come to a consensus. Then I did what any professional decorator would do…I asked my friends. It was unanimous that they liked the Freestone knob and the Trail Pull in satin brass from Emtek. 

Freestone and Trail pull from EmtekI’m very happy with my choice and can’t wait for them to arrive.

Sitting Area

Once I settled on the best floor plan for the sitting area, I began sourcing the correct scale furniture. To fresh your memory, here is the floor plan again.

Floor plan ORC Fall 2019

The Furniture

A design plan for a small sitting area

The side table

The bench from Currey in front of the window has already been discussed. The side table I chose for next to the bench is actually a night stand. I wanted something taller than a traditional side table since the arms on the bench are 35″ high. The table I chose is 27″ tall and is from Charleston Forge. This is the photo from the catalog. I chose a different colored steel finish to compliment the gold iron bench and a different colored wood top.

Charleston forge nightstand

The Buffet

The back wall to the left of the fireplace needs some type of closed storage to house the TV box as well as extra china and glasses. I chose a slim 13″ deep buffet from Woodbridge Furniture in a White finish so as to somewhat disappear into the wall. The mirrored front doors will bounce light around and also make the buffet seem less bulky. I kept asking myself with every decision, “will this help the space feel as large as possible”?  Finally, the rounded decorative wood accents relate to both the round rug and the round drum shaped chandelier.

Woodbridge slim buffet

The Swivel chairs

Two low backed swivel chairs are custom from TCS furniture in NC. I specifically wanted low backs as to not block the view to the other side of the room for anyone sitting on the bench by the window. A geometric black and white fabric from Schumacher will be on the back of the chairs and the fronts will have a performance fabric in White. I chose a fabric with a pattern on the back since the chairs will be floating in the room. I wanted the fronts done in White to relate to all the other white happening in the space. Visually, I tied the front and back together with a black contrast welt. The colorful geometric fabric below will be pillows on the swivel chairs. I chose it for no particular reason other than I like it.

colorful geometric fabric

The wing chair

The third chair is a contemporary wing chair from Highland House. The animal print fabric was a spur of the moment decision after I stopped by the show room to inquire about the lead time for the chair. At the time I hadn’t chosen a fabric. Much to my surprise I was told I would need to place the order that day or there would be absolutely no hope of it arriving on time. Out came the fabric rings with all my options and I literally had less than ten minutes to make a decision because I had to leave for a client appointment.

Now honestly I’ve never been an animal print type of girl. In fact, I always felt like I wasn’t very “hip”  because all the designers I know, are obsessed with animal prints.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge animal lover, I just have never been that into animal prints.

Well I don’t know what the heck got into me but I saw this small scale leopard print and knew that was it. The order was placed and as soon as I returned home I began to question my decision. It was too late to turn back so just like I tell my client’s, sometimes it’s good to step out your comfort zone. Fingers are crossed that it arrives on time (October 31st) and that I love it.

animal print fabric


The coffee table

I chose a small scale 36″ round coffee table. I went back and forth about whether to choose a glass or wood top. Ultimately I choose glass because I felt a wood top was too visually heavy for the room. With such a small space, I want the room to look as big as possible and a glass top will keep the space feeling open.

The Rugs

My final decorating decision were the rugs. Even though I’m not a fan of round rugs, round is the best shape for the sitting area. A rectangular rug would only emphasis the long narrow room while a round rug will visually expand and open up the space. Just as with the dining table, I looked for weeks and found nothing I liked. Most of the round rugs I saw either screamed country (NOT my style) or were busy orientals with fringe (also NOT my style). This is when I decided it was worth the expense to splurge once again and go custom.

Another factor in deciding to go custom is that I am highly allergic to synthetic carpets. Any carpets I bring into our home must be 100% wool or cotton. With a dog I would never chose cotton so 100% wool was the choice.

The company I worked with for my custom rugs is Sylvie and Mira .I can not say enough good things about them. They were so easy to work with and very helpful with guiding me to my final selections. Since time was of the essence, I chose one of their existing patterns and customized it with my colors. They even sent me a selection of wool poms for color matching when it was too difficult to pick the colors online.

wool poms

Here is the rug that will go in the sitting area. The field color is a soft White with Charcoal squares connected by Green lines.

Sylvie and Mira round rug

Here is a  sneak peak of what the round rug looks like. It is absolutely gorgeous and extra special because it is one of a kind.

white black and green rug


I chose a companion pattern rug to go under the bench against the window. It will have the same Black, White and Green with a touch of Blue and Gold.

Sylvie and Mira rectangular rug

Here is is below. Just as gorgeous and special.

hand knotted striped rug

Even without the furniture the rugs make the sitting area feel… dare I say “homey”?

Moving into week four

Tomorrow morning I leave for High Point Market. I’ll be leading a tour of eighteen new buyers on an “Insiders Tour”. I am so excited to meet my group. The tour is only on Saturday so I have several more days to source for clients and check out all the new products. I’ll also be on the hunt for something to place on that big blank wall next to the fireplace. I have a few ideas but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see what I decide on. In the meantime be sure to check out the twenty featured designers as well as the other link up participants.     One Room Challenge Week Three

Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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