The clock is ticking very loud as the deadline for this Fall One Room Challenge is fast approaching.  Welcome to the One Room Challenge Week Five. If you are brand new to my blog, I am decorating our small condo’s main living space as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge. My photography is Monday morning so I have just a few more days to style and finish up.

ORC guest badge

I have dubbed my challenge Project Fresh Start because I am decorating from scratch. All new furniture, lighting and carpets. Nothing from our previous home would fit (it was all too large) so I didn’t really have a choice. If you want to catch up and see my process, you can check out the past three weeks updates below.

Week One// Week Two// Week Three// Week Four

A Few set backs

Up until now, I was feeling pretty confident that everything was rolling along on schedule. Then I had a few set backs, one of which which caused me to switch to plan B.

One Room Challenge week Five set Back #1

My Charleston Forge side table somehow didn’t make it onto the delivery truck with my coffee table from the factory in North Carolina. I’ve been communicating with my rep but it will not arrive before my photography. I am so disappointed but things like this happen all the time. As a decorator, I am used to things getting delayed, lost or arriving damaged. Last weekend I spent hours searching for a substitute table but nothing was quite right. Then I remembered a glass side table that I was using in my studio to hold my printer. It’s not what I would have chosen but, it will be fine until my other one arrives. I bought it about 5-6 years ago at West Elm. Surprisingly, it is still on their website.


glass and brass side table

The table on the left is the Charleston Forge one I ordered. The finish and wood color are different but it is much sturdier than the more delicate glass one on the right. I had planned to load up the bottom shelves with heavy books and my large lamp from Currey which weighs about 30lbs will be on the top. I won’t be able to display many books and fingers will be crossed my heavy table lamp does not crash through the top.

One Room Challenge Week Five Set Back #2

While at Market I ordered a small round drink table. It arrived in record time but with only three legs in the box. Seeing that it’s a four legged table, three won’t do. Fingers crossed the extra leg will arrive today or tomorrow.


table missing a leg

One Room challenge week Five set back #3

While at Market last week I ordered some unique art work for one of the walls. They shipped on Monday and the tracking number indicated they would arrive by end of the day yesterday. I was home all day waiting for it. At 7pm when it still hadn’t arrived I went back to the tracking number. It said package had been delivered at 2:30pm!

Well I don’t know where it was delivered but it was not to me. I felt ill. We have an ongoing  problem with receiving packages. It doesn’t matter if it’s FedEx, UPS or the post office. One out of every three packages never arrives. I think it is because our complex is brand new and either the address is not showing up on the drivers GPS or the driver just assumes the package is to go to the older condo complex next door. Either way, it is beyond frustrating. I immediately called FedEX and they are “looking into it”. I can pretty much guarantee  I will not have the art work for my photo shoot on Monday.

What went right this week? LOTS!!


#1 My back splash

My green back splash tile is in and it looks fabulous.

Side note: Ignore the screaming white outlets and covers. I found some green ones online and my husband will install them this weekend. Originally I had considered painting them but the green ones I found are a good match so I ordered those.

#2 My Emtek hardware is on

The beautiful satin brass knobs and pulls from Emtek are on the cabinets. I love the warmth they bring to the kitchen and they are a refreshing change from the previous brushed nickel ones.

FireClay green back splash tiles

#3 The pantry was installed

This is one of my favorite changes to the room. It has given us such valuable extra storage and counter space. Filling it up with all the stuff that’s been on the floor in the hallway, on top of the refrigerator and on the floor in the sitting area was a joy. Although the pantry was a big part of the budget it was money well spent. All the clutter is gone and I am finally organized. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.

Sometimes my clients balk at the expense of a custom built in. Once it’s installed though they ALWAYS tell me it is their favorite part of the design. Living in a house with no clutter and a place for everything can be a life changing luxury. This is not the final version of it but you’ll have to wait for the reveal to see what I have planned.

custom built pantry

Check out the knife edge pulls. also from Emtek.  I chose them because I didn’t want the hardware to be the star of this piece. I wanted clean and simple for the application I have planned for the front.

cabinet knife edge hardware

#4 An offer of table linens and art!

More good news is that a local artist, Annie Damphousse, offered to help me out with both artwork and table linens. I’ve admired her colorful work since I was first introduced to her by a mutual friend. She is so talented and if you like color, I urge you to follow her on Instagram. Her IG account is Housse_Studio. Annie and I  recently reconnected at the Boston charity event Heading Home to Dinner. She designed a bar cart for the event as well as some gorgeous table linens for another designer’s table.

This is her colorful bar cart from the event. You can see a glimpse of her linens in the bottom of the photo.

housse_studio bar cart

Needless to say, I was thrilled when she asked me if I needed anything for my ORC. Umm…Yes please!!!  She is working on some custom napkins and place mats to style my Dunes and Duchess dining table. While chatting, she said she would be happy to help me out with art as well. Seriously?? With just days to go before my photography, I was starting to stress about the art work. With all the windows in our unit I only have a couple walls and I want something fresh and origional on them.

I left it up to her to create whatever she wanted so it will be exciting to see what she comes up with.

The Final layer: giving the room some soul

Family heirlooms

The final layer of my One Room Challenge are the accessories. Other than one or two items from a past ORC sponsor, all my accessories have been with me for many, many years. When decorating a room I usually like to do a mix of new and vintage furnishings. In my case though, all the furniture and carpets are new. My much loved accessories and the custom art work will add the personality and “soul” to the room.  Here are a few things you will see in my space.

vintage wrought iron horse head

This black iron horse head was on the banister in the house I grew up in. After my mom passed away the house was sold to a builder as a knock down and replaced with an enormous Mac-mansion. The horse head is the only thing I wanted from the house. I have such happy memories of playing cowgirl and this was my horse.

Another special item that I will be using is this very old Boston bean pot. My grandmother made Boston baked beans every single Saturday. She died shortly after I born so it is definitely and old piece. When my mom gave me the crock, my grandmother’s origional yellowed and tattered recipe was tucked inside the pot. I thought it would be fun to make her Boston bean recipe until I read the ingredients. “Two pounds of pork fat, two cups of molasses”….it very quickly lost it’s appeal to me. Today I have the lid safely stored away and use it as a planter.

Boston baked bean crock

Treasured gifts from friends

This pretty blue and white trivet was gifted to me by a dear friend when she returned home from traveling to Morocco. I absolutely love this. Both for the design and for her thoughtfulness.

Moroccan trivet

My design books as well as a shell collection that I began collecting as a child will also be part of the room. It’s important to incorporate special things like this because that’s what makes a house a home.

One week till the reveal

A week from today is the One Room Challenge reveal! I’m both excited and nervous but one thing is for sure, it will be nice to have a finished space.Don’t forget to check out the other guest participants this week and the twenty featured designers. So many have taken on huge renovation projects and it is very impressive.


Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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