One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Eight!

It is here! At long last! It’s reveal day for this year’s One Room Challenge and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve had a busy few weeks outside of completing the ORC, so I’ve not had as much time as I’d like to complete it. So instead of beating myself up [like I do with most things], I’ve decided to style and photograph our home office as it currently is, and as time goes by and I finish my to-do list, I’ll update this post. My past self would be very surprised with how chill I am right now.

Enough about that. And more about my home office makeover!

A huge part of my ORC this year was paint related, with the most drama being when I accidentally ordered the wrong paint finish and had to, in total, paint the walls 7 times 🙃 That was fun. I spent a lot of time trying to level the ceiling [which worked out in the end] and it feels like not enough time making our home office pretty. But it’s a work in progress and no room stays the same, so I’m looking forward to adding further detail to this room over time.

Anyone remember that secondhand tufted office chair I picked up secondhand two years ago? *crickets* Well I dug it out of the basement, painted the leather in Fusion Mineral Paint‘s shade of Coal Black, sanded down the wood and refinished it. It looks SO MUCH BETTER. It goes really well with our other painted chair, which I still get questions about to this day, our painted tufted leather armchair which is happily at home in the corner of our office now.

Our custom built office desk – now that was a labour of love. I’m SO HAPPY with how it turned out. My Week Seven blog post was all about how I Frankenstein-ed our desk using IKEA kitchen counter tops and pieces from our old dining room table. I also made a reel about it on Instagram, which you can check out here!

I can’t publish this post without mentioning the wasp ‘art’ I made. When I repaired the wall under the window in Week Two, I had found a massive [very old] wasps next in the brickwork. I was able to salvage pieces of it, which I knew I wanted to frame in some way once the room was properly finished. I had bought this trio of frames from Value Village years ago and never used them. When I was rummaging through my decor stash to decorate our office, I found it and knew it would be perfect. I simply glued the nest pieces to some black velvet. I don’t know how long it will last like this, but I love it for now.

Speaking of window repairs, here is what our home office looked like at the beginning of this year’s ORC …

Click here to see all the before photos of our home office. It wasn’t in bad shape, but it also wasn’t good.

ORC SPRING 2022 SOURCE LIST:
WALLS:
– Sico paint in ‘Army Green’ in flat / matte finish
DESK:
EKBACKEN kitchen counter tops [one large, one small] from IKEA
– Legs and apron taken from our old dining room table
ACCESSORIES:
Black tufted armchair, secondhand, painted with Fusion Mineral Paint in ‘Coal Black’
– Tufted office desk chair, secondhand from Kijiji [updated blog post coming soon!]
SANELA dark grey curtains from IKEA
Vanilla Sugar candle from Wick Witch
– Picture frames, all thrifted [sorry]
– Silhouette paintings, painted by myself
More will be added to this list as I continue to update our home office!

You can check all the Week Eight / final reveals by all the Guest Participants here! I cannot wait to scroll through the finished projects this week and see all the transformations. It is my goal during each one of Zelda’s naps this week to view each update. So much effort goes into these projects and I always love to see what everyone has challenged themselves to design.

I’ve completed all but 3 or 4 items off my to-do list. The main things I didn’t get around to going is: replacing the banister at the top of the servants stairs, painting the servants stairs, update the main light in our home office [bye boob light], and then sourcing small decor items like a pillow for the chair and printing the digital artwork I bought.

ORC SPRING 2022 TO-DO LIST:
– Skim coat / patch ceiling
– Skim coat / patch walls
– Paint ceiling
– Paint walls
– Replace / upgrade banister at top of servants stairs
– Update and reinstall handrails
– Repaint stairs [not super necessary, but I might as well]
– Install desk system
– Update secondhand tufted office chair
– Source chandelier / remove the boob light
– Source storage cabinet[s] for office items
Possibly source and hang curtains [not sure though for either window]
Decorate / hang artwork / overkill the space

Thank you to everyone who had supported and encouraged me during this year’s ORC! It’s been a great project, and I truly cannot wait to use our office now. Until next time.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2022 – Week Seven!

For Week Seven of the One Room Challenge my main focus was to custom build a desk for our home office. I had an idea of what the desk was going to look like, but I was quite nervous about starting it so in typical fashion, I kept putting off starting it until this week.

I started by dismantling our old dining room table, which I had been using as a desk in our office for the past two years. I wanted to use a lot from the existing table, but I wanted to customise it to better suit the room. So I took it apart. I first took off all four legs, then the apron [and supporting hardware] along each side. I’ve always loved the shape of the legs and the apron detail, and I love reusing things I already have at hand, so this was the perfect project.

Hello, internet! Here’s a wildly unflattering photo of me hunched over our dining table. Enjoy!

I also had ordered two EKBACKEN white marble effect laminate countertops from IKEA [to be delivered! Did you know you can save your marriage by ordering IKEA to be delivered? It can cost between $39 – $49 depending on the items, but if you know exactly what you need and you value your sanity, you can easily order them for delivery]. These were going to be the desk tops to my Franken-desk.

I measured the right section of desk to 7 feet long, square it off and cut it at a 45 degree angle.

At the same time, I measured the height of the table legs and added wooden supports at the same height along the walls to rest the desk tops along as well as to secure the desk to the wall [I’ve included a photo at the end to show from underneath what the desk looks like secured to these].

I painted the legs and apron pieces in 2 – 3 coats of Coal Black paint by Fusion Mineral Paint. I love this paint so much and have used it on countless projects. I immediately knew I’d be painted the legs in this favourite paint of mine.

Once they were dry, I attached the legs and aprons to the underside of the desk top using a mix of brackets and existing hardware from the old dining table [seen below].

I then flipped the desk over and with help from Robert, got the desk in place. He held the desk still while I secured it to the wall using more of those metal brackets [while I was drilling in the screws the desk would resist and move up and down, so I definitely needed a second pair of hands holding the desk still and making sure it didn’t jump too much].

I’m ridiculously pleased with how it turned out. It doesn’t look too Frankenstein-ed and looks quite professional if I may say!

The Week-Seven-panic has set in and I’m in a mad dash to make it to the finish line. Luckily, I’m not alone as my fellow ORC Guest Participants get the last few projects done this week. I’ve chipped away at my to-do list, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that some aspects of my home office won’t be finished on time for the big reveal next week, and after a lot of panic, I’ve come to terms with the room not being completely ready and I’m okay with that.

What I did manage to achieve this week was pretty good, meaning I don’t have too much left:

ORC SPRING 2022 TO-DO LIST:
– Skim coat / patch ceiling
– Skim coat / patch walls
– Paint ceiling
– Paint walls
– Replace / upgrade banister at top of servants stairs
Update and reinstall handrails
– Repaint stairs [not super necessary, but I might as well]
Install desk system
Update secondhand tufted office chair
– Source chandelier / remove the boob light
Source storage cabinet[s] for office items
– Possibly source and hang curtains [not sure though for either window]
– Decorate / hang artwork / overkill the space

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek Five
Week SixWeek SevenWeek Eight

One Room Challenge Spring 2018 – Week Six!

This is it. I’m full of a strange mix of relief and excitement. The final week of the One Room Challenge is here and I am SO EXCITED to finally share our dining room! It’s finished and ready and I honestly love it.

For anyone who found me here today thanks to the One Room Challenge, hi! I’m Alex. My husband and I, our daughter and our two cats emigrated to Ottawa [Canada] from Dublin [Ireland] six months ago. Six months ago we had nothing. I mean sleeping on the floor and all sharing the same bottle of water kind of nothing. I’ve been slowly making our rented apartment a home, so when the Spring 2018 One Room Challenge came around it was the perfect excuse opportunity for me to make our dining room, the room we spend the most time in, a bit more homely.

I’ll be including a full source list at the end of this post in case there’s anything you see and would like to know where it’s from! I’ll either link to where I bought it or to where I blogged about it. And if you’d like to know more, feel free to ask!


I was eager to try and source as many things as I could for our dining room secondhand. Because when you’re starting from nothing, everything is hella expensive. I turned to secondhand websites like Kijiji and real life thrift stores like Value Village and The Salvation Army to fill our dining room.

I updated furniture and fittings with paint, contact paper and lazy patches of Sharpie markers when no one was looking.

Our dining room gets a lot of light during the day and as I spend most days working with a toddler close by, we spend most of our day in the dining room [as the kitchen and Cora’s bedroom are both next to it]. I wanted this space to be somewhere bright and inviting. I do love dark design and I’ll always love dark spaces, but I don’t think going dark would have worked in such a bright space. I did add some darkness with my most favourite burgundy paint, but I added it in a dark part of the room.

It took me a long time to choose the right colour for the dining room walls. It was something that needed to work with burgundy [that was non-negotiable], but it also needed to work with and compliment the kitchen cabinetry which can be seen from the dining room as well as the hardwood floors throughout. It was a tough task, but I found the perfect nearly-greige paint ‘Kitten White’ by CIL Paints. I can’t stress how perfect it is IRL.

This little vignette has turned out to be my favourite spot in our dining room. And it was one of the last places I focused on. It was one of those uggggh what will I do with this corner? corners, but with some artistic help from Cora one afternoon, I put this little group together and I love it so much.

I can’t write this post without mentioning our Victorian style mirror. We managed to successfully hang it this weekend thanks to two 200lbs hooks [overkill by about 350lbs, but they help me sleep soundly at night so long story short, do whatever makes you sleep better]. I tightened the wires at the back a few times before getting our mirror at just the right height. At 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide, there wasn’t much wiggle room with where we could hang it, so I’m thanking the construction gods that there were two studs along the main wall perfectly centered for our mirror. Anyone who sees it in real life is blown away by how big it is. I don’t know how, but it comes across as smallish in photos. This thing is huge. Like, the size of a human person. I’m just so happy we have it looming over our every meal now.

I’m not going to lie, my first One Room Challenge was tough. It didn’t help that I picked the biggest room in our apartment and that I chose to partake even though our belongings didn’t arrive from Ireland until Y E S T E R D A Y, so yeah, it was stressful. But, it worked out. Yes, I had to compromise with a lot of things [not being able to put a swag on the chandelier and center it over the table, not having enough time (or energy) to paint the rest of the hallway and you can see that in some pictures, etc], but it worked out. And the moment it was finished I was so happy with it. It felt comfortable and it felt like us. It was tough but what project isn’t? I’m a very firm believer in creating a space you love to live in for the sake of your mental health. And I for one am tore up from the floor up about our dining room.

Thank you to Linda for letting me partake in the One Room Challenge as a guest participant. The support, encouragement and community that I’ve seen and experienced from the ORC is so encouraging. Especially knowing I wasn’t the only one crying into my glass of wine at the end of Week Four when the panic really started to set in. It’s been an amazing experience and I can’t wait for the One Room Challenges to come.

You can see the full list of the One Room Challenge Spring 2018 guest participant room reveals here!

Entire source list for our dining room as it currently is …

Wall colours – ‘Classic Burgundy’ and ‘Kitten White’ by CIL
Victorian mirror – secondhand via Kijiji
Dining hutch – secondhand via Kijiji, updated with Fusion Mineral Paint in ‘Coal Black’
Malm 6-drawer dresser – via IKEA
Tobias dining chairs – originally from IKEA, but bought secondhand via Kijiji
Gold circular side table – secondhand via Kijiji
Bird portrait trays – via iBride
Dining table – secondhand, updated with marble contact paper [tutorial coming soon]
French provincial style armchair – secondhand via Kijiji
All floral artwork – secondhand via Value Village
Candle sconces – both secondhand via Value Village
Burgundy curtains – discontinued IKEA
Skogsklover roller blinds – via IKEA
Black high chair – secondhand via Kijiji
90’s chandelier – secondhand via Kijiji
Black and white abstract artwork – painted by Cora!
Baby Schylling piano – from Target, but bought secondhand via Kijiji
Cloches – given to me by my excellent blogger friend Pat
Wall clocks, x2 – via EQ3
Glasses in dining hutch – either thrifted or discontinued IKEA
Gold lucky wishbone objet – via Chapters !ndigo
Tassles – via Home Focus
White posey vase – via EQ3
Brass candle holder – via Article

Shop this look!

CIL Kitten White
CIL Kitten White
Lowe’s Marble Contact Paper
Lowe’s Marble Contact Paper
CIL Classic Burgundy
CIL Classic Burgundy
EQ3 Posey Vase
EQ3 Posey Vase
$12.99
IKEA Tobias Chair
IKEA Tobias Chair
$99
iBride Isild Tray
iBride Isild Tray
€52
Indigo Lucky Charms Wishbone
Indigo Lucky Charms Wishbone
$12
EQ3 Watch Wall Clock
EQ3 Watch Wall Clock
$29.99
iBride Rosita Tray
iBride Rosita Tray
€52
IKEA Malm Black Dresser
IKEA Malm Black Dresser
$199
CIL Kitten White
CIL Kitten White
Lowe’s Marble Contact Paper
Lowe’s Marble Contact Paper
CIL Classic Burgundy
CIL Classic Burgundy
EQ3 Posey Vase
EQ3 Posey Vase
$12.99
IKEA Tobias Chair
IKEA Tobias Chair
$99
iBride Isild Tray
iBride Isild Tray
€52
Indigo Lucky Charms Wishbone
Indigo Lucky Charms Wishbone
$12
EQ3 Watch Wall Clock
EQ3 Watch Wall Clock
$29.99
iBride Rosita Tray
iBride Rosita Tray
€52
IKEA Malm Black Dresser
IKEA Malm Black Dresser
$199

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek Six!