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  • Writer's pictureMehnaz Khan

One Room Challenge Fall 2023 - PROGRESS UPDATE (Week 3)

Transforming a never used room into a multipurpose space - Parlor/Study/Library

The clock is ticking, and we have just five weeks left to complete the one-room challenge!

While it may sound like ample time, anyone who's embarked on a room design project knows that it can easily take up to six months. The unpredictability of backordered fabrics and furnishings, as well as the unavailability of contractors, can keep us on our toes throughout the process.

But before we dive into the challenges that await, let's take a look at the significant progress we've made this week.

Building the Perfect Bookcase

One of the most significant aspects of this project was creating a built-in bookcase system. I mean what is a library without a home for displaying your collection of books. I was being ambitious and decided to cover the whole wall, from floor to ceiling and also taking the bookshelves over the door.

Here's what my vision looked like

And here's a progress shot

library built ins

A ginormous 9 ft tall built-in bookcase

I hired a carpenter to build and install the basic structure for me (he did an amazing job), and then I took over to add the finishing touches. Sanding all that wood was no easy task, and I found myself moving like a zombie the next morning, muscles aching and stiff.

before of the one room challenge

Here's a before shot

It has already made a big difference. The built-in emphasizes the height of the room and has completely altered the dimensions of the space.

The Magic of Paint

Another milestone achieved last week was painting the walls. Two coats of paint has been applied, but we'll need a third for complete coverage. Dark colors can be tricky, as they tend to appear streaky and patchy, which is why they require extra coats.

Dark purple paint color

I must admit that I held my breath when I opened the can of paint; it looked vastly different from the swatch. So I said to myself what could be worse, if this doesn't work , I'll just go get a different color - keeping in mind that as paint cures, it gets darker. And so that did happen. But in this case the paint drastically changed, as you can see from the progress shot.

Guess what? I was expecting that the room is going get very dark during the day, as it already lacked natural light due to being North-facing. But the exact opposite happened! The room is brighter with the dark color compared to how it was with the builder-beige walls. The secret? The sheen of the paint. Opting for a semi-gloss sheen allowed the walls to reflect light, illuminating the room, even during the day.

The Game-Changing Wallpaper

The next exciting chapter of this design journey involves the wallpaper that will adorn the ceiling. If you've been following me on Instagram, you're aware that our first round of wallpaper samples didn't quite cut it. After pairing them with the new paint color, they felt too antique-y (if you know what I mean) and didn't capture the modern, edgy library feel I was aiming for.

Back to the drawing board I went, in search of something fresh and unique. I ordered one pattern in all available colorways from Philip Jefferies, and we found a winner in that bunch. What's even better, my husband is in love with it. The subtle blue-green hue in the wallpaper, along with the gold metallic adds a delightful vibrancy and contrast to the room.

What's Left to Do

While I've made significant strides this week, there's still much left on my to-do list:

  1. Ordering fabric for the curtains, upholstery, pillows and lamp shades.

  2. Finding the right rug.

  3. Sourcing Vintage Chairs and a Drop-Leaf Table

  4. Finishing Touches of Paint

  5. Painting the Bookcase

  6. Finding the Perfect Lighting

  7. Wallpaper installation

Now here's the best part about this weeks progress, as my vision is starting to take shape, excitement has taken over the whole family. My boys are looking forward to using this room and the husbdand is eagerly anticipating the moment he can bring his beloved books from the basement to fill the shelves. Now that is success!

What is your favorite part so far. Leave me a comment


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