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  • Writer's pictureMehnaz Khan

One Room Challenge Fall 2023 - THE GRAND REVEAL

Turning Drab to Fab


It's hard to believe, but eight weeks have whizzed by, and honestly, there were many moments when I doubted if I'd make it to the finish line on time.


For those tagging along on my Instagram journey, you know the painting part took a solid four weeks.

Shocking isn’t it!

Not because I'm slow with a brush, but because of the very difficult color I chose!


Reds in general are difficult to work with. Yes you are right that I chose a purple. But this purple has a lot of red in it. In fact this particular shade, known as Elderberry Wine, from Benjamin Moore, is a mix of 6 different colorants and no white added. So such a color takes lots of coats and patients to achieve full intensity.



This ORC project was about a lot of plan B’s. I had to shift gears multiple times, dealing with unexpected bumps. But this is all part of the design journey, hiccups always come up and this is where it is so beneficial to have a designer by your side, because they’re always flexing their creative muscles and will come up with a new plan.


If you want the lowdown on the whole process, catch up here: Week 1 | Week 3 | Instagram


Let's rewind to where it all began



I’m embarrassed to say that in the past two years this room was only used a handful of time to accommodate overflow guest. And the reasons are quite obvious.


The room was devoid of any personality , and therefore it did not attract any one to spend time in there. Nothing I hate more than an unused space in a home - guys real estate is expensive in todays world and it’s essential to use every inch to our benefit.


But look at this room now!!



It is oozing with personality and character.


Every element in this room has been chosen intentionally. It serves a purpose or tells a story of the people who live here.


I began this project by understanding the purpose of this space and what the family’s needs were. This information helped me create a space plan. The space plan helped maximize the use of the space and turn into a multipurpose room that serves us on a daily basis


All this thinking also influenced the color I chose for the room. Curious about why I picked this paint color? Dive into the psychological meaning of purple here.


One of the goals of this multipurpose space was to serve as our home library. And what’s a library without bookshelves? So, I got my carpenter to build this colossal 9 by 12 ft bookcase that even crawled above the door.



Imagine curling up there with a good book.



I also want to mention that for me, this project was about utilizing pieces I already owned, such as this comfy wingback chair that we invested in a decade ago.


I did not create my design around my existing pieces, but rather, I crafted the design in a way that allowed my existing pieces to fit in seamlessly.


The other purpose of the multipurpose space is to serve as a ‘study’ for my boys. I see a lot of homework, research and chess games happening here.


So to achieve that I created this zone with a desk.



Notice how the desk is placed sticking out form the wall, instead of against the wall - this gives access to both the long sides, which means more surface area to spread out the books and devices.


If you know my work, you would know that I rarely ever leave a ceiling unattended. This project is no different. Here the ceiling got a makeover with a sliver metallic and white ink paper from Philip Jeffries. As the light changes throughout the day, the paper catches it, adding to the room’s vibe.


Speaking of light, I have to point out this light fixture that stole my heart. It’s the perfect complement to the wall color. The contrast adds drama to the room.



Even this desk chair received a playful makeover. While the back of the chair already exudes personality, upholstering it in a vibrant and whimsical pattern brings an unexpected touch of fun to an otherwise serious room (library).




This project has been an incredible learning experience for me. I've gained valuable knowledge that will undoubtedly benefit my clients. From navigating the intricacies of a challenging shade of red to understanding the interplay of light with various paint finishes, and even manipulating room dimensions using design tricks and illusions, this journey has been rich with insights. Additionally, incorporating existing possessions into the design added another layer of resourcefulness.



All in all, I'm thrilled because there's a unique joy in seeing a vision in your mind materialize into an everyday reality. I've lost count of how many times I've simply opened the door to admire the creation that now graces my space.


Let me know what your favorite part of this One Room Challenge is and feel free to ask me any questions.


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