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  • Writer's pictureMehnaz Khan

One Room Challenge Fall 2023 - MULTIPURPOSE ROOM

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



Today marks the beginning of Week 2 in the One Room Challenge, and I must confess, I joined the journey at the eleventh hour. To say the least, I'm already playing catch-up, and my concern looms large: will I be able to complete the room by Week 8?


But before I dive into my apprehensions, let me unveil the current state of the room.


My biggest issue is that this room has scarcely seen any action over the past year and a half since we moved in. It's been relegated to guest overflow and an Amazon box storage area.


I want to give this room a personality, so it evokes emotions and beckons the family to spend time here.

(I firmly believe every room in a house should be used on a daily basis.)


I’m kickstarting the transformation by giving this builder grade living room a fancy name. The family is being trained to call it a ‘parlor’.


Something about this vintage term instantly incurs a touch of elegance and interest.


The parlor is slated to serve many purposes—a cozy hub for intimate conversations with friends and a mini-library and study for everyday use.


My objective is to entice my teen and tween boys to venture out of their bedrooms, providing them with an alternative ambiance where they can have quality solo time—whether it's lounging on the chaise with a captivating book or engaging in research.



As you can see, the room's current state is a far cry from our aspirations.

It’s bland and boring.

Has zero personality.

Devoid of emotion.

And doesn't seem to attract anyone to linger. But not for long……….


My Vision

This is the inviting nook where you can lose yourself in a book, curled up on the chaise with a warm throw.


Every library needs a storage system that proudly displays the family's book collection, and what better choice than a built-in? The beauty of a built-in is that it's another canvas to express your personality, as unique as the person who owns it. Right now, our books are gathering dust in the basement, but that's about to change.

Here's the grand plan for built-in bookcases, stretching across the entire wall and even daring to climb over the door.

Now that you've glimpsed my vision, let me introduce you to the color palette.


The Color Palette

Guess what?

I'm diving into the depths of darkness and moodiness in the parlor.


You know I have a system for selecting colors, and it's never a decision based on personal whims or what's trendy.


So, I began by addressing a few essential questions:

1. The room's purpose

2. The emotions we wish to evoke

3. The amount of time spent in the room


Contemplating these questions led me to our color palette direction.


Since this room won't be inhabited for extended periods, it provided the perfect opportunity to embrace dark, saturated colors.


It is important to note, according to the principals of Color Psychology, when prolonged period of time is spent in a room with highly saturated colors, one can begin to feel suppressed emotionally.


On the other hand, a positive psychological effect of saturated shades is that, they encourage emotional consolidation — an ideal backdrop for focused study or library work.


So, we're going dark and moody. But which exact shade, you ask?

Drum roll, please… It's a shade of purple!


According to the principles of Color Psychology, purple promotes deep contemplation, precisely what we need to support library and study activities.


Now that we have a direction and a color, I delved into my stash, hunting for a dark fabric with a touch of purple.

Isn't this fabric simply perfect? It exudes the intensity and moody vibe I sought, boasting a rainbow of colors.


So here’s my color palette so far,


This scheme also allows me to seamlessly incorporate the few existing pieces of furniture that will stay in the room—the brown chaise and the peacock blue wingback chairs.


Given the room's overall dark ambiance (with the trim and doors dipped in dark purple too), I opted for a vibrant, cheerful window treatments. The curtains will sport this bold and bright pink.


Here’s what next on my shopping list:

1. Finding the right rug

2. Printed fabric for lampshades ( and lamps)

3. Upholstery fabric for side chairs

4. Lighting

5. Vintage chairs and folding leaf table

6. Wallpaper for the ceiling


I'm thinking that one of the strips in my hero fabric should be the color of the rug. Given the room's darkness, I'm leaning toward a vibrant, light-colored rug. In the comments, tell me which color would you like to see in the room.


This weekend, the carpenter is slated to begin crafting the bookcases and adding crown molding to the room. Be sure to check back next week to witness our vision taking shape.


P.S. Recall that I mentioned my concern about finishing on time.

The reason behind this anxiety lies in the fact that I haven't placed any fabric orders yet, and to make matters more challenging, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect vintage furniture pieces.


Unlike conventional furniture shopping, vintage pieces are elusive gems. You can't just stroll into a store and pick out what you need; it can take an extensive amount of time to locate the precise pieces you've envisioned, often in the right dimensions. So, I'm embracing the power of manifestation and keeping my fingers crossed. The quest for these unique vintage finds adds another layer of excitement to this transformative journey.


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