before and after, one room challenge

ORC Week 6: The Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the Fall 2019 One Room Challenge Reveal Week!

Week 5   Week 4  Week 3   Week 2    Week 1

I’m just so excited, I’m jumping right in. Let’s just say, Phoebedoodle is thrilled with her new Library Office. It’s the perfect blend of the original masculine tradition infused with soft, feminine details and colors.



Let’s first revisit where we were.  I’m not going to lie.  This was already a fantastic room. Our home was built in 1929 and still flaunts a lot of its original woodwork.  The library/office is located through double doors off of the living room. It was one of my favorite things about this house when we bought it 5 months ago.

Total, 100% charm.


With lots of woodwork. Which I wasn’t ready to paint.


Original diamond-paned windows. Which I love.


Lots of bookshelves. Which are immovable and have varying heights. Lots of brown…. IMG_5398

It was a dark room with SO MUCH POTENTIAL.  A little borrowed white metal desk, cast-off lamps, and no chandelier and all.  We just needed light, warmth, color, and texture….. 


During the first couple weeks, I emptied all of the shelves, cleaned the woodwork, and began papering the back of the shelves with blue faux grasscloth paper. Yep. Faux. Fake. As in, even up close you have to touch it to make sure. You really can’t tell. Which is a good thing, because the shelves are permanent.  And each one took three pieces. So about 587 hours and four exacto blades later, I was done.


Major Changes:


New desk: I found this gorgeous Ethan Allen beast of a desk via an EBTH auction here in Columbus. And paid $215.  I did absolutely nothing to her. She had a little dust after sitting in my garage for a month, but was otherwise ready to go!


RUG — I recently discovered these Loloi rugs through a friend and am crazy pleased with the hand, color and finishing.  So much that I bought another for my kitchen.


BENCH — The bench was a last minute shot at adding texture to this room, and I am so glad I braved the first sleet of the season to hit the jackpot at my local HomeGoods!

LIGHTING – Sconces & Ceiling — My electrician vetoed hardwired sconces because he didn’t want to be The Guy Who Cut Into The Paneling With a Saws-All. So, enter these practical plug-in options from Amazon. There were inexpensive and I switched out the shade with ones I found at World Market. (The original plan was to wrap the shades in ribbon, but I couldn’t enough ribbon in time.)z-IMG_6840

Annnnd the awesome ceiling fixture is courtesy of my friend Rebecca, who purchased it long ago for her own remodel and could never return it because she loves it so. I believe she got it on Wayfair. Here is a link to something similar.


DESK CHAIR – I’ve sat in a lot of black pleather chairs in my day. I did not want one. This room deserved wayyy better. Enter this one from World Market, and she is every bit as awesome as you think.  And she’s on sale right now, so what’s stopping you? 😉

CURTAINS –  The acrylic rod and brass mounting brackets are from Amazon. The curtains are good old  $30 Ikea Ritvas, the darlings of the design world. And if I’m being 100% truthful, these are laundered and from my old house. I added from 3″ navy grosgrain ribbon for contrast.  (I had some lovely chinoiserie curtains up for a week and they were just too much for this tiny space.  I will definitely use them elsewhere in the house.)


Accessories — Almost all of my accessories are thrifted. Or clearance. I’m always on the lookout for fun books, blue and white ginger jars, vases, brass curiosities, and natural elements.   Butterflies hold a special significance to me, so when I found this little cloche of vintage butterfly taxidermy, I was thrilled.


ART — The showstopper of this reveal is this original art from local Columbus artist Frances Katz. We won this piece at auction earlier this year and it has been moved from room to room, looking for a home.  I am so in love with the detail and color and energy. What a great way to start my day, right?


It’s full of color and sparkle. And Hi, that’s me in my PJs in the high-gloss resin finish!


Frances’s work is now also being sold online in murals and textiles in a home collection at The murals include a hand application of gold foil at the end, and I am dying to use one in an upcoming project! This one is a favorite of mine.


I have also collected original art during our travels. On a recent trip to the gulf coast of Florida this summer, I picked up this signed 1980 charcoal sketch. It could have been me back in the day; but it could also easily be any one of my three girls who share my love for devouring a good book at the beach.

Ok, Friends.  That’s it.  Let’s take one more look at the before and after:


I still can’t believe how far it’s come and I can’t wait to put this jewelbox of a room to use every day!

Major thank yous to the coordinators of this 2019 Fall One Room Challenge. There is something pretty amazing about hundreds of people participating in a before and after party! Also, special thanks to Better Homes and Gardens, as the media sponsor.

My biggest takeaway from this process was the new connections I made throughout this six week challenge. The internet is many things, but my favorite is how it is a connector of people. We live in an age where you can buy last minute rugs at midnight in your PJs and have them delivered the next day. And then have it returned for free if you want. Yes. Convenience is huge. But connecting with others with a simple message of support or thanks is pretty powerful, too.

Make sure to visit the ORC blog for links to all of the amazing Before and Afters for Featured Designers and Guest Participants (Like me). And follow the #oneroomchallenge hashtag on Instagram for instant updates!

Thanks for cheering me on along the way! Have a fantastic weekend!


11 thoughts on “ORC Week 6: The Reveal”

  1. What a beautiful room! The faux grass cloth was a genius solution to lighten up all that gorgeous, dark woodwork. Congratulations— so well done!


  2. Gorgeous! My favorite is your use of the faux grass cloth which added a feminine touch. Your ability to overcome obstacles within the design process is also noted. Although you wanted hard-wired sconces, you found a solution that was equally as nice. Congratulations on a job well done!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s