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  • Estie

One Room Challenge: Week 1

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

As if I didn't have enough on my plate already with being in the midst of the High Holidays, plus expecting our new addition this month (!!!), I decided to take the plunge and participate in the fall One Room Challenge! I was going back and forth and the fear of not being able to complete the project within the time frame was keeping me from entering, but then at the last minute I just decided to go for it! After all, it's not a competition but rather will give me the push I need to complete one space of our new home, all while documenting the process along with all the other participants.

If you haven't heard of the One Room Challenge, it's a biannual event that takes place each April and October where 20 featured designers are selected to transform a space over the course of six weeks. Anyone can enter as a guest designer, and share their own room transformations as well, which is what I'll be doing.

In case you're just tuning in, about a year ago, my husband Kovi and I decided to move from our little bungalow in Redondo Beach, California to a huge (for us!) new build in Houston, Texas, along with our two littles. Although participating in the building process was a huge pull for the move, we chose a semi-custom option, and didn't have full reign over all the design choices, so there are still many things that are in in the works before our home can really be a reflection of our personal style and aesthetic.

The style of the home is "French Country Meets Modern Scandinavian," with lots of bright airy white spaces highlighted with bold accents. Using this backdrop, I like to layer in rich textures and patterns in textiles and furnishings to create depth and visual interest. My overall design ethos is where timeless classic elements such as brass, marble, velvet, and decorative moldings are blended with organic elements such as rattan, cane, sheepskin, and raw wood for a balance of warmth and beauty.


For the challenge, I decided to work on the sitting room, which is pretty much the first space you see once you enter the house and sets the tone for the rest of the house. It also leads into the formal dining room, which is also currently a work in progress (If you follow me on Instagram you've been seeing peaks into that room lately!), so the two spaces need to be cohesive. Since we use the family room (technically the playroom now but will be changing soon!) as more of a lounging space, we decided to make this room the music room, and will be incorporating a piano and record player in here, as well as displaying Kovi's guitars. The element I'm probably most excited about are the built-ins we'll be adding in here as well to frame the window -- I think it'll add a whole new level of coziness! Here's what the room currently looks like:

To re-cap, here's what will be taking place over the next six weeks:

  • Built-in bookshelves framing the window

  • New window treatments to replace builder grade blinds

  • Possibly replacing rattan armchairs (?)

  • Sourcing piano - either white or blue?

  • Sourcing side table with record storage for turntable

  • Bookshelf styling

  • Sourcing art and decor

When we moved, although we had only been married for about five years, we realized how much stuff we had accumulated, whether they were hand-me-downs given to us by family members, or things we purchased "temporarily," but became permanent fixtures over time, you know how it goes. We made the conscious decision that our new home would be clutter free, and only brought in pieces we truly love (hence giving away a full set of dishes and using paper plates up until very recently when I landed on a set I love!). Keeping this in mind, I want to make sure that although I'll be on a tight time frame I don't compromise on the pieces I select for this space. It's not called the one room challenge without a reason after all!


Now for the fun part! Here is the design concept, using some of the pieces we already have, and rounding them out with rose and mustard hued textiles. I'm also hoping to score a bone inlay console table and a striking vintage piano (that's not a fortune!). Although I love the rattan armchairs I recently purchased, I'm feeling that maybe this space needs something more loungey like a pair of swivel chairs, but I think I'll get a better idea once the built-ins and bamboo Roman shades are in.


I love this neutral space featured on Apartment 34, although we will be taking more of a colorful route.

I originally had to in mind to frame the large window with floor length curtains, but seeing this space by Michelle Nielsen gave me the idea to wrap it with built ins for a cozy library feel.


I'm excited to bring this space to life along with you guys! I'll be updating you on progress each Thursday for the next six weeks -- follow along here as well as over on my Instagram. And be sure to check out the featured designers' and guest designers' transformations as well! See you next week!

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