Week 5–One Room Challenge–Let’s Get Real + Progress

Week 5–One Room Challenge–Let’s Get Real + Progress

new entryway

So let’s get real…Week 5 of the One Room Challenge is probably the worst.

Do you need to catch up?  I’m renovating my Boys Room, and creating a Bunk Room for them.

Week 1

Week 2

Weeks 3 & 4

This is the deceiving part of a project when things are coming together, and you feel encouraged; in fact, you may even be thinking to yourself, “I’ve got this, this is going to be awesome.”

But then… (brace yourself for a terrible run-on sentence/stream of consciousness in text form)

You begin putting elements together, and whether you have been staring at it so long that it begins to all look wrong, or it really does in fact LOOK ALL WRONG, you begin to inwardly panic and feel a sense of creativity despair, all while envisioning yourself melting into a heap because you have worked soooo hard on this and it is NOT RIGHT and holy cow, do you have enough time to make it right? and how will that even happen? and what do you need to do? but then you feel such guilt at feeling so intrinsically upset about a room, a space, A ROOM, for goodness sakes, and then you remind yourself, “this is just a room, this is not eternal, this is just a room, this is not eternal”, while you still sort of scream inside, BUT THIS IS MY WORK, MY ART, AND IT MUST BE PERFECT, PERRRRRRRFECT, and then you stop yourself and furiously call and text your trusted friends that have good design eyes (in my case, Kristin and Gwen to the rescue) that you know will tell you the ABSOLUTE TRUTH – “Grace, this is TERRIBLE”, or “Grace, this is genius, get over it”, or more realistically, “That is good, that is great, change this”, and once you have spoken with them and also dragged your husband into the room and asked him virtually the same question in many different ways which he always answers the same way even though you are phrasing the questions with variance, you sort of feel better, but not really all the way better until you take out what was bothering you, and then click click click, everything just starts clicking and snapping together like the perfect little puzzle you envisioned, and slowly but surely, your confidence comes back, and you feel better, soooooo much better, and you think to yourself, “that was so silly, I never want to go there again”, but you know you will, but oh well, this looks great, and maybe I shouldn’t have mentally shredded all of my business cards.

That, my friends, is the creative process.   This sums it up pretty well.


I find this is not often spoken about, and if you read many blogs by creatives, I know it can feel like they just wave their magic wand, and poof!, their work is finished beautifully and effortlessly, but that is not real life.  There are trial and error elements to every space.  Some projects change more than others, and some projects are very smooth design-wise with minimal angst.  (this nursery was one of my easiest designs ever – it flowed so effortlessly from concept to installation)  My vision for my clients is much more clear than my vision in my own home, which can be frustrating and tiresome.  But still, with every project, whether it be in my house, or my client’s, there is such joy when it is complete.  Creating beauty and peacefulness and giving spaces a soul, is something I am really passionate about.

So if you made it through all of that, you must really be interested in the progress of this room!  : )

Let’s go ahead and repost the first picture since I don’t even remember what it looks like now, ha.

You can see here that we made some progress with the wallpaper and the wainscoting.  You can even see the new little entryway that allowed us to build the new closet into the room.


Because this is nearly a 100-year-old home, the walls are not quite even, so we added a very thin board to the entire wall, and then affixed the wood to that so the wainscoting would be nice and level.

Here’s the Before.

before wainscoting

I really love the little shelf that wraps around the room now.  I thought the boys would really like having a way to display little things that are important to them.  And the wallpaper?!  Swoon.  It was such a difficult choice between the blue and green, but that blue is just so modern and fresh.  The unexpected color gives it more longevity, I think.

wainscoting before

We put the doors up for a test run to make sure the spacing and the pocket door hardware was just right.  They still need some work, but I think they will be a real statement in here.  The handles I got for the doors were an Ebay find, and I am seriously excited about them!  I pondered wallpapering the doors, or even upholstering them, (I really want a pair of upholstered doors in my house!), but ultimately, I felt I was getting a little too excited, and I came up with a simple paint plan that will be beautiful.

doors before

Here is a sneakity peek of the beds.  I’m really loving the swoosh trim, although I think I need to echo it on the underside of the top bunks, and I like how you can see what the reality of construction is around here.  Stuff thrown up on top bunks to get it off the floor and all sorts of tools, cups, and miscellaneous on top of shelves.  All the shelves.  : )

bunk beds

The windows will fit in much more seamlessly by the time I am finished.  Don’t worry, they won’t look as awkward as they do now.

beds before

When I saw the crown molding go up, I started to get excited.  I know it looks like it is not matched up correctly here, but quick reminder, old house, nothing level.  You may be wondering why an old-house purist like me replaced the original molding.  (you can see it in the below photo)  But we didn’t exactly replace the old picture rail.  It is still there, but it is hidden underneath the new molding in case we ever want to change this room.  The larger crown made sense because we needed a thick molding to help the bunks look built-in.  For them to make sense, it required a thick molding all the way across the front.  (we had not added it when the following image was snapped)

crown molding

My original plan was to paint all of the trim and wainscoting a creamy white.  High gloss and wipeable.  But once we got the wallpaper up, I wondered if I was missing a huge opportunity.  I mean, creamy white would be really pretty and safe, but a color?  That idea was way more risky and out there, which of course, I eventually came to love.  I went to my local hardware store and had each color in the wallpaper color matched – the taupe-y grey of the tree trunks, and the lighter and darker blue color.  I thought I would paint the wainscoting AND the crown the same color, but I eventually decided that would make the room seem too choppy.  Therefore, the crown will be the creamy white so the eye flows naturally upwards, and the wainscoting will be a color.

paint options

That decision brings me to the ceiling.  As you know if you have been reading my articles for awhile, “the fifth wall” is important to me.  I think it is often a missed opportunity.  I originally thought I would do a barely there blue or light grey, but after throwing a few samples up there that I already had, I realized this would just bring more choppiness.  So I decided to do a 50% version of the crown molding paint color so the wallpaper remains the star.

ceiling paint options

And that’s it.  That’s all you see before the BIG reveal this week!  I am so super pumped!  As always, thanks for reading.  I appreciate you hanging with me through this!

If you need to catch up on my One Room Challenge, here ya go:

Week 1

Week 2

Weeks 3 & 4

Special thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for creating and orchestrating the One Room Challenge, and to House Beautiful, the Media Partner for this season’s challenge.  Be sure to check out the other spaces!

Written by Grace

  • Jenny
    Posted at 20:27h, 08 May Reply

    This room is going to be AMAZING!!!! And your creative process “summary” is absolutely perfect and I can relate to it 100%!!! Lol! I love all that you have done & especially the true-life-in-progress pictures. I bet your kids are just as eager as you are. Looking forward to the reveal. 🙂

    • Grace
      Posted at 04:59h, 09 May Reply

      Thank you, Jenny! They are very very ready!! Thank you so much for reading and for your comment. G

  • Lisa
    Posted at 21:22h, 08 May Reply

    Yes! What Jenny said! As a regular person, I’m always in awe of what you do. It is nice to peek behind the curtain. Thanks for your honesty!

    • Grace
      Posted at 05:01h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks Lisa! I’m glad you liked it. xo G

  • Lynn
    Posted at 21:33h, 08 May Reply

    This is looking great! I’m on the edge of my seat!

    • Grace
      Posted at 05:01h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks Lynn! Race to the finish. 🙂

  • Elaine J
    Posted at 04:39h, 09 May Reply

    Hi Grace!
    Love the cosy concept of this room. Leaving the molding a creamy white and not wallpapering the closet doors were good calls; keeping the room open, easy to clean and not too fussy for little boys. Think the beds are fine without the swoosh bottoms. It’s all coming together and I’m anxious to see the finished project! But what the heck are you going to do for window treatments and keeping out the cold and light?

    • Grace
      Posted at 05:05h, 09 May Reply

      Hey Elaine, thanks! Yeah, I think so too. My plan is to have cornices put over the top of the windows to heighten the ceiling there. (it seems lower with that small amount of trim above the bed) Then I will tuck roller shades under the cornice for the top bunk, and I can tuck a roller shade behind the trim of the bottom bunk for the window on bottom. We’ll see! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 05:03h, 09 May Reply

    I can only imagine your paint dilemma. I can’t even go to the paint store and decide one wall color, let alone molding, wainscoting, and “the fifth wall”! You were so right to go with the blue trees vs. green. They are so smart! And, I hope you find a place in your home to do an upholstered door. Maybe the new laundry room? I have to say, your room looks the most complicated out of all the other ORC, but if anyone can pull it off it’s you, but I’m sorry you have been second guessing yourself. That’s the worst! I know you will feel happy at the very end!

    • Emily
      Posted at 05:04h, 09 May Reply

      oops Sorry, that anon above is lil’ ole me, Emily!

      • Grace
        Posted at 05:09h, 09 May Reply

        Hey Emily. 🙂

    • Grace
      Posted at 05:09h, 09 May Reply

      Ha! 🙂 I’ll find a way for the upholstered door. Yeah, it feels like a lot just because we changed the room sooo much, I think. I feel like I have been running for a month! I think that is just part of being creative and making something that you want to be just right. I’m feeling good now for sure! xo

  • Charity
    Posted at 07:18h, 09 May Reply

    Looking great! I love the built in beds – fantastic. And the moldings are going to look great. I’m obsessed with a chunky molding.

    Help my mom-designer self understand, if the crown is creamy white and he ceiling/fifth wall is 50% strength – does that mean light white?

    • Grace
      Posted at 02:22h, 11 May Reply

      Hey Charity, yes! Light white! It flows seamlessly, I’m so happy with it! xo

  • Iris Nacole
    Posted at 08:04h, 09 May Reply

    Wow, I am in love with it all, and completely agree with the design process you went through. That’s exactly how it works for me too. LOL! I’m excited to see the big reveal this week!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 02:22h, 11 May Reply

      Ha! Good to know I am not alone, Iris! 🙂

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