The One Room Challenge

I first heard of the One Room Challenge over a year ago when several of my designer friends were participating. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, The One Room Challenge was started by Linda of the popular blog Calling it Home. Twice a year she asks twenty top design bloggers to make over a room of their choice in six short weeks (well actually five because week six is the reveal).

Anyone with a blog is also welcome to link up to the One Room Challenge and take part in the fun. Next Wednesday Oct 7th is the start date for the twenty chosen designers and each Wednesday they will blog and chronicle their room progress until the big reveal November 11th. Starting Thursday the 8th, everyone else who is participating in the link up does the same. It seems fun as well as potentially stressful but at the end of six weeks the reward is a newly decorated room.

Now truth be told,  I have been planning to make over our family room for over four years now and it still hasn’t happened. Lot’s of reasons why but mainly because I am busy with client work so my own home takes a back seat.  Also, I have a common affliction that many designers have when it comes to decorating their own home, called “analysis paralysis”.  There are so many colors and styles I like that I find it challenging to make a decision.

Well fast forward and I get a life changing diagnosis of breast cancer. I end up spending the majority of the Summer laying on a 25+ year old uncomfortable sofa recovering from the side effects of chemotherapy, staring at a mostly empty room. Depressing to say the least.

Why was the room empty you wonder? Well over a year ago we gave almost all our family room furniture to my son when he moved into his Boston apartment. The furniture was dated, no longer our style and I thought if I gave everything away it would prompt me to get moving on redoing the room. Well it still hasn’t happened and the furniture that is in the family room are basement relics that are soon to be donated or ditched. Embarrassing for sure but hey, it’s life.

SO, I have decided to participate in the One Room Challenge link up. I’m going public with my makeover so there is no turning back. In order to get my family room completed in six weeks decisions need to be made and fast! Everyone will be watching (OMG and judging??) so it is intimidating but also the kick in the butt I need to finally decorate this depressing sad room.

So I hope you follow along all the featured designers starting Wednesday the 7th and all the link up participants, like myself, the follow day Thursday the 8th.

I know it’s Friday and and since Friday is usually reserved for Friday’s Photo, here it is, my One Room Challenge makeover inspiration.

ORC inspiration

One Room Challenge color inspiration: green, cream and taupe

I also have a large collection of blue and white china that I somehow have to incorporate into the room design.  be sure to check back next Thursday to see my plan.

Have a great weekend everyone and hopefully we will not be hit by Hurricane Joaquin.

Mally Skok fabric crush

I assume I am among the majority of decorators and designers when I say, I LOVE fabric. I mean I seriously LOVE fabric. Even as a kid, I remember being in heaven while my mother browsed at our local fabric store. I would wander the isles checking out all the different patterns, colors and textures and I would fantasize about all the things I would make and with which fabric.

Back then our local fabric store had a giant barrel by the register filled with left over samples. You could get a sample for a quarter. It was so difficult to choose just two pieces which was what I was allowed to bring home. Had my mother or the store allowed it I would have dumped the entire barrel onto the floor and spend the whole day deciding which two were “the ones”.

All these years later and I haven’t changed one bit. Even though I was about to start chemo and had no idea how I would be feeling, I jumped at the change to meet up with Boston Designer Mally Skok and check out her beautiful fabrics and coordinating wallpapers. Luckily I felt good that day and just as when I was a kid I could have stayed all day.

Skok's fabric room

Skok’s fabric room

One of the things I like best about Mally’s fabrics and wallpapers are that they are locally made right here in Mass. The bolts are then shipped to her studio. This allows Mally and her staff to keep quality in check by inspecting, cutting and shipping all orders themselves.

Although Mally is now a Bostonian she is originally from South Africa (by way of London) and many of her fabrics reflect her international sensibilities.

Tribal ethnic fabrics

Mally Skok bolts of fabric

Mally has six different collections and each one is quite different yet all reflect Mally’s love and expertise with color and pattern. You can check them all out here. What was most fun besides seeing her operation was getting a tour of her home and seeing some of her fabrics and wallpapers in use.


Mewar pink on walls, India Stripe on chair, Rohet Flora multi on pillow

I discovered Mally and I share a love a pink which is reflected in a couple of the bedrooms.


Brimfield on walls and chair in Petunia Pink

This wallpaper called Botswana Trees is from her Africa collection and is one of my favorites.


Botswana trees peridot

What dog lover could possibly resist this this adorable doggy wallpaper?


All of Mally’s designs are just so happy and welcoming.


Suzani Luv Blue on White


Rohet Flora Multi on chair seat

Doesn’t this guest bedroom make you feel like you are in some cute little Parisian bed and breakfast? If I was her guest I would not want to leave.


Brimfield Petunia Pink

Mally sent me home with a big bag of one swatch of each piece in her collection. I was so excited about my bag of treasures. I am somewhat embarrassed to share this (so don’t judge) but as soon as I got home I sat on the floor with all the samples spread out in front of me. It was just like my dream had come true from when I was a kid. I had dumped out the swatch barrel and was taking my time “playing with” and falling in love with all the fabrics.

I can’t wait to use some in a project. I already have chosen “the ones”.

Do you feel this way about fabric too?

Friday’s Photo: fabric eye candy

I happen to be at a local fabric store last week and was stopped in my tracks by this beautiful hand embroidered silk bird fabric. I don’t know if you have noticed but birds are trending in home decor.  My cell phone photo doesn’t do the fabric justice but trust me, it is to die for!

calico corners bird fabric

Calico Corners: Style: Verona, Color: Cognac


Wouldn’t this be fabulous on the back of dining room chairs? While I’m on the topic of fabric check back next Tuesday for more fabric eye candy as I highlight Boston designer Mally Skok and her gorgeous line of bespoke fabric.

Have a great weekend everyone!

I made it through round two of chemo this week. Three weeks down, only nine more weeks to go!

Friday’s Photo: Decorating with books

Looking for a simple DIY project to do over this long weekend to add some color or pattern to a room? I thought this was a very cleaver idea since many of us have stacks of old paper back books laying around ( if not, they can be purchased at almost any yard sale for pennies).


Simply turn the spines around and paint the pages in an assortment of colors and patterns. Instant colorful art!

Have a great long weekend everyone and even though it does not feel like Summer here in New England at least we know it’s coming soon!



Friday’s Photo: RL breaking the rules

In both photography and design school I was told “first you have to learn the rules in order to successfully break the rules”. This image below taken at the Ralph Lauren High Point Showroom is definitely a rule breaker. A giant mirror is oversize for the console table (a mirror should be no more than 1/3 the length of the piece of furniture it is over), a teeny tiny lamp looks way too small for the table (the size of a lamp should be balanced with the size of the table)  and a large framed photo overlaps the mirror (never obstruct a mirror).

Ralph Lauren Show room

Ralph Lauren Show room High Point

Does it work? Absolutely. Every single element is placed perfectly so that the overall vignette is balanced and cohesive. What do you think?

Have a great weekend!

Friday’s Photo: Excitement in the details

One of my favorite things to see at High Point Market is how the experts style the show rooms. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to observe because the rooms are almost always packed with sales reps buzzing about and with designers sitting in the room to test out the furniture or to simply relax for a few minutes.

One lucky afternoon I just happen to get this “person free” image at Wesley Hall.  I had about 5 seconds before someone walked back into the frame and sat down on the chair.

Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall

Just look at how much thought went into styling and decorating this one small space. The green in the art work perfectly coordinates with the green leather sofa. The flowers on the tray which is angled “just so” is a perfect compliment to the floral fabric on the chair. My absolute favorite detail though is the small red crystal on the chandelier that forms a little color triangle with the floral fabric and the red pillow on the sofa.

Call me crazy but it’s these perfectly thought out design details that gets me so excited about design.

Have a great weekend everyone. I think here in New England we are going to have our first absolutely gorgeous weekend.

Friday’s Photo: creative upcycling

Next week I am very excited be to attending the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City. It got me thinking about my last visit to NY when I attended the Wanted Design show in May. A fun find from that show was this colorful pouf by Studioavni called the Bindi Dot, made from upcycled Indian Sarees.

Bindo Dot

Bindi Dot

Inspired by the colorful Bindis that Indian women adorn on their forehead, the Bindi dot is the adornment placed between the two eyebrows. The Bindi dot is also known as the six chakra or the seat of concealed wisdom. You can check out the full collection HERE.

Have a great weekend everyone and hang in there..only another few weeks until Spring. I for one can not get there fast enough.

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