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Bedroom Makeover, Problems And The Plan (ORC, Fall 2021, WEEK 1)

What we need to do to make a boring bedroom a sweet dream.

We didn't forget you.

Do you ever find that that there's one room in your home that is a bit forgotten, left behind, attended to only once every other space is taken care of? For us, that's our main bedroom. A personal, private enclave. Quietly close the door and look beyond (until we took off the door, but that's another story). Ours has become the storage locker. The uninspired holding tank. The "we'll get to it" room.

Well dear bedroom, be neglected no more. Because we are back at it. Let the One Room Challenge commence.

If you're not familiar with the ORC, it is a design community event taking place each fall and spring that is all about encouraging each other to complete one home improvement project over eight weeks. It is not a competition - rather, it is a time for design enthusiasts to share their creativity, ideas and lots of high-fives as we all try to get our spaces ready for the last week's grande finale and reveal.



The One Room Challenge™ occurs in April and October. Each round, twenty design influencers take the challenge as Featured Designers. Every Wednesday, the designers document their progress over six weekly posts (bumped to eight weeks due to the pandemic). Better Homes and Gardens is the official media sponsor.


Everyone with a blog or Instagram account is welcome to join as a Guest Participant by linking their own room transformations up each Thursday, flooding the internet and social media with interior design inspiration, ideas, and encouragement. You can also visit the One Room Challenge to follow along and cheer on the hundreds of home-loving kings and queens working their magic.


This is our third #OneRoomChallenge and being involved has certainly spurred us on to keep improving and #LovingLeuty. So far, we've chronicled the transformation of our backyard into a cutting garden and flower studio (see here) and overhauled a laundry/bathroom (see here). Now, we're making over our main bedroom. Please come along.

Week 1 (you are here) | Week 2 | Week3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 |


Where We Began

When we moved into our home a few years ago, of the three bedrooms on the upper level of this 1909 semi, we selected the room at the back for Graham and me. It's intimate and quiet and somewhat removed from the rest of the house. A perfect hideaway. Well, not quite perfect yet, but by the end of the next eight weeks, we hope to turn the space into an idyllic retreat. Do Not Disturb sign and all.

To get into the heart of the bedroom you walk through a small alcove hallway.

The first area is just big enough for a king-sized bed and storage.

There are a few steps down to a sweet sun room with windows that overlook the garden. We plan on using this as an office area.

What Needs To Change

The room has a lot of potential to be a tucked-away haven, but there are some design flaws that need to be addressed:

  • The almost-new real oak floor is in really good shape, but its orange hue has to go

  • While we have many windows in the space, the most important bank for views and breeze at the back of the sunroom don't open, so we need to change that

  • Storage and closet space is not optimized (and not very nice to look at)

  • Yellowy-beige wall colour does not help the room

  • Those light fixtures have gotta be replaced

  • Oh, and we need a door that locks (did I mention we have three children?)

Time For A Plan, And The Stickies

When starting a design and decorating project, I love to see a visual of everything that needs to be done in front of me. It helps with planning and pacing. Enter the Wall of Stickies. It's a simple exercise. Write down each element that needs to be completed. There's a "To Do" column and a "Done" column.

Once a task is completed, it gets moved from the "To Do" column to the "Done" column. You can also add "Weeks" or "Months" columns if you want to be more specific about the timelines of the project.

It's so gratifying to see progress made and the "Done" column growing with completed stickies. For our bedroom makeover, the good news is that we are well on our way. Recently, we had all of the windows in the house replaced, so that is done. We've also painted the entire second floor white (more on that process in next week's post). So, two big elements completed. Woot. But still a long ways to go to make this room sing.


I know I'm cutting it close, but I haven't quite landed on an overall vision for this space. We want the room to be romantic and bright and soothing all at the same time. It also has to be functional and offer a work area, without being too officey. I keep going back and forth.

Light or dark? Moody or crisp? Spare or stuffed?

So many colours. Too few walls.

I'm going to take this week to finalize the decorating direction, but there's one thing I know will help provide some inspiration for the room and it is this fabulous vintage bed covering.

We stumbled upon this gorgeous vintage bedspread made of swirly, cappuccino-coloured velvet and adorned with tassels and were instantly smitten. This piece is going to provide inspiration for the creative direction for the bedroom. Now, we just have to decide how it's all going to come together. Stay tuned.

Next Week

Painting over wood floors is a big decision - see if it worked out for us.


Check out some more.

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