interiors & styling: Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5

Since we’ve been on vacation and are just getting back home today (on my birthday), I don’t have a giant One Room Challenge update this week. The space has just been sitting still. The above image is what it looked like before we left, and sadly- I think it’s time to start being honest with myself. I don’t think it’s going to get finished before the big reveal next week. It took me a few weeks to admit that because it felt like defeat and a major failure, but I’d rather do this the right way than rush and throw something together I’m not 100% proud of. We live in this home and I want it to be perfect. So what can you expect next week? We’re going to stay up into the wee hours of the night / morning until the big day, and I’ll share what we have- which is hopefully *nearly* finished, but I want to set realistic expectations. My question for you is this… will you come back for “Week 7” to see the final reveal… even though there really isn’t another week in the challenge? To say I’m bummed is an understatement, but I’m also really proud of the work Emmett & I do. He had to talk some sense into me because I’ve been beside myself and very disappointed about not being able to finish on time. I was focusing on the negative instead of remember all we’ve accomplished thus far, in a very short amount of time. Click through for real talk, a very raw post, and a peek at the items that have been arriving in a basement bedroom I’ve never shared before…

If you found me through the ORC site, hi there! I’m Sarah, a designer & blogger located in Salt Lake City, UT. You can see my current home renovation here, as well as my previous home tour here. My husband, Emmett, and I are renovating our third house. Join us as we tackle the formal living room. In case you missed previous updates, don’t worry! Catch up here: Week 1 (before images, floor plan, and design plan), Week 2 (demo), Week 3 (drywall), Week 4 (fireplace and lighting). 


Above you’ll see the built-in wall. The first base cabinet is resting there, but first- let’s start with the honest conversation. Am I discouraged? Absolutely. I’m the type of person who tries to go above and beyond, never misses a deadline, always shows up on time, and over delivers. It’s my personality trait and has been since I was a kid. I’m a “people pleaser”. I take pride in that, but it also took a serious conversation with my darling husband to realize we’re human. We also had a vacation planned for my 30th birthday that had been on the books for over a year. Do I regret going? Not, but I learned a valuable lesson. I realized my breaking point and bit off more than I could chew. I committed to this challenge knowing the time constraints, tried to tackle a crazy ambitious design plan / construction project in a 4 week timespan, and per usual- we encountered the unexpected that took our attention away from the task at hand. We had to deal with replacing hot water heaters and garage doors. It has honestly been a roller coaster of a month filled with highs and lows, but as my sister says… “Is anyone going to die or be seriously injured or emotionally hurt because of this? If the answer is no, then it’s not worth stressing over.” Granted, she’s in the medical field, but her voice rings through my brain when I feel work-induced panic. My job is to share interiors, help people love their homes, educate on topics I love, and inspire beautiful spaces… there are far more important things to worry about when it comes down to it. I can always count on her for perspective!

Next, let’s talk excuses. I think part of admitting our room wasn’t going to be totally finished in time has been difficult to share because it feels like a big fat excuse when hundreds of others are successfully completing the challenge with the same obstacles and time crunch. I don’t want to take anything away from those amazing individuals or discredit their work in anyway. For us, we won’t be able to deliver the quality we’re used to sharing with the circumstances and timing this time around- I feel like we need 1-2 more weeks, and that is 100% on me. Major props to the designers who planned better, worked hard, and will deliver incredible transformations next week. I am SO proud of each and every one of them because this is not easy or for the faint of heart. It takes careful planning, skill, and dedication.

Ok, enough self wallowing- apologies for that… I just wanted to be real and felt like I owed you guys an update. You all have been our constant cheerleaders and I love & appreciate you so much! Ready to see what has been rolling in while we’ve been in Europe? Everything is piling up in a tiny bedroom in our basement (pictured above)! The art should look familiar from this post… I shared the pieces I saved and how I narrowed it down.

I’m obsessed with this scalloped ottoman from Mainly Baskets! Isn’t it beautiful? I’m planning to nestle it under a console table near the french doors.

All of the items currently resting on the bed are for the built-in. I’m going to wallpaper the back of the built-ins (get a tutorial for that here!), and the light fixtures will be hardwired to them as well.

This hefty wall mirror will live above the fireplace, in between the two sconces and I think it’s going to look incredible!

I’ll also be painting the french doors and adding updated brass hardware (pictured above) that feels more substantial.

Lastly, a couple floor lamps have arrived. I love the tapered shade on this beauty! Remember my DIY dog murphy bed? That’s what the shade is resting on. Haha! I wondered how many of you would recognize it… yes- we still have it!

Next week, I’m going to style out what we have finished because I want to highlight the beautiful items the ORC sponsors have sent, but I promise you guys- I’ll be back with a BIG final reveal and I promise I won’t let you down. Check out the progress and updates from the other featured designers below…

linked below…

At Charlotte’s House | Design Addict Mom | Erika Ward Interiors | Erin Kestenbaum | Girl & Grey

Gray Malin | Hommeboys | I Spy DIY | Jewel Marlowe | The Learner Observer | Making it Lovely

 Nicole White Designs | Old Brand New | Oscar Bravo Home | Place of My Taste | The Rath Project

Room for Tuesday | SG Style | Undecorated Home | Veronica Solomon | Media BH&G | TM by ORC


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