One Room Challenge Fall 2021: Week 1

It’s my first time doing the One Room Challenge. It’s also my first time decorating a nearly-empty room from scratch. Usually I have some kind of existing starting point!

Not so this time, unless you count the 1960s card catalog that has to stay in the living room stairs-wise.

(There’s no way we’re carting the card catalog up or down our steep stairs. As it is we met several of the neighbors for the first time because they came and helped when they saw us struggling to get it into in the house.)

So without further ado, the room I’ve chosen to get my feet wet with is…our living room.

Where we started

Here are the before photos, complete with clutter from our move, temporary furniture, a broken curtain rod, and painter’s tape ideas:

Looking into the living room from the stairs
View from the front window
Future fireplace wall with existing randomly-placed mantel.

Where We’re Going (aka the Plan)

1. Add furniture!

We moved here from a smaller house, so adding furniture on this floor is job one. With super long lead times right now, that meant ordering right away in order to hopefully have everything arrive in time.

2. Add walls!

Early in its life, our house likely had a wall between the living room and kitchen with a doorway in it. Then one owner turned part of that into a half wall. Then the next owner completely eliminated the half wall and really opened up the area.

I’m not a fan of open concept living, but my husband liked the look. So we compromised on the idea of extending out the remaining wall stubs to give some separation while still leaving part of the rooms open to each other.

3. Add a fireplace!

When we were looking at houses, we talked about what our ideal house would look like. Mine was a 1950s or 60s brick ranch with a fireplace. His was a 2000+ sf house with an attached 3 or 4 car garage.

So what did we get? A 1400sf 2-story Cape Cod with an abnormally small detached 2-car garage and no fireplace. I know.

But our location is worth it, and we can fix the fireplace part right away. So the plan is to add a wood-burning fireplace on the living room wall that had a wooden beam screwed to it. It was a sign I tell you.

Going forward

I know the general thing is to lay out what you’ll do week by week, and how you’ll do it. But I just don’t work that way.

Our initial thought was to hire contractors do the construction work. You know, build the walls and fireplace surround. But other than the fireplace unit installation company, we couldn’t even get any contractors to give an estimate, let alone commit to doing the work.

So it’s DIY time! I’ve never built a fireplace surround or even seen it done. I’ve never built walls. (Although I have at least seen that done.) But I like doing DIY and am good at Googling, so it should work out.

Things will just happen however they happen, and I’ll learn as I go.

For me that’s part of the fun. I don’t need to know how things will work. I just need to have a goal and head toward it.

So it’s time for project make the living room livable! Check back to see how it goes 🙂

And don’t forget to check out the other One Room Challenge participants here!

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Categorized as DIY

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