Today I have exciting news: I have joined the One Room Challenge® as a guest participant. This means that I (with loads of help from my talented husband Chris) will be scrambling to meet the challenge of completing a room transformation in six weeks – and posting weekly progress reports.
Here’s the logo – it’s official!
The creator and host of the One Room Challenge is Linda of Calling It Home, and it’s sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens. All the other participants (both featured designers and guest participants like me) will be doing the same, and what I love most about the One Room Challenge is that it’s not a contest – it’s a supportive forum where we can encourage one another and find design inspiration.
And I’m going to need all the encouragement I can get because the room that I have chosen is the smallest and most neglected room in our house.
Never before seen by anyone outside of our immediate family, I give you:
My Dressing Room
I’d always had it in the back of my mind that I would revamp this room some day. And until that day came, I didn’t really care how much of a mess it was.
This little room is on our second floor. I guess I could just call it a walk-in closet, but it’s not actually attached to any other room.
Tucked under the roofline – just to the east of the staircase, the dressing room is a tiny room of its own.
As you can see, the ceiling follows the roofline.
The former owners counted it as a bedroom when they listed the house for sale, and we did find evidence that it may have been used as a child’s room at one time.
But since Chris and I had both held onto our pre-marriage bedroom furniture, I decided to move my bedroom dressers (which I’d had almost my entire life – since early childhood!) into this little room and use it as a dressing room.
Over time, the whole thing evolved into a patched-together mess. My dressers didn’t provide enough storage so I brought in a haphazard mix of shelves, ladders, and small storage units. And towers of shoe boxes.
To add to the clutter, I wanted a few of my childhood toys to see the light of day again, so they were in here too.
This room gets very dusty. All this clutter needed to be dusted regularly.
There was wall-to-wall carpet that didn’t quite reach all the walls.
Under the little desk, the carpet transitioned to an area rug which transitioned to some lovely mid century linoleum.
On the east wall, there is a small door – only 64 inches tall – that leads to an unfinished attic space.
The height of the east wall is only 70 inches. So, not even six feet.
A 35-inch-wide alcove housed the only closet rod in the room. That wasn’t enough space, so I had to bring in a portable clothes rack.
When we undertook our master bathroom remodel, we had to take a little bite out of the dressing room to make space for a walk-in shower. So, the room is actually even smaller than it was when we moved in.
This room is a confusing shape, and it’s hard to fathom from the photos. So, tech wizard that I am, I created this stunning visual for you.
On the right, you can see the chunk we took out of the room for the master bath remodel. So we’re looking at a roughly 70-square-foot, kind-of-boot-shaped, slope-ceilinged little room. With two doors.
This is what we will be working with!
I would love a dressing room like this.
But that would require a magic wand. At least I can steal some of the design elements from this look and others like it and apply them on a (much) smaller scale.
- Create a classic and uncluttered dressing room that blends seamlessly with the original design elements of our circa 1927 home;
- Add storage furniture that looks built-in but actually is removable (in case this room is ever needed for another purpose);
- Have as much covered and enclosed storage space as possible;
- Create more space for hanging clothes;
- Add a display cabinet for dolls and other vintage items;
- Add more lighting;
- Expose and refinish the original fir floor or install new flooring.
With this quirky little room, the challenges are obvious, but I’ll list them anyway.
- Odd room shape;
- Tiny room size;
- Sloped ceiling (actually a curse and a blessing since I think it makes the room look charming and old-world);
- My budget (more on that later);
- Original fir floor buried under glued-on mid century linoleum;
- Six-week time frame.
I don’t have an actual budget worked out, but I’m never one to splash money around. I enjoy a good bargain hunt. So this project will be done as thriftily as possible.
But I still want beautiful results. I want a champagne dressing room on a beer budget!
We’ve emptied the room, pulled up the carpet, and assessed the floor.
Somewhere under all this old linoleum is the original fir flooring.
But can we save it? And if not, then what? We’re investigating the possibilities, and we have some ideas.
And I’ve started painting the walls.
More on all this next week, so stay tuned!
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