Thursday, November 12, 2015


One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

 It's the end of the Fall 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge, created and hosted by Linda of Calling it Home (I made it all the way through- whew!). Over these last 6-weeks, I've shared plans, progress and lots of sneak peeks for my guest room turned in-home office space. Today, I'm happy to finally reveal the finished design in its entirety. 

One Room Challenge Black and White Interiors Gallery Wall

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been. After starting with a relatively blank slate, I got off to a quick start and made lots of progress between Weeks 1 and 2. I painted, Dad came by to help me hang the picture ledges and build out the shelves and I finished the light fixture revamp. I also got through some of the more hands on projects like the lined 'Pyne Hollyhock' drapery panels and buffalo check upholstery on my curbside find in Weeks 3 and 4. But somewhere between Weeks 4 and 6, the project caught up with me and I found myself hung up on the final accessories and styling. As it always does, it all came together over the past weekend - just hours before I was able to get the room photographed for the reveal. 

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

In all honesty, I started working in the space before it was finished and I think that helped me make some of those final decisions I had been agonizing over. It was important to me to make sure that the space was functional as well as pretty. I also wanted to make it a true reflection of my personal style and a place that would make me feel motivated and productive each day while I worked in front of my computer. By moving in early, I was able to make sure I had lighting and a desk set up that was appropriate for the day to day grind - not just a pretty picture.

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

I utilized a series of bins and files to organize my papers, magazine collection, fabric and project supplies. In styling the room, I also looked to some of my former display pieces like the mini tagines - which I now use (and display) desk side on the back console for paper clips and pins. I also incorporated an up-cycled filing cabinet (found at a local garage sale) to help keep important documents close at hand. I painted out the once dingy cream colored cabinet in white and the sprayed the hardware in a matte black, a scheme that now blends nicely into the other furniture in the room.

One Room Challenge Black and White Home Office

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

My art collection came together pretty fluidly, from both flea market finds - like the mid-century gold horse plaque that was purchased long ago - and newly found treasures courtesy of Etsy. Some of these were even "print your own" images, purchased and downloaded for mere dollars. I used a selection of inexpensive, but well designed frames to showcase my finds and I'm really pleased with the result. To me, the gallery wall in particular and the room in general, was an exercise in designing with my heart and incorporating things that really spoke to me personally. Somehow, all of those individual elements came together into a cohesive design that was representative of my personal style. 

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

One Room Challenge Black and White Interiors Buffalo Check Chintz

As it always does, the One Room Challenge tested my DIY skills in new ways. I tackled the lined drapery panels in perhaps my favorite pattern ever - Schumacher's 'Pyne Hollyhock' - which frankly was a pretty smooth project thanks to an easy to follow blog tutorial. I also reupholstered my first chair, the most difficult part of which was breaking down the old upholstery - a testament to the quality of this old piece.

One Room Challenge

The closet demo gave way to a better utilized space, now organized to display more of my flea market finds and organize project materials. Truth be told, this area will likely evolve a bit as I fold in more supplies still hanging out in my old office space. But I've left plenty of room to organize and fill with more pretty woven bins to help conceal the chaos.

One Room Challenge Black and White Interiors Office Organization

One Room Challenge Black and White Buffalo Check Chintz

Black and White Home Office One Room Challenge

I kept my now spacious desktop simple and free of clutter. To give you a better idea of scale - that painting is a massive 40 x 40" and at least in photographs, it seems dwarfed on the wall above. Simple IKEA table tops paired with metal trestle style legs gave me more space to spread out my ongoing lists and daily planner each morning and keeps my workspace from feeling too confined.

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall Sputnik

This room gets the most glorious light throughout the day and has already been a big mood-lifter throughout my workday. 

One Room Challenge Black and White Gallery Wall

 I like to think my home will slowly be completed - one room at a time, every six months through the One Room Challenge. Setting a deadline on the internet is a big motivator to finally tackle a room like this that you know, just seemed to never really come together. It always feels good going into another season with a newly finished room - particularly one like the holiday season when the list of to-dos seems infinite. I can already feel a bit accomplished (and thankful!) walking into my new organized office space.

 A big thank you to Linda for hosting and for expanding the challenge to design enthusiasts like myself so that we might take part in all the fun. Be sure to check out reveals by all the bloggers who threw their hat in the ring this round. A big thank you to all who have supported with sweet comments here on the blog and on Instagram. I hope you will continue to follow along. Now that the challenge is over, I have a long list of design adventures still to share - floral projects and events as well as some still unrevealed renovations that have taken place here at the house. 

The 'before' and weekly progress on this room can be seen here:

Previous ORC reveals:

Guest Bath | Master Bedroom | Masculine Study 

A fresh, new look for Holtwood Hipster is currently in the works! Things may look a little sparse and formatting/fonts might seem a bit jumbled at the moment. But I'm excited to soon share a cleaner, easier to read layout that will help me better connect with all of you! Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 5, 2015


We are just a week away from next Thursday's reveal of the new in-home workspace that I've been designing for the Fall 2015 edition of the One Room Challenge. For today's update, I wanted to focus on some of the resources I've been leaning on throughout the last 5 weeks. I'm a big supporter of both small business go-getters and do-it-yourself warriors and my final design will feature the work and learnings from both. 

The gallery wall is nearly complete (I'm waiting on one more order from overseas - cross your fingers for me!). I have my selections matted, framed and put in place along the ledges Dad helped me hang in that first week. When sourcing artwork for our home, one of the first places I always look is Etsy. Where else can you access talented graphic designers, artists, photographers and vintage works all in one place? The pieces I chose are a composition of vintage and modern photography, sketch-works and hand-drawn graphics, some of which were affordably purchased as downloadable art that I took to my local copy house and printed for mere dollars. I've featured some of my selections and sources above. 

Camera Lucida is an Etsy shop devoted to vintage photography works largely focused on Americana. I chose one by depression era photographer Dorothea Lange and the works she did under the FSA capturing the harsh realities of the depression. I've always loved her work. While the irony in the image is not lost on me (these down on their luck cowboys no doubt are being taunted by the image in the billboard), I like to look at it a little differently and it will be a reminder to me in my work space that the easy road is not always the most suitable for travel. I also came upon the vintage 70's style sketches of artist Susan Brommelsiek in her Etsy shop "When I was 20". Her shop features sketches she did long ago while in art school and is well worth a look - particularly if you're looking to source tasteful nudes and anatomy studies. 

I also completed my first set of lined draperies using my beloved 'Pyne Hollyhock' from Schumacher. I was lucky enough to source the fabric from an overseas distributor as "seconds" quality for half the retail price. There is nothing to indicate anything inferior to the original in the yardage I received so I am still scratching my head at that one. I kicked around different styles - toying with idea of more formal pleating. In the end, I chose to hang them rather simply using clip rings and I'm really happy I went in this direction. I did line them and used inexpensive Ikea draperies (in the end, much cheaper and easier than if I had purchased fabric by the yard). I had never done a lined drape so I leaned on this very easy to follow tutorial put together by House of Hepworths. The tutorial shows you how to line panels using an inexpensive bed sheet. As an alternative, I opted to use Ikea Vivian panels (and flipped them upside down to leverage the 4" bound top which added weight to my panel bottom). 

I also previously shared a peek at the refurbished DIY shandy in Week 3. I had previously hacked a IKEA Maskros fixture following Jenny's lead from Little Green Notebook. It was starting to look worn and tired and quite honestly was too busy for the overall look I wanted in the new space. But I really still liked the footprint in the room and didn't want to toss it. I was lucky to find a more streamlined version by Bethany of Dwellings by Devore that translated into exactly what I was after. I disassembled the old fixture, repainted it and set about flanking it with simple catering cups (rather than the scalloped design I used previously). Like the tutorial, I opted to cut out gold circles and glue them on the inside base of the cup for a more polished look. I dug through my stash of old invitations and as luck would have it, I had some gold invites I was able to repurpose with the use of a 1" punch without any further purchase. 

One of my favorite projects from this round of the ORC is the barrel cane chair I was able to re-upholster in this black and white buffalo check pattern. I inherited the chair from my neighbor's curb and though the upholstery was in good condition, I wanted to update it with something both equal parts classic and modern. I was a little intimidated and again turned to both You Tube and online tutorials for help. One of the references I found particularly helpful was this one by Peacefully Home via Remodelholic. It helped me troubleshoot some of the tougher areas where I was not sure how to go about deconstructing and reassembling. There were certainly steps to take to ensure the chair went back together as it was intended to. It also helped that I took photos at each stage for later reference.

I'm pretty jazzed at this collision of pattern in the corner of my new office. Did you also catch the new look we gave the old aluminum frame with a little oil based black paint? 

I can't wait to show you the finished design next Thursday. Be sure to pop on back for the reveal of the full art gallery wall, closet organization system and a full look at all the details that came together in this space. In the meantime, my blogmates are sharing Week 5 progress over at Calling it Home. The last week is one of the hardest of the challenge and we can all use the support. 

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