One Room Challenge: Week 2: The Game Plan

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Title Photo Source (How is that for styling Inspo?!)

Dear One Room Challenge Diary,

It has been made clear to me this week that my dining room project is going way over budget. It has not been made clear to my husband, fortunately, and I would like to keep it that way. How long until he finds out? Certainly by Week 3 or 4. Also, Diary, this week I doubted my own abilities and let buyer’s FOMO (fear of missing out) get the best of me. I blame Anthropologie’s Home Sale, because it caused me to actually get out of bed after midnight (minutes before the sale ended), and make a large purchase. Luckily I woke up with a clear mind + cancelled my purchase because this was not a well thought out decision. Does that say crazy enough for you?

Don’t doubt me too much though Diary, I also had a big moment of clarity, giving me the feeling that the dining room might turn out to be my favorite room in the house!

xoxo, Chrissy

Now let me show ya what I’m working with:

She’s pretty, pretty, prettyyyyyyy empty. And we’ve been living with this big empty dining room since we moved in, over a year ago.

I had a few questions last week about the grasscloth wallpaper we used in here; it is from York Wallcoverings and this is the pattern. And I know this sounds all “don’t try this at home” but seriously don’t, grasscloth is tricky to install so have a professional who has experience with grasscloth do it, and only install it in places small children can’t reach as it can’t be washed.

Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s breakdown the week:

  1. After going in circles I nailed down specifics for the entire room and I am EXCITED

  2. I found the one item that is giving me all the inspiration for the room

  3. The table, side chairs, custom shades, cushion for the foyer bench, some of the art and a buffet have been purchased!

I started using the Morpholio app on my phone this year and it helps if you are a visual person! It’s not too technical, something you can do quickly. I just take screenshots of the products I am considering and drop them into the design board I created within the app. Looking at all the items that will be in a room together helps you stay on track, and makes sure you are staying inline with your initial vision. It’s easy to spot something that doesn’t quite fit.

Let’s start with this hilarious picture of the passway between the living and dining room. This is actually the technically detailed photo I sent my contractor requesting (more) shiplap. I think it will give the bar area some interest and since I’m not one to hold back from shiplap, I’m not sure why I ever held back in this spot to begin with.

A Tale of Two Tables:

Behind door number one, I have a table that I like a lot. The price is fabulous. Behind door number two sits a table that I LOVE. It is so me. The price is THREE times higher than the table behind door number one, and it would eat up the majority of my budget. After making everyone I know in real life hate me because they had to listen to me talk this through, I went with door number one!

I like the table a lot. I LOVE the wood tone. While I am not super excited about the bottom portion (it’s a tad more ornate then I would prefer) it is still a nice looking table. One of my goals is to get our family in the dining room all the time, for various reasons. That means I won’t lose my ever loving sh*t on the kids when they inevitably do something bad to it. Not because I don’t like it, but because it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

And best of all, I am able to use that extra money on a few baller items that will stand out in the room. I briefly considered a splurge like Serena and Lily’s new Balboa shelf- is this thing me or what? If I am a bookshelf in the next life can I please come back as the Balboa shelf? ??


But tall shelves + kids scare me, and I wasn’t really feeling tall pieces in this room. I decided to go with a Noir buffet. Such an interesting piece and I can’t wait to style it!


I love the woven seagrass to keep it light. The wallpaper brings such a dramatic darker element into the room so I am loving the seagrass.

For the side chairs I made a bold move and went with 6 of the Vienna chairs in white from Crate and Barrel. They are WOOD and timeless! Metal was easy to find but I didn’t think metal would fit in with the natural look I was going for.

For the built in bench in the foyer that is in direct view from the dining room, Tonic Living helped me pick out this high performance fabric (picture is off their website):

It is made from a fabric called Olefin, that promises “you can remove the toughest stains including red wine, coffee and even Sharpie marker!” Sharpie markers are the devil! Hopefully we won’t have any of that, but since this bench is a favorite of my boys, the cushion will come with a zipper because I do expect mud, dirt, and boogers. Loads of boogers.

Blue Rug

I have this idea that the bottom part of the bench should be painted, a deep dirty blue to play off the walls in the dining room, but I can’t decide if I’m brave enough.


Amber Interiors has the best art in her spaces, most of it out of my price range, but when I saw her use of this Don’t Give Up The Ship flag and remembered seeing it in an esty shop once at a decent price, I KNEW this was my time. I always thought I would put this flag in a kid’s bedroom- but no. It definitely belongs in my dining room! This flag speaks to the vibe of the entire dining room: it’s cool but casual, the right colors, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and Emily Henderson likes it (I have a huge design crush on her).

To wrap up, here are the elements that need attention:

  • Lighting on the walls. Sconces or battery operated art lighting

  • Purchasing the end chairs

  • To paint or not paint the bench

  • Rugs. I would like to have some pieces in the space arrive so I can get a feel for it before I delve into this choice

  • My husband and the budget

In other important news, I hired an assistant! 😉

Sofia has decided she is THE Blogger Assistant and carries around a “Blogger’s Notebook” and a pencil, ready at all times. Y’all it is the cutest thing and although it can be a tad exhausting to have such a fired up assistant, I really really really hope she still thinks I’m “the world’s best blogger” when she’s older (she tells everyone that. Even strangers). She takes her assistant job very seriously and she will NOT be laughed at, or be persuaded that perhaps I don’t need an assistant. As soon as she gets in my car after school she says “lets talk blogger business!” One day I was so sick of thinking about this dining room I told her I had nothing to discuss. She fired back “oh, so you’re saying being a blogger is BORING then?” I don’t even know.

This is her sign she tapes up when we “work” together, ie, she carries her notebook around behind me while I just do regular old mom duties and she asks over and over “So what’s next, mom? What do we do next?”

I have been loving this process so far, I do wish I had planned better before joining. I could have saved myself some stress. I have really enjoyed watching other rooms in the One Room Challenge come along, the hosts obviously are talented but the guest participants are crazy good too. I highly recommend taking a peek. Here is the link:

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