One Room Challenge: Week 1 The Dining Room Before

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So apparently I like dropping statements like “We’re going to have our dining room furnished for Thanksgiving!” to the entire world on the internet and then going silent just before the holidays roll around. But let’s forget all that because right now I am officially committed to actually furnishing our dining room as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge! I just let Jose know we will need to be designing the room in the next 6 weeks, for blog purposes only. It’s not personal, its simply a business decision- right honey? 😉

If you are not familiar with the ORC, it is an amazing online event that brings together 20 bloggers with a love of design, and challenges them to transform a room from start to finish within 6 weeks time- documenting the process each week. Bloggers can also take part as “guest participants”, and that is where I come in!

We built our home and moved in November of 2017. Here is move in day, at the beginning of our dining room’s journey.

The darlana light wants to take center stage, but those half painted walls are taking away from her glory! That wrinkled sisal rug that hates your feet and wants to torture them… no. Ya gots to go.

Our hardwoods are 4” white oak, and the stain is a custom mix of Minwax Duraseal – half country white, half natural.

Less than a year after moving in, I decided on this wallpaper from York Wallcoverings. Y’all know I am all about family friendly design- this particular grasscloth paper must go above where smaller children can reach. Real grasscloth can’t be cleaned, only dusted off, so it is only ideal for spaces with some height if you have little ones.

Months went by after the wallpaper installation, and no action on the dining room. We have been living with a beautiful empty room with loads of potential and an exhausted Momma.

Our home is open concept, but the dining room has a pass through off our living room/kitchen like this:

That little pass through is our bar area, which could also use some sprucing up.

On the other side of the dining room is our front door. Guests see our dining room right away when they use our front door, so its extra awesome that I’ve done nothing with it.

The view on the other side:

Blue Rug

Part of my One Room Challenge will be finding a custom cushion for the built in bench, since this area is in full view from the dining room. I’ll have to find a high performance fabric because the bench is a favorite spot for my kids. Little side story: a sidewalk runs on the other side of those windows. Robbie (my oldest) once superglued 3 quarters down to the sidewalk as a prank on a boring summer day. He spent the rest of the day sitting on the bench, watching joggers bend down and attempt to pick the quarters up. If that’s not what summer vacation is for, tell me what is! 🙂

Aside from the obvious holiday dinners, our 4 kids willl use this room to spread their school projects out. Jose, my husband, is a Realtor and sometimes he needs to step away from the family when working and this room would offer that option. Puzzles the kids want to spread out, anything we need to get off the floor… I hope to see the room used often.

My Goal: While the wallpaper and light fixture make the room look high end, I want the furnishings on the informal side! I’m done having babies- I don’t need anything else to babysit! My vision is to mix casual and nicer pieces with a hint of playfulness for a stylish dining room that my kids can also enjoy. No stuffy formal dining room up in heah! Let me know in 6 weeks if I achieve that look, mmkay???

Now for the whole truth. I tricked y’all and titled this post “Planning”, but I actually have no real plan whatsover. Or even know what I’m doing- with this challenge I have taken on, in general, in life, etc. But lucky for me I have LOADS of ideas:

  • A medium to light wood dining table that seats 6-8 people.

  • White side chairs with no arms (kids have trouble with arm chairs). End chairs could be wood, or have a linen slipcover, or wicker… something natural

  • A buffet or console of sorts

  • ART! Oversized. Maybe even some funky sconces if it calls for it

  • Window coverings that are not drapes (if you watch my insta stories, you know I loathe drapes. Nothing to do with their look, only because my kids have a history of pulling them down, and I have a history of saying things to them that I regret).

  • Rug, either neutral or colorful (see what I did there?)

  • Custom cushion for the bench in a neutral high performance fabric

  • Optional: spruce up the bar area in the pass through

I am terrible at keeping secrets so I’ll be dropping progress pics on Instagram all the time. Follow along if you want!

Here are some table and chairs combos I am loving:


Source Another ORC participant!




For sure check back in with me each week and pray that I have made progress!!! Also, check out the other talented participants in the One Room Challenge here!

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