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Fall 2020 – One Room Challenge | Transforming our living room into a modern and functional space

Hello, and welcome to my blog!



I’m going to start by giving a bit of a background on the blog and how I came to join the One Room Challenge as guest participant by Better Homes & Gardens. My blog is fairly new, and I decided to launch it towards the beginning of Summer 2020 after moving into our new house. We recently moved in, in April 2020 after a temporary move (following the sale of our previous house) and a long period of house hunting. Finding a house that suited both our needs, requirements and budget was no easy task in an ever-aggressive real estate market and partially during the beginning of COVID-19.




We did not like many of the new houses or flips that we visited because we simply found that they had no charm and no soul, yet we did not want a place that needed to be stripped down entirely upon moving in. So, finding this balance was tough, and the place we moved into was only the 2nd one that felt right to us after several months of searching and visiting. We immediately fell in love with its charm, it is nestled close to a mountain, yet it is very close to the city in the suburbs of Montreal, Quebec in Canada. We loved the fact that it had older elements, a very private backyard amongst other elements. We knew that we could stay here for a long time and had multiple opportunities to improve it and make it our own. We knew that some projects were to be done quite fast; others will be for much later.

And this is what brings me to my very first time participating in the One Room Challenge, for the fun, the community and loads of inspiration that I had seen in previous ORC editions.

In case you don’t know what the One Room Challenge event is, here’s a little about it. The event was created by Linda Weinstein as a challenge to finish transforming one room in 6 weeks. It is currently at its 18th edition and takes place every Fall and Spring. So this Fall, you’ll be able to follow the work of the 20 Featured Designers and all the Guest Participants like me.


Now onto the project. We will be redoing a good part of our living room, mainly concentrating on the fireplace area and around it. We have already done a little upgrade to this room. Since it is quite long but not very wide, we have added a little decorative separation wall to create 2 areas, one a smaller living room and the other more of a living/family room where we have the TV. And this 2nd part is what we’ll be tackling.

I’m sharing photos below of how it was when we first moved in, what we added, and a breakdown of what we’ll be doing.

When we moved in

Separation wall we added


Project inspiration and main changes

What we’d like to achieve here is a minimalist scandi/Mediterranean vibe and from the start, we know that we will be facing a few challenges that we have to work around.

The initial plan was to build the wood burning stove into side walls to create more of a real fireplace look and mostly because we don’t quite like it as is. However, in getting the information as to what we can and cannot do, turns out that we cannot build it in at all. This particular model cannot be put within walls for safety reasons, and if we wanted to change it, it would be way more costly and implicate that we have to break through the walls right to the outside to change all the piping and the entire system, which is not an option at the moment. So, we will have to work around this, and I can’t wait to take you along with us.

Project breakdown

1. Strip down the brick wall

2. Replace with Durock and Gypsum dry walls

3. Redo the missing wood flooring & repaint the wood burning stove

4. Add wood storage

5. DIY shelving

6. Create or add what would be used as a TV media unit

7. Add lighting (there are no ceiling lights in this space at all)

8. Add a door to the hallway from this room leading to other rooms in the house

9. Paint

10. DIY wall art

11. DIY decor items

12. DIY end table

13. DECORATE & STYLE

(What the space looked like when we first moved in)

(Side wall and hallway door to be done as part of the ORC)


This week’s TO DO

We’ll be starting by taking off all the brick (which are exterior bricks by the way, never understood why) and clear out all the space so that we can start working. Next, we will be painting the wood burning stove and placing the Durock and Gypsum dry walls and apply the first layer of compound joints.

Busy week! I’m really hoping we can achieve all this by next week knowing that this is the part that is the least fun and that does the most dirt.

In the meantime, you can foll