One Room Challenge Week 2: I Can See Clearly Now

These words ring in my head today:

I can see clearly now, the {STUFF} is gone,

I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the {TALL PILES} that had me blind

It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)

Sun-Shiny day.

Hear these words in the voice of singer Johnny Nash and be uplifted! All things are possible now!! I’m gonna bring bright sun-shiny sunshine into this basement space. I’m gonna turn it into a light, airy creative studio.

Here is what I see clearly now:

Clean Room

Clean Room

Far cry from what I showed you last week, huh? To recap, this is a room makeover that I’m doing as a One Room Challenge guest participant. I am turning an insane mess into an inspiring creative studio. If all goes as planned, a finished studio will be revealed in early November.

Even though the room is clean now, there’s nothing in here that’s fashionable or inspirational. My goal is to change that, but do it on a budget. I want to show a:

Big change that doesn’t cost big money

I will re-use and re-purpose things that are already hanging around our house, but not used much. And apparently, according to the “to do list” below, no surface will go unpainted …

The To Do List

During Week 2 of the One Room Challenge, I did a lot of half-baked things. So there’s no DIY tutorials or completed projects to share yet. Today I’ll show you more solid plans, in the actual room instead of a moodboard. And I’ll show you a few quirky things — don’t all rooms have their quirks? — that I must work around. Think of these things as “obstacles in my way.”

First, let’s revisit the inspiration photo because I’m serious about capturing the feeling of this room:

ORC Fall 2017 Inspiration Photo


Though my basement ceiling is 7 feet — yeah! only 7 feet!! — so my room won’t have the effect of a tall soaring wall. But we can use elements of this inspiration photo: brick texture, white, woven, slight industrial, storage, big table.

I warn first, the photos that follow are not gorgeous!! I feel like I’m ruining my blog with these photos! Where is the gorgeousness? Well, it gets worse before it gets better, right? And the photos are really yellow even after I toned the yellow down in Photoshop. That’s another issue to deal with in this room — the yellowish lighting and surfaces!

Faux Brick Wall with German Smear

I’ll be covering this wall with faux brick panels:

Faux Brick Wall

The brick will be painted light neutral colors and given a German smear treatment. It’s a 24-foot long wall. So this is gonna be some work.

Weathered Oak

I will be using matte chalky paints to get rid of honey oak. Good riddance!!! That change is worth three exclamation points.

To paint like weathered oak

Shelves to paint like weathered oak

I will paint the entertainment center and the shelves with gray/white/neutral colors that will show off the natural oak grain, like a limed oak effect.

White Paint

The oak doors, trim and ceiling will get 1-2 coats of Benjamin Moore’s Simply White paint. Also the gray exterior door leading to a staircase outside will be painted. This door was installed years ago and I never bothered to paint it.

Paint Exterior Door

All the cardboard bankers boxes that hold fabrics in the oak shelves will be given the white paint treatment. I’ve already started this. Sorry the first pic is blurry — I forgot to take a “before” picture so I screen-captured it from my Instagram stories:

Painting Storage Boxes White

The boxes will be labeled with metal label holders, sort of card catalog style.

Rot Repair

There’s some moldy rotted wood trim that will be fixed by digging out the rotted wood, treating the trim with Rot Terminator, and filling it with epoxy. I recently went through that process on the exterior of our house and I’ll be sharing reviews of the products I used. They are magic products, and easy even for a first-timer like me to use.

Rot repair

Stenciled Rug

I’m keeping this rug from Ikea in the room. It will go under the crafting tables:

Ikea Rug to be Stenciled

It’s synthetic, which is great for a basement that floods periodically. I will stencil a big suzani pattern on the rug. I’m still investigating paint that won’t run and stick to the tile floor if the basement floods.

Drop Cloth Covered Craft Tables

The four tables will get covered with drop cloth, to capture the inevitable drips and spills of paint and glue that happen during mammoth crafting sessions:

Paint Folding Tables

I’ll also spray paint the green legs black for consistency.

Vintage Folding Chair Makeover

I have truly vintage folding chairs from my teen years. Because one of them has OZZY written on the bottom!!

OZZY Folding Chair

And no, that’s not about the Ozzy Osbourne of the MTV show of the 2000s — I was honoring the Ozzy Osbourne of about 1980, 1981 and the Blizzard of Ozz album! Yeah make me feel old. So if I’m old, these chairs are old. And they’re built to last!

The chairs will get a spray paint treatment and, believe it or not, cushy silk cushions! Using these chairs is a great way to repurpose what we already have around the house.

Desk Makeover

As another example of re-using what we already own, this desk will be painted:

Desk to be painted

Because it’s a left-handed desk, it would make a great sewing station! Sewing machine on the right where the chair fits, and the left side can hold fabric going through the machine.

Pattern-Full Things

I am inspired by mixes of patterns and textiles, so there will be fast ‘n easy miscellaneous projects to decorate with patterns and fabrics. I’ll leave those as a surprise for posts in future weeks!

Natural Light

Somehow I have to boost the natural or white light in here. All photos are so yellow! I even toned down the yellow and warmth in Photoshop, and the photos in this post are still yellow. It would be most convenient to do DIY tutorial photography in this room. But the light needs a major overhaul. I do have portable photography lights, and need to play with those to see if they balance out the yellow from the ceiling lights.

Oh yeah, I almost wrapped up here, and almost forgot about the quirky things …

Quirky Things

Get a look at this BULKY HVAC BULKHEAD:

Bulky Bulkhead

Ugh. Hate this thing. Our basement ceilings are already only 7 feet. Then this bulky bulkhead brings a thing running through the middle of the basement that’s only about 6 feet off the ground! Good thing we’re short people. Anyone over 6 feet tall who visits my house, fair warning, our basement ceiling could knock you out.

The good news is, we have air conditioning because of this bulkhead. So it’s not going anywhere. It’s a quirky thing I have to work with. Our 50-year-old house was obviously retrofitted in recent decades to add central air. I just wish they had found a different way to run the ducts through the house.

Related to the bulkhead, look what happened over here by this window:

Bulkhead craziness by window

Crazy!!! This is the wall where I want to install the faux brick. I also want to wrap the brick into the window opening, because that’s what real brick would do (to cover all area where you can see the wallpaper here). I’ll need to do some cuts in the brick panels to work around this crazy bulkhead business.

We have warped oak baseboards because of past flooding. So I’ll replace those with cheap plastic/polyurethane baseboards, which is a better material than wood for this flooding situation.

To Be Continued …

Now on to the real work!!

There are 20 featured designers and more than 200 guest participants sharing their One Room Challenge Week 2 updates this week at the Calling It Home blog. Check them out and see their progress and plans! I’ve already caught up on the featured designers’ Week 2 posts and oh my goodness, so much yummy inspiration to see!!

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9 Replies to “One Room Challenge Week 2: I Can See Clearly Now”

  1. You are off to a great start! I know how relieved I am to have the room cleaned out. It creates a clean slate so creativity can thrive. I believe you will have the time of your life getting this fab space whipped into shape. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you. Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. Thank you Susie! Clearing the space was the biggest relief. Can you believe I got the Marie Kondo book about cleaning, but lost it in all the stuff in here. I’m well on the way to an awesome space now! Deb

    1. Thank you so much Dannyelle! The panels were delivered today and they look good. Your kitchen renovation is going to be so beautiful – I love the white, black, natural colors! I learned something from your post today – we have to cut drywall soon to look at plumbing behind it, and I learned: cut in nice squares that connect to the studs!

  2. I can’t wait to follow along – it looks like you’re got some great ideas. I love the idea you have for painting the rug — I think I actually have the same rug so I really can’t wait to see how you upgrade it with the stencil!

  3. So awesome to get it all cleaned out and ready to go. Love your plans!! It’ll be amazing and just as beautiful as your inspiration piece with a little…okay, a lot, of elbow grease. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

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