Ay yai yai! It’s a big one: One Room Challenge Week 1

It’s One Room Challenge™ time again.  High fives all around! The One Room Challenge™ is hosted by Linda of Calling It Home and media partner House Beautiful.

In 2016, we had so much fun joining in as guest participants of the challenge that it is now a permanent date on our renovation calendar every spring and fall. For our first challenge, we restored the kitchen pantry. Last fall, we tackled the dining room. Although we looked forward to this day, I have never been more excited or more terrified about our One Room Challenge™ room. We are going to have to work really hard to get the room done in six weeks.

Yesterday, on Instagram, in preparation for the ORC, we played a little game called “Which Wallpaper Are We Removing?” Surprisingly, of the four choices, almost everyone picked the one that I named Rosebud Bouquet. It is time to tell you that Rosebud Bouquet (Top Right) is here to stay for now. I almost feel like I should apologize for that.

Just for fun, here is a picture of the room with the Rosebud Bouquet wallpaper:

That is the master bedroom, and clearly, it could use a design intervention. Perhaps I will put it in the One Room Challenge™ queue. It would make an excellent ORC project.

Let me get to the point. The room we chose for this One Room Challenge™ is…
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the library!

For those of you playing along on Instagram, that is the wallpaper that I named Revolutionary Pride. (ETA: Thanks to our reader Andrea for coming up with a better name for this print: Patriotism in Mustard. Hilarious!)

The library, located at the top of the staircase landing, is arguably the hardest working room in BHH. The kids do their schoolwork, play games, read, and create art here. This room also serves as our home office. Since the library is bathed in natural light almost all day long, it has a wonderful warm feel. Everyone congregates here, and it is a family favorite.

At a glance, the library looks like it is in decent shape. When people see pictures, more often than not, they tell me that they cannot see anything wrong with the room. So, why am I blathering on about how difficult this will be? Let me explain.

The Good

The library has beautiful bones. Although not original, there is a ton of built-in shelving.

There is also this gorgeous, curved leaded glass window and built-in window bench. The window opens out to the staircase landing.

The Bad

Before we bought BHH, something terrible happened in here. We suspect there was a major roof leak. Water seeped down the walls and caused a lot of damage.  (Side note: We had a new roof put on BHH in 2015. Leaks are not an ongoing issue.)

There is water damage on all four walls. We expect to find an abundance of plaster cracks after we remove the wallpaper. There are plenty of exposed cracks behind the shelves.

The Ugly

All three windows need restoration.

We have to remove, strip, sand and repaint them following hazardous materials protocol. Some of the panes of glass are cracked, and I will replace them.

The storm windows are not much better.

The floor needs to be refinished.

Lastly, acoustic tiles cover the ceiling.

Those have to come down, and we have included a new ceiling in the overall budget. It may sound a little pessimistic, but when I see ceiling tiles, I assume they are covering something bad. I sense that we could be heading down the renovation rabbit hole.

Soooo…it’s a biggie, right? We have to do all of these things just to get the room back to square one. Then, we can decorate. There is so much potential here, though. I am equal parts energized and terrified. Six weeks sounds like plenty of time, but it goes by in a blink. When this challenge is over, our library will be organized, beautiful, and full of function for our family of six.

Right now, my head is in demolition and restoration mode. Behind-the-scenes, I am still making decorating plans. I have some must-haves on the list, and I will write about those next week. We are working without sponsorships, so Andy and I are still hashing out the final budget. I will happily share those details with you when we know more. For now, I have all the work I can handle, so I better log off and get to it.

Please head over to Calling It Home to take a look at all of the One Room Challenge™ projects from the featured designers and the other guest participants too. It is going to be an inspiring six weeks!

PS: If this is your first visit to Blake Hill House, welcome! BHH was built sometime between 1800 and 1885. This blog chronicles the ups and downs of three years’ worth of restoration and renovation. We look forward to getting to know you, and we hope you fall in love with Blake Hill House just like we did.

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