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One Room Challenge 2016..A Neutral and Calm Office

I have had this date circled on my calendar for months now and have had ideas dancing in my head since the last One Room Challenge this past April. I entered that challenge literally at the last minute and used the imposed time constraint to knock out a project that had been lingering on my to-do list for way too long. The One Room Challenge, organized by Calling it Home, encourages bloggers to attack one room in a 6-week period each April and October. The room I chose for the last challenge this past April was my laundry room that I took from bright green to a subdued neutral. There seems to be a trend as I now want to take my colorful and bold craft room/office to a neutral and calm office /craft room. 

And since I know we’re all up on our Heraclitus quotes, you’ll surely remember the one that says “There is nothing permanent except change.” That quote really should be my mantra, as the only thing my family knows won’t change is that I will always be changing something.


So let’s take a look at my craft room/office as it currently looks.Have you ever noticed that all ‘before’ photos always look so messy and unkempt and the ‘after’ photo so nice and neat?  I can promise you that I didn’t intentionally make this room a messy for the ‘before’ picture.

While I really am a neat and organized gal, this room ends up being my catch all room, with many projects in process. And, another things…have you ever noticed that you see thing in photos that you just don’t see in real life? I mean, look at all that junk I have lying around that room.  I just don’t ‘see’ that stuff on a daily basis. Holy Smokes!

But clutter aside, this is my most favorite room in our home. It’s my little oasis. The challenge of this room is that it is long and narrow. Putting that club chair in here felt a little cramped, but some member of my family (4-legged or 2-legged) seems to be sitting in that chair many times throughout each day and so it needs to stay.

Terry and I built this desk from an old door we found in a salvage yard years ago. It was intended to be a swinging door between the kitchen and dining room, but once the house was completed, I realized that I didn’t want a door there.

Upcycle an old door to create a fantastic desk. An easy DIY project for your office|Home Decor

So, it languished in my attic for years until I decided to repurpose it ask my desk. You can see that transformation here. I ❤ my desk; it is so spacious and one-of-a-kind and will remain pretty much where it is now.

A roadside rescued and neglected nightstand is upcycled to create perfect office storage and organization | DIY

And do you remember my roadside rescue? He is still an integral and valued member of my office furniture family and will be staying as well.

One of the issues I want to address in this challenge is making it a little less cramped and crowded feeling. I know that cleaning out some of the ‘stuff’ will surely help, but I use that ‘stuff’, so it needs to be handy. 

So here’s the mood board I’ve created to get me started on this process.

I have a chest that I will paint black and hopefully even add a little something extra…fingers crossed.

And I am smack in the midst of reupholstering  that plaid club chair. Yea, I know I’m cheating a tad with the whole 6-week thing…I had never reupholstered before and wanted to give myself PLENTY of time.

The stencil shown, is by Cutting Edge Stencils and is their Teahouse Trellis All Over Stencil. Cutting Edge graciously sent me this stencil in return for my review of their product. I haven’t used it yet, but that process will be fully documented. My plan is to paint all my walls white and then stencil the Teahouse Trellis design in that lovely Creamy Mushroom by Behr color. 

I'm joining the One Room Challenge for the second time, this time transforming my bold and colorful office to a neutral and calm office / craft room.

I have an 8-ft linoleum counter top that you can see on the left side of the ‘before’ photo that is used on an almost daily basis for any number of craft projects I have going on.

I brainstormed for ways to swap out that linoleum for a more aesthetically pleasing material but the truth is that counter top is often covered with acrylic and oil paints, glue, glitter and other ‘goopy’ things and it just doesn’t make sense to use something other than linoleum.

I can scrub it with an abrasive cleaner with bleach and it gets all my drips and drops off so easily, so it just doesn’t make sense for me to use anything else, even if more pleasing to the eye. 

Since it’s here to stay, I will give it a pretty skirt, as shown in my mood board. I know that a pig with lipstick is still a pig, but at least it’ll be wearing a pretty lipstick!

ritz nightstand with darryl

I plan to clean up the ‘art’ all over my walls, maybe get rid of that bulletin board, and get a new rug to finish the room. Do you think I need to remove my Darryl poster? (FYI…2 weeks until Walking Dead season premiere!)


So that’s the plan, and if you’ll excuse me, I need to head back down to the basement to continue this ‘reupholstery’ project.

Hey, before you leave, head over to to see what other great ideas are being generated by the best creative brains on the web.

Thanks for stopping by to visit today, I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. And when you leave a comment…ah, it makes my heart sing! And, if you want to see my progress from week to week, sign up here for weekly updates.

I have published printable PDFs of several of my most popular knit patterns and printables and have made those available to all of my subscribers. And come back and check every now and again. I will continue to add patterns and printables to this page as we go along.

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Until next time,

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    1. Thanks Linda! I’m excited to get going…just need this Hurricane to hit the road…it’s putting a wrinkle in my plans!

      Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a great weekend.


  1. Lynn this is going to look fantastic. The stenciling will really take the room up a notch and the pretty skirt will also add refinement. It will be so pretty and elegant when you are done, you’ll never want to leave. Looking forward to following the process.

    1. Good Morning Mary…I already ‘seek refuge’ in this room often, so maybe I’ll need to get a fridge put in so that I never have to leave! Thanks for visiting and for sending me those ‘heads up’ notes…I can always use them.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Those windows are amazing! I really love them! Your design board is beautiful and I can’t wait to follow along as you transform this space!

    1. Thanks Tammy, there is great light in this room. I’m thinking of leaving them without curtains…we’ll see. It’s going to be fun to see how we are all progressing.
      Thanks for visiting.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Krista, and thanks for stopping by. I do love that desk and am anxious to jump in and get going on this room. Had a little set back with Hurricane Matthew, but ready to go now.
      Have a great day…Lynn

    1. Hi Nicole, after an unexpected visit from Matthew this weekend, I am chomping at the bit to get going on this space. I do love my desk and am excited to have an office that will better showcase it.
      Thanks for swinging by.

      Have a great day.


  3. Ok, whatever you do in that room Lynn, DO NOT TOUCH DARYL!!! ……lol, just kiddin with ya! I can see tons of possibilities in your beautiful office space Lynn, the little windows are super super cute and I’d love the space as it is, really! Your desk is beautiful! But I admit that I can’t wait to see what you come up with to change things a bit! I think everyone creative needs a room in the house where you can let loose lol, even if you’re otherwise tidy and organized, but the mess happens when you’re diy~ing and being creative, right? Anyways, sounds like such a fun challenge and I’ll be following along for sure!!!

    1. Hi My friend…I think Daryl will be staying. I’m pretty sure that it’s good luck to have him there in case when the Zombie Apocolypse comes. Am I right? Meanwhile…are you counting the days?
      So, no one will be surprised that I decided to add a pop of color to my ‘neutral’ room. I just don’t think I can not add color…it’s in my blood. I found a beautiful coral fabric and think that the hutch, that was going to go black, might need to go coral too. We’ll see…it’s a work in process.
      Hope all is well with you and your family and that you are enjoying school.
      Many hugs my friend,

    2. So far, Darryl is staying though my daughter is pushing me to show him the door. I’m worried that would be bad karma, so he’s staying for the time being.

      Have a great weekend my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  4. I feel like crafting/work spaces must walk a fine line between inspiring and calming – and mine usually wind up as a dumping ground, making them anything but inspiring and calming! Your inspiration pieces are so pretty; I can’t wait to see how you put your stamp on your space!

    1. HI Emily! I hope you are doing well. Well, I’m knee-deep in painting, but also found a beautiful coral color so my all neutral theme may just be altered a tad.
      How’s your office going? Can’t wait to see the update this week!
      Thanks for swinging by.

      Hugs, LYnn

    1. How is your coffee station coming along? Can’t wait to see it. I’ve already done a bit of changing on my neutral office…adding a wee bit of coral. Can coral be classified as ‘neutral’?
      Thanks for coming by.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks gals! I do love that desk and now just need to figure out how to best decorate with it. I’ve already strayed from my original plan (insert shocked face)…but excited about the latest revision to my plan.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hey Jodie…I love that desk and I’m pretty pleased with how the room is progressing. Tried a sample of the stencil today and love it. Thanks for swinging by and looking forward to seeing how your office is progressing.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Mila…thanks for stopping by. Shockingly (not) I’ve already made a wee bit of change to my mood board! In as much as I tried to go all neutral, I felt the need for a pop of color and found a gorgeous, rich coral fabric. So excited!

  5. Haha I saw your Walking Dead poster and my first thought too was, “omg the season premier is coming up!!” Also, I’m a big fan of your desk; I’ve been plotting some raids on some local scrapyards for projects with old doors around the house 😀

    1. I can only imagine that you would have some great salvage stores in the Raleigh area and will have no problem finding some great doors. Good Luck! And TWD starts on Sunday!!!! Woot!

      Hugs, Lynn

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