One Room Challenge Fall 2017 - WK 2

 What Would Dorothy Do?


Welcome back to chez V for week two of The One Room Challenge™ as a guest participant.  Not only has my marriage survived week one, I have also made some  progress this week – which is major for me.  Normally I am sanding something for 5 weeks before I have any shred of progress, lick of paint, or purchases to discuss. #procrastinator.  First things first, thanks go out to Linda at Calling It Home for all the work that goes into ensuring things are seamless every week.  And a big thank you to House Beautiful for sponsoring this amazing biannual event. 

In week one I covered the basics - the room, the plan, the precocious client, and my general inspiration. If you missed it, shame on you. Luckily you can click the link above to catch up. This week I will go into more detail about my overall process for a project and my progress for this room.

 My Process,


I should start by saying that I am not a decorator.  I have no formal training in interior design so the way I approach the design of a room likely flies in the face of conventional design wisdom.

Like Dorothy, I am an autodidact when it comes to decorating.  Having been raised by a house-proud mom and surrounded by beautiful things, my education started early.  My most treasured childhood toy was my wooden dollhouse!  Hours upon hours I spent redecorating that thing and envisioning the fabulous life my little dolls lived as a result.  By the age of five, I was a full-fledged devotee. As I got older I started reading my mother’s design, art and architecture books along with magazines as I lived through her decorating whims. To this day, I consume them voraciously in a continued effort to train my eye, find inspiration, and hone my distinctive style

I decorate instinctively.  I do not begin with a floor plan and then execute.  Instead, I begin with a feeling or an emotion.  An interesting piece or a dynamic color or pattern is often the touchstone for an entire room. Mixing color, pattern, and statement pieces, both high and low, are signatures of my style.  Minimalism is a dirty word in my house. I must confess that I don’t measure. The horror!  My eye can usually discern balance and scale.

With a vibe or piece as a starting point, my process begins with a visual board to give me a sense for the major elements and the color story.  In this case, it was the Carlton Varney Rhododendron fabric which was used to great effect in The Greenbrier – I have had it for a number of years having bought a bolt of it out of the Ficks Reed warehouse.

The elements on the visual board themselves may or may not be the final pieces but serve to give me inspiration so that when I am in shops, touching and feeling, I can make quick decisions as to whether a piece or pattern will work or not.  From there, I make a punch list and off I go.  Along the way, things are often tweaked but in general my first instinct about the overall feel of the space is pretty spot on.

 The Plan


As I mentioned earlier, lots of progress to report this week.  By that I mean I really just maxed my credit card.  Happy to report my room looks exactly the same as it did last week.  Wait, say what? In my book this is a great thing because usually my ORC spaces resemble a scene from Dexter at this point.  Praise all that is holy for no reno.  Although come to think of it, a 5’ and change shorty on a janky ladder trying to hang crown molding dripping with liquid nails might get sporty as was evidenced in my bathroom install. Cue the cursing and booze. You’d think the mister would account for my shortness and give me the taller ladder. Rude.  This time I might accidentally brad his right butt cheek to the wall.

With my vision board in hand, I hit the pavement this week, scouring many local places.  Totally counts as exercise too, according to my Fitbit. Nothing replaces seeing and touching things in person. I hit up my usual online haunts as well and sourced some of the foundation items on my checklist – I feel so totally out of sync.  I made major purchase decisions in week two.  

What will happen next?!  I might make actual dinner for my family in the next 5 weeks.

Let's not get carried away.

PURCHASED - headboard, bed frame, desk lamp, desk, desk chair, mirror, rug, more fabric. 

EARMARKED - reading chair, nightstand, sconce, sheets, overhead lighting, art, custom work.

TBD - bedskirt, duvet, closet storage, book storage, bedside lamp

Progress, people!

 The Recap


Come back next week, please! I might actually have moved something out of the room. I will cover a few of the projects we have in the works.  It is not a real Housewives of chez V ORC without some actual rehab theatrics or grandiose DIY gone wrong.  Like when Dorinda tries to speak or the Countess tries to walk after 50 cocktails.

Oh hey, are you following me yet on Instagram?  What’s taking you so long? Don't be scaredI will be sharing all my juicy Kardashian booty behind-the-scenes stuff on Stories that won’t get covered here. Kim tells me selfies are soooo last year and that Stories/Snap is where it’s at. So that’s where I’ll be.  I totally get my real news from her and the housewives so it must be true.

Also, while I am badgering, would love to hear from you all.  You can leave me a comment at the bottom of my posts.  I respond directly to all comments as long as you aren’t a ‘No Reply’ weirdo.  Just kidding/not kidding about the weirdo part.  So leave me words and we can chat.  

As always, be sure to check out the 20 featured designers – there is some serious goodness happening. And be sure to check in on my fellow guest participants – over 200!

 See you on the flip!|
 Emily Vanderputten

Layouts by Emily Vanderputten; Picture sources: 2 | 3


One Room Challenge Fall 2017 - WK 1

Holy Smokes!,


Well looky loo who’s back?!  As I live and breathe, I simply cannot, for the life of me, believe that I am voluntarily jumping back on the ORC link bandwagon.  Committing to the One Room Challenge™ is knowing that for the next six weeks, I am basically subjecting myself to something akin to self-flagellation.

I have participated in three - one of which I was one of the 20 featured designers - and have sort of lived to tell the tale each time.  And while my marriage was truly tested – the mister and I do our own work – my tiny postage stamp of a house is better for each one.  The One Room Challenge™ is just that, a challenge.  It is not a contest ( ahem, Mom ) but rather a challenge to design and finish a room within six weeks.  All organized by superstar Linda of Calling It Home, who, over the course of 12 seasons, has been personally responsible for inspiring over 1,700 transformations and garnering major media attention along with generous sponsors!

So I am officially dusting off my design duster and reviving the blog to address a loooong overdue makeover.  So overdue, in fact, since I promised it right after finishing my first ORC in 2013.

Previous ORC projects


For the first ORC as a guest participant I made over my bedroom into a moody layered retreat.  4 years later and I have not changed a thing.  One of my most shared projects to date that ultimately found its way onto House Beautiful’s website.  Totally pinch me moment.

For my second ORC, I was invited to be one of the featured 20 designers which was totally mind blowing given all the talent.  I felt a lot like Molly Ringwald sewing my own damn prom dress with no date.  That go round it was a soft reno of the kitchen.

The last ORC I did a few years ago again as a guest was my Auntie Mame inspired bathroom.  It is by far my absolute favorite as it is completely and totally me.  All the saturated and layered gestures in one fell swoop.

As with every ORC, we do all the work ourselves so things take For Like Ever.  And it always seems to come down to the nail-biting wire with paint going up the night before.  Budget is always tight but that’s how my mister makes me roll.  Hello, I’m Greek, and my last two nickels would burn a hole in my pocket.

Without further ado, on to this ORC…

The Client


A high spirited 9 year old with a penchant for bold strokes, pattern, purple and glitter.  Can get down with the first two, but, um, no glitter.  Like ever.  And the dreaded purple.  Hate purple. Like really, really hate purple like I hate root canals and fake friends flowers.

Everything with this little gal is more.  She is expressive, creative, and passionately curious.  Enthusiastic gestures and the tenacious pursuit of the next shiny thing are her milieuRead: dramatic, stubborn, demanding, unfocused ball of never-ending energy. 

Life with this dervish, while never dull, can be challenging at the best of times but especially when executive functioning is called for.  Finding errant shoes and the dog-eared homework in time to make the bus is never a simple task as one is likely jammed in the back of the super cool Zaha Hadid-esque fort, erected the night before from a tower of dirty clothes and duct tape; and the other, well, likely smeared with peanut butter and not completed because of said fort construction.  Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout by way of Little Peggy Ann McKay comes to mind.

The Plan,


We need a bedroom to match that bold-size personality.  But it must be both beautiful and functional.  One that fosters creative expression while also functioning to organize all the bits and bobs of a girl on the cusp of becoming a tweeny screenager.  Lord, give me strength.  Much like her tenacity, the room must have staying power.  But heaven help me, she demanded purple.  All the purple.  In spite of funky arm pits ( at nine?!!! ) and eye rolls on repeat, she still adores purple and glitter.  Hard pass.  Instead, she will get all the PINK IS THE NEW PURPLE propaganda I can muster.

Who am I even becoming?  Form and function is laughable coming from the Queen of All Show and No Go.  It is totally normal to wear 4” heels and lipstick to the delivery room, right?  I was once 5 hours late to a date ( likely our 3rd date ) with my future husband because I got distracted by a good book while searching for that perfect shade of red nail polish.  The dervish totally gets it from her father.

But for my own sanity, while painting a colorful canvas, we must assign a place for all things in Dervish’s room so we can make it to the bus on time once in 2017.

The BEFORE state is a rather disjointed jumble of mismatched castoffs.  The only two intentional items in the room are carryovers from her nursery when we moved her into the bigger room - the glider - which has seen better days and - the painting over her bed - which was commissioned from Jenny Andrews Anderson.  The painting is the ONLY thing likely staying.  If you are eagle eyed, you will notice many of her pieces feature prominently in my rooms.  I love me some JAA.  All the rest were thrown in from various rooms in a weak attempt at a big girl room.  Now it is time to give her space proper intention.

The Inspiration


Soap operas aside, my little gal has a flair for the dramatic and is a collector at heart.  She is an old soul that reacts viscerally to color, smells, and music.  Coupled with a strong sense of self, her determination to walk to the beat of her own style drum is something I want to cultivate.  The following gals show a similar sense of individualism in their personal and professional lives and so serve as inspiration for our direction.

As of this late writing, I have yet to inform the mister that I am committing us for another challenge.  Be sure to check back in next week to see if I still have an intact marriage.  Or if you are flaky like me and can’t remember tomorrow’s meeting let alone a date next week, check me out on Instagram.  I will endeavor to overshare and overstory in a weak attempt to be relevant.

Forgive me if I’ve forgotten something important or to link someone because it’s been 100 years since I last blogged.  Be sure to catch up on the 20 featured designers.  Also, check out everyone else.  They are super swell too.

all the best|
Emily Vanderputten

all design, layout, styling and photography by Emily Vanderputten except the following noted inspiration photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6