One Room Challenge

One Room Challenge Week 5: The Last Details

October 31, 2018

[ photo by Andy Cosnotti ]

I don’t have a pretty room picture or even an in-progress picture to share with you this week so you just get this picture of me smiling at wood glue.

It’s week 5! There’s only 1 week left of the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge! If you’re not familiar, every spring and fall, 20 featured designers selected by the ORC team participate in a 6-week challenge to decorate one room. The event is hosted by Linda Weinstein of Calling it Home and Better Homes and Gardens. In addition to the featured designers, hundreds of other folks with blogs (and Instagram this season!) join in on the challenge as Guest Participants <— that’s me.

If you’ve hopped over to this post from the ORC website – welcome! I’m Emily, this is my blog, and I’m working on undecorating the 1929 tudor-ish home I share with my husband, Andy, and our corgi, Penelope. This is my second One Room Challenge (last season I made over our guest room). I am glad you’re here!

This week and the coming week are all about wrapping up loose ends, finalizing the last details, and making sure things are as finished as is reasonably and humanly possible in time to photograph the room for the reveal. This is the time where I make compromises and usually, a bit of zen falls over me as I realize what is really important and what is not.

So what have I been up to?

I spent the weekend working on the fireplace with my dad. I think my favorite part of this challenge is finding an excuse to spend a lot of time building things with him.

[ photo by Andy Cosnotti ]

We’ve been putting the surround together over the last couple of weekends. It’s really starting to take shape and I can’t wait to see it in place in our main bedroom. To get a head start, I started priming it as soon as we were able to sand it. See me above, tiny paint roller in hand, definitely wearing pajamas and laughing at one of my own jokes.

[ photo by Andy Cosnotti ]

My nail gun skills are questionable which explains the face I’m making. But look at that beautiful arch going in! I love it. We set the tile, but still need to apply the grout. And once that’s all done, the fireplace surround has to make a 2-hour journey from my parents’ house to our house in Pittsburgh.

But there’s more! Because finishing up the fireplace, making a lot of important last decisions, decorating, and photographing the full reveal wasn’t enough, I’ve also got a quick DIY art project rolling around in my brain. So we’ll see about that.

If You’re Prepping for Your Reveal or Just Want Some Styling Tips…

Last season I wrote up some tips on How to Style Textiles Like a Pro that also includes some great photo tips on getting the best photos of your finished room for your reveal.

And remember, do what you can but don’t stress yourself out too much (I’m saying this to me just as much as you!) You’re gonna do great.

Still to-do

  • Finish and install the fireplace
  • Put furniture in place
  • Lamps
  • Finish sewing curtains and hang them
  • Art for above the fireplace
  • Selling/hoarding existing bedroom furniture
  • Decorations and last touches
  • Photograph the reveal

To catch up on the previous weeks’ updates:

Week 1: The Main Bedroom Plan

Week 2: The Fireplace Plan

Week 3: Curtains + Rugs

Week 4: Gallery Grid

Remember to follow along and see what the Featured Designers and Guest Participants are up to!

One Room Challenge Guest Participant

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  • Reply Christine Ryan October 31, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Awesome work! Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply Jewel October 31, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Oh my goodness! That last picture is priceless! The look on your face as you watch him work. LOVE THISSS!!!

  • Reply Libbe@alifeunfolding November 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    I love that your working with your dad! Excited to see the reveal.

  • Reply Nina November 2, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Hey, it’s November 2 and I just found your blog. I live in Pittsburgh (east end) and have a hoarded area rug that you might like. If you haven’t purchased the rug/rugs yet, let me know and I’ll take a photo for you. It has lots of corals and blues, which is why I thought you might like it. I no longer have the space for it, which is why I would consider passing it along to you. It has been cleaned and is currently rolled up/wrapped in paper. I really like the approach you’re taking on living in an older home. I’m doing the same thing.

    • Reply thesweetbeast November 3, 2018 at 10:28 am

      Hi Nina! I have purchased a rug but I am still not sure if it’s perfect – I would love to see the rug you have. I love that you’re hoarding it! Would you mind emailing me pictures and the size if you have it? My email is

      Thank you so much, love finding other Pittsburghers (especially east enders) through my blog!

  • Reply Create/Enjoy November 3, 2018 at 12:21 am

    You’re doing so much! Cannot wait to see this fireplace!!!
    I say you can cut yourself some slack and hold off on selling the old stuff if you have enough going on–and still call it done! :P

    • Reply thesweetbeast November 3, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Totally! We’re just kind of stashing it so I’m going to check it off my list as hoarding it :D I really just want to keep it allll.

  • Reply Mallory November 5, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I just found your blog by accident and wanted to tell you that it’s so awesome to see someone writing specifically about fixing up a Pittsburgh house. We’re slowly tackling projects on our own down in Dormont and it’s just nice to see ideas that fit the scale and age of our house (though I think our foursquare is smaller than yours). Good luck this last week!

  • Reply Ashley - The Gold Hive November 13, 2018 at 1:04 am

    The photo of you and your dad makes me melt!

  • Reply Mari February 19, 2020 at 12:58 am

    Hello.Love you blog! I was wondering if you purchased or made the corbels that you used on the fireplace. They are great and I am having trouble finding something like it already made. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • Reply thesweetbeast February 19, 2020 at 7:55 am

      Hi and thank you! We made the corbels for the fireplace with a power mitre saw. Hope that helps!

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