“The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
I may have taken on a little bit too much this time.
ONE. ROOM. CHALLENGE.
Starting today I have 6 weeks / 42 Days / 1,008 hours to transform my city condo from a dated and empty apartment to a chic modern finished home. This is not a challenge I take lightly. I’m not sure if it’s the perfectionist in me, or the added adrenaline from the audience, but something about the ORC pushes me right over the edge of ambitious design into full on insanity. It should be a fun ride… for you, at least. I really do hope you enjoy this makeover
If you are new to this blog, Welcome! I’m Naomi, a Philadelphia interior designer and ORC addict. This is my fifth time doing the One Room Challenge. Huge thanks to creator, Linda of Calling it Home, who keeps inviting me back. You can check out my previous ORC makeovers below.
ONE. CONDO. CHALLENGE.
For this challenge I will be taking on my center city condo. It has sat empty since June (!) when my last renter moved out. What was supposed to be a quickie renovation to sell or rent has been seriously stalled due to lack of budget and more pressing work projects. It has become a constant source of stress looming over me. Then like an angel shining down from heaven, Linda, offered me a coveted slot in this Challenge. A-HA! This is just what I need to finally finish this space and stop paying two mortgages.
What am I doing with this apartment? Will I sell it? Will I rent it? Will I move back to the city and use it myself? I’m REALLY unsure what will happen next. What I DO know is I plan to make it new again and style it up perfect. From there, I’m hoping the universe will work its own magic.
Something like, If I decorate it, they will come… only I don’t know who “they” are. Oh, Gawd, does this sound crazy?
A quick history of my condo is that I lived there from 2007-2010 and have rented it out ever since. It had a cheap, quick, partial renovation before I bought it and has slowly been deteriorating ever since. Here is a little tour of how it looked when I lived there.
(ick, that bedroom- why younger Naomi, whyyy??)
Below is how it looked after my tenants moved out. These pictures do not convey the true grossness!!
(This is a slideshow- If it is not visible to you, I suggest checking it out on the blog.)
ISSUES TO ADDRESS
- Flooring. New floors needed throughout. Laminate is really damaged, carpet is beyond gross and I’ve always hated the green tile in entry and beige tile in the kitchen. We need cohesion, so I am investing in new engineered wood floors in the entire unit. (Except the Bathroom.)
- Walls. The walls are in terrible condition. Need new paint / spackle / wallpaper. Unfortunately, the foyer paper (which I love) is too damaged to keep. That will need to come down 🙁
- Bathroom. New tub, new tile on floors and walls. New shower/tub valves. The rest can stay.
- Kitchen. The perimeter cabinets really need a new paint job. New kitchen hardware. New perimeter countertop. New backsplash tile. I’ve been working with Lowes on this challenge and thanks to them I will also be getting a new refrigerator. (Thanks Lowes!) Now all of the appliances will be stainless instead of an assortment of finishes.
- Electrical. Thanks to previous lighting partnership earlier this summer I’ve already upgraded lighting in the kitchen and dining room. (See kitchen light here and dining light here.) With the ceilings being concrete, I won’t be able to add additional ceiling lights, but I plan to get creative where I can and utilize a lot of lamps.
- Limitations. I’m trying to do this job on a budget. The condo is only worth a certain amount, and since I’m not sure if I’m doing this for myself or not, it doesn’t make sense to over-invest in the place. For that reason, I am stuck with my curved green granite island countertop. I put in the custom stained wood cabinets and countertop when I moved in 8 years ago. Loved it then, HATE it now. But I really can’t stomach spending another four digits $$$$ because my countertop tastes are more linear and neutral now. This decision is literally keeping me up at night. Sensible Naomi hopes I hold strong on this one.
UGGG. This. Can I work around it?
- Furnishings. And then there is the whole small matter of furnishing the place. No biggie…Eeek! It helps that I’m a hoarder and that my boyfriend makes furniture. That being said, I’ll be scrambling to fill in the blanks.
I will be taking on this design & renovation with my boyfriend, George. This is a side project for us both, so that means long nights and weekends. We have tackled a bit of the work prior to the challenge, so I will catch you up to speed next week. That being said, their is a sh*t-ton still to do and I’m just trying my best to stay focused, organized and not get too stressed out. That should last about 5 days.
Modern. Vintage. Neutral with just enough saturation to keep it vibrant. Warm. Gender Neutral. Really trying not to get all girly or overly colorful in here. Every time I find myself wandering that way, I refer to my images below and edit, edit, edit. I’m envisioning this being a special retreat for a stylish couple. A Pied-à-terre, if you will.
The top three especially are my design guidebook.
Lauren Gold for Lonny Mag
Yep, that’s right, my condo design is inspired by Meg Biram. The dress, the colors, the vibe is perfect for what I want for the space. Whenever I find myself straying too far from my theme, I say WWMD (what would Meg do?) and I edit again. That’s not creepy at all, right? Love ya, Meg!
ACKNOWLEDGING THAT I’M CRAZY
So obviously a 2 bedroom, 1 bath flat with kitchen, dining, living room and mini entry is a little more than ONE room. You can do math too? Cool. So we both know I’m taking on too much. This is supposed to be the ONE Room Challenge. But the fact is, it NEEDS to get done. So I may as well share it here, right? The focus will mainly be on the living area, but I plan to share the bedrooms and bath too because I’m doing them and the design all ties together.
ORC PARTICIPANTS- 20 top designers/bloggers have been invited to this Challenge and will report their progress every Wednesday for the next 6 weeks. Prepare yourself for some amazing makeovers.