THE HOME STRETCH
We are in the home stretch, people!! I go back and forth on how fast time is flying and how slow it’s going. With Project Shut The Front Door, it seems to be whizzing by. For some of my other projects, I am thankful things are moving a little slower. Thinking about my youngest kid, I can’t believe she’s applying to colleges. SLOW THAT DOWN. Yet for my move to the west coast to live under one roof again with my husband (we are dual-coasting it right now, and it sucks), time can’t go fast enough. It is coming though, so I need to select the prime projects for the rest of my time here in NJ. If you’re considering doing something, have a realistic budget and are open to some fun design, don’t dilly dally. You can always email me to see if we can work together. The right fit could end up being one of my last jobs in NJ!
As for my One Room Challenge (aka ORC), if you just happen to be here for the first time, I highly recommend you start with my Week One post so you know what I got myself into.
I’m a guest participant, and Better Homes and Gardens is the media sponsor, which is pretty cool. They will be selecting a couple guest participants to be one of the 20 featured ones in the Spring ORC, which comes with some really good benefits. There are so many really great rooms being done, and I can’t wait to see who they pick.
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s get into Week Five!
IN THE MOOD
I planned things out before doing a single thing. After intensive and extensive measuring that I mentioned last week, I started putting things together. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to measure a room, but have you ever bought something that you loved, brought it home and discovered the scale was all wrong? Professionals try to avoid those kinds of mistakes, especially when there’s to time to recover from mistakes. While I’ve gotten very good at eyeballing things, with the amount of stuff I wanted to do in here, I prefer the “one and done” style. Plan it all out, do it once, do it right, and be done! I put it all together in a mood board before anything was purchased, and this week I am going to show you! Click below to watch the video:
See the whole mood board later if you keep reading!
I stuck to things that were in stock and would ship in time, or I could pick up myself. I gave the client about a 5 minute glance at my idea and then I was off and running. Well, first I got some money and then I was off and running. The stuff doesn’t buy itself!
Last week I showed you some of my Facebook Marketplace finds, which is like Craigslist or a local Ebay. The first thing I needed was the table, figuring it was going to be one of the most expensive parts of the room and one of the hardest pieces of the budget and time puzzle. Completely rebuilding the chair and covering it in the coolest fabric makes it totally custom now. I sourced almost everything else through my trade accounts but most items or similar are available online. Check next week’s reveal if you’re interested in the other items in my mood board, I’ll be putting together some resources.
Checked off the big stuff, next comes the small stuff. And yeah, I sweat the small stuff (so you don’t have to).
I went nuts sourcing all the little things and getting it all installed. Accessorizing is serious business, and it takes a lot of planning, time, and trial and error to get it right. I did use some of the client’s sentimental things, and had to fill in the rest. I even bought things from my parents’ collection of vintage glass pieces when I went to visit them in NC a few weeks ago. The small stuff adds up and, going into the home stretch, I thought that even all of this might not have been enough.
I spent one day loading up my car and bringing in all the accessories. Each piece needed to be in the perfect spot and I stayed until I got it just right. I wanted everything to be DONE when my client walked in and I left nothing out of place. I had her walk down the stairs practically backwards and did the whole TV show type “reveal”. She LOVED it. It was so worth it.
Guess that also means? I am AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. Like photo ready. Or as ready as I am going to be. Even with one whole week of being in North Carolina to help my parents, even with the wallpaper guys taking an extra day or two… All my stuff came in early and all my running around paid off. My amazing workroom made magic happen with that Ugly Duckling Chair.
That means Project Shut The Front Door is ready for her close up.
Just when you start to wonder why you need to hire a professional photographer (I mean, look at that amazing pig photo, right? hahaha), in comes the professional to remind you WHY. (Hopefully this is how my clients who like to decorate a little feel when I come in and do what I do.) Best advice I can give anyone is to always get the best person for the job. More importantly, admit when YOU are not that person.
I have to tell you, I did not sign up for this challenge until I had confirmation that my photographer would be able to commit to shooting my project. As part of the ORC, professional photos are pretty much required for the reveal, so if I couldn’t have her, I was probably not going to do the One Room Challenge.
Of course, I planned to show you all the gear she brought in and how involved this process is, but that went out the window as I just spent all my time zhushing (how are you supposed to spell that?) and moving things back and forth, making room for her giant lights and checking angles… and trying to stay out of the way. It is such a busy time, so basically this is all you get:
She added the sheet to the door for certain photos yet there were big studio lights in the weirdest places. It’s all so interesting to me because the photos end up looking so incredible after super long exposures and all the magic she does.
I’ve seen some photographers who show up with just a camera tripod and turn on all the lights in the room to light it. Look at real estate photos, you’ll see all the lights on, a big flash on the camera, and wide angle lens shots that make things look distorted. THIS is not like real estate photography. Not a single one of my light fixtures were on during this shoot. She spends her time on the front end setting up the best lighting and the best angles, so there’s less editing on the back end (do it once, do it right, like I said).
When I was listing my house for sale, I think the photographer did the entire house AND the whole yard and garden in about 20 minutes. In contrast, she spent over 4 hours working in an entryway! This is just a foyer, people. And she said this was nothing, the big magazines will take all day to shoot tiny spaces and hundreds to thousands more for stylists and props, with big money on flowers. Please note- there were no extra stylists on this project. Just me, because I am all I got, folks.
We did have some assistants but they were laying down on the job…
I got some action shots of the pro, which was hard to do without showing the room too much.
So here we are, anxiously awaiting the photos to come back from the photographer. I am, anyway. I did suck it up and got headshots too. Booger nose, puffy eyes, mouth breathing and all. I might be more nervous about those than I am of this room.
After the photoshoot I went home, put on my pajamas and ordered a bunch of things that I have on my Winter Blues Amazon Influencers list. It’s an affiliate link, so if you make a purchase I may be compensated, at no extra cost to you. Might be able to cover some of this:
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??
So, yeah. Time has flown! How are we in the home stretch already? Next week is THE BIG REVEAL and my very first One Room Challenge is coming to an end. To tide you over between now and then, check out my Instagram this week for some Ugly Duckling chair makeovers in my stories and maybe some more sneak peeks of the photoshoot.
You really should check out the Featured Participants and the other Guest Participants, too. The One Room Challenge has inspired so many to tackle incredible projects. I am pretty excited to see all the reveals next week.