The Time Has Come: ORC Fall 2019 Project Coast to Coast Week One

backyard patio with pool

The time has come for the Fall 2019 One Room Challenge (aka the ORC)! So many great ideas have already been shared this week, and I am already two days behind schedule in posting my week one. I hope this isn’t a sign of what’s to come.


Before I get into the room I decided to work on, I should probably give you the back story. If you haven’t been following my adventures, I sent my youngest off to college in New York, said goodbye to my older two daughters, packed up the house in NJ and just drove across the entire country by myself with my dog, Ozzy, to meet up with my husband in California.

@ozzimusprime, Ozzy, Lake Tahoe, road trip, traveling wtih dogs, australian shepherd, blue merle
Ozzy checking out Lake Tahoe

Ozzy and I left NJ on August 28th and got to San Jose six days later. I took an extra day to hang out in Lake Tahoe because why not?

While staying in a corporate one bedroom apartment, I had to find a house to rent, which was no easy feat. It was so depressing house hunting and seeing how much things cost out here- and many were pretty gross. I finally narrowed it down to 2 decent options in Menlo Park (if you don’t look at the rent price because it will make you puke). One house is a gorgeous two story, with a huge kitchen that had a giant marble island and a big-ass Thermador range.  

Thermador, marble counters, carrara marble, white kitchen, traditional kitchen, kitchen island

The other was a cute little ranch that has a quirky layout and some flaws (like a giant hump from the roots of a “heritage tree” in the too small driveway that makes speed bumps feel flat)  but the whole back of the house opens up to a pretty yard with a pool.


I loved the other house but I chose the one with the pool and signed the documents without even waiting for my husband to see it! I was pretty nervous about making such a  big decision without him but he was traveling and I wasn’t going to lose this one to someone else. Something about waking up and opening the door to the patio felt so good to me!

We got the keys to a place on October 1st. The movers came, and it’s been a whirlwind for the last 3 days. I finally found my toothbrush charger. I have to tell you, my Phillips Sonicare toothbrush made it from NJ in August to October 3rd without dying and I used it A LOT. That was impressive to me. If you want to get your own, check it out here:

(Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission if you click and buy something, but there is no additional cost to you… so help a girl out.)

It’s been crazy here, which is why I haven’t even started my ORC until literally JUST NOW. And I’m not even sure I should be doing this since I still have a garage full of boxes to organize and get through and the rest of the house to put together. I spent an entire day just doing dishes and putting the kitchen in order. I had a giant stack of boxes blocking the shower, which I moved out of the way since I realized I hadn’t showered since September, I think. Peee-uuuu. I am happy to report the water is hot and the water pressure is strong.

Anyway, I signed up for the ORC, I chose a room, and now the time has come to get crackin’! 


The One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event hosted by Calling it Home  showcasing 20 featured participants and many guest participants as they renovate a single room, documenting all of it over the course of six weeks. The One Room Challenge kindly shares all of the blog entries and the finished spaces at the end of the 6 weeks. Many of the entries end up being featured in places like these:


And this season, look who is the official media partner:



I don’t really know why I chose this room, but I am going to tackle one of the bedrooms. It feels weird that none of my kids will officially be living with us. I am going to make one of the rooms over so that it’s comfortable and ready for my kids. Then they can figure out who will sleep in it. Right now I don’t think any of them will be fighting over this: 

ORC, One Room Challenge, bedroom, before, makeover, Christine Kohut Interiors, Design Ninja, Project Coast to Coast, #ckprojectcoasttocoast, built-ins, desk
ORC, One Room Challenge, bedroom, before, makeover, Christine Kohut Interiors, Design Ninja, Project Coast to Coast, #ckprojectcoasttocoast

I thought all of these built ins were kind of practical. Maybe I could stash all of my fabric and wallpaper books and samples in there! But in the end, after measuring the room, just the bed would barely fit, and that didn’t feel right. 

ORC, One Room Challenge, bedroom, before, makeover, Christine Kohut Interiors, Design Ninja, Project Coast to Coast, #ckprojectcoasttocoast

The girls would not need a desk like this and it takes up SO MUCH SPACE. So my nice new landlord (or landlady? Landperson?) said she would remove them. She had them installed when her son was young and it served him well. Now he’s married and in his 30s so he’s not going to need this set up anymore. I am so grateful she had them removed and painted the walls a couple of days before we moved in. 

ORC, One Room Challenge, bedroom, before, makeover, Christine Kohut Interiors, Design Ninja, Project Coast to Coast, #ckprojectcoasttocoast, blank slate, week one

Hard to believe that’s the same wall! And now it looks even smaller. Yikes. Then the movers came and this is where I’m at currently:

ORC, One Room Challenge, bedroom, before, makeover, Christine Kohut Interiors, Design Ninja, Project Coast to Coast, #ckprojectcoasttocoast, moving in


I am not really sure what magic I can do in the next 5 weeks that will make this not look so boring and plain. Rentals are kind of limiting that way. I can’t remove those shutters. I can paint but will have to paint it back to white when I move… and do I need that hassle? I can do temporary wallpaper… but do I want to spend that much money on a temporary space?

What I can tell you is that I am going to try to spend as little as possible and use a lot of what I have already. Moving is expensive enough as it is. I need to keep this budget low so I can afford the new sofas I want. PRIORITIES!

I do want this bedroom to have an extra place to sit for people who visit and need a place to chill. Of course, there will be a dresser, lamps, a rug, nightstands. You know, the basics of a bedroom. Right now there is only the bed, can you see it under all that? 

This isn’t quite as adventurous as my other ORCs, like the foyer in Project Shut the Front Door and those three bathrooms in Project Get Clean. Let’s just hope it’s at least finished at the end, ok? Set the bar reeeeeealllly low. I can’t even come up with a good name for it so I am going to go with Project Coast to Coast. That makes sense, right?

And now the time has come to wrap this post up so I can get in there and figure this out! Here’s a hint of one thing I’m considering: 

ORC, One Room Challenge, bedroom, before, makeover, Christine Kohut Interiors, Design Ninja, Project Coast to Coast, #ckprojectcoasttocoast, premier prints, fabric, bench
what am I looking at?

There are a lot of entries this time! Besides the 20 featured spaces, there are a lot of amazing guest entries to look follow. Click in the image below to see them all.

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Angela Todd

I would have chosen the pool too. I have never lived in a home with a pool and that is California living at its best! I can’t wait to see what you do with the room! And I hope empty-nesting isn’t too hard on you at the moment. I think it is lovely to prepare this room for them to visit.

Sheri Bruneau

You are once crazy ninja! My hat goes off to you for taking on the ORC. I have no doubt that whatever you decide, it is going to be amazing!

Janet R Lorusso

Go ninja go! It will be fabulous once you work your magic! 🙂

Julie S Lampe

I am glad you finally found a house! I am super impressed that you are doing ORC this fall! Can’t wait to see the decorating journey unfold!

Carla Aston

Removing all those built-ins was a great idea unless you were going to use it as an office. It just made it more cramped.

Can’t wait to see what else you’ll do!

Deborah Main

I commend you for moving cross country and on top of finding a home to rent, jumping right on on the One Room Challenge. But if there’s ever anyone up fora challenge, it’s you!!

Csnt wait to see what you do w/the bedroom. I know it will be Beautiful!

Mary Ann Benoit

Really interesting and look forward to see what you do with it. I found it amazing that it really does look smaller without the cabinets. I also do home staging and just re-affirmed why vacant houses always look smaller. I am sure it will look beautiful when you are done!

Leslie Carothers


I would have chosen the home with the backyard opening up to that pool, too. Hands down. It’s beautiful and I’m so happy you were finally able to find a home to love on…and in.

I am looking forward to seeing what you do with this bedroom, and I want to say: there are millions of people renting these days, and that PREFER to rent, even if they can afford to buy, because they don’t want the maintenance hassles of owning a home due to their travel schedules.

It will be interesting to watch how you transform this bedroom into one your kids will love, and I imagine you will inspire so many to upgrade their own rental spaces, when they see what’s possible when they hire a designer as talented as you are.

Linda Holt

I give you so much credit for attempting this. No pressure because I already give you a high five for having those awkward built ins removed. A bed, a rug and some pretty bedding and the room will be beautiful!

Bonnie McGovern

I can’t wait to see how you transform this coast to coast bedroom. I don’t see any limits of a rental stopping you from making this space Amazing!!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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