I’ve been getting a lot of questions as to what the One Room Challenge is. I guess I should have done a better job of introducing it in the beginning. The One Room Challenge or ORC as people like to call it, is a 6-week long design challenge where a designer will choose a room and feature it’s transformation over a 6 week period. It’s held biannually in April and October. This April over 300 guest designers are doing the challenge as well as 20 Featured Designers. This is my first time doing the challenge – although I have wanted to for a few years. It’s not so much of a competition (although 2 winners get to be featured designers on the next round) as much as it is a celebration of creativity. It’s also a great opportunity to grow socially and as a designer. Better Homes & Gardens is the official media partner of this event and many brands sponsor it as well.

This week the garden really started to take shape. Mike spent two afternoons building the pool equipment pergola and attaching the posts to the block wall for the privacy screen. He’s pretty incredible and always impresses me with how quickly he can build something. He put this pergola together (based on my really rough plans) in less than two days. Of course I helped, but I could not have built this without him.

Mike eventually wants to add a solar heating element for the pool on the top of the pergola
Mike attaching the posts to the wall

Mike attached the posts to the block wall by first attaching a cleat to the wall with sleeve anchors. Then, he secured the posts to the cleat with his nail gun and wood waistbands that I cut for him. The next morning I stained all the posts.

While Mike was at work I had plenty to do attaching the 1×3’s and painting the pergola

Ironically, the color of the equipment surround is an oopsie paint. We brought Lowe’s one of our utility box covers for a color match and they couldn’t have been more off. We needed the paint to paint the conduit from Mike’s solar power he added awhile ago (that is on the other side of the house). The color should be the same as the stucco…you can see how off it is. But, I actually liked the color, even if we couldn’t use it for the conduit, and decided instead of returning it I would buy three more gallons and paint the equipment surround with it. Go figure.

We are getting closer to being done here and I’m feeling pretty good with how much we accomplished this week. The equipment surround is almost done and so is the privacy screen. All that’s left is to finish those two projects up and style the space. The kids are already snacking on the strawberries we planted and grabbing salad leaves for their sandwiches. I’d forgotten how much I loved having fresh chives added to eggs and am so happy I have a garden again.

If you’d like to read more about this One Room Challenge, here’s links to the last five weeks for you to check out!
Week 1 – focuses on plans and detailed drawings of the space as well as before pictures.

Week 2 – Raised planter bed tutorial and the plants we chose for our kitchen garden

Week 3 – Storage Bench tutorial and garden build/life update

Week 5 – DIY GIANT Barn Door, Ikea hacks and diy solar pendant lights on a pulley

Week 6 – The Reveal

I’m looking forward to the final reveal now! Check out some of other guest designers in the One Room Challenge, along with the 20 Featured Designers.

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  1. I love the prvacy screen. Great job you guys, it looks great! Can’t wait to see the final result!

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