One Room Challenge: Week 8

It’s week 8 and I still can’t believe my first One Room Challenge has come to an end!

I started this challenge on a whim. I had heard of the ORC before and never quite had the opportunity to participate. After buying our first family home last year I have been transforming one room at a time. So, this was the perfect time to challenge myself.

A Temporary Fix

For the last year I have been working full time from home. At the beginning of the pandemic we all thought that this would be a very temporary situation. I made a makeshift office in the corner of the dining room with a tiny janky desk, a stiff dining room chair, and zero storage for my work.

Little did I know that I would be sitting uncomfortably in that makeshift home office for well over a year and that it would soon be a much more permanent thing.

Home Office Dreams

I’m now working from home on a permanent basis and it’s time for an upgrade! I started with a blank slate and the perfect little private nook.

As I was designing the space I kept a few things in mind:

  • Privacy but within earshot of my family
  • Large work surface
  • Plenty of storage
  • Bold colors and a nod to all things me!

I made sure that every piece of this project was well thought out and incorporated curated art work, thrifted things, as well as a show stopping handmade DIY Epoxy Marble Countertop.

As you may know, I was born and raised in Key West, Florida, and it will be eternally a part of me. This space will pay homage to my Conch roots as well as my love for architecture and construction.

You walk in and it just SCREAMS Andrea!

My Muse

Every designer has its muse and this piece of artwork was mine.

My uncle, Wayne Garcia, is an artist and contractor in Key West, FL specializing in intaglio wood carvings. We share a love for design, architecture, Key West History, and construction and he recently gifted me one of my favorite carvings of his, “Birth of a Conch House”.

This carving is especially meaningful because it depicts the construction of a Conch House that is architecture typical to Key West. I love the historical references, vivid colors, and textures that this piece has.

It has inspired me to create a space that is vibrant, raw, a little whimsical, with a nod to historical and antique items, and it incorporates design and construction.

Curated by ME

I wanted these 8 weeks to be a design adventure. I wanted to hand pick artwork and I wanted to scour thrift stores and antique shops to find unique treasures…and I did just that!

I hit the JACKPOT when an elderly neighbor was selling and giving away many of his tools, from over 50 years of woodworking, and other one of a kind trinkets.

Check out Week 2 for more information about these unique treasures!

My goal was to also use art work from local artists and I was also able to commission a very special piece to me.

Art from the Heart

The first two pieces in my art collection are from a young and very talented Key West artist, Kate Divoll. The first is an illustration of a Key Lime Tree and yes there is a difference between limes and key limes.

The second painting, Potential Energy, is one of Kate’s most popular pieces and it’s a take on the infamous Bustelo Cuban Coffee. Growing up in a Hispanic household Cuban coffee is poured more than water.

Lastly, and closest to my heart is a commissioned painting by Jamie Stephens. Jamie is an extremely talented artist, Architect, and classmate of mine. I knew she would be the perfect person to paint a portrait of our sweet dog Zoey who passed earlier this year.

We, with help from my son (because this is a family affair after all), created a fun gallery wall to display all the artwork.

The Backdrop

I wanted the space to be dark and moody, which my husband may say describes my attitude.

I used Benjamin Moore’s Dark Harbour tinted 25% darker and I’m obsessed with how it turned out! It’s the perfect backdrop!

Check out my Week 3 blog post for some more in-depth details.

Flipping Flat File

My old office space was lacking any type of storage so I just piled up all of my files and books in a haphazard mess. My goal was to create a unique storage cabinet and I have always loved the look of an architectural flat file cabinet. So I decided to create my own by flipping a piece of furniture.

I found the perfect file cabinet for only five dollars off of Facebook marketplace! I also created my own Hardware because I could not find exactly what I was looking for.

Check out my DIY Drawer Pull Tutorial.

After adding wood strips to create a flat file look I painted it a dark green, Farm to Table, by Sherwin Wiliams.

I am blown away by this transformation!

Check out my tutorial here for more information on how I put together this one of a kind Architectural Flat File.

It’s Time to get to Work

The work surface Is one of the most important pieces of this whole office makeover. With help from my father, on Father’s Day to be exact, we framed and built a custom floating work surface.

We completed most of the work in Week 7, so go check that out!

Lastly, the most nerve-racking, time-consuming, and satisfying part of the whole eight week challenge was to apply an Epoxy Marble Finish to my desktop.

I used the Giani White Marble Epoxy Pint Kit and I am absolutely obsessed with how the desk turned out. The kit came with everything you need and the process was fairly simple if you used the provided directions and took your time.

I plan to post a full step-by-step tutorial on how I accomplished this Epoxy Countertop so please check back soon!!!

The Final Reveal

The moment that we’ve all been waiting for the final reveal!!!

I will not lie and say that this eight week challenge was easy. It was literally one of the most challenging projects that I’ve had so far this year while living in our new house. I had many successes but with that success comes stress and a lot of procrastination.

This has been such an amazing experience and I’m so happy to have it complete. Please check out the other amazing participants and the One Room Challenge Blog

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