THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: before and afters! It's reveal time!


I know my favorite thing is a before and after- I LIVE FOR THEM. Usually, I send them to my sister-in-law too, whether she has asked for them or not. So consider yourselves my sisters-in-law, and get ready: I am pumped to show off the after photos for this project. Real quick, the pictures in this post are mostly from the amazing Mac Jones , and some from my less amazing iPhone; the design in this room was dreamed up by my new internet best friend and professional interior designer, Teri Moore. The portrait is by me, and you can contact me here with questions on how to get your own!

Let’s see those before pictures again:


All in all, this wasn’t a terrible room. It was very average! It housed all of my first apartment wares and the most comfortable mattress in the world. (And obviously in these photos it was a mess.) The furniture suite is from my grandmother- it’s a lovely, solid cherry. I’ve used it for years, and it’s really special to me, so I knew it was staying no matter what. As I looked around, I struggled with what I could do in the room that would tie my style in with the furniture.

Also, I hated the closet doors. They just weren’t functional!

Let’s get to the reveal!


Not the same room, right? What the heck? Moving the furniture into this configuration changed everything. There is so much more space! Also, from a functional standpoint, the only a/c vent in the room was covered by the bed, making it extra cold in the winter or extra warm in the summer. Now, it’s free to raise and lower the temperature way more easily!

The new wall color is Benjamin Moore Oxford White. I love it- It’s a pure ecru white, and it feels so crisp and clean.

I’ve always wanted a jumbo tassel throw from Kip and Co., so I was too excited when Teri agreed that it would look cool in the space. The planters are amazing, too- I love plants all over a room!


There she is, the obvious showstopper: a 48x48” portrait of Effie, by me. I thought for days (weeks) on what I wanted to do, and then I finally decided to just do it. The painting took a really long time, but I am so happy with it. I added in butterflies, because Effie loves them, and bamboo because it’s Andrew’s favorite. For me, snakes, because I’m really into them right now, and king protea flowers since they were in my wedding bouquet. Most of Effie’s fur in the piece is metallic gold, which adds a ton of warmth and glow, and if you look extra close, you can see that I’ve added a tooth jewel. She’s hip on the trends.

She’s pleased with the portrait, too.

Bed: so clean, so fresh. I love this throw pillow- the gold and browns in the calf hair do a great job of tying the mustard and Effie’s portrait in together. The oversized lumbar was also a great sale find- it feels so plush and the tassels are giving cool vibes. I also removed the box spring in favor of a board and it changed the look of the bed completely. Being an antique, it’s just not made for a full box spring.

Next: The bedside tables. On one side, I repurposed this tray from 2014 Target to add a space for water and glasses. Don’t worry, if you come to our house we have sparkling or still for our guests! This vase is one of my favorite things. It’s HUGE! I found it for $10 at an antique store. I’m also planning on stocking the drawers with extra toiletries and candy, because guests love candy. (Also, you might notice a white cord in the photo- I’ve placed two extension cords behind the bed for easy phone charging, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.!)

I told you, I’m into snakes!

I told you, I’m into snakes!

The dresser stayed in the exact same spot, but I changed the orientation of the cherry mirror and added another. I feel like it adds so much!


I decided to keep the dresser as minimal as possible, aside from this candle- I wanted guests to have plenty of space to store jewelry, makeup, or anything else! I’ve also cleared most of the drawers, so that they’re available. On the opposite side of the room, we did what may be my favorite thing:



Easy to open, easy to close. And with some very stylish knobs from Anthropologie! This was a project that really motivated the whole ORC for me- in a cleaning spree, I got frustrated with the former doors and pulled them down, and took them to the curb. For about a month, there were no doors on one of the largest closets in the house! Not what a guest needs. Not one bit.


We removed the old tv in favor of this vintage cross stitch from Parker Kennedy Living that I think is so quirky, and we added in (you guessed it) another plant and faux fiddle leaf fig. I was SO LUCKY to get this hunk of black tourmaline from a sweet friend’s vast mineral collection - yes, a mineral collection! It adds a really cool touch. Lastly, I thought this was a perfect spot to display one of our Armitano books; Andrew’s grandfather was an editor and publisher in Venezuela, and this is one of his coffee table art books. (We have a couple sprinkled throughout the house. It’s really cool for our last name to be on books. I like that.)

Ready for a panoramic shot?


You’ll notice I kept the ceiling fan- listen. It gets hotter than hell in Columbia, SC, and we had to have a fan. I had some options from Teri, but we decided to keep it because with the changes in the room, we don’t mind it as much. Also, we started getting into the “if we decide to sell this house, is a very stylish ceiling fan or light fixture going to be a selling point?” debate. The answer was- in this area- that the fan we already have is great. Don’t get me wrong- I looked at a couple of chandeliers really hard. But sometimes you have to be practical, and think back to the summer, when you can’t look outside without sweating.

More details:


And I need to say it again- Mac Jones is right here in Columbia and she does an amazing job. Most of the photos from this post are from her! This is the SECOND time she’s gotten a camera full beautiful of pictures of a dog who does not listen- Effie is her own girl and she does as she pleases- when I didn’t even know I needed them!


What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment! Also, go follow Teri and Mac, they are my friends and they are good at what they do. Teri has a ORC in her own house that she’s revealing today!

I’m thrilled that I decided to participate in the ORC. It is so nice to have that done and finished, and not to have any piece of it hanging over my head. I’m already dreaming up which room I’m going to do next! (Andrew requests that we wait a full year first- something about me being a little stressed over the last three weeks?) If you want to read more about why I decided to do the One Room Challenge, why my updates were few and far between, and how Teri and I came up with the design, click here to read the post explaining it! And leave any questions, too! I’m happy to share anything I forgot to link. Also, tune into my stories/highlights over the next few days for more photos and videos! If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading and being here. You’re the real MVP.

 note: this post contains some affiliate links. I was not sponsored or paid to use anything in this ORC! 

Megan Carn8 Comments