My “This is Us” One Room Challenge Makeover
Welcome to My Makeover Reveal!
Well it’s finally here! Week 6 of the One Room Challenge! A very sincere thanks to Linda of Calling it Home for continuing to host this non-competitive makeover challenge. This is an event that pushes participants to be the best version of themselves décor-wise. Here, your biggest competitor is just yourself. Let me tell you that is equally gratifying and terrifying!
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If you’re just joining me and would like to catch up on the previous posts from this challenge please view this schedule:
If you’d like to view the work of the more than 200 other bloggers participating in this challenge with me, feel free to click the “ORC” image below.
This was the most emotional makeover ever. Perhaps it’s because these spaces are inspired by lasting memories of the people who hold my heart captive- my family. It may also be due in part to the unbelievable outpouring of support from subscribers and those who follow my stories on Instagram. From my home to yours- Thank you!
My goal for this Challenge was to create areas that embraced my love of art, music and family. Let me tell you that is not an easy task when you’re working with a living and dining room measuring less than 300 square feet. Hopefully the photos that follow will allow the stories in each space to come alive. Welcome to our “This is Us” Keeping Room.
A Bit of Nostalgia
Good food and body snatching music have always been a large part of my family life. And they are staples for any gathering. Although my dining area is quite small, I wanted it to feel large as life and alluring at the same time. I believe I accomplished that here.
My father and I share a love of music. When Stevie Wonder released the Characters album I asked if he would buy it for me. In an effort to teach me responsibility though, he said he’d pay for half and that I would have to use my allowance for the balance. I recently “borrowed” it during my last visit for just for this shoot.
The Keeping Room
A slight turn in the opposite direction lands us in the space that was the jumping off point for this entire makeover. The keeping room.
When making over both spaces, I decided to use furniture pieces I already owned. NONE of the furniture you see in either of these spaces is new. I simply sold a few non-essential items and used furniture that no longer worked in other spaces of the home to fill in the gaps.
But that doesn’t mean that this makeover was easy. Far from it! Although I tried to avoid it, I added a few DIY’s to give the spaces a modern touch. That included the artwork you see above the piano. It’s actually a wall peel that I applied on top of the glass of an existing piece of commercial artwork.
A blogger buddy and I recently joked about my decorating “commitment issues”. I like vintage but not too much, traditional but just a touch, bohemian but not too cluttered, and I love wallpaper but only on part of a wall. This combination of partial commitments is on full display in in both spaces - but especially so in the living room. I’ve always joked that I’m my own tastemaker.
Of course for this to be a proper keeping room there has to be something to do, something to talk about. This room is fully equipped with a few surprises - some of them hidden.
Here guests can admire art, and view photos of real people (my family) dating all the way back from the mid 30’s to the present on the wall gallery. They can also enjoy my photo fact cards which have been placed in a wooden bowl on the coffee table. The piano is there, begging to be played - I haven’t played in years.
Visitors who want to channel their inner “Jimmy Hendrix” can connect to the Fender guitar amp hidden behind the sofa. There are also 2 analog speakers there (from The Husband’s childhood) there which have been converted to bluetooth for easy playlist sharing. All of those hidden surprises are toped off with an old typewriter that has been in my family for years, and handed down from one person to the next. I snatched it up from my Mom, who told me to keep it. Now, it’s mine. These diversions are great conversation starters.
“A Father’s Advice”
Fans of the hit TV series “This is Us” may remember the touching episode titled ‘A Father’s Advice’. This episode in particular struck a chord with me.
About 15 years ago, I set off to spend a couple of days at Granny’s house. Her Alzheimer’s was progressing, but we could still have meaningful conversations, and I was seizing upon every opportunity.
While taking residence in the guest room I noticed several small stacks of letters tucked away in the back of a dresser drawer. They were neatly bundled, and in order by date. Curiosity got the best of me and boy am I glad it did! I hit the jackpot when I learned that these were letters from my Great Grandfather to my Grandmother. The letters themselves are locked away safely, but there is one that stuck in my mind.
My dear grandmother who began a career as a schoolteacher in the South, married, had children, and later moved to Chicago and returned to school to become a nurse. This was most unusual for a woman- especially an African American woman- in the 1950’s.
At one point it seemed that the strain of being a wife, mother and a student in a big city was all getting to be too much. My grandmother was tired and wanted to return home. Her father‘s response was a resounding “no”. In one letter he writes:
The future events that followed, along with the photo below is proof that she did just so. It also serves as proof that a dedicated father- even if he is “unlearned” - can be a wise and formidable asset to a family’s success and growth.
This has indeed been a labor of love! It is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. All of the broken nails and stained fingers, the seemingly endless digging for family treasures in boxes hidden in dark basements, along with the sleepless nights have all been worth the effort. For my family- past, present and future- This is Us.
I’d love to get your thoughts on this double room makeover! Please tell me in the comments below.
Artwork (Titled: Hand Me My Bag) // Rug (similar) // Boho lady artwork // Cheetah lumbar pillows on chairs // Black and gold frames (each comes with a hanging template - priceless) // All other items were thrifted finds, treasures from our travels, or items we already on hand.