One Room Challenge- Home Office Makeover: Week 1



I have watched two cycles of the One Room Challenge now and I’m excited to announce that starting today, I will be joining in to take on the six-week effort! If you aren’t sure what the ORC is, I’ll give you a little background. Twice a year, interior bloggers come together to tackle one room in their homes. What’s the “challenge”? From start to finish, there are only six weeks (technically five) to pull off a complete room transformation. Each week, the linking participants will share their progress for the week (you will be able to check out all the participants by clicking the link at the bottom of the post). I always pick out my favs on Week 1 and follow them from start to finish. The final reveal and completion of my home office makeover will be on Thursday, November 10.

*You can find the end result and the full office makeover reveal HERE.


So what have I chosen as my challenge? The space where I spend a minimum of 14 hours per day… my office. I will go ahead and preface this post (and six week series) with a warning. You are going to see all the nitty gritty, unpretty, I-can’t-believe-this-is-what-my-room-looks-like photos. I am terrified about successfully implementing my vision in the limited time-frame and am a little nervous to display my thought process and progress from start to finish. I will make mistakes along the way. I am sure I will face disappointments. Some of my choices may just be bad. And, I may totally fail (dear Lord, I hope not!) But, today, my blog (and I) take on a new vulnerability… and for that, I am stoked. As nervous as I am and as indecisive as I have been, I am so excited to share this journey. I welcome comments, feedback, and questions along the way. With your help and support, we are going to tackle this thing and pull together an office in which I can be proud.


Before I share “where we’re going”, I’ll show where currently am. Here is a photo you may have seen. A close-up of a cute little desk setup… not bad, right?


Well, I have said before that things don’t always look the same behind the camera and here is a perfect example.


Something I don’t talk about is that I actually have a job outside of the blog and world of decor. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home but with that, I pretty much live in here. When we first moved in, I wanted a super functional space. I got as far as getting The Container Store to bring in an Elfa system, but after that, the room became more of a landing for mis-matched furniture, shipments, and things that got lost on their way to their rightful places. And, to be honest, I got lazy.


My office has its own bathroom (not being tackled during this six weeks) and a decent sized walk-in closet which I hope to get more organized so it can be functional. With as many materials, supplies, and work “things” I have, I am hoping to find a proper place to stow everything away.


I have art, mirrors, “mistakes” and extras that I purchased and never used (I know, I know). And in the name of functionality and lack of time, I have even been using pieces in this room that even my husband had discarded. Check out that cool plastic trash can. And when my last chair broke, he found one of his old ones in the basement. It is NOT something you want to be sitting on for 14 hours/day.


I don’t even know what this is…


Yes, I could have cleaned and straightened up the room a bit, but what’s the fun in that? If I am going to share the “before”, I am going to share the BEFORE. This is the truth in how I live and work (don’t tell Instagram!). Hopefully, I haven’t scared you off just yet. My goal is to be able to look back in five weeks and have progress a completed room to be proud of. Do I have a plan? Weeeelll… more like a lot of thoughts. In my head. And, they change drastically every day.


Now, onto the vision of what I’m thinking. Full disclosure, this room has been on my wish list for a while, but each time I would picture it, it looked different. The only thing I was certain of is that I wanted built-ins flanking the large window in the center of the room. So, even though I’m all over the place and am having a hard time committing to one direction, I developed a mood board of where my head’s at (at least for today). Staying true to who I am, I wanted neutrals and traditional style to play a big role in the room but I also wanted to bring in a little glam and soft, calming color. I am going for a white/gray on the walls and am going to have grass cloth in the open shelving portion of the built-ins. Because they will be enclosing the window, I will go with Roman shades there. My heart is set on this desk but unfortunately, it is out of my budget. I have been call-stalking the Outlet in hopes that they will get one in but I will likely be searching for an alternative. I have a few product-specific stories I will share next week 😉


Chair | Chandelier | Grass Cloth | Desk | Hardware | Garden Stools | RugMirror | Color Block Pillow

I DID get this chandelier so I could evaluate what kind of hardware I wanted for the built-ins. Below are the Crawford (left) and Sea Grass (right) collections from Amerock. I was going back and forth between an oil-rubbed bronze or golden champagne, more feminine Crawford, or more streamlined Sea Grass… I just made my decision today so I will wait to share which style, color, and size I chose 😉


I tested them against my grass cloth swatches from Walls Republic, and while I did make a decision, I’ll wait to share what I went with here, also.


As I said, I haven’t done anything in the room but when I first started planning for the Challenge, the first “win” I had was finding my cabinet dream team. My friend Bobby owns Heartwood Renovations, and I’m always impressed with his work. And, I trust him completely. He had shared the work of Ponquinette Fine Woodworks (his premier go-to for cabinets) with me before the ORC was ever a glimmer in my eye, but it wasn’t until I reached out to Bobby for help that I met Darryl Ponquinette. I explained my cabinet vision to Darryl, down to the window seat with pull out file drawers and a printer pull-out in the side cabinet. I knew they “got” me when they started asking specific questions from an aesthetic perspective about computer cords, which way they would run, etc., helping me come up with solutions.

Darryl showed me a few door options and I asked if he could do a Shaker style, but, with a beaded interior trim. Actually, it was more like “I like this but with a little bit of this and maybe some of that… is that possible?” Well, I received a photo of their progress today and…


It’s my perfect door (insert hand clap emoji)!


Y’all, I am just getting started and haven’t even thought about most aspects of the room. I am hoping to have finalized a few choices by next week since our Challenge days are numbered. If I can figure out my desk situation, pick a paint color (heading for samples tomorrow evening), and decide on and order my rug and Roman shades, I will be feeling good. The cabinets are being installed next week also, so I MAY even have a big progress update. *fingers crossed*

Last week, I sold the Elfa unit to a friend and immediately regretted it when she showed me that she made it into a gift wrapping station in a spare closet. Umm… can I have that back? I want to do that, too haha. This weekend, I am clearing out my office and am relocating my tiny breakfast table desk into the nook in our bedroom for the interim. I’ll be sharing video stories along the way on Instagram so you can follow along HERE. I’m so excited for this journey and I do hope you’ll join me every Thursday for the next six weeks. Lastly, I can’t wait to follow along with so many talented designers and bloggers! You can catch all the other ORC projects starting today by visiting the host page, Calling It Home, HERE. 


If this post totally scared you, you can check out some rooms that actually are put together in my Fall Home Tour HERE, a gallery of some of my room reveals HERE. If you are ready to take on the next six weeks, come back next Thursday, same time, same place. 😉 Let’s do this thing.

*You can find the end result and the full office makeover reveal HERE.

*post contains some affiliate links*

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  1. 10.6.16
    Jennifer said:

    It’s going to be amazing! Seriously!!! Can’t wait to spend the upcoming weeks watching you transform this space into a dream office!

  2. 10.6.16

    Your “before” pics are definitely not the office space I imagined you sitting in every day – ha! Love, love, love your plan! I’m crushing on that rug and chandy and can’t wait to see those new built-ins!! Can’t wait to follow along!

    • 10.6.16

      Kris, thank you! And kind of embarassing, right? (in a grateful way, of course! haha!) No joke, I had the same fiddle fig and basket on my board and removed it when I realized “this reminds me of something I saw… hmm…” ahh!!

  3. 10.6.16

    Kelley everything you do is fabulous and I know this will be no different! Can’t wait to follow along for the next 5 weeks!

    • 10.6.16

      Jenna, so excited we get to do this together!! Can’t wait to go check out your first post!!

  4. 10.6.16
    Margaret said:

    I love the vision you have for your office!! I’m excited to see how it turns out.

    My husband and I share our home office, so it’s always a hot mess despite my best efforts to make it look cute. I only work from home a couple of days a week. Since it does always look “lived in” (lol), I went ahead and put a desk for my 5 year old to do her homework in there with us too!

    • 10.6.16

      Margaret, such a challenge, right?! I love that your daughter has a desk in there too! Thank you for following along. I am so anxious for how it will turn out!

  5. 10.6.16
    Joni King said:

    This is exciting Kelley Nan! Looking forward to seeing all the steps for your office makeover! I know it will be spectacular!

    • 10.6.16

      Joni, thank you! I will soon have a new video background! HAHA!

  6. 10.6.16

    Oh Kelley I am so thrilled you participating in ORC as your uber talented and will make this so much fun! I love your GLAM office inspiration and you have great bones! I did my GLAM office for a few ORC’s ago and it was well worth it in the end! Let’s do this! XOXO, Sarah

    • 10.6.16

      Sarah, I am so nervous but so excited! I can’t wait to see what you’re doing!! Let’s do this! *fist bump*

  7. 10.6.16
    Bree said:

    Kelley!! Can’t wait to watch your transformation of this space over the next few weeks!!! It’s going to be amazing like everything else you do and I’m so excited for you to finally have this space in your lovely home completed soon :)) xoxo

    • 10.6.16

      Bree, thank you! Remember our initial Elfa consult? haha!

  8. 10.6.16
    Tamara said:

    I am beyond excited for you Kel and can’t wait to see your perfect vision come to life! So happy for you! xoxo

  9. 10.6.16

    Hooray for offices being made more functional and beautiful! I LOVE the doors that will go on your built-in. The whole room is going to be fabulous!

    • 10.6.16

      Melissa, thank you! So excited and anxious to get this thing going!

  10. 10.6.16
    Randi said:

    This is going to be so fun!!!! Can’t wait to follow along !!! Love your ideas! Xo

    • 10.6.16

      Randi, thank you! I can’t wait to see your kitchen SOON!!

  11. 10.6.16

    “Landing for mis-matched furniture, shipments, and things that got lost on their way to their rightful places”…are you sure you’re not talking about my second bedroom? I just found your blog via the linkup and can’t want to see what you do with your office!

    • 10.6.16

      Brittany, yes!! HAHA! I must head over to see yours!

  12. 10.6.16

    I can SO relate to the struggle of cropping the less-than-thrilling parts of a room or avoiding photographing entire rooms altogether because the design situation is rather blah. We’re currently renovating a 1930 bungalow that was previously abandoned for 20 years, and the kitchen is the only (somewhat) finished room. It’s hilarious when friends or acquaintances stop by to check out the progress – their first comment is, “But it looks so perfect on Instagram!” LOL

    I have to say, though, you are SO FAR AHEAD on the challenge – I have no idea what I’ll be doing, let alone what I need to purchase and where!!!

    • 10.6.16

      Oksana, I love your “bones” and those floors are incredible! I keep holding off on everything because I have’t solidified a desk and am hoping I don’t wait to late to order everything!! Let’s do this!

  13. 10.6.16
    Haneen said:

    Lol!!! Freaking love your before pix!!! Your mood board is STUNNING and so you! Can’t wait to see you nail this! You got this, friend! Xo

  14. 10.6.16
    Rebecca Neustel said:

    This will be so fun watching your office transformation! I can’t wait to see what desk you wind up with, too. It’s really hard when you find a piece that you love but know you shouldn’t/couldn’t buy, and then every other piece falls terribly short! 😉

    • 10.6.16

      Rebecca, I’m so glad you understand! I have an alternate idea but it is also going to require waiting and crossing my fingers… Giving myself 3 weeks before having to come up when a plan C haha!

  15. 10.6.16
    Yvette said:

    I cannot wait to see you do your thing!! I will definitely be following along!
    I recently came across your blog when looking for inspiration to redo my living room – I am so obsessed with your style ! You inspired every corner of my living room make over. Thanks so much!! Still finishing up but it’s looking fabulous 🙂

    • 10.6.16

      Yvette, that is awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing; that truly means a lot. I would love to see photos when you finish! Thank you for visiting with me today… looking forward to tackling this thing 😉

  16. 10.6.16

    Kelley, this is going to be so good! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us! I’m looking forward to following along. xox, Emily

  17. 10.6.16

    So exciting you are doing your office Kelley and I LOVE the plan you have going . Can not wait to follow this journey with you!

  18. 10.7.16

    Welcome to the ORC! Love your (current) vision for the space; it will be quite a change! And I appreciate your putting the real photos in your post; I was so embarrassed to post our mess, but figured it was the real before, so needed to be done 🙂
    Best of luck!

  19. 10.7.16

    My office is high on my list of rooms that need a major overhaul, so I can’t wait to see how yours comes together! I already love the plan – the wood tone and the white are going to be gorgeous!

  20. 10.7.16
    yuni said:

    Ok, can I just say I love you more now that I have seen this space?!! Thank you for sharing the actual BEFORE pic because the AFTER will be incredible. I love everything you do and I know the transformation is going to be amazing. I’m so glad we’re jumping into this challenge together! Oh, I can’t wait see your beautiful office come together. I may just have to come over and work there with you. 😀

  21. 10.7.16
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    I have always loved your office, since this is the spot where your creativity and production occur! But I know you have a special vision of what this space needs to be. I get that the place where you spend 14 hours a day (at a minimum, I am sure) needs to be all about the signature “Kelley Nan.” I can’t wait to see the transformation that unfolds. I know it will be fabulous!

    p.s. Don’t you dare discard those two chest of drawers! There is a place for them somewhere, I know!

    • 10.10.16

      Nan, thank you! I have one chest and it will stay 😉

  22. 10.8.16
    Paula said:

    I am so looking forward to your room transformation! I thank you for sharing your “honest” before pics. Your home always looks perfect so to see a room that is not picture perfect makes you seem more real ?. I love everything you post and your flower arrangements alway catch my eye. I also think your cabinet door choice is spot on! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for next week ☺️

    • 10.10.16

      Paula, thank you!! Tomorrow is install day for the built-ins and I am pumped. Thank you for stopping by to check in!

  23. 10.8.16

    I love the way it looks no, LOL! I can’t even imagine how the after is going to look. But, as designers we need a constant change.

    • 10.10.16

      Nicole, I totally agree and am stoked to finally create a place I love to be in!

  24. 10.8.16

    Hi Kelly Nan,,,,love the plan for your office and actually I’m working on my office as well. Having a functional and aesthetically pleasing office is really important when you spend so many hours a day in it.
    I’m looking forward to following your progress.
    Have a great weekend,


    • 10.10.16

      Lynn, how fun!! I look forward to checking in on yours, also!

  25. 10.10.16
    Denise said:

    What an awesome space to start with! We are making over our office space for the ORC as well! I am on the hunt for the perfect desk chair and the one on your design board looks awesome! Looking forward to following along!

    • 10.10.16

      Denise, how exciting! I lucked into mine but it is heavily stained so I am still looking for a solution. Looking forward to seeing your office, too!

  26. 10.11.16

    Love the direction you are going. PB has a similar desk, but it’s pricey too. But again, might find it at the outlet. It’s newer, so it might be a long shot.

  27. 10.13.16
    Karrie said:

    I’m doing my office too!! I have total office envy of you… What a great space you have to work with! It looks good now, and I bet it is going to look amazing when you are done!! My before pix are pretty awful! Can’t wait to see your transformation!

    • 10.13.16

      Karrie, I will have to pay you a visit! Thank you so much for stopping by- I know the befores are tough, but it makes the final reveal THAT much better! Looking forward to following your office!

  28. 10.14.16

    Kelly, your plan for your new office looks amazing! Can’t wait to see it all come together!