Mood board of a dining room with blue paneled walls, jute striped rug, floral blue curtains, wood table and black bentwood chairs with white upholstered end chairs, modern white pendants, oversized modern art
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One Room Challenge Fall 2020 – Week 1 – The Plan

Well hello!  If you have clicked over from the One Room Challenge Website, welcome!  I am very happy you have joined me for a little low down of the project I am tackling for the One Room Challenge Fall 2020!  This is my third time participating in the One Room Challenge, and it’s so much fun I’m back for round three!  You can find my first two reveals Here (my Mom and Dad’s wheelchair-friendly powder room) and HERE (my guest room in our previous home!)

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If you are not familiar with the One Room Challenge, let me give you a bit of history.  The One Room Challenge was created by Linda from Calling it Home, who originally challenged a group of her blogger friends to complete a room in 6 weeks from start to finish.  This challenge has grown throughout the years to include hundreds of participants who all cheer each other on to complete the room within the specified time frame.  

For me, this time, things are a little different.  If you have been following me on Instagram you know that I recently moved from the home we built in 2012 to a 1997 Bungalow that needs a bit of updating before it reflects my style.  I have a plethora of rooms I could choose from this time as virtually every room in this house needs a little something.  Or a lot of something.  And when I say I recently moved…. I mean RECENTLY.  We started moving in on September 26 and as we speak I am still surrounded by boxes.  Why would I take on a huge room makeover in the midst of all this chaos, you ask?  Well, our last home that we built, I designed Every. Single. Detail.  From the flooring to the hardware to the lighting to the carpentry details, I picked it all.  It was very ME.  This 90’s bungalow, while it has a fantastic layout and location, is really not my style at all and for me to start feeling comfortable here, I know I need to get started right away making this place my own.  We are planning on working our way through the home room by room and while I know it’s going to take some time, I want ONE ROOM DONE to reflect me that I can escape too to remind myself that it’s all going to get much better!  So!!  Here we are and the first room up is a DOOZY folks.

The Before

So let’s get into it, what room am I doing?  I’ve been keeping it very quiet because you know, clickbait, suspense, all of that.  So are you ready?  We are doing… THE DINING ROOM!

Was that underwhelming?  Well, you wouldn’t think so for long!  The dining room is the very first room you see when you come to my front door, and it has some features that I really REALLY dislike.  And they slap you in the face as soon as you walk in the front door.  Also, it’s not something we need to use on an everyday basis (we have a little dining nook in the kitchen) and so I thought we could work there without being too disruptive to the rest of the house.  We have never had a formal dining room before and I’m looking forward to getting this all buttoned up in time for the Holidays!  So without further ado…. I present to you the dining room in all it’s 1997 glory.

Dining room with red and brown walls, minimal furniture, large boxed light and columns framing the arched opening
Dining room with red and brown walls, minimal furniture, large boxed light and columns framing the arched opening and a cut out in the wall at the ceiling
looking towards entry way through dinign room arched opening flanked by two large pillars
Close up of windown trim which is covered in textured speckled paint
Speckled Trim

So there are four (well, five if you count the paint colour) features in this room that I desperately want to change.  Did you spot them all?  They are hard to miss, I KNOW.  They are:

  1. The columns.    My sister thought I should lean into the whole column vibe and paint some faux vines climbing up them, what do you say? No? Okay, let’s take them out instead. Goodbye, columns.

  2. The weird cut-out at the top of the wall opposite the window.  Like WHY???  Is that to throw food over from the kitchen?  Goodbye, weird cut out.

  3. The light…. structure? Fixture? Not sure what to call it.  It’s a hanging drywall structure with pot lights in it and I’ve never seen it’s equal.  Goodbye, light structure.

  4. The weird-ass trim.  The windows and doors all throughout the house have trim that is coated in some sort of textured epoxy.  It is so strange.  Goodbye, textured trim.

Dining room with minimal furniture with text indicating "weird cut out" with an arrow pointing to a hole in the wall on the left, and "drywall light structure" pointing to a box on the ceiling that is constructed out of drywall with pot lights in it

Whoa right?  So much weirdness in one room. 

The Plan

There is a lot to tackle in this room in 6 weeks and I’m a little afraid of getting it done in time but we are sure going to try. Here is the mood board!


Mood board of a dining room with blue paneled walls, jute striped rug, floral blue curtains, wood table and black bentwood chairs with white upholstered end chairs, modern white pendants, oversized modern art

What do you think? A little more me, right?  CAN THIS BE DONE IN 6 WEEKS WHILE I WORK FULL TIME, FINISH UNPACKING, RUN KIDS AROUND AND COOK AND CLEAN AND DO ALL THE MOM THINGS?  Who knows but I am going to give it the good old college try.  Here is the (hefty) task list:

– Demo light fixture, columns, some drywall

– Rework electrical (lighting and some switches need to move)

– Framing of column/door opening and cutout at the top of the wall

– Drywall –  I think our plan is to add the drywall ourselves but hire out the mudding and taping.  We have found over the years that a professional drywall finish is hard to achieve and the pros can also do it with so much less sanding (and therefore, dust!) than we can and so hiring out this step is probably a good idea for us.

– Plank ceiling!  Suuuuper excited about this.  Since removing the drywall lighting monstrosity is going to leave a huge hole and patching the texture would be pretty difficult, I decided to add some planks over it instead for added interest.

– Add crown moulding and trim details!  This house has the highest ceilings (almost 10’!) and for such a grand ceiling height it has very little architectural interest.  I am still on the fence about just how much to add in here, stay tuned.

– Replace the trim on the window and frame out the arched door opening with trim.  Yes I have been googling how to do arched trim and no I don’t know if we can do it.  I have a carpenter on speed dial just in case but I will TRY.  (Time permitting!)

– Paint – If that’s all I did in here that would be such an improvement!  Paint changes everything. Since this room is sort of separate from the rest of the main floor and won’t be used for the everyday, I think it can handle something a tad more dramatic!

– Make curtains – I’m super excited about the fabric I got for this room from Calico Corners, it was the jumping-off point for the whole scheme!  Disclaimer…. My mom is actually going to sew these for me but I’m going to watch and learn.  (Time permitting… ha!)

– Paint my existing hutch black…. Some of you who’ve been around a while know that I juuuust (like 4 months ago, but it feels like last week) painted this hutch a beautiful blue-green-grey.   BUT I really wanted to go with a bolder colour on the walls here so it was not going to work anymore.  So I’m painting it again.  Le sigh.  Painting around all that glass SUCKS but I smartened up this time and bought a product to hopefully make that part easier.

– I was planning on using my existing chairs but I have since come across 6 vintage bentwood chairs on Facebook Marketplace and the design plan has shifted to include these.  The downside is that they need a little fixing up – that includes making them more sturdy, painting, and recovering the seats.  OIY.

– The rest of the styling and furniture for this room is going to come from the reserves, of which I have many.  I have an entire guest room and storage room packed to the brim with art and décor at the moment. 

Whew!  When I typed that all out it made me tired.  And nervous.  But also excited!  

I just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to the generous brands I have partnered with who provided sponsored items for this makeover.   I hope to do their fabulous products justice in the coming days!! 

That’s all for today – be sure to check back next week where I will hopefully have some progress to show you.  Or a big mess, whatever you want to call it.  If you want to catch some sneak peeks follow me on Instagram (@erinzubotdesign), I’ll be sharing a lot of behind the scenes there.  Also, check out the other designers HERE  or click the ORC Logo below, there is a lot to catch up on.  See you next week!

One Room Challenge Logo


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  1. Wow, this space takes the breath out of you. The drywall light structure.. woah! Love your vision and cannot wait to see it come together!!

  2. Wow! You have big plans. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I’m also redoing our dining room, but without any drywall work!

  3. Oh this is bound to be a fantastic transformation!! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such chunky columns inside a house before, ha.

  4. Thank you Sonda! I’m a little worried about all the work but hoping we can get it done in 6 weeks!

  5. Thank you Amanda! I know what you mean about the weirdness in here, I can see past a lot of cosmetic things but this room had me doubting!

  6. I’m just getting around to reading everyone’s blog post and omg 😂 this space actually made me laugh (I hope that doesn’t offend you) I am so into this! Please do a video of you taking a sledgehammer to those columns 😭😭😭

  7. That drywall light sculpture is insane! I’ve honestly never seen anything like it LOL…..Those ceilings are going to feel so high once you get rid of it and the shiplap is a great idea!

  8. Love your design board! Your color palette is similar to my office. And you’re so right- that is SO 90’s! That light thing is simply wild, and the cutout?! It’s bound to be great and I look forward to seeing the reveal!

  9. Your design looks amazing. I can’t wait to see how it turns outs. This is my first time participating in this challenge. It’s such a great way to force yourself to get a project done! I’ll be following along!

  10. Ha the before pictures are pretty shocking aren’t they!! A video of the column removal will definitely be in order.

  11. Thank you Lindsey! Yes that drywall structure is in a league of it’s own. The original designer gets an A+ for creativity!

  12. Thanks Denise! I hope you enjoy the challenge, it’s such a collaborative fun experience!

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