My favorite time of year, the ORC (One Room Challenge) wrapped up 2 weeks ago, and I’ve JUST finished going through it all.
As a brief: the One Room Challenge is a biannual design event created by Linda of Calling It Home that features 20 designers who are challenged to make over one space in just 6 weeks. As if this wasn’t enough eye-candy for us, Guest Participants are welcome to link up their own room transformations, and this season ended with over 220 linked projects! Each project shares updates over the 6 weeks, and it is an incredible event to watch- I’m always anxiously awaiting Wednesday mornings to dive through the featured designers. I’ve got the itch to join in this fall as a guest participant, so maybe if I put it out there now, we’ll make it happen! (Truth: last night I was so excited thinking about it, I had a hard time falling asleep because my mind kept running through the project options! Kitchen-Porch-Bathroom-Office-Kitchen-Porch-Bathroom-Office…)
There are a few really great things about watching so much design unfold in a short period of time:
- It’s incredible to see what people can accomplish under a deadline. It is inevitable that roadblocks will come up, but to witness how so many designers can just roll with the punches is a great motivation. It also goes to show that when you work hard, you can achieve A LOT.
- It’s fascinating to witness the process of other designers. Some come into the challenge with a very specific and clear plan of attack, and some let things evolve over the course of the 6 weeks. It goes to show that there isn’t just one way to get things done.
- It’s a real-time trend tracker! (And this is what we’re going to talk about today!) Seeing almost 250 room changes happening at the same time is an awesome way to evaluate the kinds of things that people are gravitating toward right now. Sure, there is a HUGE variety within this challenge. People tackled small updates, major renovations, and a wide array of design styles- but we were still able to discover some trends that we think have really got some legs. So let’s check ’em out! (Also, apologies in advance that this post is such a doozy, but hopefully there’s a lot of lovely stuff you can take away from it!)
It’s clear that Chip and Joanna are having a major influence in home design. We could call it Farmhouse-Chic, but really, I think it’s “The Fixer-Upper Effect”. I think the appeal is that it feels very classic without veering into traditional. It’s soft and pleasant, and not likely to be something you’d regret in a few years. (Unless it just really wasn’t ever your style but you jumped into the trend anyway). This look incorporates a lot of shiplap, white subway tile, industrial lighting, and soft layered neutrals.
In tune with the shiplap trend was the use of planked walls in many styles. This is a very doable DIY- it can be a time-consuming task (be ready for lots of measuring, and remeasuring, and measuring a third time- and then a lot of careful cuts) but the biggest skill it requires is patience. (And maybe geometry, if you’re getting real funky). Planked walls can be accomplished with simple tools, and a lot of patience, but will reap huge rewards in adding architectural detail to a space.
I was caught a little off guard by how much I wanted to move into some kids’ rooms from this challenge. There was a major trend toward more sophisticated spaces for youngsters, and I’m all about it. I’m definitely not opposed to bright colors and fun themes for children, but I also love the idea of a room that doesn’t feel like it will “expire”- know what I mean? Skewing a little more mature (as long as the kids still love it!) is a great way to ensure that it’s a space they’ll love for a long time. Some of our favorite stylish but kid-friendly spaces:
Just as fun were adult spaces that had a youthful flair. While the all-white trend is going strong (and is obviously beautiful), it was refreshing to see homes that were having a lot of fun with color. Mixing colors can be intimidating, but when it’s done right, the risk is well worth it. Even if something isn’t particularly “your style”, these are the kinds of rooms that you can’t help but smile in.
The Pink Clutch (shown above. Paige is a color master!) // Dimples and Tangles (restrained color used perfectly to highlight that haindpainted (!) wall treatment) // House Plus Love // Tricia of Suburban Bitches
Speaking of color, we saw a lot of great variations of our personal favorite shade- blue. I’d say it was the single most used accent, and several rooms revolved around gorgeous shades from cerulean to navy.
We also loved seeing so many dramatic black spaces. It’s bold and powerful, and almost always adds instant chic-ness. A black space doesn’t have to feel dark when it’s balanced with the right elements. And if you’ve got the wall height to pull it off, a black ceiling just may rock your world.
And just for fun, my top 9 favorite rooms! Really, I have many- but this post is getting lengthy, so in no particular order…
What trends did you spot? Anything you expected to see more of? Anything you’re tired of seeing? I’d love to hear about your favorites from this challenge!