So it’s Week #2 of the One Room Challenge, only 4 more to go, and have I gotten as much accomplished as I’d hoped? Absolutely not. Is the porch cleaned out even? Of course not! We had a crazy weekend of client meetings & trying to keep up with all the clients trying to order now that spring’s arrived, and frigid (for spring!) temperatures kept me from wanting to spend any extended period of time out there. But, what we do have figured out is a pretty clear plan (sort of?) and that feels good compared to just really having a concept last week. I still don’t know 100% what the plan is and as someone who likes to have every little detail ironed out on all their projects before the first hammer swings that is highly anxiety inducing – but I keep reminding myself it’s just a mudroom and it will be OK.

Luckily, in the few hours I did put in cleaning up out there, I was able to asses that since it’s mostly packed boxes, there isn’t a ton we need to go through before moving it all to other corners of the house to store. I also happened upon some forgotten decor that didn’t quite fit in our other rooms that I think will compliment the new space we’re creating so well! It’s key when you are taking on a project like this to try and incorporate some things you already own. Anytime I am doing a room or refreshing one I like to take stock of all those items that live in attics, upstairs closets, basements, & garages tucked away in boxes and see what I can make work! My favorite find is the new in box vintage wall mailbox I couldn’t not buy when thrifting in Pennsylvania last fall. Though we’ve already got one on the exterior it’s going to be a nice clear & safe spot to tuck away things for our tenants or contractors to pick up. The bottom rack made for newspapers I’m going to utilize to keep an umbrella handy, because I never ever can find one when I need it!

We Picked A Color! – The hardest part of the decision was settling on the right tone of Dark Green. It needed to be cool enough to balance out the warm pine paneling, but not too cool that it contrasted to much against the Olive Grove color of the Living Room. Initially I intended to go with a super dark almost black green but once we got it out there it looked totally wrong & harsh, it seemed like just plain black. I narrowed it down to Sherwin Williams Dard Hunter Green, Roycoff Bottle Green, and Benjamin Moore Goodwin Green and let Chris have the final say. He picked Dard Hunter Green & I couldn’t be happier.

…And an Accent Color Scheme – I’d love to say we went with something unpredictable and different like BLUSH but that scheme was pretty much an immediate nope from Chris. We also agreed the only orange in the room will be my rain boots. It may be our signature color but after working on the showroom for over a year putting orange everywhere possible and having a run of clients who love the color (100% not complaining about that, keep calling me if you love orange!) It’s is kind of refreshing to try and avoid it. So we’re sticking to the tried & true whole house scheme, grey’s, navy, mustard & antique gold tones, but switching it up by playing with dark green rather than olive.

A Happy Surprise! – After scouring Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and the local consignment shop for bench & storage finds that fit our look for the space at a reasonable price and coming up dry, I moved on to searching Target, Wayfair, & Overstock for something fast & cheap. But nothing that I loved filled the space I wanted to put the bench well or was shallow enough, so I kept having to move it to in front of the window to the living room… which eliminated the best place for a pair of chairs to sit and enjoy the sunshine in! Well I kept hesitating hitting the place order button and I am SO glad I did. I was looking up something on my phone and accidentally clicked onto Facebook marketplace and the FIRST ITEM was a whole bunch of well priced vintage auditorium seating shown next to the same pine paneling we have, and they matched perfectly. I would have NEVER thought to search for this but it was the perfect solution! The modular style of the auditorium seating allowed me to fill the alcove completely and the way the seats fold up totally solves the issue I was having with the depth of most benches obstructing the front door as it is closer to the wall than the porch door. I love the classic & modern lines of the end caps these seats have and the bits of graffiti kids carved into the arms. While I got enough to also sell some in the shop and will probably fix those up more, I think I’d like to see what just a little bit of oil or wood conditioner does to rejuvenate these as I kind of like them a little bit rough. We do not know where the seats came from, (we are the 3rd owner since they were uninstalled) but there is what looks like a full name carved in, I was going to see if I could find that person on Facebook and ask them if they remember doing it and where… maybe that is creepy? I’m not sure! But I just would really like to know where they came from!

A little bit of a supply issue – Well my genius placemat idea may have hit a snag… Did you know that most wholesale seagrass/jute/water hyacinth placemat vendors make everything to order in Asia and it takes like 5-6 weeks to produce at a minimum? Nope, me neither! I’ve looked for cheap placemats like this just about everywhere and can’t find a single one under $4.99! (Which would mean my “affordable” DIY will cost $600+) I swear they were everywhere in the 90s for a dollar! What happened?! If anyone has a good source for bulk natural placemats whether a wholesale vendor or party supply store, please leave a comment – I don’t want to give up on this idea but if I’m gonna be spending that much I’ll just buy a rug and skip the hours spent on the floor with a glue gun. I’ve also considered recreating the look by gluing down spirals of rope but that seems like a great way to end up with burned fingers and a lot of sleepless nights. I just don’t have the go in me I used to to stay up all night glueing like I could in college!

We ended up with light fixtures that work – There were some miscommunications between the client & electrician on a project we recently supplied fixtures for and we ended up not needing some of the lighting that had been ordered a year ago. We have a chandelier to replace the ceiling fan and another flush mount we’ll be putting above the exterior door to replace the current “carpark” fixture. Fortunately I picked them out so I do like them!

Shoring Up the Porch! – OK so I didn’t really think about the fact that the porch kind of sags at the front when I decided to paint half the walls. As I sat out there trying to decide at what height to put the line… I started realizing how badly thats going to call attention to it’s less than level state. Luckily, this could be a super simple fix! Because the front sits loose on Piers, we are hoping to jack or shim the situation up without a lot of effort. Chris will be exploring that this weekend, unfortunately I am way to claustrophobic to be crawling under a porch so he’s on his own on this one!

Other things we still need to figure out:

  • Some kind of drawer storage for scarves, hats, gloves, & running stuff
  • Storage for footwear – ideally closed storage for most shoes & something more utilitarian for messy boots & sneakers.
  • A surface for plants – probably some kind of super long shelf? it kind of depends what we end up putting under the window.
  • An entry table – Chris’s dad is going to be building us something special for this space but he’s in Italy for most of the Challenge duration and hasn’t yet started so it’s a safe bet that won’t be done for a while. I would probably like something to put here for now because I am really trying to get us to stop using the dining table as our landing zone for key’s & leashes and I feel like visually the photos will need it. So I’m on the hunt for a versatile piece I can stick somewhere else later, right now I’m thinking a tall & skinny lingerie or jewelry chest I can use in the bedroom
  • Seating with a side table & floor lamp – We might use the wicker club chairs we already have, but maybe we’ll do something else? They need to be painted to work and cushions recovered which may be more work than I’m willing to bite off when can go on our back screened in porch as is. They also aren’t the most comfortable and I was hoping for a good place to curl up and read which we don’t have anywhere else in the house. My ***ULTIMATE DREAM*** is a Cisco Acacia Chair because its the most perfect and comfortable curl up with a book chair. I’ve seriously never sat/napped in a more cozy chair! But it would take an act of God to get one here in time and heirloom quality chairs don’t come cheap.

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