ORC™: Week One – Inspiration for a Cheerful Dining Room



I am super excited to formally announce that I’ll be a guest participant in this season’s One Room Challenge™ which starts RIGHT NOW. The One Room Challenge™ is a biannual design event in which bloggers, designers, and social media influencers tackle one room in their homes (or a client’s home) to completion in six weeks. One room. Six weeks. Sounds fun, right? If you’re interested in more information about the ORC™, you can read all about it here

The really cool part of this design event is that it’s not a competition. I’m not vying for some title or cash prize. Obviously, there’s a benefit to participating. There’s exposure to different readers and the opportunity to gain a new following. HI, NEW FRIENDS! WELCOME. SIT DOWN. GET COMFY. MAY I POUR YOU A GLASS OF WINE? But, really, the most enticing thing for most participants is the fire ignited under our tails to finally complete that one room we always say we’re going to get around to. 

So what’s my room, you ask? This one might come as a shocker because you likely know I have about four ongoing projects in my home at the moment; Master Bathroom, Kitchen, Living Room, and Office. But I’m not tackling any of those. I’m actually going to completely redesign my ::: drumroll ::: DINING ROOM!

dining room before.jpeg

There’s nothing particularly wrong with my dining room in its current state. After all, I did just completely redecorate it when we bought the house last Summer. Lately though, I’ve been spending a lot of my time thinking about my own tastes versus the taste of the masses. You see, I’ve been decorating for resale for a decade now. That’s a long time to have spent worried about whether a new sofa was the “right choice for the market”. Seriously, a sofa. So when I began to reevaluate my own style, it occurred to me that this room just isn’t it. I designed it for the soccer mom I imagined will one day buy this home. And maybe that soccer mom (or Neurologist mom) will be disappointed in the choices I’m about to make. That’s okay. Because I plan to be in this home for the next five years. I deserve to have a home that feels like me for the next five years. Right?

That took me a while to figure out. I know it seems like someone who redesigns rooms for a living and can pinpoint a client’s preferences within the first ten minutes of a consultation would have her mind made up. Somehow, it’s harder. I know I love that painting. I picked it out. It’s an original watercolor by Kelly G. Chelena. I definitely want to incorporate it. So I know I need to stay in the blue family. Plus, I really do love navy blue and this house is covered in navy accents, so I’d like to keep that as an accent color. The table is fairly new and it’s simple. It’s a keeper. Everything else can go. With that foundation in mind, I headed to the drawing board (i.e. Pinterest). I knew I wanted something lighter, so I searched for cheerful dining rooms and this photo from Sarah (Life on Virginia Street) immediately caught my eye. 

I love how crisp and clean everything looks. I love the navy and natural wood accents. And surprisingly, I found myself very attracted to the green and navy combination (pulling the green from the tulip stems). It probably helps that white tulips are my favorite. I also love stripes. So this gave me a pretty good idea of the color combination I wanted for the room. White and navy, for sure. But I was still pretty indecisive about the green. I mean, green? Really? I’m a little afraid of green after the whole sage trend of 2009. So I did what any responsible designer with a deadline would do. I closed my laptop, poured a glass of wine, and pulled up Instagram on my phone. That’s when something really funny happened. Everywhere I looked, I saw navy blue and white, wood accents, and… you guessed it… green!


I’m a firm believer in finding inspiration everywhere, but this actually shook me. It was like The Universe was telling me to go with my gut. Accent with green, The Universe said. Could also have been the wine talking. Either way, my mind is made up. I’m happy to report that I’ve found the perfect accent of green to add to this room AND that I found it on a major sale. Like 80% off kind of sale. I can’t wait to show it to you. Next week. 

In the meantime, head on over to the ORC™ website to check out the other participants. I saw some really inspired posts from the Featured Participants yesterday and I’m always blown away by the submissions of the Guest Participants every year. There is truly so much terrific talent out there. I really hope you check them all out. When you’re done, head to Instagram where I’ve tagged all of my inspiration pictures so you can follow the amazing people who assembled those photos in the grid above. Don’t forget to bookmark my site so you can check back on the progress throughout the next five weeks. I promise you’re going to love what I’ve designed. And if you don’t, no worries. Nothing a little redesign can’t handle. 


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One Comment

  1. Teri,

    I love your positivity, supportive nature and your taste! You’re like the total package, girl:) Also, your Instagram stories with the construction noise sounding like angels had me rolling! Can so relate! I can not wait to see what you do with this space! I’ll be following along with you as we tackle our mudroom for the ORC! Best of luck!!!


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