The Skinny on The One Room Challenge


There's been curiosity and speculation about different aspects of The One Room Challenge. That's really no surprise with it being such a successful and unique event. Because I've just survived my 6th ORC, I'm a good source of information. Today, I'm sharing the skinny on The One Room Challenge. I'll be interspersing information with images from this last round.

Panels by Christina Baker from my ORC

The Idea
Linda, from Calling it Home, and I had just met through blogging when she had the exciting idea to put together a group of bloggers to redesign a room over six weeks.  She ran it past me and asked if I'd be interested.  I thought it was a fantastic idea, and knew it was the perfect motivation to finish a room. That the event not be a competition was one of her priorities.  I liked everything about her concept and decided to sign on.  Clearly, I loved the experience as here I am just finishing my 6th One Room Challenge Project. ORC is why I have completed rooms in our house.  I'm too distracted by life and work to focus on my house otherwise. 

It's Not a Contest
I believe the noncompetitive environment of The One Room Challenge may be one of the biggest reasons for its success.  Linda wanted to provide a fun, supportive, positive environment for the participants, and that has worked brilliantly. First, if this were a competition, it wouldn't be fun. I, for one, wouldn't want to endure that. Second, there's no equitable way to choose a winner. Each participant has their own unique style, so rooms cannot be easily compared. More importantly, every participator has a different budget.  One may spend less than $1,000, while another may have a client with a $100,000 buget. That it's not a contest creates a sense of comradery that's encouraging and friendly.

The Sponsors
Participating in The One Room Challenge isn't without expenses. With that in mind, Linda brought sponsors aboard to help offset costs. Smart companies realize that collaborating with bloggers can be very effective. Participants choose whether or not to use products offered by sponsors. This past round, I chose not to use any of the sponsors' offerings. There were at least two other participants who made the same choice. For the ORC in which I redesigned my daughter's hang-out room, I used a floor lamp from Lamps Plus.  I chose which one, and all that was required was that I link to the product.  In addition to using the official ORC sponsors, I'm free to reach out to any company and inquire about partnership opportunities. Companies have also contacted me inquiring about collaboration options. This past round, I partnered with Decorators Best, Again and Again, and  

Behind the Scenes
I'd wager that from the perspective of the reader, putting on the One Room Challenge looks fairly easy. Through years of participating, I know that it's anything but. Linda takes ORC very seriously, and has even gone to the expense of trademarking it. She spends an incredible amount of time deciding whom should participate.  How she chooses remains a mystery, but I do know that much thought and analysis goes into the process. As you can imagine, that involves lots of communication. Not to mention all of the communicating that takes place with companies interested in sponsorship. With this event taking place twice a year, and all of the people involved, the level of organization and time commitment is huge.

Design Daredevil

What's In It For Me?
So, so much, actually.  We have rooms in our house that we enjoy very much because of The One Room Challenge. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that without ORC, these rooms would have remained untouched. I've been thrilled to be in an event with so many talented bloggers and designers. Being cheered on during the process of redesigning a room is a fantastic experience. Where else could that happen? I'll be the first to say that I'm not an interior designer, so can you imagine how much I've learned watching other participants work?  Another thing about this most recent One Room Challenge that I especially loved, was the opportunity to work with Coleen Rider, the amazingly talented designer behind Coleen & Company who blew us all away with her spectacular pagoda lantern design, and the incredibly talented artist Christina Baker. During the process of her painting the panels that are the focal point of the room, I got the happy opportunity to get to know Christina and now consider her a friend.  As you may know, I'm hardly Christina's only fan -- she stays almost busier than is manageable, and I'm grateful she took on my project.  Going into it, she had no idea of the level of exposure ORC receives. She was surprised and somewhat astounded. I was delighted when she told me that she'd been inspired and motivated by the experience. That's exactly how I feel : )

And Lastly

I couldn't bear to place this low quality photo in my final One Room Challenge post, so I'm sharing the before and after images here.





Alison Fauls said...

What a lovely round-up, Jennifer. Your foyer transformation is inspiring.

Cathy said...

Beautifully said! Kudos and congrats to you on getting 6 spaces in home home completed and especially to Linda for her brilliant idea, encouragement and behind the scenes work. I look forward to each ORC and set time aside to peer into these beautiful and creative rooms.

Kristen @ Pursuing Vintage said...

Great explanation of everything! Beautiful work by everyone.

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

What a great post Jennifer! I loved how you explained everything. I think a lot of readers had these exact questions on the back of their minds.

Christina Baker said...

Jennifer, This is such an informative post. I knew you were passionate about the ORC but after being involved I can totally see why. I went through a day or two of withdraws after I shipped the panels off to you! One can become very attached to a project like this. Linda has created such an inspiring event, and again, I am so beyond excited to have been able to be a part of it!



mrs. V | Chez V said...

Well said, my friend!! It cannot be underscored enough, the amount of time and organization Linda dedicates to bringing this to life twice a year. Huge kudos to her for her vision, commitment, and energy in bringing this to life and bringing so many creative people together! And huge kudos to participants, past and present for inspiring legions of others! Every round just keeps getting better and better!

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

It is no small task for anyone involved, that's for sure. This was a great post to share a bit more behind the scenes info.

Linda {Calling it Home} said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda {Calling it Home} said...

I loved reading about your own experience. I would say that having a custom lantern designed for you is definitely an amazing collaboration. Now I must say that Christina's art brings life to your entrance. You must smile every time you come down the stairs. I am always so impressed by your rooms.

Barbara Matson said...

I enjoyed being one of the 20 participants in the past - it motivated me to finish rooms! Now that I am in a new place, I am inspired by all the bloggers/designers Linda has gotten involved with! And I LOVE the link up too! Maybe next spring I'll join in the fun. I was going to this time, but time got away on me. I also still love my glicee print I ordered from you a few challenges ago!

Joanne said...

This challenge is such a joy and honor to watch with each participant. It really has a sense of unity and support... and that is something that the world could use a lot more of ;)! Thank you for sharing your zeal with us! It shows in the outcome of all the fabulous collaborations and the final design!

Kim said...

As both a participant and an observer I think the ORC is magnificent! In my opinion every ORC Challenger is a Winner! just the way it should be! Great round up!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing before and after! The lantern and art are spectacular. Thank you for sharing your veteran experience with us.


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