How Covid-19 Has Changed Home Blogging: Spring 2020 ORC Week Two


It’s One Room Challenge™ Spring 2020 Week Two and things are looking a little different this go-round in more ways than one. First, and most obviously, we’re all tackling these projects together as we stay as far away from other people as possible. That’s a notable change as we’ve become accustomed to watching our friends scour home improvement stores and design centers while they plan out their home redecorating projects.

For us, this ORC round looks very different too. Here’s what we’re doing that we’ve never really done before

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home bloggers tackle home decorating projects in isolation - when you can't leave home, here's how you alter your techniques


I’m a professional Interior Decorator. My actual job has been postponed for the foreseeable future. But you know, I also run this little hobby blog for fun. I love showing people creative ways to make their homes feel more personal and function better for their lives.

This little hobby blog has afforded me the opportunity to work and learn amongst some of the most creative and inspiring home decor bloggers. In a lot of ways, they’re my peers. Their blogs are usually way more impressive than mine. They’re more dedicated to the career of home blogging. They tend to understand coding and technical blogging aspects better than I. And yet, somehow, I find myself among them and I am so honored.

As we create new ways to show you home decorating, I’m taking my cues from them. They’re repurposing old furniture and artwork (see the #zerodollarupdate challenges from Sandy @elleehome on Instagram). They’re mixing stashed paint samples at home to create custom colors and avoid the paint counters (Abbey @abbeymadethis is a rockstar at paint mixing). They’ve turned their focus on their children and are honing their craft skills to create at-home schooling projects that will blow your mind (Charlotte @atcharlotteshouse shows you daily activities to keep your kids busy without losing your mind).


Please don’t compare yourself to what others are doing right now.
It’s normal to be overwhelmed with the task of getting through each day.

Your worth is not measured by your production. Your value is in being you – whole and happy – and I wouldn’t ever want to see a half you with a full plate.

If you need to work with your hands to feel good, work with your hands. If running ten miles every day brings you joy, put on your sneakers. If crafting a four course menu from scratch is your bag, I’m happy to see you shine.

Do exactly what you need to do to be happy. Not one ounce more.



Last year, I wrote a whole blog post about the One Room Challenge™ in which I explained what it is and how you can participate and follow along. If you’d like to see how the ORC normally operates, you can read that here: What Is The One Room Challenge™?


A lot of that information still rings true: It’s still a biannual design event, we’re still encouraging one another to do our best, and we’re still soooo excited to get the break from our remedial days by watching our peers and friends tackle new and exciting home updates.

Here’s what’s changed this season:

  • The ORC was delayed. Our original start date was scheduled for April but was delayed until May 6, 2020 in order to give everyone ample time to plan and to allow everyone to take social distancing precautions. (This date is for featured designers and guest participants like me began on May 7th)
  • The ORC was extended. Ordinarily, the goal is to complete one space in our homes in a six week timespan. This Spring, the organizers of the event recognized many of our distributors and sponsors would be working with a limited delivery capacity. As such, Linda and her team have opted to extend the event from six weeks to eight weeks. Our new reveal deadline will be June 25, 2020.
  • We’re using what we have. The event organizers are encouraging all of us to stay safe and delay additional purchases at this time. There’s also a ton of fear about everyone’s income being impacted by the pandemic. Where possible, we’re all attempting to create more and buy less. More on that here.
  • The ORC is getting more and more diverse! This is my favorite change and it has nothing to do with Covid-19. The cast of featured designers this round is the most diverse we’ve ever seen from the ORC and I am here. for. it. You can see the full group of featured designers here.
One Room Challenge Featured Designers 2020 Spring


So, the first is the most obvious. You’ve probably already noticed that my second post this season isn’t about my design plans. That’s pretty typical for when I tackle a One Room Challenge™ project. You can see each of my previous ORC™ room projects here.

In case you missed it, you should go back and read this post about rebuilding our home after a tornado hit our beautiful community: How We Are Rebuilding After The Tornado.

tornado damage week one

While a global pandemic brewed, we were struck with the devastating news that our neighborhood was one of the epicenters of the March tornado touchdowns in Tennessee. At first, our rebuild was fairly straightforward: We had a few trees fall on the roof and a chimney caved into our master bedroom, causing a flood. There was definite damage but since it appeared so minor compared to our neighbors’ home damage, we figured we’d be back home by now.

As the weeks went by, our home began to shift. Doorways were suddenly uneven. Our kitchen cabinets began to break the surrounding plaster. We couldn’t close our front door. It became clear that our home had suffered more extensive structural and foundational damage than we initially observed. Our home had to be fully gutted in order to properly stabilize it and make it safe for another 100 years.

This is an absolute first for me. I’ve been renovating homes since 2007 and I’ve never overseen a full, down-to-the-studs remodel. The closest we’ve ever come was a full renovation of a kitchen and two bathrooms in our North Carolina mountain house in 2014. Here, you can see the full extent of that demolition:

kitchen renovation

Now I’m going to be honest with you: I’m in relatively new territory here and I’m actively stressed and consumed with fear. In addition to extended timelines and compounding renovation bills that have yet to be approved by our insurance company, I’m also dealing with trying to deal with a complete loss of income from my business and suddenly becoming at stay at home mom, like so many of you.

If you’re going to live through a natural disaster destroying your home, I highly recommend you try to schedule it for a time when the whole world isn’t shut down.

Last week, I had a good gameplay ready for you! I was going to show you our new bedroom design concept and tell you all about the things we’re buying to replace all of the furniture that was damaged during the storm.

But we’re all kind of flying by the seats of our pantyhose here. Every day brings a new change, an additional unforeseen problem that requires a slight change of plans, and a new layer of second-guessing of my own talents and abilities. That said, I don’t have a good plan to show you right now. I’m waiting for my crew’s inspections to pass before I can even think of moving forward with purchasing and planning.

We don’t have electricity. Our home is still stripped back to studs. We’re still living in a temporary apartment behind our house and we’ve just celebrated our daughter’s fifth birthday with a party of three (the three of us):


We’re making the best of it. We really are trying to stay positive and remain patient and kind with one another and our contractors. We’re trying to keep our distance from our house and give the tradespeople who are working there some space to keep themselves safe.

Even though, in the past we’ve been DIYers in our cores, we’re remaining relatively hands-off in this process. I have limited control. I’ve hired a General Contractor for the first time in my life and I’m struggling with stifling my Type A / GET IT DONE personality in order to give her space to do her job. I really am trying to channel Elsa (who is playing in perpetuity on our TV right now) and just … let it go.

So, while it hasn’t really changed at all in a week, here’s your update on the current state of our ORC Bedroom Makeover:

a current view of our bedroom renovation


If you’ve been reading along for a while, you know that I accept very few sponsorships from brands on my blogs. I need to really LOVE a brand before I agree to work with them. Sponsorships take a lot of additional time to coordinate and, since this is a hobby blog and not my full-time job, I can’t really justify working with brands all the time.

I do, however, usually have a few sponsors during each ORC season. This year, that’s going to be different. Since I can’t guarantee any work will be completed on a definite timeline, I can’t really be a good brand partner for them.

Also, (this is a tad bit of honesty that I do feel you deserve), I reached out to a number of brands from whom I regularly source materials for my home and my client’s projects. I was upfront with them. I told them about the tornado damage and explained that I was somewhat desperate to put my house back together with almost no money to do so.

Only one of those brands got back to me and was kind and thoughtful with their offer. Several brands offered excuses as to why they couldn’t partner at this time. The brand for whom I’ve been the biggest unpaid ambassador throughout my career actually managed to offend me with their offer of a discount that amounted to less than my standard trade discount. My feelings were so hurt that I’ve made a conscious decision to only represent one brand during this event.


While I’ve never worked with them on a brand sponsorship in the past, you’ve seen their wallpapers in my homes before. They produced the palm leaf wallpaper I used in my Powder Room Makeover here:

powder room with blue wallpaper

Brewster Home Fashions also produced the faux grasscloth wallpaper I applied in my last home’s dining room:

dining room blue wallpaper

Lastly, and probably everyone’s favorite, I think you’ll recognize this Brewster Home Fashions pattern from my home office built-ins:

floral pattern wallpaper on builtin shelves

Brewster Home Fashions has a wide array of beautiful and affordable wallpapers, wall murals, and home decor. They’ve even launched a new line of vinyl floor and backsplash tiles that we’re planning to use in our upstairs bathroom once the house is ready for finishes. You can see those floor tiles here.

In our bedroom, I’m planning to use this moody and masculine plaid wallpaper to create a modern aesthetic with a design like you’ve never seen from me before:

plaid wallpaper in a dark bedroom

So please go show Brewster Home Fashions some love on my behalf and check back next week when I’ll give you a true update on my design plans for my new master bedroom. Then head over the the ORC blog to see the rest of the rooms as they get transformed: One Room Challenge Week Two


Stay safe and sane, my loves. I’ll be back soon.


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