It's been nearly two years since we moved out of our old choppy apartment and into our beautiful loft. We moved here for some very specific reasons, the first of which was needing a beautiful space to shoot our videos and entertain in. We create videos for a living, we broadcast a live show each week from our living room, and we host regular events and meet-ups in our space so priority numero uno was to furnish our living space. So, that's what we did…and nothing else.
When a fellow blogger suggested we join the One Room Challenge our initial reaction was, “Ummm we're travel bloggers…not design and decor experts” but after giving it some thought, it actually made a lot of sense. We pride ourselves on being as transparent as possible with you guys. We show you behind the scenes of our lives everyday so you already know a lot about us and you know that we spend a LOT of time on personal development and growth.
You've also heard me talk about my TERRIBLE sleeping habits. Although I've never been diagnosed, I wouldn't be surprised if a doc gave me an “Insomniac” diagnosis. As long as I can remember, I've had trouble sleeping. I'm a classic “look at the clock every hour” sleeper. I hear every little noise and each one wakes me. I have nightmares just about every night. And I, like many of you, have trouble shutting off my brain at the end of the day and rather than sleeping, I'm forever making lists of what needs to be done the next day.
Can you relate?
As travel and lifestyle bloggers we've decided to show you a lot more of the “lifestyle” side of things particularly during the Canadian winter when we're not quite so busy with travel adventures. That's where the One Room Challenge comes in! If you haven't heard of this project before, the ORC (as it's affectionately called) is hosted by Linda over at www.callingithome.com where she invites hundreds of bloggers to take on one space in their home and completely transform it in a mere six weeks!
THE METHOD BEHIND THE MADNESS : The Two “Why's”
There are two big reasons we've decided to take on this challenge. Yes, we share lifestyle content on this site, this will be a completely new challenge for us and we think it's important to stretch your own limits and take on new and exciting projects wherever they present themselves. We also think this sort of thing will relate to most of you!
Productivity & Mental Clarity
Confession: I'm a super messy person by nature. Brent hates it. First let me distinguish the different between messy and dirty (I'm only the former). Messy means I have a lot of clutter, papers, clothes, knickknacks and the like laying around. I drop my bags when I come into the house and, if left to my own devices, will likely leave them there until I need them for something. I'm messy, not dirty.
All that to say, having studies productivity and personal development I understand the value of having a beautiful, organized space. We know, without question, that we're more productive when our environment is conducive that so I'm making an effort, room by room, to get organized and create beautiful spaces so that I can focus on creating content for you!
Beautiful Allusive Sleep
Riddle me this. We spend about 50% of our time in hotels. Typically you hear people say things like “I can't sleep if I'm not in my own bed” or “I can't wait to get home so I can have a good night's sleep again” but I'm the complete opposite. At home, I cannot sleep. In hotels, I sleep like a baby. So, the goal of this project is to create that luxury boutique hotel feeling in our own bedroom to see if that will help a sister out! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!
THE MASTER BEDROOM: Before
The space is small, 11'x12′ with a pocket door on one wall and a built out closet on the adjacent wall that decreases our usable space significantly. There are some features we love, including the flooring, the super high ceilings (over 10ft), the original beans and exposed ductwork and, of course, that beautiful original window (the only window in the space).
Of course, it's not all rainbows and butterflies or we wouldn't be redecorating this space. Aside from having no furniture or decor (aside from our bed), I really hate the black trim. I see what they were going for (it runs throughout our loft in every room) but I'm over it and I find it very limiting when it comes to decorating space.
Lighting is also an issue in the bedrooms and office space of our loft. The pot lights just don't provide the warm, luxury feeling I'm looking for but rather a harsh, florescent looking hue that has only two options: off or on. I'm also a die-hard, “No TV's in the bedroom” kind of girl so while the built in outlets for media are great if you're planning on installing a television, they're just an eyesore for me!
Finally, there is some unfinished work that's been glaring at me since we moved in. It's not a big deal, and it won't take long to fix, I just haven't gotten around to fixing the exposed nail holes, paint mishaps and wall patching around the baseboards. By the looks of things, I would guess they had to tear out the baseboards for some reason at one point and then just didn't quite finish the work when they put them back.
I have to say, our maintenance people in this building are great and they would absolutely come in and fix these things but I just don't want to bother them about it and I'm A-OK to handle it myself. I'm also a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to paint and would prefer to do it to my own standards.
DECOR & INSPIRATION: THE CONCEPT
The building we're in is over 100 years old, it was actually and old hardware store that suffered a major fire a few years back and was then renovated into luxury loft style apartments. It's really stunning. We love our loft and currently the kitchen is our favourite space. We love that the designers kept so much of the old character including exposed brick walls, original beams and the industrial type ductwork.
The other design elements that we want to include are two pieces that are very special to us. Both were given to us as wedding gifts, both were hand crafted by people we adore, and both are very rustic & beautiful by design. Our headboard, made of reclaimed barn board and our bright white hand made quilt (made by my 80 year old grandmother).
With the rustic feel of the headboard and the old character of the building, coupled with the hand quilted bedspread our goal is to find a blend of modern & rustic and really honour those pieces. We also have an antique free-standing mirror that we're planning to work into the design and that will also serve as our very first DIY project for the space!
The rest of our inspiration is coming from hours spent online figuring out what we like, and how we want the space to feel. We've partnered with some amazing brands and we can't wait to show off the stunning design features as the weeks progress.
We couldn't make this happen without the generous support of our official sponsors for this project so a HUGE pre-makover thank you to them! We will be telling you more about each of them in the coming weeks as the project unfolds but for now, be sure to check out their websites for inspiration of your own.
Once you're finished here, don't forget to head over to the ORC page and check out what all the others bloggers are up to for the challenge!