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One Room Challenge (Spring 2020): Week 1, The Intro

It’s official, today is finally the launch of the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge (ORC)! As a featured designer I am ecstatic to get started. I think it’s safe to say that no one would have expected that the challenge would have been delayed from April 1 and running for 8 weeks (instead of the usual 6 weeks) due to a pandemic. And I hope that you join me for the next 8 weeks as I remix my own home and that you find inspiration for your own.

In case you’re new here, I’m Beth the Founder + Principal Designer for Beth Diana Smith Interior Design. In a nutshell, I’m an interior designer with a bold, eclectic style and a love for color, pattern, and details (and insanely organized). You can find out more about me here, but for now let’s jump into what I’m transforming for my ORC and why. Always ambitious, and maybe crazy, I’ve decided to tackle my open concept living room, dining room and kitchen with the adjacent powder room and entry. Why such a large undertaking? Last year I had a significant water leak which caused chaos and ruined quite a bit. I figured the universe was forcing me to start the redesign that I had planned much later, much sooner. But as always, time was an issue since my priority is usually my clients instead of my own home so the redesign was being dragggged out!

Let’s peruse my home before the water damage with the photos below shall we? (Note that you can see a walkthrough of my home here on the segment that aired on NBC’s Open House NYC!)

Now, here’s what things looked like after the water damage. My wood floors got ruined and there was damage to parts of my ceilings and walls which required things to be replaced. I’ll skip over the parts involving mitigators, heaters, dehumidifiers, the insurance company, etc etc…

Part of the drywall removal process.

My Poor Kitchen became a mess…

Open shelves are removed.

Now, here’s where the fun begins aka my design process!

Step 1: Design Concept – I always start off with a design concept which is the idea behind the design and keeps me grounded in how I want the end result to look and feel. My design concept is called Cultural Oasis, Part II which will totally make sense if you watched my segment on Open House NYC. But, this go round I’ll be laser-focused on 4 main elements of my concept which is bolded in the photo to the right. It’s important that my new space be bold, inspiring, feminine, and have cultural elements. Note that this can evolve during the design process.

Step 2: Programming (Plan of Attack) – Here’s where I listed all of my functional needs which are all of my must-haves to comfortably live. Note that these are needs and not wants.

  • Kitchen: Easy access storage for my wine glasses, plates, and bowls. And counter stools that were standard seat height or a bit taller so it would be comfortable when I work from my kitchen counter (#shortgirlproblems).

  • Dining Room: Seating for at least 4 people for work and play.

  • Living Room: A sofa long enough and deep enough for friends to comfortably sleep over since I use my guest room as a full office.

  • Entry Areas: Hooks for coats, bags, and umbrella’s. Carpet tiles for easy clean up.

  • Main: All of the seating across absolutely MUST have comfortable seating (#badbackproblems).

Step 3: Prelim Planning – This is where I get the existing floor plan (no furniture) into AutoCAD in preparation for space planning. I like to look at a clean slate so I can map out things freehand first.

For the next steps in my process, the continuation of Step 2 and how it evolves with Step 3, and as I gear up to jump into wall and ceiling finishes, join me again next Wednesday for the ORC Week 2 ! Until then, stay safe and healthy! And I hope that you’re able to reflect on how important home and check out the other 19 amazing ORC participants listed below.

Love The Design? Share Below!


Franck Ribery
Franck Ribery
Jun 15, 2023

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Sep 13, 2022

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