Behind the Scenes Look at the One Room Challenge: What it’s Really Like to Makeover an Entire Room in Just 6 Weeks

Ever wondered what it’s like to makeover an entire room on a tight timeline?

Well my friends, today I’m getting real with y’all about what it really takes to makeover a room in just six weeks, with a behind the scenes look at our latest One Room Challenge.

Farmhouse Powder Room |

The One Room Challenge is no joke my friends…

Renovating an entire room in just six week’s time isn’t for the faint of heart.

We’ve pushed our way through that choas five times now.


And, though I’m certainly no expert (as evidenced by my latest ORC makeover), we have learned a thing or two along the way.

Farmhouse Style Family Room |

So, if you’ve been thinking about taking on your own One Room Challenge, or you just want a better look at all the crazy that takes place behind the scenes – here’s a look at what it’s really like:

FIRST ORC TRUTH: (Most of us) start the planning early.

Like insanely early. When I’m gearing up for any room makeover, I usually start planning things out 3-4 months in advance, beginning with a design plan for the space. Then, it’s all about coordinating with brands to ensure all of my materials and supplies make it here in plenty of time. Of course, there are those that jump in head first at the very last minute – in fact, that’s how I rolled through our first time through. But, this is definitely not the ideal way to do things – go on, ask me how I know (nothing like scrambling to do it ALL at the last minute!).

A Farmhouse Style Bathroom |

SECOND ORC TRUTH: Something always, ALWAYS goes wrong.

Even with the best laid plans, it never fails that something (or seemingly every single thing) won’t go according to your brilliant plan. Whether its uneven floors, a planked ceiling that keeps falling down, or a wall that won’t build itself – you’re going to need to be prepared to roll with the punches. Which is of course, so much harder to do with that six week deadline staring you in the face.

Farmhouse Master Bedroom

THIRD ORC TRUTH: It’s harder than it looks.

Us bloggers are notorious for focusing on the good and sugar coating the not-so-good.

Want the truth?

Unless all you’re doing is switching out the pillows, making over a room in just six weeks is tough. It’s stressful, overwhelming, and often all consuming. It’s a total roller coaster of emotions. There’s a ton of pressure to do it all and more importantly, to do it all PERFECTLY. And more often than not, there’s this cloud of doubt that you’ll ever be able to pull it all off in time (see every week three, four and five I’ve ever posted).

Farmhouse Bathroom

FOURTH ORC TRUTH: It’s always worse than we make it sound.

See above.

A look behind the scenes at what it's really like to take part in the One Room Challenge

FIFTH ORC TRUTH: We’ll do (almost) anything to “finish” in time. And when we don’t, we pretend.

Painting at 5am while the rest of the house is still asleep, tiling floors until all hours of the night, stealing light fixtures from other rooms because the new ones you had to order when the first ones didn’t quite fit, didn’t arrive in time – we’ve done it all and then some my friends.

Behind The Scenes Look at our One Room Challenge

I’m sure it’s no surprise that sometimes all that hard work just isn’t enough. So we do what any great blogger would do – we fake it…

Behind The Scenes Look at our One Room Challenge

We lay tiles over the plywood outside the door to pretend that the floors are finished (because who wants to look at plywood floors?!)…

Farmhouse Powder Room |

And selectively photograph the best parts, while leaving out those parts that didn’t quite go according to plan…

Behind The Scenes Look at our One Room Challenge

Case in point: this mudroom that was supposed to be finished right along with our powder room (what were we thinking?!).

Or, the water that pooled in our beautiful vanity right after photographing the finished space (because of course, nobody was actually allowed to use it until I’d taken all the pictures!)…

Behind The Scenes Look at our One Room Challenge

SIXTH ORC TRUTH: The mess. Oh the mess.

Not only does the renovation mess somehow work it’s way into each and every room in the house, but it turns out, neglecting the rest of your house for six weeks has consequences.

Behind The Scenes Look at our One Room Challenge

I’ll telly ya, the thing I look forward to most when finishing up each One Room Challenge isn’t the fact that we’ve finished up a pretty room makeover, it’s that I can start claiming back the rest of my house again. Our entire house seems to spiral out of control those last few weeks as we buckle down and panic that we’ll never get it all done.

Finishing up our One Room Challenge in time always brings a big sigh of relief. But catching up on everything we’ve neglected to get us there … that’s when we can really relax and put our feet up.

I mean, we all appreciate having clean underwear to wear again.

You won't believe how simple this dreamy DIY Master Bedroom Closet was to design and create! And, with a place for everything, it's the perfect way to organize it all!

Final truth: It’s (almost) always worth it!

For as stressful and chaotic as the One Room Challenge can be, going through it all with an amazing group of bloggers that actually understand the crazy that everyone in your real life scratches their heads at makes all the difference in the world.

And of course, having a brand new space you love isn’t so bad either.


There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your vision and hard work come to life.

Just in case all of this has peaked your interest, you can read more about all of our One Room Challenge makeovers by following the links below:


What do you think – would you ever take part in a One Room Challenge?

Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!

Happy Notes copy    

4 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes Look at the One Room Challenge: What it’s Really Like to Makeover an Entire Room in Just 6 Weeks

  1. LOVE this! Call me crazy, but after reading this, I can’t wait for the fall ORC to start 🙂
    And, all of your makeovers have turned out so, so beautifully. You should be so proud!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts?