Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comSince we’ve been on vacation and are just getting back home today (on my birthday), I don’t have a giant One Room Challenge update this week. The space has just been sitting still. The above image is what it looked like before we left, and sadly- I think it’s time to start being honest with myself. I don’t think it’s going to get finished before the big reveal next week. It took me a few weeks to admit that because it felt like defeat and a major failure, but I’d rather do this the right way than rush and throw something together I’m not 100% proud of. We live in this home and I want it to be perfect. So what can you expect next week? We’re going to stay up into the wee hours of the night / morning until the big day, and I’ll share what we have- which is hopefully *nearly* finished, but I want to set realistic expectations. My question for you is this… will you come back for “Week 7” to see the final reveal… even though there really isn’t another week in the challenge? To say I’m bummed is an understatement, but I’m also really proud of the work Emmett & I do. He had to talk some sense into me because I’ve been beside myself and very disappointed about not being able to finish on time. I was focusing on the negative instead of remember all we’ve accomplished thus far, in a very short amount of time. Click through for real talk, a very raw post, and a peek at the items that have been arriving in a basement bedroom I’ve never shared before…

If you found me through the ORC site, hi there! I’m Sarah, a designer & blogger located in Salt Lake City, UT. You can see my current home renovation here, as well as my previous home tour here. My husband, Emmett, and I are renovating our third house. Join us as we tackle the formal living room. In case you missed previous updates, don’t worry! Catch up here: Week 1 (before images, floor plan, and design plan), Week 2 (demo), Week 3 (drywall), Week 4 (fireplace and lighting). 

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comAbove you’ll see the built-in wall. The first base cabinet is resting there, but first- let’s start with the honest conversation. Am I discouraged? Absolutely. I’m the type of person who tries to go above and beyond, never misses a deadline, always shows up on time, and over delivers. It’s my personality trait and has been since I was a kid. I’m a “people pleaser”. I take pride in that, but it also took a serious conversation with my darling husband to realize we’re human. We also had a vacation planned for my 30th birthday that had been on the books for over a year. Do I regret going? Not, but I learned a valuable lesson. I realized my breaking point and bit off more than I could chew. I committed to this challenge knowing the time constraints, tried to tackle a crazy ambitious design plan / construction project in a 4 week timespan, and per usual- we encountered the unexpected that took our attention away from the task at hand. We had to deal with replacing hot water heaters and garage doors. It has honestly been a roller coaster of a month filled with highs and lows, but as my sister says… “Is anyone going to die or be seriously injured or emotionally hurt because of this? If the answer is no, then it’s not worth stressing over.” Granted, she’s in the medical field, but her voice rings through my brain when I feel work-induced panic. My job is to share interiors, help people love their homes, educate on topics I love, and inspire beautiful spaces… there are far more important things to worry about when it comes down to it. I can always count on her for perspective!

Next, let’s talk excuses. I think part of admitting our room wasn’t going to be totally finished in time has been difficult to share because it feels like a big fat excuse when hundreds of others are successfully completing the challenge with the same obstacles and time crunch. I don’t want to take anything away from those amazing individuals or discredit their work in anyway. For us, we won’t be able to deliver the quality we’re used to sharing with the circumstances and timing this time around- I feel like we need 1-2 more weeks, and that is 100% on me. Major props to the designers who planned better, worked hard, and will deliver incredible transformations next week. I am SO proud of each and every one of them because this is not easy or for the faint of heart. It takes careful planning, skill, and dedication.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comOk, enough self wallowing- apologies for that… I just wanted to be real and felt like I owed you guys an update. You all have been our constant cheerleaders and I love & appreciate you so much! Ready to see what has been rolling in while we’ve been in Europe? Everything is piling up in a tiny bedroom in our basement (pictured above)! The art should look familiar from this post… I shared the pieces I saved and how I narrowed it down.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comI’m obsessed with this scalloped ottoman from Mainly Baskets! Isn’t it beautiful? I’m planning to nestle it under a console table near the french doors.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comAll of the items currently resting on the bed are for the built-in. I’m going to wallpaper the back of the built-ins (get a tutorial for that here!), and the light fixtures will be hardwired to them as well.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comThis hefty wall mirror will live above the fireplace, in between the two sconces and I think it’s going to look incredible!

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comI’ll also be painting the french doors and adding updated brass hardware (pictured above) that feels more substantial.

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge – Week 5 - roomfortuesday.comLastly, a couple floor lamps have arrived. I love the tapered shade on this beauty! Remember my DIY dog murphy bed? That’s what the shade is resting on. Haha! I wondered how many of you would recognize it… yes- we still have it!

Next week, I’m going to style out what we have finished because I want to highlight the beautiful items the ORC sponsors have sent, but I promise you guys- I’ll be back with a BIG final reveal and I promise I won’t let you down. Check out the progress and updates from the other featured designers below…

Formal Living Room : One Room Challenge - Week 1 -

linked below…

At Charlotte’s House | Design Addict Mom | Erika Ward Interiors | Erin Kestenbaum | Girl & Grey

Gray Malin | Hommeboys | I Spy DIY | Jewel Marlowe | The Learner Observer | Making it Lovely

 Nicole White Designs | Old Brand New | Oscar Bravo Home | Place of My Taste | The Rath Project

Room for Tuesday | SG Style | Undecorated Home | Veronica Solomon | Media BH&G | TM by ORC

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  1. Just wanted to say that your discipline and work ethic doesn’t go unnoticed! This is why I visit your blog every weekday–you always deliver with interesting, useful content, and amazing style. I’ll be back for week 7, and good for you for taking some time away with friends! Travel and vacation always recharges that creativity. Looking forward to seeing what you tackle next. :)

    1. Also ditto! And, Happy Birthday!! :)

    2. I completely agree! Happy Birthday, your vacation looked amazing and I look forward to seeing the space week 7 or 8 or whenever it’s “finished” (is a room ever really finished?).

      1. Thanks Michelle! You totally get it… rooms are never really finished. I’ll keep adding and adding as long as I live here. haha :) xox

    3. Same here! Glad you were able to have some time to play/relax, and I’ll be back for week 7 (and 8, 9, and 10 if it takes that long!)

      1. Arielle- thank you, thank you!! You have no idea how much that means. xox

    4. Ditto to what Whitney said. For me it could be week 7 or 17! On pins and needles to see it all but without pressure & complaint ;) Happy belated Birthday!

      1. Thank you Danna! You’re the best :) xo

    5. Whitney! You made my day with this comment. Thank you! It’s just me over here behind the blog and it’s a lot to manage on my own, but I’m so passionate about sharing and making friends. I really appreciate you showing up to read and offer encouragement. xox

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!🎉😍🎂 Please do not spend this special day (or any other, honestly) feeling defeat or disappointment. The Gibsons are the hardest-working duo I know. Your space will be a stunning and beautifully executed part of your home that brings joy for years. Sponsors’ products will be highlighted by fine craftsmanship and superb design. You enjoyed an amazing adventure and returned safely to your furry family. Nothing to be apologizing for here. And, OMG, you’ve got to be psyched by all those gorgeous goods!! That scalloped bench? Whoa.
    Enjoy some birthday cake and positive birthday vibes!💖

    1. Thank you Peggi! You are really our biggest cheerleader and I wake up looking forward to your comments every single day. You’re a bright light in my day and I’m so thankful for your insight! From the bottom of my heart- THANK YOU :) Yesterday was perfectly ordinary, wonderful, and perfect. xox

  3. Happy Birthday Sarah!
    I’ll said it before and I’ll say it again…..It’s done when it done and it’s going to be an amazing reveal. I love the work you guys do and don’t sell yourself short. And if I may say, many ORC participants have contractors assisting them. You and Emmett go above and beyond in completing extraordinary work, which Im sure ever reader appreciates. I certainly do 👍 Love those scalloped ottomans too 😍 BTW
    Wishing you a beautiful day! 🎂

    1. Thank you so much, Colleen! You all are going to bring me to tears with these incredibly sweet comments. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you! Thanks for being our constant cheerleader and for showing up :) xox

  4. Happy Birthday!

    As someone who found you originally thanks to the ORC, I say bravo to the realism in this post. Quality should always win over speed. You went back to the studs, had other issues that had to be dealt with, and enjoyed a bit of life, so yes an extra week makes sense. I have long thought ORC should be 8 weeks not 6. If you are just painting and redecorating six weeks works, but I always side eye the heavy construction projects with lots of custom millwork that get done in that time period. I always wonder how much “prep” was done ahead of time.

    Love the blog! Have a wonderful birthday!

    1. I totally agree with Paige! I often wonder what step they skipped to “finish”…caulking? dry time? curing? Baseboards you won’t see behind a piece of furniture? I just repainted a full wall of built-ins around my fireplace and I’d be a fool to put ANYTHING on the shelves until they cured at least a week, so I sort of give the side-eye to a lot of the ORC big renos that happen so quickly. It just means re-work later. Sarah and Emmit have the right idea here!

      1. Me too. It’s an incredibly short time period for the scale of these renovations. We definitely don’t want to create more work for ourselves in the long run. I also share things in real time and it was literally impossible to finish this one in the allotted time based on our to-do list. Next time I’ll know to choose a smaller space, not tackle a full-scale renovation (to the studs), or maybe focus on decorating and cosmetic fixes instead. Lesson learned! haha!

    2. Thanks Paige! I keep telling myself that… quality is more important. I want to share something I’m really proud of without cutting corners for the sake of a deadline. It was a tough pill for me to swallow because of my type A personality, but your support means the world. Thank you again and I’m so happy you’re here! I’m hoping the wait will be worth it :) xo

  5. Happy Birthday Sarah! If it takes 3 weeks or 3 months, I’ll be here reading. Your work (Emmett’s too!) is amazing!

    1. Thank you Monica!! I appreciate that more than you know! XO

  6. Happy Birthday!! No need for apologies or feelings of failure because that just isn’t so!! That trip was a once and a lifetime opportunity. And your room is going to be gorgeous!!! I’ll be back for Week 7 along with every other post and story you share with us!

    1. Mindy! Thank you!! We came home and are working hard after an incredible trip. I’m hoping the wait will be worth- I truly appreciate your support. xox

  7. Happy Birthday Sarah!!! I LOVED watching you guys celebrate with your trip! Of course I’ll be here in week 7 or 8 or whenever you finish. I enjoy reading everyday and honestly feel like you are super human with the amount of detail you pull off in a short amount of time! I have zero doubt that if you didn’t make the trip you would have absolutely finished on time BUT this is your life. The most important thing is enjoying it and spending that much deserved time. As much as you are driven and never miss a deadline it’s important to give yourself grace. The best part of your trip is hopefully you renewed your energy and are even more inspired. I’m sure it will reflect it in the room. Sending you so much love and positive energy, it will be beautiful and worth the wait ❤️

    1. Hi Rose! I’m so happy to hear that. It was incredible and I feel so lucky to have made wonderful memories with my friends. Thank you for the precious reminders that there is more to life than work. I appreciate you following along, offering encouragement, and showing up to cheer us on :) xox

  8. Happy Birthday! You are being way too hard on yourself! I am very much looking forward to the reveal whether it happens next week or 2 months from now! Take some time to enjoy your birthday and recover from your trip.

    1. Thanks Megan!! You sound just like my sister (also named Megan, haha). I needed that reminder!!

  9. You have nothing to apologize for, and I totally agree with your sister’s mentality! While as a reader I appreciate your commitment to the challenge it should never, ever come at the expense of your mental health, marriage, or previous commitments! All of the resources you provide and your dedication to quality work are worth so much more than a “timely” reveal!

    1. Thanks Chelsey! I like being prompt, providing USEFUL and entertaining information, and making friends here. Maybe I needed a slap of reality in the face to remind me that things don’t always go as planned and it’s OK. I promise it will be worth the wait. Thank you for showing up to offer encouragement and follow along :) xox

  10. Happy Birthday! Just want to say I’ll be here week 7 and every day since Dana from “House Tweaking” introduced you to us.
    Can’t wait to see the living room; it will be gorgeous.

    1. Thank you Jaso! Aww Dana. I love and miss her blog :) It was one of my very favorites. I’m glad she led you here! xox

  11. Thank you so much for being so honest and open about this process. Keeping it real helps the rest of us realize that amazing renovations (like the ones you do!) take an unbelievable amount of time and effort…and things don’t always go according to plan! I’m here every day so will absolutely be back for Week 7 (or 8…or 9…you should take all the time you need!). Happy birthday and enjoy seeing it all come together in the coming weeks!

    1. Of course, Erin! I try to keep things 100% honest over here in my corner of the internet. Haha! These things take a crazy amount of time, energy, and money. It’s not like HGTV where transformations happen in an hour timespan, and of course it never goes as planned. Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing up, waiting it out, and cheering us :) I so appreciate that!!

  12. Joan Simari says:

    Sarah: You could complete this in 12 weeks and I’d be back for the reveal! It’s hard admitting our limits and it’s easy to overcommit. Don’t beat yourself up. You had the best of intentions. I agree with your sister – no one will die over finishing a week or two late. Happy Birthday to us both – although I’m celebrating the 24th anniversary of my 30th birthday – LOL! Do something special (or nothing and relax) to mark the day. You deserve it. We’ll be here cheering you on when you cross the finish line!

    1. Aw thanks Joan! It was honestly incredibly difficult for me to admit we weren’t going to make it. It took Emmett and I weeks of working until 2 / 3am to realize even if we worked 24 hour days, it’s just not feasible for this one. I hate admitting defeat, but I also want to share something I’m proud of in the end… and if that takes a little more time, I know it’s worth it. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Happy birthday to you as well! Thank you for being here- I appreciate you. xox

  13. You should finish the room to your impeccable standards in the timeline it takes you–no need to feel bad about that! Like everyone else who has commented, I will come back every week to read your posts until it’s done!

    1. I needed that reminder Rachel! Thank you :)

  14. Hooray for a bonus week of great design content on this room! :) Happy Birthday!

    1. That is such a fun way to look at it! Thank you for changing my perspective and for putting a positive spin on this :) xox

  15. Happy birthday Sarah!!,I hope you have had an INCREDIBLE and memorable birthday trip!!

    Please stop beating yourself up — of COURSE you should not have given up your long-planned 30th birthday trip, and of course you are a couple of weeks behind! You were in Europe for two weeks!!

    We love the work you do and you have to be happy with what you are doing in your living room rather than rushing it. We will be thrilled to see it whenEVER it is ready.

    Please enjoy your birthday. Your sister is right. Listen to her and enjoy your time with Emmett!!!

    1. Thank you Kim! It was so wonderful- I can’t wait to share it in a big blog post. I really appreciate your encouragement for showing up to read whenever it’s finished :) xo

  16. Heather Lentini says:

    Of course I want to see your final result! Can’t wait! (But take your time, we follow your great work, not because of the fact that you guys work fast, lol).

    1. Ahhh thank you Heather! :)

  17. I cannot wait to see the reveal no matter how long it takes, you are human and sometimes you can’t do it all. Happy birthday!

    1. Thanks Megan- I needed that reminder. I appreciate you! xo

  18. Please don’t be disappointed! The way I see it, you guys have done more work in less time than the other designers! And I don’t blame you for taking on the project even with time constraints because it’s an amazing opportunity and you deserve it. I’ll definitely be back for week 7! Good luck with what’s left!

    1. Thank you!! I really wanted the opportunity so badly and definitely bit off more than I could chew. I learned a valuable lesson, but so appreciate you showing up to read for the long haul. xox!

  19. Oh, Sarah, please do not feel bad about not completely finishing. Much of the delay was beyond your control anyway. When you look back in 10 years, hell, even 5, you’re going to remember all the incredible memories you made on your much deserved birthday getaway, not that you didn’t complete one of the rooms in YOUR house that you have to live in, in a crazy short time frame. You and E do incredible work and I like many, many others will absolutely be back for the final reveal and everything before AND after it. Happy 30th birthday!!!

    1. Thanks Anne! You’re so right. I needed to hear this. You always have the best insight. Thank you for the encouragement :) I appreciate you!! xox

  20. I appreciate how transparent you always are, and I’d rather you be honest with us and do it right than cut corners and ruin your sanity for an artificial deadline. You deserved your wonderful birthday vacation memories, and you’ll still soon get to enjoy your fabulous living room! Even though I have no authority to do so, I’m granting you an extension on the ORC deadline!

    1. I try to keep it 100% real over here Deborah. I’m happy that shows! Thanks for the extension :) I’m rolling with it!! xo

  21. happy birthday!

    100% here for this no matter how long it takes!!

  22. Just another loyal reader here, assuring you that I love your designs and the process of your renovations, no matter how quickly or slowly you finish. I echo many who have said that more blog posts are even better!

    1. Thank you Jennifer!! I so appreciate that :) You guys are making my entire month with these special comments. xo

  23. You have nothing to worry about! I totally understand why you would feel the way you do, but you’ve already accomplished SO much in a short amount of time! Plus setbacks are a part of REAL life, people understand that. You have amazing style and always create the most beautiful spaces, of course people will want to come back to see the reveal- no matter when it is!

    1. Thank you Meredith! I appreciate that- and your support. You all have been the best at reminding me of these things I need to hear! :) Have an incredible weekend!

  24. Happy Birthday, Sarah! As a loyal follower, it makes me quite sad to hear you are feeling so down about this project! I absolutely love your work and will continue to follow along with your renovations no matter how long each of them take! Honestly – it’s refreshing to see and hear about delays and setbacks.. My fiancé and I are renovating our house and it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison when we aren’t making progress as quickly as others. So thank you for being vulnerable and honest! It shows me that I can give myself a bit of grace when things don’t go as planned too. Love your work, keep it up!!!

    1. Thank you Elle! I appreciate the honest feedback and the reminder that we’re human and renovations always come with the unexpected. I needed to hear that and I also need to work on giving myself some grace. Haha :) Have an incredible weekend! xox

  25. Jocelyn White says:

    Reveals are great and all but, I love watching the progress, I learn from it and feel like I’m sharing a small part of the journey. Once it’s all finished and revealed there’s nothing left to look forward to. Take your time, make it a job you’ll be proud of, and please keep sharing the journey!

    Oh! and happy birthday too!!

    1. Thank you Jocelyn! I love hearing that :) Have a great week! xo

  26. Sorry so late commenting on this, but just wanted to say happy birthday and echo that I will be here in 12 weeks or whatever it takes. What makes the ORC interesting to me is not the short period of time in which the rooms get done, but rather the design and process! Good luck, xoxo