One Room Challenge – Week 1: Let’s Go!

Aaaaand we’re back! It’s kind of sad that I haven’t blogged much – OK, only ONCE, since the last One Room Challenge. I could go on about how I’m so busy with client work and family stuff, but let’s just get down to business, shall we?

Blue ORC Guest transparent

For the uninitiated, the One Room Challenge was founded by Linda of Calling it Home. Twice a year, designer/bloggers across the country (and world, even!) transform a space in their own home, or a client’s, in just six weeks. We document the progress – good, bad, ugly, and catastrophic – each Thursday on our blogs, and link up to Calling it Home to share in the fun with the other participants, as well as many interested spectators.

Last time around, I made over my vestibule.

One Room Challenge 5/2015 Week 6 Reveal | Interiors for Families | Kelly Rogers Interiors

To get caught up on my Spring 2015 ORC undertaking, “Project Vestibule,” here’s a link to all of those posts…easy peasy.

This time around, I am taking on our Library. Or Study. Or Mens’ Parlor. I’m actually not sure what it’s supposed to be called, but this project shall heretofore be known as…


Yes, the Manbrary is getting a serious makeover. It is my husband’s sometimes office, and it has been ignored and neglected (and basically used for random storage) since we moved in two and a half years ago. I could talk about the cobbler’s kids and their lack of shoes – but this cobbler’s kids are getting along quite nicely. It’s this cobbler’s other half that has been largely ignored (sorry!)…until now. So although this project is in my own home, I do have a client on the project. Should be very interesting!

The Manbrary is within spitting distance of my now spiffed-up vestibule, and is actually the first room you see when you open the vestibule door into the foyer.

I’m totally stalling on sharing the “befores” – it kind of feels like that dream where you’re speaking to a crowd and suddenly realize you’re not wearing any pants. A little embarrassing…

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

The room is a great size and is very nicely proportioned, has a potentially cozy gas fireplace (inserted into the original firebox) that we’ve literally never used, and the built-ins (and the fact that they are there at all) are really nice, too. They’re just a total mess right now, and in dire need of both organization and styling. My husband is a pretty tidy person, and I know he’ll appreciate looking at orderly, thoughtfully-arranged bookcases. I’ll be adding some comfortable, yet compact upholstered seating in front of the desk to better take advantage of the fireplace, and also do double-duty as guest chairs when needed.

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

The light fixture is a simple but elegant semi-flush mount alabaster bowl that I believe was installed by the previous owners. I love the quality and direction of the light, which works well with the oval decorative plaster design. However, I don’t think the scale of the fixture is quite right, especially relative to the very large desk below. I’m debating what to do here – I just found a great source for alabaster bowl fixtures (which I could get in a larger size) for a separate client project, but I can also see doing a more modern chandelier or lantern here, to take the edge off the very traditional elements in the room.

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

I have made a number of half-hearted (and unrealized) attempts to try and get this space finished. (Note, the two ‘guest chairs’ are actually extra seats for our adjacent dining room, which need to find a new home). I actually painted the walls this color, thinking I might refinish the wood with more of a mahogany stain similar to my vestibule. However, this ain’t mahogany. It’s probably gum wood – not a special or unique species at all. Once I started quoting wood refinishing for clients and learned how much it would cost, I just tabled that whole idea. My husband, who liked the idea of wood (and what man doesn’t??), also came to realize it wasn’t that sweet, and told me he wouldn’t mind if I painted it. Hmmm, don’t mind if I do.

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

One change I made right after taking these pictures was removing the corded woven wood blinds. Not only were they totally dangerous for my curious young toddler – they also didn’t add anything to the room other than darkness. And because they were designed as top-down bottom-up, the cord was always hanging down, whether the shades were raised or lowered. The dog bed is enormous, and not particularly attractive – my beagle, Harrison, spends a lot of time here, so his needs will be considered, as well :).

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

I didn’t, however, paint the ceiling. There were some condition issues with the original ornamental plaster, and I didn’t want to make a bad situation worse by just slapping another coat of paint on it. And more recently, a lovely crack or two have appeared and the ceiling is now sagging a bit. I actually met with the plasterer yesterday. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to be able to do a full restoration to make it look like new – it would just be way too labor intensive and costly. A couple of the most problematic areas will be our focus, so I can feel better about giving it a fresh coat in my chosen color.

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

My husband actually picked out the antique mahogany Empire partners desk himself – sourced online from an antique store in the midwest. I was impressed! It’s really a great piece. Unfortunately, it’s distinctive lines and profile are getting totally lost on the busy vintage heriz area rug I put underneath it. I love this rug, but it is just not working here. So it must go. If you are interested in buying it, please let me know!

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 - BEFORE | Kelly Rogers Interiors | Interiors for Families

The trim and moldings are original and really beautiful. I plan to play these up as much as possible in the Manbrary!

One Room Challenge Fall 2015 Inspiration | Hermes Tray

I’ve got a decorative scheme in the works, and I found my inspiration for the look, feel and color palette in this decorative desk tray from Hermes. I can’t wait to share my plans next week – I hope you’ll come back to check on my progress (and, of course, for the final reveal on Thursday, November 12th. I already have run into a couple of major issues, and we’re just barely getting started here. Oy, it’s going to be a long/short six weeks.

If you’re not subscribed to this blog, the best places to follow along with my One Room Challenge are:

1. Facebook (Interiors for Families)

2. Instagram (#KRIProjectManbrary, #oneroomchallenge)

See you next week!

And don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing transformations about to take place!

Kelly Rogers


  1. christinedovey on October 8, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    Your vestibule is STUNNING! Absolutely love it. You have such a beautiful home and the library has amazing bones. So looking forward to watching this happen!

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 6:52 AM

      Thanks so much, Christine! I can’t believe what you’ve taken on this round – going to be incredible but I hope you’ve got extra Tums and Tylenol on hand for the journey!!

  2. Donna Frasca on October 8, 2015 at 6:52 AM

    Welcome back! Can’t wait to see how this turns out but I really like the way it is 🙂

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:29 AM

      Thanks, Donna! I hope that you will like the finished product even more. There are certain things I love about this room, for sure, but it’s just not quite clicking for me, and it doesn’t scream “Manbrary” to me…yet!

      • Donna Frasca on October 9, 2015 at 9:25 AM

        Lol, love it.

  3. meredithbdesign on October 8, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    it looks like a great project, I will enjoy following along!! love your inspiration piece…and I am glad you decided to jump in! Cheers! (Still dying over that wallpaper in the vestibule- gorgeous!)

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:30 AM

      Thank you, Meredith! I’m glad we have an amazing local contingent participating in this ORC. We will have to pick a night to celebrate together!

  4. Lianna@theresnoplacelikehomemke on October 8, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    amazing bones! it’s is going to be amazing!

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:31 AM

      Thank you, Lianna! I look forward to checking out all of the other projects, too – it takes me awhile but I’ll make my way through – so fun!

  5. Emily, Our house now a home on October 8, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Your previous challenge was stunning! I love all of the wood details in the dining room and am excited to see what you do with it. I am also taking part in the challenge, I have never done this before. I am eager to get to work!

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:32 AM

      Aw, thanks, Emily. I can’t wait to check out the space you’re transforming and your plans. Best of luck to you!

  6. Anna on October 8, 2015 at 12:24 PM

    Your little entry was my favourite last time. I’m sure this time you’ll also come up with something amazing!

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      That’s really sweet of you to say, Anna! I do feel like I had it a bit easier than most, simply because my room was so darned diminutive! This one should really test my mettle. Cheers!

  7. Megan on October 8, 2015 at 4:13 PM

    I can’t wait to see what you do in here! How much are you selling the rug for? I may be interested 🙂

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      Where are you located? Please email me at kelly (at) kellyrogersinteriors (dot) com if you are still interested!

  8. Hollie Cooper on October 8, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    I like your inspiration! The space has great bones so it will be so great! I look forward to following along. I’m also doing this round of the ORC.
    Good Luck ,Hollie

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:35 AM

      Thank you, Hollie! I got the tray after exchanging a corporate gift that wasn’t really my style. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized there was a reason I chose that design. It was meant to be! Good luck with your ORC – I am making my way through the projects and will keep an eye out for yours, as well!

  9. domesticcharms on October 8, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    Can’t wait to see your plans because that inspiration piece is fantastic!

  10. Abigail Falls on October 9, 2015 at 6:04 AM

    This house looks great. And while cracks in plaster are a pain thank goodness you have such a beautiful ceiling it in the first place.

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on October 9, 2015 at 8:37 AM

      This is very true – it’s a good problem to have. I’m very conscious about doing right by my house. I did consider the option of fully restoring (aka removing and replicating in new plaster) the ornamental design, but honestly I am ok with it being less than perfect, and would rather it be original than reproduced.

  11. Elisa on October 9, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    You have a beautiful home with so much great details. I’m quite excited to see what you do with the space. You did an amazing job with your vestibule!

  12. karolinabarnes on October 10, 2015 at 3:52 AM

    Love your vestibule! And if you have a green light with painting the wood, oh my God, it’s going to look absolutely amazing. Love your Hermes tray inspiration. So elegant and classy. The colours are just stunning. Can’t wait to see your plan next week. Karolina x

  13. Nicole Torres (@DesignItVintage) on October 10, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    I am so excited to follow your progress. following along 🙂

  14. Teresa on October 11, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    Kelly, you know I adore all your projects and I can’t wait to see what you do with this room. I expect the unexpected with some serious color. 🙂

    • Kelly R. - Interiors For Families on November 16, 2015 at 12:58 AM

      Now that my reveal is up, I’m so curious to know what you think of the color. I hope it can bring a smile to your face (there are a couple of pics of my dog, who is pretty darned cute). I know it’s been a tough past month or so – I’m thinking of you a lot and hoping you are well!

  15. lindaholt188452193 on October 11, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    I I love the inspiration for your manbrary Kelly. The room has such great bones and I know you will make it awesome. Also, kudos to your hubby to agree to paint the wood. Looking forward to see what you do!

  16. katecollinsinteriors on October 12, 2015 at 5:59 PM

    I love what you did with your gorgeous vesitibule and so I can’t wait to see what you tackle next. Your Hermes tray is the perfect starting point…can’t go wrong with Hermes.

  17. Erin Meyere on October 19, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    I just loved what you did with your vestibule last time around, so I’m exctied to see how your Manbrary turns out as well! Good luck!!!

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