There are two main parts to today’s post. First, I want to peel back the curtain a bit on how sponsorships work for blog projects like the One Room Challenge. And second is to show how even when choosing items from the same sources, the design could have gone in a different direction.
The official 20 One Room Challenge participants are chosen (you can apply! I did.), and we then have access to sponsorship offers. We can take advantage of each, or not, and not all are going to be a good fit for everyone. I didn’t need a faucet, bedding, or wall-to-wall carpet, for example, but those offers have been super helpful for some of the other participants. There’s often a budget limit from each sponsor, and then we’re free to choose anything from within that (going over that varies either by working out additional coverage, paying the difference, or paying for the rest at cost). In return, the products are showcased in our final reveals, throughout the challenge, and across social media. This is in-kind advertising rather than sponsorship, as we are not being paid but rather receiving product.
I am only speaking for myself of course, but I look at these types of sponsorship offers as a way to speed up the design process. Would I buy that beautiful lighting fixture, or those chairs on my own? Absolutely! But it would be over the course of months, if not years. The 6-week timeline (extended to 7 this time) also speeds up the process, forcing decisions that I would otherwise hem and haw over. I have a tendency to overthink things! I know this about myself. A deadline can be a great thing for me, and the process is much more in line with designing for a client than the usual circuitous process I take in working on my own house.
My design is a mix of new items I’ve purchased, existing and vintage pieces, and product from sponsors. As I was choosing which things to incorporate into my One Room Challenge office, there was a lot that I loved, but either I didn’t have the right spot or it wasn’t working with everything else. I went through the secret Pinterest board I used while planning my ORC and pulled out my very favorites, along with a reminder of which pieces I did choose. I’d love to hear if you think I made the right calls, or if you would have chosen some of the alternates I was considering!
I found the room’s main light fixture at The Mine, along with a great blue and white planter and green dining chairs. They have so many amazing finds to choose from though — I had a hard time narrowing things down as I pulled my design together! Three words: Bunny Williams lamps. Oh, they get all the heart eyes from me. I also debated between the lighting fixture I chose and the other shown below.
• Ruth Green Dining Chairs • Blue and White Planter • Basil Brass Pendant • Middlebury Brass Ceiling Light • Brush Stroke Lamp • Pheasant Feather Lamp
Crate & Barrel
I have worked with Crate & Barrel in the past, and I reached out to them to partner for this round of the ORC. There is no more pleasing desk chair out there right now than their Liv Upholstered Wingback, in my opinion. I’ve paired it with their desk and also added a beautiful small marble dining table in the center of the room. Below are a couple of other lovely finds.
• Parsons Marble and Brass Dining Table • Morris Desk • Antique Bronze Wall Frames • Liv Upholstered Wingback Desk Chair • Dish Round Wall Mirror • Revolve Adjustable Dining Table
I love Lamps Plus and have worked with them in the past, but I didn’t need anything from them this time around. Any of these would have been great options had I not gone with other lighting fixtures and lamps though! I would love to see those plaster sconces given a fun makeover with paint and new shades, and the price is friendly enough to not feel scared about altering them. Plus I still think that Budgie lamp is so charming. (Too on the nose with the birds wallpaper though, right?)
• Annie Plaster Wall Sconce • Yasmin Floor Lamp • Newport Brass Sconce • Serpa Double Arm Wall Light • Budgies Table Lamp
You’ll see in the big reveal next week that I did steal curtains from another room in my house. I tried to find store-bought 84” pink curtains, which should have been easy enough, but I couldn’t find that barely pink blushy hue I was after and I’m picky about my shades of pink. Fabricut is a One Room Challenge sponsor and I fell hard for their Anapest pattern and a handful of others, but they just weren’t the right fit for my office.
• Anapest Fabric • Big Ditty Fabric • Edie Fabric • Priya Fabric
I’m starting to amass a good selection of prints, framed or otherwise, and the ones I have from Artfully Walls are always among the best. They’re not an official ORC sponsor, but one that I reached out to because we had worked together in the past and I wanted to incorporate a few specific pieces (the vase with flowers, and the beetle print).
• ‘Emerald Beetles’ by Kate Roebuck • ‘Flowers in Vase’ by Ruti Shaashua • ‘Library with Flowers’by Kate Lewis • ‘Olive’ by Polly Mann
Pay attention to the measurements of lamps, friends. I had overlooked this June ceramic table lamp several times while browsing the site, thinking it was cute but nothing special. Eventually I clicked for more details, and realized it was huge! The oversized scale and deep orangey red make this lamp something special indeed. I did have my eye on a few other finds first though…
• Kendrick Side Table • Jane Table Lamp • Utopia Occasional Table • Brighton Pendant • Black Tang Lamp
The best selection of designer fabrics, ready to be turned into pillows in the exact sizes you need. These other three are all on my wish list.
• Bukhara Ikat Pillow • Channels Pillow • Pyne Hollyhock Pillow • Hot House Spark Pillow
I have a thing for ceramics, especially with a handmade element. Jill Rosenwald combines fresh, modern colors with bold stripes and fun patterns on simple forms. I love the vase I chose for my desk, but these others from their Indigo collection are fun too.
• Freer House Slim Keith • West Palm Slim Keith • Gloucester Swoosh Letter Tray • Fans Bud Vase
Stori Modern is an official ORC sponsor and while they weren’t a fit for my office, I will have a separate post coming up next week with them! The peacock made the shoot. ;)
• The Memoir Dining Collection
I didn’t need anything from Annie Selke this time around, but I do love them a whole lot (I have my rug coming out with them next year!) and their products are always top quality. Our rugs in the library and living room are gorgeous, and the quilt and ottoman I have of theirs from a past ORC are lovely. These are some of the pillows and throws I had considered for my office design before going in a different direction.
• Resist Octagon Indigo Throw • Pom Pom Pink Throw • Fossil Embroidered Pillow • Thumbprint Embroidered Pillow • Antigua Linen Pillow • Resist Tile Java Throw
Jenny’s Print Shop
Art on demand! Jenny of Little Green Notebook has been killing it with her print shop, bringing in work from other artists and photographers, as well as her own. As I’m putting the finishing touches on my space, I’d deciding which pieces of art are going where. I’m not sure if I’ll have room for more, but if I do, it’ll likely be one of these.
• Roses • Claire • ‘Tulips’ by Lynne Millar • ‘Hyacinth’ by Lynne Millar • Eleanor
Cedar & Moss
Oh gosh do I love my Audrey sconces. I did look at several other options though, all of which would have been equally great. This is another sponsor whom I adore that I reached out to on my own, not through the ORC. They are able to customize lighting fixtures, which was so helpful as I was looking for beautiful sconces with both a plug and a switch.
• Audrey 8″ Sconce • Terra Sconce • Pearl Sconce • Moss 8″ Sconce
I’m using their walnut bookshelves, and they are heavy, sturdy, and all around well-made. I’m having serious envy over The Makerista’s pink velvet chair from them though, and Megan’s leather sofa! Oof. So pretty. So in my palette.
• Walnut Bookshelf • Cigar Leather Sofa • Embrace Velvet Armchair
Milton & King
I just finished hanging my Ornithology wallpaper yesterday, and it is a showstopper. So good! I also loved (and requested samples) of a couple of other patterns before making my decision though. Still haven’t decided if the pinned butterfly specimens would have been too creepy, or totally amazing, but I am in love with the birds.
• Ornithology wallpaper • Euphemia 5 Wallpaper • Lepidoptera Wallpaper
So what do you think? The design could be successful in a number of ways. Would you have made similar choices, given the other pieces I was considering, or would there be a lot of changes?
Kayla aka I Am Kilo BravoNovember 10, 2017 at 4:18 pm
Oh I appreciate the transparency so much. Sure I could’ve hunted down this info myself, but it’s way more interesting to hear how it works from your perspective as a blogger as well as the transparency in your thought process on the products available to you. I participated in the ORC in Spring 2016 and it was a lot of fun! I also miss linky parties in general (I think I’m aging myself with that comment) and getting to know other bloggers I might have never found on my own. Can’t wait for the final reveal!
JudyNovember 11, 2017 at 9:06 am
Oh, I really love this post. It is so interesting to read the background info and I always love seeing how you narrow things down. I would be hard-pressed to pass up the cigar sofa (which you didn’t need) or the “bookcases and flowers” print. I like the choices you made though!
DanielleNovember 11, 2017 at 10:17 am
Thanks for sharing! I love your style so I have no quibbles with your picks – and know it will look beautiful in the reveal. I appreciate you sharing all the design resources, many of them new to me! The internet is great for buying things that might have once been available only to the trade, but it can still be difficult to navigate and find interesting resources (and not the same old, same old).