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A Recipe for a Peaceful Retreat


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Thanks to Covid-19 and Shelter in Place orders, no one was going to be using the room, so I just took the lemons thrown at us and made lemonade.

We moved in less than two years ago and as the movers carried in each piece, it was my job to direct them where to place it. Anytime I wasn't sure where something would go, I would respond, "Just put it in the guest room." At one point, they carried a vintage chaise up to the guest room as directed, then brought it back down. "There's no room for it there," they said, to which I directed them to go ahead and carry it back up the stairs and, "put it there for now."

Well that didn't last long. I realized after they left that there truly was NO ROOM for that chaise - I couldn't even step into the room! I'm happy to report that the vintage chaise with its fresh pink cheetah print upholstery found a home in our living room (see it here). However, all the other random pieces stayed there.

The room was still too full of furniture. But it's been agonizing to determine what stays and what goes. First, there's the solid oak, matching queen headboard & footboard, dresser, and chest - the first furniture my husband and I ever bought together, more than 35 years ago. Then there's the hope chest, another quality piece of furniture, given to me by my parents for my high school graduation. The solid oak nightstand that was built by my father, who has since passed away. There's the glider rocker, in which I sat in the wee hours of the morning nursing each of my children. How does one get rid of these things with so many memories and so much sentimental value attached?

I didn't. I couldn't. But it also wasn't working.

The dresser had seen better days as there were water marks on the top. It needed refinishing. The oak furniture was also much chunkier than I wanted in the room; I envisioned something much lighter visually. The chest is big, encumbers the path to the closet, and really wasn't being used. The hope chest I use to store fabric remnants, so it does serve a purpose. My daughter (who is the most frequent guest in the room) requested the rocker stay so she could rock my grandbabies. Oh, and there was a luggage rack in the room...not just the only stylish thing in the room, but also practical. So it all stays, at least in some way, somewhere, some reincarnation.

My goal, as you can see from the moodboard, is to create an inviting space of peace, while incorporating my personal "irreverent traditionalist" style. There's a lot of color elsewhere in our home and I realize it can be overstimulating for most people. I want to create a space that provides an opportunity for them to rest their heads in a visually calm environment while also creating a space that still lets them know they're a guest in OUR home.

I hope you'll follow my One Room Challenge creative journey leading to the big reveal!

Did you miss the first post? Read it here.

The One Room Challenge is graciously sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens.

Be sure to check out the other participants at the ORC blog!

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