The One Room Challenge: Explained

Alright readers, it's time for the nitty gritty on the One Room Challenge; the inside story of how it alllll fell apart. Why share it? Well 1) I hope it will make you laugh but 2) There are so many amazing DIY projects out there on the web and sometimes you forget that even the most avid DIYers have rough times of it. Consider this post a reminder that we're all human :)

First, here's a link to the reveal photos - the room didn't turn out so badly in the end, it just wasn't how I imagined it would look. Here is why...

In our last weekend before the One Room Challenge reveal, the first order of business was to finish the Ikea Expdit hack Tim and I had started. Like I mentioned on this post, the plan was to add doors to the bottom three shelves to provide some covered storage. I bought some BEAUtiful reclaimed wood from Builders Trading Company in Encinitas for the doors and we were excited to get them installed!

On Saturday (after a late start because of a 4 hour recording session I had in the morning) Tim and I went to Home Depot together to get all of the hardware for the project. I've never bought so many screws in my life! We got home and started mapping out our first cut. Exciting, no? Well, "no" is correct. We quickly realized we needed a square - a tool we didn't have. Back to Home Depot!

While the second trip was a little annoying, Tim and I were still in good sprits and enjoying each other's company. When we got home, we started our first cut - finally!! After about 15 seconds and 2 inches of cutting the battery powered circular saw died. "Oh well, backup battery time!" Dead. "Come on!"

So at this point it's nearing 5pm and we're starting to feel a little hopeless. So little time left! Oh, and my pretty hallway? Looks like this...

(This is seriously our only place to work in our apartment. Yes, that is in fact sawdust all over the carpet.)

We decided we needed to finish something to get our motivation back. So, we went to the second project on our list - hang the curtains.

To give ourselves the room we needed, we pulled everything away from the wall and made a HUGE mess - all in the name of progress!

Tim drills the pilot hole for the curtain rod hardware and... wait... "steel studs? Seriously!? Wow." We can't hang the curtains. Without stud support they would just rip out of the walls (or our cats would rip them out of the walls).

So that was that.

A really big part of my design plan (and something I had spent hours working on already)... nixed. 

Here's a picture of Tim holding them up so you can get an idea of how it would have looked - lots of soft texture, the beautiful rope curtain rod, bright neutrals that wouldn't make the room feel small, and a pop of blue. So pretty and so far out of reach. 

And that's when Tim and I decided to call it a night. Time to recharge the "we can do this" batteries.


Enter Sunday. I'm feeling up for the challenge and ready to face the Ikea hack again! Woo, let's go! I have a slight migraine, but I'll just take the new migraine meds my Dr prescribed and be good to go, right? Wrong. These meds are serious stuff and can make your migraine worse before making it better. I ended up in bed in a fetal position with Tim rubbing my back until I fell asleep. Rough times my friends, rough times. 

In some good news, after an hour of sleeping the medicine did get rid of my migraine, and I was once again ready for the challenge! Tim and I started cutting wood(... oh ahem, that sounds a little dirty... oops). We made a map of all of the cuts we needed to make and got down to it only to discover we were short the wood we needed to finish. "Oh well, we'll get more - keep going!"

So we did.

Long story short (although this is already a crazy long story - sorry) at the end of a LONG day, we finished exactly one door. 

See it there? Among the wreckage? 

There was clearly no way we were going to finish.  We decided that to maintain our mental health it was best to leave it alone. So that was that! We cleaned up, I took pictures for the reveal, and boy do we both feel good to be finished for the time being.

Ok I'm feeling so badly about the amount of text in this post! I tried to make it short, there was just a lot to tell! Sorry!

If you've made it this far, I'd like to invite you to share your own DIY frustrations in the comments on this post. Link to a blog post, enjoy a little venting, and take a sec read other people's stories. DIYing can be hard and I think it helps to know you're not alone :)

So let's hear it - have you had DIY projects go bust?