One Room Challenge® – Spring 2023

So what is the One Room Challenge® exactly? For years, ever since I started Home Frosting I listen to podcasts daily, check out other acclaimed interior designers’ websites, follow them on social media and read tons of blogs. I do this for life-time learning, and to stay on my very best game to contribute to my client’s, friends and people I don’t even know, home aesthetic and happiness.

The One Room Challenge was mentioned by these great talents and so many I really admire. This year as my company made the final twirl in our shift from luxury staging to interior design, it was my year to get involved.

If you are not familiar with The One Room Challenge it is a bi-annual event that started over a decade ago by fellow Naples, Florida interior designer, Linda Weinstein. Since its inception the on-line happening attracts thousands of designers, and design lovers from around the globe to start and complete a room in 8 weeks. Plus, top home interior magazines and the media pay big attention and discover ideas and people to feature. YES, this is pressure!

But, the very cool thing is The One Room Challenge brings together a mega universe of talent and passion, relationships transpire and rooms get born and re born for all to experience.

There are rules to play in this creative sand box. You must complete the project in 8 weeks and share your progress weekly with the world, and on The One Room Challenge blog.

I applied and got the lime greenlight to get the juices flowing and project underway. Starting April 5th until May the 28th my social media and blog will cover my journey. Please share with your friends, give me feedback and let’s have some fun!

One Room Challenge® WEEK 1

My One Room Challenge project is my super, sad home workout room in my home, that feels more like a dump zone than an inspirational fitness gym.

One Room Challenge® home gym

I’m calling my One Room Challenge “the energy escape”. My goal is to help anyone transform a drab space into “a go to room” that exudes great power and they love to spend time in it.

Backstory on the space

My husband and I and our dog Lincoln live in a 3-story townhome. When we moved in 6 plus years ago, it was my office. It had a sofa, beautiful hickory hardwood floors and red walls. I was in my red phase then. LOL. Then a couple years ago, I moved my office to the top floor, we bought some nice exercise equipment, covered floor with a black rubber gym surface. At first it was new and we both used the room to work out. It had a mounted TV and good sound system.

Not sure how this happened next, but soon it became a not so used gym and a repository for everything from spa chemicals, dog food, shoes and Christmas decorations.

One Room Challenge® before and after

This room was screaming for some attention. Thank you, One Room Challenge for giving me the kick in the tush I needed.

Not unlike home design projects I do for my clients, I’m a planner. At the onset, I get clear on my goals, (I start with the end in mind). Then I do a big ideas vomit and build my project framework and my design brief.

The energy escape room GOALS

  1. Make space feel larger
  2. Connect the outside and nature
  3. Be a place of peak energy and inspiration
  4. Be dog-friendly
  5. Ensure my husband is happy
  6. Easy to clean
  7. Be a high-functioning workout room
  8. Have a great aesthetic

Next, I list my (non-negotiables) must haves

  • Place for water bottles, and small towels
  • Mounted TV
  • Place for spa chemicals
  • Place for dog food
  • Shelf
  • Towel rack for large spa towels
  • Plants
  • Mirrors
  • Place for books

Finding inspiration is always a exuberating part of any design undertaking. Thank you, Pinterest, Mr. Google, design web sites and Instagram.

Keeping my goals and must haves in mind, I start gathering other fitness rooms I adore. Here are just a couple, and talented people who created them.

The dots are beginning to connect

Here I log thoughts about my vision that are forming in my head. This helps me draft my design brief, basically a summary of where I think I’m headed. This is an important document especially if you have a team of people helping you, so everyone is on the same page, literally.

My husband called me the improvement queen, as I’m never quite satisfied and will tweak and edit everything forever. Someone once said perfection is the enemy of progress. I suppose we are all a work in progress, so I digress and confess. I’m working on this flaw. All my design projects do start with a very clear vision, but like most artist souls, we tend to layer new solutions on, change our mind and randomly add a splash of a good detail. My One Room Challenge will take this path and evolve weekly as I dive in. So nothing is final until the 8th week.

One Room Challenge design brief

I am creating an empowering, beautiful room where my husband and I will: burn calories, sweat, build muscle, and lose flab, producing a contagious energy to help us be the best we can be. The space will be modern, nature-infused, and clean.

The result will be a peaceful, relaxed and happy emotional experience.

One Room Challenge® Budget

I don’t have a set budget. I do have my standards, my vision and will try to maximize the result while being mindful of my investment. The good news is we already have the fitness equipment.

I’ve got 7 more weeks of excitement. Here is what you can look forward to.

One Room Challenge® Week 2: April 12th

I’ll finalize the vision board, more details to come, share my collaboration with my banker, left-brain, non-designer husband (this will be fun), identify suppliers/subs, update schedule, clean, prep and declutter.

One Room Challenge® Week 3: April 19th

Next phase of rendering, sourcing and procuring product. Interview subs.

One Room Challenge® Week 4: April 26th

Start transformation.

One Room Challenge® Week 5: May 3rd

More work.

One Room Challenge® Week 6: May 10th

More work.

One Room Challenge® Week 7: May 17th

Final touches, “after” photos.

One Room Challenge® Week 8: May 24th – 28th

The big reveal, B&A shots, lessons learned.

That’s all for now! Make sure you subscribe and follow along on Instagram (@therealhomefrosting) so you don’t miss anything from the One Room Challenge behind the scenes. And do check out all of the other participants at the ORC Blog page.

Till next week, make it an outstanding adventure!


Home Frosting logo (2022)

Home Frosting is a full-service luxury interior design company based in Tampa, FL