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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Loiacono

One Room Challenge Week 6

I can't believe we're at week 6 already. I say this every week and I wonder what I will feel like when it's all over. Being a part of The One Room Challenge has given me the extra push I needed to get my business in gear. Every week I have to balance work for my clients, home responsibilities and taking care of myself. There, I said it. Taking, Care, Of, Myself. Self care comes in many different forms and this time, being a part of the challenge was a form of self care for me.

At the beginning of this week I was in a rut. I was struggling with my physical and mental health. Change of seasons and change of life goals put a heavy burden on us whether we like to acknowledge it or not. As I sit here and write, there's a woodpecker that won't stop his incessant pecking at the wooden post on our porch. Now I could be annoyed at the sound that keeps me awake in the morning, or I could reframe my thoughts towards the fact that he gets up early in the morning, to work hard on creating a home for himself for the winter months. Obviously this leads to a comparison of the woodpecker and myself. I sit here every day and work at creating a balance for my personal and professional life. I have to manage our home/workspace, finances, and goals all the while dreaming of our future family. All good things come to those who wait, but I can't just wait, I have to be busy.

Just like the woodpecker, I'm making necessary adjustments to my life and working towards our future forever home every single day. I rewarded myself for getting through the past few grueling weeks with a trip to Homegoods. I needed a new bedspread for the ORC and wound up picking up two new pillows for the bedroom as well, both with gold details to match with our theme. Of course, one pillow had to be Christmas themed because this time of year is what brings me the most joy. Self care was a trip to the store this week. Sometimes we need to get out and treat ourselves in order to find balance again.

When I finally got around to working on my nightstand for the one room challenge, I was distracted by watching stories and looking at posts from the talented designers and guest participants featured in this year's ORC. Sometimes I need to be inspired before starting my day. I don't have a dedicated indoor workspace, so I'm dreading the times where I have to work outside in the cold during these coming winter months. I can't complain though, we found this apartment with the goal in mind of having some sort of space I can use for my business and I am lucky it is a porch and not just an open yard space which I have also if needed. My husband said we can get heaters and even close off a portion with a tarp if we had to while I worked (and remove it daily of course because I don't want to see a tarp when I look at my beautiful porch!). I love having the porch, I had always dreamed of having one when I owned my own home. I'm pleasantly surprised I got to enjoy one while renting. My dog Arya sits with me every day while I work. She sits directly in front of the backdraft of sawdust because she wants to be close to me. I used to feel bad when I went to work every day and left her home alone for the past 8 years. Now I can spend quality time with her as she gets older; my companion and I against the world. These are the memories that help me recognize my blessings, and that is also a form of self-care.

When I got back into gear and began my work, I sanded down the four legs and wound up only bleaching the front two. For some reason, the person who built these nightstands used different types of wood. Probably a Macgyver of some sort who used what they had to make this beauty. I admired that pieced together look ever since I uncovered the different pieces last week. However, it wasn't conducive to the look I was going for since I wanted the whole nightstand to be bleached like my other furniture. So what I did instead was scrap the idea, and played the hand I was dealt. I decided to use the same Salamander Green color from Benjamin Moore that was our bedroom color and paint the whole nightstand except the front two legs. I envisioned the base to blend into the moody wall like camouflage and the light wood legs and gold hardware I purchased from Amazon to stand out.

While the bleach was drying, I took the second nightstand outside on the side porch to scrub with easy off oven cleaner. It really is amazing being able to use a simple kitchen cleaner to strip off paint, but chalk paint is so difficult to get off. This is especially so because I don't have a hose hook up to spray the cleaner off, I only have a watering can to help me and that does not have any pressure to help wash off the peeling paint. I did what I could using the hand I was dealt once again, and then sanded the remaining paint off. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do right?!

Once the bleach dried, I brought in the nightstand and did my least favorite activity, priming. I have to stress that priming is essential if you want a smooth even layer of paint with no bleed through and for it to last. Do I like it? No. Do I enjoy it? No. Do I like the fruits of my labor once it's done? Yes. Paint prep is the diy-er's nightmare. Taping, priming, drop cloths, etc is so incredibly mundane, but it does the trick every single time. My dad always stressed to me the importance of using the right primer. He always recommended Stix primer for interior and exterior surfaces. It really helps paint bond to anything. He would always tell me to slow down and do things the right way. I of course rush through things because I have zero patience for anything, which is also why I had to scrub my new bedspread because I brought the still wet nightstand in the bedroom and got green paint on my brand new white comforter. It's ok, oxyclean and resolve got it out! An unnecessary detour because of my lack of patience. I hear our favorite Billy Joel in my head singing "Vienna" whenever I have no patience. I feel as if my dad is shaking his head at me from heaven singing, "Slow down you crazy child, you're so ambitious for a juvenile. If you're so smart, tell me why are you still so afraid?"

Although I still have one more nightstand to finish, a form of self care was taking a break. I needed to deliver the reupholstered chairs to my client and actually sit down and eat a meal. Brian had found an amazing recipe for pizza that used ground chicken for a crust. It literally was a game changer for us because we eat pizza on the regular and this was a delicious and healthier alternative. I wanted to finish my blog last night, but the self care angel on my shoulder was reminding me to "cool it off before you burn it out." Besides, who wouldn't want to wake up on a Saturday morning with their new comfy bedspread and type next to this warm and fluffy best friend.


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