Joining the One Room Challenge – Spring 2021

With the news that I’m officially joining as a participant of the One Room Challenge for Spring, I wanted to share more of my personal story from this year. My plan is to makeover our “indoor” living room. But first, you may want the back story on our non-conventional, current farm home.

We moved…again!

Last year, my boyfriend and I were renting a mini-farm which sat on about two acres outside of Ocala. The home was very run down when we first got there. (See my first blog post.) But it had a good layout with three bedrooms and two bathrooms – which was ideal for working from home. Renan immediately acquired two beautiful, Friesian horses when the lease was official. Which then was followed by potbelly piglets, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, chickens, duckies, turkeys, and more. What can I say, the man loves animals! And I love them maybe more!

But when property values started increasing in our area, we were forced to leave the home we were renting and fixing up. And with less than a month’s notice. During a global pandemic and Christmas, no less. (Yep, they can do that in Florida!) With an extremely short timeline to find a new place, we were faced with two options: live somewhere DECENT or keep the animals.

I’m beyond happy that we both chose to keep the animals, but this meant immediately moving into something that needed MAJOR repairs. Renan found a really cool property much larger than the last that he had a vision for. But we had a lot of work on our hands right out of the gate.

Wildflower blooms at the new property. Mother nature is just showing off now!

A Real Fixer Upper!

While many would’ve walked away from this type of undertaking, that’s not our style! Everyday that Renan is not physically at a farrier appointment, he’s been working on the property to make it 10x more livable for us. The landscaping alone is night and day compared to what it looked like when we got here. We back up to a giant pond and the Ocala National Forest, so we have some incredible views and the piggies and duckies LOVE to go for swims in the afternoon. We’ve definitely embraced a very Florida indoor-outdoor living mentality here.

But like so many people this year, we’re not 100% that we’ll be staying here for “good.” So it’s been tough for me personally to hold back on all the things I’d like to change design-wise. I was planning to setup my new office earlier this year, but then we discovered water damage and put it on pause.

In my interior design business, I usually help clients personalize their homes that are well-made, with builder-grade finishes. So it’s a little hard for me to wrap my brain around the extra construction steps that are required before MY work can begin. But interior design is not just for the 1%. Anyone can choose to customize their home in a way that makes them happier to be in it. It just takes creativity, smart planning, and some sweat equity!

Photo of our recent orchid blooming at the new property.

Enter the Spring 2021 One Room Challenge

Then comes the One Room Challenge. This was something that I thoroughly enjoyed participating in last year. I loved having the accountability of the challenge to create a space that I got to enjoy every day. And it was great to help capture more of my interior design style when I wasn’t able to enter many of my client’s homes. The reveal blog post has turned into one of the most popular on the whole site! I even wanted to use the Fall One Room Challenge to redo our kitchen in the old house last year, but my gut told me to wait to invest, and thank goodness I did!

So when I was looking at the dates of this spring’s challenge, I started thinking “okay, I’ll do this but not…” And then, it hit me! One of the biggest lessons I learned from the One Room Challenge last year was that amazing results can happen when I treat myself like a client. And would I tell a client to wait to fix up a space they use every day? No. Fricking. Way.

Just because the home is not perfect and there’s always a chance that things could change, doesn’t mean you have to hold back on the design. It just means you don’t want to heavily spend money on things you can’t take with you! If I can inspire ONE person with this blog to take the time to upgrade their home to better support them – even on a shoestring budget – that’s a win for me.

My original apartment living room – from when I very first bought my gray couches. It looked good back then, but it’s time to upgrade!


The Plan

Like most people updating their living room, the biggest expense will be changing up our couch. And because it’s ME, I need the right one, at the right price, that can be delivered on time. As much as some of those unknown factors scare me, I’m challenging myself to save and come up with creative solutions for everything else in the room. Even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned, I know that I can upgrade the space over the next 8 weeks. And I hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Mood Board & Goals

In the first One Room Challenge, I set my goals for the space, and I’d like to repeat that here. In our living room, I’d like to accomplish the following:

  • Change up the room layout to maximize the location of our newly installed A/C. (We’re in Florida during summer after all!)
  • Upgrade our couch to a comfortable, leather chaise sectional.
  • Empty out our storage unit and unpack some boxes into the furniture.
  • Finish & paint the walls to freshen up the space.
  • Donate/relocate large furniture and decor items we no longer need.

Are you as excited as I am? Be sure to subscribe to my blog here to see all the weekly updates on the Spring One Room Challenge. And be sure to comment below if this is inspiring you to upgrade YOUR home.

About Kaitlyn Loos

Kaitlyn Loos Headshot

Kaitlyn Loos [loh-s] is a virtual e-designer for interiors and organizing. She helps busy moms with young families create dreamy spaces that function for their unique needs. She notably developed the Decluttering Personality Type quiz which has helped hundreds of people break down mental barriers about clutter. Kaitlyn loves to collaborate with clients to bring modern, fresh, and color-savvy design into their homes. Kaitlyn Loos Design delivers style for nearly any investment level. She also enjoys sharing her ideas and projects through her blog and discussing hot design topics on Instagram live.

Kaitlyn is located in the west-central Florida area (Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville, and everywhere in between) with availability for select in-person projects for 2021.

You can also subscribe to the blog and contact Kaitlyn directly here.