The Blog by Ellen Wags

a lifestyle blog for real mamas. featuring family-friendly home decor, casual mama style, and stuff to keep your kids entertained. 

One Room Challenge – Spring 2022 Final Reveal!

living room with overlay stating ORC guest participant Family friendly living room final reveal

It is the One Room Challenge final reveal week. I’m thrilled with how this project turned out! This post contains affiliate links

One Room Challenge Recap

The One Room Challenge (ORC) is a bi-annual challenge where designers, DIY’ers, bloggers, or really ANYONE, can join in on a fun community focused on finishing a single room in their home. The challenge runs for six to eight weeks each spring and fall. This spring’s ORC marks the 10th anniversary of this challenge.

I stumbled upon a fellow blogger talking about the ORC the week prior to its beginning. I had literally posted the day before about how I wanted to finally update our formal dining room to a family-friendly living room.


But also, I would advise planning ahead if you want to participate in a future ORC, especially if you have to order goods to complete your room. The manufacturing delays are pretty crazy right now, but I made it work by selecting ready-to-ship products, DIY’ing out-of-budget items, and good ole rush shipping LOL.

Visit this link to read my weekly (ish) blog posts about the One Room Challenge.

Lastly, one of my favorite things about this challenge has been the fantastic ORC community! Check out all the guest participants’ final reveal on the ORC Blog.

The Inspiration

overhead image of fabric swatches, children's toys, and a floral art print

My original mood board for the playroom.

I don’t know about you, but often when I hear family-friendly, something durable, but not so pretty, comes to mind. I wanted to marry my love of a California-coastal aesthetic with the reality of having two young kids that deserve a livable place to play without holding back.

The mood board above features items sourced from our home and fabric samples from furniture stores. I used this as guidance for the color palette for the room, and I drew additional style inspiration from designers like Amber Lewis, Jenni Kayne, and Studio McGhee.

Project Goals

  • Brighten up the room by painting the wainscoting a clean white and the walls a lighter color
  • Add comfortable, family-friendly seating to the space
  • Replace the dreaded ‘boob’ light in the entry
  • Define adjoining entryway with table or bench, fresh paint, and decor
  • Bring in some fun playthings for the girls
  • Storage for toys

The Before

The After

Are you ready? Are you sure? Drum roll, please…

collage of a family-friendly living room with a coastal-airy feel. the room features a blush and grey loloi rug, diy red oak coffee table, six penny blanched almond sofa, wiwiurka rocker, nugget comfort, and milton and goose play kitchen. pictured in images are a multi-racial family

What We Changed


Everything got a fresh coat of paint, courtesy of Clare. Clare’s Timeless was the perfect white for this north-facing room. The wall above the wainscoting is Grayish. This combo is the perfect coastal-cool vibe!

We intend on repainting the entire house eventually, so we carried the new trim color into both the main house entry and the garage entryway. It is unbelievable what a difference paint can make. The front of our home feels so much brighter just from this paint update!

four paint cans from Clare lined up in a row in front of a cream wall

YIKES at that cream wall. Thank goodness Clare helped us spruce this up!


Removal of window coverings. No curtains or blinds here! I love the large arched window in this room so much, and it felt practically criminal to visually chop it up with blinds. I originally intended to bring in airy, white linen curtains; however, once I took everything down to patch holes and paint, I fell in love with the bare window look.

a large arched window letting beautiful natural light fill a family living space

Loloi Rug

A new durable, family-friendly rug from Loloi Rugs helped to bring the California-coastal aesthetic into the room. I chat more about this Loloi Rug in this blog post!

overhead image of child's foam play couch and rug

Six Penny Neva Loveseat

I’ve had my eyes on Six Penny furniture for years. I originally had intended to spend less on seating for this space, but after lots of looking, I couldn’t get the Neva couch off my mind. Because of the small size of this room, I opted for the loveseat. Don’t let ‘loveseat’ fool you! The entire family piles on there to read stories at night with no problem. I have no regrets about spending a bit more than we planned; it lives up to the hype!

collage two children snuggled up on a couch


DIY Coffee Table

My original plan was to forgo the coffee table and just make do with a side table; however, I realized how useful a small coffee table would be in this space, so I started searching. My husband built a coffee table inspired by this beauty from Jenni Kayne Home. The original was over our budget, out of stock, and too large for our space. The solution? DIY! We picked up some red oak planks and dowels from our local hardware store, and he was able to whip this up in about two days. Don’t worry, there is a detailed blog post coming soon!

Entry Decor

This room is joined with the main house entry by a cased opening, so it made sense to go ahead and refresh our entry as well. We rarely actually use the front door for in-and-out of the house, so I didn’t feel the need to have hooks or a shoe rack here. We went simple here, adding a bench for extra seating, a faux olive tree to bring some greenery into the space, and a black-rimmed arched mirror. The walls, trim, and wood-paneled ceiling were all repainted with Clare’s Timeless.

home entry with faux olive tree, black trimmed mirror, and blue and white striped bench

Kid’s Toys

The girls really enjoy the Nugget Comfort play couch, but our previous cover seemed a bit blah with the plans I had for this space. The Nugget Comfort team sent over a new cover in Harbor, a double-brushed microsuede, and the liner set to help with the room update. The liners are great because they protect the foam from spills, drips, and they are perfectly tailored for the Nugget so they’re completely unnoticeable under the cover!

Wiwiurka makes beautiful wooden toys for children. They sent over an XXL Rocker in Sunset and Stepping Stones for lots of playtime fun!

The Milton and Goose play kitchen used to live in my youngest daughter’s room, but by pulling it out here, it provides a bit of storage and seems to get a bit more play. Yay!


Truthfully, we haven’t found a good solution for storage yet. I picked up a large basket from Amazon to toss toys in at the end of the day and it is acceptable. At some point, we will add some dedicated toy storage in the entry closet since puzzles and board games are already stored in there.

a woven basket in the corner of a room with blankets overflowing from the interior

What Still Needs to be Done

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t get everything you want to be done during the One Room Challenge. We have DIY’d a lot of projects around our home, and we’ve learned things always seem to come up during the update process.

We are currently living on the edge by having an untreated coffee table in a place children inhabit. I’m researching what stain or sealant is best to not change the color of the wood, but still protect from everyday life.

The pendant light in the entry is too small for the area, so we are ordering a similar light with a larger diameter.

The crown molding and ceiling need to be repainted to match the new trim color. I also haven’t finished repainting the doors next to the garage entry, but y’all can’t see them so no biggie LOL.

More storage. Honestly, there is never enough when you have kids.

Source List:

A special thanks to the following brands that generously gifted products to help with this project!

Loloi Rugs, Clare Paint, Wiwiurka, Nugget Comfort


Paint: Clare Timeless (wainscoting, entry) + Grayish (above wainscoting)

Rug: Loloi SKYE-01 Blush/Gray (or on Amazon)

Seating: Six Penny Neva Loveseat in Blanched Almond (poly-fill)

Coffee Table: DIY (inspired by Jenni Kayne Canyon Coffee Table)

Accent Table: World Market (old, similar here)

Table Lamp: Target (old, larger size here + shade)

Entry Bench: Target x Studio Mcgee Lynwood Bench

Mirror: Amazon

Entry Pendant: Amazon

Main Room Lighting: Amazon

Faux Olive Tree: Nearly Natural 82″ Olive Tree

Planter Basket: Amazon

Toy Storage Basket: Amazon

Art: Anee Shah ‘Little Moments’ Collection Prints 

Nugget Comfort in Harbor + Liner Set

Wiwiurka XXL Rocker and Stepping Stones in Sunset

Milton and Goose Play Kitchen and Dairy Food Set

Wrapping Up

Black woman in a lilac tee shirt dress sitting on a gray couch


Thank y’all so much for following along with our dining room turned family living space update. I am so appreciative of every blog visitor, IG follower, and friend that has supported and encouraged us during this project.

Be sure to follow me over on Instagram @ellen_wags for more family-friendly home content, and I can’t wait to see y’all for the next One Room Challenge!

I would love to hear what you think about our final reveal in the comments! Do you have a playroom in your home? Maybe a hybrid living-play space like us?




comments +

  1. Kylie says:

    wow! What a beautiful space! Love the transformation

  2. […] vintage rug collection, and I thought it was the perfect time to share how we are updating our secondary family living space for the changing […]

  3. […] We participated in our first One Room Challenge this spring and updated our (empty) formal dining ro…. We are experienced DIY’ers, but started with a relatively easy project for our first ORC. Our projects have typically taken a good bit of time since we are working on updates between raising two kids and working full time. This time, we know what to expect, so we are yanking the bandage off and going big! […]

  4. […] The guys at Plufl sent over the artic grey, and it coordinates well with our front living room. Yep, the same one we updated for our first One Room Challenge. […]

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