ORC Week 3: The Layout (AKA I Got 99 Problems and That Cocktail Ottoman is One)

We’re rolling into week 3 of the biannual One Room Challenge, and stuff just got real. I’m working out some furniture layout issues and striking a balance with the statement pieces.

Going into week 3 like:

Why yes I DID make a GIF of my JoJo shaking her moneymaker 

I’m feeling pretty good this week despite being a little behind on a couple of large items. I had hoped to have the walls painted but our town is doing major construction on Main Street, smack in front of the hardware store. So every time I think about running out to get the paint I basically groan and say, “Maybe tomorrow….”

I’m a fast painter, it’s all good.

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Progress Made!

I have a bunch of graphic elements gathered for the custom wallpaper I’m designing for the dog den, I just need to put it all together and place the order. I’m waffling a bit on the vibe… Graphic? Whimsical? Modern? Traditional? Minimal? Maximal?  I might make a couple of options then throw a poll up on Instagram. Here’s a (scary, messy) glimpse into my process:

Wallpaper progress
The design is hiding in there, I just need to uncover it…

While I am completely in love with the rug that I used in my mood board, it’s a budget buster. It’s a great deal, don’t get me wrong, but my goal is to finish this room for under $2,000. Luckily, or by sheer obsessive will, I found this rug for almost 40% less and Matt even prefers it. Both the rug and the carpet tiles for the dog den arrive today.

Brittany Couch by Novogratz

The artwork has also been selected and ordered, I just need to figure out framing. And the couch has arrived and has been assembled!

Little known fact: I am a whiz with an allen wrench.


The layout woes that I anticipated have finally caught up to me and I need to work it out. Like, yesterday. The biggest issue is that the room was built to be a dining room, i.e., completely symmetrical and centered on a chandelier. No big deal, except that there is an doorway on what is now the couch wall. If you try to center the couch on the available wall space, it’s no longer centered on the light fixture. So what, right?

But the ottoman/coffee table (another issue that I will get to shortly) MUST be centered on the light. If it’s not, it both looks weird and will be too far away from the chair grouping to make any sense. And if the couch is centered on the room itself, there is a huge awkward gap on the right that looks ridiculous. I’ve stared at this wall for hours over the past few months and I think I have finally found the solution! Check it out:

Brittany Sofa by Novogratz
Ironically, an asymmetrical layout is the solution to the symmetrical room dilemma.

If I fill the gap with a side table (shopped from my living room), add a plant and a reasonably priced floor lamp, it beautifully balances out the sofa and artwork grouping. This also creates one cohesive chunk to ground the entire wall. Personally, I strongly prefer an asymmetrical layout anyway.

Which brings us to the ottoman/coffee table situation. The art and side table for the chair grouping is pretty easy, but in order to visually tie together both seating groups AND be easy to reach in all areas, the center ottoman has to be HUGE:

Ottoman placement got me like, whaaat?
Invasion of the Giant Ottomans

To be honest, the size actually works! I’ve been living with it all day and it is easy to navigate around and if we keep the fabric quiet, it doesn’t compete with all the other elements. But where to find such a behemoth?

No seriously, I’m asking. I have four couch cushions pushed together to simulate the size so it’s about 56″ x 66″. Does this thing even exist??? And does it cost a million dollars????

I would happily sacrifice the cushions as they are extras, but I don’t think I have enough time to build a frame (or get one built). So I am still not sure what to do…

Maybe I could cut a dining table down to size and forgo the ottoman? Get a way too small piece and pretend everything is ok? Side note: a tiny coffee table or ottoman nobody can reach bugs the hell out of me. But maybe I need to bite the bullet on that one for the short term good?

HALP! Any suggestions???

In the meantime, please take some time to check out the 20 featured designers in the One Room Challenge and the rest of the amazing participants to see what they have been up to. Grab a coffee and earmark some time because you are about to be sucked down a rabbit hole of awesomeness.

Until next week, my friends.