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  • Writer's pictureJoyful Designs Studio




I cannot believe that week 1 is already here! This is my first One Room Challenge. And if you are new to my my Blog, I am Joy Williams, Principal Designer, Real Estate Investor, and lover of all things based in artistic expression and architecture. Joyful Designs Studio is my Interior Design Firm.

I actually decided that I would do this challenge when I saw another designer/DIY builder guest participant building a deck and back yard oasis last year. Things have been pretty busy during the pandemic so I thought I would wait until Spring 2021 to really throw my design hat in the ring. But because I ended up buying a property that I plan to partially use as my vacation rental and respite, I thought I could at least challenge myself to get the entryway (vestibule - as a Chicagoan would say) done - and maybe the massive front greek-columned porch, but I digress.

So, here we are. I should also add that I would be remiss in not mentioning the lovely Linda Weinstein at Calling It Home and Better Homes and Gardens as bigger parts of my inspiration for just chucking two deuces to waiting and digging in this Fall. Thank you, Linda for egging me on with your stories. Linda has created a wonderful platform for featured designers and guest participants, which includes designers, DIYers, influencers and design enthusiasts, to join in and complete or design a space that speaks to them or their clients. We all then share our triumphs, miss-steps, tips and tricks we learn on our journey to complete our space in the span of 6 weeks. If you want to join in the fun, click here.


So I shared a version of the mood board above a few weeks ago on our instagram page. Some things have changed and others are in process. Fingers and toes are being crossed as I type. Delivery times are not as stable as they have been in the past and rightfully so - we are in the middle of a pandemic! The house is in an historic district. Location details to come next week. But here's a look at her.

She has been sectioned off into 3 units. The unit we plan to take is the smallest but it's enough room for the two of us (my fiance and I). The porch is very expansive so that is perhaps a clue to location. It's unfortunately clad in light blue vinyl siding that we will not be removing anytime soon, but will clean up. Our neighbors have removed theirs and are fixing it up themselves. They've painted theirs a beautiful pea green color that I just absolutely love.

I posted a few Pinterest pictures in stories last week of some entryway goals I was trying to channel for my project. My design aesthetic is in the final design but I also thought about the tenants I want to attract and tried to appeal to them as well. Here's a sketch of the entryway we will transform.

You can scroll through some inspiration pictures I used when thinking about the final design.


A red door was seriously an option, but that was a safe option. In the end, I felt a rich blue was a better choice because I could then bring that color into the entryway. So the blue dot you see on the mood board is the color I chose. I call it RiRi Blue.

Intense, right!! While we toned it down slightly, but it will still be all enveloping. I think in design you either go big or go home. Make a statement whether it's boldness or subtlety, but make it your own and own it. The color I chose is Commodore by Sherwin Williams from their Emerald Designer Collection. The Emerald Designer Edition, although more expensive, will help my painters achieve a flawless finish in the entryway. I am very grateful to my reps at Sherwin Williams for the sponsorship, particularly stores 3392 (Hyde Park, Chicago) and 2066.

Ok. You've seen the exterior (which will get a separate refresh). Here's some before pictures of the entryway. Scroll through and you will see we have our work cut out for us. Next week we'll get into the nitty gritty of what we plan to change. And since this is a year of the Virtual One Room Challenge, I'll walk you through how I've planned and used all of my virtual designing muscle to get this space all the way together.

To see more behind the scenes (BTS) details and shenanigans, check our IG stories on our Joyful Designs Studio instagram page and the ORC FALL 2020 Highlight. Please also subscribe to our Blog to get the latest in home design and interiors.

We are excited to announce that we already have some incredible sponsors, with perhaps one or two more coming on board before we reach the finish line. I gave you a hint about some of the goodies we've already received in our IG stories and will give more detail as additional ad partners and sponsor donations come on board. Thank you to the following sponsors:


Thank you for reading and following along as we tackle this space. Please follow the 20 Featured Designers at the One Room Challenge website and the Guest Participants of this year's Fall 2020 One Room Challenge at the ORC Blog. Better Homes and Gardens is the proud media sponsor of the One Room Challenge

I leave you with a Gwendolyn Brooks quote I posted this week:

"We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond." Together we are stronger. Stay well and thank you for taking the journey. I know the world is heavy for many. Hopefully, this can be an indulged distraction and community of hope.

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