It’s the final week of the One Room Challenge and, while I’m honestly a little sad that it’s over, we are all beyond thrilled with the end result! We’ve been spending so much more time in this space since replacing the furniture and hanging the art. And best of all, every piece we purchased is something we’ll use again and again in the years to come. I asked the boys how they feel about the new space so you can read their thoughts below. But first: the big reveal!

design darling one room challenge

I may or may not  have stood on the kitchen counter to take this picture but I thought it would be helpful to see the whole space in one shot. If you want to see where we started and what we did each week, check out the whole One Room Challenge here.albert einstein prints

Vintage Chesterfield sofa (similar, also love this one)  //  Striped rug  //  Albert Einstein prints  //  Serena & Lily suede cap pillows  //  Navy throw  //  Jana Bek brushstroke lamps (also available here)

My mom was really not loving the makeshift coffee table we assembled for week four and kept her eyes peeled for something she knew we’d like better. The “done is better” mentality had won out for me but sure enough she stumbled upon the perfect piece: a chrome and glass square table sitting in the window of a consignment shop, ours for $225. Sold! Of course now that it’s in the space I’m so glad that she held out hope. Three cheers for parents who live less than an hour away. 🙂

slim aarons car print

Slim Aarons Harbour at Nassau print  //  Antique needlepoint shield (love this mirror in a similar shape)  //  Townes van Zandt print (in mirrored frame)  //  Floor lamp  //  Arm chair  //  Navy pillow  //  Stripe pillow  //  Antique antlers (cool sconce version here)  //  Bright Bazaar x Sonic Editions buoy print  //  Antique pig print (in gold leaf frame)

Will and I agree that this is our favorite little nook in the apartment. A cozy chair and pillow situation and a killer art arrangement… What’s not to love?

design darling chesterfield sofa

Vintage coffee table (similar)  //  C. Wonder ginger jar (old, similar)

Rory’s not impressed by those lilies either. #latebloomers

west elm mirrored bar cart

Metal book tower  //  Slim Aarons Poolside Glamour print  // West Elm mirrored bar cart (tray and stand)

Will honestly wasn’t totally sold on this print when we pulled the trigger and now he’d be the first to tell you that it makes the space. The colors are so vivid and the depth of field is exactly what this small space needed!

coffee table styling

Porcelain tray  //  Anchor matches

Of course I had to sneak a few Design Darling goodies into the mix!

serena and lily leather cap corner throw pillows

A few of the many coffee table books we love: A Place in the Sun, James Nares, Rowing Blazers, and The New York Dog.

cobalt navy racing stripe pillow

Embroidered pillow  //  Stripe pillow

I knew we needed a little more color in the space and a couple Pottery Barn pillows were the perfect backdrop for the slightly smaller racing stripe pillows from my boutique. Blue on blue, all day err day.

west elm malone campaign dresser

West Elm campaign dresser  //  Slim Aarons A Wonderful Time black and white print

I can’t believe how much this view has changed since week one when there was a bulky bar, a cheap TV stand, and a dark faux leather chair against this wall. While the arrangement is the same, we brought in much lighter finishes and were mindful of choosing pieces that would reflect light. I was a little worried about the mix of metals (mirror and nickel on the bar, brass on the dresser, chrome and glass on the coffee table) but in the end I think it makes the space more interesting. If you take one thing away from this one room challenge, let it be this: do not buy a matchy-matchy furniture set. I repeat: don’t do it! Have fun mixing and matching pieces that you truly love and that are worth the search it takes to find them.

sonic editions buoy print will taylor

We couldn’t resist this buoy print taken by my friend Will Taylor. It reminds me of Nantucket!

bar cart styling shaken not stirred print sonic editions

 Shaken Not Stirred print  //  Mint julep cups  //  Striped bowl

Gin and tonic? Mint julep? I think it’s time to throw a holiday party to toast to the end of the challenge (and thank the boys for putting up with me these past six weeks!).

design darling six week one room challenge

When I asked the boys about their new digs, here’s what I got:

Mike: “It took me five years, four apartments, and one roommate’s style blogger girlfriend to start living in a place that doesn’t look like my college dorm.” (He also doesn’t understand the ginger jars, which I grabbed from my apartment at the last minute when I realized they somehow don’t own a single vase. He asked if they were storing someone’s ashes…)

Will: “It looks so good, I can’t believe I live here. It feels so much bigger and you gave it lots of character using things I already owned, like the artwork, and some things I wouldn’t have found on my own, like the mirrored bar. And now that it’s decorated so well, Rory feels more manly hanging out in an apartment that’s not hot pink.”

What do you think? Don’t forget to check out the final reveals of everyone who participated. I know what I’ll be doing today!!!

Abby M. Interiors             

Because It’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Chinoiserie Chic

The Decorista

Design Chic

The Design Daredevil

Design Darling

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

House of Turquoise

Jana Bek Design

Jill Sorensen

Maddie G. Designs

Mimosa Lane

A Piece of Toast 

The Pink Pagoda

Stone Textile

Waiting on Martha

The Zhush

Trademarked by Calling it Home


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  1. Wowza! The eclectic mix is perfection. The Einstein portraits are genius, but it is the Townes Van Zandt that sealed the deal for this Austin-ite. Love every bit of this. Those are some lucky guys who get to live in what you’ve created.

  2. What an incredible difference you made in this apartment, Mackenzie! Everything looks fantastic. It was so much fun watching this transformation! And, the guys were such good sports about it all — so cute! I’m sure they’re thrilled with the results!

  3. LOVE! And SO glad you held out for the new coffee table – the other one was definitely a placeholder, and this one just makes the room!

  4. I have been following the remodels and I have to say, I Love your style. The changes you made to this room are awesome.

  5. Will is one lucky dude as is his roommate. Soooo much improved. The ginger jar comment cracked me up – dudes. Still in love with the bar cart / console / Slim Aarons combo. Kudos for turning brown town around. Now the chesterfield can really shine when balanced with the lighter neutrals. And yay to mommas who scout! Woop.

  6. Absolutely amazing design job and so perfect for your handsome boys! It is a perfectly artful mix which I adore!

    The Arts from Karena

  7. You really did a great job. Obviously I can only comment from afar, but if I walked into this room I’d be 100% convinced that a woman lived here. Just an observation. Job well done.

  8. I loved following this series so much! Congratulations on such an awesome decor job – I love the brightness that you added with the mix of metals without making it look random.

  9. The space is completely different! I love the focus on keeping it manly, but not so much of a boys dorm room! It’s incredible how much a little rearranging and different furniture can change everything!

  10. Shut the hell up…I can hardly believe this is the same apartment! You did a fabulous job pulling this place together….the coffee table your Mom found is just perfect! Great job!

  11. I LOVE this! Your styling is so perfect. Nicely done. Glad you went with the mixed metals too – it absolutely makes all the pieces feel more collected which is so much more inviting.

  12. The new coffee table is perfect! With all your awesome updates you definitely needed a beautiful table to match.

    With the ‘lighter’ furniture pieces the space looks SO much bigger, open, & airy! I love your artwork choices & of course you styled it perfectly. Thrilled that my brushstroke lamps are part of your awesome design! You nailed it Mackenzie! XX jana

  13. This room looks so much brighter and bigger – most times, when you walk into a guys apartment, it’s dark and dreary, like they play video games all day! You made it look sophisticated and I love how you used existing pieces!

  14. That glass coffee table finishes the room, for sure, Mother Knows Best, so glad she didn’t let you settle! The room looks fantastic and not too designed out for comfortable living! A job well done!

  15. Mike’s comment pretty much solidifies that he’s my soul mate. This was a great series and I truly enjoyed checking in each week. I love the ginger jars. My guy friends have used a tall glass candle-like holder and filled it with beer caps (a bit “fratty” but with drinking craft beers, it’s fun to see the collection grow…) or golf balls from various courses they’ve played at!

  16. Wow! You did such an amazing job. I would gladly move in. I love that you managed to still incorporate their style and personalities. I love that print and what you said about adding depth is so true.

  17. What a beautiful space! I loved seeing this room transform and the last piece of artwork pulled it all together! I love the blue and white rug and that campaign dresser from West Elm is gorgeous! The new bar is so chic and glam, I’ll be right over for a drink! BRAVO on a job well done! SO fun participating in ORC with such talent!

  18. Wow, Mackenzie, it looks so great! Way to go! Love Will’s comment about Rory feeling more manly in a space that’s not hot pink-ha!

    xo Jen

  19. It looks amazing! Every detail is perfect! I love that it is something both the guys and ladies will love. Mike’s comment is hilarious. Also, I love that picture of Will holding Rory, Rory looks so happy!

  20. The finished room looks amazing!! And I love the Design Darling additions you put there as well! Those boys are so lucky to have someone like you to redesign their living room.

  21. Go Kenzieeeee! I am blown away with every detail. Cheers to B for that coffee table find, too.

    Luckily I live six blocks away so maybe I can see it in person soon? This space is now holiday-soiree-ready!

  22. This is ridiculously good!! Perfect polished and vintage blend! I loved seeing the changes each week…I think next time I decorate a room, I’m going to snap pics to help see my progress. congrats – enjoy those drinks 🙂

  23. You outdid yourself! You are the world’s best girlfriend for sure. I love all the art you chose and the key furniture pieces that are true investments. It’s a classic yet young space filled with personality. Congratulations! You should be so proud!

  24. I LOL-ed several times reading this post, esp. the ashes in the ginger jar and hot pink apartment part! These boys remind me of my husband who appreciates that I decorate our house but does not understand beautiful objects like porcelain jars that only serve a decorative purpose. I agree, mixed and matched furniture is way more fun and looks less “decorated.” I love how you combined pieces from retail stores with thrifted items. I also love how the see-through coffee table makes the space look bigger and allows you to see more of the striped rug. This is totally my style and may serve as inspiration for redoing my husband’s man cave in the basement in the future! Good job! Xo, Meg

  25. It looks awesome! Such a littlle space with so much personality, and Will is right, it looks so much bigger than before! Everything works together without being too overdone. Love the art choices and variety of frames. Well done!