Distressed property to short term rental / One Room Challenge week one

Hello Everyone!

This week begins the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge! This will be my fifth time participating as a guest, and although I have loved every season, this one feels special. It is kicking off a little later than normal due to all the shelter in place orders we are all living through right now; however, that’s not what feels different. This season runs eight weeks instead of the usual six, and while that is also nice, it’s not what makes it feel special either. It has always been the spirit of connection that truly defines the One Room Challenge, which has a community of bloggers supporting one another that seems even more important to me right now. That combined with the encouragement to go slower and use what you have on hand, this is what feels so special about this round. I hope you will follow along with me (and the other participants) on this journey. My husband and I will be working on a distressed property we bought late last year that we plan to turn into a short-term rental. We have already begun, and I’ll catch you up next week with where we are. For now, here are my plans for the spaces. Yep, I said spaces plural.

We may not finish all areas, but we are going to try. Since it’s actually just one open space, it’s hard to decide where to begin and end. The entire floor is maybe 450 square feet. So let’s begin with the Kitchen.

kitchen moodboard one room challenge

Then the dining area plan. This is definitely evolving as we are trying to use material leftover from previous projects. In this area, there is a bar top counter and a small space for a dining table.

dining room mood board one room challenge

And finally a living area with a small entryway. The house is three bedrooms and one and a half baths. So we need the areas to function comfortably for up to six people.

Living area mood board one room challenge

Next week, I’ll show where the floors have been done, and we have done quite a bit of painting. But for now, I will leave you with a few pictures of the house the day we got the keys. Did I mention it was a distressed property???

View into dining area fro kitchen

View into dining area fro kitchen

View from dining area into kitchen

View from the dining area into the kitchen

View of living area.

View of living area.

Obviously, we have much to get done here. But we are excited to get this finished! A lot has changed in the world since we purchased this property at an auction late last year, but we are still feeling really good about it.

I want to thank Linda and her team from One Room Challenge for hosting this challenge and the events Media Sponsor Better Homes and Gardens.

ORC Logo Guest participant

And a HUGE thank you to my product sponsors. They make all of this possible!

Product Sponsors for One Room Challenge

Be sure to head over to the One Room Challenge’s page and check out all the Featured designers and all the Guest participants. I promise you will be inspired!

See you next week!


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  1. So excited to see this space come together!

    • Libbie Burling says:


      We are already starting to run into those ORC challenges but are pushing through!

  2. This is so fun!! I love all the colors!

  3. Wow these are great inspiration boards so excited to see it come together this season!

  4. Tina Bousu says:

    Wow Libbie! Can’t wait to see this come together!

  5. Casey says:

    Nice! Looks like it’s going to be a fun project 🙂

  6. Denise says:

    Wow! Talk about a fixer upper! Looks fun! Love your plans and I’m excited to watch it come together!

  7. Carrie says:

    This is going to me a major transformation! I love all your choices and am looking forward to seeing it all come together…..blue, white, wood, and gray definitely speaks my language:)

  8. Sherry says:

    This is going to be so exciting to see transform. I know that you will make it beautiful!

  9. That’s such a crazy before and I’m obsessed with your plans! It’s going to be so dang beautiful.

  10. Jewel says:

    Oh Boy Libby! This is a big project and your plan looks incredible! Good luck my friend!!! I can’t wait to see it come together!!!!

  11. Lisa says:

    Hi Libbie! Wow I am so impressed with all that you are taking on! I love direction you’re headed with these spaces with the blues and greens and can’t wait to follow along and see you transform these rooms!!

  12. Joy says:

    Seriously? Friend, this is going to be incredible!! I love all the thought and detail that has gone into each area. So excited to cheer you on!

  13. I can’t decide what my favorite part is gonna be but I think I’m most excited for that entryway floor!

  14. Jenny says:

    I love the design you’ve put together for the space. It’s going to look incredible!

  15. Sonya says:

    Libbie, I am so excited to watch as you work on this space. Looks like you have lots of work but so worth the process to reach your goal. Happy to be doing the ORC for the first time with you.

  16. Kristen says:

    Oh wow! You have some fabulous mood boards but a lot of work! You can do it!! Good luck!

  17. Kyla Herbes says:

    All I can say is WOW! That hood vent is spectacular and I love the penny tile writing. Can’t wait to watch this transformation!

  18. Rachel says:

    Love the color scheme! This is going to look so awesome!

    • Libbie Burling says:

      I love to mix blues and greens and since the house is two blocks from Lake Michigan it seems the perfect time to use them.

  19. halena says:

    What a big undertaking! Loving all your plans and cannot wait to see the end result. We joined ORC for the first time this year and are doing my mom’s kitchen. Such a fun atmosphere and motivation.

  20. Alyssa says:

    Wow! Lots to do – I love a challenge but this might even be too much for me! Good luck and can’t wait to see the process!

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