One Room Challenge – Fall 2023 – Week 3

Week 3: Design Development

Catch up on Week One || Week Two

Welcome to Week 3!!

This week, I’m taking you behind the scenes into what it looks like to work with us as we have emerged from Phase I and moving into Phase II.
The first of our four design phases, the Design Concept is built out from an intentional deep-dive meeting where we get to know our clients’ style, preferences, lifestyle, home needs and an understanding of how best to design a space for them.
The second phase, the Design Development, includes customized drawings, elevations and shop sketches, creating design boards for selecting fabrics, finishes, fixtures and furnishings, creating specification schedules and looking ahead at lead times for upholstery and special order items, especially when we have a time sensitive deadline approaching (cue 8 weeks of One Room Challenge!)

Beginning with a space plan in Phase II, we decide what pieces of furniture to add or remove, including lighting to ensure a balanced, lit space. As the samples begin to fly, the office gets messy and we establish two or three front runners for presentation, we then add our Bleu Signature elements which include original art, antiques, custom upholstery and drapery and oftentimes English and French design nods.

In our “Master Retreat with the Military Wife Mindset” I’m pulling together some options for fabrics other than the ones shown in Week One’s Design Concept because I’m really set on creating a renter-friendly wallpaper installation using custom made oversized frames that we can hang and easily take with us over the next 8 years of Mr. Z’s career.
Always the wallpaper addict, I am thrilled to have our renter-friendly wallpaper panels sponsored by an American-family-owned company, Milton & King.
“Milton & King started in 2008 and we’ve been on this amazing journey ever since. The shared passion of brothers Richard and Bryce, Milton & King is a humble family business blindly dedicated to the evolution of the wallpaper and fabric industry.” To learn more about the quality of these products and those who stand behind them, read their story here.

Below are three fabulous Milton & King murals and wallpaper that I’m toying with, and you can see just how our friends over on Instagram felt about these choices. Stay tuned as I’m waiting by the mailbox for my samples of the Camellia Tree Mural and Spring Landscape Mural!

I should also be completely honest here and say that as a designer, I view my designs as a work of art; meaning each piece, each element, pattern, texture, they’re all thoughtfully and carefully layered into my designs and therefore is always why I request clients stop shopping (whether “just browsing online” or in person) once we’ve reached this part of the design process. Even something as minor as one new piece that a client picks up, takes us back to the drawing board for usually a minimum of an hour or two because it ripple effects the rest of the design. Case in point? Adding any of these beautiful Milton & King wallpapers would mean not using the inspiration fabric by Thibaut, which in this case is okay because I haven’t yet committed to it / purchased fabric / upholstered anything but also, in the interest of time and being able to move forward, I’m ready to make the final decision any day now!

Looking ahead to the timeline with the ORC, I took in account the DIY and custom upholstery projects that might be happening. I knew that early September is typically the cutoff date for vendors to receive custom upholstery projects with a delivery time before the end of the year. With lots of people hoping to tie up projects in time for holiday entertaining, I was running against time and the bed I initially wanted wouldn’t be ready to ship until the end of December. I began getting quotes for a custom bed skirt and slipcover for the headboard to transform our bed from the Big Brown Bed to a softer upholstered piece that could easily be broken down and transported for our PCS moves (permanent change of station). While my dear sweet mother sewed the most perfect slipcover for the headboard, when the skirt quote came back at the price of a new bed, I was forced to give up hope of transforming the BBB and decided on this beauty from Universal Furniture, which thankfully was ready to ship!

Be sure to come by next week as we’ll look at a bit more of the final design development and move into sharing the items we’ve purchased and a sneak peek at those already being installed! And Mr. Z will be working on my custom oversized frames for that beautiful wallpaper, so stay tuned!

Be sure to follow along here to see all the One Room Challenge posts for Week 3 in one place, and check back here for all the weekly updates from the talented participants!
You can also follow the hashtag #oneroomchallenge and #ORCAT on Instagram to discover all the projects and progress from One Room Challenge with media sponsor Apartment Therapy!


Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman

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