• Mansa Krishnamurthy

One Room Challenge - Week 1: Modern Two Story Great Room Makeover


Hello and welcome to the Fall 2019 edition of the One Room Challenge! This season, I am making over my modern two story great room and I have been looking forward to this makeover for a very long time. When we first built our home, we said we would add to it as the years went by. We didn't have the budget to finish all of our spaces up front, and we weren't quite sure if our styles and tastes would change (slow and steady was the name of our decor game!). After making over our laundry room, our closets, our home office/study (circa Fall 2018 One Room Challenge - before I had a blog!) and our Coastal Modern Master Bedroom (Spring 2019 One Room Challenge), we are ready to tackle the largest, grandest and visible-from-all-angles room in our home.


Here's a glance at the great room as the house was getting built.




My husband thought of making over this room before the One Room Challenge - Fall 2019 edition began. But I was insistent on waiting to do this during the One Room Challenge season, because the enthusiasm, the camaraderie and the sheer fun of cheering everyone on is so addicting. My past experiences with the One Room Challenge had me coming back for more. I was absolutely thrilled with the response I received from my Coastal Modern Master Bedroom Makeover and it was also featured in Apartment Therapy (here)!


Over the past two years, we have spruced up this great room a bit. But the changes have all been superficial. We went with the typical changes - we added a rug, a leather sectional, an ottoman and a few side tables. But there is so much more that needs to be done to make the space feel welcoming, functional and usable. Here's the honest truth: the gas fireplace is completely surrounded by dry wall with barely there white paint and as a result, we barely use it. I created a makeshift mantel (using command hooks!) for my Christmas decor and I really want a real one! I have dreamt of having built in shelves around the fireplace since the day we moved in, but they are far from reality. 




Below are a series of truthful (albeit embarrassing!) photos of the part of the two story great room that needs the most work. Take a look!






So what ideas do I have for the space? Well, my list of must-haves includes the following:

1) built-ins/open shelving on either side of the fireplace

2) paint or wallpaper treatment surrounding the fireplace

3) a mantel (imagine that!)


The list of things my husband is NOT willing to compromise on:

1) his TV - it must be front and center above the fireplace

2) his speakers/surround sound system (that large and in-charge speaker that caused a hole in the wall has to stay)

3) no loud colors, no paisley patterns - in short, be as conservative with the design (and budget!) as possible


After a whole lot of compromising, we arrived at this design:



So, what do you all think? Can I tackle this project in six weeks? Let me know in the comments below! During this modern two story great room makeover, I will be taking you through the design process, road blocks I face and will also be asking for a ton of feedback on Instagram and on the blog, so be sure to follow along! Better yet, subscribe to my mailing list, so you can get the latest straight into your inbox without missing a detail.




To check out the other guest participants and their One Room Challenge projects, be sure to visit this page (HERE). You don't want to miss the 20 featured bloggers (HERE). This is the time to pick your favorites and cheer them! So long until next week! #oneroomchallenge #BHGORC


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