One Room Challenge: Week Three

21 April 2016



Dear Construction Diary,

Things are moving pretty quickly on my One Room Challenge Treehouse project. The biggest change is that we’ve added plywood walls everywhere, boxing in the formerly-exposed posts and making the whole interior look a lot more finished. The reason we didn’t do drywall in here is that it’s not completely safe from the elements (there is a small bit of leakage around the tree trunk which we are tying to fix with a sealant but we’ll get to that later). We’ve also finished the railing on the loft and even added trim around the windows. And by “we” I mean Fernando, the builder who’s basically doing this whole project. His name is important not only because he’s incredibly talented and doing a great job, it’s also important because no matter what, people always think that’s my name when I introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Orlando.” …”FERNANDO???” “No, Orlando.” …”ROLANDO???” “No, Orlando.” “YOLANDA?” “No, Orlando.” “FERNANDO?” …I think you get the picture.


I actually didn’t think it would make such a huge difference to add in the plywood walls but it makes the whole place feel so much more finished and glamorous.


We had to cover the cute rope handrail so we’ll have to figure out another solution for this once we’ve dealt with the walls. But first, we have way more important things on our hands. We have to figure out all the furniture. I proposed four different scenarios and my amazing new design assistant Brooke drew them up into four different proposals.

Basically, the whole theme behind all of the design ideas is based on a combination of summer camp aesthetic mixed with Ace Hotel-inspired hipster decor. I normally wouldn’t go this on-trend, but keep in mind this is for kids who are young and adorable and not as cynical and snobby about hipster trends as we grown ups can be. Okay fine. Me. I’m the one who’s a jerk about things being too hipster trendy.

The treehouse needs to feel cool but still kid-friendly, so I wanted it to feel as current and hip as possible. They’re going to be teenagers in five years anyway and by that point they’ll probably want to totally redecorate it to better represent their teenage pain and anger. And I’m totally down to help them with that goth makeover when the time comes.

Below are the four design plans we came up with.




This plan features a little seating area next to the window and a trunk in the nook behind the tree. You’ll notice this small space is actually kind of awkward so the plan is to put a storage trunk back there we can put pillows on so it becomes another lounging space. We’re getting lighting custom made by Park Studio to hang above so it can be a little reading nook. Here’s a photo of the space I’m talking about so you don’t think I’m crazy:





This plan is pretty similar to the first one but has fun woven chairs and different art. Also, instead of having two facing chairs, we have one accent chair and a vintage stadium seat. This plan also features the world’s most disgusting/amazing deer art which I thought was a painting but is actually a 3D sculpture, which kind of makes it even better. I doubt my clients are going to go for it but I think it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole worthless life.



This design is a little more mid-century modern than the rest and much more black and white. This one has a loveseat instead of two chairs and has a lot more neutral tones.




We also have a daybed option, in case one of the kids (or the parents) wants to go out there and take a little nap or snuggle up with a book. This look is a little more boho than the other ones and features this super cute art I randomly found online. I actually bought it for myself and am going to hang it over my bed.



Okay, so while we’ve been fixated on the furniture, we’ve also been trying to figure out what color to paint or stain the walls. We’re playing around with this grey stain option, mainly to cover up the yellow of the plywood and show off the cool grain of the wood. This idea actually came directly from the kids, who wanted to make sure the treehouse didn’t lose its rustic look. I’m planning to paint the freshly-installed trim bright yellow, along with the stairs/ladder and the upstairs railing.

I’m also obsessed with Native American patterns, and am hoping to incorporate this Hopi design somewhere into the treehouse, whether it’s handpainted on the wall or the floor or on one of the accessories:


So, there you have it. We have three weeks and basically everything left to do. Will we figure out what furniture to order in time? Will we stain and or paint everything before our deadline? WILL WE FINISH THIS PROJECT AT ALL? Or will we leave two, adorable innocent children with an unfinished playspace, a preview of the disappointment they will face throughout their lives? STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT! Oh, and let me know which design plan you like.



 Claire Brody  | The Curated House  | Design Manifest  | Driven by Decor  | Honey We’re Home  | Hunted Interior  | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | My Sweet Savannah |  Pencil and Paper Co. | The Pink Clutch | Savvy Home  | Simplified Bee  | Sketch 42  | Jill Sorensen | Orlando Soria  | Thou Swell  | The Vault Files  | Waiting on Martha  | The Zhush | Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH

15 Comment

  1. Jen says:

    Those are all amazing but I loooove number three! I hope those kids appreciate their fancy-ass treehouse 😉

  2. I am blown away by your vision and enthusiasm. Stay the course!

  3. Vel says:

    OMG not 1 but 4-5 plans?! You are insanely GENIUS and so creative, I have a hard time picking a fave among them?!!!! Can’t wait to see it all done Orlando!

  4. jenn.e.o. says:

    I love #4, the daybed would be amazing. I really like the trunks too though….What’s up with the loft? Hammock? So glad to have found you through ORC, am loving your energy!

  5. Gloria says:

    Of all the One Room Challenges, this one I’m most excited to see the finished room! I think I like the Woodland Clubhouse and the Mod Compound the best.

    Could you make a cute new rope stair rail with curtain rod brackets like the ones from west elm?!

  6. Lucas says:

    4! Four the win! (see what I did there….)

  7. I love this treehouse! What a fun idea!

  8. mb says:

    So cool. We have a tiny cabin just like that up in the woods in Oregon and the wood rats took it over when we weren’t there. We don’t have plywood on the walls because we thought that space would be rat heaven. Guess it’s rat heaven any way! I can’t wait to see what you do…I’m feeling inspired to get up there and chase the new residents out and reclaim my space. P.S. do you have an email list? I’d love to get updates sent to my email.

  9. you are funny. this makeover is going to be pretty rad so i am excited.

  10. This is the coolest project E-V-E-R. Each Mood Board is better than the next, but I am loving Number 2-that stadium seating!

  11. Seriously can’t wait to see this one.

  12. Just tuning in (of course you would be designing a treehouse), I vote #1 or 3! I predict a mass request/purchasing of treehouses post this project.

  13. All of your plans are stunning! Can’t wait to see what you choose.

    1. If i had to choose, I vote #3 or #4!

      Cheers! xo Anna Lynn with Waiting on Martha

  14. Gahhh cannot wait for this reveal! All of the plans are incredible!

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