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One Room Challenge Reveal!


I am very excitedly and gratefully writing this post from my finished office!!!! I worked my tail off every day this past week to finish. Including a Saturday full of challenges. It was the type of day where things that normally take 20 seconds (like screwing on a new light switch plate) took over an hour and a trip to the hardware store! Alas, I made it! So without further ado, here is my finished One Room Challenge project:

I am beyond thrilled with the final product!!!!

One of my favorite things to do is find things secondhand so you’ll notice as you go through that a lot of my furniture and styling objects are thrifted finds. Not only is this budget-friendly (included below is a complete item and cost breakdown of my expenses where I note what was purchased new, what I already had, and what was thrifted and where) but I also LOVE how it makes my rooms one of a kind! I scour the Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, thrift stores, antique malls, and estate sales for great finds. Sometimes things just need to be cleaned up a bit, other times they are in perfect condition, and many times they need A LOT of love…which I happily provide!

Keep your eye out for 3 little “sparks of joy” or personal touches throughout the room!

Let’s start with the light fixture I put together:

6-Light Fixture | Bike Wheel | Edison Bulbs

The vintage Steelcase tanker desk was a Facebook Marketplace find that I scored for just $50! I added my Duck Ugly logo to it by following this YouTube tutorial by the Crafsman. The 27″ Thunderbolt Mac monitor, keyboard, and mouse were also purchased on the Marketplace for just $350! Up until now I had been working solely from my 13″ MacBook. When you work remotely most of the time, you know that’s rough!

Pretty much everything from the desk to the desk chair to the monitor were thrifted! The laptop I already had. The only new things are the picture and the picture frame! Photo by Christian DeKnock | 6×8 Matted Picture Frame

I’ve read that if you have a small space, you should go big or go home so I kept that in mind when picking a desk…and then, like magic, I found this map on TUESDAY and it is soooooo cool! It’s a map of the city of Grand Rapids where I live. The level of detail on this thing is incredible and it is definitely one of my favorite things in the room!

I also made a cork board wall using foam boards, a cork roll, adhesive, and nails for keeping inspiration, goals, and my lists. To the right is some wall art I found at Hobby Lobby. It’s a quote from Dr. Seuss that says “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Below that is a little MCM bookcase I thrifted for just $7! Here’s a closer look at that:

Bicycle Bookends | Photo by Heather Shevlin | 6×8 Matted Picture Frame

Moving around the room to the next corner is a big palm tree I found at Walmart for just $16! The little table it’s sitting on I found at an Estate Sale for just $4 and painted the top using some of Amy Howard’s chalk paint.

Geometric Planter | Amy Howard Chalk Paint in A Good Man is Hard to Find

I wanted to have a place for someone to sit in the event that I take a meeting with someone and found this awesome vintage Steelcase chair from the 40’s on Craigslist for $40. All it took was a little Murphy’s Oil Soap, vinegar, and olive oil to have her looking brand new!

8×10 Matted Picture Frame | Photo by Mathew Schwartz | 6×8 Matted Picture Frame | Industrial Pipe Brackets

Here’s another view of that gorgeous pocket door entrance!

Did you figure out what the three sparks of joy are??? Here are the answers:

  1. In the picture with the palm tree there are two brass birds flying in the Polo Blue “sky”. I LOVE birds and I LOVE brass and I especially love how it looks like they’re flying in the sky!!!

  2. Probably close to impossible to spot, so bigs props to you if you saw it, is on the map. If you look closely you can see I traced my Duck Ugly duck onto tracing paper and put it the Grand Rapids map to symbolize Duck Ugly putting it’s mark on the city ❤

  3. Here’s one to get to know me 🙂 Throughout the room I placed something to symbolize all the places I’ve lived including: Michigan (Holland, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor), New York City, and Chicago!

That’s it – I made it! I’m so exhausted but had so much fun! I will absolutely see you all again in the fall for Duck Ugly’s second round of the One Room Challenge! Until then, keep following along on my blog to see my thrifted projects and renovation progress, and let me know what projects you’d like me to breakdown in future posts like the image transfer of my logo onto my desk, the cork board wall, and restoring the HVAC Vent! Speaking of which, here’s how that turned out…

It may not be perfect, but it looks a heck of a lot better than before! Plus the floors and desk aren’t perfect either. That’s all part of the modern industrial vibe I was going for anyways. As a recovering perfectionist, I’m very proud of myself for learning to love the imperfections in these things!

Okay, that’s really it! This happy duck is ready for bed!

Goodnight all,


Cost Breakdown

  1. Ceiling

  2. Color – Benjamin Moore Ceiling Paint in Polo Blue (at Repcolite) – 46.49

  3. Patch Kit – 2.67

  4. Drywall Joint Tape – 1.77 (in-store price)

  5. Paint Brush – .96

  6. Design Master Spray Paint in Brilliant White – 4.74 (with a coupon)

  7. 6-Light Fixture – 27.98

  8. Bike Wheel for light fixture – 16

  9. Edison Bulbs (2 – 4 packs with $10 rebate) – 9.98

  10. Brass Birds thrifted at West Michigan Vintage Market) – 5

  11. Walls

  12. Color Dutch Boy Dura Clean in Ultra White Eggshell Finish – 25.98

  13. Jumbo Wall Plate – .49

  14. Metal Lightbulb wall art (thrifted at Changing Thymes) – 9.97

  15. Dr. Seuss Wall Art – 17.49

  16. Hangers for wall art – 3.99 (purchased for 3.99 at Menards but this is the link to the ones I purchased at Home Depot)

  17. Made by Design Curtains (3 pairs at 20.00) – 60

  18. Better Home & Garden Pipe Curtain Rods (2 at 27.47 in-store price) – 54.94

  19. Nickel Clip Rings (6 at 5.22) – 31.32

  20. Foam Boards used for backing on cork wall (4 at 2.77) – 11.08

  21. Loctite Adhesive – 6.97

  22. Cork Roll (with 40% off at Hobby Lobby) – 8.99

  23. Huge Grand Rapids map (purchased on Facebook Marketplace) – 50

  24. Floor

  25. Murphy’s Oil Soap – 3.48

  26. Minwax Wood Putty in Red Mahogany – 2.49

  27. Mistana Clair Ivory Area Rug (6’7″x9′ purchased on Black Friday last year) – 108.89

  28. Vintage HVAC Cover (thrifted at Warehouse One Antiques) – 25

  29. Steelwool – 3.78

  30. Extension Cord – 6.48

  31. Brown Duct Tape – 3.48

  32. Desk

  33. Steelcase Tanker Desk (thrifted on the Facebook Marketplace) – 50

  34. Minwax Matte Polyurethane – 9.46

  35. Printed copies of Duck Ugly logo at local library – .30

  36. Flower Bouquet (purchased at Trader Joe’s) – 5.99

  37. Milk Glass Vase (already had)

  38. Chicago Art

  39. Photo by Christian DeKnock – free

  40. 6×8 Matted Picture Frame (purchased individually in-store) – 1.87 Matte Print (Walmart) – .25

  41. Vintage Ink Container (purchased at Antiques on Ionia) – 5

  42. 27″ Apple Thunderbolt Monitor, Wireless Keyboard, and Wireless Mouse (purchased on the Facebook Marketplace) – 350

  43. Michigan Cyclist License Plate (thrifted at Changing Thymes) – 12

  44. Bonsai Tree (purchased on the Facebook Marketplace) – 20

  45. Metal Drill Bit (for making a hole in desk for cord management) – 14.97

  46. Marble Pen Holder and Calendar (purchased at Habitat for Humanity Restore) – 2

  47. Vintage Stapler (thrifted at Antiques on Ionia) – 5

  48. Rolling Leather Desk Chair (thrifted at The Salvation Army) – 24.99

  49. Bookcase

  50. Mid-Century Bookcase (thrifted at West Michigan Vintage Market) – 7

  51. Heart Olive Tree (purchased on the Facebook Marketplace) – 7

  52. Planter for Olive Tree (Hobby Lobby) – 7.49

  53. Better Home & Garden Potting Mix – 4.26

  54. Bicycle Bookends – 19.99

  55. Greenery (purchased at Livingston Antique Outlet) – 4.17 (at 30% vendor discount)

  56. NYC Art

  57. Photo by Heather Shevlin – free

  58. 6×8 Matted Picture Frame (purchased individually in-store) – 1.87

  59. Matte Print (Walmart) – .25

  60. Brass Duck (purchased at Antiques on Ionia) – 8

  61. Vintage Fan (purchased at Antiques on Ionia) – 30

  62. Tiny Plant in White Planter (I already had)

  63. Vintage Mexican Bitters Container (I already had)

  64. Books (I already had)

  65. Wood Shelves and Chair Corner

  66. Vintage Steelcase 1940’s Leather Chair (purchased off Craigslist) – 40

  67. Cable Knit Throw (already had – purchased on clearance for $7.49 at Meijer)

  68. Vintage Ralph Lauren Brief (already had – purchased for $8 at West Michigan Vintage Market)

  69. Wood (I already had)

  70. Industrial Pipe Shelf Brackets (4 at 4.99) – 19.96

  71. Bracket Screws with Anchors (2 at .97) – 1.94

  72. More screws for bracket to wood (purchased at Ace Hardware) – 1.58

  73. Metal Flower (thrifted at Changing Thymes) – 8

  74. Plant in Metal Planter (I already had)

  75. Map of Mexico (thirfted at Lost & Found) -15

  76. 8×10 Matted Picture Frame (purchased 1 individually in-store) – 1.88

  77. Books (I already had)

  78. University of Michigan Law Library Art

  79. Photo by Mathew Schwartz – free

  80. 6×8 Matted Picture Frame (purchased individually in-store) – 1.87

  81. Matte Print (Walmart) – .25

  82. Geometric Planter for Palm Tree – 15.99

  83. Palm Tree (purchased at Walmart) – 16

  84. Side Table / Plant Stand (purchased at an Estate Sale) – 4

  85. Amy Howard Chalk Paint in A Good Man is Hard to Find – 8.49 (purchased on clearance)

  86. Amy Howard Chalk Paint Brush – 3 (purchased on clearance)

I’m all in on this project for 1,322.41 (including tax on the things that weren’t purchased off the Marketplace and stuff). I’m VERY happy with that considering the monitor, keyboard, and mouse alone were probably that much (or more!) new!!!

***Not included are things I already had like paint brushes, rollers, paint stripper, rags, cleaning supplies, my laptop, etc.

#BetterHomeandGardens #OneRoomChallenge #ORC #bhgorc

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