Today, let’s discuss 3 helpful tips for participating in the One Room Challenge that I have learned. Hopefully, this will help anyone who is considering participating in the challenge or are wanting to complete a space for any reason in a small amount of time.

A colorful bedroom with pink, coral, red, black, and yellow accents. A gold bedside wall sconce lights the room.

3 helpful tips for participating in the One Room Challenge

My experience from the fall ORC versus the spring ORC was night and day. I went from a large-scale, mostly DIY renovation project to a low-key, most DIY decor project. I definitely have strong opinions on which project was a better experience, so read more if you are considering joining this experience.

Firstly, what is the One Room Challenge?

It’s an online event that challenges mostly interior designers (known as featured designers) and design enthusiasts (known as guest participants) to transform a space in a set amount of time. The One Room Challenge, or ORC, is a great source for design inspiration for your home. Usually, the time frame is 6 weeks, although due to supply chain issues, the current time frame is 8 weeks.

Gallery wall in dining room
A full look at the gallery wall

The best part about participating in the one room challenge is the positive and encouraging atmosphere! When tough moments hit, there are fellow participants cheering you on!

Now that I have two completely different one room challenge experiences, here are three essential tips for participating in the One Room Challenge that improved my experience.

My top 3 tips

Plan as much as possible.

Planning as early as you can is super important! The eight weeks go by very quickly, so you will want to not spend time during the challenge spinning your wheels mid-project. Here are some specific strategies to help!

One Room Challenge mood board featuring coral ikat wallpaper and black and white striped curtains.
This is the mood board on which I settled for the final design of my guest bedroom I completed for the Fall ’21 ORC.

Create mood boards

Mood boards are a great way to illustrate your ideas and I visualize how all of the elements come together. Back in the day, I would use screenshots and MS paint to show all of my ideas. Currently, I prefer to use Canva to make mood boards. I find it much easier to move elements around. Also, it is easy to duplicate each image to change singular elements. That was perfect for when I needed to visualize different curtains in the guest bedroom. I used a mood board for both the fall and the spring.

Hot tips for participating in the One Room Challenge. Example of using Google calendar to plan out content.


Y’all! Leveraging my calendar ahead of time was EVERYTHING I needed for the fall ORC! Seriously, I not only planned out my projects each week, but the content that I was going to post as well. That took the stress out of posting (for the most part). At the same time, I was still flexible enough to move things around if needed.

I did plan projects out in the spring, but I did not create a content schedule. That made writing blog posts difficult and Instagram posts somewhat sporadic.

Buy early

I mainly shopped my home for the decor for both ORC seasons. However, for the fall, I bought the items I needed to purchase early! That meant that I upped my room budget to account for buying 4 sets of curtains with the thought of simply returning the ones I decided against.

Now onto my BIGGEST takeaway!

Sanding drywall seams

Limit DIY projects!

I know you’re thinking, “Now wait a minute! Aren’t you a DIYer?” Absolutely! But, those DIY projects can really overwhelm you on such a tight turnaround!

tips for participating in the One Room Challenge: limit your DIY projects! Lady smoothes joint compound with a drywall knife on new drywall. Photo is in black and white.

The dining room was a massive transformation that was all around renovation. So many weeks were spent over the unsexy tasks: drywall taping and mudding, sanding, texturing, priming, and painting. Consequently, the styling and decor phase was squeezed into the last week before the final reveal.

Black girl in pink shirt paints bright yellow circle on a wall with a roller.

In contrast, the guest bedroom had zero renovation tasks. The projects were all DIY decor projects. They were simple tasks that were more beginner friendly and easily achievable! Although some of the DIY decor projects took some time to complete, they made the spring ORC the more enjoyable experience.

The more modest projects made sharing content much easier in the tight time frame of eight weeks!

hellohomegirl A boho designed bedroom contains bed linens from Target. The Threshold performance sheets are the best sheets in 2022.

Final tips for participating in the One Room Challenge

In conclusion, if you want to participate in the ORC, I would encourage you to do more modest projects. With experience, you may want to attempt a larger project. However, the smaller decor projects, in my opinion, is the less stressful and SMARTer goal to achieve. Don’t get caught up on popularity and growth; just have fun!



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  1. Needed this post in my life! I’ve been back and forth about the ORC this Spring – the community is so amazing that it keeps me coming back. I might be sensible and try a nice, reasonable stairway this go-round. My heart is pulling me in another direction, but my STILL unfinished Fall ORC is laughing at me for even considering it, haha.

      1. Thanks so much, Felicia! I can SO relate to your Spring vs Fall experience. I spent 7 weeks in the Spring decluttering my basement, scraping efflorescence off my walls, repairing the masonry, and priming everything, haha. I’m seeing how much STUFF is in the heart tug room and I’m having flashbacks! Maybe if I can get some of that sorted out before project time – I’m not trying to use up weeks on decluttering this time!