• JoyFul Designs

The Joy of Design!

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE SPRING 2021 - WEEK ONE



Hey there! So glad you found us or are back for a second season of our Joyfully Designed Blog entries for the One Room Challenge™️.


If you are new here, my name is Joy and I am the Chief Design Creative for Joyful Designs®️ Studio. We are a boutique interior design firm based in Chicago, but working with clients throughout the U.S.


I am a designer with a penchant for artful and bold interiors, paired with an eclectic and culture inclusive style that focuses on functional living. For the Spring One Room Challenge, my fiancé and I will transform our vacation unit - that I’ve named Apartment 1A - into a respite. The plan is tear down some walls, open the layout of the Kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Room, as well as gut-renovate the main bath. Because the unit was in poor condition when we bought it (it was the worst of 3 in the building), pretty much everything needs to be done. However, because the challenge only runs 8 weeks, we are just committing to these projects for the challenge - with possibly a bonus space (TBD).


If you followed us for the Fall ORC (See Here), then you know that we first tackled the entryway and made some dramatic changes there. I’ll layout the plan for Apartment A as we go along, much like I did last Fall. We are big on the design process, space planning and schematics over here so set your notifications and Sign-up for our blog posts to be sent to your inbox automatically.


I’ll introduce you to the property this first week so you can see what we are working with. It’s a 1 bed/1 bath and approximately 560 square feet. Here are the before pics (prior tenant's furnishings).






The prior owner loved this electric red color and while it does appeal to me, it was not the sort of respite from the world color I had in mind for such a small space. So this too will change.



This kitchen will be a total gut job like the bath. The layout doesn’t really work for such a small unit. I think we can definitely reconfigure it to work better for us. So stay tuned for a re-work here. And finally, the bath - we are in for a bumpy ride on that. See below.




Ok. Did we mention that the prior owner loved color? This is one of 4 deeply saturated and electric colors in under 600 square feet. Cost may preclude a drastic change to the layout of this space but we do plan to focus on functionality. Unfortunately, this is a complete gut. There are probably 4 layers of flooring and the tile is not salvageable.


Be sure to Join the Tribe and sign up to receive our newsletter, where will will give more BTS details on our plans. In the meantime, head over to our Instagram and Pinterest pages to give us a follow.


Back to our initial purpose and desires for this space - a respite - which is what we hope it will truly be. It’s in a small town in Georgia, far from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. While the grief of losing my mother this past January has been unbearable at times, I’ve found joy and comfort in concentrating my days on design for myself and others. The One Room Challenge is a fun diversion for us so we hope you follow along with us and with the Featured Designers, Design Enthusiasts and DIYers who form such an impactful community.


Many thanks to Linda Weinstein who started this challenge decades ago and its media partner Better Homes and Gardens.


And many more thanks to all of our sponsors who are helping us to renovate and beautify these spaces.