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:

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

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.

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