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One Room Challenge: Week 1

Friends, I am SO excited to share that it is week one of the One Room Challenge, and I am joining along as a guest participant as I tackle our guest/office combo. More on that later! So what exactly is the One Room Challenge? This eight week challenge isn't a competition to showcase the best room renovation, but to share in a community of creativity as many others tackle one room and completely renovate it! Some projects will include a lot of demo, while some will be a fresh facelift. For more information on the One Room Challenge, you can read all about it here.

So before I dive into the nitty gritty of this guest/office overhaul, I think it's important to introduce myself. If you're new here, hi! My name is Kelsey and I am the owner and lead designer of Tennyson Studio, a one woman design company based out of Savannah, GA. Long story short, I moved to Savannah over five years ago with my husband, Jared, from North Carolina, left my amazing corporate design job, in order for Jared to pursue his dream job here. Finding that the work force wasn't too welcoming to 22 year old interior designers in our new town, my husband encouraged me to start my own design firm in 2016.

So here is where this guest/bedroom overhaul comes into play... Jared and I bought our home in 2017, a cute little starter home in the midtown area of Savannah. The three bedrooms consisted of our master, a guest bedroom, and my office. "So much room for activities!" Where is that quote from?... Anyway... Along came our daughter Collins Grace in 2019, and needless to say, mama's office got the boot as nursery and guest bedroom for our out of town family became the priority. So for the last almost two years, my furniture catalogues, fabric, paint, and rug samples, office supplies, desk and more have been CRAMMED in with the guest room. Not ideal. So the time has come to finally do something about it.

Losing the dedicated office space has been a challenge, but I'd gladly do it again for this little nugget. I mean, how was she ever this tiny?! I digress.


Welcome to the hodgepodge of our home. Bedding from college, a lamp I've never gotten a shade for, my childhood desk with absolutely no storage, and Christmas wrapping paper stuffed under the bed. Yummy. I'll also give you all a peek inside the closet in this room that is filled to the brim with winter and formal jackets, work supplies, and other random objects at some point during this process. We can only go up from here.


This past year, many of us have had to learn to adjust our spaces to accommodate more than one purpose, so why not take you along on this ride with me, as I know many of you can probably relate with this same dilemma. How do I create a guest room that is welcoming without having people feel like they are sleeping in a work space? How do I make proper use out of the limited storage space that I have? And to toss in another added element, Jared and I know that this isn't our forever home. We've already done some pretty significant upgrades to our home, and we have come to a point of realizing that we really need to consider ROI (return on investment) when that time comes for us to move into our next home that has a dedicated office space for me. At this point, we don't know when that is. So, create a comfortable and welcoming guest bedroom while seamlessly storing work essentials, all without adding permanent fixtures that we cannot take with us to our future new home. Simple, right? ha! Well I'm up for the challenge!

During this process, I want to be transparent about the decisions I make. Sometimes with design, especially in your first home, you have to come to the realization that you cannot have your dream home due to ROI and budgets. That's a hard pill for anyone to swallow, but for a professional designer? Yikes. That's a tough one. So I hope you'll follow along on this journey as I work to create a dual purpose space where guests can feel welcomed, and mama can have her own corner of the house for work. Each Thursday for eight weeks, you can follow along here on the blog for updates, as well as follow the journey on my Instagram page @mytennysonstudio. Also, make sure to check out the other designer's spaces over at One Room Challenge's website and check out #oneroomchallenge @oneroomchallenge and #bhgorc @betterhomesandgarden to keep up to date on all of the home renovations.

Until next week, I'll leave you with this teaser...

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