ORC Complete! A Powder Room to be Proud of.

Welcome to Alex Sallenger Design! If you haven’t joined us before I’m Alex, the lead designer and owner of ASD. We strive to turn our clients’ homes into beautiful and functional spaces that elevate their lives. Our goal for 2022 is to fill our clients’ homes with American made and vintage furnishings and accessories, so if supporting American businesses and shopping local is as important to you as it is to us, please reach out today! We serve the Fayetteville and Greenville areas in NC and work virtually across the United States.

Well, my first One Room Challenge comes to a close today. It was a whirlwind and, I’ve got to say, it didn’t go how I planned at all. The journey from my boring, builder grade half bathroom to our new and improved, punch of personality powder room has been a long one with many twists and turns but, at the end of it all, it was worth it. A quick look at where we began...


I’ve learned a lot over the last 8 weeks. Some of it I already knew and needed reminders of, some of it was new. Some projects were much easier than I expected, some much harder and some ended up okay, but I will do them differently next time around.




This is the first week that you are seeing my awesome wallpaper from York’s Magnolia Home Collection. The moment I laid eyes on the sample I knew it was the right choice for the room, but it was not peel and stick, which is the only kind of wallpaper that I have installed on my own. This is Sure Strip wall paper, which means the paste is already on the back of the roll and it is activated by spraying it with water. I read online that Sure Strip is easier to install than peel and stick so I figured “why not?” and jumped right into hanging. After many mistakes on my first wall, I’ll be honest, I think peel and stick is easier. I did eventually get the hang of it, but there was definitely a learning curve. Would I do it again? Yes. Would I prefer peel and stick in the future? Also, yes.


After! Peep That awesome ceiling.

What else was difficult? The crown molding. My husband and I tried to DIY crown molding in our first home many, many years ago. It started terribly and ended up with a contractor handling everything for us. We’ve avoided it ever since but finally decided to take the leap again and give it another go. This go around went better-we actually got it done-but it was still tough. Completely worth it though, the ceiling and wallpaper needed that extra touch of class.


Our teeny tiny statement ceiling.

Not every step was difficult. In fact, some were significantly easier than I expected them to be. I’ve already told you guys about painting the ceiling and how quickly that went. Check the ORC week 1 post if you haven’t seen it yet. The other easiest piece of the powder room puzzle? Changing a toilet seat. Now, this wasn’t on the initial list of things to do, but it ended up being 100% necessary. Turns out, you can’t call a project complete when the toilet seat is snapped off the bowl. Yeap, that’s right. I was attempting to touch up the paint on the crown molding after we installed it, leaned too far over and had a nice little fall. Thankfully, I was fine besides a scrape on my arm and bruise on my leg but the toilet and our son’s step stool were not as lucky. I ran to the hardware store the next day, picked up a new seat and easily got it switched out with the old one. It was so quick and easy that I’ll be doing the other bathrooms next week as well.

I'm embarrassed that I didn't know how easy toilet seats are.

Looking back on the last 8 weeks has been interesting. It hasn’t been very long, but so much has changed that I was shocked when I looked at the before pictures. It was SO lame. I’m looking forward to doing the ORC again, probably next fall. What will I do differently in the future? I will have concrete design plan with all sources lined up BEFORE I start. I would never present a half-done design plan to a client, I know better than that, so I am not sure why I thought I could make it up as I go with my own space. I missed out on 2 weeks of work because of the wallpaper debacle. I also learned that, personally, I prefer working with MDF for trim work instead of real wood. The board and batten in the bathroom is real and the crown molding is MDF. I thought it was much easier to work with and paint the fiberboard, so I will go that way for my personal home projects in the future as well.



I love the bathroom, but secretly this challenge was about more than a powder room. I was checking my own resources. In 2022 ASD is setting out to complete our client’s projects with 85% (or more) American made or vintage pieces. I wanted to see how a goal like that would affect our projects both in availability and duration. I’m thrilled to say that 90% of what was purchased for this project is made in America. From the North Carolinian artwork, to the Pennsylvania produced wall paper and almost every small detail in between, this powder room met my expectations for supporting American companies. As an added bonus everything arrived quickly because it didn’t come from overseas! This challenge was a success in more ways than one and I am so proud to show it off.


All of the doors in my house are SW Antler Velvet.

Overall, I’m super glad I decided to complete the challenge and can’t wait until I get to complete it again. If you have a room in your home that needs to be completed but you don’t have the time, energy or “eye” to get it done please reach out today! ASD would love to help elevate your home from builder grade to beautiful!


Hubs doesn't like the turtle, but I was in love as soon as I saw it.

Before you go, what room should I tackle for the next ORC? A kid's room or my office? Tell me which one you'd like to see in the comments!


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