Hi, I’m Kate. And I have an ORC problem. This will be my fourth One Room Challenge in the past four ORC seasons, and I don’t see that trend ending anytime soon. We’ve tackled a kitchen, a library, and an entire attic, but this season we’re scaling back to revamp a very special little room: my childhood living room. My parents have bravely accepted the risks that come along with their daughter designing a space in their home, and I am relieved to report that, so far, we are all still alive.
I’d like to offer a quick history of the room before delving into plans. My parents live on the North Shore of Long Island, about 20 miles East of Queens, NYC. They moved into this mid-century ranch when I was just two years-old and, so, it is safe to say that I have no childhood memories of any other home but this one. I grew up spending weekends scouting estate sales and digging through danky old basements with my mother, who not only shares my love of the hunt but is living proof that an attraction to vintage runs through our veins.
I think the very idea that we’ve rummaged through probably 1,000 homes from Manhattan to Montauk in my lifetime has much to do with our connection to Long Island itself. While one of my grandparents was an immigrant from Ireland, the other three were born right in this town. The ancestral roots of my paternal grandmother, in particular, can be traced to within three miles of where my parents home lies now….to the year 1682. If you were to come to this town called Huntington and ask a stranger if they knew anyone by my maiden name (Boccard), the likelihood would be yes (despite this town’s population reigning in at around 250,000). That is less a testament to how popular my family may or may not be, and more of an exercise in the effects of Catholic procreation habits in the mid-century. Because of these ancestral ties, there is always a sense that as we search through the historic homes of this island, we are digging through our own past.
So, here we are, sitting in this room that looks much the same way now as it did during my childhood. My mother’s main challenge with this space is clutter. The practice of hoarding is nothing novel to a seasoned vintage hunter, but there is really no reason why 90% of my mother’s beloved finds cannot sit safely on a basement shelf. The room has largely become a host to many very cool antique and vintage scores over many decades. Yet, rather than being put together in a collected fashion, they have been mostly tossed in a cabinet, on the coffee table, mantle, or any little corner or crevice that could be found.
Unlike most of my previous ORC projects, this rehaul will be more of a practice in DE-construction, rather than construction. The very first thing we will do is package up EVERYTHING and play a little Marie Kondo game. Anything that does not cause joy at all will be sold off on Facebook Marketplace. Things that cause small amounts of joy will be stored in the basement, and those rare items that truly do bring joy will find a place either in this room, or an adjacent room that it may work better in. We will then bring in both vintage and new furniture pieces that play to my mother’s traditional tastes in decor, but will be chosen with a modern sensibility and with as much of a flair for fun as my mother will allow. I think, when all is said and done, you will be able to see the Kate Pearce Vintage brand, but with a more restrained palette and less eclecticism.
Despite the fact that my mother’s 1955 ranch is distinctly mid-century in its architecture and design, my mom’s tastes do not lend themselves to the mcm aesthetic. I’ve worked with her over the last month or so to source some vintage pieces for the space that are true to both her home’s design, and her own tastes, but let me tell you it wasn’t easy! I will never understand why my mother didn’t purchase one of the multitudes of hundred-plus year-old homes on Long Island. But, here we are trying to create a space that is true to her style, while not fighting the architecture of her mid-century home.
In summation, the biggest challenges for this Fall One Room Challenge will be:
This first week we are going to tackle:
- Painting the walls (color TBD – follow that journey this upcoming weekend via IG stories!)
- Painting the window molding (color TBD, too)
- Hopefully source sofa
We are so excited to already have some incredible sponsors on board for this project. I will be delving into much more detail about these sponsors in upcoming blogs, but I would like to give them a shoutout now, too:
Be sure to follow along on Instagram, where I will share video and more of this journey from cluttered to collected (a highlights tab will be kept on my profile titled FALL ORC). And, as always, be sure to hit up the One Room Challenge site to check out the 20 fabulous Featured Designers, and all of the epic One Room Challenge Guest transformations taking place this Fall!
Check yah next week! 😉