ORC Week 1: I’ll Take You to the Coffee Shop

Check out the other posts in this series! 

Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Weeks 5 & 6, Week 7, Week 8

I’m excited to share that this year I’m a guest participant for the fall One Room Challenge! For this 8-week interior design challenge, I’m converting our larger guest room (and its two tiny closets) into an office space with coffee shop vibes. I’ll be converting one of the closets into a coffee bar, adding some clever and stylish storage, and giving things a global flair to make it fit our aesthetic. Here’s what we’re starting with:

Wait what’s ORC?

One Room Challenge, ICYMI, is a semi-annual event where 20 brilliant bloggers each transform a room from start to finish. It’s hosted by Linda of Calling it Home, and anyone can sign up to be a guest participant. Over the next 8 weeks, I have a lot of ideas for this room! Here’s my maybe-too-ambitious list of features I want in this space:

  • New floors
  • A coffee & tea bar
  • A book display
  • Pull-out storage for our printer/scanner
  • Standing desk option
  • Cozy seating
  • Sound-dampening art
  • Stylish storage for our electronics and files
  • Baby-safe plants
  • A desk setup that doesn’t make me trip on wires

We just moved into our house a month ago and we’re still sleeping on the floor because we have no bed frames. 😅 So, why am I choosing to focus my creative efforts on the office? Honestly, I’m hoping to gain the confidence to make decisions about the other areas of the house after tackling this space. Design decisions are intimidating! There are so many options and mistakes can be expensive to fix. There’s a lot of pressure to make the “right” choices, especially in rooms we use every single day. Compared to say, the bedroom, the office is more of a playground for me. I know from my time at Google that I work best when I can switch up my scenery frequently, so I don’t expect to work there every single day; it’s a low-risk place to start honing my design skills.

Why the Coffee Shop Vibes?

I’m currently on a 6-month break from industry work, but my career is in software engineering. My first job out of college was doing data and analytics work at Microsoft. So, in 2015 I moved to Seattle, the city where I fell in love with coffee — and my husband, Albert, who had introduced me to the aforementioned coffee.

To be completely honest with you, even though Seattle did give me some coffee snob tendencies (Light roasts only please. Sorry, Italians!) I’m still more of a tea person. But I love the *vibe* of a coffee shop. Albert and I used to sit for hours, sipping our warm beverages, laughing at the bugs in our code, holding hands across a table with one hand while typing furiously with the other. The coffee shop was a place where I could be happy and productive for hours at a time. Between managing Covid-19 risk and having a squirming toddler, it’s not often possible to get to a coffee shop at all, much less hang out for hours and get things done, so I need to bring that atmosphere home.

In order to get a sense of the vibe I was going for, I narrowed down the long list of coffee shops and cafes that stand out in my memory. Here are the 4 coffee shops that I’m drawing from as inspiration:

1. Agape Cafe and Grill Ronks, PA

2. Milstead Seattle, WA

3. Tatte Boston, MA

4. Pistachio Cafe New Haven, CT

Week 1 Progress

This week was all about clearing out all the stuff we’d packed into the room and deciding on what flooring we’re going with. (Spoiler alert: The Grover-colored carpet is OUT.)

Sad Grover Hours - Lil Boom (PARODY) - YouTube
Sorry, Grover.

Next week I’ll be sharing mood boards, floor plans that I’m deciding between, picking out paint colors and hardware, and sharing some of the DIY tutorials I’ll be using. If you want to follow along to see how this project turns out, follow me on Instagram and let me know you’re watching! I could really use some encouragement and accountability because decisions are HARD. Finally, if you also like working in coffee shops, please hype your favorite one up in the comments so I can check it out if I’m ever in the area.🙂

If you’re curious about other ORC participants, you can find all the guest participants here or check out the tags #oneroomchallenge and #BHGORC. See you on Instagram, and in next week’s post!

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  1. Suneiah

    Exciting. Can’t wait to see your room. Totally love coffee and coffee shop vibes too.

    1. semiglobalcottage

      ❤️ Great to have another coffee lover on the journey!

  2. Juliette Dellavia

    The Grover. So funny. Can’t wait to see this transformation!

    1. semiglobalcottage

      😂 It’s going to make it so awkward ripping that carpet up! From the cutting room floor of Sesame Street: Grover goes to European Wax Center.

  3. Krisha Verma

    Caught my eye on the ORC blog- love love love the idea!

    1. semiglobalcottage

      Thank you so much! I hope the final product delivers!

  4. Lindsey

    I love all of the coffee shop’s that are inspiring this space!

    1. semiglobalcottage

      You should definitely visit them if you can! They all make delicious coffee and most of them also have great pastries 🤤

  5. Debi

    As A long time Coffee addict myself also in chase of the best cup in the NW, I so look forward to your unique transformation! I too have joined the ORC !!

    1. semiglobalcottage

      Yay for ORC coffee-lover friends! I can’t wait to see your Week 2 post when I do my rounds tonight!

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