One Room Challenge

The Secret to Actually Finishing a Renovation, According to 100s of DIYers

published Apr 2, 2024
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Decorative pillows on neatly made bed in renovated bedroom.
Credit: Andrea Starr Photography

Do you ever look at before and afters of room redos and think, wow, I wish I could finish something like that? OK, confession: Sometimes I do too! Whether you’re working on a bedroom makeover or redoing a closet, renovating is intimidating — it takes a lot of planning, a lot of patience, a lot of money, and a lot of time. At times, those factors can add up to be overwhelming, prompting me (and maybe you?) to kick the project farther down the road.

One trick to getting anything done is to break it into smaller chunks that are more manageable — the more items you can check off a list, the more motivated you are to complete it. And another trick is giving yourself a realistic deadline. That’s why the One Room Challenge is such an ingenious idea: The totally free virtual event gives you eight weeks to complete one room (just one!), and the built-in community helps keep you on track along the way. And great news for my fellow DIYers looking for some spring project motivation: The Spring 2024 One Room Challenge starts tomorrow, April 3, and registration is open until April 14.

The One Room Challenge has been running for over 10 years now, with one spring and one fall session, and it’s helped hundreds of DIYers call hundreds of projects “done” in that time. Registration is now open on the site — here’s a direct link to the form — and the only thing you’ll need to join in is an Instagram account, a TikTok account, or a blog where you can post updates alongside other participants. It’s totally free!

Credit: Andrea Starr Photography

From April 3 through May 26, participants will post weekly on their social platforms about the progression of their room makeover, tagging @oneroomchallenge and hashtagging #oneroomchallenge to check in. Apartment Therapy is the official media partner for the Spring 2024 One Room Challenge, so if you want to be considered for being featured on the site, make sure to use the hashtag #ORCAT too!

Not quite ready to make the leap? You can still get plenty of inspiration from past One Room Challenge participants by checking out our collection of One Room Challenge Before and Afters. That’s where you’ll find stunning projects like the bookish bedroom makeover done by DIYer Shalonne Luke shown above.

After years of admiring the One Room Challenge makeovers from afar, I’ve decided to jump in this year too! I’m torn between a redo of my bland dining room or a makeover of my also-bland office; I’ll have to do some thinking before kickoff. If you have a project you’ve been meaning to complete, join me — I’ll see you on Instagram!