One Room Challenge Launch – Portland interior designer representing!

Portland, Oregon’s interior designer, Angela Todd is part of the Fall One Room Challenge, sponsored by Better Homes & Gardens.  In only 6 weeks participants are challenged to makeover a space.  Angela chose to makeover the entry of her 1916 Foursquare in Southeast Portland, Oregon.   She is known for fearless pattern blending and bold color palettes.  The big reveal will be posted here and via Instagram November 7th through the 10th.  We invite you to follow along!   Here are quick links to each week’s updates:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Like the click of a light switch, it is on!  I am participating in a six week One Room Challenge that started today.

What is it? Designers and lifestyle bloggers from all over the country are challenged with completing a space in just six weeks. If you have ordered custom furniture or worked with a designer in the past, you might realize how crazy this timeline really is!  To get a headstart, some participants know they are going to do be in the challenge in advance and they start early by ordering and selecting.  That might be cheating a little, but I can’t say for sure I wouldn’t do it. The truth is I didn’t have an opportunity to contemplate starting early.

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I was asked Sunday night and accepted.  And to be honest I have been thinking about this project on and off for the four years I have lived in the home.  It is the entry of my 1916 Portland Foursquare home.  It needs some love, and I clearly needed a kick in the pants to get it done.  This will do!  The embarrassment of not getting something done is amplified when people are watching after all.  And you may or may not know in our business a lot can go wrong.  Fabrics and wallpaper can be backordered.  Your trusted installer or contractor might not have an opening.  Items can arrive damaged and need to be re-ordered.  The list of possible scenarios that chip away time is endless.  Yeah.  I am a little nervous, but onward we go.

THE STORY My modest Portland foursquare was owned by Jacob and Louisa Mann for nearly 50 years, from 1916 into the mid 1960s.  The home I affectionately call the Mann Manor to the kids in the neighborhood, has great stories in the walls.  You can feel good energy here, and hopefully you will agree it has great bones. When I moved in 4 years ago the walls were so a mustard yellow and it was hideous to my eyes.  This photo doesn’t do it justice actually.  As a matter of fact I disliked it so much I picked up a paint at Benjamin Moore and painted it myself as a temporary measure the weekend I moved in to the home.  This was a temporary solution.  I intended to find some fantastic wallpaper and get on with my big plans for the house! I have worked on other spaces in the home, but this entry hasn’t had the transformation I had hoped for up until now.  I have casually taped up many wallpaper samples, but at some point I just stopped working on it.  That may have been two years ago. Screen Shot 2019 10 02 At 11.18.35 Pm

ABOUT THE ROOM ELEMENTS The walls are lathe and plaster, and at some point the entry was wallpapered. You can see it today under the paint layers. The casing and baseboard woodwork is heartwood pine, and though you can buy this species of wood today it isn’t nearly as hardy.  Nowadays due to the age of the wood available, it is soft and a woodworker wouldn’t dream of using it for these details!  The front door is original in oak, and so is the brass door hardware.  The electrical switch at the door is also original and recently polished, while the double switch on the stairway I changed back to an original cover once I moved in.  (Who knows what house in Portland this double brass plate resided, I picked it up at Hippo Hardware in a salvage box for $5.)  The bench, which is not original to 1916, is still vintage in the house. The light fixture is new, but modeled to the period.  I am not crazy about it, but I know someone else would love to have it.  The sconces are the house’s vintage, but I am fairly confident they aren’t original.  Besides these starting elements, I do have Nepalese hand knotted rug from Kush Rugs that I purchased a couple of years ago, and I have pillows I ordered for the bench in the last month.  These are my starting points.


  • I scheduled a contractor friend today for work this coming Saturday to clean up some of the woodwork, splattered paint, paint touch up, and overall imperfections in the space.  My front door bolt lock is hard to turn and takes a mighty push on the door to lock up, so he is going to fix that for us too.
  • I must find amazing wallpaper.  So far, I did a search at the studio, at two showrooms and online.  I think I have looked at nearly 300 papers so far!  The pillows that I am using for the bench has made this selection harder for me because my search is narrowed to what works with their colors and style.  The paper should have been the first thing I picked after the rug! Learn from me please.  I wouldn’t work in this order with a client project. This makes it so much harder.
  • I went ahead and reserved my wallpaper installer for the work.  He literally had one spot left the days before week 6!
  • I am trying to decide if I am going to install a stair runner in six weeks.  Honestly, this is normally a very longer process for me with clients because we generally get them made to order. I may pass on this piece if I can’t find what I want readily.  I would prefer to wait on something I really want rather than rushing this process.  I don’t think the runner is necessary for the room transformation to be significant.  In a perfect world – let’s hope I find what I want!
  • At this point the wallpaper decision is holding many decisions I want to make soon –  like the window treatment fabric, the light fixture, and what the runner looks like. I keep telling myself wallpaper and then it all falls into place.
  • Here is something that I am NOT doing that I think might surprise you. I am NOT painting any of the woodwork.  If you want to know why ask and I will address it!

I will be posting more frequently on Instagram, so if you found me here and don’t follow me on Instagram, please head on over and follow me there as well.

(The Nepalese Rug)Img 3846

















(Fantastic original door hardware entering the kitchen.  I still have the original key.)

8df36d55 3912 4a5c B7d4 1005389dadcd To learn more about the One Room Challenge or follow along, visit the blog

Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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