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One Room Challenge – Spring 2021, Week 2: Inspiration

Here we go...Week 2 of the ORC Challenge. What has been going on?


I have used this week to gather thoughts and ideas for what I am envisioning for this room. I want to make it so warm, welcoming, luxurious, and boutique hotelish. I desire for my family in Panama to feel sooooo at home being away from Panama - and to never want to leave us [ha!!!!]; so of course, the room has to have lots of flavor and color. With that said, this week, I have been journaling, jumping out the shower to knot down concept ideas on post-it notes, and really stretching my mind to think how I can actualize this vision I have for this room, all under my nicely compact and tight budget constraints.



Mural of International Latin Superstar Celia Cruz - Inspiration for Guest Room Design



Growing up, one thing that I can remember my parents transporting from Panama to the United States is their love for salsa music. My mom in particular, was enamored with Celia Cruz. She will listen to Celia while cleaning, cooking, sewing our clothes, and definitely, partying. As a result of my upbringing, I lovvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeee me some Celia Cruz. My favorite song by Celia is “La negra tiene tumbao," which translates to: “That black woman has tumbao. The word “tumbao” in the LatinX culture can mean “swag,” or a sexiness. And the meaning of this song, literally is the driving inspirational force, for the look and feeling of this room. So, how would I go about siphoning the feeling of "tumbao" into this guest room.


Panama as a country is beautifully inundated with colors and shapes. You can see this on the streets, in the design of buildings, in the interiors of hotels and restaurants, in the food, and on and on. Looking at my pictures from Panama makes me so nostalgic, and that's what I want my family to feel as they walk through the door of this guest room. Vivacious colors and shapes will bring symphonic movement into the room.



Keesha Allen, Founder & Principal Interior Designer of K Lilia Interior Design in a local Panamanian Restaurant
Me in a Local Panamanian Restaurant



So, I found this ultra-cool mid-century modern wallpaper that has some psychedelic vibes and definitely, swag. I am really intrigued by the juxtaposition of the circular shapes among the sea of rich vivid squares and rectangles. Given my budget constraints, I am not able to invest in this wallpaper, plus purchase furniture and accessories, to complete the room. Therefore, my objective for the room, is to somehow paint the circular shapes appearing in this wallpaper on a wall to be the focal point of the room. This is my first attempt to paint a wall by myself, and moreover, paint a pattern on a wall; so we will see how everything ends up.



Vivid colorful wallpaper showing mocha wood circular shapes, juxtaposed, with pink, yellow, orange squares and rectangles.
Wallpaper Inspiration for Accent Wall Design

My niece has been coming over to my house to do her school work... she is still being homeschooled online, and I don't mind helping out my sister during this special time of the pandemic. So, today, in art class, she had to construct her own custom stencil. When she completed her assignment, she was super glad to show me her work, and as always, I was excited to see her design. This time, in particular, I was struck and further inspired by her custom stencil. I love the geometrical shape, and I am looking forward to incorporating that inspiring shape in the overall design of this room. I might be able to bring it in some accessories; I really wouldn't know for sure how this precise stencil form will show up until I further develop the design of the room. All I know, is that I love it and I want it as part of this room.



Arrow design custom stencil inspiration for guest room interior design project
Stencil Design Inspiration for Guest Room Project in ORC Challenge

I was super busy this week with my client projects, so I was not able to clear out the room to get it ready for installation, as I had planned. For week 3, I will work on design concept development and furniture selection, as well. Most likely, because the timeline of the ORC challenge is supercharged in comparison to the traditional timeline of full-service design project, in addition to the furniture selection, I am going to head straight to the procurement phase during week 3, as well. Typically, for design project, it generally takes at least 4 months to complete, and sometimes, it can 6-9 months or longer. And with the Covid pandemic, those timelines have been pushed even further. That's why is super critical, for all of our design projects, to undergo our 14-phase design process. That allows us to complete our projects on time and within budget. However, with the One Room Challenge (ORC) we will be fast-tracking and completing some of the phases all at once.


ORC is so exciting and the community support of the other designers have been valuable and synergic. Don’t forget to look to see how the featured designers are progressing along with #oneroomchallenge hashtag or click the links below to follow their respective blogs or visit the ORC official blog at http://www.oneroomchallenge.com/orc-blog.


Until next time....


Un abrazo grande y muchas bendiciones (huge hug and much blessings)


--- Keesha





Media BH&G | ORC


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I love that wallpaper design. I can’t wait to see how you translate that as a hand painted mural!

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Keesha Allen
Keesha Allen
17 Μαΐ 2021
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☺️ we will see how it goes. Thank you so much for the encouragement.

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