One Room Challenge, Week Seven: The Full Monty

before and after one room challenge

Has it been seven weeks of the One Room Challenge already? This has been great fun, to be honest, though the past couple of months has not been easy in the least — first, we discovered that none of the windows in half of the house had been sealed. Ever. Which meant that we had a massive amount of water, mold, and bugs in the walls — all of which had to be torn out.

giphy-downsized

The corner of the house (in the living room and master bedroom) had to be jacked up on a stilt and re-built so that it wouldn’t crumble. And as hard as it was (my uncle did all that work), it was a blessing in disguise that it was finished when it was: Hurricane Irma hit just a week later. Jacksonville was hit pretty hard. Even two streets down people were canoeing down the road the morning after. We suffered a roof leak and some major damage to the garage, but were otherwise okay. (Though I chose to batten down the hatches as a new homeowner so I was pretty terrified during the storm).

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably pretty familiar with this journey — but for those who aren’t: Let’s reminisce, shall we? This is where we started. Look at that poor kitchen. Sad, sagging cabinets, the weirdest ceiling (that, let’s be honest, looks like a floor), and very dated hardware and lighting. The crazy part about the before and after? We actually have the same cabinets and the same floor — that’s the beauty of a can of paint.

one room challenge ugly kitchen

One room challenge kitchen before

one room challenge kitchen before and after

And today…..

One Room Challenge Kitchen After

Kitchen renovation before after painted tile

 

one room challenge striped floors

One room challenge reveal

One room challenge milo Baughman kitchen stools

one room challenge kitchen counters

giphy-downsized-2

Ohhhh, baby! I’m so proud of this, mostly because my boyfriend, my uncle, and I pretty much did it all ourselves. The only professional we used was the tile installer for the backslash (I selected my own tile and grout and design) and someone to install the Quartz countertops. Otherwise, the electrical work, painting, updated hardware, the ceiling, the floors, and the design was all my uncle, my boyfriend, and I.

Here’s the breakdown of all that we did:

  • First, we painted the walls white. Easy and simple. Next, we removed all the laminate tiles from the ceiling, installed can lights and new electrical, and created a new ceiling (my uncle covered the original wood beam). This added several inches to the height of the room and made for a much cleaner, brighter look.mediterranean kitchen before and afterkitchen can lights one room challenge

 

  • Next, we moved the stove from the island to the opposite wall, and swapped out the cabinets. It was the perfect fit, fortunately, though it left a hole in the countertops where the stove once was. We also removed all the existing cabinetry, re-painted it (using a pretty hardcore spray machine in the garage), took out the hardware, filled the holes, and drilled new holes for new hardware (new hardware via Amazon, by the way).  The top cabinets are white, the bottom are green — by Behr.Then, we installed fresh lighting: two sconces over the windows (one was thrifted, the other I bought online) and three pendant lights over the island.
    one room challenge lighting
    Tom Dixon pendnat lights kitchen remodel
  • Next came the new counters: Quartz Carrara, to mimic the look of marble, but be more durable. While the counters were installed, I also had them install new, more modern (and much deeper) sink. Then came the backsplash. I selected my own tile and grout and hired someone to install it. Note: This is literally the only part of the journey (the installation of the counters and installation of the backsplash) that required professionals. I’ve had a lot of people message me asking “who did my kitchen” or “who did I hire” and, to be 100% honest, we really didn’t rely on much hired help at all.
    one room challenge countertopsone room challenge backsplash
  • We also hung some art: A gorgeous Brian Calvin via Exhibition A by the island and a beautiful Caroline Sands on the larger wall. For those asking, the stools on the island are vintage Milo Baughman and I got them for $35 at a thrift store a couple of years ago.
  • Next came the hood. I went with something simple, that would go with the stainless appliances. There were other things I wanted (white wood would have been great, and I had heart set on copper until I saw how pricey that would be) but, in the end, practicality and price won me over.
  • Last, but not least, came the floors. This was undoubtedly a challenge, and one that I took on myself. I first had the idea to use a stencil to paint a design on the tile (so that it looked like patterned tile), but that quickly turned out to be a disaster. Case in point:
    stencil floor disaster one room challenge
    So I had to make a last-minute decision: Keep the floors white, or try something different that would still make an impact. Painter’s tape to the rescue! I quickly took out a ruler, a pencil, and the tape, and got to work measuring, covering the horrible stencil disaster with a large black stripe, and alternating the stripes throughout the room.Word to the wise: This is so not easy. Seriously. If you are thinking of doing this, it requires a lot of work and patience. The paint will stick to the tape. You will have to do a ton of touchups. It still won’t be perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. But, for the cost of four gallons of paint (a primer, a sealer, a black and a white), you can have all new floors — pretty dramatic ones, at that.Here’s the finished product:one room challenge striped painted tileone room challenge kitchen renovation art

 

Thanks to all who have been following along on this journey! As a first-time homeowner, I have several new rooms to decorate, so be on the lookout for more content about top-to-bottom overhauls. The best place to follow me is on Instagram, as I continually provide updates on home renovations and thrift finds.

 

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One Room Challenge: Week 6

Week six of the One Room Challenge is all about the floors. I was not a fan of the floors in the original kitchen. They were tile, which I loved, but the color clashed with the newly-painted cabinets and they had gotten so scuffed from all the work we’ve been doing.

one room challenge kitchen reno week three

But new tile? Ugh, no way — that would have meant ripping the tile out, moving the cabinets around… after all this, that wasn’t even an option. So we kept the floors, but painted over them. A couple gallons of paint and a whole lot of patience…et voila!

one room challenge painted tile floor

one room challenge kitchen floors

They still aren’t quite done yet and there’s a lot more to come — for one thing, the hood still needs to be delivered and installed above the oven. But hopefully that’s coming soon (we only have a week left, after all!)

Stay tuned for the full reveal next week.

One Room Challenge: Week 5

Art for one room challenge

Welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge!

The progress was so major last week that this week is a little slower-going. The biggest news? I purchased a hood to go above the stove. It’s stainless steel, pyramid-shaped, with a chimney. It will likely be installed next week. The tile floors are set to be worked on this weekend so, currently, there’s not too much to share (last week included some pretty drastic changes, after all).

So this week I want to discuss art and accessories. I am debating adding floating wooden shelves in between the windows.  Here’s the inspiration for the idea:

one room challenge floating wood shelvesone room challenge inspirationone room challenge kitchen shelves

Alternately, I could just add a piece of art between the windows. I also have a large wall in the kitchen that needs some art. Fortunately, I have a rather large collection of art (both vintage and new) so I have plenty to pull from. Would love to hear your favorites in the comments along with your thoughts on shelves versus no shelves.

Art for one room challengeone room challenge kitchen artone room challenge vintage art

Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll be unveiling the floors and (hopefully) the hood.

 

 

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One Room Challenge, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the One Room Challenge, which I am now referring to as: Hell Island. That’s because my kitchen island is my worst enemy and I hate it.

kitchen island makeover

To re-cap, we had a slew of things to work on, including moving the stove from one side of the room to the other. We did it, with huge help from my uncle (he actually did it entirely himself), swapping the stove with the cabinets from the other side of the room. It was a perfect fit!….but now we have a new challenge: there’s a gaping hole in the center of the kitchen island because, you know, there used to be a stove there.

Hell Island

I toyed with having a piece of butcher block custom-made for the hole, for a built-in cutting board, but butcher block is so thick that it wouldn’t have been flush with the counters. So, I’m getting new counters. Ugh.  More on that in the coming weeks (fingers crossed).

All of the cabinets have now been painted, white on top (Behr, Ultra Pure White) and a deep forest green on the bottom (also Behr, called Secluded Woods). We also changed out all the hardware, going from ’90s silver drawer pulls to sleek and sexy brass pulls, sourced from Amazon (it was like $25 for all the handles).

Oh! The biggest change: the ceiling! My uncle took out all that godforsaken wood (which was good because he found actual sticks under there and a brick fell out and almost hit him on the head) and replaced it with a white ceiling. We added probably two feet to the room and it feels even more expansive thanks to the color. Once he removed the wood tiles, he got to the bones of the house, adding in sheetrock and installing can lights (and, you’ll notice, a spot where I can eventually put sconces over the windows):

mediterranean kitchen before and after

Next, he finished the ceiling and added a gorgeous beam. (My uncle, FYI, is not even a contractor, but he is an electrician and he is just insanely handy with like everything).

One Room Challenge Kitchen Ceiling Makeover

Stay tuned for next week, which will include lighting details and a Hell Island update.

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One Room Challenge, Week 1

Seeing as how I recently bought a new home (a 100-year-old, Mediterranean style bungalow) and have been ramping up renovations, I figured I’d hold myself to a deadline for the interior design of at least one room. Enter the One Room Challenge, which I’ve followed on Instagram for a number of years. This year, I bit the bullet and entered. The challenge? My (new) kitchen. Here’s the bare bones:

One room challenge kitchen before
I love to cook and to entertain and, having lived in a small apartment for the past three years, I was so excited to finally have the space to do all of the above. So here’s the challenge: While the home is old, it was added on to in the ’90s — so while the stove used to have a wall behind it, the addition meant that, when I bought the home, the stove was in the middle of the kitchen, with no hood above it.

one room challenge ugly kitchen

Another issue? That ceiling. Yikes.

One room challenge kitchen before

I mean… not even sure what was going on there. They dropped it down and installed wooden ceiling tiles, making the room feel much smaller than it is. So the first order of business is getting rid of the ceiling, moving the stove, and deciding what to do about the countertops and cabinets.

one room challenge kitchen before and after

So far, we’ve started painting the cabinets (a little bit more work left on that), painting the walls, changing out the hardware, and moving the stove but there is SO MUCH work to do. Here are the photos I’ve been turning to for inspiration:

 

 

I also want to include a few favorite pieces here, like a treasured rug, my pink Milo Baughman stools (a $35 thrift find), and a beautiful piece of art (the walls will be white so as to make the room a little lighter and brighter). Follow along, as I’ll be updating each week! And be sure to follow the others participating in the Fall 2017 One Room Challenge.