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.

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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

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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.
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    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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Recent Finds: My Name is Burl

I am the estate sale queen, no doubt about it. I often research estate sales weeks in advance, getting to a house sometimes hours before a sale starts to get my name on the list. The early bird truly does catch the worm when it comes to a great sale.

Case in point: My recent Burl wood finds. Whoa, nelly. Buckle up. These are some major finds.

I was number four in line to go to a magnificent home on the river in Jacksonville. The homeowner had some truly luscious collectibles (I also came away with an enormous brass panther) but I had my eye on two specific pieces of furniture: a Burl wood and chrome coffee table and matching side table. The pieces are by Drexel (signed), and I am fairly certain they are attributed to Milo Baughman, who worked at Drexel for a time. I am a huge Milo Baughman fan and a huge Burl wood fan. These pieces are truly amazing and I got both for an insane price (coffee table: $200, side table: $100).

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A few weeks ago, I got three other beautiful burl wood pieces at a separate sale: An insane armoire (I plan on using it in the dining room, as a liquor cabinet) and TWO matching side tables (which will look beautiful on either side of an upholstered bed). The armoire was $125 and the two tables were $125. They have mirrored accents which I adore. I’m drowning in burl at this point, but it’s a good way to go.

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I love the look of burl wood incorporated into a home with more modern furnishings. It’s a beautiful contrast (the Architectural Digest image below features a Milo Baghman coffee table and side table):

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And to think, I bought all five of these pieces for $550, or less than a quarter of the price of just one Burl wood Jonathan Adler table.

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PS. I am thinking of selling the Drexel coffee table and side table, though I haven’t made my mind up yet. I use Chairish to sell some of my pieces that I bought, loved, and realized I don’t have a home for so they might wind up there!

 

 

Interior Finds: Heads

I love a good body part find. Over the years, I have collected a few feet, hands, busts, and a whole lot of heads. Heads add a lot of fun personality to a room and I love thinking about who they might have been modeled after. Here are a few from my collection.

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This head was an astounding Home Goods find! Found probably five years ago, but really, really perfect.

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This head is from an estate sale. I believe it was modeled after a real person because it looks startlingly real… seriously, it’s a little scary when I come upon her in my living room sometimes.

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This one is my favorite. A gift from my mom (purchased at an antique gallery in Jacksonville, Florida.) This was the most expensive of the bunch (I believe over $100, but not by much. The others were probably $20-$30.) She’s covered in mosaic tile.

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Another Home Goods find. This one was cheap (under $20, if I remember). Very feminine. She’d be great on a vanity. I sometimes put hats and things on her.

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And these are just some fun mannequin heads I saw at a shop!

Interior Finds: Brass

13466321_10101727100977842_7580368533014011994_nWhen shopping vintage accessories (this goes for both home furnishings and clothing), I find that the best way to navigate the land-mine of junk is to look for specific materials. A great leather jacket or skirt, for instance, will never go out of style. Silk blouses can still look modern decades later. And with home accessories, you can’t really go wrong with lucite and brass.

Brass is such a luxe material and I think it’s pretty sexy. It lends a little bit of sophistication to a room. I found a couple of great pieces of brass at an estate sale in Potomac, Maryland last weekend.

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The swan was marked at $35, but everything was 25 percent off, so I got her for around $26. That’s a great piece for a beautiful brass animal and this one is pretty heavy. I’m trying to find a home for her at the moment, but I think she’d look great on a bookshelf or as a centerpiece. Above, you can see my boyfriend holding it for scale. Please excuse his outfit.

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This brass pineapple is almost too perfect. First of all, brass pineapples are HUGE right now. But this one actually serves a purpose (which is rare for the things I usually buy!) — the spikes on top are actually little appetizer forks. I wouldn’t normally gravitate toward something so precious, but this little guy is wonderful.