PANTRY SHELVES & PAINTING CABINETS: ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 3

Hey guys! I’m back with updates on the One Room Challenge for week 3! I can’t believe we’re already halfway there! You can see the intro to the project from week 1, here, and last week, I left you with a look at how we planned to move forward with the kitchen once we opened up the space! 

one room challenge

Last week was full of major plans and some of the nitty gritty details and this week, we’re finally starting to see things come together. Once the pantry space was built, we were able to plan out the shelving in a way that best fit our food storage needs. We decided to build simple wall mounted shelves to make the most of the space. 

one room challenge

one room challenge

We built the shelves around the bump out from where the new HVAC unit was moved so that we would have a section of deep storage for larger items and a section of shallow storage for small items like cans, cereal boxes, etc. We also added a wall outlet for an easy access spot to charge the hand vacuum or for any other electrical needs out of sight. 

We attached simple supports based on where each shelf would be located. Then, we cut out each individual shelf board to fit. 

one room challenge

Like a puzzle, each shelf slid right into position. 

one room challenge

one room challenge

I have plans to eventually paint the shelves and make the pantry space a bit more visually appealing inside, but for now, we’ve left the wood raw. 

The next decision was door style for the pantry. I considered hinging bi-fold doors on their outside edges so that they opened from the center but based on the dimensions of the new pantry, we would either need to have custom doors made or build our own to fit both the width and the height of the space. This may be something we do in the future, but I eventually decided to hang fabric from a tension rod to create the necessary separation.

As soon as the curtains went up, I loved the softness that the fabric added. As you know, textiles aren’t necessarily something you think of in a kitchen. With all of the hard finishes (woods, tiles, stones, etc.) the softness of the curtain fabric felt so necessary in this small space and it really seemed to maximize the way I could use the pantry.

one room challenge

one room challenge

It’s easy to just pull the curtains to the side and have full access to every inch of space in the pantry. 

one room challenge

The next element I decided to tackle (which you can sneak a peak at above) was painting the cabinets. Full disclosure, I ran into a bit of an issue…

The kitchen cabinets that we inherited in this house were fine. The quality was fine, I didn’t mind the door style, and I was happy with the fact that they went all the way to the ceiling, helping the space to feel taller, however, the wood finish was not working. The orange tone wood was making this already small space feel heavy, dark, and even smaller, so I knew I needed lighten them up. I decided to paint all of the cabinets with Sherwin Williams’ Pure White, a soft, creamy white that I love and that I used on all of the trim throughout the rest of the house.

Here you can see the cabinetry before…

one room challenge

And now after, with a fresh coat of white…

one room challenge

It definitely felt lighter and brighter and on the right track but something felt off. The space was starting to feel too stark and too cold and I instantly knew something needed to change. While I love an all white kitchen, I was starting to think this one was in need of something different. After some brainstorming, I’ve decided that two-toned cabinetry just might be the way to go in order to add that needed warmth to this space. Paint really is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make a change, so while it is a bit more effort, I think it’s necessary. Now, just to decide on a color!

If you’re extra observant, you may have noticed another change in the space that I haven’t touched on just yet, and that’s going to have to wait until next week! But, since you’ll have to wait on those details, I’ll leave you with a pretty satisfying “Before & After”… Am I right?!

 

Don’t forget to follow along with the other Participants and Guest Participants of the one room challenge! So many inspiring projects are happening!

See you next week for more progress over here!

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MAKING MOVES IN THE KITCHEN – THE ONE ROOM CHALLENGE: WEEK 2

Ok guys, I’m back again for week 2 of The One Room Challenge as a Guest Participant while I give our tiny kitchen a much needed face lift over the span of 6 weeks. Last week, I shared my plans for the space along with the official “before” photos in this post

one room challenge

This week is a big one, not in terms of pretty pictures (none of those this week, folks!) but in terms of breaking down walls, moving HVAC, and solidifying a real plan as to how this kitchen will function. We’re in that period of nitty gritty, big messes, and making it worse before it gets better, if you will. But, boy am I excited to show you what has changed and where we’re headed!

As I mentioned in week 1, our plan to break through the wall from the kitchen into the new dining room came to a screeching halt when we discovered some unexpected ductwork directly in the center of what would be our new doorway. We were initially pretty disappointed, as it really threw a wrench in our plans, but after some brainstorming, we knew that moving it was the only option. In order to make the space really flow and function as I had hoped, we had to make the move. 

one room challenge

Once we fully opened the space, we mapped out a plan for where this essential HVAC system would need to move, and we decided that the best location would be on the exterior wall, perpendicular to its current location and the current plumbing wall.

one room challenge

It immediately felt better, and I was starting to see my vision come to life, even able to look past the layers upon layers of dust and debris (this is real life rennovation!)

one room challenge

This was the view I was hoping to see all along! The tiny kitchen immediately felt larger, the flow and function of the space made so much more sense, and it felt like it was how it should have always been. 

Now that the space was open, it was time to make some final decisions on how we would move forward with the space. All along, I had two options in mind. Option #1 would be adding a small powder bath in the space between the the dining room and the now exposed kitchen, while still leaving the pass through open. The fact that the existing plumbing wall was now completely exposed and tying into that would be the simplest thing to do made a lot of sense to me and a half bath on the first floor of this old home would surely increase the property value. Option #2 was adding a large pantry closet to this tiny kitchen in need of storage! The kitchen didn’t have any existing food storage, meaning prime cabinet real estate was being eaten up (pun intended!) by food storage. My resale brain told me to add the half bath while the other side of me, the one who cooks meals in this kitchen on a daily basis, told me a pantry would solve a whole lot of problems and really improve my daily life. 

In the end, we decided that the half bath would be extremely small and still cut into the open space that we worked so hard to create and that the pantry would really improve the day to day function of the kitchen. So pantry it was! 

one room challenge

How do you like that super professional interior designer’s sketch of our future pantry? Ha! Sometimes putting pen to paper really is the best way to sort out the details!

Based on the new location of the HVAC system and the dimensions of the space, we came up with a plan and framing began!

one room challenge

We added new supports and began framing in the pantry, and as drywall starting going up, each day, my view got better and better. I can deal with drywall dust if it means progress!

one room challenge

Below, you can see the new location of the HVAC system and how we framed the pantry around that. 

one room challenge

one room challenge

While it may not seem like much, by making these moves in the kitchen and planning for some much needed new function, the house feels like a completely different space. The kitchen feels twice the size, I can already tell how much easier it will be to use the kitchen, and I can finally see the light at the end of this very dusty tunnel.

one room challenge

Whew! What a week! Don’t forget to follow along with the other participants and guest participants in The One Room Challenge! I’ll be back next week with week 3’s progress!

 

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A KITCHEN FACE LIFT: ONE ROOM CHALLENGE – WEEK 1

When we moved into this house just over 3 years ago, we inherited a very cramped and very orange kitchen, that didn’t function nearly as well as I knew that it could. A chef’s dream it was not, and as someone who does enjoy cooking on a regular basis, I was anxious to come up with a plan for the space that not only looked a whole lot better, but functioned a whole lot better. A full kitchen renovation was not in the cards, but I could see past a lot of the issues, and knew that with just a bit of work and some cosmetic changes, we’d be well on our way to a kitchen that hit that design sweet spot by working both visually and functionally.

one room challenge

This year, I’ve decided to take on the One Room Challenge as a guest participant in order to give this kitchen a bit of a face lift. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the One Room Challenge is a widely anticipated biannual event held every April and October. Each round, design bloggers take the challenge and transform a space over a period of six weeks. Every Thursday for the next several weeks, I’ll share kitchen updates with you in the hopes of ending up with a finished space!

To catch you up on the current state of our kitchen, here’s a quick recap. If you’ve been here for a while, you may remember this post about taking control of our own floorplan. The moment we bought the house, we new right away that we would make a couple of major changes to really improve the traffic flow of the house. This included turning the formal living space into our new dining room, the old dining room into our home office, and opening up the kitchen to the new dining room. The old floorplan looked like this:

one room challenge

And the new floorplan would look a little something like this:

one room challenge

By opening up a couple of walls and altering the function of the different spaces for how we would use is versus how the old owners used it, our house would instantly feel twice the size. You can see, the footprint of the old kitchen was extremely awkward, because of the location of a closet on the other side and the entrance to basement below, and it made an already very small space feel even more cramped. We knew right away that opening up that wall to the other side was an absolute must in terms of making the kitchen feel larger and adding a much easier flow to the overall traffic pattern of the house. So that’s what we did! The very first thing we did when we walked in the house for the first time after closing but start to tear down that wall between the kitchen and new dining room. 

one room challenge

You can see just how tight that corner of the kitchen really was. 

one room challenge

one room challenge

one room challenge

The more wall that came down, the more excited we became about the potential of the space. Just opening up that small area was immediately making the space feel so much less claustrophobic. Then, just when we thought we were starting to see the finish line of semi open concept dreams…we found a not so happy surprise. Unexpected ductwork directly in the center of what would be our new opening.

one room challenge

Womp, womp. Unfortunately, this discovery threw a pretty big wrench in the gears, and we were left figuring out how we would re-route the ductwork to make the best use of the space. At that point, we covered the exposed subflooring and lived like this for an embarrassingly long amount of time. 

Now that you’re all caught up with the beginnings of the space, and since Week 1 of the One Room Challenge is all about the “Before’s” let’s take a look at the space from this point. 

one room challenge

one room challenge

one room challenge

one room challenge

It’s certainly not the world’s ugliest kitchen (we could have gotten something much worse for the age of the house!) but it was definitely not my cup of tea. I knew with some minor adjustments and a few cosmetic changes, this little kitchen could really shine.

Here’s a look at a few kitchen designs that inspire me:

One Room challenge

one room challenge

one room challenge

So, that’s the plan! Over the next 5 weeks, I’ll be sharing our kitchen face lift with you via the One Room Challenge! Be sure to follow along some of the other Contestants and Guest Participants over at Calling it Home!

See you next week!

 

 

 

 

CLIENT “JET SET TO THE SUBURBS” – MOODBOARDS

Well, it’s been a while! I hope you all had a holiday season full of fun, friends, and family! It was a whirlwind couple of months for us over here, and I have to admit that I’m excited to really get back into the swing of things and tackle some projects we have lined up.

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by a fabulous jet setting couple interested in our Mini Design Service. If you aren’t familiar with the design services we offer, you can check out the deets hereThey currently live in the city and are building their dream home in the suburbs. As the house is being built, I’ll be helping them design the interiors one space at a time. Over the last month or so, I’ve been working on pulling inspiration and getting together a design plan. I thought I’d fill you all in throughout the process and give you a peak into what is going to be a fun and exciting project. As the project progresses, I’ll be tagging all of the design progress via instagram with #clientjetsettothesuburbs in case you’d like to follow along!

At the start of every project, in order to get the design ball rolling, I like to create a series of moodboards. This is a great way to not only create a visual representation of how the space could potentially feel, but also a way to hammer out some specific details before item sourcing begins. These different options allow client/designer collaboration and really create a starting point for the design and the opportunity to create a solid road map to follow as we get into the nitty gritty.

Let’s get into it…

client city to suburbs moodboards

Up first, I created a moodboard that feels warm, cozy, and leans a bit more masculine. A lot of the main elements remain neutral with black, white and grey, combined with navy accents, natural wood tones, and mixed metals. The look feels layered and collected over time, inviting with a classic color combination but still contemporary with sleek lines and a combination of metal finishes.

 

Moodboard #2 brings pops of bold color layered over lots of neutral elements. The bones of this design would remain sleek and neutral with gray-washed wood tones, textural elements, and silver accents but the real pop comes with colorful artwork and accessories. This design would feel light, bright, and cheerful but grounded with modern lines and geometrics.

 

Lastly, moodboard #3 feels calm and cool with a combination of sea tones, neutral textures, and bronze finishes. Warm wood tones and concrete finishes keep this design feeling inviting and slightly masculine, along with soft blues, greens, and grays that soften the space.

I promise to keep you updated on the project and how things progress! #clientjetsettothesuburbs Have a great week!