The space is complete, and let me just say, WHEW. You may remember last ORC I had some problems with a contractor and was convinced there was no way my project could come together on time. I now know that when it comes to remodeling, not to necessarily expect reliability or even quality workmanship. Some of the people I worked with were fantastic, and others didn't care a bit that I had a deadline. Because of the latter attitude, I've yet to have the photographer shoot the space. Much better images are coming soon! But, we're looking forward instead of back, and I’m ready to throw a party because I could NOT be happier with this space.
My family room/breakfast room/kitchen started out as a family room, a breakfast room, and a kitchen. I knew when I bought this house that my main challenge would be brightening up what was previously more or less a pitch dark cave.
Opening up these rooms has really done wonders in not only making it brighter, but also just making it much more pleasant.
I've also been saved from Seasonal Affective Disorder by the Velux Skylights. The difference in the amount of natural light this space is getting is amazing. The skylights are energy efficient, leak-proof, and require no maintenance, so they’re basically magic (not to mention the super fancy tricked out remote control that comes with them). The last piece to my cave-transformation was to use Farrow & Ball’s “All White” again. It’s such high-quality paint and, in my opinion, the most attractive shade of white available. It elevated the look of walls and took my project from darkness to light.
Before I could move onto decorating, though, there were still a few structural elements that needed to be taken care of, seeing as this house hasn’t been updated since 1969. One of the most notable issues were our sliding glass door and windows, which looked very outdated and unattractive.
Luckily Milgard came to my rescue with some super minimal, clean, low maintenance vinyl windows and a sliding door. Next was the issue of baseboards and crown mouldings, which was VERY easy to solve. Since I’m absolutely in love with Metrie’s products and amazing customer service, I of course went straight to them, and they delivered. The last thing I addressed was the light switches and outlets—a seemingly minor detail that actually makes a huge difference in a room, as I’ve learned. I replaced my old light switches and outlet covers (which were definitely also from the 60’s) with new ones from Legrand, and they’re just downright cool.
Once I had all the infrastructure worked out, it was time to move onto design details for each area within the space. I started in the kitchen, which was definitely the most intimidating piece of the project, because this was my first time ever redoing a kitchen. In every house I’ve ever moved into, I’ve just always worked with the existing kitchen, making only small tweaks like painting the cabinets or getting new appliances. With this kitchen, however, it made no sense to put any money into what was already there, so I ended up having to completely start over. The sink was on a diagonal peninsula, the appliances were unusually small sizes, the cabinetry was inexpensive and darkly stained, the flooring was very old vinyl tiles, and, well, you get the idea. We ripped everything out, adjusted the layout by getting rid of the diagonal peninsula, moving the door that goes out to the garage from the kitchen to the mud room, and adding a pantry.
Then, I started from square one, with the cabinets. I ended up working with cliqstudios.com after thorough research. They made this piece much easier to tackle by setting me up with a professional cabinet designer who drew up elevations based on my vision. The cabinets arrived ready to be installed, and voila! They look terrific. I paired Schaub and Company pulls and Calcutta Gold Silestone, and I’m dying over both of them. I’m all about not having to sacrifice aesthetics for something low maintenance, which Silestone accomplishes wonderfully. The combination of natural quartz and other resilient raw materials makes for a gorgeous surface that's highly resistant to the staining coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and many other everyday products can cause. Basically, Silestone is the dream. And, oh my, these pulls. I could barely contain my excitement watching them be installed, which was probably highly amusing to my handymen. They look phenomenal next to the Bertazzoni range, which, by the way, is quite possibly the most gorgeous appliance I’ve ever seen. Also, check out my brand-new everyday dishes from The Mine in the glass front cabinets.
Moving into the breakfast room, I began the transformation by adding a banquet. You may recognize this table from my last ORC—I’ve actually moved it into this space because it’s so perfect for a banquet set-up, but also because I ended up liking it so much I wanted in the space where I’d be the most. On either side of the banquet are paintings from Christina Baker’s new series, “Convergence.” I truly cannot get over how cool these paintings are- Christina is SO talented. A limited number of her paintings on paper from her series are now available in my store—click here to see. Also on the walls are these amazing swing arm lamps from Bellacor. And of course, my breakfast room wouldn’t be complete without my fantastic custom Colleen Rider pagoda lantern, which you may remember from an ORC many moons ago in my previous house. As my project became more and more down to the wire, I realized it was time to delegate. I decided to enlist the help of the amazing Susan Palma, co-author of Sophistication is Overrated and tabletop expert, to assist me in styling my breakfast room table. What she did couldn't be more perfect-- check out her book for some helpful tips on styling for events.
I couldn’t be more pleased with how my built-in project turned out. It really helps the open kitchen and breakfast room area feel more cohesive, and adds a dressier element to the space. The centerpiece is this super fun mirror from Bassett Mirror Company. All of the gorgeous blue and white on the table as well as the built-in is available in my shop.
I wanted for the family room to be cohesive with the three entry areas from my previous ORC, but also have its own slightly more laid-back feel. Aesthetics vs hardiness came into play a lot in this area, since this is the room where my teenage daughter, dog, and I will likely be spending a good amount of time, but luckily, I was able to find a very happy balance between the two. I started off with this sisal rug from Annie Selke. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with sisal. It’s incredibly stylish yet hardy. This fantastic coffee table from The Mine pairs so well with the rug. I’m especially excited about how big it is—tons of room for books. I recovered my sofa with Stroheim's Crypton Home Dearing fabric in Alabaster from the Dana Gibson Collection. I was dying to have a white sofa, and this ultra-durable fabric lets me follow my dreams while not having to be constantly on edge about ruining it.
Above the mantle is another absolutely GORGEOUS Christina Baker painting—can you tell I’m obsessed with her work? This painting perfectly captures what I wanted to bring into this room. The colors and composition are both stunning, and I’m just really in awe. Surrounding the painting are these green leaf plates, and these gorgeous blue and white fishbowl planters are on either side. The recessed lighting is from Lamps Plus. They were so helpful with figuring out what I needed. The previous can lights were obtrusive black and brass circles on the ceiling, and now my lighting looks pristine and subtle.
On the opposite side of the room, I added these acrylic barstools from Wisteria for extra seating. The room isn’t quite big enough for a second sofa, so these seemed like the perfect solution, not to mention how cool they are. The pendant lights hanging above them are from Craft Made. I absolutely love what they add to the room.
Well folks, there you have it! It's hard to imagine this was previously a cave. I’m thrilled beyond words to have to have such a happy, inviting new space, and I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the transformation. I can't tell you how very much I appreciate Linda Weinstein and the One Room Challenge Team™. I've finished and love over 50% of my house because of the ORC. What this team does behind the scenes to make all of this happen is staggering. I'm beyond impressed and hugely grateful! Also, a big thank you to all of the companies who added so much to my new home. Now, while I go sleep for a week straight, please check out these incredible spaces:
Boxwood Avenue | Coco & Jack | Design Manifest | IBB for DWD | The House That Lars Built | Little Green Notebook | The Makerista | Making it Lovely | Old Brand New | Old Home Love | The Painted House | Megan Pflug Designs | Pink Pagoda | Erica Reitman | Sacramento Street | Simply Grove | Jill Sorensen | Sugar & Cloth | Vintage Rug Shop | Waiting on Martha * Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by ORC