One Room Challenge Week 1: OMG We're Finally Renovating Our Kitchen!

Hi, my honeys! It feels somewhat surreal to be back to writing One Room Challenge blog posts after completing the Spring ORC last year with my Rosé Hideaway guest room makeover! It's so weird, too, because I feel like as a home content creator I've come so far in just over a year with my design skills! This time, though, I'm so excited to announce that I've been selected as a Featured Designer for this season!


When Linda from the ORC asked me to be a featured designer I was so thrilled and honored, and I knew instantly it had to be my kitchen. If you’re new here, I’m Erika, and I’m a home content creator based out of Cleveland, Ohio! A former radio host, I have a passion for entertaining people! These days, that entertainment comes in the form of posting DIY’s, craft projects, room makeovers, and home decor on my social platforms as @peonyandhoney! I hope you’ll join me for my epic kitchen makeover!



My kitchen is the one room in our home that we have been putting bandaid after bandaid on and literally avoiding doing the real work in there for the entire 6 years we've been in this home. Tackling a kitchen renovation project is no joke, and I knew it would be way more challenging than a simple room makeover. When we moved in to our home back in 2015, we were happy the kitchen was new and updated, but it was never our taste. The brownish tan granite countertops, busy brown backsplash, oversized, cabinet hardware, sink, lighting, appliance--basically everything but the white shaker cabinets and floors we hated!


And so the time has come, my friends, for us to roll up our sleeves (and hire some good professionals) to tackle our kitchen renovation project! I'm going to outline our plans for the kitchen in this blog post, and I'll provide some before photos of our kitchen. Obviously, everything is subject to change because that's how renovations seem to go (LOL), but for the most part the vibe I've come up with should be close to how it will turn out!


First things first, with any major renovation you need to lock in your professional installers. Things like installing a small amount of tile, trim work, and light fixture swap-outs are totally doable for us; however, in this instance we have a lot of tile work needed, drywall repairs, countertop installation, and electrical work that all needs to be done by professionals. With the pandemic going on, there have been a ton of delays in raw materials and a big backup on services, so just make sure before you start to tackle any renovation you have your crew lined up. Talk to your pros about the timeline for installs, so there's no surprises and things can be done in the order they need to be done.


Here are some before photos, our plans, and the mood board for the space I'm calling the Calm Chateau kitchen:


Before Photos:




When we first moved into our home back in 2015, all the walls were butter yellow, and the kitchen although renovated was very builder grade. It came with beige outlets, really basic pendant lights over the peninsula, brown and tan granite countertops (which I really grew to despise over the years), a super busy multi-tonal brown tile backsplash, way too large drawer and cabinet pulls, too many cabinets--there is such a thing I promise--and a stainless steel divided sink that stained easily.





We really put as many bandaids on this kitchen as we could, because Rome wasn't built in a day and we had to save for a long time to get to this point. We painted the kitchen white, added a beautiful wallpaper from Livette's Wallpaper (really just to distract from the ugly brown granite counters), new lighting, painted the backsplash white with enamel paint, got new gorgeous Tuscan Stainless Steel Samsung appliances (Thank you, Samsung), and added floating shelves from Ultra Shelf by taking out the two top cabinets over the breakfast bar area.


It really became a cute little boho kitchen, and I'm so glad that we made these changes along the way as we could afford them. I really believe in loving your home in all of its iterations, and we really did enjoy our kitchen through the changes! I really thought we had done enough to keep the kitchen as is for awhile, but my dream of new counters has always been gnawing at me! Enter the ORC, and I am SO ready to finally get the kitchen I've truly wanted all this time.


Mood Board:


Plans:


Here's the plan, and of course it's subject to change because life happens and sometimes I change my mind! LOL! I am going to swap out the hardware on all of the kitchen cabinets, which will me filling in some of the old holes from the previous hardware and touching up with paint. Since we're not repainting all of the cabinets to save time and money, I will need to get a perfect match for the color and finish of our cabinet doors for the touch-up paint.


I will also be adding some board and batten trim work to the front of our peninsula! My plan is to go simple with a mix of modern and traditional elements--you'll see! I am also including my staircase in this makeover because with our open concept floor plan, you see the stairs right when you walk into our home. I am ready to retire the wallpapered stair risers. I have loved this easy and renter-friendly way of updating our stairs, but I am actually quite clumsy and a carpet runner really is necessary after my many slips down the stairs. I also think it will add some elegance to that area. I'll also add a new modern stair rail, new light in the hallway, and fresh art along the stair wall.


Back over in the kitchen area, I am FINALLY getting my dream quartz countertops, a new sink, faucet, pot filler, and new pendant lights over the peninsula as well. I will also get a new rug for the open area between the cabinets, new modern outlets and switches, and new counter stools! I am super pumped for a new backsplash tile as well that will go all the way up the walls over the sink window, patio door, and the entire wall behind the floating shelves. Additionally, I have a fun little idea for my kitchen window and patio sliding door to upgrade them on a budget!



Lastly, I will add a whole bunch of new styling pieces and decor for the kitchen as well as some organizational elements to the insides of the drawers and cabinets! This will help keep our kitchen tidy, and it will look great too! Oh, and one more thing I'll be tackling is painting our hutch (my IKEA Billy Bookcase that I hacked) to a more neutral color to match with the vibe of the kitchen.


That's pretty much the plan, y'all! I feel like it's quite doable for the time frame, and a little secret is we've already started to make sure we get it all done in time for our big reveal in November! I can't tell you how excited I am to finally get some of the things I've always wanted in our home! Our kitchen is just such a main focal point on the main level of our small house, and it gets the most beautiful sunlight throughout the day! This kitchen will be calm vibes with some high contrast elements and a touch of French style. I want the space to stick mostly to a Transitional Modern design to make it a relevant kitchen for many years to come. I hope you will join me on this journey, and I just can't wait to show you a beautiful complete kitchen at the end of this! Who's excited?


Make sure you're following me on all of my social channels: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest and that you're subscribed to my blog here for weekly posts for all 8 weeks! Also, definitely check out the One Room Challenge website to see the other featured designers' projects as well as all of the guest participants. I also would like to thank our media sponsor Better Homes and Gardens! There is so much inspiration to be found during the challenge, and I hope you find some wonderful ideas for your own home! Come back next week for the COUNTERTOPS REVEAL!


My ORC Sponsors:

Calico | Crystorama | Speakman | Kelly Moore Paint | Loloi | Minted | Parker Gwen | MR Direct | Tile Bar |


ORC Featured Designers:

Albie Knows | At Home with Savvy | Beth Diana Smith | Eclectic Twist | Erika Ward Interiors

From House to Home | G. Lebron Interiors | Goldalamode | Home Made by Carmona | Impeccable Nest | Jeweled Interiors | Joyful Designs Studio | Joy Street Design | Our Fifth House | Peony & Honey | Pinch Plate Party | Rebecca Propes | Reem’s Design | Saudah Saleem Interiors | Whitney J Decor

Media BH&G | TM ORC




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