Kitchen Progress|ORC Fall 2017 p3

Here we are at the halfway point of the One Room Challenge! The what? You may be wondering what in the world I’m talking about… this is the biannual design link-up that takes over all decor and design bloggers lives for 6 weeks in the spring and fall. We all race through the 6 weeks to complete a room in our home (or a client/friend/family space) and have a stunning result to wow the internet and use for social media envy until the next ORC kicks up.

In the past, I have completed our living room and bedroom (and then disappeared for a year), and now I’m back to complete our kitchen, which is really the last space in our tiny condo to need updating.

So without further ado, here is a look at what ‘progress’ we’ve made so far (which sort of feels like a joke).

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The table plans were further broken down, and laid out to make a cut sheet, get all the sizes finalized, etc., and a trip to Home Depot was made with my step dad to purchase all materials. I got these pictures on Tuesday night of our table as it is now, and I am so in love!!

I have worked on re-organizing and sorting through the rest of the kitchen to better store away some things and get rid of others. Trips to all sorts of donation places ensued. The bakers rack shelving and the dining table have been sold and will be picked up this weekend.

The cabinet handles have been removed and measured.

Stools have been ordered and a little chair for E has been ordered as well.

Paint has been purchased.

SO, here’s the plan going forward (I’m not even going to bother with sharing the updated list.. maybe next week):

This weekend, I want to remove and clean all of the cabinet doors, then get them painted. The guy at the shop told me we need to do two coats of paint and then at least two coats of wax, so I’m thinking I can tackle at least the two coats of paint on everything over the weekend.

During P’s late nights next week I’ll finish whatever I can for the cabinets after E goes to sleep so that next week hopefully I can share finished cabinets!

*If* I can get the cabinets all done, then I will move onto tackling the walls. With the hot pink stripes, I will definitely need to prime and then do at least one coat of paint. I might need to do two coats of primer… so we will see how that goes. If I’m lucky and E naps well, I may be able to get the cabinets done and the primer coat on the wall for next week. So that is all in between this week and the week 4 post.

Between weeks 4 and 5, I’d like to finish all painting at all cost, make sure everything is dry and looking good so that I don’t have to worry about that before the reveal, and then I can focus on putting the hardware on, moving the table in and styling everything for photos.

So, okay… not too bad. When I sat down to type this post, I was starting to get nervous about how much we haven’t done yet for this space, but after breaking down my plan, I think we can get through this after all!! *few*

Don’t forget that everyone participating updates on Wednesdays and Thursdays so be sure to hop over to the Calling It Home Blog to check it all out. Good luck to everyone participating!!

Be sure to follow along on Social Media! I try to post updates on Facebook and Instagram, and follow along with our IG stories to see between-post progress on the kitchen (and life in general)!!

Kitchen Inspo|ORC Fall 2017 p2

And just like that, it’s week 2 of the One Room Challenge!! Be sure to hop back and check out our week one post. I’m also hoping one of these days to get some non ORC posts up about life and Eleanor and all the things, so stay tuned for that as well.

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But for now…. I wanted to share some of our inspiration for our kitchen revamp with you all!! Right now our kitchen is comprised of a few main components:

  1. The hot pink abstract lines on the main wall
  2. The ‘coffee cart’ as we call it, which holds the espresso machine, the keurig machine and really all the things that don’t live inside cabinets; and…
  3. The maple-ish cabinets themselves.

That said, I’d like to see all of those main features gone in the facelift of our space. In addition to wanting these aspects gone, there are several things I would like to accomplish in this process:

  1. A more cohesive space.
  2. A place where we can dine as a family
  3. A designated place to brew caffeinated beverages; and
  4. A space that feels like ‘us’ while also being appealing to future buyers… after all, when you are in a 1BR condo with a baby, the need to sell is always on your radar.

So here’s the plan:

We will stick with a black, white and grey color scheme; remove the coffee cart which looks cluttered (I don’t mind the open shelving of it, but not all the shelves are stationary and it makes me so nervous with a baby that is starting to pull-up … my nightmare is seeing the thing crashing down with all the jars on it shattering as well… eeeek!!); create an ‘eat-in’ table area for us to actually eat as a family at a dining table (as opposed to on the couch); and paint the whole room, cabinets and all to create less visual chaos in the space.

Our color scheme is black, white. grey and wood, and as you can see in the first picture, which really shows the overall look and feel of what we want to do, we are going to go dark on the cabinets and light everywhere else. We can’t agree on the stain for the table yet, so we will see what happens there, but what do you think?? Natural and light or Dark and rich?? Do you like the direction we are heading with the room as a whole??

Be sure to jump back to the One Room Challenge main page and check out all of the main bloggers and participant bloggers‘ rooms, inspiration and progress!!

If you are just stopping by wondering what we are up to, here is the week one post to catch you up. And here is the list of things we are planning to tackle:

  • Paint the walls
  • Paint the cabinets
  • Paint the molding and details
  • Declutter and organize overall
  • Add a main wall shelf
  • (Finally) build my custom table (that I designed almost 2 years ago…)
  • Add some drawer storage (We don’t have a single drawer in our kitchen. Not one.)
  • Possibly swap out the cabinet hardware
  • Find seating
  • Make and Install Valance

This week we also finalized plans and bought materials for the new table. Hoping to start painting the cabinets next week! Stay tuned next week for more on that!!

Also, if you aren’t following us on social media yet, be sure to hop over to Facebook and Instagram to keep up with DBK regularly, and follow along with our IG stories to see between-post progress on the kitchen!!

One Room Challenge Fall 2017 | The Kitchen

Lately I’ve been motivated to get back to blogging, but when you’ve been out of the game for a year, it’s not always easy to jump back in.

My last posts were all from the One Room Challenge last Fall, when we were preparing for baby P. Well if you follow me on any social media at all, you know that not only is Eleanor here, but a whole lot has changed!! More to come on all that later, but for now, I liked the symmetry of picking up the blog where we left off with the ORC. This time with the kitchen!

I have waffled so much on doing the ORC this time…and obviously I’m late to the game (it started bright and early Wednesday and Thursday), but we are hitting the ground running. We are hoping for maximum visual impact with minimal changes.

These pictures are of our kitchen as it sits now. I may have done a quick clean up, but no major cleaning or organizing because it helps to show how dysfunctional this room has become for us.

We spend so much time here, especially being that I’m home with E most of the time, we really spend a lot of that time cooking or eating IN the kitchen. So my main objective is to make this space really work for our family right now…but also make it look damn good too, so I’m happy and wanting to spend my time here.

What’s on the list for an upgrade?:

  • Paint the walls (I am so over the hot pink accent stripes!!)
  • Paint the cabinets (I’ve never liked this light wood here.)
  • Paint the molding and details (The molding desperately needs some TLC and although I would love to replace it, it’s not likely with baby P in the picture.)
  • Declutter and organize overall
  • Add a main wall shelf
  • (Finally) build my custom table (that I designed almost 2 years ago…)
  • Add some drawer storage (We don’t have a single drawer in our kitchen. Not one.)
  • Possibly swap out the cabinet hardware
  • Find seating

So there you have it. We’re back in the game! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!! Next week I’ll be sharing my inspiration for the new look of the space and possibly a little progress.

Oh and if you’re reading this post like, “ORC, what’s that?!” It’s a HUMONGOUS decor blogger link up party created and hosted by Linda from Calling It Home. Every Wednesday for 6 weeks the featured bloggers share a room they are transforming from start to finish; and every Thursday, the participating guest bloggers around the world follow suit in their own room! So it’s one room, 6 weeks and more than 100 bloggers. It is quite the decor party, and reveal week is filled with insane spaces and reveals that will have you turning all heart-eyed emoji at them. It is seriously an inspiring design challenge and I hope you follow along with me and at least a few of the other bloggers that are out there!

Here’s a look at all of our previous one room challenges (living room and bedroom). This blog link party has really forced us to make this condo really feel like us. Though these spaces continue to evolve as our family grows here, I love how the ORC has forced us to ‘finish’ the rooms and make this home ours!

Nested Bedroom Reveal | ORC Week 6

Reveal week of the One Room Challenge is finally here and I’m so thrilled with how our room came together! I wish we had babies bed in the space already to be able to really show off this new space and how it will function, but as I’ve mentioned before, it’s on backorder so we are waiting.

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Other than the crib, everything is in it’s place and we love how it all came together! Take a look back at week 1 to see where we started and our original plans, and week 2 for our inspiration. I think we really nailed it here. If you want to see the space in progress, you can hop over to week 3, week 4 or week 5. But for now, let’s just focus on week 6 and the reveal!!

A few of my favorite things in the space: I love our new dresser/changing area-like everything about it; I’ve struggled with what to put over our headboard for a long time and I’m so happy with the signs I found from Feather & Birch; One of the seemingly small details that didn’t cost us a thing has made a huge impact for us in the space–hemming the closet curtains–I love how they came out and it’s so much easier to function in that space with an appropriate length there now; I could go on because I really do love how this room came together for us, but I won’t! What’s your favorite detail??

Have you hopped over to check out the host bloggers’ reveals from yesterday yet? I have to admit I’ve only had room to check out a few, but so far I LOVE what I’m seeing. One of my favorite things of this challenge is getting to week 6 and getting to see all of the stunning spaces that these insanely talented bloggers have put together. It is seriously so inspiring!! And the same goes for the guest participants too… it takes a while to get through all the posts, but let me tell you it’s worth it.

huge thank you to Linda at Calling it Home for organizing this incredible challenge once again! This is our second challenge and we are running out of rooms to work on in our tiny space, but after each challenge I love our home so much more and can’t wait to host friends to show it off! This challenge is seriously the only way I get to really do design projects on my own space and it is always such a joy when they come together. It’s so fun to be my own client!

So here’s where we ended up on the list:

  • Paint.
  • Swap the light fixture for a ceiling fan (as much as I don’t love them they are practical and we will want the circulation it will offer).
  • Refinish the floors (so they will flow with the living room).
  • Leave the moldings and radiator the hell alone!!
  • Hem the closet curtains (I like the softness of the closet opening/closing with curtains, especially with baby, but they need to be hemmed).
  • Remove the blinds layer of the window treatments and give the windows a good cleaning.
  • Steam clean the area rug.
  • Move the desk and workspace out.
  • Move the baby furniture in.
  • Add floor length mirror.
  • Accessorize!

Doesn’t that feel so good!! Thank you all for following along on this one room challenge! Hop back over to our Spring Reveal to see how the living room came together! And be sure to follow along with us on social media (links below) or here on the blog so you can see the room being updated as the crib comes in and as our life and spaces change with baby!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat @DesignbyKrystle and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Furniture & Drapes | ORC Week 5

Welcome to our week 5 update of the One Room Challenge! If you are just jumping in, the ORC is a design challenge hosted by Linda at Calling It Home, where on the 6th week, we all get to wake up to insane design inspo by the 20 host bloggers and the countless guest participant bloggers that have all transformed one room completely! It’s the best make-over challenge online, IMHO.

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This is our second time participating… last spring we did the living room and now we are doing the bedroom! Catch up on Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4 to see our jumping off point, plans and progress up to now! So what have we been up to this week?

Last week I mentioned finding the West Elm Outlet near my parents’ new place in PA and purchasing a dresser…well this week we brought that baby home, and oh boy is she a beaut! The initial concept was to go white on the dresser since we are in such a small space (that will soon be taken over by baby P), but when we found this walnut beauty we were both impressed by how much we loved the look. Upon looking back at my inspiration board, I realized all the rooms I saved had a mix of whites and warm wood tones, and in our space, we have white curtains enclosing the closet, a white and gray area rug, white bed linens, etc., so the warmth of the wood just felt like a good choice. I’m so so glad we scooped up this steal at the outlet, it looks seriously so good in the space!

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In addition to getting this new piece in place, we also shampooed the area rug, which helped, but I think I’d still like to run a cleaner over it once or twice more… Then we moved back in our art, re-hung the drapes at the window (the wall color and the colors in the curtains were like made for each other–they are perfection) and shimmied the bed back into place! (No more floor sleeping for this mama to be!!)

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Lastly, one of the things that has always bothered me in our room are the curtain panels that hang over the closet wall… they are way too long. They were cheap-o IKEA panels we bought to just finish off the closet. I think I got all four panels for $10. So this week I finally measured and pinned them all up. The pinning alone took me about 4 hours, but then I sewed them in 30 minutes once I had them all pinned. Then I trimmed the waste material, pressed them, and popped them back on the curtain rod. The length is perfect!! I’m so happy with how these turned out for 10 bucks and 4.5 hours, I wish I’d done them years ago–but that’s the beauty of the ORC!

So with all that said and done, we still have a little ways to go… here’s a look at our list:

  • Paint.
  • Swap the light fixture for a ceiling fan (as much as I don’t love them they are practical and we will want the circulation it will offer).
  • Refinish the floors (so they will flow with the living room).
  • Leave the moldings and radiator the hell alone!!
  • Hem the closet curtains (I like the softness of the closet opening/closing with curtains, especially with baby, but they need to be hemmed).
  • Remove the blinds layer of the window treatments and give the windows a good cleaning.
  • Steam clean the area rug.
  • Move the desk and workspace out.
  • Move the baby furniture in.
  • Add floor length mirror.
  • Accessorize!

We attempted the lighting install this past week as well, but it didn’t go so well, so we have an appointment with an electrician to come save our marriage the day next week. My sister also came into town over the weekend and I pulled her along to IKEA to get the floor length mirror for the space, so that’s in the room, just waiting to be built.. and lastly, all the accessories I purchased have arrived and are just waiting to be put into place!

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We are in great shape with everything. The only thing that will be missing from our reveal will be the crib, but as I mentioned, the crib is backordered and we opted to wait for it… so it is what it is on that and we are okay with it. Plus when my parents were packing up to move, they found the cradle that my great grandpa built for me when I was a baby so we have that to build this weekend as well. It needs a little TLC, after I won’t mention how many years in storage, but it will work well for us!

So that’s the update for this week! Have you been following along on the ORC with anyone else? Who’s space are you most excited to see revealed next week? There are some really fun laundry rooms in progress, a dining room I’ve been watching and a few other bloggers I follow along with that I can’t wait to see their final space! Be sure to use all the links above to hop over and follow along! Here’s an extra to the Calling it Home blog just so you don’t miss anything!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat @DesignbyKrystle and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

A Woodstock Kitchen Update

I’ve been slacking on regular blog posts focussing thoroughly on actual work and nesting/the One Room Challenge. Since this Woodstock Kitchen is in the home stretch, I thought I’d give a little behind the scenes view of some of the work in progress during my last few visits. The first visit was in the midst of demo day and the second was on countertop install day. Some really great progress is left to be revealed once we get these last few loose ends tied up and get some photos taken to share!

I’ve really loved working on the project and seeing all of the details come together. I’ve seen a few pictures from the client on how things are shaping up, but I can’t wait to see it for myself. This project has been such fun updating what was existing and not doing a full gut. (You can read more about that here.) What do you think? (Sorry for the poor phone picture quality… such is the case with works in progress.)

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat @DesignbyKrystle and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Painting, Floors + Closet, Oh My | ORC Week 4

Welcome back to week 4 of our One Room Challenge! We are full nesting mode over at casa DBK and I’m feeling so good about the progress we have made!

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The One Room Challenge is a 6 week blogger design challenge, where you pick a space and complete it from top to bottom (or at least get it a lot closer to completion) in 6 weeks! It’s hosted by the lovely Linda at Calling it Home, and there is always incredible inspiration to be found from her 20 host bloggers and countless guest participants. It really is fun to follow along even if you aren’t participating so be sure to hop over to her blog and see what everyone is up to this week!

So, what have we been up to this week? We’ve been working on painting, floors and the closet, oh my! (In case you didn’t get that from the title of today’s post.) But seriously what a difference a fresh coat of paint and resurfacing the floors will make. The paint looked good when it was done, but then when we came home after the floors were finished… Wow! It’s a whole new room!

The new color is Benjamin Moore Metro Gray. It’s not too light, not too dark and looks beautiful in every level of light we get in our bedroom. Though the current overhead fixture does feel a little bit yellow-orange for the room/color, that will be changed in the coming week, so no worries there! When I put on the first coat of paint, the color felt a little purple in the undertones, but once it dried, I loved it. It is a good warm gray without going to far beige/brown.

Sunday we went out to PA to visit my parents in their new home and on their new Bed & Breakfast adventure. P and I are both so happy that they are just a drive away now (albeit a 2.5 hour drive, but it’s not unmanageable by any means), and we are so proud of them that they followed their hearts and are living their dream! But anyway, what does that have to do with our ORC, well two things really.

  1. Monday while we weren’t home, the flooring guys came and refinished the bedroom floors. Seriously, I love coming home to the floors being done, it was exciting when it was the living room, but now that it is the bedroom, all the wood flooring in our condo matches, and feels so light and fresh! I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. (Original floors pictured on the left below, refinished on the right, just in case you can’t see the new beauties so well in the picture.)
  2. And then the cherry on top? My parents’ new place is right near the Rockvale Outlets in Lancaster, where they just happen to have a West Elm (only one of my favorite stores ever). Since our dresser piece was backordered, we’ve been looking at alternate options for dressers for the room and have been striking out. Fortunately the outlet had a piece that we both loved and the size was perfect! We pounced and now my parents have our new dresser at their home and will be bringing it over to us probably around the end of next week–just in time for us to get it into position and set up for the reveal!

So, the final thing that I worked on this week was getting everything re-organized and back into the closet. I think it looks really good right now–who knows how long it will stay so neatly organized and folded, but it looks good and feels great for now! We still haven’t gone through and swapped out our summer/winter wardrobe yet, so that needs to happen but that’s not a ORC related task, it just needs to happen.

You can see the space in the middle now, where Baby will be, and the lowest shelves in that section I’m planning to remove to open up that section a little more. (We just have to wait for the dresser to come so I have a spot to shift those clothes to.)

This week I also bought a few fun pieces of art and some accessories for the final phases of the project, so I’m feeling so so good about the room, our plans for it and how it will all come together in the next 2 weeks! Here’s an updated look at our list:

  • Paint.
  • Swap the light fixture for a ceiling fan (as much as I don’t love them they are practical and we will want the circulation it will offer.
  • Refinish the floors (so they will flow with the living room).
  • Leave the moldings and radiator the hell alone!!
  • Hem the closet curtains (I like the softness of the closet opening/closing with curtains, especially with baby, but they need to be hemmed).
  • Replace the blinds layer of the window treatments.
  • Steam clean the area rug.
  • Move the desk and workspace out.
  • Move the baby furniture in.
  • Add floor length mirror.
  • Accessorize!

This coming week we will be working on the lighting, cleaning the area rug, the situation with the blinds and hemming the closet curtains.

To see the plans and progress we’ve made so far on this project, you can look back at our One Room Challenge here: week 1, week 2 and week 3. And you can check out our Living Room ORC from the spring here! Happy Thursday friends-here’s to a productive weekend!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat @DesignbyKrystle and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Painting the Bedroom | ORC Week 3

Welcome to the halfway point of our ORC! Or at least the halfway point in the time-frame, not necessarily the work! (Or is that just at our house?)

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If you haven’t been following along on our One Room Challenge, you can hop over and see what’s up here; and if you are completely lost and have no idea what the One Room Challenge even is, it’s a 6 week design challenge where you work on one room from top to bottom. It’s crazy, it’s fun and in the end there are a whole lot more beautiful rooms in existence with Linda of Calling It Home to thank! Be sure to hop over to her blog for more! (And to see the Design Hosts and there spaces, check here; for the other guest participants and their spaces, check here.)

So, what progress did we make over the course of the last week?

On Friday, I purchased paint color swatches, with every intention of swatching that evening after work. The plan was to swatch Friday, make a decision Saturday and buy the paint, prime on Sunday morning, and paint Tuesday evening. With trim work to be touched up as needed one evening or this coming weekend.

I bought the samples to swatch, got them home and popped them open, only to discover that the pigment had not been added to 3 of the 4 cans of paint! UGH! Then Saturday I just couldn’t deal and Sunday I couldn’t get to the paint store.

So, Sunday we enjoyed a nice little brunch date and then came home to start shifting furniture. We moved the desk into it’s new home in the living room (I’ll share post ORC once the living room is back to normal), and worked on clearing the little things around the house to prepare for painting whenever that would happen.

Monday I decided to just make a decision, pick a color and buy the paint. No swatching required. I do this every day for other people, it shouldn’t be that complicated!! So that’s what I did… and interestingly enough, I chose a color I hadn’t planned to swatch to begin with.

I went with a tinted primer to save ourselves a coat of paint and some time and now the room is fully primed and ready to be painted. I can’t wait to see the color once it is finished and on the walls!

And when you have a one bedroom condo, and your one room challenge is your bedroom, you sleep with a mattress on the floor. At least until they come to do the floors and the room has to be cleared completely… then we will stay with my parents for a few days (who conveniently just moved to PA and are now only 2.5 hours away), and then sleep on the pull out couch in the living room for another night or two before we can set furniture and the rug back on the floor.

The other progress made this week was on our original closet. That space has acted like a disorganized drop all for off season/less-utilized things forever. So this week, I was able to take it all out, sort through it, re-organize it and put it back in a much more efficient way! The top shelf has a crate filled with camping gear on one side and our backpacking backpacks on the other side. The bottom has all of our nested suitcases, our Christmas tree, the sleeping bag that didn’t fit with the camping gear and a wreath frame. I plan to build a shelf just over the height of where the red bag reaches to store our AC units/window fans on when they aren’t in use. But for now, this is SO much better than it was!

We also had to address some of our choices being backordered. The crib is backordered until December, the dresser until end of November, the light/fan until December… so basically all the new things are on backorder.

The crib we love and it is the only one that fits in our space that we do like so we are just going to hold out for it, since the baby isn’t due until January anyway, even though it would be nice to have it in place for the reveal of the challenge, we’ll have to make it work without the crib.

The dresser we found a few alternate options that work with our required dimensions and the design, so we are going to decide which way we want to go on that and purchase the dresser this weekend.

The fan/light combo, with some additional research I was able to find it at an alternate retailer in stock and it should be here next week! (Few!)

I’ve also started sourcing some of the little extras for the space… art and accessories, and this weekend I need to make a decision on the blinds as well. Unless you guys think I should stick with the variety we have currently… broken blinds are all the rage, right? #trendsetter.

Next week the floors are also scheduled to be done, though depending on when paint is actually finished I may push it back a few days, so check back next week on that one, and then at least by this time next week we should be fully painted, and hopefully with freshly refinished floors!

Here’s an updated look at our list:

  • Paint.
  • Swap the light fixture for a ceiling fan (as much as I don’t love them they are practical and we will want the circulation it will offer.
  • Refinish the floors (so they will flow with the living room.
  • Leave the moldings and radiator the hell alone!!
  • Hem the closet curtains (I like the softness of the closet opening/closing with curtains, especially with baby, but they need to be hemmed).
  • Replace the blinds layer of the window treatments.
  • Move the desk and workspace out.
  • Move the baby furniture in.
  • Accessorize!

Moving along, slowly but surely, and not yet completely questioning why we are doing this to ourselves again, so that’s something!! How are all of you doing with your projects? Anyone else participating and starting to feel the craziness of the ORC? If you aren’t participating, are you following? And do you have a favorite space so far?

My favorite thing about this challenge is how it brings all these great bloggers together and provides such incredible inspiration for all sorts of rooms and spaces of every shape, size and style. So fun!! I hope you’re enjoying it this round.

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Decisions & Inspiration | ORC Week 2

In cased you missed the announcement last week, we are joining in on the One Room Challenge again this season! The ORC is hosted by Linda at Calling it Home and has been running for 11 seasons now I believe. It has become a challenge that many design and decor bloggers and enthusiasts look forward to every Spring and Fall Season. The challenge is to pick one room and transform it in six short weeks. We first participated last spring with our Living Room and with baby on the way, we knew we wanted to participate this fall to get our space ready for our new arrival! Here are some inspiration spaces for our room:

 

(Sources, clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.)

Since last week not much has changed in our bedroom. Okay, nothing has changed. But there has been a lot of planning and brainstorming of details happening. So without further ado, here’s a look at what I’ve been up to with our space this week!

Color, or a lack thereof. The bedroom right now is green, like a really pretty jewel-tone green, but it needs to be lightened up. Though I debate painting it the moodiest of deep eggplant purples, or seriously stormy gray, for what we are doing, neutral is key. I do feel that babies can thrive in dark spaces, but, for us we are also keeping resale in the back of our mind since we won’t be painting again before we sell our place (whenever that is) this is it. Buyers are unimaginative and that is putting it nicely… so light and bright it is. And I think the change will be refreshing for us too!

Texture, texture, texture! Since we aren’t finding out the gender of Baby P, and we will all be sharing the room, in addition to keeping the colors neutral, we are using a lot of texture to add to the space. Our area rug in here is a white short pile shag carpet with a grey linear pattern, which we will keep and just steam clean to refresh. Our curtains have a great visual texture to them, they will also stay. I’m considering re-upholstering the bed though… currently it is a light tan/beige color. I’d love to have it be more in the gray/white/ivory family we are going towards, so I’m considering a white or ivory linen or velvet…or maybe charcoal… Thoughts? The bedding will pretty much stay as is (white with greige border detail, and quilted greige euros) with the introduction of some new pillows maybe… I’m thinking of maybe some of the fun lamb pillows we have in the living room.

Let there be light! I want to make sure we have enough layered lighting in the room so that if baby is sleeping and we want to read before bed, we still have the option. I’m thinking of hanging some pendants over each side of the bed for that purpose and then adding a lamp/nightlight set-up on the changing area to make sure we can see what we need to in the middle of the night. And then I just have to decide on which ceiling fan/light combo to go with. Here are the ones I’m considering (clockwise from top L, 1, 2, 3, 4.):

What do you think? I need some opinions on the fan/light situation as well as the option to either leave the headboard alone or make the change and if I change, what color/texture to go with… help!! Follow along with our progress every week here, and be sure to also hop over to the Calling it Home blog to see the other Guest and Host participant spaces. These are so great for inspiration, definitely worth the time to read through the posts!

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Three Days in Georgetown, Malaysia

Our second stop of our #PickensinSEAsia adventure was in Georgetown, which is on the island of Penang in Malaysia. We heard about this destination first in our travel guide, but after doing a bit more research, it seemed like a good stop to build into our itinerary for a few reasons. Georgetown is well known for its culinary culture as well as its rich historical background.

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We arrived to Georgetown (about an hour and a half flight from Singapore), in the early afternoon on day one and after checking into our hotel, we set out to explore. There is one main road in Georgetown (Lebuh ) that has all of the main touristy religious destinations, so those were amongst our first stops.

We first went to Kapitan Keling Mosque, walked past Sri Mahamariamman temple (which was closed at the time), headed over to Kuan Yin Temple and lastly stopped at St. George’s Church. So in the span of a few hours and a few blocks we visited places of worship for Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Catholic faiths. I love that you can see all of these different sights and learn all about these different cultures so close together, it’s a pretty unique experience to say the least.

Afterwards we made our way out to the coast and soaked up the views for a while before touring Fort Cornwallis, which was actually really interesting to see with some of the vintage cannons, the unique shape and the history of the fort on the island. Next to the fort, there was a large field, The Esplanade, that happened to be featuring an exhibit of the United Buddy Bears while we were there. Although we didn’t take any pictures of the bears for who only knows what reason, they were all decorated by artists from different countries and positioned in such a way to be linked when joined to create a united circle. The bears apparently travel around the world for different exhibits and you can look up more on them here.

We wrapped up day one with a walk through Little India and a delicious diner there before calling it a night.

Day two kicked off with a visit to the Blue Mansion, aka Cheong Fatt Tze’s Mansion. If you have any interest in architecture or design at all, or if you enjoy history, or you’re just a fan of great storytelling, the Blue Mansion is worth the trip for the guided tour. We both really enjoyed the tour of the mansion for all of the aforementioned reasons. The interiors and architecture were something else. The colors, patterns, textures… talk about inspiration (I could do a whole post on this place… but I won’t)! The history and the way our guide shared the stories of how the mansion came to be were the icing on top.

After the Blue Mansion, we made our way over to the mint mansion… Okay they don’t call it that, but the colors of Penang and the Georgetown Heritage zone were really special. This second stop was at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, which also had a really unique history and some great interior and architectural inspiration. We had a tour here as well and our guide was entertaining to say the least. I’d say it was another worthwhile tour here.

When were were finished touring these mansions we found our way to some fresh dragon fruit and pineapple from a hawker stand, and then found our way down to the Klan Jetties. The jetties are series’ of stilt houses that extend out over the water where people still live today. Though many are open to tourists, you should be mindful and considerate as you walk through that these are people’s homes. We walked through the Chew Jetty, one of the more popular Klan Jetties and it was definitely worth the stroll just to see the way some of the people live here. Really unlike anything you’d see back home.

We wandered and meandered through the streets making our way back to the hotel and seeing what else we could see along the way. For dinner we had local Peranakan style cuisine that was so tasty, and followed it up with good old fashioned American dessert at a little cafe we stumbled upon.

Day Three, we opted to find the hop on, hop off bus for Penang. This bus had two route plans, one for the Heritage zone, which we felt we had thoroughly explored and one for the beach route that leads you out to the jungle. We opted for the beach route and the jungle. One winding scenic ride, loads of bug spray and 2 huge bottles of water later, we were at the trailhead and on our way out to Monkey Beach! This trail route is heavily trafficked and very clear with the exception of one tree we had to scootch under. The scenery along the trail was really awe inspiring with the water off to our right following us around the edge of the island and the jungle to our right, it was like nothing I’d ever seen before and it was stunning.

We made it out to the beach and waded in the water, took in the sights and had some snacks. We didn’t see any monkeys on the beach as the name would imply, but we did see monkeys both on our way there and back-it was amazing! There was an option to hike further past Monkey Beach out to Lighthouse Point I believe it was called, and we thought we’d try it, but we got about halfway and the path was a bit trickier which we hadn’t anticipated with our footwear and clothing choices, so we turned back. What we saw on our hike was really incredible, and if we ever go back, I’d definitely make sure to dress appropriately and hike the jungle a bit more.

After climbing out of the jungle, we had a few more snacks and bought more water while we waited for the bus. Then we made our way around the rest of the beach route, enjoying the drive past many other sites on the island. Again, with more time we would have maybe included some additional stops, but we prioritized what we wanted to do and made it through our list. Everything that we did get to see/do in our short time here I would highly recommend to anyone heading this way. Penang and specifically Georgetown, were a great cultural experience all around.

For more on our travels through Southeast Asia, come back Monday–next stop is Kuala Lumpur! Be sure to also read up about our first stop Singapore and continue on with all of the destinations of our trip!

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