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!

Spring Inspiration

It’s a late post tonight, but on that I wanted to make sure to post. I came down with a bit of a cold last week and am just finally recovering from the last straggling remnants. BrantleyBub turned two yesterday and we had a sweet little neighborhood puppy party for him. There was fresh fluffy white stuff in the grass this morning and the air was so cold…With the cold and the snow and the fun things on the horizon, I’m so ready for Spring!!

Now that it is officially Spring (white weather this morning aside), I’m ready to be inspired by this new season, and this quote is perfect! “Inspiration is the seed, design but the flower.” Michael Langham’s words on a bright red background reminiscent of poppies (Benjamin Moore’s Ravishing Red) perfectly describe design no matter the time of year.

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Design is the pretty that you see when all of the hard work, sunshine, food and water has been put in to let it blossom from just the seed. All of the work that goes into deigning a beautiful space build from our experiences and the things that inspire us no matter how big or how small. We take the experiences of our lives with us and call on them to inspire us as we create rooms that bloom into beautiful spaces.

And if you know me at all, you know how much I love flowers, so any space of my design that could be described as such would bring me so much joy. How does the change in seasons inspire you?

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Beauty and Simplicity

This past weekend we sprung forward for Daylight Savings and today is Pi Day, and although I could do so many other posts related to these things, and maybe I will do one later this week, for now I just wanted to share some sage advice on simplicity (on a background of Benjamin Moore’s White Heaven).

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Plato said that the “beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity,” and I agree! This is such a great message about the balance of things, and it is so easy to go overboard, especially when we are talking about decor, but often times, less is more.

Each element of his sentiment–style, harmony, grace, rhythm–they each have their own weight in putting together a beautiful end product or project. When things really resonate with multitudes of people it is because they have the ability to strike a chord with each of us, for many different reasons, and they just feel beautiful. Do you find beauty in this balance of details?

I’m finding after doing our massive clear-out in our space that we (or at least I) am really thriving in the simplicity of what remains. I’m able to really see the space and appreciate being in it. And I can finally see what little details we need to implement to finish our home off. Can’t wait to share more on that! But for now, the simplicity is really speaking to me, and I hope if you are struggling with your space, you can find a way to let it really speak to you too.

Does simplicity speak to you?

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Home Style Motivation

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This quote breaks down design for me. Whatever fears you have in decorating your home, let these words alleviate your stresses.

Your home should be a reflection of you. If you and your family are fun loving and bold, your home should reflect that. If you thrive on living a minimalist life filled with experiences not things, your home should be a reflection of that. If you love jewel-tones (like this Benjamin Moore Gentle Violet in the quote graphic), metallics and all that is luxe, you should use these colors and textures and layer them in your space.

Don’t over complicate the process either. It takes time to build your home, but I love seeing houses that really speak to their owners and what brings them joy in life. What story do you think the style of your home is saying about you? What do you want it to be saying instead? I like to think we are the minimalists with great experiences, but a little more lived in… I’ll try and get some good pictures of our living room as is to share later this week… it’s something that has been on my list for a while now, and I plan to check it off this week.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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What’s a Party Without Cake?

I found this quote from Julia Child a while back and thought it was the most appropriate to hold onto it for my birthdya week. “A party without cake is just a meeting,” just about sums it up if you ask me. Not only does a party require cake, but wouldn’t it be so fun if all the meetings could be turned into parties just by adding cake?? So at your next staff meeting, maybe you should find out who’s on cake duty.

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But really, I think more to the point, is that the sweetest part of the party is what people look forward to and expect when they are attending a party. In life, if we make things a little sweeter, we can make everything feel a lot more fun. One of my professional mentors told me once that you have to always leave [clients] with a sweet taste in their mouth. Meaning that at the end of the day, at the end of your transactions with them, they need to feel that things ended on a high note. Go the extra mile to do something sweet in your day to day interactions so that when you leave, not only do you feel good, but so do those you’ve come across in your travels.

So with that, I’m officially another year older, but still seeking out the wisdom of those who’ve gone before me. Today’s quote graphic is on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Fancy Pants because fancy pants make everything in life just a little bit sweeter.

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What ‘cake’ are you bringing with you to make life a party? Metaphorical or actual, however you want to spin it, cake is a good thing. (Or in the case of a Gluten Free birthday girl, pistachio gelato that rivals that of the flavors at the base of the spanish steps in Rome.) Hope your life is feeling a little sweeter and that your year is off to a fabulous start! Can’t wait to hear all about what adventures you’ve got planned for the year–I know we are excited to be planning some for ourselves!

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Benjamin Moore Color of Year and Trends for 2016

The color of the year announcement for each of the leading color experts in the industry is always a big time of year. it is something that we all get in a tizzy about and look forward to. This year Benjamin Moore announced the color of the year as Simply White, OC-117, and had this press release which if you have any interest in color and interiors I think both of those links are worth the read. I have to say that although many people were looking for more of a color, I’m not surprised.

Benjamin Moore 2016 Color of the Year 2016 Simply White OC-117

If you scroll through your favorite home decor Instagram account, flip through a magazine-be it modern, traditional, transitional, or otherwise, when you are looking at the decor images, you are seeing a vast array of whites. Whites in kitchens, whites in bathrooms, whites in living rooms, great rooms, and bedrooms. Whites are vastly used in commercial spaces, including boutiques, big box stores, and even restaurants; not to mention the use of white in the hospitality industry.

So at the end of the day, no matter how much you love color, whether it is bold or pastel, cool or warm, white is always there. It provides a base and neutral. Not only that but it works in such myriad of spaces (as suggested above) that it makes for the best base color to work with. And if you have a crisp neutral base, then you can add almost anything in the way you layer and decorate. Your color pallet can change seasonally and you can add different colors as pops to brighten things up and add interest from time to time.

One of my old professors in design college when I first started mentioned how the most common color schemes she would use were combinations of neutrals: whites, tans, grays, and then build from there, because if you have a neutral base, you can always evolve the design of the space without making major changes. Not a bad concept, although I must admit that I’m often of the mindset that it is only paint and you can always change it without too much hassle but I do understand the appeal of wanting to have a solid foundation of color that you don’t have to worry about changing.

Here is a look at the color palette Benjamin Moore released for 2016 with their color of the year announcement:

Benjamin Moore Color Palette Color of the Year 2016 Simply white

They have selected 23 colors in total, of which 8 are whites or white-based tones (Paper White, Ice Mist, Simply White, Marscapone, Ballet White, White Heaven, Cream Puff and White Satin); 7 are soft or muted, more pastel hues (Morning Sky Blue, Gray Owl, Lemonade, Enchanted, Kittery Point Green, Luxe and Weimaraner); and 8 that are more bright or bold offering a color pop or at least something with more depth (Banana Yellow, Ravishing Red, Patriotic Blue, Black Ink, French Press, Blue Echo, Gentle Violet and Royal Flush). Of all the colors in their 2016 palette, I have specified 2 of them in current or past projects and they were both of the white or white based family. What can I say, Benjamin Moore might have some inclination as to what they are doing when they talk color.

Do you have any white based rooms or neutral rooms in your house? Would you use any of the 2016 color palette in your home? Every time I see the announced colors of the year I feel so inspired and start itching to re-paint our condo. We only have one room that hasn’t been painted, but I think it’s fair to say that at least one of the painted spaces could you a fresh coat. Hmm….

All images shared in this post are from Benjamin Moore’s website and their color of the year 2016 announcement. Links have been provided throughout the text.

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