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).


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!! *phew*


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.


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!

Kicking Off 30.

This weekend is my thirtieth birthday (the BIG 3-0) and, thanks to my amazing hubby, we are going to celebrate like crazy and kick off this next decade with a bang!

I had expressed to P probably just after my 29th birthday that there better be something in the works for my 30th. I didn’t plan to let the decade wash over me with the sorrows of getting old. I want to live it up and celebrate not only the past 29 years but celebrate what this next chapter and phase will be!

P didn’t miss a beat. He planned and planned for I don’t know how long, but I do know that he went so far as to email my boss to get me time off of work, he coordinated airfare and a hotel and I truly cannot wait to see what else he has in store for this weekend. For now, I know we are heading to Las Vegas, Baby!


We have been to Vegas before, together, and I just know it is going to be a riot!

We leave tonight at 5:30, and with the time change I might be feeling like I’m turning 80 when we get off the plane, but we will do our best to adjust asap to the time.

Tomorrow, we will explore, maybe gamble a little and do dinner and a show. Sunday is my actual birthday. One part of me wants to wake up a dawn and find somewhere to do sunrise yoga, and the other wants to sleep for as long as possible. What I know for sure about Sunday night is that I will be on the dance floor with the celebrations in full swing! One of my goals was to dance like I did a decade ago while I was ringing in my 20’s at my apartment with my closest girl-friends.

One of my goals is to soak up the time away with some poolside relaxation. It won’t really be warm enough to lay out in our suits, but I need at least one poolside drink, it’s a must! And I would like to read some of my Life-Changing Magic book that I got in my stocking. Let’s be real here, this year I want some simplicity. It can’t all be running and partying and going non stop. Some of it has to be taken in with sunrise yoga and lounging with a book.

Have you been to Las Vegas? What recommendations do you have for must see/do things and must eat restaurants? Anything we should avoid??

I am so looking forward to this mini getaway with my hubby and celebrating my birthday with him. I’m a lucky lucky girl!

What did you do (or are you planning to do) to ring in your next BIG birthday??

As always, I will be sharing (probably over-sharing) all the fun adventures on Instagram & Snapchat (@designbykrystle), so feel free to follow along! We will be back late on Tuesday, so I will try to get a recap out at some point next week! Happy Weekend Friends!

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


I missed my typically Monday post with words of motivation and inspiration… but with this week being Thanksgiving and all, I didn’t want to skip it entirely.

"As we express our gratitude we must never forget that our highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them." John F Kennedy Quote Quotes on Gratitude Thanksgiving Thankful Grateful "Farrow and Ball Eating Room Red"

Saturday we went to a friends surprise party and it was so fun, he was so surprised… I love that! Sunday was a day filled with relaxation, organization and a water main break. Monday morning we woke up to brown water, which they kept saying we didn’t have to boil, but like hell am I going to drink or bath in water that is actually brown. gross.

Yesterday was a day filled with client visits and project reviews. By the time I got home, made dinner and ate, fed the dog, walked the dog and then had to walk up to the corner store to buy water, it was late and I was tired, so I decided to just go to bed.

That said, I have to say I feel so blessed and thankful for water. The fact that this is the first time this has happened and I have had to worry about if I can drink the water, or take a clean shower, really goes to show you just how fortunate most of us are. There are so many people who don’t even have the option of fresh potable water… and that is awful. So I have taken Sunday and Monday as a water conservation day for our house, using just what we needed. Today the water looks good again, and I can’t wait to hop in the shower!!

I love this quote from John F Kennedy about gratitude and appreciation and I have been saving it for this week. (Shared on Farrow & Ball’s “Eating Room Red” a very Thanksgiving appropriate color and color name.) This is definitely a time when we are all expressing our thanks a little bit more, but I think this is a great point that our actions will always speak louder than our words. So those friends and family members you are thankful for, make sure you find a way to show it. Help with the dishes Thursday night to show your appreciation to your host. Hold the door for the strangers rushing into the shops on Small Business Saturday. Put your phone down and make polite chit chat with the clerk at the store. And when you feel yourself getting a little burnt out emotionally or physically and start to feel the frustrations perk back up again, take a minute to breathe, shrug off the bad and soak up all the good.

These are all reminders for me just as much as they are for you. This time of year has a tendency to be stressful when dealing with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. So give yourself a break when you get tired and don’t forget to appreciate yourself and all that you do this holiday season.

Check back tomorrow to see a little Thanksgiving decor around our place and get some easy last minute tips on welcoming your guests if you are hosting, and how to be a good guest if you aren’t.

PS, the contest winner for the Chalk Lots placemats was contacted privately, thanks so much for playing along!

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

Motivation for Mother Earth

We’ve made it through another fabulous weekend, the weather is getting better, there are more flowers in bloom and Spring is getting more Spring-like each day. This week holds Earth Day (April 22) and has me thinking.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), and in that neck of the woods there are a lot of ‘hippie’ tenancies, so I may be slightly brainwashed. But(!) I feel like we really don’t think about our impact on the planet near as often as we should. There is a large chunk of time that we are just living our lives and going about our typical day to day without any concern to the effect it may have, or what options we have to reduce this effect.

Earth Week

I thought this quote from the Dalai Lama was particularly insightful. We are quite quick to complain when there are more sever swings in the weather, but we aren’t so quick to act. I thought this week I would spend some time trying to discuss ways that we can do better. I am in no way shape or form perfect — none of us are — there is always more we can do. So let’s talk about it! It certainly can’t hurt, and every little bit can add up to make a difference.

What conscious efforts do you help in favor of bettering our environments and leaving a smaller footprint? I’m curious to hear what everyone is doing. This week I’m going to take a look and make a little list of things we can do that have an impact. I just want to start a discussion, I don’t want to upset anyone, and I’m in no way pointing fingers… I just want to get us thinking. Mother Nature is a huge source of influence for me, and I want that to continue through many generations.

I’ll leave you today with these words from The Lorax by Dr. Suess, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to change-it’s not!”

Happy Easter {Mini Lemon Easter Egg Cakes}

Let me first start out by saying that I’m not a baker. I love cooking, but I’ve never been one that loves baking. That said, I LOVED this project! Being gluten-free on holidays is always tricky, so sometimes the best thing to do is to make a little something that you can bring with you and share when you are going to be somewhere. It helps you to feel included! Mini Lemon Easter Egg Cakes 12

The inspiration for this project came from The Kitchn, where they featured these adorable egg shaped cakes, showing that you can shape your cake into an egg really very simply, and then just add frosting and voila!

For the cake, I used a lemon pound cake recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoe String that is so good, you will be dreaming about more while licking the crumbs off your plate. Not to mention all those anti-gf friends and relatives will have no idea whether it is or isn’t free of anything! And for those of you that aren’t fans of tart lemon-y flavors what is wrong with you?! you can use any favorite cake or loaf recipe and still cut your eggs from them!

I was able to fit two eggs from each loaf and they are the size of extra large. I will admit that my eggs are a little wonky. But I think that is what makes them so adorable. I made cream cheese frosting (without a recipe, sorry) to cover the little eggs with, and I even experimented with turning some of the icing pink with beets! It is very pastel, and almost too soft to really discern the pink-ness in the icing picture, but it is a very lovely pastel pink.

When I was finished making these little treats, I sent a picture (the one at the top without the graphics) to my hubby and a good friend and they both thought I was sending a picture of ice cream, so the graphic was necessary I suppose, but I think these little eggs came together very well.

Mini Lemon Easter Egg Cakes 13

In fact, I couldn’t help but think that this could be a great new tradition for our little family and once we have kiddos, I can picture them decorating their little egg cakes with sprinkles and icing to look like fancier Easter eggs!

Do you have any fun Easter traditions or baked goods that you make in celebration specifically of this weekend? Happy Easter friends! Enjoy this time with your loved ones.

Basic White Tee

That moment when you wake up late, you have nothing in your closet to wear, you didn’t pick anything out the night before and you are running late just standing there trying to put an outfit together; the basic white tee shirt will always come to your rescue.

Basic White Tee

What is it about this simple shirt that works so well for any day? It is so versatile. You can dress it up or keep it casual depending on what you pair with it. It can go with jeans or a pencil skirt seamlessly. Add a cardigan, a statement necklace and your favorite booties, and voila, outfit perfection.

The same can be said for your basic home furnishings and that is why I love using neutral whites and beiges for the larger pieces in a space. These are the pieces you aren’t going to change all the time. You want them to be flexible enough to go with whatever accent pieces you are going to bring into the room that week/month/season. They should feel effortless, like they just fit the space.

The lines of the piece should represent your style and taste, but using a neutral just makes the piece work overtime for you. This way you can be sure you really get the most life out of your staple furnishings.

We have a light greige sofa, that has lived in two different homes with us now, each with their own style or theme, and it always works for us and for the space. We have a beige-y neutral platform bed and headboard with simple lines that has been in the same two homes as well with a lot of changing bedding, paint colors, and accent pieces and it always works.

If you are looking to splurge on a new piece for your home and you plan to keep it for a long time, try going with a neutral, you might surprise yourself with how much you like it and even more how you like its flexibility.

Motivation Monday {Stand Out}

Happy Monday! I found this quote from Dr. Suess and I think it is perfect for everyone.

Dr. Suess Motivation Monday

Why are we all trying to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing, when we can follow our own hearts and stand out on our own! I think this is especially key for the design industry when there are so many similar details in work across the board. It’s hard to be original or feel like what you are doing will be the right thing to do when nobody else is doing it yet, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be the one to start that trend!

Follow your dreams, feel your inspiration and go with it! I hope we can all tackle this week with some originality to our process.

Five on Friday

1. I have been working hard to follow and participate with more blogs and people in the design community. It is a great way to find inspiration and make connections with people that are interested in the things that you are interested in. So today on instagram (@designbykrystle) I’m sharing four accounts that I love.

Instagram ff 2-20

@InteriorDesignCommunity is a great resource to find other designers/bloggers in this industry. They share inspiring people, spaces and quotes daily, and, if you are looking for more people to follow, they just posted a list of 100 interior-design blogs to follow (we are #55 on the list!).

@Nis5a is a kitchen and bath designer in Philadelphia that I randomly found on instagram a few months back. I love the design projects and details she shares, and I hope you do too!

@KristenFDavisDesigns works with colors, patterns, shapes and so much more, doing custom art and paint installations for clients and designers. Her insta-feed is always a great source of inspiration and admiration for me. You can find her blog here, too.

@EarnestHomeCo_ is a blogger I’ve followed in the background for a while, and have been trying to comment on more and more. She does beautiful work and just posted about her new home office here. Go check her out!

2. My hair is so long that yesterday’s sloppy top knot actually hurt my head. When I took my hair down at the end of the night, it has never felt so good. So! I am looking for a new do-I’m thinking of a long bob with minimal long layers around the front, and potentially even adding some highlights… care to weight in? (Pictures from pinterest.)

Hair Inspo 2 Hair Inspo 1

3. Today we have officially owned our condo for a year, which is incredible. It was a long and very trying process to get where we are, and we have had a love/hate relationship with our space, but it is mostly love and the space has really been transformed in the last year to really represent us! Can’t wait to bring you more projects from our tiny home 🙂

4. My childhood puppy is really really old. She turned 15 this past December and unfortunately her age is starting to wear on her. I wish I could jet off to Seattle to snuggle with her and soak up every last minute available, but it looks like it isn’t going to work out. Thank goodness for technology, my mom is going to Facetime with me so I can see her before it gets too bad. If you don’t know the love of a dog, it is one of the most unconditional loves you can experience, and that girl really has my heart. I’m thankful that P & I have our Brantley bub to cuddle with and take away some of the hurt.

Abby Girl KrystleandAbby

FullSizeRender (14)

5. This weekend marks the end of our January Cure. Yes, I do realize it is February, but when we went out of town in January, our cure never really got back on track. So, our dinner with friends is this weekend and next week I can share all of the progress we made around the house, as well as the details from our dinner!