Kitchen Reveal|ORC Fall 2017

Happy Design Christmas everyone!! I’m so so excited to share our finished kitchen today! If you are just tuning in, we are on week 7 of the One Room Challenge, a decor and design blogger link up created by Linda of Calling It Home, where we have typically 6 weeks (we got an extra week this round) to transform a room from top to bottom. So this is the final week, aka, reveal week!


So, just as a quick refresher, here’s a look at our kitchen before (to see the whole before, check out ORC part1 post here):

And now, here’s our kitchen today:





Everything came together beautifully! I LOVE the new space, the mix of the light and dark and how the colors mingle so well with the existing counters and backsplash. I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite part of the room (well maybe that it’s done), though, I am so thankful to have our table and chairs now. They make a world of a difference in our day to day life, the perfect blend of style and function.

What’s your favorite part of the new space? I hope you like how it all turned out!


If you want to look back through our Kitchen Progress here are quick links to weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Make sure to also jump over to Calling It Home and check out the Host Bloggers’ reveal posts from yesterday as well as the Guest Bloggers’ reveal posts today. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend on nap time!!

Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media to see what we are working on in between blog posts. We’re everywhere, but most involved on Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out my design work on Houzz. Thanks for hanging out during the One Room Challenge! I hope we’ll see you around! xoxo

Upholstery in the Kitchen|ORC 2017-p6

Welcome back to week 6! Typically this week would be the reveal week, however Linda of Calling it Home (the great creator of the one room challenge) extended everyone’s time allowance by a week due to several delays that were experienced in shipping, permitting, etc., thanks to the many natural disasters that we had this fall.


This week is basically the Christmas Eve of the ORC, because next week is like waking up on Christmas morning to find all the best inspiration and design in some seriously incredible rooms that have come together over the past seven weeks. I CAN’T WAIT!!

So, for our bonus week, we upholstered!! Here’s a look at our pretty pretty fabrics and how they started to take shape for our Kitchen.

So, you’re probably looking at this thinking, “I thought she was only going to maybe do a valance…” well, that is true, I was only maybe going to do a valance, but then my chairs sold out and I had do come up with a plan B. So, after hours of searching for something similar, and clients and friends alike sending me options that might work, I stumbled upon these beautiful and fun stools and knew what I wanted to do.

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The stools above were so fun and added such a playful pop of color that I realized, I just needed to find basic stools somewhere and re-upholster them. So the floral print above is for the chairs, and the buffalo check is for the window.

I ended up having the material shipped to my mom’s place. For those of you that don’t know, my mom is a sewing blogger and she has more followers on social media than I do… so if sewing is your thing (clothes, not home dec, she hates home dec), then hop over to see what she is up to. Anyway, handy dad made the valance shape and then Mom and I planned the upholstery for it, and she executed it while I was taking care of life and baby stuff.

For the stools, despite looking on craigslist and Facebook marketplace, I couldn’t find any stools that would work to reupholster. In steps IKEA with their Henriksdal and it was the perfect canvas for my fabric! We bought an extra cover to disassemble and use as a pattern. Mom took it all apart, made the necessary notations (which I wouldn’t have known to make) and then we washed, ironed and started cutting the fabric. I should say mom washed, I ironed, and then she took over the project from there to make sure that they actually fit the stools when she’s done. While she executed the chair covers, I took care of life and baby, some work stuff. And ironed 27 napkins.

When I came home, I brought the valance with me, ready to install, but the chair covers stayed behind and will be delivered next week when my parents come to visit! So other than that, I finished the wax coat on the cabinets and started installing the new hardware. Of course they sent me the wrong number of handles so now I”m waiting on shipment of the rest so I can finish. Hopefully they will be here by Monday.

Here’s a look at our list, and I am SO thankful for this surprise extra week!

  • Prime the walls
  • 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.)–ok–we found a solution for this but it’s going to require a lot more customization. (We are getting a drawer but not for a few more weeks so it is officially removed from our ORC list.)
  • Buy new cabinet hardware
  • Install cabinet hardware-12 pieces in, 5 to go…
  • Find seating
  • Make and Install Valance
  • Sewing projects…
  • Art–ordered
  • Clean–work in progress
  • Photograph

So, as much as I was saying last week that we are definitely going to get there. We will definitely get there… It won’t be one of the first posts you read on next Thursday’s Design Christmas morning, but it will be there. I just need the hardware to pull through and then to get the chair covers in position. And for the picture we ordered to arrive so I can hang it. And… I’m sure there are endless little things that I will be running through getting done next week to make the space photo ready.

Also, don’t forget, all of the host designers share their rooms on Wednesdays and the guests share on Thursdays. Definitely hop over to the Calling it Home Blog to see all these pretty updates and hear how everyone is doing. And if you don’t look at any other link posts, you have to at least look at the link posts next week. There will be a ton of them so give yourself time to go through them, but if you are a design lover, you will thoroughly enjoy it, I promise!

In the meantime, follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram, to see what else we are up to. Both behind the scenes of the challenge and other design work is shared there regularly, along with adorable pictures of my little one.

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!!

Complete Destruction | ORC Week 3

Welcome to week three of our One Room Challenge, where we are guest participating in a challenge to transform a room in 6 (or really 5) short weeks! If you missed our previous posts, see what our room looked like before and our plans/progress here.

Last week after I read through a good chunk of the other ORC Guest Participant posts, I started experiencing maximum anxiety about my time frame for this project. Having been away for 5 days took a lot of my progress time away and after seeing the strides everyone was making I was like oh crap I need to get down to business.

So, as soon as I got home from the office last Thursday (and finished snuggling with #BrantleyBub) I started ripping out the telephone wire I pointed out in last week’s post. I sent out a snap of the progress I was making and immediately got a text from the hubs, like “what in God’s name have you done?!” Well it wasn’t that dramatic, but he was a little nervous curious and the text did come through pretty quick.

Over the weekend, we began taking the old moldings out. We very quickly realized that we weren’t going to be able to get off so many layers of poorly applied (and like lead) paint, so we cautiously began removing them, with much concern for the plaster walls… we did not need those crumbling down on us. We plan to replace them with period appropriate moldings. It was so fun though to see the history of colors that have been on our walls from shades of green to blue to pink and white.

Remember last week when I said we might do the floors, pending budget and availability of scheduling someone? Well yesterday we had the guy come out to give us the quote, because after removing the molding and revealing the edging, it quickly became apparent that it needs to be done. So we are pinching pennies and cutting from some areas of the budget where we can to make room for the floors. They will be repaired and refinished and the soonest we can get on their schedule for is May 2nd. That’s cutting it awfully close to the reveal week, but ya know what? It’ll have to do.

So, flooring aside, we successfully removed all of the trim ourselves (with the exception of the window trim), and for my hubby who has never really been all that handy, and for myself who grew up in a DIY family but hasn’t ever undertaken serious projects at home (everything I plan with my clients, someone else executes), I am insanely proud of us! So right now we are in the “complete destruction” phase of the project, where nothing looks pretty and we are lucky if there isn’t still demo dust scattered around the living room (and the rest of the condo). Hopefully soon, things will start looking a lot prettier!

We also swatched paint to decide on our color change. I narrowed it down to 5 choices, which do you like the best? (The colors are as follows–all Benjamin Moore: 1., White Satin. 2., Breath of Fresh Air. 3., Jet Stream. 4., Heaven on Earth. 5., Silvery Blue.)

I’m planning to paint the base molding and the ceilings white, and the walls, door and window trims and doors themselves all the same as the wall color. Because our room is so small, and there are a lot of doors/doorways/windows for the small space, I want to eliminate the illusion of the space being broken up so much. I feel that if the color is consistent on all of the details with just the top and bottom framing out the wall color with crisp white, then the room will feel a lot more expansive. That said, I’m catching a lot of flack so far from the few people I’ve discussed it with, but I think we are going to move forward with this plan anyway. Since I can’t shake the idea, I decided to dig up some images of rooms where others have embraced the concept and rocked it! Here’s a look at some rooms where they’ve done some version of this:

[Paint Inspo Images: Martha Stewart’s Pink Guest Suite, Latitude Lane Den by Angie Hranowsky, AB Chao’s Moody Bedroom as featured on Apartment Therapy’s post here, Eclectic Dining Room by Suzanne Kasler and Kim Winkler as featured on Carla Aaston’s blog here.]

What do you think? Are you a fan of unifying the space by painting everything including moldings the same as the wall color?

This weekend our goals are to finish removing the last bit of trim, tend to the radiator, and start working on patching and priming the walls. I’d love to say we will paint, but if there is anything I’ve learned from doing the molding it’s that everything takes longer than you think, and I do not want to rush the paint! We also have an appointment for the window treatments to finalize our fabric selections and get our install scheduled. So all in all, I feel we have made great strides this week (even if it only does equal one thing off the list).

Here’s a look at our list:

  • Remove old moldings
  • Install new moldings
  • light fixture/ceiling medallion
  • Radiator-clean up and/or cover
  • Gallery Wall
  • DIY Art Project
  • Refinish Wood Floors
  • Paint
  • Window Treatments

One Room Challenge, One Room Challenge Spring 2016, One Room Challenge Guest Participant, ORC Spring 2016, ORC Guest participant

Be sure to pop over and scroll through the featured designers progress updates here, and jump to the Calling It Home blog for the guest participant link up to see everyone else’s spaces as well! I hope you are having fun following along with this challenge!

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

Work In Progress… {Putting Pen to Paper}

… Or in my case, I always use the same type of pencils. I keep an overflowing quantity of them on my desk at home and in the office at all times. Putting pencil to paper for me is how everything really starts unfolding in the design process. After meeting with clients and discussing their wants and needs for the space, I go home and lay it all out.

Finding the Right Layout

This is a layered process, and I mean that very literally. The way that I typically work through a space is by first drawing the shell and giving myself an outline of the immovable space we are confined to for the project. Then, I make copies, and from those copies I layer in the different elements of the space working to see if we can get all the wants and needs into the space. Most of the time there is a compromise that has to take place. Something big is required (by code or by client) so something else less important has to take the backseat.

For each project, this process is different. For some clients, it is very cut and dried and only takes one draft; for others it can take dozens. I just finished a kitchen plan that was very straight forward with the space allowances, the clients requirements and the materials we specified. It took one first draft and the final was essentially the same with some minor tweaks. Simultaneously I am working on two separate bathroom spaces, an expansive master on-suite and a small family bathroom in a farmhouse. Both are much more complicated and have taken several drafts to get on the right level with the space, the client must haves and the necessary design details.

This process can be frustratingly drawn out and can take a long time. I wish it was all easy..but going through the motions for me also helps solidify the design we move forward with knowing that it is the best option and that all other options have been drawn out and considered.

Hand Drawing Detail 1

A lot of my clients ask if I’m going to send them a computerized drawing of their space and plan when we do our initial meeting, and although I have learned software programs while I was in design school, there is something about putting pen to paper that is so much more valuable to me and my process than clicking the mouse a few times. Maybe someday I’ll go all fancy and switch to the software, but I love the practice of drawing plans and spaces. From a creative standpoint, it also allows me to connect with the space so much better and really see the layouts take their best shape.

I thought it would be fun to share a bit about my process when I get started on a new job as it starts to take shape, especially as there has been a ton of drafting and re-drafting of plans happening around here lately.