ORC Fall 2019 Week 2 – Dining Room Part Deux

ORC Fall 2019 Week 2 – Dining Room Part Deux

Already into Week 2 of the one room challenge…sadly I don’t have a ton to share. This week was filled with planning, organizing, finding tools, etc. If you are just catching up we revealed working on our dining room in this Week 1 review here.

Modifying the Banquette

We started the week off with the big blue banquette in the dining room, which I would have used “as is” had the height of the backrest not completely blocked the window (shown below). When I moved it into this spot I wasn’t sure it was going to be a permanent fixture…but it quickly became my kids favorite spot for meals and playing legos. I forgot how functional a big cushy bench would be at the tulip table. This determined my resolve to keep the seat portion and modify the backrest to fit in this new space. Plus by keeping it I saved hundred of dollars, which was a win win.

Dining Room Modifications

First things first, I pulled out my tools and went to town cutting the backrest down. Then I lowered the top portion so that it was mid back height. Perfectly located to rest the top of one’s arm. Even with the food and crap on the table you can see its so much better already!

Dining Room

Recovering Cushions

Next up on the agenda for the week was recovering the seat cushions with my new Perennials fabric. I chose a beautiful taupe/cream chenille like swatch. If you have been following on Instagram you probably saw me rub beet juice all over these sample pieces of fabric. This stuff is amazing and pretty much cleans up with a sponge and soap. There was no way I would use a light fabric on a seat cushion that is exposed to non stop messes unless it had been hardcore tested. When the beet stains wiped right out I knew it passed the test for our family. Plus I love the monochromatic feel of the fabric against the marble and new banquette color.

Cushion Recovering

Speaking of colors…I had a long running debate about painting the base of the banquette a dark green, dark blue or black. The white was not holding up to everyone’s dirty feet :/ Out to my garage I went to sort through buckets of leftover paint samples. I stumbled across the BM Gray we used throughout the kitchen and baseboards. Since the kitchen is right next to this area I loved the idea of building the banquette into the wall and having it feel seamless. So an idea was hatched and I went ahead and painted the banquette to see how I liked it:

Dining Room Banquette

It complimented the floors, chairs and dinner table…from a distance the fabric almost looks like an exact match to the paint color. So I decided to keep it and am moving forward with the monochromatic color scheme.

Moving Into Week 3

Typically I have a more concrete design plan in front of me as I work on spaces (I.e. a moodboard or materials selected). This time around I have some loose ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for some time and a lot of leftover design items and construction materials that need to be used. So I am trying to be creative and use what I have. After out last move I realized how much “stuff” we have accumulated and/or not used throughout four major renovations. I’m hoping to clear some of these things out and put them to good use.

So that was my week – not counting a normal job, solo parenting and a family member having a hospital stay… Even thought I didn’t make the progress I had hoped I am trying to focus on the positive things I did.

Hopefully week 3 will be a little less hectic and I can get a lot done and write a better blogpost than this one! Some weeks it is so hard to keep up with progress posts – between the design plans, ordering, DIY, the actual job that pays the bills, feeding children and all the other life commitments it zaps ones writing creativity. Are you other DIY bloggers feeling me on this one?!?! How do you make the time, give me answers?

Hopefully you are following along with others, who actually write good posts, over at the ORC link up page. There are so many great projects to follow this round, I’ve been enjoying picking a few faves to keep an eye on.

See you next week friends!


ORC Fall 2019 – Dining Room Part Deux

ORC Fall 2019 – Dining Room Part Deux

One Room Challenge Fall 2019

This post was supposed to be up and ready yesterday…then my dog came down with pneumonia (unfortunately that is a real thing) and threw a big wrench in my plans. I’m happy to report she seems better already and forcing 6 pills down her throat everyday is getting less and less precarious! I digress…so here I am frantically writing up my Week 1 post so I can reveal what project we are embarking on this round of the Fall 2019 One Room Challenge

If you are new to the DIY blog world and have never heard of the One Room Challenge, it is a six week event where participants choose one room to makeover in a 6 week period. There is a lot of camaraderie and excitement surrounding the entire event. Check out the featured participants (There are 20 each round) and all the guest participants here. These are some crazy talented people and their creativity is off the charts.

Last week I took to Instagram to discuss that I was debating between three main spaces in my house. The first and most daunting was the idea of tackling the storage shed out back and converting it into an amazing office/art studio. Next on the list was designing a dining nook in my new house using leftover items from my rental house dining room (which frankly seemed a little boring since I re-did a dining room for my first one room challenge). Third on the list was tackling my master bedroom, which felt even more blah since I did that for my last ORC. So I put it to a vote on Instagram…. and the people spoke…This round I am going to focus my energy on my new Dining Nook.

Dining Room Inspiration

When people started voting for the dining nook I was at first really surprised. I think part of my hesitation was the fear that everyone would be bored of another dining space. Which frankly is a stupid reason not to work on a room…but that is what happens sometimes in the head of a DIY blogger. The more I thought about the cool posibilities for the space the more I warmed to the idea of this being the room. Then I realized that finishing the dining space would probably be the greatest impact in our day to day life. Plus, with six weeks I could actually focus my attention on DIY-ing a few really cool and functional items for the space. It would also be a way more cost effective solution since I have already purchased the major furniture/DIY items. Courtesy of pinterest, here were some images that I had been recently loving the feel of.


Dining Room, Dining Nook Inspiration.

Or this from Studio McGee

Dining Room, Dining nook inspiration

I love the bright white walls, black windows and natural elements. We already have a marble tulip table – so that is why I was looking at inspiration using that type of table.

Our Current Dining Room

Our dining room has had a few iterations in the past five months…some more painful than others. When we first moved in we just threw the table here with any spare chair we could find. This resulted in a menagerie of chairs that were not suitable for my 3.5 year old and he kept knocking his head on the marble table as he tried to climb down. First Fail….


Dining Room, Dining Nook, Real Good Bludot chairs.

When we started working on our pantry room the steel shelves were moved into this space which resulted in a super cramped space plus visual eyesore. You are probably thinking…”and you questioned whether or not to do this space??????”

Dining Room, Dining Nook, Tulip Table

Fortunately we finished the custom pantry shelves a month ago and I was able to reclaim this back wall and get the wire shelves out of here.

The Plan

  1. Turn that beautiful blue banquette I built for my first ORC into a piece of furniture that fits our new space. This will involve cutting down the back so it doesn’t block the window, building a new upholstered back cushion, adding piano hinges to the seat cushions so their will be easy access to storage, painting the wood to match our baseboards and reupholstering the blue velvet with a neutral fabric that can stand up to my kids.
Banquette, DIY seating, Dining Room
  1. Build banquette into the wall/baseboards.
  2. Case out the windows and DIY linen Roman Shades kind of like these.
Roman Shade
Leather accent

3. Possibly paint a mural, create a large scale artwork or add wall paper to the accent wall behind the table.

4. Relocate and hang the new amazing light fixture. As you can see in the before pictures – there is currently an exposed junction box and not light fixture in this space.

5. Create a DIY butcher block roll.

6. Hang some art.

Its a small but mighty list and I have a feeling some of the tasks will be a little more time intensive than others ( looking at you #4). I already started the process and am compiling my list of items to share with you next week. Until then my friends!


Dining Room Decor

Dining Room Decor

As you may know if you keep up with the blog, the kitchen has been a huge project this year. Remodeling that has opened up the dining room in a large way and it needed attention. So here is what we have done with the dining room decor so far.

I really wanted to keep my dining table but it was in bad shape. I tried sanding it down but there was a lot of staining. So we opted to paint it instead. It transformed the table! It has the delicate lines I love and now the black is so dramatic in the space!

dining room table, slipcover chairs, black pendant lighting

One thing I wanted to buy was new dining chairs, but as usual I want all the non-budget friendly items. This was my opportunity to create something unique for the space.

I had these chairs from Ikea. I have about 10 of them I use them primarily outdoors.

They are suprisingly sturdy chairs. So I decided to use my leftover green velvet from my ORC Master Bedroom and create French seamed slipcovers. The top portion was very simple. I made a simple padded cover that slid on the back part of the chair.

The seat portion needed a little something more to keep it secure. So I went through my stash of fabrics and found a camel colored faux leather. Thats all I needed to make tassels! I braided some leather and secured a snap closure on both ends. The tassel was made with a closed loop to allow it to accept the braid. This little accessory actually holds the whole seat cushion in place!

These simple slipcovers cost no money at all and I was able to use leftover fabric that would have otherwise sat in a box for who knows how long!

I do love the way the space is taking shape. I want to take it slow and live with the open space for a while before I make any huge decisions on how to design it.

One thing I know for sure is I love the open space!

So what do you think? Is the dining room decor coming together?

Until next time.


ORC Kitchen Remodel Cost and Source List

ORC Kitchen Remodel Cost and Source List

Its been an exhausting few months of what feels like endless renovations. But we did it! The kitchen is almost done, just a few a tweaks and finishing touches. But how much did the kitchen remodel cost?

To be honest, it was hard to calculate every penny spent. We did all of the work ourselves and we saved a ton of money along the way. So we were never handed a bill or wrote a bunch of checks.

So it started with removing the big dividing wall. Demolition was done completely by us (intense!) and debris was removed by the family business’ dump truck. So this cost us $0.

kitchen remodel cost, kitchen remodel, kitchen demolition

Putting the holes created back together consisted of a supporting beam and drywall. That cost was about $200. This was all of the drywall we needed for the entire project. This cost included the “stove cove” wall costs.

I will add in here that we did have leftover materials at our home from job sites. On the days when I feel like my property is a construction debris dumping ground, I try and remember how it can come in handy. It did save us a lot of money and we were able to keep perfectly good items out of a landfill. We had on hand plywood, studs, 2×4’s, and all the nails and screws we could ever dream of. The cost of those items can really sneak up on you!

I broke down some big money saving tricks on this post here. It includes the items we chose like flooring, appliances and cabinets. I added links to the products there and I tell you how I saved even more money than the advertised prices! Give it a look if you haven’t read it and meet me back here!

kitchen remodel cost

Here is a breakdown of my ORC Kitchen Remodel Cost:

Flooring: $200

Ikea Sektion Cabinets: $1,200

Backsplash: $60

Black Walnut Butcherblock (plus open shelving): $329

Range: $1,000

Sink: $90

Faucet: $50

French Doors: $200

Lighting: $80

Framing and Drywall Supplies: $250

Waterfall Concrete Countertops: $200

Paint: $0 (leftover from other projects)

Sub Total for Kitchen Remodel Cost = $3,659

I added links to all of these products by simply clicking on the photos. Many of the items we used were auction finds or clearance items. I have searched for the best comparable possible and added that link.

This is quick breakdown of a renovation that spanned three months so there are small purchases at Home Depot and Lowes that aren’t accounted for. Because of this I am adding another $500 in miscellaneous and decorative items.

Please keep in mind we saved $15,000 to $20,000 in labor costs by working on this project during nights and weekends. We used every resource available to us and re-used as much as possible. If you were going to take on a project like this and hire out a substantial amount of the work, you would want to add these numbers into your projected costs.

Without further ado, our personal out of pocket for this project was…

Grand Total for Kitchen Remodel Cost = $4,159.

So what do you think? Did we save in the right places? Did we get the most for our money? For our family and our needs, we think so!

We hope you have enjoyed following along on our kitchen remodel.