ORC Reveal – Dining Room Part Deux

ORC Reveal – Dining Room Part Deux

Welcome to everyone’s favorite kind of post – One Room Challenge Dining Room Reveal Time. I’ve been struggling a bit this round of the One Room Challenge rollercoaster. This is my third time and my first round since I have become a homeowner again.

The last two times I participated were in a house we rented (if you have never seen those rooms check out my first dining room and master bedroom). It was almost easier to commit to design ideas in that space because it felt temporary. So if I didn’t like the space in a year it didn’t matter since I would be moving anyway-right?!?!

For some reason this round of the challenge I felt like I could not get my bearings. I was a little fearful of committing to the space because I knew the design had to last longer than my last two rounds. The other part had to do with balancing a demanding day job with family responsibilities. I could find the time to do the physical labor…but couldn’t seem to keep up with the blog posts, Instagram posts and all the other parts that make the challenge so fun and engaging. Every time I would carve out a few hours to edit pictures and write I would have total writers block…and then it felt inauthentic like I was forcing words out of my brain. So I apologize if those last posts weren’t as good as they could have been.

Despite it all I finished the space…and am happy to report that I really love it. Beyond that it has become one of the most functional spaces in our small but mighty home. I’m thankful for the deadline the ORC provided, because we all know I’d still have pantry shelving in my dining room if it wasn’t for that. Just a friendly reminder…

Dining Room in the Glory Days

Dining Room Before

Let me show you a few other pictures of where we started. These were taken the day we were given the keys. I honestly walked in an thought…”Did we make a mistake?!?”

Happily that was just a moment of pure fear before we embarked on a “mini” renovation to make the house feel more like a home of our own. So without further ado here is my OneRoomChallenge Dining Room Makeover!

Dining Room After

Modern Dining Room
View from Family Room
Dining Room Reveal, Modern Dining Room
Looking towards Backyard
Dining Room Reveal, Modern Dining Room
Looking Towards Kitchen

Big Impact Changes in the Dining Room

So let’s talk about what we did in here to give the room a more cohesive feel.

  • First I modified our old blue banquette by cutting down the back and reupholstering in a Perennials fabric that is proving to be bullet proof. It cleans up so easily you almost have to see it in person to believe it. I debated about the fabric swatch for weeks and I’m really happy I went with this more neutral textural choice. Then I painted the white banquette the same Benjamin Moore Shale that we painted the kitchen with. That way the banquette felt like it was an extension of the kitchen not a weird add on. (Bonus that this was leftover paint from our renovation a few months ago).
DIY Furniture, Dining Room Banquette
DIY Dining Room Seating Bench. Pillows by Relative Renovations
  • Next on the list I added some faux Roman Shades to disguise the black roller screens the previous owner installed. The screens were functional but felt really bare with the vaulted ceilings. I had picked up these Belgian linen window panels six months ago at an outlet. All I had to do was buy a few tension rods and use an extensive amount of iron on tape to make these beautiful little window coverings.
  • Looking Down on the windowsill you can see the new wood casing. I used a piece of red oak that was easy to find at Lowe’s to give the window a more finished look. I figure it is a good spot for a drink and also ties the window to the other oak items used in the space. Ashley came through in the eleventh hour and made us a few new pillow covers too!
  • Adding a new large scale light fixture to the space was like adding a piece of art. This light fixture was the perfect choice to fill the volume of the vaulted ceilings without feeling too heavy. I’m really in love with it and so happy to have a light in this corner again!
Modern Light fixture, scandanavian chairs, fiddle leaf fig.

Small Dining Room Changes

These were the little things that really helped give the space life. All too often I skip these detail because of time and money, but what I have found is that they really give the space life and make it feel like our home!

  • Plants, testing out a new Fiddle Leaf Fig andI love that new little black and white pot.
House plants, Fiddle leaf Fig, Monserata
  • ART! We bought this painting for ourselves on our fifth anniversary and it is one of the few pieces I have been missing. (When we moved in I left all of our art in storage to see what pieces I really missed- this is one of the first to make it out).
Modern Dining room, banquette, modern chandelier.
  • DIY Elements. I have been thinking about making this butcher block roll for over a year. I am glad I was finally able to think it through and DIY this for our dining space. Tutorial coming soon on this one. The kids and I are enjoying already writing out family dinner menus. I’m hoping it will also serve as inspiration to add impromptu art to the house!

Well Friends, I hope you enjoyed the reveal. Six weeks of thinking, mulling over decisions and DIY-ing marks the end of another successful OneRoomChallenege. I hope you enjoyed watching the transformation. Let me know what you think!

Make sure to also check out the other talented designers who participated in this round of the challenge, link here. I can’t forget about my talented partner Ashley who has participated in the past by renovating a full kitchen and master bedroom! Have fun reading and pinning away!


ORC Week 4 – Dining Room Part Deux

ORC Week 4 – Dining Room Part Deux

I believe we left off the last few weeks of the OneRoomChallenge write ups with me promising that I would make progress on my Dining Room refresh. As each week has creeped along I was getting more and more concerned we weren’t going to get it all finished. Well my friends…the day has finally arrived and I have some progress to share! Cue the happy dance!

If you are just jumping on and wondering what I am talking about you can check out my posts the the last few weeks ( 1, 2and 3)… although if I am being honest just skip weeks 2 and 3 as we didn’t really progress as far as I would have liked.

This past weekend my husband was in town and we had one child staying with Grandma for a sleepover. Saturday was go day and we started out by a 2 hour trip to Lowe’s where we bought every piece of hardware imaginable to convert our light fixture mounting plate into a install plate that can accommodate a sloped ceiling.

Dining Room Sloped Ceiling Fixture Adjustment:

All the Parts we tried to convert our light fixture

After tinkering with all the pieces, we found that the winning combination was slipping the vertical drop of our light fixture through a ceiling fan sloped ceiling adaptor part. The mounting piece has a fair amount of extra room within it to hide our fixture mounting plate. The swivel ball at the bottom perfectly allowed our 1/2″ rod to slip through. Half way through the day we solved part one of our light problem. If you find yourself in a similar sloped ceiling conundrum you can buy this adaptor here, just be prepared for a little fenagling.

Step 2 – Dining Room Light J Box Relocation

Next on the agenda was for my husband to climb through our attic space and relocate the junction box above our new dining nook area. The original owners took their light fixture with them so we have had no light in this corner for months. Plus, their dining space was centered in a weird spot that really blocked the flow of traffic. My husband put on his Tyvek suit and disappeared into the attic. This was probably my least favorite part of our process since I felt so helpless downstairs while he struggled in a tiny crawl space to create this new box.

Tyvek suit, Attic work
Andy climbing into the attic – his team was concerned
Attic space work.
There he is way in the back over the kitchen space

I’ll spare you the details, but this was by far the most time consuming and messy part of the job. He had to cut a new hole in the ceiling and run wires from the old junction box to the new one.

Step 3 – Upholster Banquette Back Cushion

While he risked his life climbing through the attic I focused on upholstering the new back cushion for our banquette. I have a tutorial coming on this one. It’s an easy method that involves limited skill and a few tools.

Once Andy came down from the attic we worked together to actually hang our new light fixture… which involved all four of our hands (so no picture documentation). Let me tell you – this moment was worth the wait – BAM!

Step 4 – Reveal Dining Room Light Fixture!!!

We have a gorgeous dining room Light!!!!

Dining Room nook, light fixture, bubble pendant. Homemade banquette. Fiddle Leaf Fig.

Everything felt so simple and perfect once the light and banquette back cushion was installed. I’ve spent all week thinking about how much I love the simplicity of the space. Which has me seriously questioning my original art, decorative pillow and window covering plans.

Dining room nook, tulip table, bubble pendant

I fight this internal tendency to over decorate. So the next two weeks I am going to push to really edit what goes in here.

Stay tuned for more to come. I hope you are as happy as I am to see progress! Make sure to also check in with others on their oneroomchallenge journey here. There is so much creative action going on!


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!


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.