ORC Week 3 – Dining Room Part Deux

ORC Week 3 – Dining Room Part Deux

Here I am, about half way through the One Room Challenge wishing that I had made further progress. I’ve been happily following along with those guest participants who are knocking it out of the park, check some of them out here.

When I signed up for this challenge I knew I needed some strict deadlines and camaraderie to help encourage me towards the finish line. As I hoped, other guest participants have been messaging me on Instagram and cheering me along. I knew that the first few weeks would be the most difficult since my partner in crime (insert husband) was traveling for work and unable to help me with most project related things. Hopefully when I report back next week we will have some real news to share.

In the meantime I have been majorly struggling with what piece of art I want here. Initially we had considered a wall mural…then I coordinated with an artist regarding a custom wall paper. It looks like that isn’t going to work out and so I was back on the hunt… I am feeling particularly inspired by this piece of art:

Artist Unknown

So we will see how that pans out. I kind of want to see the light fixture in place before I commit to the size and type of art.

I worked on the banquette cushions a little more this week, adding piano hinges and backing to my seat cushions. My hope was the hinges would allow the kids to easily lift them up for storage….but I unfortunately mis calculated the thickness of the cushion and back of the bench and they won’t open… so back to square one on that.

Despite my mishaps this week I felt pretty great about how the space was shaping up. We entertained a few people a couple of days this week…and no fail everyone congregated to the dining nook. It felt really great seeing this space serve a better purpose and seeing everyone enjoy sitting around the table. It made me feel like I was on the right track.

I’m gonna wrap this up for the week and promise you I have big things for next week 😉


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!


Spring 2019 ORC Week One- Ashley’s Kitchen

Spring 2019 ORC Week One- Ashley’s Kitchen

Here we go again! I have officially signed up for the 2019 Spring ORC One Room Challenge. This time around I will be doing my kitchen. This is a project we just recently started. I figured, because we seem to thrive under deadlines, why not take on the kitchen and get that baby done?!?

Our kitchen was going to be a huge gut that we had been putting off for 5.5 years. To be honest I wasn’t super excited about it. But when my husband is ready to take on a project you do not say no!

So here are a few “befores” of our kitchen:

There are aspects of the old kitchen that work well. I do love the color palette and the slate floors. What I do not like in this kitchen is the small doorways into the living room and the dining room. Even though the kitchen had a nice flow between the two spaces, it ended up isolating people, especially at parties.

So here is where we are at just a couple weeks ago:

The temporary walls are up and the block wall is gone.
The new view into the kitchen and dining room.
The headers are in, the temporary walls gone. Next step is extending the floors out 3.5 feet into the dining room and moving the refrigerator into the old built in china cabinet.
The kitchen as of today!

Can you see the progression?

Our next step is building the stove cove on the wall you see above.

There is still a ton of work to do but the kitchen is already taking shape. Lets hope this deadline can keep the momentum going!

If you would like to see my moodboard for this kitchen and what finishes we have in mind, read this post.

I’m so excited to see what all the other guest participants have in store this time around on the spring 2019 ORC! Here is the link to the ORC official page.

Until next week-