One Room Challege – Week 1 Kitchen Plan

You guys, I needed motivation to finish my kitchen, bad, like real bad. It’s just been hanging out in renovation purgatory for ages. I won’t lie and say I haven’t touched it since I last posted about it — I definitely have — but I never actually got around to completing it. I even chatted about my plans for a Phase I and Phase II renovation here in this post, but still never actually got the Phase I of this project completed. Enter: the One Room Challenge. Nothing kicks my butt like a project deadline! My last ORC was my tiny master bathroom renovation.

So, let’s chat about my kitchen, again. Here’s what it looked like when I bought my house. Crazy 70’s wallpaper; 30’s and 40’s cabinetry cobbled together; an unnecessary janky 80’s stair railing, cheap board wainscotting; 2 layers of crumbling (non-asbestos!) sheet vinyl; and an impenetrable layer of grease and grime.

The kitchen is large too and has plenty of space to move around and cook, though it needs a mini-island.

There were some good elements though! I loved this little glass cabinet from the 30’s or 40’s even though the base cabinet below it was a bit odd itself!

After one week of living here, the wallpaper was down and the cabinet was full of necessities.

I’d even bought a stove off my neighbor, so the space was actually functional. But overall, the kitchen was a disaster!

The first project in here involved tearing out that horrible sheet vinyl. It was horrible and took 1000 years. I wrote about that disaster of a project (don’t worry, there was a good ending!) here. And once the vinyl was gone, I was able to save and refinish the 100 year old fir floors that were underneath all that ugly sheet vinyl!

And then…. I stopped writing about this project on the blog because I did things in stages and never actually finished anything! So now, I’ve got the motivation with the One Room Challenge to take this project over the finish line and make this space truly amazing!

Of course, there are a few caveats. The biggest being, I can’t afford all new cabinets at the moment, so we’re saving these original cabinets, adding a couple of extras to round out the space and calling it good for now. Second, we’re going to work with the power of paint as much as possible. Third, the appliances aren’t going to be new and fancy. I’m keeping my $50 hand-me-down stove! But I’m making every work better for me and this house for this moment in time. So here’s what I have in mind…

Fresh paint, new appliances to match the stove, black cabinets, unlacquered brass hardware, copper accents as art, v-groove wainscotting, an industrial inspired island, and some wooden shelves to hold things in easy reach.

The paints are ones I’ve already used in other areas of my home (check out my whole house paint color palette here), except the aqua color which I actually used to paint the peg board that used to hang in my kitchen at the duplex. I ended up getting a new door that’s a half-lite (window on top) and lets more light into the kitchen. It’s going to be that pretty shade of aqua (Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue).

I’m also considering a large rug rather than a runner for this space. Something similar to this except even larger, with the island centered on it. What do you think? Cool? Crazy?


Finally, my old hutch that I bought three years ago for the duplex needs a make over badly. I’m going to paint it black like the rest of the cabinets and then do a pink interior like the one from Devol! I’ll use the same cabinet hardware to complete it! That should make everything look far less 1980’s. I hope.

And finally, I’m going to skim coat all of my counters (except the wood veneer one beneath the glass doored cabinets with a light concrete for a more durable work surface that’s not that horrible yellow laminate! It will turn out something similar to this one from Young House Love – I’m following their tutorial!


So, there it is! The plan for the kitchen. Now just to finish the whole thing in 6 weeks! What do you think of how things are looking? Should the inside of the china-hutch-turned-pantry be aqua instead of pink…?

Be sure to check out the other One Room Challenge Participants here!

15 thoughts on “One Room Challege – Week 1 Kitchen Plan

  1. I love it when real people who are not just focused on the current in thing, renovate as they can. You go girl!

  2. I love the floors! I had a room size rug in my bedroom but we went with a much smaller one plus a toss rug now (in my ORC project this fall) and we like seeing more of the old pine floors that way. Also, in a kitchen I think it helps to be able to easily lift up your rugs for cleaning.

      1. I’ve seen machine washable rugs advertised on Facebook. But also I am reluctant to click on Facebook ads because I think it’s an evil corporation. And real oriental rugs have plummeted in value so it kinda hurts me to buy knockoffs.

              1. We made all of our choices and about half of our purchases ahead of time. I’d be terrified. But then, I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to pick out an exhaust fan 5 years ago. (Mainly because I was fatigued from all the other decisions and then the fans were confusing, not only because I’m a nutcase)

                1. Oh yeah I plan a lot but I like to have some choices during the process too. I might borrow a rug to see how I like it for the final post and then change it later… we’ll see! I’m doing some more planning tomorrow!

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