First off, hello to all of you new to this blog! I’m so excited to be guest posting as part of the One Room Challenge this Spring 2019. I’m Laurel and I’ve been working on my house — which I named Berrybrier after the brambles of blackberries and raspberries in the backyard — since I bought it in Summer 2017. It’s been a huge project full of ups and downs and I’ve been living here throughout it! I painted the house a happy, salmonberry, coral pink color and finished a DIY gut reno on the Main Bathroom all by myself. I am currently working on the Kitchen as well as the other main spaces! Click around and check out the progress while you’re here!
But while other renovations were taking place, the little Powder Bathroom off my Master Bedroom was neglected! So this room has become my One Room Challenge guest project! It’s difficult to force myself to finish and style a space before moving on to the next one, so this is a great incentive!
This space was a delightful shade of yellow when I bought the house. A 24″ wide door (very narrow!) allowed you to squeeze into the room from the Master Bedroom. 1970’s or ’80’s faux wood wainscot paneling did not help the overall space. The room was absolutely tiny at 54″ deep and only 30″ wide! You could barely scootch yourself around the sink to get to the toilet, let alone use this space to get ready for work! It felt immediately dated and old in here and it didn’t belong with the house. The layer of dirt, grime, and gross that coated the space did not help at all!
The sink in the Powder Bathroom was falling off the wall since the bolts holding it to the wall had missed the backing. It was so large for the space you could quite literally wash your hands while sitting on the toilet. During the demo of the Main Bathroom at Berrybrier I ended up removing some of the paneling in the room in order to get at the bath tub pipes which had to be cut from this side in order to remove the tub. When I took off the paneling I discovered that there already was a nice, small, square hole underneath to access those pipes, so that’s probably why that paneling was added!
I made the hole a LOOOOT bigger to cut the pipes and then I left it like this for four months. And yes, I did still use this bathroom every single day to brush my teeth and get ready for my 9-5 job. Go me!
After I completed the Main Bathroom, this space still got ignored until the rest of the house improved. But no longer! I am finally ready to attack this poor room and make it something that functional for getting ready in the mornings, packed full of storage, and beautiful to boot!
Since I love a challenge, things are a bit tight at the moment, and because I don’t plan this to be a long term bathroom, my renovation budget is going to be $650. That’s right, a full gut renovation of my bathroom for less than $650! In order to meet that goal I’m going to use as much as I can get for free and make some other smart decisions.
So let’s check out some inspiration so you know where I am headed!
I will need to significantly reduce the size of the sink so this room is easier to navigate around in! The one now is a pretty average size, but this room is just not an average size. As much as I’ve tried to make the existing sink work to save money, it’s just not working. So I’m taking a page out of Young House Love’s book and splurging on a tiny sink! I know they didn’t think their sink was right for their large Master Bathroom and eventually replaced it, but it’s the perfect size for my tiny Master Powder! I found something similar on Wayfair and bought it.
The plumbing will all be staying in the same locations, but I’ll be adding lots of storage around it. I’ve decided to add wall to wall shelving above the toilet and use simple wooden brackets to keep costs down. I love this picture of a kitchen which shows how classic and aged this look can be. It doesn’t feel cheap at all, even though it is super affordable at only a few bucks a bracket!
I watched Sharp Objects around the time I first started brainstorming for this room and fell in love with the pink beadboard in the bathroom featured heavily on the show. Since the walls were a mess in here and I decided to use as many of the scraps of drywall I already had, trying to tape and mud would have taken a thousand years. I decided the best use of my budget would be to cover the drywall with beadboard panels from floor to ceiling. The Sharp Objects bathroom served as an inspiration for the beadboard and the color though.
This color was going to be tricky! I want this space to be blush against a formerly white cheek; hint of pink in a white climbing rose; a calm pink, mature, pale, and barely there. It was a tricky color to land on! This color was the closest inspiration I could find. It’s just a drop of pink in white without too many overt undertones.
For the floor, I didn’t need much tile at all since it was such a tiny space! My parents had some left over tile from their bathroom renovation and offered it up. A marble mosaic for free? Yes, please! It’s a pretty two tone basket weave like this here. They also gave me a few leftover 12×12 marble tiles from the same renovation which I am planning to try to use as transition strip into the bedroom. The tile is very similar to what’s in this shot below, but I’m planning on using a black grout instead which will give it more contrast. Now if only my bathroom could expand to be this big too!
I want the new bathroom to be packed with the storage I need, while still feeling light and open. It’s important that the space feel like it belongs to the rest of the house and isn’t a dated addition. Overall, I want the room to be light-filled and bright, with just the palest of calamine lotion pink on the walls and ceiling. After much debate, I landed on Benjamin Moore’s Pink Beach as the perfect barely pink and not beige color. The soft pink tone with be juxtaposed with a more dynamic black and white floor, a black faucet, and black accessories. The chrome accessories and lighting should thus fade nicely into the background. And of course, I’ll fill the shelves with houseplants!
Check out all the other One Room Challenge Guest Participants here!
What do you think of my plan? Would you get ready in the master bathroom as it currently is or would you hold out for the renovated space? Have you ever tried to put together a renovation project with only the cheapest and free materials you could find? Let me know in the comments!
Sofas! Everybody needs ’em. Usually, you don’t buy them frequently, every 5-10 years or so. Sometimes, more years go by if you’re lucky. Unless, you’re me, of course. I buy a sofa at least once a month, sometimes I buy more like 4 in a month! Because I’m an interior designer, I am always hunting for sofas for my clients. I’m constantly keeping an eye out for new places to buy sofas and I’ve found quite a few great stores. So today, I’m going to show you my secret stash of sofas, as well as tips on what to check before you buy, just in case you’re in the market! People are constantly telling me they need to sit on a sofa before they buy it. But, really, you don’t! You just need to know what you like in a sofa and what to look for to get that comfort. And I’m about to dish, ya’ll!
Even if you read this now and buy a new sofa in a couple years, you can always search the blog for this post as a refresher course! Or better yet, head to the contact page and reach out to me for design services. Yep, I’m open for any consultation work you might need and am happy to discuss my fee structure. But first, some tips on buying a sofa!
If you’re in an apartment, one of the biggest mistakes people make is buying a sofa that’s way too small! When you have a small apartment, you really don’t want all your furniture to be mini too. It just makes it non-functional. Trust me. I design model apartments in large, luxury multi-family housing buildings monthly. You want a nice big sofa or even a sofa with a chaise that can help create a nice comfy zone. If your space is larger, add a lounge chair or two.
Measure your space and get the biggest sofa you can, while still leaving at least 24″ on either side for accent tables. Yes, you need them on both sides; no, you shouldn’t shove your sofa up to the wall or, even worse, into a corner. Pull it out, let it breathe a little!
The average size for sofas is 84″ long by about 34″ deep and 32″ high. Anything less than 72″ long is really a loveseat, so don’t get mislead by it’s label! I’d say, 6 times out of 10, 84″ is a good fit for your space, but the other 4 times, go bigger! 96″ is still a very standard length. Anything under 100″ is an average sofa length. If you go over 100, it’s usually because you have an awesomely giant space to fill! Or you’re a professional athlete.
The second thing about buying a sofa you need to know, is that it takes a good long time for a sofa to arrive. Even if you go to the store and look at sofas (unless you’re willing to buy the floor model which is only sometimes possible!) you’re likely to wait eight weeks on average for your sofa to arrive in your home. That’s right, eight weeks, not days, not minutes, not hours, weeks. And that’s on average. Sometimes it can take up to 16 weeks. So if you are getting an apartment, ask to measure for a sofa when or before you sign the lease, don’t wait until you’re in the space unless you have back-up places to sit! Of course, there are definitely some quick-ship options out there, but you often have to compromise on the design to go with one of them. So, when you can, plan ahead!
Components and Styles
There are so many sofa styles out there, how do you possibly choose the right one for your space amongst so many choices?! Well first narrow down your style. Are you traditional? Love a mid-century leg? Want something more subtle and transitional? The kinda gal that likes to make a bold statement? Answering that will help narrow it down from the huge number of styles out there. Then once you have that, what’s the purpose of your sofa? Do you want something lounge and comfortable for curling up your feet to watch TV? Or is this a sofa in a more formal living room, mainly used for sitting upright and chatting with friends.
Tufting is something that looks so amazing and adds so much character to your sofa. A tufted, tight back sofa is never going to have the type of loungey feel an unattached cushion does though. Tufting inherantly creates tightness and a firmer feel. If you love a tufted look, but want a more plush feel, consider a tufted cushion rather than a tufted back since this will have more give.
Unattached cushions are one of the first areas that a sofa tends to fail as it reaches the end of its life span. The unattached cushions have no support from the internal framework of a sofa and take a huge beating. A tightback sofa, while firmer, tends to have a longer lifespan since the cushions and foam are attached to the frame of the sofa itself. Tight back sofa are also an awesome option for those of us who have pets who like to curl up on the back of the sofa. A loose cushion is damaged by this and will eventually begin to dip down in your pet’s favorite sleeping spot. A tight back sofa remains a lot less effected by this misuse. A semi-attached cushion will toe the middle line between the two, so that’s a good option if you don’t like the look or firmness of a tight back sofa.
Seat depth is the measurement of a sofa from the edge of the seat to where the seat meets the back of the sofa. The average seat depth of a sofa is about 22″. If you prefer a deep sofa for lounging on and cuddling up next to someone, consider a sofa with a deeper seat. For more upright sofas, you can go with a narrower seat depth. Remember to look at the seat depth, not the overall depth of a sofa as things like slanted backs and rolled backs can be misleading on overall depth.
Seat cushions also fail on a sofa, the softer the cushion, the more likely it is to sooner fail! One of the popular looks right now is a loose bench seat cushion which is a long unattached seat cushion that stretches the entire length of the sofa. Within a few months of purchasing a sofa in this style, you’re going to see the seat cushion start to dip in the center since the foam can not support this kind of length. If you still love this look, consider a tight seat cushion, which while firmer, is supported by the internal sofa frame and will hold up far longer over time.
Whichever option you choose and important thing to note is maintenance of cushions. You should be flipping any loose cushions weekly to maintain their shape. Yes, that is frequent, do it anyway! This prevents your cushions from wearing unevenly and prevents the favorite seat in the house from looking worn out far before any of the rest of the cushions. If it’s possible to flip your left and right or middle cushions amongst themselves, please do so. Cushions tend to start out at their firmest and get more cushy overtime. Which means if your sofa is feeling just a tad too firm at the start, it’s probably supposed to. Over time cushions will tend to dip in the center. This is normal as the foam breaks down. Rotating and flipping your cushions extends their lifespan.
Please don’t buy an American Roll Arm sofa. They are those sofas with the HUGE rounded arms with flat fronts that take up a ton of space. They are just not stylistically or practically functional. Turn away! Luckily, there are so many arm options out there and you definitely have tons of room to play. Before going with your preferred arm style, think about your space. Do you have lots of extra room and the circulation needed to go with a bolder thicker arm? Is space a consideration and number of seats a priority? Consider a thinner arm.
Chesterfield style sofas are some of my absolute favorite pieces of furniture out there (the red leather one above is a chesterfield!). They are stunningly gorgeous in leather and in velvets and add so much instant character and interest to a piece. They also have HUGE rolled and tufted arms that take up a ton of space. I would not recommend them in any room where space is a consideration. But if you have the room, they’re gorgeous!
There are lots of options out there with nice skinny arms that are as luxurious looking as a chesterfield and a bit more practical in tighter spaces. Take the English Roll Arm (below) for example, this low, tight arm style is still a traditional look, but allows for plenty of room on the sofa for sitting and room beside the sofa for a side table.
The third thing about buying a sofa you need to know is how it’s going to feel. People think they need to sit on a sofa before they buy it. You don’t. You just need to know what things to look for and at to get the comfort level you’re looking for. Remember what you learned above about tufting and seat depth. Those are important considerations. Now let’s talk cushion fills. A foam, memory foam, or dacron wrapped foam are going to be your most firm sofa cushion options. A down fill will be your softest most cushy, sink back and watch a movie option. It’s also high maintenance, as to provide the cushy feel, it has minimal support within it and thus needs frequently floofing to maintain its shape. A great inbetweener is the down wrapped cushion, which has a nice give that lets you sink into the sofa while still maintaining the support of a foam cushion that springs back into place when you stand up.
Oh fabrics – a million options – or do you want leather? Leather is going to be a cool material to the touch, it tends to be a bit firmer and often is applied to tufted options. Leather is cozy in many ways, but also can be cold in winter months. Consider the summer too, as sweaty thighs on leather cushions are not ideal in un-air-conditioned spaces. Leather is also a bit slippery, so if you’re looking for a curl your feet up on the sofa setting, make sure your sofa is quite deep as the slidey leather may make it feel less so.
Fabrics vary in so many ways. Color is a whole post in and of itself, so I’m not going to get into that here. I will touch on types, content, and durability instead. Doublerubs are how fabric durability is measured. A fabric with a higher doublerub is more durable. Fabrics are usually measured by the thousand doublerubs and the definition is quite literal. Testing is done to measure doublerubs by literally having a machine rub over the fabric over and over, when the fabric begins to wear and fray, that’s when the doublerub content is measured. Generally for residential, you want a fabric that is at least 30,000 doublerubs. 50,000 is considered a good threshold for commercial settings. Anything lower is usually fine only for pillows or infrequently used settings. Or for those wealthy enough to be okay re-upholstering their furnishings on a frequent basis!
Another thing to consider is fabric content. Polyester, Acrylic, and Wool fabrics tend to be the easiest to clean. Cotton and linen are possible to clean, but tend to be more difficult. Fabrics that are single solid colors are the most likely to show any dirt, so your first choice should always be to find a fabric that is woven from a variety of different colors. Dark fabrics will obviously hide more than light fabrics. Solid fabrics will still always show more than a multi-colored fabric though. By multi-colored, I don’t mean bold patterned either, just simply a fabric that has a variety of colors in it. From a distance, it will probably still look like a solid tone, but up close you can see the variety of tones within the weave.
If you have pets or children or wear jeans with stubby pocket metal pieces, consider the snag factor. Fabrics like velvets and, their more expensive cousin, mohairs will not snag as the fabric sticks up from the back and out, fabrics that are woven, like linens, will get snagged more easily. If your cats like to scratch, look for non-woven or very tightly fabrics. My cats don’t touch the velvet chairs in my house, but are very fond of scratching the teal woven linen fabric on a wingback chair.
My favorite sofa resources are places that are affordable, great looking, and work in nearly every home. First, there’s Article. I love this online store for it’s endlessly stylish options and amazing pricepoint. I have a special place in my heart for the Leather Alcott sofa which toes the line between mid-century and traditional so perfectly. It comes in three leather colors. I love the Oxblood below, but the Black leather looks equally fantastic. It’s what Chris Loves Julia has in their front reading room as well. I’ve used their pieces in a number of living rooms with lots of success!
Another favorite source of mine is Joybird which specializes in so many mid-century gems, but also throws in a delightful sprinkle of other styles. The vertical channeling on their Chelsea sofa makes my heart sing! And those brass ferrules at the bottom of the leg? Yes please. It comes in a whole slew of fabric options (as do most of Joybird’s selections) so you can really make this sofa fit into your home and style. This is a high quality manufacturer that I’ve even installed in commercial settings.
A lesser know, but equally awesome place to find a sofa is Interior Define. I love them for their customizing abilities. They let you switch up the lengths by the inch on some sofas and nearly every sofa comes in several size options! Perfect for those tighter spaces that just need an exact fit. I adore their Rose by the Everygirl sofa which has the most perfect English vibe (and English roll arms!). I just want to host high tea looking at this piece! I love that Interior Define has such a range of styles too, you can get a very modern look on their site or go more traditional like this sofa. I installed one of their sofas in a freelance project in Oakland for a lovely young family and it’s still holding up well a few years down the line.
The well known West Elm is a favorite place of mine to check out as well. They have good quality for their price point and their range of styles is far better than so many of their competitors and sister companies. They can nail the mid-century look, go contemporary, or hit a slightly more transitional look. Since their stores are scattered all across the USA this is a good pick for those who insist on sitting on their sofas before buying. The Gold Hive has this Rochester Sleeper Sofa in her den and I am seriously considering it for Berrybrier. I love a sleeper sofa for creating a space to squeeze in guests when you don’t have an extra bedroom. The fact that this has a tight back is a huge sell for me since, particularly on a sleeper, this should extend the longevity of the piece. Plus the fact that it has a wooden plinth base means that nothing can get stuck under the sofa and my cat Auggie can’t hide beneath it and then attack my legs!
CB2 is another bigger box store that has lots of affordable options for sofa. They tend to be the more modern, young store compared with their sister, Crate and Barrel and often have some really fun options. Take a look at their new Curvo sofa, a true stunner that would make an amazing statement in any space. I love the blush color, but it also comes in grey. A sofa with this much style works best in a living room where the circulation goes around the sofa so you can check it out from all sides. Shoved against a wall, doesn’t do this sofa any justice.
Wayfair is another great source to find that special sofa. You tend to get what you pay for on this site, so although you can go really cheap, know what you’re paying for. They tend to have mostly what-you-see-is-what-you-get furniture items. Young House Love just launched their furniture line on the site though and since they’re one of my favorite blogs, I immediately kept a close eye on many of their pieces. Their Pivot Sofa makes me giddy for it’s clean, transitional lines and I can’t help but laugh a the name which is a reference to a Friends episode that I can’t help but quote every time I’m moving a piece of furniture around a corner.
Finally, some of the best places to check out are your local stores! Fenton MacLaren in Berkeley sells Rowe which is an awesome CA based upholstery line as well as a number of Amish made furniture lines that allow a lot of customizability. Highly recommend them if you’re looking for pieces in the Bay Area. In Portland, companies like City Home carry lines like Jonathan Louis Furniture which has really well priced upholstery goods as well as vintage furniture. Kuhnhausen’s (also in Portland) carries a local Oregon upholstery manufacturer name Biltwell as well as Rowe Furniture.
So, are you ready to pick out a sofa now that you have these tools? Are you confident enough to buy online now that you know what you’re looking at or do you still think you need to sit on the sofa to try it out first? What’s your favorite piece from the sofas I pulled above? Do you think I should splurge on the West Elm Rochester Sleeper Sofa? Imagine it in a dark green velvet…
I would love to gut and completely reconfigure my kitchen, but right now my savings are focused elsewhere! So in the meantime I’ve begun Phase 1 of the kitchen renovation. This Phase is to hold me over until I can do a Phase II gut renovation and really move things around. Phase I includes a lot of cosmetic updates that have a big visual impact, but smaller financial impact: removing the sheet vinyl, refinishing my hardwood floors, painting the cabinets, and painting the walls. But while I’m elbows deep in those projects, I’ve still got kitchen planning on the mind. I’ve been pinning tons of inspiration of old kitchens and kitchens with old vibes, so when I’m ready to renovate, my vision for the space simply needs to be detailed out. In the meantime, I’m ready for Phase I to transform the space so it no longer looks like this hot mess!
Since I ultimately want my kitchen to speak to the age and historicism of my 110 year old home, I spent a lot of time looking for images of 1920s kitchens. This one below shows so many elements I’d love to bring into my own kitchen. Can we just talk about high backed kitchen sinks? I know that inset sinks are all the rage these days and they’re FAR easier to clean than a drop in sink which sits on top of the counter, but can someone please explain to me why high-backed sinks ever went out of style? The splash guard alone is so amazing! Never worrying about water getting behind the sink and damaging the grout / caulk where your backsplash meets the counter? Count me in. I have been on the hunt for the right restored sink for a while now. I love the aspect of the built-in dish drain rack too! So cute! I will probably place mine on top of the counter rather than having exposed legs though since storage is always an issue here at Berrybrier. Another wonderful thing about this picture is it shows a glass hutch in a kitchen. Something I loved about the kitchen when I first moved to Berrybrier. I’m also very curious about what the cabinet on the left held since it looks very similar to modern day pull out trash drawers!
This is just a sketch below, but again, it really drives home some of the aspects of early 1900s kitchens that I want to incorporate in my future kitchen and preserve in my existing one. Here’s a high-backed sink shown placed on top of a counter with a cabinet below. I’d choose a closed lower cabinet for myself (my cats seem to think it’s such a fun game to play in open cabinetry), but the almost-symmetry here interests me. Again, the glass hutch makes an appearance, here as a duo framing the window. I love it!
When I bought Berrybrier, one of the most charming things in the entire house was the glass cabinets in the kitchen. I adored them! They struck such a lovely vintage note and as a designer, I was so excited to have some shelving to style out! Within just a few weeks of living there, I filled the shelves with my things I used most frequently (note these aren’t styled at all). Even with the rest of the kitchen in chaos, I wanted to be able to use these dreamy cabinets. So seeing those kitchen above with their glass hutches makes me want to keep this aspect in a future kitchen. I loved the idea of a hutch with glass doors way back when I lived at the Duplex in Portland, so this is a nice continuation of that theme.
Okay, let’s get into some modern inspiration now. I loooove this image below which has so many amazing take-aways! First, the trim color obviously makes me ten kinds of happy since I love a bold trim paint. Second, the pot rack over a small island is exactly the kind of smart storage solution I need in my own space. And finally, look at that hutch. I mean, god help me, that thing is gooorgeous! I love the paneling on the lower doors, the beadboard, the accent color, the fact the the glass doors are sliders. They seem to not have a ton of storage needs however, since the cabinets hold a collection of vintage ware rather than every day necessities. While we’re taking design tips here, please note the picture hanging above the door. Such a cute and creative way to make use of high ceilings! I am 100% doing that in my kitchen now and for Phase II!
This image intrigues me with the wood counters on wood cabinets look. It feels so vintage and folksy doesn’t it? This type of simple kitchen cabinet feels like it gets to the heart of my house. It’s not fancy, but it strikes a note of casual, antique charm. Should I do wood cabinets with a buncher block counter? Butcher block counters would be super affordable and this makes them feel so fetching in a non-farmhouse-y way.
My kitchen has the 9′ ceilings and since it’s a smaller space they feel even higher. I’ve alway dreamed of a library ladder in my kitchen (or library!) and this feels so practical for upper storage too. If I could find away to make this work (and be reasonably affordable!) in my Phase II kitchen I would just about die every time I walked in and saw it! The down fall of these is that they take up a lot of space and constantly need to be shuffled around and out of the way. They work best on straightaways, like the one here in this galley style kitchen, so with my kitchen split onto three walls, it might not make sense. But! I admire it just the same and take a lot of other inspiration from this picture. Again, we see sliding glass cabinet doors on the uppers. We’ve established that I am HERE for that! But have you noticed what else repeats? Stained wood cabinets with wood countertops! Am I doing this you guys?! I really love this stylistically. Is it super practical? Probably not. Will I ever be able to install crownmouling without a butt load of caulk and paint to make it look right? No… the cabinets and crown themselves would definitely need to be professionally installed. Not exactly a moment for savings there. Hmmm…
There are a lot of very formal traditional kitchen out there, stunning ones, and I love them all. But that kind of traditional formality doesn’t really work in my more modest house, which is why I’m looking for more casual traditional inspiration. This image below tiles that together well. I love the elements like the v-groove backsplash and the simple inset shaker style cabinetry. The knobs and bin bulls are simple without intricate ornamentation and the shelf above the range utilizes an affordable, simple wooden bracket.
This kitchen is stunningly gorgeous and the deep green painted cabinets are calling my name. The woodwork here is a bit more formal and complex, but the hardware remains simple, which I like. I’m also a sucker for an upper cabinet that comes down to kiss a countertop. Such a simple, stunning detail. The green tied with copper and brass accents makes a strong argument for painted cabinets as well! Marble countertops would be a wondrous luxury, but one I’m unlikely to afford anytime soon.
My kitchen is not quite big enough to have a proper island, and I don’t love the modern concepts of islands in every kitchen. Older kitchens had freestanding tables, sometimes counter-height, but often with chairs. In my space, however, I don’t have space for a true dining table. But an old wooden counter-height table with a few stools that could be tucked underneath would be a great place for guests to perch while I cook. Considering the current favored place to sit is the stairs, this would be a nice upgrade! This kitchen appears to be a bit wider than mine, but has a similar layout with a skinny table through the middle. I love how this table ties this recently finished kitchen in and makes it feel like part to the past. It’s clearly a well-loved antique and is the showstopper of the whole space. Maybe I can find something like this for my own?! It would be an amazing touch. Or is it possible to build something with this much character using reclaimed woods?
Since marble countertops on the perimeter are more of a pipe dream than any sort of reality, maybe the island is a better place to make that dream come true. A remnant slab could make a great small, freestanding island top! This one sits on a rustic, reclaimed wood base which almost looks like something I could actually build.
Or, to simplify, there’s always the option to buy a freestanding island. There a lot of metal islands with marble top readily available online. This one comes with shelves for storage, which would be a wonderful addition since I live with someone who seems to own every baking utensil, pan, and toy. As a packrat myself, I’ll admit I never seem to have enough space for my cooking items either! A freestanding island or table of some sort is definitely a component of the Phase I kitchen renovation.
Then there’s the stairs. I have to admit, it’s been a year since the kitchen floors were finished and almost a year since the stairway was completed, but I never finished restoring the wood on the kitchen steps! I was in such a hurry to redo the floors I didn’t want to waste any more hours working on the steps that looong weekend. And then I just kept putting it off. A few weeks ago my roommate was gone for a long weekend and I planned to finish the steps while she was out, but then I was in such a rush to work on some other things and realized there was no point in stressing myself out even more trying to squeeze in refinishing stairs. So where the stairs enter the kitchen they are still half-stripped, half-sanded; and the landing still has sheet vinyl on it! I’ll get on finishing up that project…eventually. But let’s talk about what the stairs could look like in Phase II. I’d really love to open up the stairwell to the kitchen and add a wood railing instead. It would make the stairwell feel so much bigger! I could raise the ceiling above the stairs in the kitchen so the header height was more than 5’9″ and not having a tight U-turn framed with walls would make bringing furniture to the second floor much easier. For reference here’s what it looked like in February 2018, before the kitchen floors were refinished. This is a screenshot from the video I shared last week of the whole house during this crazy time! That door in the right of the picture used to be at the stairs, separating the stairway!
This picture is my inspiration for what the kitchen stairs could be in Phase II! I love the mix of the wood railing with the painted post and balusters. The dark risers look a bit like mine too, right? This little stairway is simple, yet stunning! I love the details of the small art pieces and open space on the walls too.
Part of Phase I will definitely be a hutch. Since I have this one I brought with me from the Duplex, it just might finally be time to paint it to work best in the new space! I could paint it black to match the cabinets and then add the same cabinet hardware as the cabinets and I could add a fun pop of color on the inside like this below. If you scroll all the way up, one of the first kitchen inspirations has a pop of color inside the hutch too. I think this is just so fun. And for those of you worried I’m painting an antique, I am definitely not. My hutch is almost definitely from the 1980s!
So, that’s a whole lot of ideas and inspiration, what am I actually doing for Phase I? Well, I made you a mood board, so check it out below! First up, all the cabinets will be painted Benjamin Moore’s HC-190 Black. I’m going to add reclaimed V-groove wainscoting that I was gifted from my Uncle Scott’s Uncle Dan and Aunt Sherry who live in Portland and work in construction. It’s exciting because this wainscoting doesn’t look brand new, it’s aged and full of marks and history. SO MUCH BETTER than brand new. The image on the mood board is from Emily Henderson’s Portland Master Bathroom renovation project. A gorgeous shot that really shows how a deep color can bring this wainscoting to life. It’s going to look even more amazing painted Benjamin Moore’s 1498 Forest Floor, which is the same color I painted the bathroom that’s off the kitchen and will continue to use on the trim throughout the rest of the house. The final color is Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue which is the color I painted my pegboard which I made for the kitchen at the Duplex. I’ll be utilizing the pegboard again in my new kitchen and I think it’s such a fun and unique combination when used with the moody dark green! I’ve also replaced the cheap hallow core slab backdoor with an antique half-lite door to let more light in to the kitchen. The door will also be painted Palladian Blue. I’m debating also using this color on the inside of my hutch! Either that or a pale, pale pink / calamine lotion color.
There’s more though: my fridge (which came with the house) bit the dust in June 2018, so I replaced it with a black one which ties into the black of the the kitchen cabinets, allowing the fridge to blend in rather than stand out like a stainless steel or white one would. Plus, black appliances are back, haven’t you heard?! I love this marble topped island from Crate and Barrel. It’s simply gorgeous and ties in a bit of an old world element, doesn’t it? I’d buy it in a second if it wasn’t over $1000. Plus my dad got a slab of butcher block and is building an island / baking table for my sister which will likely land in my kitchen for the time being. I’ve been hunting at all of the Rejuvenation Factory Sales for new hardware for the kitchen and snagged a bunch of these knobs and bin pulls in unlacquered brass for a steal! I bought as many as were available as I’m hoping to hunt down some cabinet door latches at one of their future sales and reuse all this hardware in the Phase II kitchen. FYI, the bin pulls I got aren’t quite these, mine are no longer sold, but these are equally beautiful. The hinges are from Hardware Hut and also incredibly affordable (though let me tell you, they’re about half the size I thought they’d be! Always, always check dimensions!). So that’s the Phase I kitchen plan! It’s been chugging along and hopefully my pictures can be recovered so I can show you the journey I went through along the way.
Have you ever done a Phase I renovation to tide you over for several years until you could tackle a much larger renovation of the same space? This one is such a transformation since the space was quite dilapidated – despite the charm – when I bought Berrybrier! Please tell me your thoughts on my direction. Are you on board for this look? What would you choose from the inspiration photos for Phase II? Should I eventually do wood cabinets or painted? So much to think about, are you excited? I am excited!