One Room Challenge Final Reveal // Spring 2015

May 7, 2015

I am so thrilled to be sharing our "new" kitchen today! It's not an over the top transformation by any means, but a few changes have gone a long way here. Namely replacing an old ceiling fan with a pendant fixture over the table, updating dark hardware for lighter and brighter brass, adding a window treatment over the sink, swapping out for a more whimsical rug, replacing the fridge, and giving the space a fierce decluttering. And even though the design snob in me wishes more could have been done, we've certainly come a long way from where we started and I'm beyond pleased with the results! I wanted to keep the styling simple because that's soooo the opposite of what we're used's hoping we can keep it that way for at least a week.

Without further ado, here is the kitchen now:

It thrills me to finally have a home for some of my favorite vintage barware in the open cabinets. I moved all of our china above the fridge where that awkward and impractical wine rack used to be. I mean, if you drink wine like I do, you need easy access! I framed a piece of Ava's art for display on the countertop, which is perfect for an abstract art lover like myself, and easy to switch out as new pieces inevitably come home.

I can't say enough about the gorgeous Mara pendant. She is quite photogenic, and I assure you she is every bit as beautiful in person. If nothing else had happened in this space, that just might have been enough of a transformation all by itself.

As you transition to the patio, you get a little more color. I was able to find the perfect home for that glorious flower pot front and center on the table. Someone suggested succulents, and I love that idea so I may try that at some point this summer! For now, Ava is sure loving the pretty flowers...which she immediately plucks the heads off of, so I guess understanding flower care comes after 21 months. ha!

Of course, you know I couldn't stop there! Once I got going, I felt like Ava deserved a new kitchen, too. So I took the Ikea DUKTIG play kitchen to the next level with gray cabinets, brass hardware, marble countertops, a porcelain sink, and plenty of vintage accessories.

She was just the proudest little nugget when she finally got her kitchen back!

Participating in the One Room Challenge is always such a treat because the transformation happens so quickly. Something that would otherwise be unheard of around these parts. I had the great pleasure of partnering with the fine folks at Bellacor to make this kitchen update happen, and I can't thank them enough for their sponsorship and great service!

Huge thanks, too, to photographer Jane Kortright for the beautiful photos.

To get this look at home: pedestal dining table | chairs, vintage (you might find something similar here) | sheepskin throws | brass light pendant | brass knobs | brass pulls | rug, vintage (similar) | bamboo roman shade | footed chop block | barware, vintage | brass wine rack, vintage | ceramic fruit bowl | wireless speaker | blue and white oversize flower pot | Benjamin Moore White Dove on walls and trim

To get the look for Ava's kitchen: play kitchen | cookware | fruits and veggies | try Benjamin Moore Cape May Cobblestone for similar gray paint (mine was a blend of old paints) | pulls | gold spray paint (my go-to!) on pulls, faucet, feet (not seen as Ava's not tall enough yet), and salt and pepper shakers (which are actually old spice containers) | white spray paint for sink basin | brass and horn knobs for stovetop/oven | faux marble paint treatment | accessories, vintage

Now, if you have the time, I recommend checking out everyone else's transformations!

Because It's Awesome kitchen update is sponsored by but not exclusively furnished by Bellacor. All opinions are expressly my own.

One Room Challenge No. 5 // Spring 2015

April 30, 2015

Hi, all! Before we jump directly into week 5 of the One Room Challenge, I have to say hello to those of you that are new to Because It's Awesome. Welcome to my [awesome] little corner of the interwebs! I am beyond thrilled to have you here. Having been recognized as one of Domino magazine's top 24 blogs of 2015 is a serious serious honor -- I mean, just to know that the people behind that glorious mag are paying attention is such a thrill in and of itself -- and having some new friends is icing on the cake. I'm even more determined than ever to get back to blogging regularly.

On with it. For those of you that are new and may not be familiar with the ORC, this is my 3rd time participating in the challenge. Linda from Calling It Home hosts this fine event, tricking each of us into convincing anyone that wants to participate to redo a room from start to finish in a mere six weeks. Which, as you might imagine, is quite tough. Especially for those of us that prefer to fill our home with meaningful, loved-on vintage or repurposed items. Those take time to find! With an office and master bedroom under my belt, I'm tackling our eat-in and kitchen this time around with help from my friends at Bellacor. (Lucky, I know!)

If you want to see the starting point, you can do that here. Then you might as well see where I'm going with the space here. In my dreams, we'd add marble subway tile and countertops to the plan. But my dreams have zero budget constraints, and real life most certainly does so counters and backsplash stay. We diiiiiddddd finally decide to go for it on a new fridge! Yesssssssss. No more awkward gap between the fridge and the cabinet above, no more dirty (looking) water and ice dispenser, no more limited capacity side-by-side freezer/fridge situation, and no more sticking out from the counter six inches (which makes a pretty significant difference visually if you're wondering).

We've already gone from this

to this

I mean, leaps and bounds despite the dismal lighting. And check out that brass hardware! Oh haaaayyyyy. I do need to figure out a new solution for the cabinet above...

My mom and I also swapped kitchen rugs, and I'm loving the lighter vibe of the new one so much!

With just a few days to go until the big photo shoot, I'm pretty much in styling territory. I mean, Ava's play kitchen still doesn't have "marble" countertops or a "porcelain" sink (both of which I'm faking with paint), but her brass hardware has been "installed" and looks fabulous against the gray cabinets.

She's going to care about all of this while cooking her felt fruits and veggies, I'm sure.

How about some kitchen styling inspiration from a few of my favorites on Instagram?

There's the obvious issue of most of these being white on white on white, but I'll do my darndest.

I'm debating hanging a mirror instead of art on the one empty wall in the space. Maybe one of these?

What's alarming about this situation is that these three mirrors all seemed like necessities when I found them....even though they're so similar. #hoarder. Number two is my top choice because it doesn't seem to compete quite as much with the loads of brass in here. I love the idea of a mirror bouncing light around this space. (And it gives me a place to make sure everything is ship shape before I head out the door.)

I'm still on the hunt for the perfect plant for the new flower pot. It's much larger than I expected, so I will not be putting orchids in it as originally planned. It's also pretty shallow, which is somewhat limiting. I'm up for the challenge! (And open to suggestions.)

Other than that, I'll be getting the adjacent spaces in shape -- namely the porch since it's visible from the eat-in. I've been eager to get the patio together anyway, so no better excuse! We have a busy weekend ahead of us outside of the kitchen prep...fingers crossed I'm able to accomplish everything left on the list in time for the shoot.

See you next week for the big reveal. ox

*See what everyone else is up to here and here.

Because It's Awesome kitchen update is sponsored by but not exclusively furnished by Bellacor. All opinions are expressly my own.

One Room Challenge No. 4 // Spring 2015

April 23, 2015

It's week 4 of the One Room Challenge, which means over halfway to the finish line. (See previous posts here.) We're moving right along!

The pendant has been hung (I've already switched out that bulb for an Edison)

Our new brass knobs and pulls came in

and have been installed

The window treatment from Overstock is in and will go up later today.

You guys should know that I love me some blue and white. This glorious planter arrived last night, and I can't wait to decide what should go in it!

Ava's kitchen makeover is underway as well. I was undecided between the same Benjamin Moore White Dove as the rest of the kitchen and a can of medium gray leftover from an art project. So I let Ava choose.

She done good. And she is so proud! Runs over and points to her "new" kitchen constantly. Future designer? Maybe. I'm still trying to amp myself up for some faux marble painting, but will be scouring the city for marble contact paper first. Thalita found some at the dollar store, and you know I'm all over that. This appears to be a solid contender as well. Then Ava will be getting brass hardware, too. Naturally :)

That's it for this week. Hoping to have Ava's kitchen completed by our next update. I also need to make some decisions on chairs, install the laundry room hardware (I think I'm going with these beauties), make art decisions, and pray for a kitchen fairy to replace our decrepit refrigerator in time for the final reveal.

I'm sure that last one will be successful.

See what everyone else is up to this week here and here! ox

Because It's Awesome kitchen update is sponsored by but not exclusively furnished by Bellacor. All opinions are expressly my own.

One Room Challenge No. 3 // Spring 2015

April 16, 2015

You guys. Week three is on fire!!! Things are coming in and I am getting rul rul ambitious. First, if you haven't been following thus far (umm...why not?), check out why I decided it was time to give our kitchen a facelift here, and what my plan of action is here. Once you've done these things, please proceed.

First, the pendant from Bellacor came in. I would be doing all of you a disservice if I did not tell you that it is absolutely perfect. I am pestering the husband like nobody's business to get that baby up asap. (I could probably word that better, but it's been a long week and we have a lot to get through today so bear with me.) He's putting me off, but with 8 years together, I know how to wear him down ;)

Here she is in all of her glory:

I went with the smaller of the two sizes, but know that there are options if you need more impact in a larger room. Oh, I love her so.

I also scored a few fabulous vintage items last week, like this brass wine rack and a set of three marble tea light holders. Perfect bits that will compliment my new The Aestate print nicely for the countertops.

The bamboo blinds for the kitchen sink are in as well. Yay privacy! I ended up going with these (against my better judgment given my trouble with Overstock during the last ORC). They're not out of the box yet, so I'll have to report back. Could be an elephant in there for all I know.

I'm still debating whether to keep the existing mid century chairs or switch back to our bentwoods. I LOVE the chairs that we have now, but the legs protrude at just enough of an angle in our tight space that we're constantly kicking them. I thought maybe we would adapt, but not so. The bentwoods have a nice, small footprint. So that's still in the air.

In other very ambitious news, I've decided that it's unfair for Mama to get a new kitchen while Ava stands by. SO. I will be attempting my first Ikea hack. Ava got a DUKTIG play kitchen from Santa last year and I'm going to turn it into the dream kitchen I've she's always dreamed of. Some inspiration:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
I'm imagining a combo of pretty much all of the above. White uppers with gray lowers, brass hardware, brass faucet, countertop treatment, stylish "burner" knobs, etc. Those of you that have been around awhile know that I am NOT a DIYer in the least. I love it in theory. But I work with hundreds of creative folk everyday that put me to extreme shame. I'm setting a high bar by even mentioning it and making you anticipate the results.

Anything for the babies, right?

I'm planning to paint a faux marble countertop. If all goes well, I may apply the same treatment to our DOCKSTA tabletop. DIY. TIMES. TWO. Man, I'm getting crazy with these ORCs.

That's all I have this week. Keep up on Instagram for the latest.

Let's go see what everyone else is up to, shall we?
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