Budget Kitchen Refresh

I’ve been putting off sharing this post, because my kitchen isn’t exactly where I want it. I was hoping to remove the bulkhead above the sink and change out the light. Instead there is a hole in the bulkhead and a light (that I’m not even sure I love for this space) sitting in a box. But I’m here, sharing and celebrating the in between and taking a cue from some of my favorite bloggers, Chris Loves Julia, and loving my home as it is.

This kitchen refresh, completed at 5 1/2 months pregnant, 95% solo, was really meant to be just a little lipstick to marry the kitchen to the spaces I’ve already tackled - the living room and the sunroom. Eventually I would like to gut and rework the whole space to give the kitchen more square footage, but for the time being, I am happy with the progress made.

Budget Kitchen Refresh


Budget Kitchen Refresh Before
Budget Kitchen Refresh


  • painted the cabinets using Valspar Cabinet Enamel in Origami White by Sherman WIlliams

  • switched out the hardware

  • removed cabinets on either side of the sink

  • added open shelving

  • painted backsplash - Ultra White by Sherman Williams

  • painted walls - Polar Bear by Behr

Budget Kitchen Refresh
Budget Kitchen Refresh
Budget Kitchen Refresh

I am no stranger to painting kitchen cabinets, this is my fourth, yes fourth go round, including a budget rental makeover, our last house, and my mom’s kitchen for the One Room Challenge. This time around it went very smoothly. I cleaned them really well with TSP, then gave a light sanding. Next I primed with Valspar bonding primer and rolled on the Cabinet Enamel in Origami White.

For the back splash I also used the bonding primer directly on the tile. Then I used a semi-gloss gloss paint in Ultra White on top. It’s only been two months, but it’s holding up really well.

Floating shelves - Target / hardware - Amazon / bowls - World Market / plates - World Market / pottery plates - World Market /


One Room Challenge Spring 2019 Favorites

The One Room Challenge is kind of like a marathon (I ran one way back 2008), you work really really hard, feel so accomplished when it’s over and come away with feel a real sense of community with your fellow runners at the end. Everyone’s walking around with their medals and you just want to hug them all and tell them they did a great job. So here is my hug to my fellow One Room Challenge participants, a round-up of my very favorite rooms from this season's crop of amazing reveals. Check out my favorite and go take a look at the rest of the rooms here.












One Room Challenge Week 5 // DIY Table Update

We have made it to the last week of the One Room Challenge! If you haven’t been following along, I’ve spent the last 5 weeks renovating my sunroom from log cabin to modern beach vibes. You can check out my progress from weeks 1-4 here. This time around (shockingly) I am not racing against the clock, I am putting the finishing touches on, and will be photographing the final reveal on Friday!! I am THRILLED with the room and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Today I have a couple sneak peeks to share. Last week I talked light fixtures and rounded up 9 awesome woven light fixtures. I ended up going with this classic Ikea fixture, which I actually bought months ago when this room was only an idea in my mind.

One Room Challenge - Sunroom

I did not buy a whole lot of furniture for this space, just the chair you’ll see in the last photo and this credenza from Target. The other pieces were moved from our old house and were kind of homeless. That is the beauty of buying furniture with similar styles and in the same color family, then you can mix, match, move, style and restyle. The piece that stuck out like a sore thumb to me, was this bright gold table bought at Target circa 2011. I didn’t really have the budget to drop another $100 on the table I really wanted here, so in the words of Tim Gun, I “made it work.” I spray painted it with matte black spray paint I had left over from a previous project. I bought a table top from Hobby Lobby and coated it with polyurethane I had from this daybed project. And glued the top to the base with Liquid Nails. Bam! New table!

DIY side table update

I think it fits the space so much better.

DIY side table update


One Room Challenge

Don’t forget to follow along with the other blogger’s progress here!

One Room Challenge Week 4 // We Tiled and Choosing a Light Fixture

If you are just finding me here, I have been participating in my third One Room Challenge. A bi-annual blogger series where 20 or so featured bloggers and dozens more set out to make-over a room in 6 weeks and document their progress on their blog and social media.

For me these past two weeks have been a marathon! Last week I laid the cement subfloor on Monday, for about 7 hours, I tiled on Friday for 8 hours, started grouting on Saturday and finished yesterday. Did I mention I’m 22 weeks pregnant?

Hallelujah the tile is in, grouted and I scrubbed the floor twice today! The hard part is over, now the fun part! Bringing in the furniture, shopping for accessories and plants, lots of plants! Here is a shot of the room tiled with the fabulous (and affordable) cement-look porcelain tiles from Merola.

One Room Challenge - Tiled Sunroom
One Room Challenge - Sunroom Tile

This week on the docket I will move my furniture back in from scattered around the rest of the house and hang a woven light fixture. I just love the look of these pendants. I think the sunroom is begging for one, but I love how people have been using these type of fixtures in unexpected ways. Below I rounded up 9 awesome woven pendant options of all price points. Can’t wait to share which I chose!

Woven Pendant Round-up



Don’t forget to follow along with the other blogger’s progress here!

One Room Challenge Week 3 // Tile Prep

Here we are at the half way point, week 3. If you have not been following along, I’ll quick fill you in. I am tackling my third One Room Challenge, a bi-annual online blogger event where 20 featured bloggers and hundreds of others make-over a room in 6 weeks and document their progress on their blog and social media.

Modern Sunroom Make-over

This week was definitely not the most glamorous or the most satisfying week for the One Room Challenge. This was tile prep week. Last I checked in with you, I was choosing tile. I made my selection, a really well priced porcelain cement-look-a-like by Merola Tile. In fact, I partnered with Merola on this project, but truth be told, this is the tile I would have chosen no matter what.

Back to the prepping, we ripped the carpet up to discover wood subfloors instead of cement, I thought “great, I made the right choice with tile. I will just spread the mortar and start making it look pretty.” WRONG! After consulting with google, I learned that because the wood subfloor expands and contracts, you need to install a cement subfloor, using cement backer sheets.

One Room Challenge Progress

I followed this tutorial to install. I started off by myself, but quickly realized it is not a one person job. You must spread the mortar, lay the cement board, screw it down and get ready for the next board very quickly, before the excess mortar dries. Then as you work your way to the edges you need to score and cut the boards to fit. It was exhausting!! Thankfully my husband was there to help for most of it.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

Once you lay the boards, you need to tape and mortar the seams.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

I am not going to go into all the nitty-gritty details of the how-to, the video I linked to is an awesome resource, but I will give you a few tips.

  • you will need cement backer board to cover the area of the room (I used 1/4”), a trowel, backer board screws, a drill, joint tape, a sharp box cutter, mortar

  • I mixed my own mortar, but buy premixed to save a step

  • I repeat this is not a one person job, it’s much easier to keep things moving with at least two people, but honestly, I think three would be ideal

  • be sure your drill and a back up drill are charged. You will be using it A LOT

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

Here is what the room currently looks like.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

What’s still left to do?

  • Tile

  • grout

  • clean the paint off windows

  • hang the awesome fireplace, I cannot wait to show you

  • hang the light fixture

  • assemble and move in furniture

  • hang art

The tile and grout should be done by next week, then the fun part! Shopping, styling, hanging, arranging and rearranging!

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram!


One Room Challenge

One Room Challenge Week 2 // Black and White Patterned Tiles

One week has lapsed in the One Room Challenge, we are hard at work on our sunroom. You can see my design plan and inspiration in case you skipped Week 1. I’ve been knee deep in painting land. If you’ve been following along on my stories, you know that I’ve applied four coats of paint to our raw wood paneling in the sunroom. I think we are finally ready to move on to the next phase, operation tile. I have vetted every single option out there. I LOVE the look of patterned cement tile, but worried it wouldn’t be in my budget. So I also found options for the cement-look porcelain tile. And if that didn’t work out, I considered painted and stenciling the floor.

My room is about 160 sq/ft, with wastage I’d need about 200 sq/ft. So here is how it the budget shakes out with the three different options.

  • My favorite (budget) cement tile, Labyrinth is $13 sq/ft = $2600 + grout and mortar

  • My favorite porcelain tile is Vertex by Merola, $2.75 = $500 + grout and mortar

  • If I were to paint I would use Valspar Porch and Floor Paint $30 one gallon for base, and a quart, $15 for design, + the stencil $13 = $58

I have selected and ordered my tile, in fact, it got delivered today. But, you’ll have to check in next week to see what I chose. Before I reveal, I will show you below all the black and white patterned tile options I considered before making a final call. And don’t forget to follow along with all the other One Room Challenge participants!


photo:  Jean Stoffer

Cement Tiles: 1. Code Talker / 2. Lile / 3. Labyrinth / 4. Royalty / 5. Azemour / 6. Chawen / 7. Medina Tile / 8. Diagonal Eight Shades / 9. Rissani


photo:  Design Sponge
Modern Black & White Porcelain Tile


Modern Tile Stencils


One Room Challenge

DIY Reversible Banquette Cushions

One of the very first things I bought when we moved into this house was mud cloth fabric to make cushions for brand new banquette. I was inspired by one of my favorite instagramers, @anaberdesign, the combo of her dinning nook situation and her fab head board gave me the vision. The fabric and the pillows were sitting in my closet taunting me to work on them. But I prioritized painting, then Christmas, then Ollie’s birthday party, oh, and the first trimester sucked the life out of me. Then Kyle went out of town for a few days. I finally finished Gilmore Girls and sewed the pillows.

Then another few weeks went by while I figured out how to attach the cushions. I initially planed to attach the leather straight to the white banquette back, but once I saw how amazing Garance Doré’s dining area looked with the hit of black contrast, I knew I had to go that route. I first explored the idea of curtain rods, but they were too tall to fit under the window moulding. So I walked the isles of Lowe’s. I found pipe in the electrical aisle and spray painted it black. Then fixed my DIY leather straps with snaps I bought at the fabric store.

DIY Reversible Banquette Cushions
DIY Reversible Banquette Cushions
DIY Reversible Banquette Cushions
DIY Reversible Banquette Cushions

Let’s take a minute to remember where this nook began.

dining nook before


Modern Study Reveal

I have to say, my expectations for this room was about the same level of my budget, low. But I am THRILLED with the outcome! I really wasn’t sure what to do with this front “office” room when we first moved in. I had suggestions to make it my office, but I know what a disaster my office turns into on the regular, so I didn’t want my mess right in the front of the house. My long term goal is to connect this room to the kitchen and make it a dining space, but for now we have made it a modern study/workplace for Kyle and once I saw this room by Mandi Johnson of Making Nice in the Midwest, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I had all of the furniture, most of which is vintage, and I also found the statement pendant that hangs in the center of the room on a trip to an antique shop last year when we were homeless, and I knew eventually the space would present itself. Ta da!! It is the centerpiece of the room and you can see it from the front of our house.

Modern Study
Study After

For a make-over that didn’t seem all that involved, it looks like a completely different room! Obviously the biggest thing we did was take down the wall paper, add trim and paint the entire room Dusty Miller by Benjamin Moore. Almost every other room in our house is my go-to white, so choosing the perfect green-grey was a really really tough decision, but I am absolutely in love with this color! It really has just the perfect amount of color I was going for here.

Study Before

Painting the shelving, the trim and the doors all in the same monochromatic hue is a bold modern look. See all of my inspiration in this post.

Modern Study Make-over

I did spend on some accessories. Target’s latest Project 62 collection was exactly the color and vibes I was going for in here. I used lots of books and random accessories I already owned and made several trips to the thrift store for bags and bags and bags of books.

Modern Study Make-over

On the walls I added a gallery wall with black and white family photos. It is one of the few places I have embraced the personal photos in this house and I adore it here. I also added a pair of affordable prints from Juniper Print Shop.

Modern Study Make-over

How beautiful are these flowers from Cass and Jean Flower Co!?


What do you guys think? Would you paint your wood trim?


round table - vintage / desk - Ikea Hack tutorial / chairs - vintage (similar) / pendant - vintage (similar) / large prints - Juniper Print Shop / frame for large art - Amazon / gallery wall frames - Target / storage boxes (painted) - Target / tall skinny vase - Target / tall vase with dots - Target / small vase - Target / acrylic table - CB2 / bar cart - vintage / brass peace sign - Jayson Home / concrete bells - DIY / candle holder set - Target / candles - Target