[ORC Challenge]: Living/Dining/Entry Combo - Week 2


So week 2.. We are working on our living and dining space opening up on entry and somewhat enlarged hallway. Space is very open and it only makes sense to tackle of them together.

Last week I went through some before pictures both when we purchased the house and used it for some time as well as some inspiration photos.

During past few months, we have gutted and remodeled our whole main floor. One of the results of our renovation is that we opened a sight line from one side of the house to another and there is now direct access from kitchen to new dinning room. When I say "new" dinning room, it is not that that we have done too much new development on this room, but that we have switched living and dining room.

Here is where things are at now. New entry door:

View from larger hallway onto our living room (still looking for main purpose, most likely little library area).

Here is view onto new dining room with new windows.  We have moved this big table and rug from basement to this room. Light fixture is new.

Finally, adding some existing pieces to both spaces.

What still needs to happen:

  • Curtains (existing and new)
  • Bookcases
  • Couch/armchair
  • Bench under window (living room)
  • Bar cart (existing)
  • Sideboard (existing)
  • Art (existing and new)
  • Coffee table (new)
  • Side table (existing)
  • Dining room chairs (not keeping these ones in the image above)
Check out other ORC participants. Until next week.

[ORC Challenge]: Living/Dining/Entry Combo - Week 1


This is my third (third and half to be exact) run at One Room Challenge hosted by Linda from Calling it Home. It is a great motivating tool to get you to work through those pesky projects that just never seem to be on top of the priority list as well as those bigger challenges (new kitchen!) that are so hard to predict and even harder to pull off. 

My previous two spaces that I managed to complete could not be more different. First one (or actually the last one) is our master bedroom where I've managed to execute as close to what I envisioned as possible. Piece of furniture (glass table acting as make up table) I could not find at the time, but I found since. One big activity that did not get executed is adding more visual interest and dark paint to long wall where our bed is, but let's focus on what did get done.

Second (or really first) space that got done is a dual (triple) purpose space.. It is our craft room, guest bedroom, my office and painting studio.

So what are we working on this time around? As usual, one room is not enough, and in this case with somewhat open concept, it is impossible to draw boundaries around where to start and stop.  That means that spaces we will be tackling are: main entry (foyer), dining room, living room and small space off living room (hallway).

Here is how that space looked when we first saw it:

This is what we had done with that same space:

The plan for the rooms includes some work we have already done (gutted/replaced electrical/window/flooring/etc) which I will detail next week and much more work still to be done, that I am yet to really sit down and plan out.

This time around I don't have a definitive inspiration photo to work off but more some ideas in my head. I've searched for a few images on Pinterest that would convey what I am going for and I created a board with them. I am sure I will keep adding to it as I focus on more detailed execution.

In the meantime, check out all the participants of this challenge including twenty featured designers. I am so looking forward to seeing these finished spaces.

[design]: Main Floor Reno - Plans and more Plans


--- We have embarked on main floor renovation. I am documenting here our plans, challenges and progress --- 

Renovation Diaries:

Continuing from previous posts - we have selected option #3 from different layout that we conceptualized. Then, we started the renovation and when faced with layouts in practice and space, immediately made a few changes.

What has not changed is our two tone kitchen design, hood, major layout of key pieces and that we are getting gas stove.

What has changed is how we treated the fridge.. During the demolition and framing, we were talking with our contractor about our layout, design and fridge saga.. He started with "you can change the side of the fridge door.." As I was about to interrupt him to tell him that this does not apply as we have french door fridge, I had a light bulb moment.. Why do we have to stick with that fridge? Why not buy a new single door fridge and go with layout that actually works for us better? Seriously!? How did we not think of this sooner? Hence a new layout:

Missing in the image below are sconces over the window. Also, we have planned staying with our fairly new current dishwasher, but I am contemplating getting black stainless steel one to match the cabinetry better.

Another change had to do with our plans for stove. Somewhere along the way while searching for a new stove, we were drawn to built-in options. What I liked about that option is that 1. there will be less messy and gooey stuff between stove and cabinetry, 2. having just went through spending a lot of money on a stove that broke down after a year or so and can only use oven and not a stove, having a prospect of having two independent units was appealing to me, and 3. it allowed us to go with different manufacturers and gas/electrical options. 

Back to fridge - this ended up being a no-brainer decision as cost of building out all that cabinetry on an angle to surround the fridge as part of our original plans would have far superseded what we paid for a new fridge. Given that we were able to have full depth fridge, we did not lose anything on capacity when replacing our original one (i.e. 22cu).

Here are actual drawings showing some of the clever hiding of things and working with challenges of our kitchen.
Hood is something that we are building ourselves and what I am undecided yet is if it will be completely tiled or dry-walled.

Until next update!

[design]: Main Floor Reno - Kitchen Plans


--- We have embarked on main floor renovation. I am documenting here our plans, challenges and progress ---

Here is first part of this renovation diary and our layout designs. 

Longest part of our planning process revolved around where to place the fridge since we wanted to open up the space both from how you enter the kitchen and also to other side of the room so that window is not blocked like it is in the current set up. There were several ideas, all with pros and cons as described in the first part of this.

But how does that all look and what should one pick? It definitely helps to visualize these different options and designs - both exactly how these ideas will look in your space, but also searching for similar images on the net.

Searching for design problems such as where to fit the fridge, yields a few examples, but none that would fit our issue. Hence, the approach of consulting others, thinking, drawing, visualizing and some more thinking.. Then we started creating holes in our walls to see what design challenges await us in addition to HVAC stack running through the room.

We came down to three options:

Option A - Hide fridge in the "closet"

Option B - Fridge in the Middle

Option C - Fridge on an Angle

I did not love any of them - and had to decide on the one I disliked the least.  Option A had a very small island which I don't particularly like - or better said, kind of, hate. Option B was exactly what I wanted to avoid, even if it had more opening than current setup. Option C - gave most visibility to breakfast area, but cabinets on an angle, not my favorite.  Well, option C won out after all considerations and we started our reno fast and furious.

Here are some of the other images/designs that were created along the way Ikea design tool and others.. Many were never saved..

Most of these designs were abandoned after opening a few holes in the walls and assessing the current state of beams, structural situation and so on. 

Next up are final plans (and even those changed along the way).

[design]: ORC Reveal Details


A week has passed by since the latest ORC reveals and boy were there some really great spaces! I did not have a chance to review everything as we are knee deep in gutting of our main floor of the house while still living in it, working full time and entertaining four kids so they would not wonder through the construction zone...

But back to One Room Challenge.. My master bedroom/nursery reveal was a quick affair - I just threw in a bunch a photos and called a day.. I must say that I was happy that I had a chance to complete this room this time around, after my first failed attempt, that I did not want to risk anything by taking the time to type things out.. Well, now I can share some details..

Let's start things off from outside the room as I had a chance to add a bit to the hallway several months back, but never really took the time to photograph and share, but it is on my to do list..

Once in the room, focal point is the bed itself.. originally, I was planning to have somethings more luxurious, but when we saw this West Elm bed, we just loved it. My plans included wall treatment with that long wall, painting it black and applying paneling. However, with everything else going on (reno/work), this just did not happen and this large painting had to do... 

I played a lot with existing dresser (on the left of the bed), night stand (not pictured) and side table (black) as I was not going to replace them as part of this challenge given that I still liked them and they served me well. 

We replaced existing closet doors and I made this little nook into window sitting area as this little tufted bench fit in perfectly. Window treatment in addition to blinds (hard to see on this picture) is DIY from some Ikea fabric. Pillows are mostly from Chapters/Indigo with exception of the very last one on the right which I got last summer from Target.

Bedside lamps are from Visual Comfort found at Home Sense/Home Goods for a steal which I updated with black shades from Ikea.

Bedding is combination from West Elm (linen duvet), Elte (gray linen pillowcases), Home Sense/Goods (silver pillow), black sheet set (Home Sense/Goods).

This makeup area did not work out as intended as well as I planned clear glass console table here in front of mirror to act as makeup table (not that I really take time to put makeup). I was not able to find this table so I resorted to shopping around the house and grabbed this chair and side table. I like how they tie dresser (natural wood tone) and area rug with rest of the room.

This is the view of our master bath and I love the reflection in the mirror and how both rooms work off one another.

Area rug is happy accident as due to our renovation I had to park most of the items elsewhere from our main floor. 

In addition to area rug I had to move our sofa as well and best location was our master bedroom due to its size. Here is second look at this side of our room with couch temporarily parked there.

That meant that I had to move the crib to the other side and this is how that looks.I just love those linen curtains and leather rug... 

I am very happy with the outcome even as I did not finalize everything I planned..

Click here for previous weeks and previous challenges: