The Main Floor Bathroom Renovation: Layout

Those of you who have been long-time followers are probably aware that this is the second time we’re refreshing our main floor bathroom. Let me take you through the journey of this bathroom.

When we moved in, this bathroom was a buttery yellow and white scheme with black and white tile.

One of our very first projects in this house three years ago was giving this bathroom a cosmetic makeover. We gave the beadboard, walls, vanity and radiator a fresh coat of paint. We replaced the medicine cabinet, sconce, faucet (a Craigslist score!) overhead light fixture and vanity hardware. And we brought in some new accessories, shower rod and shower curtain to pull it all together. To say that this bathroom made the rounds on the internet would be an understatement, and we were so happy with how it turned out.

How I use linen throughout our home

Over the years, I’ve come to really care about the quality of the textiles we use throughout our home, and the organic texture and softness that linen brings is my absolute favourite. Not to mention that it’s such a versatile and hardworking fabric.

Kitchen Towels

Linen kitchen towels are my absolute favourite for styling photos in the kitchen, and are also our go-to for day to day. Whenever I’m shooting a kitchen, I always include a linen kitchen towel, as it brings a soft texture to a typically purely functional and cold space. I love how this striped kitchen towel from MagicLinen brings a graphic pattern to the space, yet still feels organic. I actually purchased this linen tea towel, loved it, and then coincidentally, MagicLinen reached out to collaborate, unrelated. I was elated, because I truly love their products.

Linen tea towels are also some of my favourite items to gift to people who take pride in their homes, since they’re the easiest way to add some luxury to your kitchen at a super affordable cost. Even if they’re just the towels you set out when you host guests in your home, they’re an easy way to elevate your space.

Round-Up: Affordable & Chic Sconces

I’m sourcing sconces for a few projects currently and came across so many chic, yet affordable sconces that I had to share. All these sconces are under the $200 mark, but many are far lower than that. I’m loving all the mixed materials and interesting shapes that push the envelope a little bit further and could pack a punch of style in any space.

One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight

How much did our kitchen cost?

I’ve never had a more requested blog topic before. Like many of you, I wasn’t totally sure how much a kitchen renovation would cost before we 100% wrapped this one up, so I understand the curiosity. My husband and I were chatting about this recently, and I think we figured out why there’s so little common knowledge around kitchen budgets: we’re all so much more likely to renovate a bathroom, but you may realistically only completely renovate one to two kitchens in your lifetime. Plus, the budget for kitchens can differ vastly across the spectrum based on a number of factors.

How we decided on marble countertops and how to care for them

We spent at least a year debating our countertop material for our new kitchen (as you do), where it was between quartz, quartzite, and  marble. I’ll dig in to our argument for each now and what were the final deciding factors in choosing to move forward with marble.

I want to stress that this is a personal and lifestyle choice. None of these are bad options by any means, it’s all about what you prioritize for your home and needs.

One Room Challenge – Fall 2019 – The Kitchen Reveal

If you’re new around here, three years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.

Don’t forget to check out Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, and Week Five.

Today’s the day! After years of dreaming of transforming our kitchen from a dark, brown-all-over cave to a light-filled warm, timeless kitchen, we’ve finally brought our dreams to life. Five weeks ago, we started with an empty space – our contractor had gutted our kitchen, opened up some walls, redone the electrical and plumbing, and laid and finished the hardwoods – setting the stage for us to install the kitchen on our own. This was our first kitchen renovation and we spent the entire season of the One Room Challenge running at 100% in order to complete this kitchen during our nights and weekends. We’re so very tired, but also so proud of where we ended up!

Before I jump into the photos you’ve been waiting for, I wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone who made this massive project happen: Linda, the One Room Challenge founder and organizer who masterfully organized this entire challenge, the generous brand sponsors who helped to bring our vision to life (getting to work with such incredible brands have created an even more beautiful kitchen than we could have done otherwise), my husband, Cory, who has been working around the clock with me to get this space done (this meant giving up every one of his weekends and evenings over the past 5-weeks in order to get this done, making over 30 trips to Home Depot, and staying up until 3A to install our faucets), and all of you, who kept me motivated to keep going, even after weeks of working late into the night.

Before we jump into the photos, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on where we started.

The before

As I’ve mentioned before, our kitchen before was fine but in no way met its potential. These images make it look much brighter than it truly was (I couldn’t help myself when shooting the before photos). The finishes and layout just weren’t working for us, so we donated all the cabinetry, appliances, and countertops and started from scratch.

The biggest changes

In reflecting on this kitchen, there are three major changes that we made that completely transformed this space:

  1. We expanded the opening between the kitchen and the dining room from 3 feet wide to over 9 feet in width. That allowed for a huge increase in both the sunlight reaching the kitchen, and in connecting the kitchen to the rest of our main floor (without being fully open concept).
  2. We pushed one section of one of our walls (where the fridge is above) backwards by 16” into our front entry, which allowed us to sink a full height wall of cabinetry and our fridge into this wall, which allowed for the walkways required to add a big (but narrow) island down the center of the kitchen.
  3. While in the construction phase, we pivoted and decided to add a new window where our former pantry lived just outside the kitchen, and to add a small built-in mudroom bench with shoe storage. The new natural light from this window brings sunlight to a former dark spot in our house, and also allows for us to see out to our frequently used flagstone patio. As a bonus, out of the window, during the evenings we get to see the string lights that hang over our patio. It’s magical.

The After

One Room Challenge – Fall 2019 – Week 4

If you’re new around here, three years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.

Don’t forget to check out Week One, Week Two, and Week Three.

I can’t believe how fast time has been going by, nor that we’re already at Week Four. This is the week where we always start to panic, and this season is no exception.

We made a ton of progress this week, but we’re still trying to get a few big items scheduled, delivered, and installed. Our biggest hold-ups right now include waiting for our countertops to be installed, waiting for our tile to be delivered, and waiting on a missing custom cabinet unit to arrive. All these items mean we can’t install our crown moulding, our upper cabinets (including the vent hood), lighting, or plumbing. I have a feeling I’m going to be begging all my friends to help us out next weekend with getting through this outstanding list of items in order to hit the Week Six reveal deadline.

But on to the good news:

This was a big week for progress!

One Room Challenge – Fall 2019 – Week 3

If you’re new around here, three years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.

Don’t forget to check out Week One and Week Two.

Somehow, it’s now Week Three of the One Room Challenge and next month’s deadline is sneaking up really fast. As promised, this week, I’m taking you through our design plan, including details on our appliances, fixtures, lighting, tile, countertops, and more. First off, let’s start with our progress in the most recent week.

Where We’re At

Cabinetry

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that we’ve been racing to getting our cabinetry installed to a point where we can schedule countertop templating.

First, we installed all our perimeter cabinetry from CliqStudios and within a few hours the room became transformed into a kitchen. We did, however, discover at this point that our panel-ready dishwasher that we’ve been storing in our garage for months is too deep to sit flush with our cabinetry. This prompted some very late-night research and ordering of a replacement dishwasher (this one), which is more than shallow enough to fit seamlessly. Fortunately, it was delivered at the start of this week and fits like a glove. (Note to future self the next time I renovate a kitchen, not all appliance dimensions are standard!)

Then, we moved on to installing our island. As you saw in last week’s cabinetry plans, we opted for half an island of cabinetry and a beverage fridge, and the other side is an open tabletop with stools for seating on two sides. We had been a bit worried that the island walkways wouldn’t be large enough (even though I’ve been measuring every kitchen I’ve been in for the past six months to see how our distance would compare, thanks friends for putting up with me!), but once we got the island cabinetry in, it became clear that our walkways were going to feel just right for the space. Sure, we’d love a wider kitchen with expansive walkways, but the reality is that this kitchen’s footprint is finite and it’s the absolute best we could have done for the space.

One Room Challenge – Fall 2019 – Week 2

If you’re new around here, three years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.

Don’t forget to check out Week One here.

It’s week two of the One Room Challenge, and I have a lot to share. Today, I’m revealing the floorplan updates we’re making to the kitchen, construction photos, and the cabinetry plan for the space. While I had every intention of sharing the full design plan, I’m still trying to finalize some of the details, including cabinetry hardware, an art piece, lighting, fabric, and counter stools so I’m sticking to the cabinetry today (which is meaty in and of itself!). This is the biggest project we’ve ever tackled and the first time we’ve worked with a contractor, so we had to shift our mindset in how we approached the project.

The Floorplan

First up, the floorplan. Here’s our original kitchen, where we always found the peninsula to break up the flow of our kitchen. Some positives about our original kitchen:

  1. Lots of storage
  2. A sizable footprint
  3. The sink/fridge/range working triangle is pretty good
  4. Lots of counter space

But, on the not so positive side:

  1. The peninsula closes in the kitchen
  2. The kitchen wasn’t designed to hide clutter (my biggest pet peeve) where we end up with lots of appliances and stuff on the counter
  3. The kitchen feels dark and closed in from the rest of the main floor
  4. You can barely open the trash (and definitely not the recycling) when the dishwasher is open (makes cleaning up after every meal a HUGE pain)
  5. When we entertain, everyone ends up clustering in the doorway between the kitchen and dining room and don’t end up utilizing the rest of the main floor space

So, after debating a lot of different floorplans (see here), here’s where we’ve ended up:

One Room Challenge – Fall 2019 – Week 1

If you’re new around here, three years ago my husband and I purchased our first house: a 1940’s Colonial located in a very cute coastal Connecticut town. We’ve been tackling remodeling the house room by room, where we’re always looking for ways to add equal parts function and character into our house.

Wow, I can’t believe we’re back here again: it’s week one of the Fall 2019 One Room Challenge. After taking last season off, it’s time for another big transformation, and I couldn’t be more excited! A year ago, I transformed my master bedroom and closet, the season before we tackled our master bathroom, and the round before that we completely gutted and overhauled our guest bathroom.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that the big project we have been talking about for a while is a massive downstairs renovation. Spoiler alert: I’m not tackling the entire main floor for this challenge, but we are focusing on one very important room.

Drum roll please…