My 2nd One Room Challenge!


I cannot believe it’s been so long that it’s already time for the next One Room Challenge (ORC)! This time around, I’m using the ORC to help me finish a room that has been taking me FOREVER – the downstairs kitchen. This is what the downstairs kitchen looked like when the tenants moved out at the end of last summer…

This kitchen has been in the works since January…JANUARY PEOPLE! That’s when I was inspired by Yellow Brick Home and Chris Loves Julia‘s Baltimore Kitchen Makeover and painted the kitchen cabinets! It has been a painfully slow process. A large part of this is because many of the projects I’ve tackled have been firsts for me. I had never used a hand saw before, let alone tried to make or install a countertop! I had never tiled anything before, let alone operated a wet saw! And I had never before restored and installed a kitchen sink!

On top of that, this is by no means my full-time gig. That is to say, I make progress on this kitchen between my full-time job, my furniture flipping business, between working on the rest of the downstairs unit and managing the upstairs unit, and then all the regular life stuff like family, friends, working out, and making time to enjoy the sweet, sweet summertime!

So let me take a second to catch you up on what’s been going on. Phase I of the kitchen makeover happened back between January and March…

Phase II happened between July & September…

Phase II included adding drawer pulls and bar knobs that I purchased during Wayfair’s Way Day deals in April for $34 and $20 per pack respectively, restoring and installing, an old cast iron coated washboard sink with a vintage style faucet, cutting a piece of 8′ project board to size for the countertops then staining it and finishing it with poly, AND installing subway tile (pictured below).

And so currently, my kitchen looks like this…

While I’ve certainly made A TON of progress and I am unbelievably happy with how everything is turning out, I have quite a ways to go – here’s a list so you can get a better idea of what’s to come:

  • Mount microwave over the stove
  • Remove ceiling tiles, paint grid white using a homemade white chalk paint
  • Take 4′ x 8′ pieces of white wallboard, cut to size to replace old ceiling tiles
  • Remove the fluorescent light
  • Install recessed lighting
  • Cut, stain (while somehow matching the stain on existing pieces!), and install pieces of pine to finish framing the window above the sink, and to frame the door that leads outside (currently has no framing as pictured above)
  • Rewire a vintage light and hang above kitchen sink
  • The countertops still need at least a couple more coats of poly finish
  • Once the countertops are done, caulk around the sink
  • Finish priming the door that leads outside and the door that leads into the basement, then pick a paint color for those doors and paint them that color
  • Pick a floor (THIS HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART – the rest of the house has original hardwood floors but for some reason the kitchen doesn’t…so I don’t want to do any faux wood type stuff and am having SUCH A HARD TIME picking a floor)
  • Install said kitchen floor
  • Retouch a few places on the cabinets (I messed up a couple spots when installing the hardware)

Again, lots of these will be firsts for me so there is a steep learning curve for me on the majority of these projects. I’ve never worked with wallboard or cut holes in it for recessed lights or used the jigsaw tool I’ll need to do this! I’ve never tried to match stain / finish before for the framing. I’ve never framed a doorway before or tiled a floor or mounted a microwave to the wall. I know I’ll figure it out – but these are some of the reasons I want to use the structure of the ORC to help me reach the finish line!

Wish me luck! And good luck to everyone else participating!

Quack on folks!

“The Poker Room”

My First One Room Challenge!

For those who aren’t familiar, The One Room Challenge is a bi-annual event where “20 chosen designers go head-to-head in transforming one room over the course of 6 weeks” while providing updates on progress on a weekly basis. There is also an option to participate as a guest, which is what I will be doing.

I choose to participate because it sounds like a blast! As a new blogger, I also think the rules of the challenge, which include posting every week for 6 weeks, will help me create a structure, accountability, and a habit of posting weekly!

The room I chose to transform is a room I have nicknamed “The Poker Room”. It’s not hard to figure out where the nickname comes from when you look at the before photos:

While that poker green carpet is plush and comfy, it definitely has to go!

While I also despise the drop ceiling, it does serve a functional purpose; the house is a duplex and the ceiling helps reduce the sound from the tenants upstairs. My plan is to work some magic on that duck ugly ceiling by transforming it with a SUPER budget-friendly faux tin ceiling. More on that in the weeks to come 😉

In case you didn’t catch it, that dark wood on the right side of the photo above is a POCKET DOOR. You guys…both the upstairs and downstairs units have one and they are BEAUTIFUL, well-made, masterpieces! They simply do not make homes with character like this anymore!

The Poker Room is a small room coming in right around 100 square feet. While the previous tenants used it as a bedroom, I’ll be transforming the space into Duck Ugly headquarters! I do the majority of my (non-Duck Ugly) full-time work remotely and am in desperate need of a home office for that and, of course, my Duck Ugly work!

My plan includes:

  • Updating the drop-ceiling to give it a faux tin ceiling look
  • Replacing the light-fixture
  • Painting the walls a bright white (it’s hard to tell, but the current white has a lavender undertone)
  • Doing a dark blue accent wall with a custom built-in bookcases / Murphy bed combo so that the room can double as a guest bedroom
  • Ripping up the carpet
  • New window treatments
  • Restoring a vintage Steelcase desk

Here are some of my inspiration photos:

And here is a photo of the vintage Steelcase desk I’ll be restoring:

I absolutely cannot wait to get started! Thanks so much for following along! Quack on folks!