Kitchen Renovation: IT BEGINS!

No more planning! No more finding out that wall I wanted to take down is load-bearing! IT'S TIME!

kitchen into dining before.jpg

Prompted by Memorial Day sales starting early, we ordered the cabinets AND appliances this weekend. Which made for an expensive couple of days, but oh well. Everything has to be purchased eventually, right? I'm also gathering quotes for some of the labor we're not doing ourselves (know your limits, y'all) and our projected start date is June 12th. Aaaaaaah!

The cabinets we landed on are these bad boys from Menards. They sell several species of wood in this line, but we went with good ol' oak because I have a lifetime of experience painting it thanks to our first house. Also! Oak is part of our local store's regular inventory, so we don't have to wait for shipping. Insert the high-five emoji here.

The other reason we went for unfinished wood? I'm branching out of my color box:

All inspiration images via deVOL Kitchens.

One thousand years ago, when I initially wrote about this project, I had earmarked Balboa Mist from Benjamin Moore for the walls, paired with my favorite crisp white cabinets. And that would've been LOVELY, if very similar to what we did in our old house. The more I looked at the pile of samples that litters my desk at all times, I was like, "Self, what if you did Balboa Mist for the cabinets instead?"

Since nobody MAKES Balboa Mist cabinets, yours truly gets to bust out the paintbrush again. Except this time I'll be supplementing with a paint sprayer and getting that part done before they're installed. It should be a much quicker project, maybe even a single weekend? I'll be sharing a lot on Instagram and in my stories, so follow me over there if you don't already.

What else? Countertops haven't been ordered yet (because the cabinets have to go in first) but they've been selected and we're going with a solid surface. We also picked a new patio door and I keep finding accessories and artwork, so we're pretty much sprinting toward the finish line now that we've started. I AM SO READY. Hand me a little cup of water as I run by, because I'm not stopping.

What project is making you deliriously excited? When have you had to wait WAY longer than expected to start something? Who else is branching out with a new color?

Progress Report: My Office

It's been a while since I've had anything to show you from our house! In fact, it's been since we lived in the old one. But I'm happy to report that my office has taken a definite turn for the better:

As you can see from the title of this post, the room isn't completely done. The paint needs to be touched up in a couple of spots, we need to install the new baseboards and window trim, and we're debating what to do for additional lighting. Oh! And the closet doors won't close, so they'll have to be replaced, too.

Despite the finishing touches still to come, it's WAY better than it was before:

This decorating method is what I call "Moving Into a New House and Throwing Things Willy-Nilly Into a Room." Obviously I knew MEGA DESK would go in my office, but the daybed ended up in here because we weren't sure what to do with it. On the other wall, next to the closet, was an Expedit (sorry, Kallax) from IKEA. When we moved in, I was mostly paperless and required very little storage for the business, but that has also changed recently.

Here's a wider shot of the room today:

Holy fabric books, Batman! What's up with that?

I've started a part-time design position with a custom window treatment and upholstery company! They were looking for someone to take over their shop-at-home appointments and help them grow the business. It's been a lot to learn--design school doesn't get in-depth about window treatments because every product is different--but I'm really enjoying it. And as you can see from my new fabric hoard, they set me up with a ton of options.

What does this mean for The Room Kit? Nothing! It's still business as usual over here, except now I have access to more products at a discount. It's a win-win-win.

More storage was the main thing I needed in here. As wonderful as MEGA DESK was to me, he literally had zero places to keep anything. So I took his legs off and shoved him into the closet, making room for this beauty from Wayfair.

The navy bookcases are the Billy from my favorite place in the world. I bought two of them and it still wasn't enough for all of my sample books, so one of these is on the other side of the room, too. I'll show you that area after we fix the closet doors. It's still pretty ug-o.

More details: The paint is Newburyport Blue from BM, the chair was in our old kitchen, the picture ledge and lamp are IKEA, and all of the artwork/accessories we already owned.

You might be wondering why I went with such a dark color when I am the queen of pale walls. It's because this room gets TERRIBLE light 90% of the time. The window faces mostly north, and only gets a bit of watery sunlight between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning. Not great, Bob. So I decided to lean into the shadowy nature of the space and make it seem intentional by using navy blue. It's much more pleasant to be in here now.

So that's my life update! Personal projects are slower because I'm not home as much--even though this very room is my headquarters for both businesses. Up next: getting an estimate from my contractor for some big stuff we don't want to do ourselves. (Part of it is in the KITCHEN!!)

What have you been working on lately? Anybody else revamp their workspace?

Historic House Tour: The Wrigley Mansion

Are you ready for some eye candy? Historic Wrigley Mansion--former home of the chewing gum magnate--is on the market for the low, low price of $7.15M. (Maybe we could all pool our money?) It's a mind-numbing 13,000 square feet with 9 bedrooms and a ballroom. It also features STUNNING woodwork and a number of lovely fireplaces, which is why we're here today.

This home is on the National Register of Historic Places and I hope whomever buys it turns it into a museum so I can visit. I screen-grabbed some images from the virtual tour on the real estate listing, so please ignore the weird circles and arrows. The actual photos were TINY and I wasn't having any of that.

Some quick stats before we dive in: it was built in 1896 in Italian Renaissance Revival style. In addition to the ballroom there's a walk-in vault(!), a solarium, and the property taxes are $150,000 a year.


I highly recommend checking out the virtual tour on the property listing. Swoon!

While we're on the topic of historic buildings, what are some interesting places in your neck of the woods? If you're ever near Chicago, I suggest a quick trip to Oak Park to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. (You could actually see several Frank houses in one day. Efficient!) Additionally, it's NOT in Chicago but Hearst Castle is worth a tour because it's so delightfully over-the-top. What historic places should people visit in your area?