{one room challenge} Week 2: Kitchen Dining Design Decisions

Normally when I start a One Room Challenge, I already have a solid plan in place. I've already have a vision for the space, and I've done my research and at least some of my shopping. But not this time... Here we are at Week 2, and I'm still formulating my vision and shopping like crazy to figure out how to pull this space together. While that is bad news for my timeline, the good news is that I get to take you along for the ride and giving you a bit more insight into the design process.

Last week I shared lots of photos of the kitchen dining area in its current state, and some of you told me how much you love it and that I should leave it just the way it is. I still love some aspects of it too, but I'm just ready for a freshened up space. The problem for a while now has been that I know I want to update the dining area... but I'm not sure how I want to update it.

So this week I've been giving that a lot of thought. What is it I'm trying to achieve with this update? When staring at the room didn't work, and endless online shopping left me feeling more confused, I decided to take a step back and go at it from a different direction. I started thinking about what spaces in our house make me the happiest right now, and what it is about those spaces that I love. I keep coming back to one answer - our master bathroom!

Two years ago for the One Room Challenge, I transformed our master bathroom from "builder beige" to a space I now call Graphic Glam. We pained the walls a light gray, added graphic black and white tile behind new white framed mirrors, and hung statement black and white light fixtures.

I added some big pops of color - like the blue sky in the large photo mural - but the black, white, and gray color scheme gives the bathroom a chic and sophisticated look. I finally realized that is exactly what I'm craving in our kitchen and dining area. 

Teal is still my favorite color, and there are sure to be lots of shades of teal and blue that find their way into the kitchen - but I want them to be accents rather than everywhere. I plan to keep the charcoal colored walls on two sides of the kitchen, and the chalkboard wall definitely stays as well, but I want to paint the teal walls in the same light gray that I used in the master bathroom {Benjamin Moore Metropolitan Gray}.

And then I want to go BOLD on the kitchen island! Like the wall of black and white tile in the bathroom, I feel like this is the perfect space to make a statement in the kitchen. It will be a focal point in the center of the room, but because it's a limited space below the counter, it won't be too much. And the clear acrylic barstools - which I'm definitely keeping - won't distract from what ever we choose to do here. *This post contains some affiliate links.

I thought about adding wallpaper to the front of the island {and I still LOVE the temporary wallpaper we added in the laundry closet}, but since there will be lots of little feet kicking this wall as they climb on and off of the barstools, and swing their legs while doing homework here, I don't think wallpaper would be a durable enough choice.

Instead, I'm thinking tile, and I've found some great inspiration photos!

sources: left | right

 sources: left | right
sources: left | right

Which inspiration photo do you like best?

The island is a relatively small space to tile, but some of these graphic tiles can get pretty expensive, so I'm still shopping to find a good option that will give me the graphic statement on want on a budget.

Turning our attention now to the "dining room" side of the kitchen, it's not hard to find tables and chairs I love, but I'm trying to remain focused on the function that we need in this space. 

Our current table has more pros and than cons. I want to update the style, but overall the current table has been great for us for two main reasons:
  1. Our kitchen is long and thin, and with the pop up leaves extended on each end of the table, it fills the space nicely and seats 8 comfortably, with room for 2 more chairs on the ends when we host larger gatherings. Our new table needs to also be long and thin.
  2. My boys are 4 and 6, and they spend hours every day coloring and sculpting with play-do at the kitchen table. The glass table has been great for us because literally anything can be wiped up or cleaned off. Our new table needs to be just as durable.

Also because of the kids, I really don't want to put a rug below our dining table. As a result, I feel like a brown wood table would feel like way to much brown and way too much wood - neither of which fit the style direction. A very dark wood or black table would be an option, but I striving more for light and bright in this update.

After much debate, I did buy a table this week. It was on sale, and I just couldn't pass it up! I love that it has simple lines, but the angled base makes it interesting. The white lacquered finish will be durable and easy to wipe clean. And best of all, it's actually 9 inches longer than our current table!

Now I need to find chairs that will look good with the table. Rather than more black chairs, like we have now, I'm thinking grey. As soon as I started searching online, two options immediately caught my eye, but as luck would have it, both are out of stock, and it looks like, likely discontinued. I could get 4 chairs in either style, but not 8. You should see my sad face... :(

sources: left | right

I'm still shopping for a new light fixture to go over the table, as well as new pendant lights for the island. Finding large, statement lights on a budget is a challenge, but I've found some good options. I haven't decided for sure yet, though, so I'll probably be asking for your opinion over on my Facebook page and Instagram stories in the next few days.

I also mentioned last week that I want to add some more storage at the end of the kitchen table where the sideboard and curved glass shelves are now. 

To help keep this overall project on budget and maximize the storage potential of this wall, I'm thinking IKEA is my best bet. I want to create a configuation similar to this one - probably in white and gray - with a similar combo of open and closed shelving and drawers. I like the simple lines, but I'll probably add some handles to dress it up a bit.

A girl can never have enough storage, right?! Especially in the kitchen! A wall of storage like this would provide me so much more room for oversized serving platters, seasonal dishes, and even all my boys' art supplies.

So that's where I'm at during Week 2 of the ORC. I finally have a design direction, the inspiration photos have convinced me to go bold on the front of the island, I bought a new table, and I'm dreaming of organizing tons of new storage {but dreading the idea of assembling it all}. 

Be sure to head over the One Room Challenge website to see how everyone else is doing in week 2! Some people are still making design decisions like I am, and others are well on their way. It's so fun to see how these amazing projects progress from one week to the next!


  1. Angela I love your ideas for the island!! And your new table is gorgeous. Look forward to seeing this space evolve!

  2. Wow those bar pictures look amazing. The 1st set of gold barstools with that geometric shape, oh wow what a statement. Love them. You could opt for matchy- matchy with your tile or do something different which is probably best for the creative type like yourself. I loved those gold tiles.

  3. Hi Angela, I think you should pick an island tile design that relates to the table legs, something geometric, pointy, etc.. I like the first 2 tile options you listed on the blog. Good luck!