{One Room Challenge Week 1} Dining Room Facelift

If you've been reading the blog for a while now, then you've most likely heard a lot about the One Room Challenge - a twice annual blogging when a large group of design bloggers come together to each completely makeover one room in a short five weeks. 

I've participated in the ORC seven and half times. How do you participate half a time? I'm glad you asked! Back in the spring, I decided to makeover our kitchen dining area. I came up with a plan we loved but things started to fall apart quickly when we ordered an "in stock" table that turned out to be back ordered for months, and then the chairs we couldn't get enough of the chairs we wanted, and I couldn't get a straight answer on whether they were being discontinued or if they might come back in stock later.

First I started rushing to come up with alternate plans - I had that five week ORC deadline afterall. Then I stopped and thought better of it. I've always said that I'll never do anything in our house just for the sake of the blog. And if I had picked a different table or chairs just to finish the One Room Challenge I would have been doing it for all the wrong reasons! So for the first time ever, I hit the pause button on our dining area makeover and didn't finish the spring ORC.

Fast forward a few months, and we're back in business and finally ready to start and finish this project!

For the next five weeks, I'll be posting weekly updates on the dining room makeover, leading up to the final reveal on November 7th! The best part of the One Room Challenge is that I'm not going it alone!

Each ORC round, there are twenty amazingly talented designers who headline the event, posting their updates every Tuesday. Participation in the ORC is also open to other design bloggers, referred to as Guest Participants, who post their progress updates each Wednesday. The ORC gets bigger and more exciting every round, often with 200 or more participants!

For me, that means sharing encouragement and commiseration with lots of fellow designers... for you, that means endless inspiration for every room of the house in every style! All of the participating bloggers share the links to their weekly progress posts on the One Room Challenge website, so you can find all of the ORC progress updates and final reveals in one convenient place!

Let's take a quick look back at my past One Room Challenge spaces, and then I'll tell you more about what I have planned this time around!

I participated in my very first ORC back in the spring of 2014 when I converted a blah workout room into a menswear themed bedroom fit for my little gentleman, who was 2.5 at the time.

The next round, I finally gave some much needed attention to our master bedroom, which had been largely neglected since we'd move into our home 6 years before. I was able to make a big impact in this space without replacing any of the furniture, or even changing the layout of the room.

In the spring of 2015, I transformed the 3 foot by 12 foot storage space under our basement stairs into a rock 'n' roll inspired playroom for my boys. This is still one of my very favorite projects to date, and it was featured in print in 5280 Home magazine last summer!

That fall, I made over our laundry closet, adding tons of style and storage to make it feel and function more like a room than a closet.

The following spring, in 2016, I updated our master bathroom to add some bold "graphic glam" style. I was thrilled with what a huge transformation we created in this space without replacing any of the existing tile or cabinets.

Later that fall, I tackled the much dreaded garage! I was hoping to just create a more functional space, but in the process of cleaning and organizing, I also managed to make the garage pretty! I was incredibly honored to have our garage makeover recenlty featured on a two-page spread in the March issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine!

In the spring of 2017, my boys were begging for bunkbeds, so we turned the former nursery into a shared boys room, complete with tons of color and storage for books and toys.


If you followed the start of my One Room Challenge back in the spring, then you've already heard most of the info below. But for everyone else, let me show you the space we're working with and what we plan to change.

Our house doesn't have a great room style layout, with the kitchen open to the living room. Instead, our living room and kitchen are separated. Fortunately, however, the kitchen is quite large, and we spend much of our family time in there.

Now let's flash back exactly 10 years. We bought our house in October of 2008, and this is what it looked like when we toured it for the first time.

As soon as we moved in, we painted the beige walls teal, and changed out the light fixtures.

One of my favorite features of our kitchen has always been the double-sided stone fireplace that looks out on to our back patio. We created a cozy seating area in this space and chose swivel chairs that allow us to sit facing the fireplace, or toward the table, which is great when we are entertaining. 

I still love the fireplace seating area, but the glass table, sideboard, and wall of curved glass shelves at the other end of the dining area are feeling a little dated to me. 

They were among the very first purchases I made thirteen years ago when I graduated from law school and bought a loft condo in downtown Denver. When Scott and I moved to our current home ten years ago, I was thrilled with how well they fit the space (good thing - because we had so many other empty rooms to furnish). But our style has definitely evolved since then, and I'm ready to make the dining area feel more like the 2018 version of our family!

To be clear, we're not talking about a major kitchen renovation - just a facelift. This side of the kitchen won't look too much different when we're done other some fresh paint and new pendant lights.

The dining room side of the kitchen will also get new lighting and new furniture, including lots more storage.

I've also come up with an fun plan to dress up the front of the island kitchen island.

I still LOVE the acrylic barstools, so they get to stay. But when I'm done the island will definitely be the star of this space!

In addition to the fireplace seating area, the cabinetry, appliances, and backsplash tile, a few other things will also stay the same. We plan to keep the chalkboard wall...

And you won't see any major changes to the kitchen mudroom. This corner was literally just an empty wall when we moved in, and now it provides so much function!

However, in the original plans for the mudroom, the shelves on the right side were not supposed to have wood grain behind them. The idea was for the wall color to show through, but we weren't home when the contractor installed the backer, and decided not to make him pull it out to redo it. 

Now I'm thinking that I might want to add some kind of temporary wallpaper behind the shelves, but I haven't quite decided yet. That project is still on the maybe list.

Ok, so now that you know what stays and what goes. Next week I'll show you what we have planned, including how the plans have evolved over the past few months. I can't wait to get started!


  1. Can't wait to see how your space turns out! Have always loved the chalkboard wall and how fun your style is :) Best of luck and cheers to more weeks of crazy!

  2. I'm so glad you're participating again! Can't wait to see how you finish this space.