Wednesday, April 12, 2017


It's Week 2 of the bi-annual One Room Challenge, a 6-week room makeover event created by Linda of Calling it Home.  For those of you visiting my blog for the first time - a quick introduction! My name is Erin and I've been moonlighting as a sometimes design blogger here Holtwood Hipster for the last 6 years. I've posted my design perspective (clean lines, black and whites as neutrals, California at the heart of it all) and largely focused on the seemingly never ending renovation of our 1967 So Cal rancher - complete with plenty of landscape projects, paint jobs, tile work and redecorating. This is my fifth One Room Challenge as a Guest Participant. You can link to see the other rooms I've completed below.

For this round, I'm wearing my contractors hat again and remodeling our kitchen - taking it from a Phase 1 makeover (which tied us over for the last 6 years while we focused on updating other areas) - to a more polished place to cook, dine and entertain. 

Last week, I shared a look at what we walked into when we bought the place and the updates we made that modernized it for the short term. Today, I'm pulling you in closer to see some of the challenges we are facing with the redesign and the areas we plan to focus on.

The kitchen peninsula is one of the first areas you see when you enter our home and becomes a multi-utilitarian player when we cook and entertain.  This is a focal point we use a lot and the already well worn tile and grout has become a highly visible eyesore that no amount of scrubbing and cleaning can seem to improve. We had carried the floor paneling up to make it a little more durable to bar stools bumping up against it. But we are hoping to walk away with a cleaner, more streamlined look in this area at the end of the 6-week project.

This second area is where the bulk of our cabinets are currently installed. There is also a 42" countertop here that we will need to figure into our square footage when selecting a material upgrade. These are the original cabinets, sanded down and painted 6 years ago when we moved in. They've held up pretty well, but are in need of some repairs and a new paint job if we plan to keep them instead of changing them out. It's been a controversial topic. Modern cabinets provide functionality that these unfortunately in their current state and lay out do not. But new cabinetry would certainly stretch our budget and derail other plans. 

A wider view here spotlights a couple of areas that will need to be addressed in the remodel. As a whole - certainly not a bad place to start from with a makeover. The appliances were updated within the last 6 years, as were the hardware and fixtures. Living in the space has shown us we would like to see this area opened up and the microwave relocated to allow for more height on the cooktop- you know, for that spaghetti pot we are always taking out. Open shelving was also discussed, but having once lived with open shelves near the stove in our former home, we know that the dust and stickiness that just naturally comes with that is not something we want to deal with anymore. So the redesign will have to be creative on how we afford additional breathing room in this well used corner.

The kitchen opens up onto the main dining area, formerly used as a home office/TV area by the previous owners (see last post). We chose to outfit this area with a large farm-style table with benches and use this space as overflow for the kitchen when entertaining. It is is a critical area for us and the plan is to unify the two spaces with a more cohesive design so that in effect, the two rooms become one. 

To that effect, I've done you wrong guys and neglected to take a proper "before" shot of the whole area. Suffice it to say that beyond the wallpaper installation, what we have going on there now is all going to be changed out in some fashion anyway. You can see a glimpse of changes already in progress down below (#4).

So as we wrap up Week 2, we are already underway with our project work - deep into demo mode and already headed toward transformation. 

The built in bar cabinetry in the dining room has been taken out completely, exposing some electrical areas in need of safety upgrades. Scary what you can find behind the walls of an older home.

Those counters and tile backsplash are history! The bulky under-cabs also came out and will eventually be replaced with a modernized, cooler running LED option.

Remember that fire on the peninsula I mentioned earlier in this post? With the sink removed, we got a better look at the culprit. A lot of the damage had already been cleaned up, but that hanging wire with plug on the end of it actually powered the outlet on the side of the peninsula. Yes, the outlet was plugged into an outlet (it was actually plugged into an adapter plugged into an outlet). Who knew? Imagine my surprise when I plugged in the vacuum and saw the electricity surge followed by the smell of an electrical fire. All of this old plumbing- and electrical is on the list for an update.

So now a better shot of the dining area. I jumped the gun one rainy week here a couple of months back and started a re-do on our farm-style dining table. The original finish was a dark, manufacturer grade stain top to bottom. I sanded this sucker down to bare wood (which was surprisingly very pretty!) and took it a bit more rustic with a two-toned finish - weathered oak up top, black legs below. We will likely keep one of the two benches that flanked the table, but ditch another in favor of some mixed look seating. 

More to come next week with my vision for the re-design. I'll also give you the scoop on that table makeover -  and of course, more progress shots as we build out a prettier, more functional kitchen and dining area.

In the meantime, please be sure to check out all of the other designs in the works by 200+ talented design enthusiasts and bloggers over at Calling It Home.

>>>> Check out previous designs completed for our guest bathmaster bedroom, my husband's home office and my own home-based workspace.<<<<<


Sarah Sofia Knepp said...

Oh Erin I already love your kitchen but also love your design plan! I can't wait to see how you transform this space! Let's do this! XOXO, Sarah

Kim said...

Love this ... you have a BIG project on your hands and I can't wait to see it evolve!!

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