Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Farm-house Kitchen; One Room Challenge

Just 6 weeks ago, we embarked on a long awaited kitchen remodel, complete with new countertops, tile and appliances for our 1960's era kitchen.  Throughout this time, I blogged weekly about our progress and shared some of the triumphs and challenges encountered as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge along the way. For this redesign in such a crucial area of our home, we chose not to move walls or replace cabinetry, but instead transformed these well loved bones with a contrasting paint and materials scheme that also complemented new white oak flooring replaced at the same time throughout the entire house. 

Wanna see a really good before and after? You can catch up and see where we started HERE

It was an ambitious and hair pulling undertaking to be sure. But I think the results I'm revealing today were well worth it.

Erin Neally-Holtwood Hipster-One Room Challenge-modern farmhouse kitchen-ranch style kitchen

Erin Neally-Holtwood Hipster-One Room Challenge-modern farmhouse kitchen-ranch style kitchen

We upgraded and brightened up this high traffic area in the house, creating a functional workspace open to entertaining in the adjacent dining area, which was also fully remodeled. The existing farm-style table was sanded down and given a rustic finish, intended to contrast against some of the more modern fixtures and wallpaper. We ditched the maker grade, bonded leather benches and introduced a cozier, mixed seating arrangement - complete with slipcovered host chairs, a striped linen bench cushion, and black spindle chairs on the opposite side. Our glassware cabinet saw paint and hardware upgrades which worked to create a more eye-popping display for our barware collection and chrome, nautical pendant lights were swapped out for a simple, translucent option, creating an unhindered line of sight which worked to make the room seem bigger than it really is.
We put several lighting styles to work throughout the kitchen and dining area, all of which are now set on dimmers to suit function and mood in the immediate area. Bulky under-cab lighting in both the kitchen and dining bar areas were replaced with a cooler, more efficient LED option. We also added lighting to the glass-front dishware cabinet in the kitchen area, which brightened up the bank of charcoal cabinets on the left side of the kitchen. Functional improvements went beyond lighting as well. We better utilized hidden cabinet space at the front of the peninsula, which now houses both a compact microwave and an assortment of cookbooks.

Along with our charcoal and white color scheme carried through paint, tile and veiny Silestone counters, we also incorporated various woods into the design plan. The bar shelves and flooring were built from white oak, while the countertops were custom cut from wide planked acacia. You'll also see olive wood and maple board accents weaved in throughout. Also on the lumber front, clear pine shiplap was also used to frame out both the newly added range hood and peninsula facing.

Glass was also a consistent materials theme - seen in the dining pendants, barware display and then brought full circle into the kitchen by the use of glass-front mesh overhead cabinets now showcasing our collection of white dinnerware.

What you don't see here - but what I am most excited by - is the functional impact afforded through the redesign. This One Room Challenge remodel - like the others before it (Guest Bath, Master Bedroom, Masculine Workspace , My Studio) - forced us to rethink how we wanted to better use this room within our home. We cleaned out and cleared out, donating and repurposing what we could. Our pantry has new slide out shelving (that we built ourselves!), pots and pans are not jammed behind cupboard doors and bowls are no longer cohabiting with pantry items. It's been a real game changer for us - and I can not wait to use that new all gas range.

A big thank you to Linda at Calling it Home for creating the One Room Challenge and for being such a great host to all of us who participated in the Thursday round up. As a guest participant, I always look forward to joining this event for the learning experience it provides and the design camaraderie. To that end, I also want to thank the many people who took time out of their day to encourage and motivate me during those long 6 weeks without a functional kitchen. I have to say, there were some tough, chaotic days mixed in there (and yes, lots of fast food). The kind, encouraging words offered on  my social media posts helped make it all a bit more bearable.

I also want to thank my Dad, who again jumped in to save us with his painting and carpentry skills. I estimated he put in roughly 354 miles round trip on his commute over the last 6 weeks to help push us over the edge after our awesome contractor and electricians had done their thing and we are eternally grateful. 

I'll be posting sort of an after-the-reveal in the coming week to detail some of my favorite aspects of this redesign and will be sharing a list of sources as well. So more to come... 

// Design: Erin Neally
// Construction: South Coast Pro Services
// Flooring: Diversified Flooring
// Lighting by: Trim Wholesale Lighting
// Styling and Photography: Erin Neally


Thursday, May 4, 2017


It's Week 5 of the One Room Challenge and I have a brief progress update for you on my ranch-style kitchen makeover. It's busy times over here! Afterall, I have just one week to go to make sure all the puzzle pieces come together for my design before revealing the final look to you all next Thursday! I actually plan on shooting the room over the weekend, so that means I'll be burning the midnight oil at the end of my real work day for the next couple of nights. 

Here's what's happened since we last checked in:

If you're following along on Instagram, you might have seen a sneak peek at the glassware cabinet display I was building out last Sunday. I'm pretty pleased with how the glassware contrasts against the new black background. Clearly, I'm approaching hoarder status with my glassware collection. But I can assure you that it gets used by many and often during get togethers and dinner parties. 

 There are many aspects of this room I'm already proud of. But the wood counters I sanded down and finished myself are near the top of the list. I researched endlessly to make sure I'd use the right product to protect them from wear and tear and landed on Waterlox. We're in CA so the only formula we can get our hands on is a Low VOC formula. I was nervous considering every reviewer I found online had used the regular formula. But man, this stuff went on easy and with a little elbow grease, buffed out to perfection. Its smooth as butter you guys and the beading I saw when water tested it gives me confidence that this will hold up to our daily use.

Also at the top of that list - the striped bench cushion I completed last Saturday. I'd stared at our dining bench purchased in a bonded leather for years, imaging it in bathed in stripes and now - it is. Contrast piping and everything guys... 

Our pantry makeover also came together last weekend and I've spent the last several nights organizing and restocking. My husband and I built out the Oak sliding shelves ourselves. The stain actually ties it in with the adjacent wood countertop just to the left of this cabinet. I can't wait to show you next week in the full room reveal!

I realized over the course of this week that I did not give you much of a glimpse into our purchases for the room. We worked a lot with what we had, but this remodel was also a step up from the interim makeover we had completed when we bought the house 6 years ago, so it was time for some upgrades.

 So that's where we are in Week 5. Next Thursday, I'll be sharing the final reveal with you all and I'm very excited to show you what has been accomplished in a short 6 weeks.

Be sure to check out all the other guest participants over at Calling It Home. The last week is always rough and they can use some moral support as they work to cross the finish line.

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