One Room Challenge {Cottage Kitchen} Week 5

I’m just gonna give it you straight: Week 5 of the One Room Challenge SUCKS.  As my deadline rapidly approaches, panic and exhaustion are overtaking me.   My punch list is growing longer, subcontractors are trying to back out last minute, frantic orders are being rush shipped and predictably, I’m second guessing a few design decisions.   It’s a hot mess over here  and I’m just trying to hold it together during work hours so that I don’t concern my clients and employees.

Renovations are taxing and when you act as your own general contractor you better multiply that by ten. Ratchet it up a notch with a 6 week deadline, you’ll need plenty of booze and tissues on hand.  I’ve grown a whole new level of empathy for my clients that will be very valuable for me moving forward.  Thank you, Linda, for another learning lesson 😉

Luckily there is lots of fun to be had… in the design!  This week I’m talking about about the decorative kitchen elements.  My kitchen is SO much more than the cabinets, appliances and countertops.  My kitchen is going to have Soul.

Before Cottage Kitchen

From the start I knew I wanted to do something with the back wall.  It has always just felt so assymetrical and unfinished and I’ve never gotten it right.  I considered wallpaper or a gallery wall.  It was really important to me that the wall be interesting yet subtle so that didn’t detract from the kitchen design.  I decided that shiplap would be the perfect mix of texture and charm.  This room by Sherry Hart really sold it for me.

neutral shiplap dining room by Sherry Hart

Hubba Hubba.  I love everything Sherry touches.

I partnered up with our ORC sponsor, Lowe’s, to build the shiplap wall.  My dad used pre-primed 1×8 boards and milled out a little gap between the boards.  I loved it the minute I saw it.  It really expands the space!  (You know what they say about horizontal stripes…)

shiplap wall sneak peak with gold pendants and pierre frey arty

I decided to paint it in Farrow and Ball’s “All White.”  It’s a clean, crisp white with warm undertones.  Since my countertop is a warm white, I didn’t want to choose a white wall that read Cool.  (Pssst check out Farrow and Ball’s 9 new color introductions HERE.  I contemplated doing a “Peignoir” ceiling but ultimately decided it would be one element too much.)

So far the whole story of this kitchen has been black and white.  Black and white cabinets, white walls, white countertops, black refrigerator.  I love a neutral base in my kitchen, but I’m also a lover of color so I knew I would want some vibrancy in here as well.  Since I have commitment issues, I decided on accessories and soft furnishings to bring in my current color crushes.  My goal is for it to be fun, colorful, yet also classic and timeless.  I think I called it Modern Cottage Glamour in my first post.  I forgot to add that I enjoy a side of Boho.

textile mix

top ikat fabric / leopard fabric

I actually started my color scheme with a refresh in the living room.  I fell hard for this textile combo and ordered fabrics from DecoratorsBest to make myself some custom pillows.  I’ve been talking about my orange crush for months now and I thought that Samarkand ikat was the perfect jumping off point for the design.

Stepping into the actual kitchen, the bones are so neutral, I decided to go bold on the bar stools.  I honed in on the idea of a painted orange (tangerine) bar stool, but I wasn’t quite sure of the right shape.  After perusing tons of options I selected this wishbone counter stool from all modern.  I love the classic mid-century feel of these chairs and they are super comfy!  Seriously, it’s like a lounge counter stool.  I also like that they aren’t too visually heavy in my small space.  It’s orange, but not too much orange.

wishbone counter stool in charlotte locks black and white leopard

All Modern Stool with Farrow and Ball’s Charlotte’s Locks plus a little leopard.

Oh yes, I went there.

Next up on my list was a rug.  I fell quick and hard for this Dash and Albert rug from DecoratorsBest.  Just a bit of dark to tie into the cabinets, just a bit of orange from the stools and a lavender surprise.  It was a done deal, slayed at first site.

rhapsody wool rug lavender pink orange tribal flatweave

Being a wool flatweave, I think it should be pretty practical in the kitchen.  I plan to shake it clean and flip it occasionally (it’s reversible.)  It should also spot clean well.

To finish off the space, I’m planning a bit of art for my kitchen.  I hit my color threshold, so I focused my art search on black and white prints.  The photographs below are limited edition from our sponsor, Minted.  I just love their new matte brass frame!

3 kit bw balerina art

Musing of Synchronicity by Zanne Bedore


Black Birds by Donna Rosner

There’s probably more I want to say, but honestly I’m so exhausted I not thinking completely straight.  So I’m going to say a little prayer we can pull this rabbit out of its hat in the next two days.  Rachael, Chrissy (our new intern) and I will be cleaning, re-stocking and zhushing the kitchen all day tomorrow.  We’ve also got some 12th hour final fixes and feats from both Dad and George.  Then it’s the photo shoot with Courtney and we have another One Room Challenge in the bag.  Boom, it’s a Room.  Then it’s back to real life.  Luckily our day job is pretty fun.

Next Week:  The big Reveal.  I promise less chatter, more kitchen porn. 


Is anyone a bigger mess than me?  Check out week 5 One Room Challenge for the rest of the participants…

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Catch Up on My One Room Challenge Kitchen Renovation

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3

Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6


  1. Pingback: One Room Challenge {Cottage Kitchen} Week 4 - Design ManifestDesign Manifest

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  3. looking forward to your rebel next week P.S. the orange is so good!

  4. Carol

    It’s so beautiful and unusual and useable… inspiring place to be and cook and create more beauty.
    You’re the kitchen balm.

  5. When did plank walls become shiplap walls? Tomato Tomahto. Can’t wait to see those stools painted. I feel your stress…hang in there.

    • Naomi

      Yea it’s technically not shiplap, I just like the term better. Plank wall it is!

  6. Don’t panic. You are doing just fine. We are here to support you. I will pray for you! Keep us informed.

  7. Sarah Rideout

    Can’t wait to see your reveal. Love your choices! Donna Rosner is one of my favorite artists so I am excited to see her work in your ORC.

  8. Vel

    Sherry is genius like you, seeing all the goodness going into this kitchen on IG and makes me long for next week to be tomorrow!

  9. Kelly

    It’s already amazing! Keep it up… Cheering you on!!

  10. The shape of those bar stools are so beautiful! The space is going to look incredible when you are finished with the black and white contrasted with pops of color in your furnishings and accessories. This might be my dream kitchen!

    I can’t wait to see the reveal!

    xo Anna Lynn with Waiting On Martha

  11. You are right – it does stink! My Week 5 post goes up tomorrow, and I felt yours was really put together. Mine will be a rambling mess. 🙂 HA! This will be amazing though, I am sure. You always nail it.

  12. [email protected]

    orange + leopard? slay. i love it. can’t wait for the reveal!

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