It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!!!  For so many reasons today is like Christmas.  I cannot wait to pour a cup of coffee and spend my morning combing through renovated rooms created by the featured & guest participant designers over the past six weeks of the One Room Challenge.  And for us here in the Minns household, we are quite literally dancing in our kitchen (you dance in your kitchen too right?).  It’s complete, it’s a mood setter, it’s happy, it’s fresh, and it’s free of general brown-ness.


We’ve been refreshing each room of our old Victorian for the past year. We chose to throw our dated kitchen in the Fall ORC mix.  Do you remember how we began in week 1? My husband has worked tirelessly on this kitchen, having completed every single task himself with the exception of the counter fabrication and installation. Week 2 I had a complete psychotic break on paint colors and wallpaper, resulting in a happy final decision. Week 3 I collected decorative pieces and shared sources for kitchen products.   We completed the bar nook in Week 4 as I tweaked ideas and awaited art. Week 5 my husband shared the process of building our kitchen banquette.   Bringing us to the best week of the process…. Reveal day!!  Meet my new & improved kitchen inspired by the modern cafes of San Diego muddled up with a Parisian Wine Bar.  Both beverages will be consumed here today….

our kitchen before

and our kitchen today



empty nook, I forget how much of a change our new floors make

a true living space…


TILE:  To bring home the café vibe and accentuate the tall ceilings, we chose beveled white ceramic subway tile from counter to ceiling.  A special thank-you to my in-laws who spent a weekend visiting us, slaving away on this task with the hubby (along with some cabinet painting).

CABINETS: From the moment we moved in, the short cabinets bothered all of us.  They stunted the tall ceilings.  My husband solved the dilemma by creating his own decorative uppers creating a seamless visual to the ceiling.  We sanded and painted the cabinets a fresh White Dove, because white, always white.  The modern black bone & brass handles add a nice subtle contrast.

KITCHEN ISLAND:  We painted the island Newburyport Blue, Benjamin Moore when we moved in the home.  It worked well with the original brown granite, but wow does the color sing with the new quartzite counters.  The CB2 counter stools add some beachy warmth to the kitchen whites.

QUARTZITE COUNTERS:  The biggest change of all, these stunning Calcutta Maucabus counters are transformative.

LIGHTING:  The globe pendant lights keep the view flowing, and one of our fav features of the new kitchen is the thunder blue & aged brass sconce lighting paired with the subway tile.

SHELVING: I wish I lived a life of which I could rip out all of my cabinets and create open shelving with these stunners.  Alas, I had to be realistic with my needs, and my mess.  I was only able to fit in one of the bracket shelves in the main kitchen above the fridge, however they get their moment over in our Bar Nook.

DETAILS: Oh how I fell hard for this bunny by artist Buriden’s Cat. My husband has an odd love for animals dressed in human clothing, and I have a thing for bunnies.  Sir Hops-a-lot was meant for our house.  I love IG for shopping inspo, this was found on an IG friend’s bathroom wall, and I had to have it! Additional little details include layered cutting boards, Parisian style canisters, enamelware, antique vessels and other little animal oddities sprinkled throughout.



I’ve kept the main pieces I had originally; chairs, table and light.  They breathe new life with a fresh wallpaper backdrop.

WALLPAPER:  The working side of the kitchen is very white and bright. Its also heavy in material with the counter to ceiling subway tile + natural stone counters + cabinetry. For the other side I wanted something that could balance this weight with its own moment, but that still felt airy.  In person this Schumacher Featherfest wallpaper feels like a wind has blown feathers around the room. I love the movement of the pattern, and the softness of the color.

PILLOWS: With the energy of the wallpaper I chose to layer textured neutral pillows so the eye can be at peace here. The tassel pillows from Sew & Cloth are my favorite. The rest are a collection of oldies from around the house and Home Sense.  You’ll see my bench cushion is missing.  It’s a lovely natural linen color.  But when we were done with the space, the bench cushion + the seat of the chairs really threw me making this corner too brown (re-enter my fear of browns).   I pulled the cushion for this shoot.  Funny enough, once I put it back on after the photography, I loved it in the mix.  So happy to report that’s back on the bench.

CHAIRS: The chairs originally had a natural thresh seat color.  With the shades of gray and white in the new design, they started to feel yellow to me.  With good old fashioned spray paint, we painted the seats a charcoal gray.  The painting took a minute. The taping took an hour! But well worth the nice contrast.

TABLE:  This oval table was meant for a banquette!  It’s a perfect size and shape to fill out the L shape of the seating and allows room for extra chairs to be brought in as needed.

ART: I found the pages of an old French Cook Book at a locals market in Florence last year.  I knew the fancy French serveware would be a whimsicial addition to a kitchen one day. I had it framed in the Spring, but I never really loved them in the space.  We painted the frames a fresh white and they absolutely pop off the feather wallpaper.

I am a firm believer of hiring the experts when needed. In today’s instance, an amazing photographer.  Thank-you Joyelle West for capturing our kitchen.   A nod of gratitude for the flowers from Olive James Bouquets.

And thank-you for following me on our kitchen adventure, I’d be ever so honored if you’d like to join the evolving home renovations on our old Victorian over on Instagram.

The camaraderie of the design world has blown me away with its own version of inspiration and community.  I love cheering on and sharing the journey with fellow designers. Please be sure to visit both the featured and guest participant designers.  Thank-you One Room Challenge, Better Homes & Gardens, and Home Love Network for this amazing forum and a fabulous fall design adventure.




ORC 6: Kitchen Reveal