One Room Challenge: Week One

Today is the first day of the One Room Challenge. This is my first time participating and I can appreciate that the word “challenge” is right there in the title (why didn’t I pay closer attention to that word when I agreed to sign on this summer?)

The One Room Challenge was started by Linda from Calling it Home. It’s made up of twenty designers and/or design bloggers “challenged” to redo a room in just six weeks.
During these six weeks we’ll update on our progress once a week on

Renovating can be stressful. Also stressful? Moving. If you’re new here, we’re moving from Westchester, New York to near by Connecticut (hopefully) at the end of this month. By “we”, I mean, myself and Mr. Zhush and our three kids. When we move depends on the timing of our new home’s renovation. So, why not document this whole tense situation here? Seemed like a fun idea back in July, now I’m really just hoping this whole thing comes together before Thanksgiving!

OK, enough whining. The room I’m featuring is the new kitchen in the new house. The photo above is our current kitchen. I really love this kitchen, it’s going to be the inspiration for our new one. Here’s the new one…


Not bad, right? Just not my “dream kitchen”~ Here’s what I’m planning on doing/changing:

1. The lights above the island are far too small, I love my current island lights, the scale is perfect, they are coming with me.

2. Black granite counter tops are going. I love the look of our white marble counters, I’m hoping to find something just as nice.

3. Speaking of white, my preference for kitchens is always all white, just like our current kitchen. I know from past experiences (here and here) that these yellowish/cream cabinets will look amazing once they are re-painted all white.
a. The same holds true for that dark center island-painting it white.
b. And losing the heavy look of those center island “legs”.

4. That back splash is going too.

5. There are currently two fridges in this kitchen-actually one is a giant freezer and one is a fridge. Right now they are made to look like two giant cabinets. I love the industrial look that stainless steel brings to a kitchen, so I’m hoping to switch out those doors for stainless steel ones.

6. The floors here (and in the whole house) currently have a reddish hue to them. We’ll be staining them a deep dark brown.

7. I would love to have a farm house sink just like our current one above. Hoping to make this happen.

8. We’ll be moving around a few things. Boring things that you can’t really see in the photos, but for real life living don’t make a lot of sense. Expanding the little built in garbage to two pails instead of one. Moving the second dishwasher from the butler’s pantry to the kitchen.

9. Painting the walls a complimentary color. Probably a pale greige/gray.

10. Changing the hardware…thinking unlacquered brass.

11. Changing the glass cabinet doors to look a bit more modern.

12. Losing the light in the “breakfast” area of the kitchen, bringing our current fixture with me here as well.

13. And, finally, I’m hoping to add a “hot water” faucet. The idea of boiling water on tap seems very luxurious. Hope to make that happen.

Here’s a few more shots from my current kitchen (including one of my favorite shots from our feature in HGTV Magazine two years ago.) This will be the main inspiration for our Connecticut kitchen. I’ve brought back Muse Interiors to help me source and sort this kitchen out-and the whole new house in general (check it out on Instagram)…beyond thankful for that!


Be sure to check out the rest of the One Room Challenge participants- I know many of these ladies in real life and some I’ve been following for years-trust me, you’ll want to see their rooms and their designs!

Abby M. Interiors
Because It’s Awesome
Bijou & Boheme
Chinoiserie Chic
The Decorista
Design Chic
The Design Daredevil
Design Darling
Design Indulgence
Design Manifest
House of Turquoise
Jana Bek Design
Jill Sorensen
Maddie G. Designs
Mimosa Lane
A Piece of Toast
The Pink Pagoda
Stone Textile
Waiting on Martha
Trademarked by Calling it Home

Leave a Comment


  1. I wish I could find something wrong with the new kitchen but I cant! yet I know that you have a vision in your head so I cant wait to see the transformation from really great to your idea! Great room to start with this should be a fun one!!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  2. This is gonna be good! Nothing like a kitchen reno in 6 weeks…..I bow down!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  3. Oh wao!! This is a big one! I can see where you are going with this and it will be so, so fabulous! I'm so excited to follow along!!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  4. That is a huge project, but I'm sure you'll make it marvelous! Can't wait to see your progress!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  5. Suzanne wrote:

    Looking forward to watching the transformation!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  6. Kitchens! That's a mammoth challenge lady but I suspect it'll be kinda fab. Can't wait.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  7. Donna wrote:

    You are going to love having instant hot water. It's the one thing I miss the most from my old house. We will definitely be adding it to our new kitchen soon!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  8. Jessie wrote:

    Wow, a kitchen renovation! I love your ideas for the space. Looking forward to see the transformation!

    P/S: I am also making over a room in our home, check it out if you like! (I got the Dana Gibson leopard pillow from The Zhush by the way! Thanks for the prompt shipping! ) πŸ™‚

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  9. holy cow, woman! You are brave! and I'm so excited to see this space transform! I'm thrilled that you're in the ORC this time. I'm in as a linking participant tomorrow!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  10. Huge kitchen! Can't wait to see what you do!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  11. Your new home is gorgeous Sue. I know the changes you have planned to take it to the next level – or two or three.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  12. jana bek wrote:

    Wowsa you are taking on a lot, your plans sound amazing & it's going to be gorgeous!! Can't wait to see the design come to life! XX jana

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  13. Holy geeze…that is a big beautiful kitchen that has such fabulous bones! I love every single to-do on your list and think your plan is going to make an already pretty kitchen, totally amazing! I can't wait to see it all happen!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  14. Oh my. This is going to be BEAUTIFUL!! I love an all white kitchen — this will be so much fun to watch!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  15. aquahaus wrote:

    Where's the before kitchen? Ha! Can't wait to see how this gets EVEN better.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  16. First of all the new kitchen is huge…and beautiful already! You really have quite a list there and I can't wait to see how it turns out. I will be watching closely because I have been planning our kitchen renovation (in my head) for awhile now!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  17. Can't wait to see this one! I might be purchasing a house today (fingers crossed!) and the kitchen is something I will tackle. Currently obsessing over kitchen renovations!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  18. Love your ideas to make this kitchen more charming like your current kitchen. It's going to be great. I'm doing a little makeover on my kitchen as well and linking up tomorrow. So I wish us both luck!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  19. I love your new kitchen. I understand about all white, but what a great space, already. You look so cute in that picture. Can't wait to see what stone you pick for the tops.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  20. I can't wait to see what you do…the kitchen is already gorgeous so I am sure you will just add your magical "zhush" touch! Hope you are having a great week! xoxo

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  21. Linh Vo wrote:

    Love the open space and that huge island! I can't wait to see what you do πŸ™‚ I know it'll be amazing.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  22. Oh wow, this is going to be incredible!! Super excited to see the changes you make! No doubt it will be a dream kitchen in the end!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  23. I LOVE this open kitchen with that beautiful island!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  24. Your new house is beautiful! Can't wait to watch your progress!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  25. I love the kitchen in your old (current) home… so cozy! Sounds like you have quite the list there. Looking forward to seeing the transformation.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  26. michelle wrote:

    I have a feeling that your end project is going to be my dream kitchen! I can't even imagine having a kitchen that big!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  27. designchic wrote:

    Can't wait to see what you do – just love the inspiration images. We too are doing an all white kitchen – excited!!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  28. Kristin B wrote:

    Hi Sue. Is it bad that I have been WAITING for you to show your new kitchen, and your plans for it? Demolition on my kitchen starts this weekend. I can only hope that it will be finished in 6 weeks… Keep the photos of your renovation coming. I love them!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  29. Vel Criste wrote:

    Wow! What a grand kitchen, I would have a hard time renovating something so beautiful already, but I know what you mean, and I can't wait to see how you'll update this space further!

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  30. Tiffany wrote:

    That kitchen is huge! It's already beautiful but I think your plans will take it to the next level.

    Published on 10.1.14 · Reply
  31. I'm in the newbie club also! I am bowing down to you to take on this kind of project. The finished result will be so worth the stress and hard work. Good luck and I can't wait to check in! XO

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  32. Your dream kitchen is my dream kitchen…I will always love the white/stainless/marble/farm sink look…my favorite!!

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  33. Lili wrote:

    Sue, where are your pendant lights from (old kitchen)? TIA! Excited to see the completed project!

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
    • Thanks Lili! They are from Ann Morris antiques:)

      Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  34. Tobe | BIA wrote:

    oh my word. this sounds amazing. we have black granite countertops in our kitchen and i dream all the time about switching to marble. maybe someday. in the meantime, i will live vicariously through your inevitably gorgeous space! ox

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  35. pve design wrote:

    I love all your "problems" and how you will magically "zhush" them away in leu of what makes your heart sing! A kitchen is such a hub so why not create it your way. It will be so awesome! I can see it now.

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  36. The look of the new kitchen is amazing! I like your taste! Thanks for this great post!

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  37. I have loved every glimpse I've seen from your new home and I am sure your kitchen will be fab (not that it isn't already) when you and Lauren are done working your magic!

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  38. Katy Byrne wrote:

    Cannot wait to see what you do. This list of participants is SO good!

    Published on 10.2.14 · Reply
  39. OMG, I'm so excited you have joined the ORC! I have been a huge admirer of you and your style forever so this is going to be so fun to watch! Love where you are headed…number one awesome change is going to be white, white, white and then new lighting. I drink tea all day long so a hot faucet…unbelievable! Can't wait to see more and welcome! Good luck with the move!

    Published on 10.3.14 · Reply
  40. Looking forward to your new kitchen update! Glad you are taking your favourite pendant lights, it always helps to make your new house a home. Have you ever thought about a commercial DW? I have one in my kitchen (Hobart), and it cycles in 3 min. I wouldn't recommend it for your main DW with a young family, but as a second. I can host 35-40 people and have all stemware, cutlery and dishes washed and put away in 45 min. Dream! Just a thought:)

    Published on 10.4.14 · Reply
  41. So glad you are participating!!

    Published on 10.5.14 · Reply
  42. Kristin B wrote:

    Both your kitchens are so pretty! Can you tell me the diameter of the pendants over your current island? (The ones you are keeping) Thank you!

    Published on 10.6.14 · Reply
    • Hi Kristin, Thanks so much! The diameter is approx. 18"

      Published on 10.6.14 · Reply
  43. I'm excited to see how your new kitchen transforms. The inspiration is lovely, and even better knowing you already loved it!

    Published on 10.6.14 · Reply
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    Published on 10.11.14 · Reply