Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Room Challenge Fall 2016 ~ Behind The Scenes

Hello Wednesday! Thanks so much for all your love and support on Week 6 of One Room Challenge and I couldn't be happier with the transformation we achieved in 6 short weeks.  I am obviously extremely jealous of my client who gets to come home to this elegant and chic kitchen everyday ... a far cry from its dark espresso former self.

Getting here in 6 weeks most certainly wasn't a walk in the park and I thought it would be fun to share some behind-the-scenes moments on how we manage to cross the finish line in style.

A freshly painted kitchen with sleek hardware + backsplash gave this kitchen a whole new personality.  To get here though, we had gone through a few hurdles and the following tips may come in handy if you would like to try this at home. 

1.  Though the doors were sent to be professionally sprayed, the cabinet gables needed to be painted on site.  You could hire a painter to do it for you but with budget constraint, my client decided to handle the task herself.  

Be prepare to live with an "open concept" kitchen without doors, as most sprayer will take at least two weeks to complete the job.  You won't want to rush this process as it does take some time for the paint to cure.  

2.  Primer and paint may sounds simple to some, but for my client who has never painted anything in her life (sorry I didn't provide her with full detailed instruction), it quickly turned into a daunting task as the primer was applied too thick.  An electric sander + a trio painting team came to the rescue and we finished up the paint job.

3.  If you are planning to replace the existing hardware (i.e from pull to knob), you will want to fill the holes before the doors are being sprayed.  Most sprayers will take care of that for you but you have to communicate the request VERY EXPLICITLY!

In our case, I had talked to my guy over the phone of what we wanted to do (color, sheen, holes filled) and my client delivered the doors shortly after.  Two weeks later the doors were ready and my client noticed the holes were not filled.  At that moment, we had 2 options:
  • get the doors resprayed with holes filled this time (budget will be doubled
  • source a different hardware that works with the existing holes
Luckily Lew's hardware (available at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware) comes in a variety of sizes and one works brilliantly with our doors.  Phew ... it could be an expensive case of miscommunication.

Custom built-in is dreamy and when it is done right, the piece fits like a glove and you wouldn't be able to achieve the same custom look from buying a piece from the furniture stores.  

Here comes the fun part: measure once (by you), measure twice (by the trade), pick the finish + place your order, and allow 2 extra weeks for unexpected delays.

In our case, I had done my sketch done and picked the veneer around week 1.  The wood worker promised the entire job will be done in one week.  I insisted he would his measurement on site (instead of relying on mine) as the last thing I want is to discover that newly made custom piece doesn't fit!

A slight communication delay between the client and the wood worker resulted in:
  • the veneer I originally picked was no longer available
  • option #2 was cutting the delivery time too close for comfort
  • option #3 was not my top pick but it would meet our deadline

To keep the project moving, I have asked the guy to build us the shelves first for fitting and hardware mounting in order to keep the installation of tiles and wall sconces on schedule.  If we had waited for the unit and shelves to be completely finished before tiling and grouting the wall, the kitchen wouldn't be ready for reveal on Week 6. 

It took a lot of effort to get here, but what we have accomplished is worth all the sweat and tears.

Ahhh the breakfast nook: a calm and serene view isn't it? I love everything at this corner and especially the owl from The Animal Print Shop

Well ... here is the part no one knows about.  I almost had a heart attack when the adorable owl print was crushed due to a machine malfunction at the framing shop a few days before the photo shoot.  Heart broken + in shocked, the amazing ladies at The Animal Print Shop was able to send me a replacement via overnight delivery so we had just enough time to get it framed for the final reveal.   

At last we are ready for the big day: Photo Shoot with Stephani! I have been through a few photo shoots myself but the stylists were always there to work their magic with the photographer while I snapped behind-the-scene pictures.  I had so much fun playing stylist for the day and didn't even take many pictures with my phone!

Here are a few I managed to capture during the shoot: 

Love this "action" shot by Stephani!

Thanks again Linda for hosting One Room Challenge with House Beautiful.  The positive energies and the supports from the #ORC community were tremendous.  For those who are debating for the Spring 2017 Challenge: DO IT and here is an informative survival guide (Thanks Sarah!) you will want to read!


  1. Thanks for taking us behind the scenes, Tim. The kitchen transformation is pretty incredible! So much work has gone into it, and the stresses were worth it! :)

    1. so worth it! you will have to come check it out in person!

  2. Great job! I love it and I love the story behind it! Amazing!

    1. xoxo Diane! it's not always easy and thought it would be fun for people to see what actually happened during the process too!

  3. Must've been a stressful 6 weeks, but you pulled through it all! Truly beautiful! Great work!

    1. Thank you thank you!! you are always so supportive!

  4. After seeing your reveal, I was going to ask about your photos! Now I know. The room is stunning and the photos really do it great justice. Great tips, BTW.

    1. You are the best Nikki! thanks for dropping by!

  5. Great behind the scenes view! Lots of stress, but well worth it. Now you get to sit back and relax!

    1. so worth it right? now i am so so so jealous of my client!