Breakfast Nook Budget Breakdown + What’s Next?

It’s Monday, and I am still beaming after last Thursday’s reveal of the Breakfast Nook. While I had hoped all of you would enjoy the big reveal, your enthusiasm exceeded my expectations, and frankly, it blew me away. We read every one of your kind comments here on the blog and social media. Thank you.

Over the weekend, I cleaned up the last of the construction mess in the adjacent laundry room. Now that everything is tidy and back to normal, it is almost as if the One Room Challenge™ never happened. Oh, except we get to eat breakfast (and lunch AND dinner) here now:

That was not possible less than a week ago. And seven weeks ago, the breakfast nook was only an idea.

Granted, we started with a room that had gorgeous bones already. However, transforming this space from a neglected, enclosed porch to the tree house, coffee shop, breakfast room required time, patience, and yes, money.

The night before I announced our fall ORC project, I posted a short video on Instagram in which I said, and I quote:

I only have $200 on a Lowe’s gift card to spend on the breakfast nook.

So, how did I do? Let’s talk money.

How I Spent the Money

Right off the bat, I will confess that one week later, Andy cashed in more credit card points, and he added another $50 Lowe’s gift card to our figurative coffer. That brought the total to $250. Then, Andy’s parents sent us some money for our anniversary. I reserved that cash for items not purchased at Lowe’s.

Also, full disclosure, we had a ton of supplies on hand already. In fact, for budget purposes, I planned this project to make use of those leftover materials and clear out space in the basement.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

I Bought:

  1. Paint – Mount Etna – Satin (windows) Tidewater (ceiling)
  2. Plywood (floor)
  3. Stain – Puritan Pine
  4. Corbels (table)
  5. One 2X4X8 (table)
  6. Four 2X4X8 (floor)
  7. Weather Stripping (small window)
  8. Baseboards – two 8′ pieces
  9. Shoe Moulding – two 8′ pieces
  10. Cute Stuff – plants, placemats, dishes, the owl *
  11. Cavallini & Co. Dandelion Chart *
  12. Poster Frame *
  13. Brackets & Screws (table)
  14. Misc. paintbrushes
  15. Stencil (floor) *

At about $40 each, the most expensive single items on the list were the corbels. I searched for cast-iron and vintage brackets and corbels, but I never found anything in my price range.

*Items I did not buy at Lowe’s

Total Out-of-pocket Cost:

  1. Lowe’s: $234 (Unfortunately, I could not buy everything I needed at Lowe’s. Therefore, I have some leftover money on the gift card.)
  2. Cutting Edge Stencils: $45
  3. Dandelion Poster (Amazon) & Frame (Jo-Ann Fabrics-50% off)  from the original plan: $27

Total Planned/Necessary Expenses: $306 

I would be remiss if I did not include the frivolous table items that I bought for styling the breakfast nook for the photo shoot. I would not have spent this money if it were not for the extra anniversary money. Also, I want to make it clear that I only buy/bought items that we will use and love long after this project is a memory. We are not proponents of spending for spending’s sake.

Total Frivolous Expenses: $35

Just for fun, I also wrote a list of every material we used that we already had on hand. After I jotted everything down, it was clear to see that this project would have been a whole lot more expensive if we had to start from scratch.

Items Already On Hand:

  1. Paint – Citilite in all sheens (Satin-Walls & Baseboards, Flat-Stencil, Semi-gloss-Trim)
  2. Oil-based primer
  3. Caulk
  4. Wood Plank & Trim (table)
  5. Polyurethane (floor)
  6. Waterlox (table)
  7. Various Sandpaper
  8. R-13 Insulation (floor)
  9. Weatherizing Supplies (Walls)
  10. Shoe Moulding
  11. Baseboard trim pieces for awkward areas
  12. Privacy Film & Spray
  13. Frog Tape
  14. Plastic Sheeting
  15. Some decor items including the vintage school chairs

Lastly, since I was in list-making mode, I made a separate list of the tools that we used. We either own or borrowed everything.

The Tools We Used

  1. Orbital Sander
  2. Jigsaw
  3. Mitre Saw
  4. Power drill
  5. Measuring Tape & Pencils
  6. Hammer, Screwdriver (flat & Phillips)
  7. Utility knife
  8. Various putty knives
  9. Various Paintbrushes
  10. Compressor
  11. Finish Nail Gun + 2″ finish nails
  12. Shop-Vac
  13. Dustbuster (I LOVE this tool!)
  14. Paint Edger (window film)
  15. Level & Square
  16. Paint Can Opener/Scraper & Stir Sticks
  17. Window Zipper & Duck-billed vice grips (for removing the interior sash window)
  18. Rags & Paper Towels
  19. Extension Cords

What’s Next?

Now that the One Room Challenge is over, you might be wondering what is next for Blake Hill House? First and foremost, we are closing out the year with our podcast launch. Finally! At the top of this page, you will see where to sign up for podcast updates. Please subscribe via that link to stay in the loop about our exact launch date, get insider info, and additional show notes after each episode.

The podcast will be about everything related to buying, living in, and thoughtfully restoring and renovating old houses. We will answer your questions, and finally, we will share real interviews and stories from other devoted old house lovers. Recording those conversations was a highlight of my year.

Do you have questions about topics related to old houses or DIY? If so, send an e-mail to, and I will answer your question on the show.

In addition to the podcast launch, we will continue to write regular weekly blog posts. So, if you just started reading here because of the One Room Challenge™, we hope you will stay. Add this blog to your reader, subscribe by e-mail, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We like to think that the best is yet to come.

Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be in the breakfast nook hanging out with our owl.

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