The Breakfast Nook: One Room Challenge Week 1

The calendar goes ’round and ’round, and here we are back in October, Week 1 of the fall One Room Challenge™. I feel like we are still recovering from the spring ORC. Remember way back in May when we worked like dogs to get the library finished on time? All that blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. Aside from the kitchen, we spend most of our shared time in the library. In addition to the improved aesthetics, we are very proud of the restored floors and windows.

Now it is time to work some frugal magic on another unique room here in BHH. If you were on Facebook or Instagram yesterday, you already know that we chose

Breakfast Nook!

People often describe structures as having good bones. The long and narrow breakfast nook, measuring at 4.5′ X 10′, is pretty much all bones. Once an open porch, likely for deliveries to the kitchen, it is presently not serving any purpose except for looking stunning from the inside and outside.

For the past couple of years, we referred to it as the breakfast nook even though nary a pancake nor a bowl of cereal has been eaten in this room.

ORC Overall Goals

For all of its beauty, the breakfast nook does present a significant challenge. Currently, it is a one-season room. Not surprisingly, those giant windows are not at all energy-efficient. Also, underneath the floor is the chilly basement. So unless it is summer, no one wants to set foot in there. It is just not comfortable.

Our goal is to improve the energy efficiency by making the windows double-paned via individual glass panels or making custom storm windows. I am still trouble-shooting a solution for this little window.

To improve the overall comfort, I will raise the floor by a few inches to accommodate insulation. Don’t worry. The original hardwood will stay intact. A future owner can undo my handiwork without harm.

ORC Design Goals

I recognize that the One Room Challenge™ is a design challenge, not a construction challenge. It is no secret that I am better at construction, but I am learning. Each room that we tackle for the ORC improves, and I am grateful to Linda at Calling it Home for providing this opportunity twice per year.

A year ago, we finished a gut-remodel of the kitchen. The view from the breakfast room into the kitchen is a favorite.

Keeping our current kitchen in mind, I am working from this inspiration photo from Instagram:

(Posted by Mosaic Morocco. Design by Hoàng Long.)

The idea is light and bright, black and white + plants. The new floor will be simple plywood which I plan to stencil and seal. This gorgeous floor by Weaber Lumber is a winner.

We used a stencil by Cutting Edge Stencils in the butler’s pantry with great success, and we hope to work with the company again.

Finally, it would not be a room in BHH without a bit of Cavallini & Co. We used their vintage papers in the library, the dining room, and the kitchen. I have already ordered this beautiful dandelion paper for the breakfast nook.

The Budget

Why am I talking about money already? Well, if you watched our little video from yesterday, you know that the budget for this room is meager. Currently, we have $200 on a Lowe’s gift card to spend. This time of year, Andy and I are mostly tapped out for home improvement projects.

Right this minute, we have someone fixing the giant patch of rot on the side of BHH and under the sleeping porch. Also, this summer marked the end of the third year of house painting. So, we are tightening our belts and using our signature frugal style to restore and renovate the breakfast nook.

Again, many thanks to Linda of Calling it Home for providing this opportunity for uber-talented featured designersguest participants who could easily be featured designers, and little ol’ me–all heart and optimism. The details will sort themselves out.

I will end today’s post with a few more before photos. Please visit Calling It Home to take a look at everyone else’s ORC projects. It is going to be another inspiring season.

(Let’s ignore the construction trailer in this shot. I am imagining watching the snow fall while I am eating my breakfast and drinking a steaming mug of coffee.)

If you enjoy frugal and creative projects, this one is for you. Please subscribe to our blog below so you’ll never miss an update. Scroll up to the top of the page to add us to your favorite reader or get updates via e-mail. If you are an Instagram or Facebook user, be sure to follow us there as well. I will be posting real-time updates and utilizing Instagram stories on a daily basis. It is a great way to keep in touch between weekly blog posts.

Read on for Week 2


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