Kitchen Design - Ocoee Home

I don't know about you, but I love inspiring kitchens. One of the toughest parts of renting, is not being able to change things in the kitchen. We have a decent kitchen in our rental, but it would still be fun to make some changes. So I thought it would be great to debrief about our Ocoee Home kitchen. We had so much fun creating this space--over 5 years ago. (Where has time gone!?) I first want to talk about the planning period. When we began planning for our renovation and actually renovating, Pinterest did not exist. Can you imagine a world without Pinterest? My life was less inspired. However, even without Pinterest, Scott and I took to the internet in search of most things. The times we ventured out to a showroom or store, we were left unimpressed or uninspired. We loved that the world was quite literally at our fingertips. So since there was no Pinterest, I would bookmark every. single. thing. I. liked. You can only imagine how many bookmarks I had and how difficult it was to look through them all. We also spent a lot of time flipping though magazines at my mom's house or Barnes & Noble. The girl in me who loves school supplies and organization (hence the DIY planner) created a notebook organized by room with magazines pages and samples.


That notebook brought me so much joy! In fact, I had an entire file box filled with fabric, rug and tile samples much like a hoarder. The dreaming part was fun but it can also be overwhelming because you literally have so much to choose from. It may be tough to narrow down what you really want and you totally get the pressure of picking out the right thing because there are hefty dollar signs attached to get item. Nobody wants to waste money or want to change it within a few years. So take some time to plan and figure out what you really want.

Maybe you feel lost even figuring out what you want. I took time to figure out our style by looking through lots and lots and lots of pictures. As I looked through inspiration photos, I noticed that the same things kept popping up--white, marble, accents of black, chrome, open shelves. We were also very drawn to using two shades of paint--one for the majority of cabinets and a different one for the island. Through this process of researching, we were able to figure out our style--classic modern is what we called it. We were designing a house that was originally built over 100 years ago and was technically considered in the country even though it resides about a mile from the city square. We wanted to restore the classic feel yet add modern touches. Figuring that out helped us tremendously. To figure out your style, ask yourself as you research:

  • What do I love about this picture?
  • What do I not like about this picture?
  • What does that say about my style?

Here's some examples of how we implemented classic modern: Our cabinet choice nods to classic shaker style yet the black sleek hardware is modern. We chose classic white subway tile with white grout to capture both a style that is classic yet clean and modern. I realized that I didn't like rounded edges. Most of the pictures I liked had straight or hard edges. That signifies a more modern style than traditional. Get the idea? All houses are different yet this house deserved a little bit of modern mixed with its classic beauty.

I want to share with you the few main inspiration pictures behind our Kitchen renovation. The first comes from the Southern Living Idea Home from Senoia, GA in 2010. At that point, we knew we wanted a mostly white kitchen but we still hadn't landed on where to buy from. We had quotes from Home Depot and a local cabinet maker--both so much money. When we saw this picture, we realized that we could do an Ikea kitchen. There are a few things from this one picture that narrowed our ideas: Ikea cabinetry, custom hood woodwork, custom woodwork on the back of the island, wood floor stain color, and to push our kitchen table right up next to the island. That is a lot from one picture!


Another kitchen that largest influenced us was designed by Urban Grace Interiors. This kitchen is completely swoon-worthy. Behold this glory...

This kitchen mostly inspired us to do a few things, the first being open shelving. We mimicked the bracket design from this kitchen. I just LOVED the chalkboard idea so I, Miss Not-so-crafty, created one out of scrap wood from Home Depot and a little chalkboard paint. At first, I wrote HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT because that was the daily reminder that I needed (Amen from all the mothers of little humans). Then after a while, I realized how fitting GIVE THANKS BE JOYFUL was for me and changed it. We obviously loved the white cabients but we also drew inspiration for our hardware from here. Originally, we were going to do chrome or silver hardware to go with white marble countertops but when our countertop choice changed (due to the amazing deal we scored from Ikea) we changed our minds. In fact, we were already living in the house before we ever ordered the hardware. When I saw the specks of black in the New Venetian Gold Granite, I decided we should accent that in our hardware.

Here is another picture that inspired how I decorated our open shelves. The open shelves really were one of my all-time favorite parts of the entire house. It was a place that could truly capture my personality. We used everything that was on our shelves. I wanted it to be functional yet beautiful.

open shelves inspiration

The last kitchen picture that was a big inspiration for what we did was the home of Julie Holloway from Milk & Honey Home. She also had beautiful open shelves. The hardware in here is what we originally were going for until our countertops changed. We chose the same oval lanterns, sink faucet and apron front fireclay sink.So now you know how our kitchen evolved. You can see all the elements from the pictures before displayed in our kitchen. Spend some time figuring out what you want--you don't want to change it within a few years. We originally wanted a different color island but decided that it would be easier to start with a white cabinet and then paint it down the road if we needed a change. Don't rush the process and be flexible (like we were about the hardware).

kitchen complete
kitchen complete

If you are in the middle of researching a kitchen renovation, I hope our steps help you. I have a whole board of kitchen inspiration for you to jump start your research. At the end of the day, you want to create a space that you enjoy and feel at peace.


Master Bedroom Retreat

I don't know why this is, but my bedroom is always the last thing for me to decorate fully. Maybe bedrooms just plague me for some strange reason. Maybe its because most people don't see it. However, I have noticed that living in a small house people always end up in our bedroom. Our kids always end up playing in there--it is apparently their dance studio. And on the weekends, Scott and I really want a place to sit and retreat. Let's just call it what it is--an escape for our crazy, busy kids. Am I right? So recently I've been working on a plan for our bedroom. I mentioned briefly in a recent friday finds post that I am looking to update our bedding. I've had all white bedding for years but I've got the itch for something different. Scott was happy because its seemed a little masculine. Pursuing my Pinterest board on bedrooms, the common thread is neutral, white, light, gray, wood, and some pattern. I've talked about in the For Rent series, that I really want to purchase things that I love. I no longer want to buy simply because its cheap or I sorta like it. I really want to enjoy what I place in our home--I want it to be a reflection of who we are. I love that Scott has an opinion on our decor. He has such a creative eye and if you have seen our house tour then you would agree! So we are approaching this together.

On these boards, you'll see our bedroom. What we really need are two armchairs, one side table and bedding. Everything else on the board is already in the room. One thing that isn't pictured are the nightstands which was a RAST Ikea Hack we did awhile back.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.59.03 AM
Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.59.03 AM

This first board, has the two different Ikea beddings mixed along with wingback chairs ($280) from Target. The side table is also from Target. I like the pattern on the chairs, but kind of wanted something with a shorter back so that it didn't block too much of the window.

master bedroom retreat
master bedroom retreat

The second board uses our current white bedding along with a gray pin stripe comforter from Ikea to lay at the foot of the bed. The side table (metal + wood) and armchairs ($250) are also from Target. Both of us really like the dark charcoal pattern on these chairs and that the back is not so tall.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.58.53 AM
Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.58.53 AM

The third board has the mix-matched bedding from Ikea along with a different side table from Target (gold + wood) and two chairs from ZGallerie. Now, let me just say that I have stalked these chairs for years. I love the style of them however I do not love the price tag. I am all about buying what we love but we honestly don't want to spend $600 a pop! A girl can dream, though, right?!

I had originally thought about a neutral linen upholstered chair with clean lines but as I looked at the board, it felt like all my upholstered furniture was the same. I felt like it needed something different--something that added a different texture and feel. The neutral linen would be a safer bet given that I could move it from room to room in my house with ease but sometimes I think you need to have fun and push past your tendency to play it safe. So we are leaning towards the second board.


  1. Headboard - Wayfair (the one we actually have is no longer in stock)
  2. Dresser - Ikea Hemnes
  3. Bedside chest - Ikea RAST (We DYI'd it)
  4. Ottomans - Target
  5. First side table - Target
  6. Second side table - Target
  7. WingBack chair - Target Jackson Chair
  8. Side Chairs - Target Cooper Chair
  9. Spindle Chairs - Zgallerie
  10. Bedding - here and here
  11. Curtains - Ikea AINA
  12. Rug - WestElm
  13. Armoire - thrifted

And on that note, I really enjoy helping others find their style and create a space that they truly enjoy. Contact me if you are interested in needing help pulling a look together.

Ikea Hack Nightstand

One thing I love about living in Marietta is that we are a quick 20 minute drive, door to door, to Ikea in Atlanta. I'm pretty sure we made a weekly run to Ikea when we moved here. I remember the first time that we experienced Ikea. We went down to Ikea on Halloween night (this was before we had kids) and spent at least 3 hours there! We ate dinner, shopped, fought, sought counseling and ended the date with a cinnamon roll. We almost always end up fighting by the time we enter the warehouse portion of the store. However, we now pretty much know what we want when we go, so counseling isn't always needed. I bet everyone has a room in their house that is the last place to decorate or put together. For me, it has always been our bedroom. I have yet to really put together a master bedroom. Even when we lived in our dream home, the bedroom wasn't complete. We had minimal furniture and few decor pieces. It mostly just about being functional. I don't know why that is. Maybe I know most people that come to my house, aren't spending time in my bedroom. But regardless, our bedroom is a place that I want to feel comfortable and relaxed. It's a place to go after surviving each day.

When we moved here, we sold, gave away, got rid of almost 75% of our stuff. We completely downsized. Our last house was nearly 5000 sq feet and our rental is 1850 sq feet. We sold our king size bed and now use our guest queen bed. We assumed our rental would have small bedrooms like most homes built between 1940-1970, however, we totally scored. The owners of our rental added a master suite on to the back of the house. We could have totally kept our king bed. Sigh.

Given that all we had was a queen mattress set for our bedroom, we knew we needed some furniture. After ordering a metal bed frame and upholstered headboard from Wayfair, the next thing to buy were nightstands. The only problem was that we didn't have a lot of money to spend. So what do you do when you have a need for furniture + a lack of money? You go to Ikea. After spending some time researching Pinterest, I decided that we should do an Ikea hack on the RAST chest. I found inspiration here. This chest has 3 drawers and is only...wait for it... $35!

Ikea Hack Supplies
Ikea Hack Supplies

After purchasing and persuading my husband to put the chests together (I like to make him think I am incapable of assembling Ikea furniture), we got to work painting and staining. (You will have to forgive me but I neglected to take any process pictures for you.) We had leftover white paint and stain from other projects. We stained the sides and top of the chest Minwax Mission Oak and painted the drawer fronts white. Then, we bought new hardware from Home Depot. I believe we spent $36 total on hardware.  So each nightstand cost us about $55 each! Not too shabby!

IKEA hack nightstand
IKEA hack nightstand

I am really in love with the look of these. My only complaint is that they are a little short. My inspiration link built them up a bit, but my husband didn't want to have to do that. The drawers are not deep which works well for nightstands.

Ikea Hack night stands
Ikea Hack night stands

Our current master bedroom is definitely further along than our last one yet we still need to hang pictures! As you can see, I still have lots of work to do in this room to make it more cozy but at least I have nightstands ;-) Are you dreaming up any Ikea hacks?