One Room Challenge | Week Three | At Halftime

April 19, 2018

How are we already in week three of the One Room Challenge?? I swear it was only yesterday that I was writing my week two post, and here we are a full week later I’m starting to feel the pressure. I’ve made some progress, but I’m not as far into this makeover as I hoped I would be by this point.

First up – some progress.  All the tile is gone!! I debated about taking off the 4” backsplash that matched my counter (my mom voted to keep it), but I’ve always thought that line of grey up the wall made the room look shorter, so off it came. Not quite sure how I’m going to dispose of it – it’s 7ft long and I’m not allowed to put construction debris in my building’s garbage.

Kitchen with back splash tile removed
All the tile is gone! Also, I need to figure out what to do with that 7ft piece of backsplash on the right . .
I’ve started to repair the damaged walls for the new tile. While it doesn’t have to be perfect, it does need to be much better than it was. In a few places I made some holes significantly bigger in order to find stud to properly install replacement drywall. Home Depot sells drywall in really handy 2ft square pieces of sheetrock which is great for someone like me who only needs a small bit and who also has a car (the pieces also fit perfectly in a black garbage bag if it’s pouring rain on the day you go to buy it – ask me how I know). I also used fiberglass tape in two sizes to repair some of the smaller holes.

Back splash wall before and after patching
The drywall was repaired with a number of small pieces of drywall so was very unstable. I cut them out and patched with just one piece of drywall.  It's hard to see in this image, but the white thing above the outlet is a disconnected knob from ancient knob and tube wiring.
I found some interesting things in the wall. There was some disconnected knob and tube, and in the corner behind the fridge I found a weird metal conduit with a small pipe and what looks like a valve coming out of it – anyone know what I might have been for?

before and after of drywall patch with mysterious pipe inside wall
In a spot behind the fridge the wall was again repaired very badly - I cut out a piece to repair it and found the conduit and pipes on the left. any ideas what they might have been fore?
I had both a plumber and an electrician here on Friday, so both of those ‘issues’ with my kitchen have been sorted out, although at cost that I hadn’t budgeted for.  The plumbing isn’t too exciting – he just replaced all my old shut-off valves with new ball valves.  The electrician took care of the scary ‘handy-man special’ electrical work that was in one of my cabinets. It’s not how I’d have wired my kitchen if I was starting from scratch, but it’s 100% better than it was. Also, as a bonus I can now fit two more coffee mugs in the cupboard. Maybe I’ll treat myself to this, or this :) 

New in-cabinet plug for my under cabinet lighting
If you remember the plug situation from last week - this is a huge improvement.
What’s been occupying most of my brain this week has been the search for replacement pulls for my cabinets. In last weeks post I shared a pull I loved, but at $140 each  there is sadly no possible way they work in my kitchen. I need to replace the 9” Ikea Spann handles I installed way back in 2012 which might normally not be a problem, but since I used them to replace much smaller pulls there are actually three holes in each cabinet door. This of course means that any pull I choose must have a back plate to hide them. Long pulls with a backplate are proving VERY hard to find.

Brass pulls with back plate
1. Nest Studio - Mod-12 2. Home Depot - Richelieu  3. Rejuvenation - Tolson 4. Rejuvenation - Patton 5. Rejuvenation - Bowman 6. Schoolhouse - Midvale 7. Rocky Mountain Hardware - Empire 8. Richelieu 9. Buster + Punch - Pull Bar 10. Amazon - Glacier 11.Horton Brasses - BRW-203 12. Amazon -  Ingot Pull 13. Rejuvenation - Upton 14. CB2 - Hex
I’ve got a Pinterest board of brass handles and pulls that you can check out, but here are some of the pulls I’ve found with backplates. So far none of them are ‘The Ones’ whether due to size, price, etc, so I’m still on the hunt. And yes, I’ve considered just spray painting my current pulls, but I’ve heard that doesn’t last long on frequently used items like door handles, and well, I live in Canada – given we had a massive rain/ice/snow storm on Monday I’m not entirely sure spring will arrive before the end of ORC and for long enough for me to do the work outside.

For next week I’m hoping to have all the plastering/sanding done on the walls, and to have primed them. I’m also really hoping I can at least get started on the tiling as I’m terrified about how long it will take me to do it given I’ve never tried it before. If I do get the tiling started I need your opinion on where to stop the tiles. Do I just to the back walls, or do I do some back splash on the side walls as well? (Please excuse the decidedly amateur mock-ups.)

Mock up of backsplash option
Should I tile just the back wall?
mock-up of backsplash option
Or should I also tile some of the wall beside the counter?
Let me know what you think, and please share any tips (or recommendations for Youtube videos) you have for tiling - I think I'm going to need all the help I can get.

Want some more One Room Challenge makeovers? Make sure you check out the 20 featured designers doing the One Room Challenge, and the other One Room Challenge Guest Participants.

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  1. My goodness, hope everything..including the weather... works out for you. The area is looking so good since you cleaned it out and prepped it for the refresh. Love all those brass handles, too. I'll be sure to follow your Pinterest board. ~~ Susie from The Chelsea Project

  2. Well done, Michelle! Wow! Must feel great to be rid of all that tile! My preference is to just tile the back wall.

  3. You have had quite the week! Love all of the brass pulls - it's always so hard to make a decision! Our two cents worth for the not bring it around the corner - just do the back wall. This will be easier for you and it looks more pleasing to the eye. No matter what you decide you are working so hard and it will look amazing when you are done!

  4. Loving all those brass pulls!

  5. I vote just the back wall too, it's a cleaner look. Love the brass pull idea......there must be one out there that will perfectly fit the bill! Good luck!

  6. Hi, Michelle! Your kitchen seems to be coming along really well, and trust me, I know all about those unexpected costs with plumbing or wiring. I had a few too many of those when I redid my builder-grade 14-year-old kitchen last year! I would suggest only tiling the back wall for the backsplash. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

  7. I almost used the same handle as #14 for my kitchen!!! I finally decided for something else. This is going to be so good but you are going to be a BUSY woman these next couple of weeks.

  8. Another vote for back wall only. Have you looked at D Lawless for hardware? Not sure that they have anything in that size, but it's worth a look because his prices are fantastic and he loves working with bloggers. ;)

    Fingers crossed that we both make more progress this weekend. We must be crazy to take on kitchens. ;)

  9. I love all of those brass pulls! What a tough decision! I would probably only tile the back wall, those transitions can be so awkward.

  10. I vote for tiling the back wall. And there is a product called Rub n Buff. It’s a rub on metallic leaf product. You can get it at art supply stores. And then you can seal it with a clear coat spray??

  11. Not sure if my comment published. I suggested rub n buff to refinish your current pulls. And yes to tiling the back wall!!

  12. I agree with everyone else, only tile the back wall. You are making some real progress, I tiled our bathroom floor and it was the first tile job I have ever done. Don't be scared, it isn't as hard as you may think!! You can do it!!

  13. Those pulls are going to be amazing when you switch them to brass. Have you looked for a good Brass Metallic paint? That would save you the worry about the extra hole. When I painted some older ones I screwed them through cardboard so I could get good coverage on all sides.

    Knob and tube wiring is scary stuff, I'm glad you got that all sorted out and all electrical is now safe. It's amazing when we see when we open the walls of our old homes.

    For the backsplash tile, if there's no possibility of water making it to that sidewall I'd leave it without tile. It always looks awkward to me to have a square of backsplash that doesn't have a cabinet over it (IMO). When we did our kitchen I had that same dilemma to the edge of the breakfast bar and opted to stop the backsplash at the cabinet.

  14. Throwing my vote in for the back wall only!


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