Modern Bistro Kitchen Design with Chairish

Remember this post I did on spring decorating last year in partnership with I was challenged to design a room around one of the rugs found on their site. It was fun to create that design board, I remember being really inspired by pink and green at the time but wasn't sure about introducing that colour scheme into my home, so creating the board was the perfect outlet for that particular design urge. I still love the design I came up with - it turns out the folks at Chairish loved it too and reached out with another challenge to participate in, for which I was happy to oblige. This time around, I was asked to choose from a selection of barstools to design a room around. My inspiration for the room came to me as soon as I saw these Milo Baughman-style Plum Velvet Brass Frame Barstools: 
I know, gorgeous, right? So let me introduce you to my Modern Bistro kitchen design: I immediately decided these barstools would look perfect pulled up to a marble island and sitting on top of graphic, encaustic floor tiles. I then included a brass and lucite étagère, and intricate metal pendants to hang over the island. Next, I layered in accessories like the wooden cutting boards and wooden bowl to add some warmth to the space. I love spending time in the kitchen, it's where everyone ends up gathering during a party and I love to cook while I'm entertaining - I can see this kitchen being the perfect place for spending time with the girls, chatting over cocktails and wine, and nibbling on delicious appetizers fresh out of the oven.  

If you're decorating around your own home (and not just dream decorating like I'm doing here!), consider checking out Chairish for great deals on gorgeous furniture and decor. And if you love the barstools I've shown here, you'll love the rest of their collection, check out their vintage and used barstool boutique here. I like what they have going on - they are an online shop featuring curator-approved vintage items, and they make buying and selling fun and easy. 

Sources from this board: 

One Room Challenge - THE REVEAL! (Week 6: Fall 2015)

It's finally here! Reveal day for the One Room Challenge Guest Participants! This means you finally get to see my finished kitchen (and I use the term "finished" loosely). First though, did you see the reveals from yesterday's core participants? Check those out here, I've already drooled over most of them and can't wait to devour the rest! Second, I really need to take a moment to thank Linda of Calling It Home blog who founded the One Room Challenge, opened it to everyone, and created a forum for creatives to share progress and support and encourage each other as we all work towards a common goal - finish decorating a room in our house (or a client's house) in only six weeks. 

Okay then, let's dive in to my reveal! As I said, it's been six weeks so let me take you back and remind you of what I started with...

(if you need to catch up from the beginning, check out my earlier posts: 

...a wall colour that I referred to as "nicotine yellow" that had patched holes all over it, cabinets with scratches, dents and chipped paint, and a massive fridge that looked completely disconnected from the rest of the counter/prep area. Here again are the before pictures: 

And now, the after pictures (sources will be listed at the end of the post). I'll take you around the room in the same direction as the before photos for a direct comparison: 

I had a few set-backs that prevented me from shooting my photos during daylight hours so what you're seeing are my dark, shadowy, moody evening photos. I like how the dark grey walls make the space feel cozier; before, the room seemed too big. I didn't get a chance to address lighting due to budget, but I'm not upset about that, it gives me something to work on and share with you in a future post. I'll be changing the ceiling fixture and adding spotlights under the cabinets in time. 

One of my favourite additions to my kitchen is the island and cookbook shelf, both from IKEA. I was hoping that the microwave would fit top shelf (underneath the butcher block top) but truth be told I like not having to bend down anymore when using it. Even though my fridge still looks disconnected from the rest of the kitchen, I think I've helped to tie it back in a little with this white island and white shelf. I strategically measured the distance between top of island and bottom of shelf to match the distance between countertop and bottom of the upper cabinets so that your eye travels from the shelf, across the window, and back over to the cupboards seamlessly. 

My kitchen table is very old and I'm really tired of it, and before I started this challenge I thought I might paint it, but once I painted the walls grey I started to like how the wood tone warmed up the space. It's temporary anyway until I give my dining room a makeover (and if I can save up enough money, the dining room will be my Spring 2016 One Room Challenge project!). It's also amazing what I little styling can do - setting the table and changing the chairs makes the table look new. (Confession: the chairs are for the photos only! The Pressback chairs are moving back in, I don't have anywhere else to store them, not to mention I only have two ghost chairs and need seating for when the kids are here.) 

My absolute favourite change in here is the hardware switch-out I did. I went from having chrome knobs to brass pulls. A couple of before-and-after photos: 

Not only do the brass pulls look nicer, they are easier to grasp to open the cupboards and drawers.

If you've been following my progress closely then you might be wondering - where the cookbook wall art at?!! Well, not only did I run out of time, but I also got nervous about what was behind that part of the wall I wanted to drill into. But in time it will come. I have so many cookbooks and their covers are gorgeous so this will happen. I also want to look for a rug, switch the handle on the fridge to the right side, change/add lighting, and put up a roman shade on the window. Oh, and I also didn't put up my bicycle art. I'd like to take some time to source something more to scale since the wall the table is up against is so large. All in time.  

Thank you for following me on this journey! I swear, if it wasn't for the encouragement and support from you, friends, week after week, through comments on the blog and Instagram, mentions on Twitter and following my progress on Snapchat (lesley_metcalfe), I may not have been motivated to keep up my crazy schedule to get this done. Let's stay connected! Now I'm off to check out the reveals from my fellow guest participants! Visit Calling It Home for links to all the reveals. 

Paint: Icon Grey by Dulux; Oxford White (cabinets) by Dulux; Simply White (window trim, door trim, door) by Benjamin Moore
Kitchen island, shelf: IKEA
Brass pulls: Lee Valley
Dinner plates, glass tumblers: Ralph Lauren
Salad plates, bowls, table runner, napkins, flatware: West Elm
Wine glasses: Riedel
Brass candleholders, blue and white jar (used as planter): thrifted
Acrylic chairs: Structube
Silver julep cup (used as vase for roses): The Cross Decor & Design
Copper candle: Jonathan Adler

One Room Challenge - Week 5: Fall 2015

Welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge! That means only one week left until I reveal my kitchen makeover! I've been doing a lot of painting in the last 5 weeks and I'm very excited to show you the reveal. I've been showing you a lot of painting progress lately, so today I want to show some of the accessories I have planned to style my kitchen - which, by the way, is currently an eat-in kitchen, so lots of opportunities for tabletop displays! 

Before I get into the details, you can catch up on my progress during this challenge here: 

Week 1  |  Week 2  |  Week 3  |  Week 4

Here are some of the tabletop items I'm planning on using: 

If you've been following my progress, then you already know that my walls and cupboards are grey and white, respectively. So as you can see, I'm going for a very coordinated look with my styling. But don't worry, if you know me, you know that I'll be injecting colour somewhere into this space.  :) 

Speaking of colour, I saw this picture earlier this week and was really inspired - I now want to create a wall of cookbook art! 

image via
I'm already in possession of two IKEA Ribba wall ledges in brown that I purchased over 5 years ago and yes, they are still in their original packaging. I never found the right place to use them, and I think they have been waiting all this time to fulfill their destiny. I just need to spray paint them white and they are ready to serve their purpose.  I'm so jazzed to show off my cookbooks, the covers are a work of art.

A couple of other items I'll be adding... 

This IKEA kitchen island: 
This marble mortar and pestle that I've had forever and stored in a cupboard, but finally I'm going to display on my countertop: 

Aaaaand that's all for now. I need to have a few surprises for the reveal.  :) 

I hope you'll come back next week to see the full reveal of my kitchen makeover! I'm also planning to do a Periscope broadcast the weekend following my reveal, so stay tuned for details on that, and make sure to connect with me on Twitter in the meantime @lesleymetcalfe_ 

Have you seen what everyone else is up to? I'm following the main participant group on the regular... well as the guest participants here.  And you should too! I'm proud to count myself among this amazing group of talented designers and decorators. Many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for creating and maintaining this challenge, it's such an honour to be a part of it.  

One Room Challenge - Week 4, Fall 2015

Hello, and welcome back to another instalment of the One Room Challenge! The One Room Challenge is a six week marathon of room redecoration, created by Linda of Calling It Home, participated in by design bloggers from coast to coast, and capturing the attention of brands, retailers, and major design media outlets. This is my fourth time participating in this challenge, and for the current round you can catch up on my progress here: 

Week 1  |  Week 2  |  Week 3

Oh, the dreaded Week 4 of the One Room Challenge! The week where you realize you should have done more by now, because you really only have one week left to get it all done since you need that final week for finishing touches, styling and photography. Gahhh! But it's okay, I managed to get a TON of work done this week. As you may recall, I decided to switch my hardware from knobs to pulls, so this week I drilled new holes, patched the unnecessary ones, sanded down all surfaces, then slapped down two coats of paint on all the cabinets and drawers. Totally thought it was going to take three coats, so I'm feeling a little bit like the fist-pump baby and created this meme to celebrate: 

And I still have half a gallon of paint left over! Amazing. 

Here are some photos of this week's work. 

After removing the knobs; after applying wood filler: 

Centre hole from knob filled, new holes for pulls drilled (and one pull installed to check that the measurements are correct): 

Freshly painted drawers! One coat only in this pic, but I'll bet you can already see the difference this is making: 

Ahh, fresh white everywhere: 

I can't wait to show you more! Painting the cabinets from a dirty, off-white to a fresh, crisp and clean bright white is making a world of difference. However, it's not making a huge impact to the space yet. Once I get the hardware up (I'm waiting for the cabinets to be 100% dry) and get the grey paint on the walls, the impact is going to be ENORMOUS. Stick with me, folks - I promise to have more exciting pictures coming soon!

I will leave you with a little teaser of some art I plan to hang on the wall: 

This piece is in two parts, made of metal and shadowboxed on a reclaimed wood backdrop. Can you believe I got this at HomeSense?!! It was my best find yet. I'm going to include this in my gallery wall. In case you didn't already sense it, there is going to be an eclectic, rustic, antique vibe to the gallery wall. I can't wait to show you more! 

Have you seen what the 20 core ORC participants are doing? (Hint: making progress in leaps and bounds!) Check them out here

And please don't forget to see how my fellow guest participants are progressing! Witness all of that design eye candy here.  

I've been posting a lot of live and behind-the-scenes updates on Snapchat, follow along for mid-week progress updates by connecting with me at lesley_metcalfe. 

One Room Challenge - Week 3, Fall 2015

It's the third week of the One Room Challenge, that means it's time for me to share an update on the progress I've made on my kitchen makeover. If you're just joining me or need a refresher, you can catch up on Week 1 here and Week 2 here

My schedule in the last week has been jam-packed full of events, which, while fun and exciting and totally worth it, didn't leave me with much time to work on my kitchen. And worse than not getting significant work done on my kitchen, I'm even more upset that I didn't leave myself time to catch up on my fellow ORC participants' progress last week! I promise you though, I will get caught up and share my support and encouragement soon. Anyhoo, back to me: I did manage to get two coats of paint on the window and door trim and man oh man does it ever make a difference! It's fresh and clean and I'm convinced it makes the sun shine brighter in my kitchen. See the difference for yourself: 

Window trim before and during...

Door and door frame...

See what I mean? There's nothing like a fresh coat of white paint to bring new life into a space.  

I also purchased the brass pulls for my cabinets this week. Look how shiny and pretty they are!!! 

I was lucky that Lee Valley had them in stock. I've slacked off enough these first three weeks, the last thing I needed to face was backordered product. 

And that's all for this week! Oh, and in case you're wondering what I've been doing that kept me from working on my kitchen, here are a couple of the highlights: 

I got to see Ringo Starr!!! He did a Q&A with Indigo CEO Heather Reisman at the Bay/Bloor store in Toronto. The two of them had a easy conversation, they were charming, funny and dynamic together, and being there in person was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Ringo Starr has led a fascinating life and he had lots of stories and wisdom to share with the audience. 

And last night I had the great privilege of meeting Kirstine Stewart, VP of Media at Twitter, Inc., formerly the head of English programming at CBC, and she had an illustrious career in media prior to that. Her newly released book, Our Turn, is an inspiration for women in business. After having read her book and having dogeared most of the pages to look back on memorable passages, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear her speak and to get to meet her. 

I have another event-filled week next week but the clock is ticking and I haven't even started on my cabinets yet, eep! I'm going to dedicate a lot of time to my kitchen this weekend and will hopefully have more to show next week.