Modern French Country Kitchen Renovation “One Room Challenge” Final Reveal

The time has officially arrived. It’s been a rough 7 weeks for us and our DIY kitchen renovation, but we are so happy the job is finally complete!

We embarked as guest participants in the “One Room Challenge”, hosted by Linda at Calling it Home HERE and sponsored by House Beautiful HERE.

The One Room Challenge is a biannual event every April and October. Each round, twenty design bloggers take the challenge and transform a space. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process while sharing their sources and professional advice over the six weekly posts. If you haven’t had a chance to check out these amazing transformations, you will be wowed by what these designers have put together HERE.

As for me, I love participating in this challenge. Adhering to a strict timeline is a great motivator for me, and a wonderful opportunity to transform a room in our home. During a previous season I renovated our master bedroom in a prior home HERE.

This season, we decided to give our kitchen a makeover. We started 7 weeks ago, and the time has flown by. You can catch up on all the progress along the way by clicking on the links.

Kitchen Renovation (Week 1) Before Pictures

Kitchen Renovation (Week 2) The Design Plan

Kitchen Renovation (Week 3) Painting Island Cabinets & Steam Cleaning Natural Stone

Kitchen Renovation (Week 4) Range Hood Transformation

Kitchen Renovation (Week 5) Fireplace Surround & New Cabinet Hardware

Kitchen Renovation (Week 6) New Lighting

Our to-do list for the renovation included the following:

  • Paint cabinets on the center island dark gray
  • Paint wall cabinets on island #2 a creamy white
  • Paint range hood creamy white
  • Replace textured glass on cabinet doors with clear glass
  • Replace all cabinet hardware
  • Steam clean the travertine floors
  • Replace the pendants hanging over island #1
  • Replace the chandelier in dining area
  • Decide on furniture for dining area and front of fireplace
  • Replace bar stools (on order)
  • Replace backsplash
  • Install under cabinet and in cabinet lighting
  • Paint kitchen walls

All the items on the original to-do list have been completed with the exception of replacing the backsplash. Instead of replacing the backsplash, I color sealed the grout lines in the area under the range hood, giving it a fresh, clean and new look. You can read about how easy it is to color seal grout HERE.

As for the backsplash under the wall cabinets, we decided against replacing it because we were worried about damaging the countertops during the removal process. Our backsplash under these cabinets is a slab of marble, the same marble as the countertops.

Our soon-to-be new bar stools are a custom order and unfortunately didn’t arrive in time for the final reveal. But I will update you with pictures when they do arrive.

Let’s take a look at the before pictures of our kitchen space.

fullsizeoutput_74a8The travertine floors were filthy, we steam cleaned the hell out of them, you can read about how to steam clean natural stone in my post from Week 3 HERE.

fullsizeoutput_74a5 Obviously a large space, making the windows and doors look very blah and boring.

fullsizeoutput_74a4The cabinets and island are a dingy gray color, bringing the whole look of the kitchen down, and the stain colored corbels, have to go!

IMG_6246Those 4 pendants over the island look ridiculous and feel crowded in the space.

IMG_6250*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience*

Don’t get me started on that range hood! And the monogramming?! That’s a story for another day.

IMG_9086Ugly textured glass on the cabinet doors.

fullsizeoutput_6539The fireplace area feels un-inviting and cold.

Going back to my design board, these are existing and new elements I am working with for the remodel:

Untitled design

Now, lets take a look at the newly renovated space!

fullsizeoutput_756fWe increased the height of the windows and doors by adding more millwork, you can read about that HERE. The additional wood and trim makes a grand statement in the space, especially with 11 foot ceilings.

fullsizeoutput_756eI painted the center island a dark gray, the color I used is “Slate” by Restoration Hardware. The paint I used is Benjamin Moore HERE, and primer HERE. This is by far the best cabinet paint out there, I highly recommend it! Check out previous posts for more information.

fullsizeoutput_7573Painting the corbels the same color as the island makes a huge visual difference to the space.

We replaced 4 smaller pendants over island #1, with 2 lantern pendants HERE.  Love them! No glass, nothing to clean, totally smudge free.

fullsizeoutput_7574All new hardware in a french country style HERE. The old hardware consisted of knobs…replaced all knobs to all pulls in brushed stainless steel.

fullsizeoutput_7567The fireplace got a complete overhaul, you can read about that HERE.

We decided on a simple settee for the fireplace, and we love it. It fits the space perfectly and is so comfortable SIMILAR HERE . A white sheepskin rugs HERE adds to the coziness.

fullsizeoutput_7568The fireplace area is now inviting to sit in front of and enjoy a glass of wine…or two.

fullsizeoutput_7563A simple raw piece of timber makes a wonderful fireplace shelf. Check out Week 5 HERE for more information on the fireplace remodel.

fullsizeoutput_7566For the dining area, we finally decided on a farmhouse table SIMILAR HERE  in a gray finish. As I mentioned in a prior post, this isn’t the first table we bought for this space. Another bad decision…lesson learned. But this new table is fabulous and oh so elegantly rustic!

fullsizeoutput_7565The chairs are simple HERE, lightweight and very economical. I bought 10 of them, I like to keep extra on hand for large gatherings.

fullsizeoutput_7572The end chairs HERE are super comfortable, tall, and look great in the space.

fullsizeoutput_7571I love this dining set with straight rectangular legs, it adds the perfect amount of casual elegance to the room.

fullsizeoutput_7570Eucalyptus and white roses for a simple table centerpiece.


fullsizeoutput_7569I painted the cabinets white, color is “Sand Dollar” by Restoration Hardware, using Benjamin Moore paint.

fullsizeoutput_756aThe clear glass is attractive and elegant.

fullsizeoutput_7560Notice the under cabinet lighting? Check out Week 6 HERE for all the details on in cabinet and under cabinet lighting options.

fullsizeoutput_755eAdded a runner to the space to warm it up, this one is from Frontgate HERE.

fullsizeoutput_755fLoving my gooseneck faucet HERE and apron farmhouse sink HERE.


fullsizeoutput_7561The wine barrel chandelier HERE is so pretty and grand. The candelabra lights are perfect and add the right amount of charm to the space. Check out Week 6 HERE for more details on lighting.

fullsizeoutput_756bFinally the walls are painted in the color “Ash” by Restoration Hardware, using Benjamin Moore paint HERE.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have participated and completed a remodel of our kitchen. Now, the space feels so bright and inviting, a few changes made a world of difference.

Our future goal is to do a full kitchen remodel in a few years, with new cabinets and range hood, but this intermittent DIY makeover (excluding furniture and lighting) costed less than $1,000.

If you’re thinking about a mini makeover for your kitchen, there are many DIY changes you can make on any budget to update your space.

If your budget is $100, I suggest painting the walls, it makes a dramatic difference.

If your budget is $300, paint the walls and replace a light fixture.

If your budget is $500, paint the walls, replace a light fixture, and update the faucet. If you can add another couple hundred dollars onto that, consider replacing the sink.

If you have $1,000 to spend, consider the items listed above, paint the cabinets and add new hardware.

Little changes go a long way in updating a space. Thanks so much for visiting, I hope you enjoyed seeing our transformation. I’ll see you next time! Feel free to tweet, pin, and repost this article. Follow along on Instagram HERE and subscribe to Happy Haute Home to get bi-weekly posts delivered to your inbox.

35 thoughts on “Modern French Country Kitchen Renovation “One Room Challenge” Final Reveal

  1. Holy shit holy shit holy shit! it looks great! I can’t believe it’s the same kitchen. It may be weird, but I think my single favorite thing is the FLOOR. So much brighter and warmer.

    1. Aww thanks Joe! I’m really happy with the results…it’s so much brighter! And yes the floors look great too!

  2. Wow oh wow! I love the paint transformation! Thanks for the feedback on Advance BJ paint. I plan to paint our kitchen and have been considering that paint. The fireplace, lighting, table, chairs, everything supports the “look”!

    1. I highly recommend Ben Moore Advance for cabinets, so far so good…hoping it holds up to daily use 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! That’s what I like about the challenge, I’m stuck to a timeframe and I have to deliver.

  3. Awesome! How many coats of sand dollar did you need for the cabinets? Did you deal with anything? Love this and your hood (even though you want to replace it!) I’ll take it!!! ❤️

    1. Hi Adrienne, I used 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of Ben Moore Advance Paint in the color “Sand Dollar”. It turned out really nicely, we are happy with it.

    2. No I did not seal the paint. It’s been over a year and holding up very well. Are you thinking of painting your cabinets? It’s really not the hard.

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