cabinet door mat

ORC Kitchen – Week 4 – New Cabinets

Some of you have asked me: “How can you be so INSANE as to participate in the One Room Challenge when you are 7 MONTHS PREGNANT!!!” Well, I will tell you. 6 years ago, George and I bought our home and decided to use IKEA kitchen cabinets for our kitchen. As much as I love IKEA and its aesthetics, I don’t like the quality of all its products. Anybody else in agreement out there?

Well, within six months our kitchen cabinet doors were deteriorating, and within a couple of years, they were in a pretty sad state. George painted white all the imperfections as a temporary solution, but the truth still remained: my kitchen cabinets looked like crap, and it was intensely annoying!!!!


Well, some months ago I was approached by Cabinet Door Mart. They mentioned they would like to work with me on an upcoming blog project and my kitchen soul got REALLY excited!!!!

Sometimes, opportunities fall on your lap, and you have to take them, no matter that a child is growing in your belly at lighting speed! This was my ONE AND ONLY OPPORTUNITY to get rid of those horrible IKEA cabinet fronts and replace them with good quality doors!!!!!! I took the opportunity, people, and I haven’t looked back yet.

This is the thing: replacing IKEA cabinet doors and drawer fronts is NOT easy. The measurements of the furniture I bought six years ago don’t exist anymore! And there was no way I was going to replace all my cabinets, much less using more IKEA doors and fronts to have them all fall apart because of humidity in less than a year.  I just needed a “facelift” not a full-on plastic surgery, so Cabinet Door Mart came to the rescue.

Good news is that this company will customize doors and fronts to whatever size you need. You have to round up your door sizes to the next 1/16 of an inch. I measured all my cabinets, sent a list of what I needed, and got all my new doors and fronts in no time, nothing short of a miracle. Customer service = excellent.

All doors and fronts came in natural wood. We decided to paint them ourselves in the Radicchio color by Farrow & Ball. The only thing is that, as much as I love European anything, I am not about to spend hundreds of dollar in a gallon of paint, so I asked my local paint store to match the color in Benjamin Moore paints. I ordered satin finish. I did not want the typical semi-gloss kitchen finish, what can I say, I am not always a fan of shiny kitchens. The idea behind using glossy paint in a kitchen is that it is easy to wipe, but satin is an excellent finish for that purpose, too, so that is what we used.

After receiving the doors and fronts, George and I started painting. Luckily, we had an excellent HVLP paint sprayer to help with the task: the Super Finish Max Extra by Home Right. Last year, when I went to the Haven Conference, there was a booth from Home Right showing the versatility of this product. I fell in love with it because even me, an inexperienced spray painter, was able to make a paint job look perfect!!! I begged them to send me a Super Finish Max Extra, I even cried a little, and they were kind enough to say yes!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, this tool made the paint job so easy! First, we primed the doors and fronts, then we let the primer dry one hour or two and got to the real paint. We did two coats of the radicchio paint in the front only. The Super Finish Max Extra allows you to choose the thickness of your spray and we went a little bit thick. That and the primer allowed for just one coat of paint on the back of the doors. Take a look:

Looking good, gorgeous doors!!!!

Now, I am not going to lie. Although the Super Finish Max Extra makes your life a lot easier, painting 31 cabinet doors and drawer fronts is not a stroll in the park. It took all weekend to finish this project, mainly because we had to wait for the paint to dry before applying a new coat. Also, you need to be SUPER careful handling all the doors, so you don’t touch the fresh paint and ruin the whole job, but look at the result! I mean, the color is just perfect. I love it all and I am thrilled to have doors and fronts that are of good quality!  Another problem sweet thing that happened was that Max decided to help. We want to be encouraging parents that teach their children to be independent and do projects, but, let me tell you, I would rather not have to deal with a four-year-old while painting 31 cabinets!!! Augh! But then, look at that sweet face… oh well, he helped, and things worked out fine in the end.  After painting, we had to drill cup hinges for the cabinets. Cabinet Door Mart can send pre-bore doors, but, because we had IKEA cabinets and were not sure of the measurements, we decided to do this ourselves. Again, not an easy project. The truth is that for this, I didn’t do much, it was all George, and he made it work beautifully. I got the Rockler Jig-It Deluxe Concealed Hinge Drilling System to help with the task, but it was a little bit of a disappointment.  Not only the rail wasn’t long enough for our 39″ cabinets, but the Jig mounting holes were not aligning right. Of course, George was able to fix the issue by using different screws and other tricks, but, if you are not handy or have a good handy person around, I wouldn’t recommend drilling the cup hinges of your cabinets yourself. In any case, if you decide to go this route, find a better system than the Rockler we used.Look at my hubby’s invention to drill holes at a consistent width. He is soooo good.

This is how the first drawer front looked like: I LOVED IT!!!!! The color stole my heart.

I will show you more photos of this beautiful cabinets once all the handles are on, but, for now, you will have to take my word for it: they look gorgeous, and they make the whole kitchen work!!!! Everything is finally coming together!

In other news, we installed the tiles: I started painting that mural: Ceiling medallion and chandelier are up. Sorry for the mess (please, don’t pin this… haha) :
We are waiting for that gorgeous wallpaper from Lucy Tiffney to arrive so we can add it to the side of the cabinets: Here are the kids with me at Home Depot. They have been so patience and fun throughout the process. Here is also Max cleaning up messes because he likes playing with water and soap while being “extremely” helpful. 

Ok, readers, only two more weeks to go and I am thrilled with how all of is looking so far. I had a minor meltdown last weekend, if you follow me on Instagram, you know everything about it, but now, finally, I feel things are going in the right direction.

Here are the posts from the other weeks:

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 5 | Week 6

*Thanks to Cabinet Door Mart and Home Right for sponsoring this post, and thanks to you for supporting the brands that make Jest Cafe possible! Have a great week.




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ORC Kitchen – Week 3 – Mural and Updates

Week 1Week 2 – Week 4 – Week 5 – Week 6

A lot has happened in this Week 3 of the One Room Challenge and, also, nothing has happened at the same time. Let me explain.

I had a clear plan of how this dining area was going to look:

I wanted the back wall to have different coral and pink panels to resemble something like this:

But, in the middle of that process, I realized I didn’t want to do a color-panel wall like that, instead, a simple mural in those same tones seemed like a better option. This is what I have so far:


It is not finished yet but you can imagine where I am going. My plan is to paint the mural this weekend. Cross your fingers!!!

This is how those walls look so far, and the reason why I mean nothing much has happened this last week:

I framed the corner with blue tape and will paint the corner of this wall with a light coral paint. I like the idea of the contrast that the white and coral will create. I also like the idea of taking the painting to the ceiling. I am ALL for decorating the ceiling whenever possible because they have so much potential and they are always underutilized, don’t you think?

I also bought this metal wall sculpture by Curtis Jere. I have been after this piece since I saw this photo on Instagram. I mean, how cute is that?

I finally found it on eBay at a  reasonable price and bought it. I absolutely LOVE it. It is big, too: 37″ x 22″. It will go on the left wall of the dining room, below a small shelf that I want for plants.

In some other good news, I found the most beautiful wallpaper I ever saw and I want to use it for the side of the cabinets.

I don’t have the budget to replace all the cabinets, so I am only replacing the front doors. I used to have IKEA cabinets but they are bad quality. The doors have a lot of damage, so we got new ones but we don’t have the money to replace the cabinet frames. Here is a look at some of them:You can see that the sides of the cabinets are white and the radicchio color doors will NOT look good next to white cabinet sides… What to do? Well, the obvious solution was to use wallpaper to cover them but nothing I found looked good! By good, I mean: edgy, fun, different, and cool. That was my reality until I found the shop of Lucy Tiffney. When I say her designs are gorgeous, I really mean it. They are exactly what I was looking for. When I got the sample in the mail, I knew right away that this is what I was looking for:

Talking about budget restrictions, I wanted to mention other things that I would like to change in my kitchen but won’t be able to because we don’t have the money this time around. Here they are:

My husband will sand the countertops so the stains go away. I will also change the current metal faucet to a black faucet. Regarding the floor, I got a runner that I think will work in this space.

Ok, those are my updates so far. Next week the cabinets and tiles should be installed so I will be able to give you a better update of what is going on.

Thanks for stopping by!




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ORC Kitchen – Week 2 – Paint decisions and our to-do list

Hi all,

Here are the links to other ORC posts, in case you want to follow along:

Week 1 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

I am excited about this kitchen renovation!! After weeks/months thinking about it, the design idea is finally settling in, and I feel I am going in the right direction. The bad news is that we haven’t done much yet. I mean, the electrician came to hide all the horrible cables that were below the cabinets. He also hung these beautiful pendants from Lamp Plus, and I painted some of the walls, as you can see in the photo above, but that is all that has happened, pretty much.

Here is what needs to happen in the next four weeks:

Last week, I tackled painting a rectangle in the kitchen that would frame the sink and go 1/3 of the way into the ceiling. At the beginning I wanted yellow. Here is the swatch of color I decided to go for:

Painting process… do you notice how I painted over the blue tape with the same white color from the ceiling? This ensures straight lines after you paint with yellow.  Me, pregnant, painting a ceiling… I mean… I am happy I didn’t fall and break my neck.  Result:The problem is that I did NOT like the yellow. It was too vibrant, too obvious, too annoying! I couldn’t stand it.

After some consideration I decided to re-paint with coral:

I like it a lot better, don’t you?

Then, the decision about which color to paint the cabinet doors and drawer fronts:

Once I decided on some colors, I got samples and painted bigger papers to get a better look at the tones. These swatches have been up on the drawers for weeks. I have already made my decision about which color to paint them, want to guess?


Well, friends, that is all I have for you today. I hope next week I have longer and better news with plenty of updates. We will be working all weekend so, which us luck!




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ORC Kitchen Plans – Week 1 – Color Blocking

Reading about how artists get inspired is one of my favorite things. I love hearing about the process behind the idea and creation. It pisses me off when design magazines skip this subject altogether. How do designers come up with a plan? Why did they decide to use this material versus another? The written content of so many design magazines is SO LAME, don’t you think? I never read the articles because there is nothing substantial in them. It is a bunch of superficial facts put together that lacks the project background story that I am interested in… or do you read the whole design magazine? I wonder.

Why do I mention this? Because the process that ignites a room is interesting to me. Those first ORC posts that talk about inspiration are one of my favorite ones but some that not a lot of people pay much attention to.

(As a reminder of the other One Room Challenge that I have participated in before, here is a link to the reveal of my kids’ room and here is the reveal of my living room that has a big colorful mural, in case you want to take a look.)

This Spring, I am redoing our kitchen. I shouldn’t say “redoing,” as this space has never really been done. It looks the same as it looked six years ago when we moved in. At the time, we bought some IKEA cabinets, countertops and fixtures and that was it… until now.

What was my inspiration and story behind this kitchen design concept?

Let’s start with a photo:

(Image via Nuria Alia)

The first time I saw this floor, I felt inspired. The colors and tiles spoke to me (is that possible?). This image lived with me for a long time, and when I decided to do the kitchen, I knew I wanted to use similar colors.

This is how I decided to paint the bottom cabinets of the kitchen a color close to radicchio. What is funny is that Farrow & Ball has a color with that same name in their catalog. Of course, I am not the kind of person that has the budget (or desire) to spend $90 in a can of paint, so I will probably ask my local paint store to match the color with another paint brand.

If you know my home, you know that is full of vibrant colors. (Here is a Spring Tour of my place with photos in case you want to take a look.) This time I want to use a different color palette and do something a little bit more sophisticated.  Less obvious. Do you know what I mean?

I used the Pantone app to help me narrow down the color palette. Have you used it? It is a lovely way to get color inspiration. It is not always easy to mix and match different colors and, now that I have been doing this amateur design thing for a long time, I understand the importance of the various tones! One tiny drop more of red in a mix of pink would change the color! It makes a difference, and it is essential to get the perfect shade.

Here is that radicchio color I want to use for cabinets used in a hallway and an inspirational “radicchio” photo.

( Image 1Image via Ana Zaja Petrak)

In this hallway, the color looks lighter than it is in my kitchen. The idea is to paint the bottom drawers radicchio but leave the top ones white. Although, I might change my mind about that later.

Another idea I have been pondering with is color blocking… not in the real sense of the word but in the sense of adding blocks of color to the space that work as art and eye magnets.

(Image via Casa Josephine – Image via Dabito)

I adore the two images above. Paint can be used in simple ways to create impact for NO money! Am I right or am I right? I am doing something like this in my kitchen.

The thing is that I don’t have a big budget. I would love to add more texture to my kitchen and fancy fixtures, but I can’t afford it, so I need to be creative about how to make this space special so I am relying on paint.

Regarding tile, I want to use subway tile because of affordable price and simplicity, but I am worried about how overused it is. I mean… EVERYBODY uses subway tile!!!! So I was very happy when I found this handmade subway tile at Lowe’s that it is long and has texture. It looks something like this:

(Image via Pinterest – Image via Decorpad)

I am unsure about how to line up the tiles. I like the vertical look, but I think the horizontal is nicer… although I don’t want the pattern to be the typical one where each new row lines up halfway through the tiles of the bottom row as you can see in the photo above on the right.

Another thing I wanted to do was adding molding to the kitchen, maybe panels too? Well, that was the plan until I saw this photo from Kelly Wearstler’s Instagram:

(Image via Kelly Wearstler

How original is that? The painting has a little bit of texture that I am not sure I will try to replicate, but I will do color blocks on the dining room wall. Another easy and cheap trick that can make my kitchen look special.

Now that I have shared my inspirational photos, let me take you through my current kitchen photos for a little taste of before pictures, before you move on, sorry for the mess and dirty dishes:

I do like the dining room right now, and I have some photos on IG that look a lot better than the image above, but I also need something new, and I am excited to see some changes in this space. 

Here is my mood board:


1. Pendant light | 2.  Dusk Pink Benjamin Moore | 3. Handmade subway tiles

4. Radicchio – Farrow & Ball | 5. Brass Handle | 5. Brass Handle

7. Euphoria cactus | 8. Brass and black chandelier | 8. Brass and black chandelier

If you want to follow the challenge:

Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

OK. I hope you follow along during this Challenge. The next five weeks will be busy and intense. Did I mention I am 7 months pregnant? AUGH! See you next week.


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colorful mural

Spring Home Tour

colorful mural

I am alive and pregnant. I thought you would want to know that.

Before you ask any questions, I want to clarify a few things: 1) George made me do it (third baby), 2) yes, I am too old for this, and, 3) it’s a boy! (Here are my thoughts on having a third child a couple of years ago).

Now that we got that out of the way you must be wondering why the need to stop writing the blog? Being pregnant is not a debilitating condition… necessarily. Well, it was for me. The first trimester was simply awful, a lot worse than with my other two pregnancies. I threw up every day, was incapable of exercising or standing up from bed… I even fell asleep in my office one day, under the desk. It was really sad, and you know what happens after feeling bad for 8 weeks in a row? You forget how it is to feel good! I started to think that this nausea was going to last forever! It also gave me a new perspective and empathy for people that have long-term diseases that make them feel like crap constantly. It was so horrible that I caught the stomach flu during the New Year’s weekend and it took me 5 hours to figure out that it was the flu and not just pregnancy symptoms. That is how bad it was…

Of course, if you follow my IG account (which you totally should. Click here to do that), you know I have been pretty active, just not blogging.

But, on the brighter side!!! I am back to blogging land with a BANG! My home has changed a lot in the last months (or year) and I want to show you some of it.

In preparation for this Spring Tour that I am doing with a bunch of amazing design bloggers, I headed to my favorite place, The Flower Market, DTLA. I  bought ranunculus, spider gerberas, hellebores, and plenty of flowering branches. I filled my home with them and took a lot of photos. Let’s take a look, shall we?


colorful living roomOf course, that mural I did for ORC is still the focal point of the room. I have added more texture and color with the green velvet sofa from Article, yellow chairs from Joybird, and wicker planters from Chile… they will be available in my Etsy shop soon.general view living roomwicker bird cage Magnolia branches make me happy. The pink paint is a project that I did last year. living room viewSome of these planters are also from Chile, others have been collected with time. Faux sheepskin from room another view to kitchenThe view to our kitchen. I love how bright it looks. view to kitchen

The theater chairs were a Craiglist find from my husband. The blue vase is from Target. Purple, fluffy pillows are also from Target. spring wicker bungalow bohemian mural jaybird I need to finish that macramé! I just need more time. A lot more time. yellow chair chairs pianohanging plants magnolia KITCHENdining room This beautiful painting was a thrift store find. Yellow chairs are from blue dots. Fabrics are from the Rose Bowl flea market. My husband built the table. plantas Paintings are finds I have collected throughout the years. The flower vase and shelf brackets are from dining room flowers art yellow chairs HALLWAYfoyerThe wallpaper is from Etsy. The ceramic is from the talented artist Katy Krantz. Wicker basket and rug are from Chile, they will be available in my shop very soon!wallpaper victor These kids are not for sale but they sure are cute. max mila

Here is a photo of myself to prove that I am alive and pregnant, in case you didn’t believe me.

Now, for a continuous tour of wonderful Spring homes, head to the blog of my wonderful friend Maggie Overby Studios. 

Thanks for stopping by!