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Bonnie Manor: 2021 Project Plans

It's the beginning of a new year and we are all making our lists; goal lists, project lists, to do lists, etc. that are all dream filled for the best year yet. Especially after this last one. As I am making mine for Bonnie Manor, I am unfortunately having to roll over a few items that I had hoped to complete before the ball drop. Which pushes back other items I have reallllly been anticipating! Like the Kitchen Renovation. Oh yes, our biggest project this year will be taking on the Kitchen we completely gutted! Before I jump into that, let's look at the full list we have planned for 2021.

  1. Finish Current Projects

  2. Bathroom 20% complete

  3. Living Room: Phase One 80% complete

  4. Foyer: Phase One 80% complete

  5. Master Closet: Phase One 99% complete (did you think I had forgotten about this one?)

  6. Install Dining Room Chandelier

  7. Q Bedroom: Phase One (paint)

  8. Clean Sweep

  9. Set up Temp Kitchen

  10. MOVE IN (new goal - Feb 1)

  11. Study: Phase One (paint)

  12. Q Secret Nook: Phase One

  13. Master Bedroom: Phase One (trim paint and ex. wallpaper repair)

  14. Kitchen

  15. Powder Room

  16. Stairwell: Phase One (landing repair, spindle paint, new light fixtures)

  17. Dining Room: Phase One (paint)

  18. Back Porch

  19. Front Porch Column Repair

  20. Widow's Walk Railing Removal and Repair

  21. Guest Room: Phase One (paint)

  22. Garden

  23. Front Yard Landscaping

  24. Chicken Coop Repairs and Addition (and new chicks)

You may note that a lot of these items have "phase one" by them. With so much to do to this house, literally every surface, almost all of the renovations right now at the beginning are mainly to get things clean, livable, and feeling more like us as items wait for their full renovation one day! Some items, the Study for instance, aren't essential; therefore low on the full reno list and will most certainly be sitting for a long time. So if a can or two of paint and a weekend make this space nicer to enjoy while we conquer big items like the Kitchen alone that could take our undivided attention for months...then I am definitely going to knock that out. I know I have said this before, but having those smaller things done are what gets you through huge renovations that wear you down, mind and body. This summer when the house was in full chaos from demo and structural repairs, what got me through that was the Front Porch makeover. With just a little cleaning and sprucing up, chairs to relax in and a little table for grabbing a bite to keep our momentum going, it was my haven.

Now about the Kitchen...I have been designing this space for over a year! As soon as I saw the house and knew in my heart this was to be our Home, my mind hit the ground designing. I have so many different variations of what our Kitchen could be, from unfitted to fitted, time warp to modern, and everything in between. Mentally living in the space, tons of research, hours of dissecting my favorite kitchens on the gram, and an insane amount of pinning I have arrive at a plan that feels like the perfect marriage of honoring the house while also functioning for our family in the 21st century and appeasing all of the kitchen elements I have been coveting.

My original inspiration, for the entire house and especially the Kitchen: the Practical Magic Victorian. I grew up on this movie, it was my mom's favorite and since has been mine. I know every inch of this set! That hood range! And of course my all time fav, white cabinets.

And one of those kitchens on the gram I dissected to bits, I love it so much, and its creators - Brett and Kara! This kitchen and this sweet duo really helped me in figuring out the range hood wall! Not to mention how nice it was to live virtually through their progress shots as my own kitchen was complete chaos...

I will get more into the details when we start this one, but I just could not wait to show you "the vision" that has been my saving grace, propelling me forward!

I give you, Bonnie Manor Kitchen:

I initially started mocking up these renderings just to settle my mind on metal finish selections: black range (Hallman) that has a beautiful mix of brass and stainless steel accents, stainless steel Fridge (Kitchenaid) with added brass handles to add warmth and charm, just a touch of brass cabinet hardware, brass faucet, brass pot rail and an antique brass light fixture that sent me down a rabbit hole of rendering. After looking at different light fixtures in the rendering and then feeling 100% sure of the decision, I started looking at other elements that had been plaguing my mind's eye. For instance, base cabinet layout and if I should paint the open shelving or stain it... Even as a visual type person who literally does design for a living, these renderings helped me immensely! I do it for work all of the time, why hadn't I done it for myself?! Alas, I feel so confident in the decisions made now...well there is this one I still keep going back to. Take a look and let me know what you think!

To sit or not to sit? Cabinet layout has been one of the most challenging aspects of the Kitchen for me, specifically this wall where we have two original windows. I have narrowed it down to doing a full run of base units that will serve us well for the storage I have always needed, but also I really love the simplicity of it not being interrupted. Or I can easily leave out one unit at a window in order to be able to use this as a desk area so that a chair can pull up to it. This would also serve us well providing a place for Q to do his homework while I burn a frozen pizza not to mention the sweet vignette it creates...but I just keep going back to the first one.

Which is your favorite?

Trying to make this decision was so much harder without being able to see it like this! In the meantime I am going to stare at these two images and in a few months...we shall see which prevailed!


I usually do renderings in Photoshop or by sketching - scanning in - then pulling into Photoshop to add color (I love to watercolor in PS!). BUT these were all done in Power Point! I have a file solely for Bonnie Manor that I drop in all colors, fabrics, furniture, etc. for each room when I am designing so that I can get a better vision of how things will come together for a room and the house overall. Sometimes I simply organize most of the big elements on the sheet, but in this instance I decided to really play it up and make it as realistic as possible with this software in order to aid in the decisions I needed to finalize.

If you have a project planned for this year and want to give rendering in Power Point a try, here are a few tips:

  1. Remove the product image background: You can find this option to the top left when the image is selected.

  2. Now that the image doesn't have a background, layer it with other elements, for ex: styling shelves and furniture)

  3. Scale: make sure small items are in fact smaller than large items.

  4. Shadow: give your elements some dimension, when selected you can add a shadow by then selecting Picture Format and Picture Effects.

  5. If you are going for a more realistic look, make walls and trim out of a color block, simply stretch it to the correct proportion...

  6. ...or even take a photo of your space to layer on! I used a photo of our existing kitchen to crop out just the windows to use.

I can't wait to show you more! Soon, friends.

- KB

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