I can’t believe it when I look at these – the renovations are already in progress as I type and there aren’t any rooms that still look the way that they did when I took the photos. Even though there are big chunks of drywall missing and no flooring (it’s just concrete slab at the moment) I can already feel the new space coming together. And it’s just every bit as amazing as I’ve been picturing it! So different from these before photos, but somehow still recognizable as the same beautiful house.
When we first started dreaming up our ultimate wishlist of every change we’d like to make in the house we quickly realized that we weren’t going to have the timeline or budget to do every single thing right now. This looks like a big list of projects that we’re undertaking (and it is!) but each one of them was carefully chosen from an even bigger list of maybe items. Almost every single one of these projects was selected because of its high impact to the final room on a relatively quick schedule for a not insane pricetag. There are a few big splurges obviously – the new picture windows weren’t strictly necessary but just irresistible for their added light. Re-flooring the entire house isn’t cheap either, but the tile was not in very great shape and to be honest it was one thing we just really wanted to update in a style that was more “us”. Flooring is also a task that is much easier to do before you move your furniture in, so we decided it was better to do now than wait and wish we’d done it later on. The process of choosing what to do and not do was a big balancing act between being sensible and letting our imaginations run wild, but I think we’re both pretty happy with where we’ve landed.
So without further ado, let’s walk through and I’ll show you everything we have planned. I cannot wait!
FORMER DINING ROOM/FUTURE PLAYROOM AND LIVING ROOM
The space that used to be the formal dining room was never really in scale with the size of the house or our family. We are dreaming of huge dinners with lots of friends and family, and with the level change to the living room there was never enough room for a truly giant table. Either you had it sideways and people had to scooch past the windows, or it was lengthwise and there were people perched at the very edge threatening to topple over. We decided to turn it instead into a playroom for the kids – right next to the kitchen and living room and in the middle of all the action. Opening the wall to the kitchen will help make the two spaces flow into each other and stop the awkward traffic jams in the doorway during parties. The patio door that we are replacing is in bad shape and hard to open, and one of our goals is to boost the indoor/outdoor flow of the house, so having single large panes of glass is really going to open things up (literally!)
FORMER FAMILY ROOM/FUTURE DINING ROOM
Ever since the idea of moving first popped into our heads I just knew that this had to be our dining room. It’s right next to the kitchen (on the other side from where the previous dining room was) and has big sliders out to the backyard, right next to the grill. Unfortunately the existing wooden sliders had warped over time, to the extent that if you stood in front of them you could literally feel the draft blowing in. We decided to take the opportunity to replace them with more modern sliders with larger panes of glass to let more light in. This room has gorgeous high ceilings and I just had this picture in my head of an amazing open and airy space with more than enough room for friends and family to gather. Eating meals as a family is a huge part of our lives (sometimes I feel like all I do all day is cook, clean, and get ready to cook again, and I love it that way!) and I really wanted one big and beautiful space to share those meals in. We also aren’t the kind of family who needs a formal living room and family room, we would rather be comfy cozy all the time, so we knew having both would be a waste. We’d much rather put those vaulted ceilings to work than have them full of formal furniture collecting dust. The new picture windows are a huge part of my vision for the room and one we went back and forth on – they’ll bring in massive amounts of natural light (something lacking in this side of the house) and also bring in gorgeous views of the landscaping outside, but strictly speaking they’re weren’t a “need to have” item. We ended up deciding to go for it in the end because we know how much they’ll transform the space – I cannot wait to eat our first meal in here!
KITCHEN (looking back towards the stairs)
The kitchen was easily the darkest room in the house when we started, and we wanted to do everything possible to brighten it up. First and most obvious on the list was re-finishing the cabinetry. The original wood is all in fantastic shape and while we wouldn’t have picked the arch-top paneling on the doors, they’ve held up so well (30 years and counting!) that it really just seemed wasteful to rip them out and replace them when a fresh coat of paint would do. That’s one of the projects we are doing on our own (rather than hiring it out to our GC) and it made a huge impact right from the start. The rest of the kitchen changes are very much cosmetic – new countertops (white quartz), new appliances (we are installing a gas cooktop to replace the old electric one) and some new light fixtures. I am so excited to have a new white and bright space to cook in!
KITCHEN (looking into new dining room)
Most of the big kitchen updates were more visible in the other shot, but we’re also removing this small arch into the dining room. It blocks the view to the dining room and we really just wanted to do everything we could to open up the flow of the house, both physically and visually. This is another of the “should we, shouldn’t we” items on our list but in the end it wasn’t much of an added expense and it’s going to have a big impact.
So there you have it – all of the big (and SO exciting) renovation plans. A lot of this work has already started or been completed but I haven’t gotten all of the photos together yet. We have a few more weeks left on the project and I’ll be sharing more as we go along. It’s going to be such an incredible space, I cannot believe we are actually going to be able to live in it. It’s a pretty amazing dream come true!