Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our New Home: Main Level Befores Part 2

In case you missed the first part of the tour, you can find that here

We left off last time in the living room, and right off of that space is a sunroom.

A random sink, you say?  Yes, yes, it is.  But I do have plans for that thing.  A deadly staircase?  Uh-huh.

And strangely tiled rows along the walls?  We're not sure about that either.  At one time this was a screened in porch - I do know that.  There are some interesting traits to this room, but it's a big space that gets loads of light and is scheduled for a playful update in the near future.
Back out the door, on the other side of the living room is the kitchen.  I truly believe this is the number one reason this house sat on the market so long.

First off, the floors are in horrible condition from all of the pool traffic.  You can tell where people came in and went straight to the fridge or to eat at the bar top table that used to sit in the bay window, dripping all the way.  

And it's just rather outdated and tired looking.  

I will say, the appliances are the nicest I've ever had.  Even the older oven heats up really quickly and cooks more evenly then anything I've ever used (maybe it's not just my cooking skills!)

I'll probably never touch that Jenn-Air grill, but apparently they were a coveted appliance back in the day. The kitchen size and workflow are really pretty nice, but the small upper cabinets and the tiny pantry located off of the kitchen need to be changed (along with the aesthetics) to make this space shine. And that big square of a soffit must go.  I've got lots of ideas, and while it will be the largest undertaking in the house, it's the one that will certainly have the most impact.  

The small door on the right is the pantry.  The big door on the right goes to the garage, and this outside door on the left seems to be the most popular entrance and exit to the backyard and pool.  I know I want to move the pantry to the kitchen itself, and I have several thoughts about this whole back side of the house, but I plan to live with it for a while before nailing down the plans.  

That door straight ahead leads to the guest bath.  

With not so pretty things, like another soffit...

But pretty things like this stained glass (something I didn't notice until we moved in - funny how that works).  And in a strange turn of layout plans there is another door in the bathroom that leads you to...

the laundry room.  Interesting.  

There is some good storage in here.  I particularly like the built in under the window for grocery bags and cleaning rags, but with the tall ceilings there could certainly be a lot more.  And I'm not convinced the layout in this space is the best it could be.  

So, a lot of work to be done on this side of the first floor, but it's all very livable for now.  Have any of you seen a laundry room inside a guest bath like this before?  

And thanks for your thoughts on the wood-panelled room and popcorn ceilings!  You all have affirmed my feelings that one must stay and one must go.  


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Our New Home: Main Level Befores Part 1

On Thanksgiving, while others were feasting on turkey and pumpkin pie, I came to the new house and took several hundred pictures.  I made the mistake at our last house of not taking a single before photo, and this time I wasn't going to let that happen.  I knew once the furniture got in the next day and the children took over I would be less likely to capture the house before we got our hands on it.

Some of you caught on to the fact that this is the house we put an offer on in the spring.  When we decided that building wasn't the road we were supposed to be taking anymore, I remember thinking "it seems odd that the blue house is still for sale."

So we went back to the people in the blue house, and this time they were ready to meet us where we felt comfortable.  And all of these months kind of began to make some sense.  Sometimes God allows you to go through a lot of uncertainty to get to what feels certain.  And that feels like this house. There is so much we want to do, so many projects to tackle, yet we feel complete joy being here just as it is.  It feels exciting and right.  It feels like home.

The house was built in the mid 80's.  It's funny, because I grew up in this neighborhood, and I can remember all of the different people that lived here, but I'd never been inside before. According to my parents the whole house used to be wallpapered, so luckily one of the past owners took care of that painstaking task.  Most of the rooms are neutral - easy to live with until I determine some paint colors.

I'll definitely be replacing all the light fixtures throughout the house, but finding something special for the entry is on my list.  It's not a huge space, so I would like the light to be really beautiful.  And it will have to compliment whatever we put in the living room straight ahead and then in the dining room to the right.

We haven't been in long, but before we even took possession I started scheming the dining room. For some reason I knew right off the bat what I wanted to do in here.  I've already found several things for the space, and I'm really hoping I can make the chandelier that I bought for our build work.  It's so heavy, I'm just praying there's enough structure there to hold it!  

I love the bay windows in the front rooms, but I'm puzzled by the step up.  The kids spend a lot of time on them, calling them their "stages," but I'm not sure why you wouldn't just finish the floor into the alcove.  We've talked about possibly taking out the step in the dining room and doing a built-in bench with drawers or hinged lids.  

And let's just take a minute to talk about the real elephant in the room.  Well, in every room: popcorn ceilings.  Why?  Why must they do this?  We've done a lot of consulting with different contractor friends and the general consensus is that they aren't too bad to scrape off unless they've been painted.  Then they are impossible to scrape off.  And these have definitely been painted.  I'm still on the fence about what to do here.  The main level has 10' ceilings and the distance makes them less noticeable, but I still don't like it.  

On the other side of the entry is another living space.  For now it's going to be the TV room.

The TV room?!  I know, I can hear you.  My husband needs a place to watch Sportcenter and play Call of Duty, and the basement isn't going to work for that right now.  There are 3 potential living areas on the main level, but the other two aren't really dark enough for TV watching.  I promise, this will be a really chic man space.  I'm promising myself that, because as the first thing you see when you crack the door, it has to be.  The TV is going on the wall you can't see, and the wall you can see will eventually be pretty great (hint: I've been hoarding a library ladder for far too long).  

Through the TV room or entry is the living room.  

Yep, that's a whole lotta wood.  

A few years ago I would have painted this all white by now, but for right now I'm just going to sit back and feel it out.  I wish it was less of that 80's orangey oak, but I don't think I want to paint it.  I hear my dad and Nicole Curtis in the back of my head and then I think about in 5-7 years...will I be glad I painted it then?  The room gets amazing light, so trying to brighten the space with paint isn't an issue.  

Ok, I think we'll call it at that for now (if you're still reading, I'm impressed), but next week I'll show you the rest of the main level.  Any thoughts or insight on the ceilings and bay window area is appreciated!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A tutorial for Design*Sponge

I am thrilled to have a guest post over on Design*Sponge today!

I've admired Grace and her work since I started reading blogs, so to have the chance to be a part of the inspiration she provides is incredibly exciting.  Thanks for taking a minute to hop on over and look.  I love how my Moroccan wedding blanket tree skirt turned out: the neutrality provides such a beautiful backdrop to any tree and the texture and shine are perfect this time of year!