Home renovations update!

bgWe have electricity and insulation and walls!!  I took these photos before the plaster was completely dry (so the walls look mottled) and the floor needs a good cleaning (and sanding!). It will be fun to share another update once we paint, sand floors, tile, and add trim. But I was excited to share with you all some of the progress we’ve made since our last post. I start at the top of the house and work my way down.
house_1Surprisingly the attic bedroom (on the 4th floor) has become one of my favorite spaces in this old house. We decided to leave the gorgeous wooden collar beams exposed and I am so glad we did. It makes the ceilings feel taller and I love how the wood looks. And no, they haven’t been stained. They darkened with age (also a little dirty with plaster).
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house_3The master bedroom has 3 windows (a luxury in a city home). We wanted it to be bright and large and thankfully our layout accomplished both goals. It has a sitting area behind the beam, a spacious closet, and plenty of room for a big bed :).
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house_5The second bedroom also has a large closet (7 ft) and then a smaller closet we carved out from under the attic stair. It’s spacious enough and has two windows that look out on the backyard.
house_6The upstairs bathroom is ready for a vanity, toilet, and tile. We love how we utilized the wasted space behind the tub to make a small closet (it will look more like a cabinet when it is finished.) There is plenty of room for toilet paper and wash cloths!
house_7This is the hallway on the third floor looking out from the upstairs bathroom. The master bedroom is straight ahead at the front of the house, the second bedroom is through the first doorway to the left. The second doorway to the left leads to the attic stair. The main stairwell obviously opens up on the right.
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house_10Walking down the main stairwell you come into the foyer. This may be one of the brightest areas of the home, which totally excites me. In many homes foyers tend to be dark and unwelcoming. We didn’t want this to be the case for this home.
house_11Oh, man. I am realizing that the house looks a filthy mess from all of the plaster dust, ha. This stairwell is original and is absolutely gorgeous–when clean (you can take my word for it). Just look at that mahogany post and banister!
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house_14Directly beside the foyer is the study. Like the second bedroom, it has two big windows. Unlike the bedroom, it has a see-through fireplace! Also check out that “secret” man cabinet above the fireplace. A good place for scotch and what-not.
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house_16The foyer opens into the living room in the back of the house. 3 windows again! We wanted extra light in one of the main gathering/entertaining rooms in the home. It shares the see-through fireplace with the study and we think it will look pretty amazing once it is flanked by cabinets and bookcases.
house_17The wash closet is in the living room. Brance utilized some wasted space over the stairwell leading to level one to build a pull-out hanging closet for wet clothes–per my request. It’s something I really wanted and he was pretty ingenious to come up with this. This pull-out will be hidden with a custom cabinet door.
house_18The living room opens up into the foyer and the landing to the stairwell leading to level one. We kept the original curvature in the ceiling under the stairs and pulled back the wall to open that previously cramped space up more.
house_19Brance also raised the ceiling over this stairwell. It was so cramped before. See the line of the ceiling at the bottom of the stair. That line was originally taken to the top which made it feel like you were walking into a dungeon. This whole corner is one of my favorite improvements. We’re pretty proud with how it turned out–being able to maintain what we loved about the original and fixing what made this space less-than desirable before.
house_20Walking down to level one.
house_21Here we chose to keep the original brick as an exposed wall against the stairwell. It needs a little cleaning, dang that plaster dust.
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house_23The stairwell from level one leads into the back entrance of the house. In this nook we worked in a small pantry (3 ft wide) that you access when you’re facing away from the back door. The opening in the main room is for the refrigerator. And flanking it on the other side (accessed in a hallway off the main room), is a coat closet (also 3ft wide).
house_24Walking into this bottom level you come directly into the kitchen.
house_25The kitchen comes all the way to the side entrance door on the right. Once again we opted for a lot of light and included a floor to ceiling window that will be beside the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen will be laid out in an L. You can actually see into the little coat closet that will flank the refrigerator from this angle. The second bathroom of the house and the basement stairs are also in that small hallway with the coat closet.
house_26As you probably have already noticed we decided to leave the joists exposed on this level. The ceiling was low (“basement” kitchens from this period tend to be) and similar to the attic we loved the look of this old wood. Again, look how beautifully it aged! Brance did a lot of research to find a slim-line recessed light and we decided to put bead-boarding between the joists to help brighten up the ceiling. He plans to use white trim to cover up the nails.
house_27I hope to put in white shaker cabinets and thought this craftsman style door would compliment them well.
house_28The dinning room is directly opposite of the kitchen. The first level is an open-floor concept. I love how big it feels. Combining these two rooms makes this space the biggest space in the house.
house_30 house_29And some more original exposed brick we plan to leave in the dining room. There is also a walk-in closet off the the dining room which may seem a little strange. Coming out of a city rental with hardly any storage, we wanted to make sure we included as much storage as possible. As you can tell, working in plenty of light and storage was a big deal for us.

Well,  I guess that is about it for now. Hopefully we’ll have another update sooner rather than later!

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