So, here is what “we” (Brance) have been up to on the new house. It took us months and months to decide on a floor plan that we were both excited about, during that first year we owned it. I really think the hard work is paying off, as we are still excited about the layout. BUT, the real test will be once we’ve actually lived in our house.
In the beginning I kind of got a tad-bit obsessive about the layout and design, as in not keeping up with the house and forgetting to shower obsessive… to spend my time pouring through a million online-pictures and sketching up all my ideas. BUT, thankfully, during that phase, I read something by a homeowner who was on the other side of a big home renovation project. I think it was a blog post, if I remember correctly (I wish I could direct you to it!). Basically, the poor girl bemoaned all the hours she wasted looking for the perfect light fixture, paint color, cabinet style, toilet etc. In the end, she said those things weren’t that important and she would have approached the project completely differently now. It was a good reminder for me to get some perspective and balance, which I did right away, AND to give my poor husband a break :). Really, the process has been much more pleasant and healthy since! Brance and I randomly read somewhere that a higher percentage of people than norm end up divorced during home renovation projects. Crazy, right!?
Okay, now I will share what “we’ve” accomplished so far…
Being in the city, I feel incredibly fortunate to own a detached single family, which is rare! Our house is 3 smallish levels, each around 500 square feet, with bonus space in an attic.
The first level, which walks out to our backyard, is an open kitchen and dining space. We have also included a small full bath, large storage/utility closet, and a coat closet (all which feel like a luxury in the city!). Although, it probably looks far from done (and probably a little messy :), we are incredibly close. All we have left before it really starts looking like a home (besides cabinets), is electrical and “drywall” (we plan to hang blue board and have it plastered).This is the backside of the house that leads to the yard. There are three smaller windows, (better seen below) that will have cabinets and sink underneath.This is a picture of the kitchen taken from the dining area. There will be cabinets in an L shape in the far right corner. We have yet to decide if we will do upper cabinets or shelves on the wall without windows. Any thoughts or suggestions on that? The door to the right leads out to an alleyway between our yard and the street (back and front of the house). On the left side of the kitchen are a coat closet, pantry, and cubby for the refrigerator.This is a picture of the dining room (and front of the house) taken from the kitchen. To the right side of the dining area is the bathroom and storage/utility closet.
On the second level of the house we have put a living room and Brance’s study. We will have a wash closet and hanging closet as well. The street entrance to the house is on that level. We are excited to keep the beautiful original mahogany staircase in the entryway!Our living room overlooks the back of the house.I took this picture from the back of the living room. There is a see-through fireplace in-between this room and Brance’s study. We plan on putting cabinets/bookshelves around the fireplace. As you can see, the living room opens right into the entry hall (there will be no door).Here was Brance’s totally genius way of putting in a closet for a stackable washer and dryer AND a pull-out closet for hanging wet clothes (on the left over the stairwell leading to level one). I am so in love! With the hanging closet AND Brance :).Here is Brance’s study from the entryway. We plan on putting “sliding” french doors. I know Brance is looking forward to creating a cozy little study, complete with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, a desk, and a comfy reading chair.And here are two more pictures.
Our bedrooms and a shared bath will make up the third level of the house. There is also a linen closet in the hallway and the stairs leading to the attic. Our room will have two 7 ft. long closets (I can’t wait!) and the girls’ room will have one 7 ft. closet and a smaller bonus closet under the attic stair.
There is the stairwell leading up to the third level and the little hallway, facing our bedroom. Look how steep those stairs are, on the left, up to the “4th level” (aka the attic)! These are pictures of our “master” bedroom. Ahhh, I am so looking forward to this space!!!The girls are equally excited about decorating their new bedroom!And the bathroom. We ended up going with an enameled steel tub and I am happy with the window above the tub rather than in the tub, as it originally was.I love that Brance arched the opening for the linen closet! I want to warm the space up with an oiled wooden door, mahogany or walnut, perhaps.
And finally, the attic space we haven’t decided for certain how we will use yet (thinking maybe play or school or home office space). If you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them!
Phew, that was a lot! I look forward to posting more pictures as things unfold with our renovation. As I mention earlier, we are getting so close to finally having walls! And as Brance has told me, it will really start looking like a house then. I can’t wait :).
Have you ever undertaken a home renovation project? What kind of advice do you have to offer? We would love to hear!