Sunday, January 25, 2015

Befores and a little background

Welcome to our temporary* blog for our house renovation project! 

Technically, this is my parents' house, but we are selling our current house and moving in so our kids can attend a better school district, and my parents are letting us have full control of the renovation decisions. We normally wouldn't be able to afford a house in this area, but we hope to eventually buy the house from my parents down the road.

There are still a lot of updates we want to make outside (build a deck to cover uneven pavers in backyard, re-pave the cracked driveway, paint exterior of the house because current paint is chipping, clear the overgrown yard of English ivy) that we have to hold off on, but we wanted to get all the indoor updates done before we move in.

Just a note that we are hiring out all the work, and none of this is very hands-on for us. We hope to do some small DIY projects down the road, but most of the work that will be done is WAY beyond our skill set. The only things we're doing is picking out the details like cabinets, tile, flooring and paint colors, and that's been fun and a tiny bit stressful because of how soon they need our decisions. The time-frame they gave us is about two months, so I'll try to update as frequently as I can, because they work fast!

So here are some "before" pictures of the house. Even though I know almost everyone visiting this blog will be friends/family, I apologize for not including any exterior photos of the house. Just keeping a little bit of privacy.

*The blog is only temporary because after the remodel is done, we won't have any budget left to decorate or buy any fancy furniture, so the house/decor will probably be pretty sparse and not blog-worthy.


We are gutting the entire kitchen, and putting in new cabinets, countertop, backsplash and appliances. We are taking down the wall separating the kitchen and the dining room (where the current pantry and refrigerator is) and building out a peninsula where the current door is. The fridge and pantry (converted into cabinets) will be moved over against the wall where the current dining area (with the white lantern) is.


We will be removing the wall between the kitchen and the dining room which will open up the space. We will also take down that half wall and wrap the support beam in the middle. We will be laying down engineered hardwood for the kitchen and the dining room, and updating the lighting fixture.


We will be replacing the carpet in the living room, scraping the popcorn ceiling (throughout the house), painting the fireplace white, and the gold fireplace doors black. While the room is nice and bright during the day due to the large windows, it has no overhead or wall lighting, so we are still brainstorming how we can light up the space at night (I kind of hate floor lamps).


The hallway is kind of cramped and dark, and there's a little half closet (the space underneath is used for the coat closet on the entry landing). We will be adding an additional recessed light, and sealing up the half-closet and opening it up in Peyton's room (more on that later). I really like the mirror at the end of the hallway (maybe add a frame around it?) but Scott hates it. :(


The window in the bathroom (complete with blinds and shower curtain!!!) has caused water damage so we will be sealing up the wall and installing a smaller narrow window above the new shower wall. We are taking down the wall with the mirrored medicine cabinet between the sink and the toilet. We had hoped to fit a vanity with two sinks but there's not enough space, so it will just a new one-sinked vanity, new toilet, and new tiles for the floors and shower.


There are four bedrooms, which will be the master bedroom, two kid bedrooms, and a guest bedroom. There's nothing too exciting with the bedrooms, we'll just be replacing the carpet and scraping the popcorn ceiling, centering the lights (right now they're centered over the closets), and switching out the bi-fold closet doors to sliding doors. I originally wanted to put pictures of all the rooms but they all look pretty much identical other than the windows.

Peyton's room is a little special because it has a small half closet just like the hallway (underneath is the entry landing coat closet). Since we are sealing up the hallway half closet, we are going to open it up on the other side and combine both mini half closets into a little elevated nook and adding carpet and a light in there. We're planning on buying an Ikea Trofast storage for "stairs" but probably won't do a railing as depicted in one of my earlier plan renderings.


The master bathroom and walk-in closet are connected and kind of small, but there's no room to expand so we are just re-configuring the layout. Currently, there is only one sink, and the toilet and shower are in their own room (the light bulb was dead plus it was so cramped in there so I didn't take any pictures). We will be closing off the walk-in closet from the bathroom and opening a door directly from the master bedroom. Then, we'll put the double-sink vanity against the new wall where the old walk-in door used to be, take out the door/wall to the toilet/shower room and converting the shower into a shower/tub combo. Since it's kind of dark in there, we'll add a small opaque window on the side to bring in some light.

The walk in closet is only 4.75 ft x 7.75 ft. I really need to know: how do people photograph small spaces?!


We will be replacing the flooring with engineered hardwood, replacing the light fixture (we have no idea with what yet) and ending that weird ledge thing a little earlier and adding some storage space in that small space above the ledge and under the overhang. We had considered hardwood stairs, but to save costs (and to be safer for kids), we decided just to re-carpet the stairs.

We'll be taking out the door and the wall at the bottom of the stairs so you step down directly into the large downstairs area instead of having to go through a narrow door.


We'll be using the large room downstairs as a playroom / TV room with the big couch and TV on one side of the room, and a table for homework/crafts and all the toys on the other side of the room.

We will be adding some white MDF and millwork above the fireplace, painting the bricks white and the gold doors black, replacing the carpet, adding some lights, and maybe opening up the entryway to the hallway. We'll seal up some of that weird stair-step thing on the side, but we can't do anything about the low beam across the middle because vents and stuff are running through there.


Besides the large room downstairs, there is a small hallway to the garage with a laundry room and a bathroom in between. The downstairs bathroom is right off the laundry room, so in order to use the bathroom, you have to go through two doors which is kind of annoying.

The laundry room is pretty good sized, so we wanted to turn the space into a mudroom where the kids can take off their shoes and jackets. We'll be taking out the laundry room door and wall so it will nice to have a big space right off the hallway instead of having to enter through a door. Hopefully that will open up the narrow hallway a little too!

The bathroom is getting new fixtures, flooring and tile but will stay mostly the same.

Other than that, the garage is getting a new coat of paint, and we'll be putting up a fence for backyard privacy (right now you pretty much look straight into the neighbor's backyard and there's no barrier), but those don't need pictures.

All the flooring will be changed, all the popcorn ceiling throughout the house scraped, all the outlets and light switches and lighting will be changed out, all interior doors will be updated, and rooms will be painted. It's going to be exciting to see the transformation!

Thanks for visiting! :)