Start of a Renovation Story

The first house we looked at was a foreclosure on an acre of land. Can you say DREAM PROJECT?? After walking through it, we (more Chris than me) realized that it was more than we could take on right now. Realistically, pastoring a new church, working full time, being a mom to 3 kids, coaching two soccer teams, and doing interior design side jobs made our cup runneth ova. Sometimes too much. So we scratched a HUGE project like that off our list. (Insert ice-cream and Hallmark movies here.)

This process quickly turned into a journey toward health for our family. We had to come to terms that even though we wanted LOTS and LOTS of projects, we needed to be wise and slooooooowwww things down a bit. We wanted to live life with our kids by traveling and making memories. My oldest son, Justus, just turned 10 and (gulp) will be leaving for college in just 8 short years. (I know it’s forever away. Shut up.) So we changed our search for what “we” wanted and looked for something that would benefit our family and bring health to our already busy schedules. And so we changed our search and found our new/old house. Third confirmation.

This house had been on the market for about a year. Chris was sold before I was. It’s a “sort-of-fixer-upper”. Definitely livable, but could use some TLC here and there to make it our style. It works perfectly with what we wanted to find because we can live in it while we fix it up in phases. We can handle that (hopefully)! As we walked through it, we both knew it was our new home. The neighborhood is established. The trees are mature. The neighbors are so kind. And our backyard backs up to the kid’s elementary school yard. We are finally home.

Phase 1 started on Day 2 of possessing the keys. No time wasted here!

Here’s what it will include:

Refinish/re-stain wood floors

Paint interior

Paint trim throughout

Reno entire kitchen (cabinets, counters, sink, faucet, appliances, backsplash, custom hood, open shelving… )

Replace chandeliers on main level

Paint exterior

Punch through the staircase wall and open up a passthrough

As of today, floors are done, interior paint is done, main level trim is done, chandeliers have been ordered, and the kitchen has started its demo process. Did I mention we’ve only been in the house for 3 weeks? Yeah… Thankfully we contracted out the floors and the interior paint. Didn’t regret that for a second. My husband and I and a contractor friend will finish the rest. Our timeline is to finish the kitchen by the end of August, paint the house the first week of September and then punch through the wall sometime this Fall. Anyone want to help!!!!! HAHAHAHHAHHAHA! No really…

I didn’t want to overwhelm you with every reno project so I’ll just start with the exterior and kitchen area. Aren’t I nice.

Let’s start with the mustard and poop brown exterior, shall we.

The house has great peaks and curb appeal EXCEPT for the color. Like everything else in my house, the house will soon be dark white (including trim) with a taupe-grey shutter and a German Smear effect on the brick. Chris will be making bigger shutters as the current ones are too small for the windows.

I seriously CANNOT. WAIT. FOR. THIS. There is such a peace when you drive up to your house and it’s calming and you just want to run inside and cozy up with your family. Yeah… not getting that from this present paint color.

Now for the kitchen area. Lemme explain a little bit first. The kitchen is teeny-tiny. Our last kitchen was double this size. So this took some careful thought and vision to re-plan this space. Attached to the kitchen is the eating area and then the family room.

The floors are beautiful (and real) hardwood, but not our style. And the paint color is a taupey-peach. Not our style either. Because the space is small, and it’s broken up with windows and doors, it needed to be brightened up. I chose a dark white for the whole interior. Don’t laugh at me. There is such a thing. Technically, it’s called Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams. I wanted to error on being too white instead of being too pink, yellow or taupe. And I love how it turned out!

One of the first things we did after the floors were done and the interior was painted was to switch the layout of the house. The family room doesn’t have to stay the family room. The eating area doesn’t have to stay the eating area. When you enter the house to the right was the formal dining room and to the left was the formal living room. Well, folks round these parts folks like us don’t use formal anything. So we decided quickly that the “dining room” would become the piano/office room. And the “formal living room” would become our family room. (More on those rooms coming later.) That allowed us to use the kitchen, eating area and family room as the new kitchen and eating area. And I don’t know if I shared it or not… but it has a fireplace. I have always dreamt of a fireplace in my kitchen. Swoon city.

For the kitchen, we ripped out the upper cabinets and open shelving will go in their place. A custom hood will go above the range, counters will be a white quartz, the island bar will be knocked down to counter height and extended another 3 inches. A farmhouse sink will go in the island too. The backsplash will be white subway tile with dark grout. Open shelving will continue on the wall above the microwave where the original eating area once was. This helps the kitchen feel bigger and continue on beyond the space it was intended for. The fireplace will get the same German Smear treatment as the brick on the exterior.

White on white on white. I know some of you want to shoot me right now, but I’m also trying to make “good” decisions with the material for our sectional, rugs and so on. Not gettin’ a white sectional y’all. You can breathe now.

Well, if you’ve made it this far in the post I should give you an award. I barely made it.

Thanks for staying the journey with me! I might need a shoulder to lean on in the near future!