Did you know that five years ago April 13th fell on a Friday? I remember very well because that was the day we closed on this house. If we were superstitious, not just a little stitious, as Michael Scott would say, we probably would have thought it to be a bad day to close on a house. However, we were thrilled to start on our new, big, exciting project. Even now, as we slog through some of the less fun, back-breaking work in the pool house, we’re just as excited today as we were five years ago. So many things have changed between now and then, and I love taking a yearly look back at the beginnings and where we are today. There wasn’t much about the original entry that we liked, other than the tall ceiling.
Over the years, we replaced the front door and window, added a planked accent wall, new lighting, railing, and floor tile.
At the front of the house, directly off of the entry is the living room with the dining room. I can get on board with traditional elements and styling, but it wasn’t the right fit for this house and felt very forced.
We took out the ornately detailed lights, windows, and trim work, replacing with straight, clean lines.
Even five years into this project, I mean house, some things still aren’t finished. That entertainment center being one. And that’s okay. As our kids have grown, our needs have evolved, too. I’m itching to do something different here once the big projects have wrapped up.
I know it can be really hard to get flow of a house based on pictures, but the living/dining rooms are to the left of the entry and stairs. On the other side of the wall, directly ahead of the stairs is the family room that flows back into the kitchen.
Looking toward the stairs from the dining room, things sure have changed.
For starters, we pulled out the dividing arch over the railing, straightened out the arched door, installed all new trim, painted every surface other than the floor.
Originally, the dining room had a bay window along the front with a tall door leading out the to the deck.
For better flow inside and out, we decided to swap the door placement and love the little walkway of the deck extension.
One of the most bang for our buck projects was removing the wall dividing the dining room from the kitchen. Before, a four-foot wide arch was the only connection of the two spaces.
As part of the kitchen renovation, we widened that opening an additional 8 feet for that connected feeling we love.
The kitchen before certainly wasn’t the most horrible room ever, but always felt dark and cornered off.
Going with a lot of white brightened everything up, but that glorious southern exposure from opening up that wall made a night and day difference.
I know tearing out a large bank of pantry cabinets isn’t something most people do, but the traffic flow was so forced it often felt cramped if someone sat at the island.
It might not be for everyone, but we’ve never regretted removing that wall or the cabinets.
Another unfinished area is my little office nook. Just off the kitchen was a corner office, which is nicely located for interacting.
Soon, hopefully within the week, we’ll have that door replaced, trimmed out, painted and those useless electrical boxes out of there.
In the last living space on this level, the family room featured a large moss rock fireplace, and big windows.
Some homes can rock the moss fireplace, but this one always looked dirty and out-of-place. Refacing it with a sleek slate modernized it without demanding all the attention.
Another arch dividing the family room from the kitchen, more overly traditional stuffy lighting.
To keep a bit of separation between the rooms, we kept the dividing doorway, but squared it off. New trim, lighting, and paint went a long way in modernizing the room.
As we’ve gotten more established in this house, my style has evolved, becoming more neutral and textural.