Five Years After the Sale

Along with a five-year look back at our current house, I thought it’d be fun to pop in with a peek inside our old house.  When we sold it as for sale by owner, we became friends with the buyer.  That relationship has continued over the years, but they’ve recently decided to move.  With the five-year mark coming up, I asked if I could take photos to share  now.  A lot has changed in five years, including a new roof and siding thanks to the hail storms we’ve had.


The brown roof and tan siding were never my favorite, but didn’t warrant replacing when we owned it.  Of course I adore the new gray, as well as the landscaping that also happened.


Once inside the front door, it immediately feels familiar, welcoming, and homey, but not mine.


A sectional fills the room, but leaves plenty of space near the entry.


When we lived here, we were in the final stages of renovation, but the beginning stages of acquiring furniture.  Tucking a little bar and chair into the corner is a cozy addition.


Decorating around a television is a great way to take the focus off the big black box while displaying treasures.


Seriously, how cute is this little set up?!


Even though we didn’t have much time in the newly renovated kitchen, it sees plenty of love and use now.



The space isn’t huge, but opening it up kept it airy.  Drawers provide maximum storage, and those wood counters are still a favorite of mine.


That plate shelf wall comes in handy again.


Down the hall, the pantry over the steps looks super cute with a new chalkboard finish.


The owner is a collector of vintage items, and I love the warmth they add to the bathroom.


What was our guest bedroom is a cute bedroom for a sweet girl.


Quite opposite from myself, the buyer is fashionable and uses the boys’ old bedroom as a large closet.  That ladder to store shoes is such a genius storage solution.



We sold the bed with the house so it’s strange how little has changed in the master bedroom.


Roughly a year and a half ago, I shared a master bathroom update that I helped out with, taking the walls a near black.


Going down the stairs, the family room is a cozy hang out spot.


The large basement bathroom now has a finished shower, something we never got around to.


This office space was one of my favorite rooms in the house, in part because of the ample storage.


The large back yard has a new concrete patio, perfect for entertaining.


Behind the garage, an adorable little shed with wooden beams as stepping “stones” is so cute.


It certainly is strange to see the house after living there, but also wonderful because the house has been lived in and appreciated since we’ve left.  It’s so corny because it hasn’t been ours for five years, but it makes my heart happy knowing it has been taken care of.

The Thought Process for the Pool House

Planning for the finishes of the indoor pool house is a strange mix of interior and exterior.  Interior in that we want finishes that flow with the rest of the house.  Exterior due to the water splashes and potential for high humidity.  Basically, we need to create a bathroom on steroids.  Deciding on the ceiling finish was really easy for us as we have tongue and groove throughout our house as well as the front deck.  The walls, however, have been much trickier.  Many siding options are an option as well as more interior specific finishes such as tile and plaster.


Along with looking good, we need something that won’t be damaged by water.  Perhaps most importantly, we want something that won’t feel dated-hopefully ever, but especially not in a couple of years.  With that said, dark stained wood lap siding covered the walls before, which I’m sure was lovely in the late 70’s/early 80’s.  Flash forward 40 or so years, and the walls feel dated and very dark.

New-House-Pool-Room April 13 2012

To be honest, shakes, stone, and tile were never viable options for us.  Shakes would feel too busy and traditional.  The price of stone can get insane really quickly.  Tile could be pretty along the bottom four feet, but I want simple.  Plaster walls would also be beautiful, but touching up any damaged areas can be a nightmare.  So we’re left with lap and board and batten siding.

Ben preferred lap siding, while I pushed for board and batten.  For simplicity sake, longevity, and the bright feel, either would be painted white.

Having installed lap siding on much of our exterior, Ben knows the process quite well.  After initial pricing, the lap siding would be significantly less expensive than board and batten.  Call me a princess, call me stubborn, but I knew lap siding was not what I wanted.  Sure, the new siding would be slightly wider than the old wood stuff, but it still felt like a cop-out.  I wasn’t ready to give up on my vision, so we discussed other materials and got pricing.

To keep the white walls from feeling boring and dull, we’ll space batten strips 8 inches apart, similar to this:
Image result for white board and batten detail
Details have been swirling around in my head since we bought the house, but have been firming up as we complete more on the to do list.  What I have pictured in my head is along the lines of this design board:
When finished, I want the room to feel fresh, bright, and sleek.  Kind of a California cool/simple vibe with a dash of rustic mixed in.  The wall treatment will play a big role in this, contrasted by continuing the dark slate floor from the adjacent kitchen.
Four modernized versions of traditional lantern scones will add separate lighting zones to the hot tub and kitchen areas.  On my lighting search, I primarily looked at outdoor sconces, as they can withstand water/humidity.  Also, outdoor sconces run bigger, creating a better proportion in this large of a space.  Near the future hot tub, a pair of sconces will go on either small angled wall.
Another pair will flank a window in the kitchen (kitchenette, really as it will only have a sink and range), as pictured below with my paper templates hung up.  Opposite the window we’ll have a sink, gas range, and vent above.  Olive green cabinets have been on my mind and I think the little kitchen side is the perfect spot to play around with a dose of color.
Tucked into that angle, I want a bank of built-in storage benches to keep pool toys and such neatly stowed away.
For function, I think it’d be best to mount cute hooks on the wall below the window to conveniently hang fun striped towels.
High on my preference list is a pair of trees, perhaps citrus, to flank either side of the wide end windows, with a wood framed sofa between.
As you can see based on the pictures, we’re still far off from the finishing details.  Our current step is framing new walls to better insulate, followed up with tile.

Year Five Pool House Progress

With the five-year mark just passing, taking a look back was satisfying.



But, seeing progress in the warehouse, I mean pool house, is equally fulfilling.  Unlike the rest of the house, this room has, without a doubt, only gotten worse as we’ve lived here.  After closing, the pool house looked like this:

New-House-Pool-Room April 13 2012

Certainly not the worst starting point, but still far from our ideal.  Indoor carpet, stained lap siding on the walls, water stained beams, and a fiberglass ceiling had all seen better days.


To revamp the space, the first order of business is always demolition.  First the ceiling, followed up with the floors.  Oh boy, this was a treat.  And by treat I mean hours of Ben chiseling and chipping and me with heavy buckets to haul and oodles of vacuuming.  Let the good times roll.


About halfway through the tile removal, we took a break and knocked out the half bath for fun.


The in swinging door at the center of the room made it awkward to actually get in the room and close the door.  Instead, we want to add a pocket door, keeping the room open and accessible.


To start, we tore down the previous wall and planned out the new door placement.  Then we built a new header, as well as a full new wall.  Just to the right, we built up the wall to accommodate a wider door leading into the kitchen.  To do so, we had to transfer the load of the overhead beam by adding a massive header.  Finally the fun part, opening up the wall for the new door.



Ta da!  Time for a wider door.


Install went smoothly and we’re loving the flood of light coming in the office.  The wider door also makes the pool house feel more intentional, like a part of the house and less like the addition it is.


Framing the larger door adds balance to the large wall, unlike the second photo above.


With that wall built, we got back to chipping up tile and mastic.  Fingers tightly crossed, we’re past the worst part of the demo work.  Three more walls to build, electrical to run, and we’ll be able to start laying tile and getting to the pretty parts.


Soon all of the plans swirling around in my head will start to take shape, which is a thrilling concept.

Five Year Home Tour: Part 3

As a wrap up of the five-year before and after extravaganza, we’re getting our shoes on, heading out the front door, and taking a peek around the exterior.  Before, the exterior wasn’t the best selling feature.  What, with the dated windows, two-tone unfinished siding, and completely overgrown landscape.

New-House-Exterior-Bedroom-April-13-2012We’ve since replaced every.single.window, wrapped the house in extra insulation, followed up by a combo of dark lap siding and rusting CorTen steel.


Landscaping has been a long road, starting with a water and energy-saving rock base.  To soften all the rock, water wise plants dot the property and are filling in nicely.


Along the front of the pool house, a large but falling apart deck awaited a refresh.  With the rotting supports and splintered wood, the deck was beyond repair.


A complete rebuild took many weekends over the course of a summer, but we now have an outdoor oasis.  Covering the southern exposure was crucial in making the space usable, avoiding roasting.


From the road, the pool house was quite an eyesore.  Missing pieces of siding and topped with a leaking roof due to the old solar panels.


Now, it’s sleek, streamlined, and more private thanks to a horizontal railing.


At the far end, we carved out room for a grill station with plenty of room for a relaxing seating area.


At the back of the house, there was a very overgrown flagstone paver patio with an ostentatious lion head fountain in the center.


When the patio was created, the landscapers brought in fill dirt.  But, that dirt was higher than the concrete foundation, which could cause wood rotting and possibly basement flooding.  Before we could do too much inside, we had to fix this situation and the landscaping followed.  By removing the top foot of dirt, we fixed that problem.  To make the space more usable, we built a big deck out of chunky reclaimed beams.


While digging down, we decided to add a water feature in the form of a waterfall.


It gives a similar sound effect as the fountain, but is set back, allowing more usable space with a gas fire pit in front.


Lowering the back landscaping also gave us the opportunity to drop the back pool door down.  Previously, there were four steps to get up to a small landing, which cut off both the interior and exterior spaces.

New-House-Back-Yard-Stairs April 13 2012

This back deck sees a lot of use.  It’s a space for the boys to play, an outdoor dining room, and a private hang out space.



Pool house progress coming up next!

Five Year Home Tour: Part Two

Following up on part one, this part of the tour will cover the bedrooms, bathrooms, and basement progress.  Before, the main bathroom was the most recently updated room, but didn’t function well for our family as it lacked a shower.

New-House-Main-Bathroom April 13 2012

Adding a full wall between near the toilet allowed us to create a tub/shower, but also gives privacy to the commode.  An open vanity allows breathing room, with storage for towels, toilet paper, and bath toys.



Across the hall is the smallest bedroom, with a wall of bookshelves.

New-House-Guest-Bedroom April 13 2012

By notching out the bookshelves, we gained an extra foot of floor space, as well as a headboard nook.  White shelves brighten the formerly dark room, and a padded linen headboard is a cozy reading spot.


The boys’ room was a black space, with beige walls and a popcorn ceiling.


Removing the popcorn, adding new trim, and painting the walls a vibrant color cheer up the once drab space.


There were some questionable wall colors in this house, but the electric blue was the most retina searing.



Keeping a neutral color palette is calming, with reclaimed wood plank accent wall.  Nearly black walls are bold, but not obnoxiously so.


Completing the master suite is a bathroom, previously seen with red walls and yellow tile.

After a full gut remodel, the bathroom is sleek and updated, making it one of my favorite rooms in the house.  White tongue and groove lower walls balance the dark upper, and the walnut vanity adds much-needed warmth.


Going to the basement, the garage entrance was dark and plain, with an awkwardly swinging door to under stair storage.


For better function and flow, we carved out a bit of space to create a mud nook.  It’s the ideal drop spot for backpacks, jackets, and shoes, while keeping it out of the walkway.



Beyond the angled door was a large open room.


For our purposes, we decided to split the space in two, giving us a bedroom and theater space.  I haven’t found the perfect night stands or art.  It’s functional, but not finished.


Our laundry room is one storage packed power house, but wasn’t always that way.


Now it feels as clean as the clothes coming out of those machines.



Just down the hall was an equally dated/ugly/dirty feeling bathroom.


Tearing it down to the studs gave us a clean slate, allowing us to widen the shower.




At the very end of the hall, that painted door hid a small closet.


Tearing out the closet became the theater room entrance.  Painting the walls a deep green makes it so cozy to lounge and watch movies.  When reconfiguring the floor plan, we set this area up to double as a bedroom, if necessary down the road.


Part three, the exterior is coming up next.