We closed on our new, less humble abode mid April 2012 and we’ve been working on it since. Let’s get started.
Entry Before: The previous owner installed beige marble tile and a Tiffany style light, neither of which are our style. Oh, and lovely red curtains.
Living Room Before: After climbing the stairs, you’re greeted by the living and dining rooms, complete with inlaid hardwood floors and stunning views.
A refinished and upholstered sofa lends vintage charm to the room, across from the leather sofa.
Peek out the windows on the front of the house and you’ll see something like this:
See, cool views, huh? But back to the house.
Dining Room Before: The bay window, super low light, and 8 foot French door in a room with 8 foot ceilings isn’t working for us.
Kitchen Before: The kitchen is massive, especially compared to our first kitchen. Ben measured the island. It’s nine feet long. That’s just a foot or so shorter than the stove side at our first house. And we’ve got a little breakfast nook at the end.
Kitchen 3 Years Later: A down-to-the-studs gut gave us a clean starting point for slate tile floors, DIY white cabinetry, soapstone counter tops, a walnut island, and a more functional layout for our needs.
Office Before: My new office is right off the kitchen. Which I love, but the ugly wallpaper was in there, too.
Office 3 Years Later: While remodeling the kitchen, we also upgraded my office space. The seating space moved from the side to the center of the window, flanked by two drawer stacks for functional storage space.
Pool Room Before: The glass door to the right leads to the indoor pool. Yes, I feel like an over-privileged brat just typing that. But, you can see the space needs plenty of work. The roof is leaking, the pool isn’t functional, and we have industrial grade carpet on the deck. So much light pours in thanks to tons of sky lights, doors, and southern exposure. Hot tub anyone? Well, it doesn’t work and is currently collecting bugs.
Next to the entrance is a half bathroom and the three stairs go up to a wet bar.
For some reason, the cabinets are insanely high, but the sliding door leads out to a patio and the rest of the back yard.
Pool Room Progress: Progress in here = piles of insulation. This room is not a priority, but we dream of a cedar ceiling and soft gray walls with pretty tile on the floors.
Family Room Before: Large windows flank a sliding door. A moss rock fireplace is the center of the room.
Family Room 3 Years Later: New windows, larger trim, and a refaced fireplace are more modern, but also brighten up the space. A pair of spruced up thrifted chairs sit near an oversized stump coffee table. For a burst of color, I painted a large landscape piece for the mantle.
Main Bathroom Before: Although this was the most updated bathroom, the large vanity and clawfoot tub weren’t functional for our family.
For added storage, we built an open shelving stack to hold the necessities.
Guest Bedroom Before: The smallest of the bedrooms, the guest bedroom boasts courtyard-esque views and built-in book shelves.
Guest Bedroom 3 Years Later: A queen sized bed fits nicely, and the book shelves hold everything I had in my first office. Making a nook in the shelves gives more floor space to the room and creates a cozy nook at the bed.
Boys’ Bedroom Before: Oddly enough, the layout of the boys’ bedroom is a slightly larger version of their bedroom at our first house.
Boys’ Bedroom 3 Years Later: Placing the custom built twin beds against the walls leaves plenty of open floor space for playing, a refinished Drexel dresser tucked below the window rounds out the grouping.
Master Bedroom Before: Yikes. The electric blue paint is not close to a favorite color of ours. But the room is huge compared to our small master bedroom before.
Master Bedroom 3 Years Later: When we replaced the old cedar siding, we decided to reuse some of it to create a shiplap accent wall and painted it white. Then we built a beautiful wood and upholstered bed frame and headboard, floating wood nightstands, and leather tab top curtains to layer the room.
We use a DIY wooden ladder to store extra blankets near the bed.
A large framed mirror fills in the space between the doors, adding function.
Master Closet Before: A walk in closet feels like such a luxury. We’ve got plenty of space to store every clothing item Ben and I own.
Master Closet 3 Years Later: A coat of Dragonfly paint on the walls and crisp white shelving makes for a fun mini room.
Master Bathroom Before: Red walls + yellow sinks + dingy tile = a mess made in the 70s. Add in a leaking shower and it was high time to remodel the room.
Master Bathroom 3 Years Later: We decided to reuse the clawfoot tub from the main bathroom, but to make space for it, we had to eliminate one of the sinks. In place, we created a five foot walnut vanity topped with a stainless steel counter and vessel sink.
White tongue and groove wraps the lower third of the bathroom, balancing the nearly black painted upper.
For the shower, we took a less conventional approach with an open stainless steel shower pan and two curtains to prevent the space from feeling closed in and cramped.
Basement Before: Although ugly, this large open area gets a lot of light thanks to two south-facing windows.
The space makes an L around into a dark, windowless space.
Basement 3 Years Later: This is our current project and has been completely gutted. We’re reconfiguring the layout to create two rooms, a bedroom as well as a theater space.
Laundry Room Before: Um, the Brady family called. They want their countertops back. But we are thankful for the large space with plenty of storage.
Laundry Room Progress: Washer and dryer from our last house work well side by side in here. A left over rug covers the ugly glue covered floor.
Basement Bathroom Before: More yellow fixtures, orange counters, and glue covered floors. This room will get a complete facelift along with the rest of the basement update.
Back Yard Before: A stone patio complete with non-functional fountain with a few trees. Even better, we’ve got a steep lot with privacy beyond.
Back Yard 3 Years Later: Oh man, this was a lot of back breaking work. When a local commercial building was demolished, we saved the structural beams and created a beefy deck. Every window has been replaced with new energy efficient ones and the siding is all new as well. Since we’re in Montana, we went with a material that is becoming more popular around here, CorTen steel and traditional lap siding.