Renovations are definitely a rollercoaster.
Your weekly emotional state can swing wildly depending on a number of factors (progress, project hiccups, finances, deadlines, etc.). It’s not uncommon to feel feelings of excitement, trepidation, frustration and joy simultaneously.
To be blunt: it’s one hell of a ride.
With only about 5 weeks left to go of this renovation, I thought it would be fun to do a little house tour/renovation update to show you guys how far we’ve come and how much more work there is still ahead. I guess, technically we’re entering the “finishing” stage of renovation which means new framework and mechanicals (HVAC, electric + plumbing) are in place, walls are sealed up and all the pretty stuff starts to go in. Countertops, floors, paint, lighting, cabinetry… these are the things that make my heart happy.
So, let’s start in the spaces that have seen the most change — the main floor.
Remember this floorpan?!
How sad and dark.
Leeeeeeeet the sun shine…. Leeeeeeeeet the sun shine in!
We took down the walls separating the entryway and the living room and widened the opening between the living room and dining room. Doesn’t all that wide open space just make you want to go “Ahhhhhhhh…“!? That first primer coat of paint helps, too! I will say, that perhaps the most pleasant surprise in this part of the home is actually the new beefed up stair railing.
If you recall, the old stairway was dark, narrow and had a wobbly metal railing. I love the look of the new solid wood bannister and custom post — it dresses up the stairs and fits right in with the colonial style of the home. I think once the new front door gets painted and installed (you can see it leaning pretty in the image above) as well as the new foyer lighting, we’ll have a nice little welcoming committee going for all of our visitors.
Next up: the kitchen!
Here’s a reminder of where we started… track lighting, how I will miss you.
Can you believe that our kitchen once was dated and closed-off space?
In it’s original state, it was definitely not a part of the home I could envision our family spending time in. The overabundance of wood cabinetry combined with a giant way-to-big-for-the-space peninsula just felt claustrophobic. The layout simply wasn’t conducive to functional use of the space with an awkward configuration and limited traffic flow. The electric stovetop from 1984 (I found the manual!) didn’t help add any wow factor, either!
Here is where we stand now:
The biggest change of all is the removal of the wall between the kitchen and formal dining room. It completely opens up the room and just makes sense, you know? The way we live today, we realized that most people tend to congregate in the kitchen and we wanted ours to be a warm, inviting space with casual dining. The formal dining room is not so formal anymore and more of a natural extension of our kitchen.
You might have noticed we made a decision to seal off the exterior door and use that wall additional cabinetry, extended countertops and workspace. Soffits were removed to enhance the ceiling and cabinet height. New recessed lighting was added for a clean, crisp look. The stove (switched from electric to gas) was moved across the room and will become a focal point of the kitchen. The refrigerator was relocated to an opposite wall (where that black garbage can now stands) and is now flanked by extra large pantry cabinets (they are SO deep!).
Oh, but that island… I’m still pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I’m so excited to get those waterfall countertops installed and give this beauty a test run!
Here’s a closer look at the cabinet hardware…
I love that it’s gold, without being in-your-face-blinged-out-gold. The brushed bronze color is the right hit of warmth to balance out all of the cool tones in the kitchen. The shape of the hardware is clean and contemporary, but will hopefully remain timeless… because trust me, we’re going to be living with it for a LONG time.
On to the next room: the family room.
First, a reminder of our family room’s humble beginnings…
Now, here we are!
The carpet is GONE… as is that heavy wood built-in unit (which I lovingly referred to as “The Menace.“) We’ve widened the entrance off the kitchen, covered the entire perimeter of the room in shiplap, installed new windows, rebuilt the beams and updated the mantle.
Doesn’t this bright space make you happy!?
The shiplap in the room makes such a HUGE impact. It is definitely a design decision I’m very pleased with. I’m also happy to see the old fireplace mantle gone and replaced with one better suited to the scale of the room. The entire room (including the fireplace masonry) still needs to be painted and stained and hardwood flooring obviously needs to be installed. I’m dying to see what those beams look like in black!
All of this progress was not without a few set backs, but with the help of our contractor team (I can’t recommend BENNETT BUILDERS enough), we’ve eased through a few murky renovation waters. Clearly, we still have quite the punch list ahead of us, but with each day I get more and more motivated and excited to push through to the finish line.
Next week, I’ll be giving y’all the full upstairs renovation update — master suite, new laundry room and and all!