Happy New Year! I’m back from some taking time off for the holidays, and it feels great to dust off the keyboard and get back to work. Today I thought I’d share what we’ve been busy working on in the new house over the last half of 2017. If you follow me over on Instagram, you might have caught my Instastories where I’ve been filming the daily progress.
When we moved in this past summer, we sketched out the renovation/updating phases and I shared them here. The previous owner was a lovely elderly woman who built the home with her husband and raised their children here. They took great care of the house, so many of the repairs were cosmetic updates aside from the kitchen overhaul.
First on our list, before we moved in, we had the hardwoods on the main and upper level of the house refinished. This is how they looked the first time we saw the house.
As you can see, they were in great shape. However, after living and learning from our first home renovation of our previous house, we knew that getting the floors done before we moved anything in was a top priority. If it’s anywhere on your radar to do, just go ahead and do it before you live there. The process of sanding and staining and then sealing is long and the smell is very strong. We opted to get them done the day after we closed on the house and delayed our move in by two weeks.
During the sanding process we were hemming and hawing over which stain to pick: the dark walnut or the special walnut. In the end we chose special walnut and I’m so glad. I love the color with our neutral furniture and rug.
Here’s the after picture of our living room from October. We painted the walls in the living room, dining room, and kitchen Sherwin Williams Alabaster . It’s the perfect warm white. The trim is Sherwin Williams Extra White.
HVAC and Water Heater Replacement
After the floors cured and we could move in, we had a necessary but not too exciting HVAC system and water heater replacement. I don’t have any photos of that, but take my word for it, installing an air conditioner is always a good idea. It was a hot few nights in July without one.
In August we took a look at the layout of our backyard and decided to have 6 trees removed from the front and back. This opened up our space and give us more light in the front of the house.
That big Crimson King Maple on the left had to go first. I felt a little sad to see such a beautiful tree go, but it hung too close to the house and was competing for nutrients with the big oak tree behind it. It was an exciting few days for the kids to watch and call out “Timber!”
Those updates took us through the summer months, right up until our kitchen renovation started at the beginning of September. After a month long complete gut and rebuild, (which I promise to dedicate a full blog post to soon!), we took a break and just enjoyed living here and settling in over the holidays.
This is the kitchen on the first day we walked through the house. We knew right away that this would be our first major renovation to tackle. I spend 80% of my time in the kitchen cooking for this hungry family of mine, so opening up the layout and flipping the kitchen to the opposite wall was our first priority. Who wants to wash dishes facing a wall anyway?
This is what the dining room and entryway to the kitchen looked like on move-in day.
First up, we said goodbye to the window in the dining room and replaced it with sliders. It made a big difference right away with how much more light the full panel of glass lets in, and it also provided an easy way in and out from the backyard.
Tom demoed the two walls on either side of the kitchen to open up the two rooms to each other next.
Taking these walls down was the biggest improvement yet, and it was also the most fun for Tom. I took the kids to my parents’ house for the evening and he got to work.
Ready for the sneak peek at the finished kitchen reno? Now that the holidays are over, I can’t wait to get busy with a big before and after post of this kitchen, but for now, here’s what we’ve been busy working on.
Looks a little different, right? We are so happy with how it turned out. All the details are coming soon!
Just last week we started work on renovating the family room. I’m working on making the design board for it right now that I’ll be sharing here soon. For now, here’s a quick before and after of the fireplace mantel that we painted this week.
This was on walk through day.
And this was yesterday. Bye, wood paneling!
For this room, I’m going for a more relaxed and even a little quirky feel. The fun little bronze deer head above the mantel is my nod to the playful nature of this room.
Whew – It’s been a busy second half of 2017! Tom and I are thankful that we get to work on this house together, and we can’t wait to share more of our plans soon. Thanks for following along with us. Wishing you all a happy new year!