When I say that we’re knee deep in this renovation, what I really mean is Aaron is exhausted from laying floors and I don’t recognize these before pictures anymore. The space has already undergone such a huge change and I can’t wait to share it with you! Let’s dive into all the goodies: before photos, an overview of our plans, floorplans and a video.
I’ve owed you a decent floorplan for a while, so here’s a look at the half of the house under renovation. Gray boxes are cabinets/built ins.
Items of note
- The awkward pantry at the end of the hall
- The laundry in the kitchen
- The near lack of wall space in the living room thanks to an abundance of built ins and doors
Let’s dive into what the house looks like IRL. Here’s the view from the entry.
Straight ahead is a door to the kitchen and the ill placed pantry that turns the hallway into an awkward L. You won’t be surprised to hear that the pantry has to go.
Turning to the right, the kitchen sits behind the wall where the bar is. We are definitely planning to open this wall up.
Turning more to the right, gives you a full view of the front living room.
This is actually a pretty large space. To give you a sense, the desk is 10′. We absolutely love the corner window bank with the wide sills. We’re planning to turn this space into our dining room. We’ll add lighting (recessed and a slim custom chandelier) and paint (white for the walls, emerald green for the window nook).
Walking into the space and turning right again, you’re facing the front of the house.
This room is actually big enough to hold more than just a dining table. The corner next to the entry will become a casual seating area with a bar (the cart for now, a custom install later).
Now we’ve turned right again (basically we’re anti NASCAR-ing it up in here), facing the entry, coat closet and the back of the pantry.
You can start to see that we’re working with miles of carpet and some not-our-style (though what would be?) linoleum (in the entry and kitchen). All of this is getting pulled in favor of wood flooring throughout the entire house.
Turning right (yet again) you can see how this room flows into the existing dining area and back to the living room.
We haven’t arrived at the kitchen yet, but you may have noticed from the floorplan that it is rather compact and, as I mentioned, it has the laundry area. Changes need to be made!
In order to expand, we needed the space currently dedicated as “dining.” One other key element when considering where to put things: we didn’t want to trench in order to add plumbing. That meant the washing machine and kitchen sink would need to stay relatively close to their current home.
Establishing that we wanted to absorb this space into the kitchen, yielded another challenge: how to effectively rework the space so it felt open, but not like it was cut in half by a large walkway (which is the current vibe.) I’m telling you all of this from this angle because it’s easiest to envision the pantry that we’re going to make. We’re taking some of the space from to post to the right as pantry and then adding floor to ceiling cabinets in front of it. This will give us a huge amount of storage and shrink the walkway to a more reasonable size in the kitchen.
All of that space behind the table will be PANTRY!!
Dining room aka FUTURE PANTRY
Flipping around, you get a view into the kitchen and a peek at the laundry area. Let’s take a quick look at the compact kitchen, then step back here to talk about our plans.
Yep – that’s a laundry area taking up valuable real estate…
Ok, so now you know what we had. It’s all going.
Literally every single thing in this space, including the soffits. We’ll build a wall between the kitchen and laundry area (remember those appliances have to stay close to where they are – no trenching) to give the washer and dryer a dedicated room. Then we’ll open as much as we can to the left and right to expose the kitchen to the adjoining rooms. We’ll be left with a U-shaped kitchen of lower cabinets, with a range range centered on the far wall and miles of new countertops!
Turing right from the view above, you get a look at part of the living room.
The footprint for this room is rather large, but as the floorplan demonstrates, this space has a lot of awkward built ins, exterior doors (3) and wood paneling.
To get some much needed wall space, we’re moving the existing slider and replacing it with an existing window. We’re also planning to remove all of the paneling and drywall in this space. We just couldn’t get past how nice the walls would look as one continuous surface. The paneling isn’t our style and, unfortunately, the previous owner textured the drywall above it, making it impossible to match. Going back to the studs will allow for an easier rework of the electrical in this room and give us a chance to re-insulate with more modern materials.
Stepping into the space and turning left offers this view
We absolutely loved the vaulted ceilings and we don’t mind the chevron wood slats… though we will surprise no one by saying the ceiling could use a good coat of white paint. The ceiling fan is the only light in this space and in the evening I want to die a little. We compensate by leaving all of the kitchen lights on all the time. All that to say we need to figure out how to get more overhead light and that may (spoiler alert – WILL) affect the final design of the ceiling.
This also gives you a good view of the bar that backs to the kitchen (aka the reason our couch… really any couch… won’t fit in this space.) All of the built ins are getting pulled. In the future, this wall will hold the slider and the entrance to our backyard. Reorienting was important, because eventually this will open to our outdoor dining area.
The view from the opposite side of the space:
This gives you a good look at the awesome MCM fireplace… and the rest of the built ins. The fireplace stays basically as is. We’ll remove the mantel and refinish the hearth to cover up the leaf imprints, which you can see better in the photo below. Once the room is cleared, the couch will face this direction. We’ll add shelves to the left of the fireplace and a screen/projector combo for maximum TV viewing that can be hidden away when not in use.
And to round it all out, here’s the view from the family room, through the dining room to the front room:
Let’s steer back to the floorplan, with a view of where we were:
And where we’re going:
Does your chest feel lighter looking at the open space in the family room once all the built ins are out… or is that just me?
With this layout, I feel like photos and floor plans are only so helpful. So I’ve made a truly awkward iPhone video tour of the space. (You’re welcome?)
A few notes:
- I made this video on Jan 15 (my birthday!) and it’s funny to hear how the plans have evolved since then. I mention that we “think the front room will become the dining area.” Obviously, based on the notes above we’ve settled that.
- We are not taking out the half wall in the entry. Aaron’s assessment of the post is that it is built “strangely.” We decided that losing that half wall was not worth the effort it would take to make sure the house is still structurally sound… which seems rather important.
- Not sure why I sound super nervous…
- We actually decided to leave the deep freeze in the garage for now and just put shelves in the pantry. More on that later when we get into the details of all the individual spaces.
- Seriously, I sound like I am panting
So that’s (mostly) where we started. Obviously we’re adjusting and refining as we go. We’ll start to dive into the details and finishing choices (like the AHmazing floors Aaron is installing this week) in the upcoming posts.