Plans for the first floor

Now that the dust has settled (and been removed) let’s chat about the major reno for the year. We’re taking on most of the rest of downstairs. Functionally, that means we’re tackling the entry cube (fire hose lights, your days are numbered), downstairs living room, dining room and half bath. Here’s a bit of the floor plan for reference.


When we are done, the only part of the first floor that will be relatively untouched is the kitchen. We really wanted to tackle everything at once, but a financing hiccup put the kitchen on hold. It’s a bit of a bummer (and a story for a different day) but we’re both very excited to use space that has basically been a landing zone/construction area the entire time we’ve lived here.

So what’s on tap? Here’s a high level overview.


  • Finish the HVAC
  • Fix the drywall
  • Remove and repair the plaster on the ceiling
  • Paint walls, ceiling and now the floor, because blah

Entry cube


This connects the studio to the living space. The only “finished” thing about it is the lights. Besides that it’s a jumble of half-mudded drywall. Here’s what we’ll do:

  • Ditch the fire hose lights (Don’t worry. We’ll find a good home for them.)
  • Install a commercial door that fits the character of the space
  • Hang a new light and maybe some art

Half bath


This small bathroom got a big upgrade when we replaced the windows on the first floor before we moved in. It’s totally functional, which is great because it gets a lot of use since it is the only bathroom on this floor. This space only needs some cosmetic touch ups:

  • Refinish the sink
  • Fix the ceiling – It has some random holes, a few fans (one works, one doesn’t) and an old, ugly light fixture
  • New lighting
  • Add some functional storage and a mirror

Dining room

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The dining room also got a new window. Since then it has basically been a staging place for tools, except for the one time I cleaned it before our open house. In this area, we’ll:

  • Add a window
  • Procure/buy new furniture (we’re pondering a custom table)
  • Build the coolest light fixture we can imagine that we’ve wanted to hang somewhere for years
  • Finish it with art and accessories, maybe an indoor tree?

When we tackle the kitchen, we’ll bust down the wall between these spaces. In the interim, we’re going to close the kitchen off with a swinging restaurant door and new frosted glass for the transom.

Living room


We have big plans for this space! We already have a very comfortable TV/movie watching area, so we want this to function as a great place to relax and entertain. We’ll still incorporate a TV (in case we want to toss the football game on during Thanksgiving) but the main focus will be chilling in front of the fireplace. Here’s the plan:

  • Add TWO news windows that flank a new fireplace (EEE!) You can sneak a peek at the layout at the end of this post.
  • Create (or buy) a storage unit that includes a hidden TV and firewood storage
  • Layer in furnishings, accessories, lighting and art

This project is actually slated to start AFTER the workshop, but we wanted to take advantage of the nice weather to get the windows cut out (by a mason) and then installed (by Aaron.) So I’ll have another post on that when they go in, then work in this space will halt while we get the workshop done and finally make a home for the tools.

  1. Exciting! How long do you think it will take to finish all this? Will you be painting or doing anything to the brick walls?

    1. Are you going to paint the walls white like the studio? The brick looks really modern in there. I can’t tell if its the lighting or if you painted them.

      1. Yep! This whole space will go white. The color is actually a pretty depressing yellow beige. It probably reads a little better in person than in real life.

        1. The depressing yellow definitely comes through in a couple of the photos. My first gut response was aversion to all the brick. However, what you did in the studio makes me love it instead. I must say the one room I’m most excited for you both to redo is the kitchen. Although the proposed fireplace in the living-room looks like it will leave quite the impression.

          1. I don’t think the brick would be our first choice, but we’re really happy with how it looks in the studio. The monochromatic look really helps the lines fade away.

            You and me both! I’m happy I have a functional kitchen but the miniscule counter space drives me crazy!

    2. That’s a good question. We haven’t really put a timeline together since we both want to focus on the workshop first. My gut says 3 months, so I’ll go with 4 for overage. That’s once we get started, not counting any of the work now.

    3. Oh! And yes, we’re going to paint the brick walls white, like in the studio.

  2. If you need help with a table, I’ve got a friend here in Indy that does great work! Although, you could probably find someone close to you too…ha! I just like getting his name out there! Can’t wait to see all of this come together!

    1. Thanks, Steph! Aaron has designs in his head, but it’s always good to have resources 🙂

  3. […] flipped to the west side of the building, we’ve been desperate to add some windows to that side. Tackling the first floor living room is our first chance to let in some light from that […]

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