August 14, 2012

Our new House

I guess foyers weren’t big in the 70s because I have another small, super-challenging entry to try to try to do something to. (We have so many bigger fish to fry that I haven’t even gone there mentally yet.)  I love the massive metal windows & doors throughout this house.  The stairs in the front walk up to an upstairs loft, one of the features that really sold me on the house.  We’ll tear down the drywall on the stairs and add simple iron railings for a simpler look…  (for details on the stair plans, read the post I wrote a few days ago here)

Since I’ve been thinking about it pretty much nonstop, I thought I’d share our new house with you.  I am CRAZY about this place but want to mention a few things first:
#1 :  It is SMALLER than our current house (!!)  It lives larger because there are 3 bedrooms (instead of 5) and
#2- there is NO storage in the house.  (We do have a garage now, which we didn’t have before.)
The yard is massive (we have a nice private back yard now, which is one of the most important things in a house for us….  We don’t want our neighbors to have to see our crazy antics)  and we could stay here for the rest of our lives or leave if something else comes up.  (After this whirlwind house-buy-and-sale we’ve decided that we’ll pretty much “never say never” again.  We have no idea what our future holds and are totally open to staying forever or moving on..)
So…  welcome to our new house!  It was built in the 70s (like our current home) and it has sort of a rustic-contemporary vibe.  The wooden door you see below is the front door and it walks into a teensy tiny foyer:

Here’s the view into the living room (the front room shown in the other pics) and you can see we’ve got lots to do in here…  The wood burning stove will be switched out with a modern recessed gas fireplace between the two windows.  I’d like to change out the windows to larger ones to let in more light & so that we can see outside better.  The view out these windows is one of the prettiest views the house has and I feel like we can barely see out with these narrow windows as they are now.


Here’s a view of the living room from the stairs.  (photo below) The tile and carpeting throughout the house are going.  Wide plank white oak from the Mountain Lumber Co. is on its way!!!  The pine beams will be sanded down (to get rid of the red-brown finish) and then refinished so that they resemble antique beams.  The rest of the ceiling is actually plywood so it’ll be painted white to match the walls.  I plan on having two sofas face each other for a cozy seating area down there:

…If you walk through the doorway to the right of the (future) fireplace, you enter the kitchen:

The door is just out of the photo on the left so you basically walk in and see the side of the peninsula…  The kitchen isn’t really much bigger than our current kitchen & we’re starting from scratch in here.  I’ll be going with open shelving instead of upper cabinets again to open up the space & we’re continuing the hardwood floors into here too.

The area you see in the back (in the pic above) with the cathedral ceiling is the breakfast room.
Here’s the main area of the kitchen:

We’re rearranging a bit & moving the dishwasher over by the fridge so the sink can scoot over a little to the left & has a little more room to breathe.  We’re going with a smaller fridge and using this one as a second refrigerator in the garage.  (My husband is OBSESSED with meat & has been dreaming of having 2 freezers/ refrigerators for years now, and as our boys get older, we’re find there’s never enough milk  SO having two refrigerators will be a cherished luxury for us.)

Here’s the view from the bar:

{The door on the right in the pic above leads to the dining room.)

I really love the big peninsula/ bar!!  (“Big” is a relative term here…  it’s probably not big compared to normal homes, but it’s much bigger than what we currently have so I’m excited.)  I picture my 3 boys sitting up there hanging out while we cook.  (My two older ones are at the age where helping is fun!  How long does this last??? 😉  And I kind of have a thing for the bar stools…  Super-retro and I’m wondering if I could find something similar in leather??

Here’s the view from the breakfast room into the kitchen & you can also see the living room doorway…

I am definitely doing a banquette in the breakfast room and probably shouldn’t call it the “breakfast” room since we’ll probably eat most meals in there…  I’m thinking about doing a little herb/ plant station on the blank wall (in the pic above) but it might be smarter to add some sort of storage piece with a countertop there instead…  (I have hopes of a sort of huge plant trough full of ferns & herbs but it might not be practical enough… we’ll see.)  And even though everyone in blogland might be over it, I need to decide on a spot for chalkboard paint somewhere in the kitchen…  The chalkboard fridge we currently have entertains the kids (freeing me up!!)  and my husband and I use it all the time for lists and notes, so it’s going somewhere.  I thought it might work on the herb garden wall & how fun would it be to label the herbs on the wall??

Moving on…  The dining room is the toughest room for me in the house…  When you walk in to it through the kitchen, you see this:


The view out the dining room window is of bushes.  (There’s a raised garden bed ouside of the windows) and so it’s really dark & feels so low compared to the rest of the house.  We also have to add in duct work to this room so it’s going to get worse.  I think I’m going to make this room cozy & moody and I’m a little excited about that.  It’s a pretty long room so I have some options floorplan-wise…  The room you see behind it is our future family room/ office and the door in the back leads to the garage.  I’m playing with the idea of doing our books in the dining room, but there might not be enough space…

The cabinets separating the dining room from the family room/ studio are going and I’m still on the fence about adding new ones…  I think a floating piece of furniture would be prettier, but the family room will also double as our office and we really need storage in there.  I’d like to keep the rooms open to one another for entertaining purposes but I also like the idea of a wall with storage on both sides in both the dining room and studio…  so that’s to be determined…

The family room/ studio has a view of the bak yard and TONS of light!!!  I can’t wait to work here!!!


Because the office will double as a family room, I’m rethinking my office storage a bit…  It might need to hide away a bit instead of being all open as it is now…

…Also on the first floor is the master bedroom…  We’re moving doors and creating a new entry for it so it’s really changing…  (Currently, there are two entries to it:  from the foyer and from the office and neither are great…)

As it is now, I think it rivals the dining room in “eh”ness….  It’s fairly small as master bedrooms go and has an oddly placed closet (below)….  Its two windows overlook a little u-shaped courtyard in between the garage and the house.  There’s a maple tree in there and a few plants….  BUT we’re going to wall off the courtyard and turn it into our own private little garden.  We’re taking out the windows in the master bedroom and are replacing the entire wall with sliding glass doors so that you feel like the garden is a part of the bedroom.  Once we wall it off, the garden will be completely private & I want to add an outdoor shower out there.   (This has been a dream of mine for a looooooong time!!!!)   I can’t wait to watch the maple tree & other plants change throughout the seasons and feel like I’m living outside!!

We’re swapping the location of the closet with the current master bath & are adding a powder room.  (As it is now, the only bathroom on the first floor is the master bath.)  The closet you see above will become our bathroom…  We’ll add a skylight for some light in there…

When you go upstairs, you’re in the loft:


It’s twenty-two feet by thirteen feet and I am soooooo excited about this room!!!  The boys’ bedrooms are off of it & it will be sort of a family room/ playroom/ hangout room.  For years, I’ve loved the idea of a nursery with bedrooms off of it, (like in the Velveteen Rabbit! 😉 and I couldn’t believe it when we found a house with this feature!!!!  We’ll keep all of the boys’ books and toys in the loft (and maybe our books too) and only store clothes in their fairly small bedrooms. I’ve pretty much reached my limit with my boys taking all the toys & books off their shelves during naptimes so now they’ll have only clothes to play with! 😉  I picture them mostly playing in the big room and using their bedrooms mainly for sleeping.
We’re removing the loft’s current built-ins are leaving & we’re bringing in our massive hutch from our family room for toy & book storage …  The upstairs will be wall-to-wall seagrass which we have in our current house & has been a LIFESAVER with kids & pets.  (My friend Brooke Giannetti recommended it to me a few years ago when we moved into to our house and I’ve mentally thanked her a thousand times as I’ve wiped muddy paw prints or some other type of nasty thing right off of it.)

The boys’ bedrooms are almost exactly the same as their current bedrooms so I’m pretty much just going to move everything right over.  Christian & Justin (2 and 5) will continue to share and Luke will have the nursery to himself.  I’m thinking that the nursery might double as a guest room and then when it becomes becomes a “big boy” room, I might do a queen in there, so I can easily move a boy out to the other boys’ room and bring guests in.

…Anyway, I have so many plans going on & I can’t wait to share them with you!!!  SO many (fun!!!) decisions to make!!    I know the place looks pretty dated, but that excites me even more…  I don’t feel terrible for removing things that are older vs. removing other people’s updates that most people like & that we don’t want.    Would love to know what you think!!

We close in 2 weeks!! YAY!!!
If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

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