Definitely our largest undertaking yet…..a 4,000 sq foot fixer upper!!!!!
My husband and I sold our house that we had been in for the last ten years and took a shot at our own version of the TV show Fixer Upper. The difference between us and the TV show hosts are that we did not have a crew in toe. Had it not been for the endless help of friends and family I don’t know how we would ever have been able to pull this off in such a short amount of time. My first step in the over all design for the downstairs was selecting a paint color that would flow throughout. My husband being the “hands” and myself being the “vision” set out to make sure we picked the right color. The first thing we did was buy a piece of sheet rock from Home Depot and taped it off in four sections. We then painted each section with a color we knew we wanted for sure. Agreeable Grey by Sherwin Williams for the walls, Origami White by Sherwin Williams for the kitchen cabinets, Accessible beige by Sherwin Williams for one of the bedrooms upstairs, and the next color up of Accessible Beige on Sherwin Williams color wheel. We carried this board with us every time we visited the house to be absolutely sure these colors would work for us.
The home we purchased was over ten years old and had not seen an update since it was built. The inside was dated and the downstairs floor plan was awkward for most. The home had sat vacant for almost two years because no one knew what to do with the space. My husband and I knew that this house would work for us so we set out on our path. The large room was just wasted space so we knocked the half wall down and called my husbands child hood friend who is a contractor. The materials were ordered and we were on our way to making this wasted space an office. The pocket doors that we ordered match the front door of our home so there is some symmetry when you enter the foyer. Taller doors make your eye go up so it will often give the illusion that rooms are taller and ceilings are higher than they really are. The before picture of the foyer you will see below:
Another angle of the foyer will show you the dining room space as well. We assumed that the space where the half wall is ,was supposed to be either a sitting room or a formal dining room. You can see another before picture posted below…. we knew that by defining these two spaces more clearly you would truly have more livable space.
Now you will see the after of both of these spaces. We were able to knock the half wall down and by framing this formal sitting room in we created an office space for my husband where he can conduct his business in private if need be. By installing the pocket doors that are the same height as the front door, it makes the ceilings appear higher. We also removed the light fixtures and replaced them with recessed lights for a cleaner look throughout the downstairs.
The biggest project that we had to tackle was the kitchen. We were on a limited budget since framing the office and all the materials had set us back. We wanted to update the kitchen but could not afford to replace the granite or the tile backsplash. So for two weeks, from sun up to midnight my husband and his friend Marvin cleaned, sanded, primed, re-sanded, and painted 40 kitchen cabinet doors. Did I mention that everyday for those two weeks temperatures averaged well over 100 degrees everyday. All of the sanded took place in the garage with fans placed throughout.
We had our electrician run wires for pendant lights to hang above the island and we also removed the pantry door and replaced it with an 8 ft door making the ceilings appear higher than they are.
At some point we will replace the backsplash and granite but for now just updating the cabinet colors enable the kitchen to flow with the rest of the updates downstairs that we did. The kitchen island color is also a Sherwin Williams color called Dovetail…we painted the doors to my husbands office this color as well so that all the colors that are downstairs flow nicely from room to room.
Another detail that was important to my husband and I were the built- ins in the living room. The existing built -ins did not have closed cabinetry to house the audio and video equipment. This detail was very important to us both because AV equipment is an eyesore and can detract from the over all ambiance of the house. The crew that framed in my husband’s office also made us two cabinets out of birch. They cut the existing shelves out and replaced them with lovely cabinets that fit our needs much better. We also had the electrician install two small recessed lights above each bookshelf to show case what I wanted to put in my bookcases.
After much debate about whether or not to paint the bookshelves white (which everyone said to do…) I followed my gut and had Sherwin Williams take the wall color Agreeable Grey, and tint it 30% darker in a semi-gloss. This just gives the built-ins a hint of shine and makes my decor stand out that much more. I think that the blue and white just pops off of the grey. Very different from the same ole same ole…. I think the lighting makes a huge difference as well and warms the space up quiet a bit. I had it all envisioned in my mind as to what I wanted it to look like and it is still taking shape and changing everyday. I love going to antique stores and mixing old pieces with new pieces. It is so exciting to find just the right piece. Nothing like it….
Not sure if there is anyone out there like me but I am a laundry fanatic…it doesn’t stay in the dryer five minutes before I am hanging it up….. I hand wash tennis shoes, yard gloves etc. and we also wanted a sink in the laundry room. The laundry room in this house was huge but dated. Linoleum, no cabinets, and no sink. We had it plumbed for a sink right away and waited until money was right before having the counter top installed and the faucet bought. I wanted a laundry room that blended with the rest of the house but one that reflected my sense of style. My husband thought I had lost my mind when I said ,”I want to decorate the laundry room.”
Laundry Room After:
Laundry Room Sink After:
The other room that I was not prepared for was the Master Bedroom. The Master bedroom has a sitting room in it and to say it is large is an understatement. It is large. I wanted it to be elegant and to have a “Wow” factor when you walked in. With the exception of curtains for the sitting area it is almost complete. The nightstand on the right will be replaced but for now it has the height that that space requires.
Master Bedroom Before:After Master Bedroom Pictures:
I still have fabric to buy and drapes to be made for all of the major rooms but I enjoy having a project to look forward to. You never know when you round the corner or head down the isle in a shop that the special piece you have been waiting for is staring back at you. It is that moment where you can say “Ahhh…there it is. That will work perfectly.”I have a love for oil paintings and I have many a canvas that retailed for under 50.00. After I frame them and give them a home people are shocked when I tell them. I have found from shopping many frame retailers that Hobby Lobby has the best price on frames of anyone out there. They do a great job! I take any flat surface of a table, dresser, or chest and I view that as an opportunity to create a story that I want to tell in that room. Every room has a story to tell you just have to vision it!