Our goal of having our new home ready before our move in day went the way most goals involving home renovation go. It didn’t happen. You know what they say about the road to hell and all that. We’ve been full-time in our new residence since the end of April. There are myriad items left to do. In terms of renovation, the boys’ bathroom still requires a complete overhaul and we have the added work of baseboards and door casings to look forward to on the main level. We hope to be mostly settled, free of moving boxes, and relaxing feet up by the time the weather is cooling down and football season is heating up.
While I’ve been on my writing hiatus, here is what we have been up to (along with selling a home, moving across town, and finishing out the end of the school year).
The previous owner’s living room with its brass-adorned fireplace reminded me too much of my childhood home. We had a vision for this room as soon as we saw it.
Living room…welcome to 2016. This room needs window treatments (the paper blinds, while somewhat helpful, need to go) but otherwise it is mostly complete and totally comfortable. I won’t tell you how much time we spend in here watching television, but I can tell you that I know the weeknight line up on HGTV.
The old dining room, complete with wall-to-wall carpeting, Bonanza-reminiscent light fixture, and pointless half wall was an easy fix.
Our new dining room is a bit more contemporary. We love our walnut dining table and had fun choosing a light fixture to accompany it. The combination of metal and linen on the fixture makes it a standout without being too much for the room. And, with the useful peninsula addition, we added an extra seating option for a quick meal.
The old kitchen had been updated since the 1964 original with high-quality maple cabinetry, but the linoleum floor and formica countertops were not worth saving.
We updated the kitchen by replacing the linoleum with grey floor tile and the formica with quartz countertops. We traded the white appliances for stainless ones and over one weekend installed a contemporary, arabesque-style backsplash to pull the space together.
The home’s “master” bath, which is really more of a closet-sized toilet/shower hold, needed work too. That shell-shaped sink was a joy to rip out. After 13 years cleaning the much larger, doorless, 5-piece en suite master bath in our old home, I decided to appreciate the charm of the tiny bath. It’s a cozy space where I can lock the door and not have to share in another person’s dental hygiene routine. Can I get an Amen?
Our modern take on that cramped space is one of my favorite renovations. To save our budget, we kept the vanilla shower and focused on the floors and fixtures. We created a feature wall using this super fun bubble tile I fell in love with and purchased a modern floating vanity to complement it. We replaced the ugly linoleum floor with neutral tile and added a water-conscious, one-piece toilet. In addition, we are ordering a new showerhead and clear doors to update the existing shower and complete the reno for the time being.
The park-like backyard was what sold us on this house, and it needed next to zero help to be fabulous. It is the perfect venue to showcase the patio table Steve made. The colorful metal dining chairs add some whimsy, and the strings of patio lights brighten up the place after dark so we can play cards with the kids or enjoy drinks and conversation with friends. Coffee on the patio in the morning? Check. Dinner on the patio in the evening. Check. So different from the expanse of our old backyard and its open space view, but such a welcome change. This fall it will become my home office as I once again commit myself to writing regularly.
It’s been a crazy nine months full of immense change, expected stress, steep learning curves, and hard work, but we’re home. We love that we can now walk to fetch coffee or groceries, hit the nearby athletic club we joined for a swim or a workout, or head out on the Highline Canal Trail for a bike ride. And with the extra cash we made on the sale of our last home, we are treating ourselves to a hard-earned Hawaiian vacation. Here today. Gone to Maui soon. Stay tuned.