These pictures are not going to be very pretty, and if you are not interested in our home renovation please feel free to skip this post altogether. We are in the demolition phase, and everything looks like a big 'ol mess right now. We bought the house knowing it needed a lot of work and it has been a lot of work. So far we are loving it though!
The first time I walked in the front door I immediately thought, "This place has so much potential." It was exactly what I was looking for - a house with good bones for a decent price that we could fix up and make our own. On top of that it was something I never thought we would find - a house with mid-century architecture including all beam ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and quirky character. So here we are, jumping head first into a grand adventure!
The entire kitchen was the first thing to go. It was old and gross and I couldn't even begin to think about cooking a meal in there. The black cabinets made the space seem much smaller than it is, and the tile counter top was poorly done. Once Husband ripped everything out the space seemed to expand and give a sigh of relief. We also discovered the pop of color that showed in the back of the original cabinets, how fun!
When you walk in the front door your eye is immediately drawn to a fireplace at the end of a stone wall dividing the kitchen from the living room - it is the focal point of the whole main floor. This big metal monstrosity surrounding it was not original to the house, but was added later as a practical way to keep the house warm - there was a blower attached that would pump warm air from a fire throughout the house. Since there is no longer a need for it and it was a complete eyesore we removed it. It looks so much better!
We also decided to open up the space even more by cutting out a hole in the stone wall for an eating bar connecting the kitchen to the living room. This instantly brightened up the kitchen as all of the light from the floor to ceiling windows in the living room came streaming in, but most importantly to me, we now have a good view of the backyard. I wanted to be able to see the kids playing outside while I was inside preparing food.
My father-in-law helped us cut the hole and it was no easy task. The saw was big and heavy and water was spraying everywhere. I was so nervous the entire time, especially since Husband said it wasn't his fingers I should be worried about but his legs! It turned out perfect though, and in the end doing it ourselves saved us a ton of money - the highest quote we got to cut the hole was $1700 and we did it for $103.
My mother-in-law is an expert wall patcher and spent hours filling holes, sanding, and prepping the walls for painting. She ended up staying almost a week and did so much work by herself while Husband was at work and I was taking care of the kids. I have the best in-laws!
All of the shelves and bars were stripped from the closets since they weren't making very good use of the space. We also ripped up some Pergo flooring in the kitchen and down the hallway. Since we are going to refinish the original wood floors it looked silly to have fake wood floors next to them. Below you can see what the original flooring looked like underneath, a speckled laminate. We also knocked out a little wall in the basement.
Speaking of the basement, we ripped out some disgusting carpet from the stairs and unearthed heaps of dirt and dust. The wobbly railing was taken off, and the metal roofing acting as wainscoting was removed. I would love to keep the stairs wooden, but it would cost a lot more and I have to give up some things for others, so... we are leaving that for a future project. Sigh. This room will be carpeted to cover up the (most likely) asbestos tiles after we seal them. Since I get my wood floors upstairs Husband gets a little bit of carpet downstairs, it's all about compromise. :) The rest of the basement we have left alone for now.
In addition to all of this we also had some electric work done, put in an air conditioner, and the roof will be replaced this week (not the wood beams, just everything on top). Phew!
The next step is painting...the entire house. And the new kitchen cabinets will be put in next week, I am looking forward to the 'putting back together' phase!