When we moved into this home, it had a (surprisingly dark) sun room, that we knew from the beginning needed to be a dining room. At the time we had no idea what would be involved in making that happen, but this is where we started:
Of course, once we started tearing into the sun room, we discovered the worst – no footings around the perimeter. From what we gather, the original owners built the sun room over a patio, not taking into account proper foundation (and it showed inside, where the addition had started pulling away from the house and causing leaks in the roof).
So to make it right, the entire section needed to be ripped off and rebuilt, with proper footings. Never ones to waste an opportunity, we decided to go all in and convert the roof of the new structure into a private balcony, off the home’s primary suite.
The above photo was taken almost exactly one year ago, as we were addressing the mold we found all over the exterior. A summer of construction and dozens of hiccups later, and our balcony now looks like this:
The back of our home at twilight makes my heart flutter. The sun setting through the trees, casting light across the dark exterior turned out better than anything I could have imagined.
We coated the balcony in a thick, sanded epoxy, but the winter moved in before we could get it completed (just enough to winter-proof it). Before we leave we’ll have that finished up. To ensure proper drainage (ie, we didn’t just have water cascading directly onto the balcony and settling itself up against the house) we ran the copper gutter around the chimney stack. We felt this was a necessary step for the long-term integrity of the home, and with the copper gutters we knew it would still be so pretty.
The railing was custom built off of drawings that Chris and I put together. We wanted to mimic the fence that lines the perimeter of our home (you know I love a call back). We hired a metal fabricator to custom make the railing and they sourced the tempered glass as well. Of course gaps that large don’t pass building code, so adding the large, tempered glass panels keeps the line of sight clear.
Of course we’re a bit sad we never had the chance to really use this balcony. It’s never even had furniture on it! But we love standing out there on the evenings where the warmth hangs in the air just a little longer, watching the girls play in the backyard. And we just know the new owners will love it every bit as much as we wish we could.
It always seems to happen that we’re putting finishing touches on our home as we head out the door. That we sometimes don’t get to experience something the way we envisioned when we planned it. But when you renovate a space to make it the best it can be, it feels good to know that whoever is there, will get to love it the way you wanted to.
The balcony was the very last project to finish up before revealing the full exterior. I know many of you have seen nearly EVERY ANGLE of it (we’re not ones to hold back), but were still planning a full post with all the before and afters and maybe a budget breakdown if we can stomach the thought. Converting the porch to a dining room and adding a proper balcony, on top of everything else we did to our exterior, was not a quick project (it’s been about 18 months in the making) or a cheap fix, but I’d say it looks like a million bucks and it wasn’t that much. ;)
One last before and after of this labor or love!
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
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Make yourself right at home
Make yourself right at home