I See the Light!

March 12, 2012

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

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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.

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9 months ago, while painting our staircase spindles and railings (ironic I was doing the same thing this weekend), I took a break and wrote a quick post about something I couldn’t stop thinking about:

Adding a window in the family room.  Our family room looked so different back then, huh?!  When we started this family room renovation, we put “Add a new window” in the bonus projects category. Chris and I both really wanted to see it happen since it would add light to the cave-like corner and balance to the existing sliding glass door.  After calling around to a lot of different window companies, no one would do it for us.  “Oh, you want to add a new window?  Not just replace a window?”  It was as if I was speaking a foreign language.  Finally, I found a contractor who would do it and when he came over to give us an estimate, we held our breath.  “$550.”  We were so excited about that price that included the new window.  That fit our budget perfectly, since we were doing so many things like electrical work ourselves, and we were anxious to see our vision come to pass.

Fast forward a few weeks and the window STILL isn’t done.  We are still waiting on the final glass to come in after it was cut to the wrong size initially (the good news is the price has dropped to $475), but we couldn’t wait any longer to show you.  Especially since, the overall look won’t change that much with the real glass in–although, the temperature sure will.  Single pane=Cold.

Chris and I took a few days and mapped out the exact size and location of the window.  We wanted it centered on the wall after the bookcases were built in, and the same distance from the ceiling as the sliding glass doors.  We also decided not to make it too wide.  With bookcases taking up an entire wall, we wanted to make sure there was some wall space on either side of the window after curtains are hung .  I believe the final size came to about 37″x38″–which was the size of a window already existing so we could save on custom sizes–how the glass was cut wrong the first time is beyond me.
Here’s how she’s looking today:

Which is lightyears away from where we started:

We still have some work to do, obviously, but over the past few weeks, this window has gone through lots of changes itself.  I teased a few photos of the window being cut out on our facebook page a couple weeks ago, but for the sake of documentation, here’s how it went down:

Our contractor (who worked for Advanced Window Products, but did other window-ing on the side…like cutting out new windows) more accurately measured for the window we wanted:

Took a razor blade and cut around the shape and then hammered it out:

Cut and stared. Cut and stared:

He was at this stage for a long time.  There is a lot of reinforcing that has to happen in this stage.  He built a new header and lots of other things behind those walls which made us feel better about hiring someone instead of attempting to do it ourselves:

At last we saw the light:

More light.  More cutting.  More reinforcing.

And then, for awhile, things stayed boarded up while we waited for glass.  Our contractor, David, did come back and sheet rock the whole thing so we could get it painted in the meantime.  So now, our family room has the extra light and balance we were looking for:

There is a lilac bush right outside of the new window that I am anxious to watch bloom–which may end up blocking all that light.  We’ll have to see when and trim it down or relocate it a few feet away if we need to.

Now to dress that window and address all of the other things still on our to-do list for this room.  Baseboards have been ordered.  Crown molding has arrived. You can see in the photo below, we got the upper bookcase up this weekend and paint touched up:

Here’s hoping things wrap up by the end of this week. We are now in week 4 of this project and I am feeling it.  I am also starting to forget how we used to spend our evenings–what on earth did we do!?  Ah well, ultimately, it is worth it to us.  Is there anything better than extra sunlight streaming into a room? How do you spend your evenings?  Anyone else watch politics or The Bachelor with the sound of a saw in the background?

What do you think?

  1. Hi to all, the contents present at this web page are really awesome for people
    experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  2. ahhhh! opening a wall for a window is so rewarding! let that light shine in!!! It looks amazing!

  3. I get a strain in my neck when I look at the TV on the floor with the wires in the wall…why is that.
    My favorite shot is the outdoor with that little window carved out. It looks like it should have a name.Give that little window a name!

  4. Love the window on that wall – it really changes the way the entire room looks! Great decision!!

  5. I love windows! That’s part of the reason why I fell in love with our house. They just make a space seem so much brighter and happier. http://www.attemptsatdomestication.com/our-little-home/

  6. In LOVE with your home and its potential. So, so charming!

  7. Chris says:

    Looking at those pictures is crazy. I forgot how cramped it was in there. Just taking that ceiling fan out made the room feel significantly taller.

  8. meaganbriggs3 says:

    It is perrrrrrrrfecttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Holy cow. The light in that room!!!!!!! Such a perfect addition!!! I am so happy you went through with it! I am wondering what type of window treatment you are planning on doing……the bookshelves look great too!!!!!

    Heck ya Bach tonight!!!!!!! My mom is here to watch it with me, but she definitely hasn’t watched the season and she thinks it is a big pile of trash anyways……….ohhhh wellllll…..team Courtney?? Lol just kidding. I kinda think he wouldn’t pick either! I don’t know if they are either of the girls are a match for him.

  9. We love the look of bamboo blinds with long (floor to ceiling) and wide-set curtains, like we have pictured in our mood board:


    Although, I am teetering between two different curtains now. I hope to have that post for you soon.

    P.s. I kinda am Team Courtney. Not because I adore her. But because he OBVIOUSLY does. They deserve each other.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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