What’s the first project!? When are you gonna start!? Since the OG 2019 project list is no longer a possibility, we sat down over the weekend and made a new list! For this house! You heard us talk about all of our general plans in yesterday’s video walk through, but here’s where we’d like to start:
The Living Room
I mean, someone get me a paint brush! Stat! I’m dying to bid the faux finish on the walls goodbye but we have some grander plans that require bringing in some pros, too (we’re in the process of finding someone now). The large arched window is almost completely blocked by a fireplace that vents out the back of the house. I know that this had to be some sort of addition at some point because the chimney is on the adjacent wall that separates the living room from a converted porch (psst…that’s going to be our new dining room, see below). Moving the fireplace back (??) over to the wall with a chimney stack and making it double sided into the new dining room will allow us to have an entire wall of window looking into the backyard.
We’d love to keep the shape arched, but modernize the glass and panes a bit. As much as the diagonal flooring makes me itch, flooring for this space might be a phase 2 project because we want to carry it through most of the first floor and additional layout changes could happen in the next year. Besides the fireplace and window and paint and, hi, some furniture would be greeeaaaatttttt, we’re envisioning some beams and updated lighting. Opening up the doorway to the dining room and adding some storage on the other side of the fireplace. I can see it now!
The Dining Room
The kitchen has a small dining area–we’ll call it a breakfast nook–adjacent to it, but our dining room is going to exist in that long space, connected to the living room with the dreamy arched wood doors. Although it appears to be insulated, it feels a little drafty in here. The double sided fireplace will absolutely help. But we’re also going to be replacing the sliding doors which feel cheap in comparison to everything else. Tearing up the tile and adding in-floor heating and a charming patterned tile. Getting rid of the stone columns that feel a little more porch-y and a little less dining room and lining the room with sconces, molding, windows and a big wooden table we’re gonna DIY to seat 20. With 2 chandeliers over it!
We entertain so much and both have such large families and a great group of friends, a space like this is absolutely a dream for us. We want this to be done in conjuction with the living room (since both will benefit from the double sided fireplace and new windows) asap! I’m putting finishing touches on a mood board while Chris scrambles to find a contractor that can take on a project like this.
We’ll also be adding a second doorway into this room where that exterior window is, from the music room.
The Music Room
Our plans for this space seem to be the most controversial and we’re fine with that. Since this is also the space that almost made us pass on this house entirely, we’ve spent the most brain power here brainstorming how to make it work for our family. (The previous owners used this as their formal dining room). A few things that stumped me initially were 1. The Columns. 2. The two-story ceiling felt so elaborate. 3. This is the first thing you see when you walk in our house?!
We already knew that we wanted the larger space for our dining area, and this space to house Chris’s heirloom piano that are girls are learning to play. It was during our second walk-through that we came up with the idea to add a ceiling to the space (it will still be 9 ft like the rest of the first floor) and create a bonus area upstairs (also with 9 ft ceilings) instead of this 20 foot vertical space that would just carry the sound of the piano all over the house. The verdict is still out whether the columns are structural or not but we are going to be walling in this room and just having a nice, large arched entryway into it so there will be a peek into it from the front door, but a little mystery, too.
We’ll also be removing the door to the living room and widening/arching the doorway into the living room, with another one mirrored on the other side going into the dining room.
Phase 1 of our Bedroom
I learned from our last home, don’t wait until very last to make your own space feel like you. To be honest, we’re not sure if we’re feeling like we’re on vacation or strangers in our new house but I know that fixing up our bedroom to some extent will help us feel more at home here. Phase 1 looks like getting a bed frame, new window treatments, lighting, nightstands, a dresser. I’d love to re-do the fireplace entirely down the road, but for now, just removing the mantle and pendants would do wonders.
I don’t like tray ceilings–there I said it. So eventually I’d love to look into what it would be to get rid of ours (a lot—the duct work runs through it), but for now–minimize it.
And paint. paint. paint. paint! I’m excited about this project because it’s one that we can completely do ourselves and we’ll probably go dark for the first couple years and then lighter later again, just a heads up. Haha.
Since this is the first thing you see when you come in our house, we gotta do something pretty quick. I think new tile, lighting and paint will go a long way. As well as some sort of grand entry table. Because we as a family don’t use our front door much, it can be more form over function here. A pretty mirror. Maybe a chair for guests by the coat closet. We might even be able to hold off on new tile until phase 2 when we redo all the floors!
I think the windows are really dating our house right now. From the very first walkthrough, we dreamt of updating them. We’re envisioning black on the inside and white/tan/gray/blue? on the outside. We’d love to do this all at once, but I’m worried that as we tackle each room over the years if we’ll want to expand or add more windows. (You know we love doing that). The Living Room and Dining Room will for SURE be getting new windows this year, so it kind of makes sense to do them all, right?
I’d love to hire someone to come in and just do a fresh coat of paint on ALL the walls, to be honest. Including all the wood trim. Sorry, not sorry. There is so much power in paint and so many walls that need it. Sometimes paint is all you need to just carry you through until the next project.
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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.
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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.
Last week, Chris and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to London for work. We were invited by Williams Sonoma and William Morris and Co to preview their newest collaboration and the inspiration behind it. It was my first time in London and although it was a quick trip, they brought us all over […]
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