A week ago, we were flying to Raleigh to close on our new house, set up security, and meet with a slew of contractors before flying back home to Idaho on Thursday. It was a whirlwind week but by Friday, we already got photos from our contractor–the Brazilian cherry floors were already all removed on the main level (and donated) and carpet was out upstairs! I couldn’t believe how fast and efficient they were! I shared my astonishment on Instagram which lead to a bunch of questions about what exactly we ARE tackling before we move in, so I figured that deserved a whole blog post.
When we were house hunting, we were specifically looking for a house that didn’t need a gut reno. We didn’t want to live with contractors for another 2 years. However, we definitely wanted something that needed updating and was really livable but we could work on at our own pace. This house definitely ticked all those boxes! It’s beautiful! AND there’s room for improvement. To avoid living in a construction zone long term, we decided to hire contractors to do a few things before we move in at the end of June:
- Replace all the flooring with stain in place white oak. The house had Brazilian Cherry (really really red) floors on the main floor and carpet everywhere upstairs. We talked about refinishing the cherry floors downstairs and carry thing them upstairs, but we were told the cherry floors will ALWAYS go red…it might take a year but they’ll go red. And! We didn’t want to spend $$$$ putting in a new floor upstairs that we didn’t love. It made the most sense. We may have to fly back one more time to approve a stain color for the floors before we officially move there, but this time around I think we’re going for a good mid-tone historical wood tone. I’ll definitely keep you posted!
- Remove Tray Ceilings. There are two tray ceilings in our new home–one in the primary bedroom and one in the dining room. The ceilings are 10′, but they drop to almost 8′ around the edges and I just can’t get on board with tray ceilings! (We removed two in our current home, as well!). Fortunately, they are purely decorative with no duct work running through them. It’s a messy job, though so we’re excited to have it done before moving in!
- Add/Remove a few walls. There are currently two way to enter the primary bedroom on the main floor. One through the hall (normal), and one through a den off the main entrance (less normal). We decided to close off the entrance from the den. Also while we were visiting last week, we made the decision to make the breakfast nook (which was only 4″ less wide than the dining room) into the formal dining room by adding a cased opening and closing off a large opening to a back hallway. We’ll also be adding the former formal dining space into the kitchen square footage with a casual seating area, too. I understand this is probably a little difficult to visualize through words, so I’m working on a full post with lots of plans and inspiration photos! We were nearly SET to do our kitchen here so we’ll be using a lot of the ideas for our new house right away!
- The last thing is the main staircase right when you walk in. It, too, is donned with cherry treads and railing so we’re giving it a facelift to match with the rest of the floors. This is the only thing that is not scheduled to be done by the time we get there. (We’ll use the back staircase until it’s complete)
I know there are always those curiosities, “Will you be adding _______” or “Will you be changing _______” and the answer is probably! maybe?! But the truth is you’ll just have to wait and seeeeeee. This is a renovation story unrolling in real time. I’m not even letting myself design the whole house in my head yet because I do want us to live there and allow inspiration to strike over time. But, I think it’s safe to say–the kitchen will be first!