Classic case of the cobbler’s kids. My personal home is an indefinite work in progress.
But after having Ruth come by to take some pictures of my kids’ rooms before we did a little re-arranging a few weekends ago, I realized that despite introducing you to our then-new home in 2016 and having you follow along here and here on some construction updates, we never did a full reveal. And that’s because it’s still not ready to be fully revealed! (But will it ever be? Probably not.) Instead of waiting for the day that may never come, I’m going to share some of the rooms that are pretty finished.
Way back when we first bought this house I threw together this mood board.
The end result isn’t very similar in an item by item comparison, but in mood, we stayed pretty in line with it. For instance, I knew I wanted to do a white oak kitchen. But I had also figured I’d either do soapstone or quartzite for the counters. I ended up falling for a white Danby marble and choose to put it on the perimeter and the island. (Click here for before pictures.)
For the barstools, prior to pulling the trigger on those long legged upholstered gems in the mood board, I remembered I was going to have a house full of children and opted for Restoration Hardware’s wooden windsor chair with a cushion we could bleach. Having made one wise child-proof decision, I quickly negated it and installed linen-fabric wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries on the walls (photo of it in the dining room below). My kids may remember their childhood as nothing more than a series of instructions to NOT TOUCH THE WALLS!
What actually began as a mistake with the floorplan, ended up netting one of my favorite features in the kitchen. I misunderstand the placement of the island when we were doing the cabinet plan and I wanted the sink to be dead center of the range. When it arrived and it was not, we added an apron and two furniture legs at the south end to extend the island a couple more feet, so the sink could be center. This allowed us to put another bar stool at the end facing north, not east like the rest. As a family, it’s nice to have the option to face each other while sitting at the bar.
Another big improvement we made to the house was to create a cased opening between the kitchen and the dining room, where there previously was just a passage door.
Doing this brings the dining room in the house right smack dab into the center of action and causes us to actually use it at mealtime. Or in the case of the day this picture was taken, work puzzles on it.
Just beyond the dining room we have our living room and the sunroom that serves as John’s piano room. While we didn’t actually choose this house because we loved it (as much as we stumbled upon a great opportunity in our dream neighborhood) I have grown to LOVE the floorplan. I love that we use every square inch of the first floor. I know there are big believers in having a formal living room and a family room; and having a dining room and a breakfast room. But for us, having just one of each of these things causes us to use them each fully.
So, below is our living/family room. It’s the room our family lives in. Literally. We’re in here all the time. Whether for fires in the winter or kids watching cartoons on Saturday morning. (Ha. More like kids watching Dude Perfect on Youtube, not just Saturday, but all the days. All. the. days. So much has changed in the world of entertainment since the days of “Saturday morning cartoons!”)
Our carpenter Tony built these great bookcases for us and I love how they fill out the room. Our furniture is a bit of a hodgepodge. Waiting until the days of jelly stains and sticky fingers are over before investing in anything nice. But I love how comfortable this room is for us.
Jumping upstairs to the only other rooms we’ve photographed so far, here is Annie’s bedroom. In terms of the “remodel,” we did nothing more than pull the carpet, finish the hardwoods, install some recessed lights, strip the wallpaper and paint. I love everything about this sweet room and the sweet girl who sleeps in it.
On the other side of a very unphotographable jack-and-jill bathroom is my sons’ room. Same as in Annie’s bedroom, theirs just got an aesthetic makeover, no real remodeling took place. Though come to think of it, I’d forgotten we covered up a window next to Jimmy’s bed that mirrored the bamboo-clad window beside Quig’s bed. We did that in order to put a small second story addition behind our master and bring laundry upstairs to our closet.
As I write this, I’m sitting on an airplane flying back from a conference, and when I land, I’ll get to see our house with the first coat of a new exterior paint color. We desperately needed to paint the house in order to simply maintain it. But I was happy to have an excuse to change the color. Here’s what it looked like before:
And then here’s an iPhone shot of the new color. We decided to do the entire house – trim, shutters, shingles and all – the same color.
Anyway, slowly but surely we are tackling the various rooms in our house. We still haven’t touched our master bathroom or the kids’ jack-and-jill and both are in dire need.
If having been given the option, I may have taken the opportunity to snap my fingers and have had the whole house done and decorated the day before we moved in 3.5 years ago. But if I’m being honest, my favorite rooms are layered over time, and there are just no shortcuts for that. So, time be damned, this house will one day come together in it’s entirety!