Both Kellie and I have wanted to be able to customize where we lived for a very long time. Of course, having lived in a combined total of eleven different places since we started dating, we’ve never had a place where we weren’t expecting to move out the next year. Like many first-time home buyers, we had high hopes that all the pent up creative energy and inspiration could be unleashed as soon as we moved in… heh. It doesn’t happen. Mostly because you run out of money long before you run out of ideas. So now we have a book, with a page for each room of our house and a very loose “plan” for what’s going to happen there. Since our house is split with common areas downstairs and bedrooms upstairs, we decided to prioritize the downstairs so we could comfortably entertain and get around to our rooms, you know, “whenever."
So here’s the state of the case (downstairs):
I’ll start out by saying our whole house is outfitted with 9’ ceilings, bland beige walls and white trim 3” baseboard. The beige makes us crazy, and the large walls annoy me without crown molding and a 4+“ baseboard, so that’s what’s going in as we finish rooms.
The living room is actually livable for a while. Our next steps are to refinish the couch, ottoman, and blue chair to all match. They’re very close in style, and are just a little worn out. Eventually most of that back blue wall will be built-in bookshelves, with a corner reading nook, continuing to either side of the TV. Instead of just finishing out the trim around the TV, I’m going to add shutters so the TV can actually be hidden.
The next phase is going to be replacing our sink with a nice farmhouse sink, refinishing the cabinets in white, and replacing the cheap countertop with butcher block. I’ll be doing some neat things with the cabinet space too. Although, I have a feeling that the fridge may need to be replaced before we get to the fun stuff. We’re working towards very light and open feel. I like it already!
I’m not sure how secretive our theme for the downstairs bathroom is supposed to be, so I’m not going to come out and say it here, but every choice for it is very intentional. We want it to go unnoticed at first, but give people a room to visually explore and notice details while they’re…using it. This room now just gives me a sad heart. It’s so stupid looking, it makes you feel dumb for having to go to the bathroom. Because if you knew this is the room we would point to, you wouldn’t have asked where it was.
The big dumb lump of a sink and cabinet is going away, to be replaced with a pedestal sink. I took down the big rectangle mirror (outlined by the non-beige paint part of the wall) on our first day in. The floor is currently covered in wood-image linoleum squares that were laid down on top of the existing linoleum in what appears to be a drunken rage. It will be replaced with a deep, textured oak wood floor. The walls are going to be the pale blue color in the image, with a chair rail and breadboard as pictured. The holes in the wall indicate the area that will be cut out for a small alcove where the shelves will be psuedo-built in. The toilet seat will be burned.
Well, we know we’re going to have a dining room table in there some time. We’ll be refinishing one of the pews we bought for our wedding in a dark stain along the wall, along with some refinished chairs for the other side. Chair rail and some wide-panel wainscot will go around the room, with some dark hardware and a deep red window treatment. We have a hand-made bookshelf and a hutch that will be turned into china cabinets.
The hallway is going to stay quite empty on purpose. It’s primed now and will get a nice slightly-grey coat of white. There may be a slim piece of furniture going under the mirror, but I hope to keep it clear. A hymnal pockets from the back of the pews makes a nice area for mail and keys (hooks to be added soon). Crown and base will go in. We may add grey stripes on the wall later – but for now, it will be clean.
That’s it for now! I’ll update once rooms actually get finished. The dining room and bathroom will be first.