I was so excited to share the full story of how we came to find our new home yesterday! There are so many little details that I didn't include for the sake of length, but I'm so happy to have that record of sorts for us to look back on. Your shared excitement for us is truly icing on the cake!
My original plan was to give you a full "before" tour of the house and then get into some of the projects we've tackled so far. However. A certain 1 1/2 year old broke her mothers phone which held precious aforementioned pictures. I do have another set of "before's" that the previous owners allowed me to snap during one of our visits, but it includes some people in the photos, as well as all their furniture. I don't feel comfortable sharing those pictures without permission, and don't wish to violate their privacy.
So! You'll be getting some post-move-in pictures of the house and some in-progress pics. Mostly of the iphone variety.
In the last post, I mentioned that one of the greatest surprises of this older home was how updated the house is for it's age and based on other homes we had toured in the area. The previous owners were not ones to cut corners. They used quality products and skilled labor for all their projects and boy are we thankful!
Their updates were mostly neutral as well, which means it's been easy to move in and not feel the need to immediately slap paint on the walls. In fact, the first things on our house to-do list (aside from painting and setting up the kids' rooms) had more to do with function than aesthetics.
We figured it was better to suck up a couple more weeks of living in the chaos of a construction zone up front, than to get somewhat settled just to jostle things up again. Especially since the projects we had in mind would involve clearing out rooms of furniture. We spent the first couple weeks after move-in knocking out the projects that would displace us the most and make the biggest impact in the function of our home.
The house is very traditional in it's layout: the rooms are spacious, but distinctly sectioned off. My biggest concern was being able to actually observe the children as they undo all my cleaning efforts and to use the rooms in a way that best served our family. That left us with three goals up front...
#1 Open It Up (Goodbye walls)
We knew that we wanted to open up at least one wall, maybe two. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, because my brood eats around the clock. I'm seriously considering a lock for the pantry door. Anyway. We knew partially opening up the a kitchen wall would be a major help in being able to see the kids, but also to bring in more natural light to the darker side of the house. Taking down a wall is so permanent, but we have zero regrets and love the flow we have now.
Wall separating the kitchen and family room...
#2 Easy Maintenance (The great flooring swap)
The carpet upstairs was in great condition, but the downstairs carpet had seen a bit more wear and tear. Our youngest son Jack has asthma, so hard flooring is the best option for him (especially if there were any prior pets in the home). There was also carpet in all the eating areas and right when you enter the house from the backyard. I was certain the kids would have that carpet destroyed with dirt and food within a week. So, it all came up!
#3 Make It Work Hard For Us (Hello, laundry/mudroom and homework room)
I've never been one to stick with something that doesn't work just because it was made that way. For this season of life, we have a lot of school projects and toys and not so many formal dinners. We also have a lot of gear that comes in/out of the house (especially in winter). So our formal dining room is going rogue as a play/homework room and the den is being transformed into a laundry/mud room. Quite possibly the most fun rooms currently in the house.
Next week I'll give each one of these areas its own post and show you what we've been doing to make those goals a reality. Some have a completed check in the box and others we're still working on. I was going through pictures today and can't believe how different it all looks. It's only been a couple months and it's already hard to remember what it was like before - stay tuned!