Renovations are well underway at the new old house. It’s amazing to see it start to come together after playing around with it on paper and on the computer for so many weeks.
My friend Christy keeps pestering me for before and after photos, which don’t exist because we are very much still in progress. (Also, because I don’t have a wide angle lens and cannot figure out how to take interior shots.) But I figured I’d let you guys know what we’re planning to do to turn this historic house into our big family dream house.
Here’s what the layout of the house looked like when we bought it:
and, presumably, when it was built in 1920, for a family of THREE. (And their servants.) It had ten bedrooms if you count the chapel (which you can because it has a closet) and the sitting room.
We don’t need ten bedrooms. We don’t want ten bedrooms. We have four
bedrooms now, and many nights we’ll have one open, because the kids like
to sleep in a big pile. Like puppies.
So, most of the bedrooms are getting repurposed.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Starting on the first floor, here’s what we are planning . . .
The kitchen is getting completely redone because it wasn’t functional:
Actually the one thing in the remodel plans that I was a little bummed about was having to get rid of the butler’s pantry. It was really cool.
But the original kitchen was intended for servants only, and was really small. There just wasn’t room for the appliances we wanted without absorbing the butler’s pantry and creating one big space. But we saved all the original glass and hardware, and the new cabinets are going to be built to look just like the old ones, so part of it will live on.
We’ll have a full-sized refrigerator-only and a full-size freezer-only, but not next to each other, because that just looked too massive. We’re also going to have two dishwashers, because even running ours at least twice a day, we still end up having to hand-wash after dinner most nights.
For the floors in the kitchen and laundry/mudroom we’re planning to put in linoleum. I’m really excited about it because it’s a way to get a fun, funky, retro-looking floor, that’s also a natural material. Seriously. It’s made of linseed and jute. Who knew? Those guys need better PR.
The downstairs bedrooms are going to become . . .
1. The TV room. I didn’t really want a separate “formal” living room. We don’t have one now. But the four walls of the living room are taken up with: french doors, the dining room, french doors, and a big fireplace. So, there really wasn’t room for a TV. The plan is to remove a wall of the first bedroom to open the room to the stairs and the bathroom, and put our comfy couch and the TV in there. I have some fancy uncomfortable couches picked out for the living room, but I still have to talk the husband into them.
2. The playroom. All the toys in one place only. I hope.
3. The schoolroom. It’s got amazing built-ins, french doors to the side yard, a working fireplace, and a cool old light fixture. If I didn’t already homeschool, I would start just so I could do it in this room.
4. The guest room. Mostly for my parents.
Upstairs we’re doing even more work.
I love having a W I D E family, but with so many different ages in the house, we almost always have someone asleep. Between the toddlers and the teenager, we could almost hot rack them, their sleeping schedules are so different.
But I’m not the kind of person who wakes up sleeping babies. Pretty much ever. So if you didn’t get your shoes out of there before the baby went to sleep, you’re out of luck.
That shouldn’t be a problem in the new house.
We are creating three master suites: one for the boys, one for the girls, and one for the grownups. The boys and the girls will each have a sleeping room with six beds and nothing else, a bathroom, and a dressing room with individual closets and a washer/dryer. The plan is: Clothes don’t come out of that room unless they are on your person.
The original floorplan had walk-through bedrooms, which doesn’t work for us. The bedroom at the top of the stairs is getting split into the girls’ dressing room and a nursery.
The girls will sleep in the original master bedroom. And we’ve moved the girls’ bathroom to make it ensuite, and to create a hallway to the boys’ rooms.
The girls’ bathroom will have a chandelier, at their request, a shower, and a tub big enough for three little kids and/or an accidental home birth. Because you just never know.
The original sitting room will be the boys’ sleeping room. The old master bedroom closet is becoming the boys’ dressing room.
A weird old storage room (formerly with cable!)
is becoming the boys’ bathroom with toilet, urinal, three sinks, and a shower with a shower head at either end, so two boys can use it at once.
In the new master bedroom, we took OUT the hallway to make the bathroom ensuite, and we also removed the ceiling, because it just so happens to be underneath the peak of the roof.
The husband and I really did pick the smallest room upstairs, because we figured the kids’ needed more room. But now I’m pretty sure this is going to be the coolest room in the house.
The last two rooms up there will be an office and the chapel. They are both also accessible by a stairway in the kitchen.
So . . . that’s the plan.
I would give you more progress shots, but they pretty much all look like this:
I’ve been doing a lot of important home renovation research on Netflix. And, therefore, in addition to my OWN renovation update, I can provide you with the following helpful guide.
1. The Property Brothers:
Why are they so smug? Why do they delight so in dashing people’s dreams with their “psych, you can’t have it” first home? Does no one who comes on the show WATCH the show? Really? WHY do they all fall for it?
2. Dear Genevieve:
Creates cool, functional spaces. Also creates language. Won’t stop talking about things like the “verticality” of items, and whether particular throw pillows can be “friends” with one another.
3. Flip or Flop:
Always flip. Never flop. So awkward it makes me think I would never want to be on a reality show. Seriously just ALL the awkward talking to the camera and obviously fake phone calls and even faker drama. Every single episode (of the five I watched): 1. We’re going to try to buy this house. Hey we bought it! 2. Oh, NO. Everything is a disaster. This is a big problem. We are sure to be ruined. 3. Never mind, we made forty THOUSAND dollars.
4. The Vanilla Ice Project:
Love this show. Love them. Love their kids. Love the houses. Love Waco. Makes me want to have a reality show so we could be HALF as cute as they are. No smugness, no fake drama, no weirding of language. Just what appears to be a very genuine talent and love of homes and the people who live in them. And shiplap.
And I have shiplap!
Okay, that’s all for now.
I’ve been maxed out with home decisions and supervisions, and all that Netflix-watching, and I still have some other projects on my to do list. Fortunately, baby Mary Jane just sleep-trained like a little champ, so I am looking forward to being able to accomplish things with both hands AND bending, which should be nice. But I’ll be around. ;o)
See ya in the comments.