Thursday, July 29, 2010

Drywall and Daydreams

After the Total Transformation that happened so quickly on demo day, things have been creeping along.  The electrician came in and did a few things, a new footing was placed under the house for additional support beneath one side of the new opening, then we had to wait on a couple inspections to take place, and finally the dry wall was put up.  With the drywall, you can really start to see things coming together!

The electrician moved the chandelier wiring over a little bit since the dining room is so much bigger now.  We decided not to put it exactly in the center of the room though, since the dining table will still need to be placed slightly off center to create an easy walk way to the kitchen.  You can also see in the pictures below that we actually added a layer of drywall to the dining room ceiling.  This is part of our plan to conceal the attic pull-down, which I'll explain more in another post.

The electrician also had to find a spot for the switches and outlets that were in the old wall.  They actually had to add some extra outlets (bonus!) just to meet today's codes which this 1930's house never met before.  The doorbell, alarm system, and smoke detector also had to be moved.  The smoke detector change actually caused some drama by going off a couple of times in this process and dispatching the fire department.  After the second time the fire men showed up, I finally figured out how to reprogram my alarm system so that it wouldn't go off anymore. :)

So, by now you may be wondering what is going on with that new doorway at the end of the old hallway....

In order to really define the dining space and remove the look of the hallway, we wanted to put another doorway parallel to the kitchen door which would make the space perfectly square. The problem was that the hallway turns the corner towards the bedrooms just a foot or so past that. So, if we just did a normal doorway, it would have felt awkward because the corner of the wall would be too close. Luckily, Matt thought of an amazing idea -->  Extend the doorway all the way to the corner, and add bookshelves on either side of the doorway to give it purpose and tons of character. I love this idea because it is so unique and also gives a little bit more of a seperation between the living space and bedrooms. So far, this little nook has been framed, drywalled, and the electrician added a recessed light in the ceiling.

Still can't envision it?  Check out this picture from, one of my favorite places to find inspiration.  Now imagine something like that on both sides of the doorway.  Pretty cool, right?

So, while all this work has been going on at the house, I've pretty much just been day dreaming about how to decorate once it's all done.  I found some pretty pillow covers on sale for only $19.99 each at Pottery Barn the other day.  Looks like is sold out of them now because they no longer show up on their website, but you can still find them on eBay by searching for Pottery Barn Brighton Pillow Covers.  For some reason, they reminded me of something Sarah would like from that HGTV show, Sarah's House.  Anyway, they served as my inspiration for this little mood board I put together for fun.  I also used a couple of the items that I loved from Michelle's Beach Condo Design.

Can you guess where some of these items are from? :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Total Transformation

The transformation of my little house on Chestnut Avenue has finally begun and I am absoulutely giddy with excitement!  It only took one day and one man to come in and completely transform the look and feel of the entire place.  I am completely amazed what knocking down a couple walls can do - the space is completely transformed from small choppy rooms into one big open space that I've been dreaming of for over 3 years! 

It really feels like the house is 10 times bigger now, and I can't wait to get to the finished product and throw a big party to enjoy it.  I'm getting a bit ahead of myself though because even though the demo only took one day, it will take about another month to finish off all the details like the floors, electric, trim, paint, etc.  My awesome neighbor, Matt Ferguson, has his own contracting company (check out his website here - Stirling Group).  I'm so happy that he was nice enough to take on this project since he does such a great job with restoring old homes.  He is a perfectionist and really thinks about all the little details that will make this new space something special.  Anyway, much more to come about the details as we go through the process.  For now, are you ready to see the transformation!?!?!?


View from Front Door....
(As you can see, I played around with some paint samples and Somebody, named Alvin, was drawing on the wall...)

View of Hallway from Living Room...

View from the Kitchen.....



View from Front Door...

View of where the Hallway used to be...

View from the Kitchen (in front of the door this time)...

So, what do you think?!?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Inspiration for a Renovation

When I came home today, I noticed a bunch of 2x4's and one really big piece of wood stacked up neatly in my driveway.  This made me sooooo excited because..... this means my living/dining room renovation is about to begin!!!  Yep, that's right, we're getting ready for a big renovation - the plan is to knock down the walls that surround the dining room, opening it up to the living area and hallway.  This is something I've been dreaming of ever since I moved into this little house over 3 years ago.

So, plenty more details on the big renovation will be coming soon.  But for now, I am looking for some inspiration on how to decorate once this is all done.  I'm pretty much planning to start from scratch, while still using some of my main pieces of furniture.  Since the living room doesn't get much light during the day, I really want to lighten up the walls with a cream or light neutral color, which means the rest color pallette is pretty much wide open.  I guess I didn't get enough of the blue and white color palette with Michelle's Beach Condo Design, because I'm still really drawn towards that as I search through room galleries online.  Maybe it's because these colors are so timeless, or maybe it's because I want to feel like I'm at the beach all the time :)

This is actually the inspiration picture we are using for how to structure the opening between the two rooms.  Notice how the trim work around the opening goes all the way up to the ceiling?  That's the look we are hoping to acheive as well.  And I like the neutral colors in this space with the pops of turqouise.  There is something so cozy and happy about this room.

Now here is more of the classic blue and white pallette with a pop of yellow, love those colors together!

Love the three rooms below and am thinking of going with a striped cotton rug like they have.  The third one came from the Something's Gotta Give Beach House, which I read about on one of my favorite blogs, Hooked on Houses.  It's a great place to go for inspiration!

Now that the living room will really be open to the dining area (you'll completely see both rooms as soon as you walk in the front door), my biggest challenge will be how to decorate the two rooms so that they flow together, yet still have their own identies.  Here is a  dining room I like that would continue the blue and white look I am invisioning in the living room....

Or here are a couple pictures with a bit more playful option - adding red into the mix.  I also love how both of them use the full height of the wall to decorate.  Pictures and curtains hung all the way up to the ceiling in the first one, then high shelves display colorful old jars all the way around the second room.

I like this one mainly because of the window seat, which I REALLY want to add to my dining space as well, but that might have to wait for Phase 2 due to the budget, still trying to decide.  If I did add one, it would have to be used for extra storage as well, so I'd want some drawers on the bottom and bookshelves on either side.

And finally, this picture reminded me that I've really been wanting to try and pull off a dining table with a mixture of chairs like this one.

Oh yea, and one more idea that I've been dying to try - Wallpaper!  I just ordered some samples of the Sherwin-Williams EasyChange wallpaper last night... so hopefully one of the samples will be the key to my design!