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Monday, October 23, 2017

Home is Where My Knuckleheads Are: A Remodel Recap

Well, it's been awhile since I talked about the remodeling/renovation/re-whatever we did to our house. About 18 months ago, we moved into our home which was about ten years old. We started fairly quickly with updating the kitchen and family room. It seemed like it took forever as most people who had gone through remodeling said it would. 

I have zero talent in interior decor or design, so I was quick to hire a designer - Marisa Moore at Interior Style Design - who did an incredible job. She is brilliant and talented and without her I would have likely retreated to living in a tree in the woods behind my house rather than face picking out counter tops, backsplashes and bar stools all by myself. I need to emphasize this because she is solely the reason that my house now feels like my own. I gave her some general ideas about colors and styles I liked and she made it happen. So let it be known that from this point forward when and if I use the terms "We did", "We decided", and or any other use of the word "We" with a verb following it, that is a lie. She and all the people who work with her did all the things.

Anyway, a few readers had asked to see the finished updates so here we are. The before pictures were taken before we moved in. I will tell you upfront that the after pictures were taken about three minutes after I had a cleaning service come through the house, so I can assure you that it wasn't long after my kids and husband got home that day that my pretty island was covered with paper sacks of food from Wendy's, a dirty baseball cap or two and a pair of someone's cleats. 

Most of the furniture was purchased through my designer in the magic land where they find these things so I actually don't have and/or don't remember the names of those vendors. I've tried to include some of the vendors and/or colors and brands of things where I could though. And because I barely can remember my own address, much less the name of the color we used for cabinets, those lists are short. Also, the photos are the best I could get with my phone.

First, the kitchen.


Rather than put in brand new wood flooring, we had the original floor sanded and stained with a darker color. I love how it turned out and it was much less expensive than going with new wood. We also decided that we would have the cabinets painted as opposed to putting in all new cabinets.

You might notice in the before photo that there is a sharper angle where the sink is. I had never had a kitchen island in our previous home and really wanted to have a big one to accommodate my big boys and their big friends and all their big food. To do that we had to push that angle back. We had a brand new island built and I love it with my whole heart.

Bar Stools are from World Market. Cotton Stems and Square Wooden Tray from Magnolia Market, Paint in kitchen is Mindful Grey by Benjamin Moore, Countertops are Cambria Brittanica.



We also took the breakfast bar area behind the sink from bar level to counter level so as to open up the view of the morning room which has become the place we spend 99% of our time unless sports is on tv which I suppose brings us down to about 10% of the time. Marisa found these awesome Loom Bar Stools. All the heart eyes.

Previously the microwave was above the stove, but we opted to have a chimney hood above the stove instead and move the microwave on the opposite wall next to the ovens. The original plan was to have the microwave in the low cabinet, but with a pretty tall husband and boys that are growing we felt like it would be better to have it more accessible to them. That left us with an area that I had to fill up with some sort of decor. This sent me into a tailspin of doubt and anxiety. (#superfreak) We had it framed out with some reclaimed wood and after a few trips to Target and Home Goods and a gift or two from a friend, the shelves turned out okay.



Again, the morning room is one of my favorite spots in the house. I was completely confused on how to furnish that area, but like the superhero she is, Marisa came through with the perfect pieces and rug. I will point out that yours truly picked out the two end tables and the lamp. It only took me five trips to various home stores, four returns to said stores and about a million texts to my sister to pick out those three items. Please hold your applause for my superb talent.

The kitchen table is perhaps my very favorite piece picked out by Marisa. I had the Big Sur table from Crate and Barrel in my previous house and I loved it. I wanted to have the same rustic design, but I needed a longer table for the space and for the previously mentioned growing boys. We have two extra bistro chairs which fit perfectly when we have a larger crowd.

Gold/White Chevron Chairs from Pier One,  Grey Metallic Bistro Chairs from World Market (Similar Here)

Next, the Family Room

I was genuinely at a loss about the family room and I'll tell you why. The fireplace was not centered on the wall. This gave me an eye twitch the likes of which I had never had because I am a fan of symmetry. I simply couldn't imagine how I could remedy it. I was shocked that this did not alarm my designer at all. She drew up some built-ins that are beautiful and lined the back of the shelves with metallic grasscloth which is hard to see in the photos. (PS I had never heard of grasscloth before in my life even though it is apparently a thing everyone knows about). We re-rocked the fireplace and added a mantle of distressed wood. I absolutely could not be happier with this room.



This was a little bar area in the family room. We had the cabinet with doors taken out. We used the same countertops as in the kitchen, had the cabinets painted, and added the shelves.
Drawer Pulls are from Anthropologie

Last, but not least, I must point out that we are flummoxed by these little "niches". There are two in the house and I have seriously considered having them drywall over them so I can put up art or a photo because what the heck am I supposed to do here? And also the word "niche" annoys me for no particular reason.

This was Drew's idea which is highly irritating. And yet, that thing has been there for a few months and I keep rolling my eyes at it and leaving it there.

But perhaps the most brilliant idea came from one of the older boys who sent me this.

I loved my previous home and it held a lot of wonderful memories for us as we were there for seventeen years. I brought home two babies to that house and one dog. I am very anti-change, so I thought for awhile that I would never feel comfortable in this new space, but I finally do. That is a credit to my designer who worked magic for me. But really, it is a function of knowing that wherever my knuckleheads are, there is my home, my heart and my happiness. And they are here. I am so grateful.

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