The Office Addition: Finding Hidden Space

One area of our house that could use some love is our master bedroom. The overall feel of our bedroom is comfortable, but unfinished. We made several basic cosmetic changes in this room before we moved in, including replacing the floors and painting, but it needs a more cohesive design. As it turns out, we have hidden attic space in our master. So before I focus on the bedroom itself, we’re working on a home office for my husband.

Here’s the master bedroom during our initial walk-through. (Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of pictures before we started construction so the only way to show all the changes is to use these photos.)

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Stone Fireplace Update

stone fireplace

I didn’t intend to take a five week break from blogging, but the holiday season really got away from me this year! In November, I shared a partial den reveal after I participated in the One Room Challenge. Due to scheduling issues with our contractor, the fireplace update wasn’t finished at the end of the challenge. Today I’m excited to share our brand new fireplace and mantel!

We moved into our new home in January, 2015 and have been staring at this beautiful concrete hole in the wall ever since. Pretty huh?

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The Kitchen Renovation Breakdown

After posting the reveal of our kitchen renovation, I wanted to share some of my favorite elements and a few of the challenges. This was my first major renovation, and I learned a lot along the way. While we planned the design ourselves, we left the construction to the professionals. Fortunately, our renovation process went fairly smoothly and we have a beautiful new living space to show for all the time and energy we spent planning.

We transformed a small, outdated kitchen into a bright, spacious open plan living space.

My biggest tip before starting a large-scale renovation: do your research! A contractor’s opinion can easily come across as expert advice. It’s up to you to know the difference between knowledge and opinion. The man we hired to replace our counters was horrified that I wanted plain white subway tile for the backsplash without any color to break it up. While he has years of experience and did a great job on the counter tops, I knew what I wanted because I had spent hours poring over inspiration pictures. And for the record I love it.

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Open Plan Kitchen Reveal

Well here it is… finally! Our open plan kitchen renovation is complete. The walls are still mostly a blank slate. It’s been such a busy couple months that I haven’t quite figured out the finished product. I’m so happy to have a functional and beautiful new kitchen space. kitchen reveal I tried to take the before and after pictures from close to the same angle, working all the way around the kitchen. The first picture is coming from approximately the old entrance to the kitchen from the living room. What used to be an unused eating space is now home to the refrigerator, microwave and deep pantry drawers, as well as the only remaining upper cabinets. kitchen before  kitchen reveal By removing the peninsula, we were able to relocate the dishwasher to a much more convenient space alongside the new apron-front farmhouse sink. We replaced the outdated tile and its grody grout with quartz counter tops and a simple subway tile backsplash. kitchen before kitchen reveal We downsized the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open up the space considerably. I love being able to see all the way into the backyard from the kitchen, and taking out the upper cabinets lets in even more light. The pony wall is topped by a narrow counter for serving plates and dishes. We traded in the old electric oven for a fabulous dual-fuel oven with gas burners.

kitchen before

kitchen reveal

The most dramatic change was the removal of the wall between the living room and kitchen. The entire layout of the house changed and it is so open and full of light. Entertaining is so much more fun when everyone can gather around the island and the cook can actually be part of the conversation! (side note: why do we have 3 giant jugs of margarita mix??) kitchen before kitchen reveal

The white cabinetry makes everything feel bright and clean, and it flows better into the rest of the main living area. Even though a deep wood stain on the cabinets would have been beautiful, I was worried it would make the kitchen feel like a dark corner when the whole purpose of the renovation was to open it up.

We planned and planned and now we are really enjoying the result!