Summer is the time to get projects done! Well, at least for our family it is. Without any rhyme or reason things tend to slow in the Summer months of Oklahoma. For this reason it is quite possibly the opportune time to tackle a big home renovation project. From the moment I stepped into our 3113 cottage I saw walls which needed to come down, paint which needed to be repainted and 5 different types of flooring which needed to be more cohesive. And so, we took on making our 1960s house an open concept home.
Let me just say, this is nothing like as seen on HGTV or the Magnolia Network. This process was long, hot, expensive and still not 100% complete; however, the end result is something our family will enjoy and appreciate. Knowing this, here is where we started.
Thankfully one of the first things I did when we purchased this house was track down the engineered hardwood flooring laid in the living and dining room. I knew flooring could quickly sell out or be discontinued so we stocked up! We also knew we could save a pretty penny if we tackled the electrical work ourselves. My husband championed this endeavor with Buddy and me on the receiving end, threading new wires in the old walls.
NOTE: Do not try electrical work such as moving outlets, light switches and thermostats unless you have worked with electricity in this capacity before. If you do decide to relocate wires, make sure to flip the breaker off and be EXTRA careful when walking through the attic (let’s just say we had some feet punch through the ceiling).
Once we prepped what we could, relocated our furniture and covered the house in plastic wrap, it was time to hand our home over to a team of framers. They worked quickly and professionally to take out the pony walls, headers, and a load-bearing wall which separated the living and dining rooms. A 22ft beam was installed in the attic to support our roof along with all new drywall, texturing and repainting of the ceiling. What a team!
With the walls down and new lines of sight, there were a couple places that seemed odd and lacking to me. I have always loved arches in homes as they make a space feel extra cozy and quaint. We requested our framers create an eyebrow arch over the entrance from living room to kitchen, and a barrel arch over a built in nook for our entry. My sweet husband knows I am a sucker for a nice arch, so he generously signed off on the change order.
After the house was put back together we hired a flooring contractor to lace in our Antique Bronze Birch Hardwood where the walls and built in desk once stood. We continued this flooring into the kitchen creating a seamless flow under the arch from one room to the next.
Reality check: When doing a project yourself, you don’t return to perfectly staged furniture, fresh stems and lovely aromatic candles. Oh no! We returned to 10 flies and a bee inside our filthy, dust covered house. This cleaning project was no small feat, so I called in the big guns…MOMMA! No one cleans a house like my momma, and I needed her and her microfiber rags more than ever.
We cleaned for two days, rewashing every dish in the kitchen, and refreshed the walls with a coat of paint in a soft matte Pale Oak color. Personally, I like matte paint on walls and a semi gloss trim/wainscoting, but this is 100% a personal preference. This request is usually met with a confused look from John at the Lowes paint counter as few people put matte paint on their walls, but hey, I like what I like!
Finally, we could move back in. Take a Look!
Hello Open Concept! I wanted to be able to see the rustic chunky brick of the fireplace from our dining room table and have a line of sight from one side of the house to the other without walking through a maze of walls.
ENTRY: This little nook in our entry turned out to be one of my favorite additions. It wasn’t deep enough to become a reading nook (I tried) and it was such an odd sized space only one piece of furniture could squeeze in, our TV console. In this nook our family mission statement, a warm light, repurposed storage, worn books and weathered frames greet guests when they walk in.
DINING: Our dining room is incredibly spacious now and natural light spills in through the bay window (a perfect place for a formal Christmas tree). A couple pieces to note in this room, our weathered table from Restoration Hardware on consignment, black iron chandelier from Pottery Barn Outlet, a woven jute rug from Wayfair, and our refinished China Hutch. For more details on the refinish process, check out the link below.
I am still working on collecting dining chairs with different frames to gather around our table. The color palette inspiration for our home is a batch of farm fresh chicken eggs. Yes, chicken eggs: beige, white, brown, sage green and a hint of light blue. Sage green cabinets in the kitchen land in the eye’s peripheral when looking at the hutch, so sage green plates, faux plants and an old ceiling tile capture this beautiful earthy color in from room to room.
LIVING: Our living room has a couple vignettes I love, one being the seating under the TV. These King Louis armchairs were sanded, stripped and recovered with ivory duct fabric and a french blue velvet on the back. I am very pleased with how they turned out, but upholstery will not be a project I tackle again anytime soon. So many staples! Inside the bee box side table is our DVD player and xbox. Their proximity is close to the tv for ease of connection, but the rarely used electronics are hidden from our day-to-day functionality.
The other vignette I love is our game corner. This old world cupboard sat in our garage for over a year as I dared not part with such a beauty, yet had no place to show it off. It was found at an estate sale in Fort Worth and now houses our board games and puzzles. One of our favorite ways to entertain is over a cup of coffee and good board game (always open to suggestions if there is a G-rated family favorite you recommend). I think what I love most about this corner is every piece has a salvage story and a fond memory attached to it…A lamp my dad rewired and a shade I recovered just for fun, books from Alabama, old silver from my late aunt’s collection, crocks from an auction and an old window gifted as a wedding present.
It’s true, I love my treasures. Not just because of their chippy paint and aged texture, but the stories behind the pieces and the memories which jolt awake by a familiar chair or sparkle of handed down crystal. If you were to step inside and look around our home, sure you would find pictures sprinkled throughout, but our memories aren’t limited to the confinement of a Hobby Lobby frame. Our stories, our adventures, our history is in every piece placed in this home, down to the craftsman’s skill and homemade curtains. To me, that is what makes a house feel…homey!
Our Big Surprise
Speaking of home, ours is about to get a bit more crowded and a touch more whimsical…