Thankfully I had the “as built” floorplans drawn up while I was still in LA by the lovely local west Michigan folks at KLH Custom Homes, so I was able to work on the renovation plans and layout changes before we even set foot in the house. I made all the changes to the floorplan months ago, starting on them as soon as we closed on the sale, but I wanted to live in the house a little to see if what I had planned actually makes sense for how we naturally use the space. Surprisingly, I haven’t made any further changes (yet, at least). So without further ado, I’m sharing the tour and outlining our plans for the top floor of the house.
Starting at the very beginning, The entryway feels grand when you walk up to it, (see a video of our first time entering it here) but then you open it and walk right into a wall so one change we wanted to make was instead of two small separate pocket doors into the sitting room, we are going to move the opening to the center of the wall and mimic the size of the front doors.
ENTRYIf you were able to walk straight through that wall at the entry, as it is now, you’d end up in the sitting room. A room with no windows. It does have an enormous round sky-light, which I love, so it is the brightest room of the house, BUT I do not want to spend time in a room with no windows, even with the skylight bringing in the natural light (thoughts of “The Room” come to mind). So, we are also going to take down the wall that divides the sitting room from the kitchen to make that all one big open space. With the changes, you’ll be able to see out through the wall of windows in the kitchen while in the sitting room as well as be able to be a part of the conversation in the sitting room while in the kitchen.
SITTING ROOMThe loft area, you’ll see next, is at one end of the sitting room. Above is a shot looking down from the loft that I took yesterday, in its current ‘this is how we’ve been living for a little too long’ state with a halfway assembled crib (Clover has been sleeping in a Pack & Play for a month now!), random tile samples, a blanket for Clover to roll around on and Cracker the dog for scale. We let Archie and his cousins and friends paint on the wall that is coming down (the one dividing this room from the kitchen) and I’m currently working on a way to incorporate their art into the house because it is actually really cool!
LOFTThis loft was possibly half the reason we fell in love with the house, with its’ cool unexpected features like the half moon shape spiral staircase leading to the lower level, it had me from the photos. It was however a death trap for toddlers and babies so we had to make some temporary changes until I can redesign it a touch to be kid and pop pop friendly (he already fell down the stairs once). So, the challenge is on to rework the staircase and integrate some railings and banisters.
KITCHENThe kitchen is getting a total overhaul. Instead of a small L shaped kitchen in the corner of the room, we are going to re-work the window and door layout, to center the kitchen in the space (you can see the changes in the floor plans at the top). For how large the house is, the kitchen feels small, so I am excited to open it up to the sitting room and extend it along the back wall. I am all about symmetry in the kitchen if possible so that’s what I am going to make happen. We are also going to tear out the bathroom that is just to the right of the refrigerator and convert it into the walk-in pantry of my dreams. woot!
Here is said bathroom that we will turn pantry, but don’t worry we are adding another bathroom just down the hallway so we won’t be losing one completely.
SCREENED IN PORCH
Off to the other side of the kitchen is the screened in porch, aka a three season room. Is this a Michigan thing? No one has these in LA I guess because bugs aren’t that big of a problem there. How far does the three season room trend span across the country? Holler at me southerners with a screened in porch. Either way I am obsessed with this space. We’ve been spending nights out here after the kids go to bed, just relaxing in the super comfortable seating above (insert eye roll). But seriously it’s nice on these warm summer nights to be outside but still under cover. We had our first rainstorm and it was magic. I kind of missed having weather (remind me of that come February will you?). Plans in here include a comfortable lounge space and a small dining area. Painting away that red and tiling the floor.
Now onto the “bedroom wing” of the house.
Oh the joys of moving, it’s so glamorous right? We currently only have two bedrooms on the main floor so Archie has been sleeping on a camp cot in our room, right next to our mattress on the floor with borrowed sheets and blankets from my parents. Aside from getting rid of the dark carpet in this room, getting Arch his own room is priority one. You
MASTER BATHROOMThe master bathroom is also getting a total overhaul. Currently it is made up of two small rooms. Navy shag carpeting and yellow walls included. We are planning to open this space up by taking down the walls and adding onto the space by converting the neighboring old “hot tub room” into one big master bathroom. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL THAT SPACE? A bathtub and a shower… I will never leave. I can’t even contain my excitement about finally having a grown up master bath.
HOT TUB ROOM
And the view out the backyard won’t be to shabby either.
There’s not much to report from Clover’s room, new flooring, some paint and furniture. We also have to close up her access doorway to the hot tub room and maybe put a more comfortable chair to nurse in would be nice. At least the pack and play can go away now that her crib has arrived.
LAUNDRY ROOMThe laundry room is getting demoted to the lower level while we expand this space and turn it into the new kid’s bathroom and Archie’s new bedroom. I’m pretty exited to be able to have a dedicated “kids bathroom” in this house, I have to say. No more having guests over and having them step over bath toys and potty step stools to go to the loo.
Timing wise I am hoping to get the hard finishes selected and on order ASAP so we can start construction, ideally, first of September. We are also hoping (oh the hope at the beginning of a renovation) that it will take roughly three months to complete. I have the powder bath designed and that is it so far. But heck if it isn’t one great powder bath. Design and finish selects coming soon!
Many of you asked questions over IG if we are getting a contractor or doing the work ourselves and if we are living through the renovation and the answer is yes to all! We are planning to use a contractor and sub-contractors for some of the projects (like plumbing and such), doing the work ourselves for everything that we can and we will be living through the renovations. Our plan is to concentrate on one floor at a time which is why I only have plans started for the top floor right now. We will be living in the lower level while all the work is happening on this top level. Then when that is all finished and we can move to the top level, we will tackle the lower. Wish us luck!! Until then I will be pretending our house looks like the inspiration. Good thing I am V good at visualizing. ha
To get caught up on the why and where we moved check here.