"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Friday, January 1, 2016

our home remodel

I've always felt that I could live just about anywhere as long as I could make whatever house I lived in a home. That doesn't have to take a whole lot of expense. 

I've sewn pillow covers from second hand fabrics found at consignment shops to liven up hand-me-down couches and reveled in the touch of cozy addition to the small spaces we've called home in past years. I've created cross stitches for walls. Framed children's art work to decorate. Re-upholstered chairs. Painted and repainted furnishings.

You can see some of our before here and here.

I expressed some hesitance HERE.

We've loved our house just the way it is but have often felt a bit closed in by it's floor plan with so many people living under one roof. What a blessing to be able to make my house more home for us.

For much of this last year, we worked with my amazing sister-in-law to visually create a space that would feel clean and open and uncluttered. I couldn't be more grateful for her talent in bring together a functional look of comfort with a visual illusion of more space.

We spent a lot of time looking at sample after sample of flooring and railing to create the design we were hoping for.

We were so excited the day the wood flooring was delivered.

Then demolition began.

I wondered how much love that linoleum found under our existing flooring had experienced back in the days when previous home owners had stood excited for it's laying. 

We lived under plastic for quite awhile which proved challenging. I think the kids loved feeling like we were camping for awhile.

Then the floor laying began.

I marveled at the beautiful workmanship.

In the meantime, we picked out closet designs and looked at more samples.

When the flooring guys walked out my front door leaving behind their finished craftsmanship, I wanted to leave it just like this. Why clutter up a work of art?

But it was time to start moving back into life.

While we were waiting for the railings to be created, my sister in law helped pick smaller scale furnishings to make the spaces feel bigger yet accommodating.

And with the help of my trusty boys, we replaced light fixtures with some more modern designs.

We played with some spaces to come up with workable solutions.

Then those railing guys showed up like it was Christmas day.

And then my sister in law put her talent to work to create this vision.

Thanks to her months of dedication, a space that we love to call home.


  1. Obviously I need your sister in law!

    1. Nice to delegate all the contracting nightmares to someone else :)

    2. I could handle that, it's the design issues that I have NO SKILL AT WHATSOEVER!!! (Not that I'm bitter, or anything...)

  2. awesome. nicely done. love the simplicity of it.

    1. Thanks Dale!! Come by and see it any time :)

  3. Obviously, we all need your sister in law! Fantastic. It is so funny, because in your before shots when the floor was all ripped up, I thought, boy those are such small spaces! Small dining area, small living room. Then, somehow, when the floor was done and furniture was put in, they both booked huge! LOL It looks fantastic. Let me know how you feel about wood flooring after having carpeting. I am toying with making the change because, honestly, our carpet is getting disgusting. But, I can't imagine us sweeping 10 times a day to keep the wood clean either. Just very curious to get honest, real life experiences from someone else with a big family. But, man oh man, it looks fantastic. I love the crisp clean lines of the furniture (the white dining room chairs scare me a bit though!) LOL

    1. Kayla,
      I was worried about that too. Surprisingly, and I don't know if it's the area rugs or not, I vacuumed before way more than I sweep now. Maybe it's blowing to some corner I haven't found yet ;) I sweep the kitchen just as much as I always did but the other rooms stay pretty clean and only need occasional sweeping in areas. I have loved it so much better than carpet. The kids would run in and out no matter how many times I asked them to kick their shoes off. With the wood floors, it's a quick wipe if need be rather than scrubbing at carpet spots. It is a bit louder but I think we've adjusted to that with furnishings. I've also let go of keeping the floors in perfect condition. Most Scandinavian designs allow the wood wear to add patina. I'm going with that and it makes me stress less about scratches or wear and tear. As for the white dining chairs ... yeah, at first they seem crazy. But in reality, they are a very wipe-able faux leather I found at a local furniture store costing $40 a piece so I wouldn't cry if Charlotte punctured one with a knife ;)

  4. I have the same concerns about wood flooring that Kayla does, so keep me posted to if you can. I love what you and your sister-in-law did! It's lovely!

    1. Thank you Jenny! You can see my comments to Kayla. I didn't mention, however, that rather than the high polyurethane look, we went with a matte finish. I don't know if it's the buff surface as opposed to the high gloss that just doesn't accentuate the floor dust and crumbs, but it's been perfect. I had worried about the spaces being cold for kids who need floor time to play and lay. We found edge bound carpet remnants in large sizes at Carpet Exchange at nominal prices ($100 as opposed to super expensive area rugs to stress over) to add comfort and warmth to the spaces. At that price, I won't cry if I have to replace them in a year or two. Thanks for your sweet comments!!

    2. Were they bound or did you have them bound?

  5. One of the most amazing things about the changes are how a slightly darker floor can make all the difference in the world, and that one difference seems to add size to all the areas. Changing from the light carpeting to the wood floors really added an element of warmth to the rooms, and it made the house look like a home.

    Essie Reed @ Valley Home Improvement