Now that we have some of the basic comforts covered, it’s finally time to start nailing down a design for this kooky little house of ours! Coming up with a cohesive aesthetic for this house has been really tough because absolutely nothing in this house matches or makes sense. It’s hard to look at it as a blank slate when there are seven different paint colors, seven different floors in 11 different areas, countless mismatched baseboards, and even the areas that are “updated” were redone pretty terribly.
But to the naked eye it looks to be in pretty good shape, and that’s what drew us in! We saw the unique shape of the house, the dynamic sloped ceilings inside, the quirky loft and the amazing backyard. We did not see the mismatched elements, the exposed wiring, the leaks and creaks and even the wonky texture on the walls. But isn’t that usually the case when you fall in love? And so we powered through for our dream home. Holy cow, I’m just realizing how much pressure that phrase puts on a poor house!
Anyway, back to the main point of this post: the house needs some work. The biggest thing that I am focusing on is trying to look past the varying elements that have come to exist in the home over the last 50 years and somehow make the space a cohesive, cozy design that flows and works together.
Technically the house is almost completely livable. The breaker panel needs to be replaced – the inspector suggested this and we have already had problems with it, so it’s a necessary evil. The upstairs bathroom is pretty much a full gut. But otherwise, the house is very functional and doesn’t need any structural work.
HOWEVER. Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good project and I can’t in good conscience leave this house the mismatched design mess that it is; I just can’t! Our neighbor mentioned to us that in the past 20 years or so, no one who has lived here has really cared for the house and shown it the attention it deserves, and we plan to change that!
One thing that I’m really hoping will help settle this house down a bit is a consistent flooring throughout the whole space. Currently there is parquet in the entrance, real hardwood in the hallway and one part of the dining room (yes, there’s two different floors in one space…), laminate in the living room, vinyl in the kitchen, a different laminate in the downstairs bedrooms, LVP in the downstairs bathroom….you get the point. There are a lot of different floors in this house!
After trying out several samples, we settled on a beautiful thin-plank laminate with varying board lengths that add a little something to the design. As you can see compared with what we have currently, it’s a much lighter floor with just a hint of grey throughout, making it perfect to coordinate with the rest of the elements. It’s also an AquaGuard floor, meaning that we can wet mop it and it will also be resistant to any water damage from wet puppy paws that go running through the house – win win!
Another big change that we’ll be making throughout the house is updating the paint. Typically this would be a pretty uneventful update, but this house also has varying textures, sometimes several in the same room. In the living room there is both a very heavy, almost drip-like texture on most of the walls, and then a fan pattern texture on just one wall. So in addition to updating the paint color, we are also going to skim coat and retexture the mismatched walls. It’s a big project but will definitely be worth it. The texture is so heavy in the living room that it literally collects dust (gross)! After testing out five different whites in nine different places throughout the house, we finally settled on Silky White by Behr.
The majority of the house will be in Silky White but there may be a few spaces where we decide to add some additional color, like our bedroom. I am playing with some darker, muted greens and blues to make for a relaxing sanctuary upstairs. Since I took these photos we have added another three swatches into the mix, and I have a feeling one of those will be the winner!
Although it’s in fairly good shape functionally, the kitchen is pretty small and dark, with some updates that were….let’s just say less than ideal! There is a lot of gray in the kitchen, both paint and wallpaper (which doesn’t vibe with the orange wood at all!), along with an outdated vinyl floor that’s definitely seen some water damage. They also added a faux-rock backsplash and one floating shelf, nice and high up. It really doesn’t make sense!
That said, a cosmetic overhaul in the kitchen is definitely in the cards (eventually). We got very lucky that the previous owners left an untouched can of paint in a gorgeous green color, so we are going to paint the lower cabinets to alleviate some of the “orange” wood that is throughout the kitchen. Lighter, tile floors and a bright new counter will really liven up this space. Last but not least, I can’t wait to add some more open shelving and a fun new backsplash to replace the rock wall. Most of this can be done in stages and it’s not as pressing as some other updates, so it might take a while to be done, but it feels good to at least have an outline of the design nailed down!
Inspiration photos (and some of our choices on the far right):
The upstairs bathroom is priority #1 right now! This is the one area of the home that truly doesn’t function. From far away, the bathroom looks quaint and almost cute, but up close it is both a design and functionality nightmare. The corner shower is painfully small and leaks, the vanity and cement countertop were a total crooked, uneven mess and storage is almost nonexistent. There’s a sliding mirror that covers the window and then slides away from the vanity if the window is open. So we either have access to the window, or access to the mirror, but never both. It’s truly an awful design!
Here’s a photo of the bathroom before and also a Hunger Games reference to show how I feel in that shower 😉
To update this space (and hopefully put an end to our downstairs showers), Jacob ripped out the small corner shower and we’re extending it more toward the vanity space. To save money and avoid moving plumbing, we are putting the vanity in the same space but replacing the cabinets / countertop and reframing the angled wall to the left of the vanity to allow for a mirror. It’s a little unconventional to have the mirror to the left of the sink, but at least now both the mirror and the window can be used at the same time!
We ordered some beautiful black framed shower doors and after too many hours at the floor & tile store, we finally settled on a shower tile! It’s totally out of my “safe” subway tile bubble, but I think it’s going to look really amazing when it’s all put together. Plus, I’m having a lot of fun flexing my design muscles and making some bolder choices in this house!
I’m sure there will be many more projects on the horizon in the coming years, but for now I can’t wait to get started and breathe some life back into this sweet (but complicated) house that we now call home!