Friday, April 4

White House Renovations 2014–The Look

Last week I shared all of the lovely before pictures of our house. This week I’m sharing what we hope the space ends up looking like. Hoping…because with an old house we’re not quite sure just how all of it is going to come together yet. One of the things we are trying to do is reuse and repurpose a lot of the existing parts of the house: Plumbing and light fixtures being two of the biggest. We’re trying to save wherever we can and this is a place we can save.

White House Renovations The Look #WhiteHouseReno2014

We’ll start on the outside.

We’ve struggled a LOT with the outside of the house. I’m very particular about old houses, unfortunately I don’t have the budget to do all that I would LOVE to do on the outside, and what I do want to do, and insist on, is much to the chagrin of my workers. They almost had me convinced to go with vinyl siding on the whole house…almost.

While I almost didn’t mind the vinyl siding, I was worried about how they would handle some of the trim on the house, particularly the windows. It wasn’t until I went to take this picture that I decided no way was I OK with vinyl siding the house. My fear is that the detailing on the windows would be lost, because it would just be boxed in with a vinyl rectangle. I was NOT OK with that.Original Window Compared to Bad Replacement Window

One of the things that I love about our house is the old windows. We had originally had some of them replaced, but stopped because I hated how they came out {you can see the window, above, bottom right}. We’ve replaced a lot of the panes of  glass and they are good windows, they just need a decent amount of love.

The windows that existed in the part of the house that is getting removed, will be replacing the replacement windows…so I don’t have to look at this anymore. It does mean we won’t have windows that open easily, but I’m ok with that. At least until we can spend the time restoring and repairing all of the windows.

So what is going to happen with windows in the addition?

We are doing all that we can to keep them similar to the original windows. They won’t have the curved glass on the top, but we are using a grille that will make them look the same {the trim down the middle}. We’re also staying with windows that are the same dimensions, 36x60, which will give us wonderful, huge windows with lots of natural light.

In the kitchen alone there are 9 windows, plus a 6’ gliding door: Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of any of them.

Back to the outside.

After talking to several people we found this wood composite siding called SmartSide, which looks like clapboard, can be painted liked clapboard, but holds up better than plain wood. That’s what we’re going with for the siding. For right now the house will be staying yellow, because I honestly am not sure what color direction I want to go in next. The other big apprehension I had with vinyl was being stuck with a color. I LOVE COLOR!

Shall we go inside?

I’ve been planning this renovation for at least 5 years, which means that Matt had a lot of catching up to do in the designing and planning area. And unfortunately we weren’t aware of all the structural particulars of our house yet. Because of the original-original of our house {the current kitchen was a poorly built addition}, there is an exterior supporting wall, that cannot be moved {in yellow, below}. We’re having to add in extra supports, which of course cut into my layout a bit.

The Mudroom/Laundry Room

In my mind the wall in the mudroom {top left} didn’t exist, so we had to reconfigure how that room was laid out. There needs to be supports/wall there to support the upper story of the original house, which makes for a kind of awkward situation. I’m not quite sure yet how this is going to be dealt with, but hopefully it works out. Part of the existing wall will be open to a closet of sorts, that will store the washer and dryer, which will still give you a decent amount of floor space in the mudroom.House Plan Illustrating existing wall

The Kitchen

The big issue for us in the kitchen was having a staircase access to the basement, an island that looked out on the yard, room for a huge kitchen table, a woodstove, and good flow. I’ve been playing with this for ages between and’s kitchen planner.

We started with the stairs, because it was the non-negotiable as far as placement was concerned. We knew we could only make the addition so many feet bigger {I’ve been told that each foot longer the addition was would cost an extra $1000+}, so we had to make it work.

The rest of the kitchen layout is based off of that. We had basically 8’ feet to work with on the right wall, so we did what we had to. The general layout of the kitchen is staying: We like it and it works for us, it just needed to be bigger {my dream was to have a kitchen table in my kitchen}.

Ikea Kitchen Corner View

The island I can only credit to one person: The Nester. She had shared on her blog about how she made that one kitchen job she hated easier, through one simple thing…putting the daily dishes next to the washer…HALLELUJAH AND AMEN! At that point I pretty much just decided to mimic her island.Ikea Kitchen Island View

The sink will be an undermount apron front white cast iron enameled sink {which arrive yesterday…eek! So awesome!}. It was our other non-negotiable in the kitchen, everything else flows from this sink. In all ridiculousness it reminds me of the old Kohler commercial when a woman walks in, in a business suit, sits down at a table full of architects and says, “Design a house around this” and puts a faucet on the table.Kohler Winterhaven Undermount Short Apron Sink

The cabinets are Ikea cabinets, with the Lixtorp fronts. I wanted the Lidingo {gray}, but Matt felt strongly about having more of the warmth of wood…it wasn’t a non-negotiable for me, so I gave in. I figure if in a few years if I’m tired of them, I can always paint the cabinets.


The countertop we’re going with is Quartz. Since our sink being an undermount was a non-negotiable, we were limited in what our countertop could be. We looked into the laminate, but it looked horrible with an undermount. Quartz looked like our best bet: It’s solid surface, low-no maintenance, and looks beautiful. Lowes quoted us around $81 sqf. We found a local company that does everything from start to finish for $65 sqf: AWESOME! Matt stopped this week and looked at some of their samples, we’re going with a glossy-ish black that has some grey/white flecking in it. Gorgeous with the wood countertops and sinks!

We have’t quite figured out the backsplash yet, most likely we’re going to go with a white subway tile, but I’m not convinced of that. I probably won’t make a final decision until the kitchen is done. The backsplash can really be done last.

All of our appliances are staying for now. They’re all less than 5 years old, still work, and quite frankly I’d rather than spend my budget on appliances. The one big thing we are splurging on is an exhaust hood from Ikea, for above the stove. We do need to buy a new countertop microwave and toaster oven {both of our’s are shot}, and both, with the coffee station, will go in the large appliance garage {above} next to the fridge.

The floor is going to be the same as the rest of the house…Southern Yellow Pine, wide planks. We’ll install them and finish them ourselves. They will look very similar to the original floors in the house, just in a lot better shape.

You can find all of my kitchen design ideas on my pinterest board for Kitchen.

Heading upstairs.

The Master Bedroom Suite

That phrase sounds so pretentious to me, but that is what it is called. At first I was really overwhelmed at the idea of a bedroom that would be 20’x30’. Then Matt decided to cut the room in quarters, giving us a closet, storage area {since there will be no attic space above the original house or the new construction}, and I’m going to eek out a section for a small studio {or in all actuality…where I plan on doing the Christmas wrapping}. All the doors up here will be pocket doors, so that the flow of the area isn’t chopped up.Master Suite Area

The windows in this room pretty much match up with the ones downstairs, there are a few less, but I really wanted to be able to create a sitting area {bottom left} where we can chill and enjoy the view. We’re not getting any new bedroom furniture other than some bookcases and chairs. Everything else will just come from our old room {bottom of linked page} and the variety of things I’ve picked up for décor over the past few years.

The Bathroom

Our bathroom was supposed to be a bit wider, but with the issue of the stairs and the hallway, we decided it was better to cut the room and move the door, we did add a little more to the depth {top to bottom in the picture above} to make it not feel so small. My big dream for this room was to have a second washer and dryer in here. We had originally planned a swap with my SIL, but since Matt’s grandparents’ washer/dryer were lost in the fire, that’s not happening. Eventually we will buy a top/bottom single unit.

Master Bath 3D

This is kind of the feel we’re going for in the room {you can see more in my pinterest board for the bathroom}.

bathroom design

We’re bought the sink/cabinet from Ikea {it’s on sale right now – Hemnes and Rattviken} in the dark brown. I was originally OK with just an inset fiberglass shower, but I would really like a bathtub that you can BATHE in. This is one of the last projects to be finished, so it isn’t pressing to decide. We may end up going with a soaking tub, then tiling the walls and installing two shower heads {like we have downstairs—which we love! The downstairs bathroom is going to get a new coat of paint, too}.

I think for now that’s a lot of the design ideas we have regarding the additional space. I’ve tried to have ideas, but nothing fixed, so that if changes happen I can kind of go with them. Be sure to check out my pinterest boards to get more of a feel for what we’re thinking.

Kitchen :: Laundry/Mudroom :: Master Bathroom :: Master Bedroom :: Outside

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