Living Room Mood

When we started renovating our house over two years ago we focused on the parts of the house that needed immediate demo — the kitchen, dining room, and downstairs bedroom/office. To make room for that, we piled all the house’s furniture into the living room. There it has sat — until last weekend! We cleared it all out and and now I’m getting excited to decorate. Here are some basics I’m starting with.

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1.West Elm Diamond Stripe Wool Dhurrie 2.Benjamin Moore’s Gentlemen’s Gray 3.Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy 4.Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue 5.Florence Linen, Light Gray 6.Example of Original Cabinet Hardware 7.Schoolhouse Electric Brass Planter

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Kitchen Dreaming

It’s hard to believe that January is almost over — especially since we are planning on moving into our little house this summer, and um, that is feeling not so far away! While there are some big, not so pretty, things that need to be done (insulation, new windows, new heating system) I can’t stop thinking about the fun part — finishes, especially in the kitchen.

We completely gutted the old kitchen and dining room and are building it from the ground up. As I wrote about earlier, the cabinets are in and they are beyond gorgeous. We have decided to stick with white appliances and are currently hunting for the perfect vintage camp/apartment sized stove. Fingers crossed we find something suitable before summer!

Now that appliances have been decided, I’ve been obsessing over lighting and back splash. Here are some spaces that have been inspiring me lately.

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Stainless or White?

In anticipation of Black Friday we have been researching appliances — we need a small 24″ gas range and a new fridge. But I’m feeling stumped on if we should get stainless steel or white appliances?

This is the current shell of our kitchen:

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White shaker cabinets that will be topped with butcher block countertops and a large vintage cast iron sink. Our pulls are oil rubbed bronze that are on the edge of looking black. The range will go to the left of these cabinets and the fridge will be across from this space as seen below.

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I always thought we’d do white (we got this fridge for free, but it’s a little nasty so we’re going to upgrade), but upon doing some research I realized how hard it is to find a nice, affordable white range hood. So then I started Pinning some kitchen inspiration of stainless steel with white cabinets and came upon these inspiration shots. Continue reading

It’s Really Bad Before It’s Good

Mid summer I stood in the kitchen of our house and said, “I hate being in here.” There was no ceiling in the kitchen and dining room, you could see outside around the entire perimeter up to two feet tall due to rot repair, and the gaping hole for the patio door was framed out but it was not yet installed so every time we came in and out we had to screw and unscrew a huge piece of plywood. It looked like a complete mess that would never ever be finished. I felt way over my head, totally unprepared, exhausted, and like we were moving at a snail’s pace. Well, if you’re in the middle of your own renovation — guys, it gets exciting and promising I swear!

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Progress

It’s finally Maine house season! Last month, my Dad drove up from where he lives in Florida to get his house up and running again. Heat & water on, time to party. Our family, on both sides, had the inability to throw anything away, including their houses and we are so lucky for it. This house is where my Dad grew up, on Little Deer Isle. Our house is about ten minutes away across the bridge on the main land. My parents met in high school, which is why both sides of my family have homes so close together.

Having access to this house allows us to keep our little home a complete gutted mess because we have somewhere else to shower and lay our heads. And hang out with family, friends, etc. Isn’t she cute?

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To Do Lists

We officially received our home equity line of credit! This is a huge relief for us, especially after the process turned out to be so long and stressful. Having a line of credit allows us to quickly get lots of big projects finished – rather than saving for one, spending all our cash, and then saving up for the next. Now that we know we have access to enough funds we’ve started our to do lists for the summer with the goal of being able to sleep in the house by August. So, what is there to do?  Continue reading

Waiting & Wallpaper

The past month has been a super stressful waiting game – we’re in the process of applying for a home equity line of credit to fund a big portion of the renovations we’d like to do this summer. Having never applied for a loan in my life, I underestimated how much time, effort, and stress is involved!

I thought — “Hey! The house has no mortgage! We can use the equity! We have no debt! Easy peasy!” Wrong!

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The Kitchen Project

The biggest undertaking at the house is no doubt the kitchen. As in most homes, this space was really the heart of the home. My great-grandmother, Myrtle “Marm” Day, used to host family baked bean supper every Saturday night and according to lore, you had to have a very solid excuse to miss it. She was a master cook famous for her donuts and perfectionism. My mom once told me she saw her fling a pie like a frisbee out the back door because it didn’t taste right.

You enter the house from this infamous back door directly into the kitchen and the dining room was located through a doorway to the left. One of the first things we did at the house was remove this wall to create one big cooking and dining space rather than keep the two cramped spaces separate. It’s a miracle they fit so many people in there for supper every week, and we’re looking forward to accommodating a big group again, but this time maybe a bit more comfortably.

We took the wall down on a bit of whim when my sister and I walked through the house with my dad telling him our plans, which resulted in us demo-ing this wall in flop flops. My dad was not fazed, because he is a tried and true Mainer and tough as nails, but I do not recommend! We made some fun discoveries when taking down this wall including amazing retro wallpaper behind paneling and a tin patch in the plaster that included an old motor oil can.

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Where Do We Start?

 

Where do we start? There were so many things to make this project feel really overwhelming to me.

1. It’s a mess. Due to several generations of hoarding tendencies, the house was chock full of stuff — furniture, clothing, photos, books, even 50 year old jars of pickles.

2. It’s feels like it’s falling apart a bit. Because no one lived there for so long, the temperature was unregulated and there was a moisture problem. The plaster in some ceilings and walls were in serious disrepair and seeing big holes in the ceilings of two rooms made me feel like the whole thing was going to cave in.  Continue reading