The Master Bath Plans

In my last post I mentioned that our first renovation will be the master bath.  We figured it would be easy enough given the size and scope and since we’re able to play musical bedrooms until the new baby comes we left the master bedroom empty in anticipation.

This home may not be our ‘forever home’, but it will be our home for the next 20 or so years (I grew up in the same home my entire life and stayed in the same small school district my whole education, so it was important for me to give that same stability/experience to my kids as well), so our design decisions are being approached a little different than our last house.  We also have a lot more room for improvement so upgrading the finishes won’t push us out of the local market.  There are many multi-million dollar homes in our town, even some on our own street (even though we’re nowhere near that), so we know that using high-end materials won’t be a waste come time for resale.

We also are thinking about function even more so than form this time around.  Not to say I’m not making sure I’m making everything look good, I’m focused more on how we use our home, then looking at how I want it to look.

For example, I shed a lot of hair (weird tidbit to share, but hear me out), I have don’t have as thick of hair as I used to, but I have lots of it, and with postpartum hormones, I lose even more.  Mike’s constantly complaining about all the hair after I blow-dry.  Because of this, I knew I wanted darker tile to hide this fact until I’m able to vacuum it all up.

With these factors in mind, I actually had most of it designed in my head to start.  The room is small and so the layout won’t be changing, but we’re ripping it down to the studs to make sure everything is done correctly (we’re noticing a lot of short cuts here already so we want to make sure nothing is hiding behind the walls that will come back to haunt us later).

The one thing we both knew we were doing was tearing out the shower half wall.  We even mentioned it during our first walk through!  It would make the otherwise small shower feel a lot bigger just by opening it up to the rest of the room.  I want white subway tile with darker grout (learned my lesson in the last house with white grout) in the shower to brighten it up, but also because subway tile is timeless and inexpensive.  To make it a little trendier, and make the shower really feel bigger, we’re planning on laying it in a vertical pattern.

For the floor I want dark hexagon tile with darker grout.  This way it hides the hair, but also adds contrast to the white shower.

For warmth I want a wood vanity, and from experience Mike and I both prefer drawers over cabinets, but with the small footprint, we may have to get something custom made for the quality we’re looking for.

With these items already designed in my mind, I wanted to find inspiration to show Mike because I find no matter how well I describe it, it’s much easier to show him a picture.  It’s a pretty basic design so I knew I could find some great examples to share.

I’m also thinking white walls, because I realize I prefer a more neutral wall then add in color through accessories.

I’m currently sourcing the vanity, then I’ll focus on the lights and toilet.  We’re actually deciding whether or not we want to go full automated toilet (we’ve had aftermarket bidets on our toilets for a couple of years now and we’re thinking we may want the whole experience now – we’ll see!).  I also have to narrow down the trim details which is difficult because it’ll be what we start replacing the entire house with and I want to make sure to get it right!

Mike’s already started demo, but it’s a little difficult this time around working around Archer’s 2 naps a day.  He’s got probably another good 8 hours left, but in the mean time we’re going to start picking up material so that when he does get some time, we’re ready!

Our New Home

I’m excited to introduce our new home because we’ve got so many projects planned that I can’t wait to start talking about them!  We actually came up with many of them as soon as we saw the house, but some of the specifics have changed after living here for the past almost 3 months.  Some of the photos I’ll share are from the listing, and others are quick ones I’ve taken on my phone.  None are great, I’ll warn you!

Brush Exterior
The house was built in 1973, so a lot younger than our old 92 year-old beauty, but at 46, she’s not a youngin either!  While our old house had all the charm like thick baseboards and trim, and hardwood, I’m calling this house builder-basic with pretty much no charm!  That’s okay, because the layout is great, and we can work with builder-basic to make the rooms more us.

I’ll share some of the major rooms now, and then go into more detail when we start sharing our plans for remodeling.  The actual layout is very, very similar to my sister’s house actually, so you can check that out too to get a better understanding of the flow.

The first room to the left when you walk in the front door is what we’re calling the Living Room.

Living Room
It’s pretty large (and really beige!) and has a large window that overlooks the front yard.  The dining room is the room to the right and the kitchen is beyond that behind the wall on the right of the living room.  The future intent of this room may or may not have a TV, but it’ll have some sort of built-in along that back wall with lots of seating.  I imagine this room to be where we gather to hang out when we have people over.

New laminate flooring was installed in the first floor before we moved in, but we have plans to replace all that, install new baseboards, and brighten this room with some paint.  We also are planning on recessed lighting since there is no overhead lighting in here and let me tell you something about living in the country, it gets real dark at night!

On the opposite side of the house is the Family Room, which is situated on the other side of the kitchen and behind the garage.

Family Room
It’s a longer room with a fireplace and sliding door behind the curtains that opens to the backyard.  The door on the right is the garage.  The plan here is to have this the main hang out space with a TV and comfortable seating.  The main obstacle is once we start using the garage, it’ll be our main entrance so that has to be considered when designing this room as well.  It’ll get new flooring, trim, paint, and some recessed lighting as well.  I also have plans to redo the fireplace with built-ins on each side.

The family room opens to the kitchen and eat-in area.

Kitchen 2
Kitchen 3
The kitchen is very similar to our old house in layout, but it seems to work only half as efficient and feels like so much less usable cabinet space.  We’ve gone back and forth on this space and keep coming back to the original layout, just moving everything around, but we’re several years out from updating this space so we’ll take our time and think through the ways we see ourselves using it.

In the hallway between the front door and the kitchen area is a half bath.

I want to do something really fun in here, but this will get updated when we redo the flooring on the main level, so we’ve got some time.  For now, this pregnant lady is enjoying every moment of having a bathroom on the main floor, which was one of my top NEEDS of our next house!

Upstairs are the 4 bedrooms, with a hall bath and an ensuite bath in the master bedroom.  It’s actually where we’re starting our remodeling.  Since we have more bedrooms than people at this moment we haven’t moved into our final bedrooms yet and plan to shift as we finish each up.  All in time for baby in 2.5 months!

The master bedroom is pretty big, with a sliding door to a small enclosed balcony, two good-sized closets and the small ensuite bath.

Master Bedroom 2
Master Bedroom
Oh, and lots of wallpaper!

Master Bath
The bath is where we’re starting everything and I’ll go into more details next time on this project.  We’re working with the same footprint, just tearing everything down to studs and adding materials and products that are very functional and stylish.

The other bedrooms are pretty basic boxes, but will all get new trim and paint and closet organization.

The room we’re currently in will be Archer’s “big boy” room (this makes me laugh because how big boy can he be at less than 1 year old!), it’s also known as the sail boat room, you can see why.

Archer's Room 2
Archer's Room 3
It’s a very big room for a small kid, but we’re planning to have the boys share a room down the road, hoping that they ask for it eventually.  Right now, the plan is to finish the master, then move into there, remove all the wallpaper in here, new paint, new trim, and paint and organize the closets, before moving Archer into here.

After Archer moves, we’ll then focus on the nursery, where he’s sleeping right now.

Nursery 2
The room is right at the top of the steps and is pretty basic, but I’ve got bigger plans for some sort of wall treatment down the road.

The final bedroom is the smallest of the 4 and will be made into a guest room, but we probably won’t get to any updates in there until later this year.

Spare Room
It’s our catch-all room right now, but my mom will be here to help with Archer when the baby is born so we’ll need to get this room operating quickly.

So, that’s the overall scheme and some basic plans for the place.  Right now, it’s all our focus on the master bedroom and bath because of the baby, but come spring time, Mike’s focus will be the barn, which needs electric/gas/water (a little overkill, but ‘if you’re installing one, might as well get it all’ is Mike’s motto!).

Right now it’s not completely sealed so Mike doesn’t have any of his tools there, but eventually it’ll house everything and the garage will have my car, the bigger toys, and all the day to day items like strollers and camping chairs.  We also have a shed in the front which will have all our lawn tools and mower.

One of the last major projects will be to remodel the exterior of the house.  We’ll definitely be going in a very different direction with the color, and we’ve even talked about extending the porch to add more interest to the front.  That’s much further down the road, and will probably wait until after most of the major remodels are done in case we move/install windows.

Overall, like any new project, I’m excited to start.  Not to mention, I’ve hit my nesting phase in my pregnancy and can’t wait to start tackling the bedrooms!  Archer’s sailboat room is much bigger than our old bedroom, but that ensuite bathroom is looking really nice with the amount of breaks I’m now taking in the middle of the night!

Saying Goodbye to our First Home

Before we “introduce” you to our new home, I wanted to take a moment and give our first home a proper goodbye here on the blog.  It’s literally the reason I started blogging, to document the updates/renovations of that house with our family, and it was a big part of our lives for several years.  Be prepared for a very photo heavy post!

Most know that some people discouraged us from buying that house, saying it was too much work and it would strain our relationship.  Instead, Mike and I found the opposite, our relationship was strengthened by the teamwork and communication skills we acquired undertaking such large and small projects.  We also learned that we really love making spaces our own.  I love the design and planning, while Mike is willing (I’m not going to go as far as saying he loves it, ha!) to put the work in to make it better than he found it.  He does love buying new tools needed for a specific job, and learning the skills needed!  The success we found from our first house is what motivates us with our new home.

I’ll start with some of the listing photos.  We used a broker to sell our house, and while it’s not completely “by owner”, you pay a flat rate of a couple hundred dollars to have them list the house and you do all the work after that.  I took all the photos and let me tell you, photographing an entire house while living there with a baby is no joke!  Each time we focused on a room, the surrounding rooms became dumping grounds for all the “actual people live here” items.  It was similar to the way I photograph for the blog, but I tried to pair down on the “stuff” and let the rooms breath a little to show off the space.

I never did show the guest room converted to the office, mostly because it was never really completed, but I cleaned all the actual crafting out to make it a clean as possible.

We listed on a Thursday afternoon and by Friday we had 2 over-asking offers!  We had planned on an Open House that Sunday, but ended up canceling after accepting an offer.

Since we already had purchased our new house, we moved out within a week or two and before the new owner’s took possession, I walked through and took some photos of the empty house (unfortunatly, I was coming back from a dr. appt and only had my iPhone).  What some would think would be a sad moment wasn’t really for me.  I’ve talked about it a lot with Mike but I don’t miss our house. I know!  I miss living in a completed space, of course! But, this house was a great chapter in our lives and I’ll look back with really great memories, but I look forward to creating new memories in our new home.

There were great moments in our lives that happened here.  We got engaged and married while living here.  We hosted dozens of parties.  Mike started homebrewing.  Of course, we brought our son home in this house, but he was there for such a short time, it doesn’t feel like he was that much of a part of it.  This house was exactly what we needed for that time in our life.  But, we went in knowing it was only our starter home and we would be moving on to a bigger space with more land.  I’ll miss the neighbors and the proximity to certain things, but we’re more than happy to give this baby over to another young couple starting their lives (sidenote: the new owner’s are a young engaged couple so I can say with experience that this house will be perfect for them!).

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Like I said, I will miss all the experiences and memories made here, but I’m looking forward to the new ones we’ll be making!