Thursday, September 20, 2018

Breakfast, Dining, and Living Room Remodel

I can't believe it's taken me this long to write this post, but that's what always happens when life gets busy. As a refresher, here's the first part of our big remodeling project. Our overall goal was to get wood flooring in the kitchen, breakfast nook, dining room, living room, master bedroom and hallways. We also needed new tile in the laundry and sun room. But, what we realized along the way, is that it made sense to take care of some other issues in conjunction with that, like getting a new fireplace surround and opening up the floor plan.

When doing a remodeling project this large, it's not uncommon to move out of your home for a while. But, with 2 small boys and 2 dogs, it felt like it would be more trouble than it was worth to relocate. So, we packed all the big furniture into a mobile storage unit and crammed ourselves into one of the rooms of the house that wasn't being touched. It was an adventure, I'll tell you that! (For the last week of the project, we did have to stay in an extended stay hotel because we couldn't be in the house while the floors were being stained).

First up, let's talk about the dining room. It used to have carpet in it, but after a couple years of our aging dog mistaking that room for her bathroom, we had to rip it out. We lived with a painted concrete floor for quite a while, as we knew this project was in our future.

The hardwood was installed and then we got to thinking. Wouldn't it be great if the dining room was open to the breakfast nook? There was currently a wall between the two, with just a small doorway opening. On the breakfast nook side there was a built-in china hutch, but it wasn't really necessary.

Wood was laid, but since the scraping and staining hadn't started, we still had time to make some alterations.
This was looking pretty dated. Did I really need it anymore?

Didn't love how this was closed in. Also, cameo from my sweet Casey girl. Miss her.

After we made the decision to take out the wall, things really started getting fun!

Look how much better the view is now!

After the wall was fully removed and the opening was finished up, progress could be made on the hardwoods. We decided to go with nail-down hand-scraped hardwood with a medium/dark stain. Here's the finished product in the dining room:

I already had all the furnishings in this room, so nothing else was needed. I am very pleased with the result! It's crazy to think this view wasn't possible before. Taking out the wall was the best decision we could've made in this area of the house. 

In the breakfast nook and kitchen, there was ugly, old parquet flooring. There was also a half wall between that and the living room. Not really sure what its purpose was, so we opted to take it out.

Half wall from breakfast nook side

Half wall from living room side

Demo on the half wall was pretty exciting, just like the dining room wall was. It's an amazing difference when you can freely walk between rooms! We also got the contractors to remove the door frame that used to be in the hallway to the living room. It was for two small double doors, but they really served no purpose as you would never close them and it made the hallway feel narrow. 

The floors are gorgeous! Once we realized we were moving the kitchen fridge to the laundry room, we needed a new main fridge. I found out there was a model that lets you use Keurig k-cups to brew coffee and can do hot water on demand for hot chocolate and tea, so you know that's the one we went with.

We didn't have the budget right now to fully attack the kitchen (cabinets, counters, backsplash, etc), but I did want to make some subtle improvements. Around the stove was a brick surround and awful, dated backsplash. That really made it hard for the kitchen to look modern. Since I couldn't go all-in on reconfiguring this area or installing new backsplash, I opted for just a new paint job. I went with gray for the brick and painted over the backsplash with a crisp white. It's plain and simple, but certainly looks better than what was there before.

Now to the living room! This room had thick slate flooring and a beast of a fireplace hearth.

The demo got pretty, pretty dusty. The hearth was just concrete underneath one layer of tile, so getting it all out took multiple attempts.

For the new fireplace, we wanted a modern mosaic tile surround, without a hearth, for a sleeker look. Now it doesn't protrude out into the room and create a hazard for small children! We went with the hardwoods in this room too, so now there is awesome continuity throughout the main living and dining spaces.

I bought all new furniture for the living room because it was time for a change. The sofas are from Nebraska Furniture Mart, the end tables are from Wayfair, the swivel arm chairs are from Joss & Main, and the ottoman table and storage trunk (not pictured) are from 

I couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out. I think we added a ton of value to our house, not to mention utility. We love to entertain, and the new setup makes that even easier. I'm so glad we took the plunge!

Project Costs:
Hotel & dog boarding for 4 days: $600
Furniture: $2,578