Kitchen and Dining Room

Up next to show you is the kitchen. As you'll see in the before pictures, the kitchen isn't bad at all! Very nice appliances, granite countertops, tons of cabinets. I LOVE the french door refrigerator. We are so glad we didn't have to spend money replacing countertops or appliances. The biggest change that we made in the kitchen is that we took out the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room, and then as I showed in the living room post, we widened the opening from the dining room to the living room. We also continued the wood flooring from the living room into the kitchen and dining. These changes made this part of the house feel SO much bigger and open. The previous owner was using the dining room as an office, or at least had it staged that way.  



We started by scraping the popcorn in these rooms, then took out the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. We removed the carpet from the dining room and the cork flooring from the kitchen. Jesse and his Dad widened the opening from the dining room to the living room. Jesse had to re-wire some lights in this room and patch the ceiling and walls where the separating wall came down. Dad and I painted these rooms the same gray as the living room and painted the molding the same white. 






Our first night in the house, the power went out in town -- just as I finished cooking dinner. My parents had been keeping our boys while we finished up the house and they had just brought them home. Jesse's parents were there helping us get everything finished. We all had dinner around our table by candlelight. It was a really sweet evening.

Plans for this room: As you can tell from some of these pictures, we are testing out paint colors for the cabinets. We are gearing up to say goodbye to the honey oak cabinets. PLEASE ignore that terrible green color. It is NOT a consideration. Really all of them can be ignored. We are trying to decide if we want to do a gray on the lower cabinets and white on the uppers or just all white on both upper and lowers.  We will be taking down the florescent lights and installing recessed lights from the kitchen into the dining room. We are also planning on putting built in bookshelves on the ends of the cabinets where the wall once was to finish off that part of the cabinet and countertop. Also on the shopping list: a new rug.


Living Room and Hallway

...hello November. Where did you come from? I went to visit friends in DC and Starkville last month and after several people asked to see pictures of the work we did in our house I decided it is time to post the during and after pictures of our home. Honestly, I haven't wanted to post any "after" shots because in my mind it isn't fully done. I don't have the rug, table, extra furniture, or lamp I want in the living room, our entry is completely bare other than a bench Jesse made, we haven't done the work we want in the kitchen, the bathrooms need updating, etc. I didn't want to post "after" pictures until it was "magazine ready" (the phrase Jesse uses to make fun of me.) I've come to terms that our home will never look like it is in a magazine or on a Pinterest board, but over time it will be finished.

I've decided the most fun way for you to see the changes is by showing pictures one area at a time from start to finish! I can't get this post to format how I want, sorry its not all lined up.

Just a little reminder...

What we did...

We closed on our house May 26 and got to work! First thing on the list was removing the popcorn finish on the ceilings. Some people thought we were crazy for tackling a project like this, but Jesse was determined to remove it. It was a MESS. To anyone wanting to do this, I would highly recommend doing it before you move in. A MESS! We knew we would be taking up most of the flooring, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but it really got EVERYWHERE. Once the ceiling was finished, we went ahead and removed the carpet and other flooring and left it bare concrete (except for the bedrooms) until we were through with all of our projects. I am way out of my comfort zone discussing the details of home renovation, but Jesse and his Dad spent many hours spraying the ceiling with water, letting it soak in, then scraping the finish off. Then they did some sanding at the joints and refinished some areas? Ha! Maybe I should get Jesse to write this post. The ceiling in the living room goes up really high, so we rented one of those motorized scissor lift things to drive around the living room to elevate him up to where he needed to scrape. The only problem was when it got here, there was no way to get it into the house. After many attempts, he ended up getting regular ole scaffolding to do the job.

In the end, they primed and painted the ceilings a clean white and we are SO pleased with the results! The rooms look so much brighter and cleaner. In our opinion, it was definitely worth all the time and work. 


We knew we wanted a gray on the walls, but it took a long time to decide WHICH one. Darker, lighter, more blue, more green, etc. etc. etc. It was hard to know which to pick, so we painted some samples on the walls. Side note: Yes, we have the same shade of gray in every room (except the laundry room and bathrooms) but it looks different in each room due to the lighting. My Dad and I spent hours preparing and painting the walls and molding while my Mom kept the boys. 

The very first time I saw the house I knew immediately that the stained wood molding had to go. While I think it can look good, I wasn't crazy about the molding in this house. I wanted it to be a fresh, clean white. I had no idea how many steps were involved in taking molding from stained to painted, but it was so worth it.

The wall color we picked is BEHR Eon, but we color matched with Benjamin Moore paint. The molding is Benjamin Moore White Dove.

On our way to spend a lot of money on paint!



As you see in some of the before pictures, there is a 4 foot opening from the dining room to the living room. Jesse and his Dad opened this space up to 8 feet to help the rooms have better flow. We also took out a wall separating the dining room from the kitchen. You can see that in some of these pictures, but I'll write more about it on the kitchen post. 


The entire house had green carpet that we knew had to go in the living area. (For now it is still in the bedrooms.) Picking out a wood floor option was even harder than picking out a paint color. When you are spending that much money on something, it can be stressful! Jesse and I wanted different things, but eventually settled on a wide plank stained hickory. The flooring was delivered to our curb, so my Dad and I loaded it up into his truck, drove it up the driveway, then unloaded it into the house. Jesse, his Dad, his Mom, and I worked together to lay out the floor and glue it down. 

And now...

(Not the best iPhone photos.)

Jesse's housewarming gift to himself was this record player. 

Plans for this room: get a big rug, new end table, new chair by fireplace, lamps. Plans for entry: paint the back of the door, rug, entry table, lamp, art, hooks for hanging coats/purses above bench, finish knitting cover for the bench.