As I think most any homeowner would tell you, houses are an ever-evolving project. From the day you move in, to the day you leave, you become stewards for a brief period in that home’s history. Whether you build one from scratch, or takeover somewhere down the home’s timeline, your house will grow and change with you.
Our house is no different. We became its stewards a little later down its timeline (it’s over 250 years old), but from the day we moved in, we began to leave our own mark on its history. Over the years we’ve updated it here and there, some projects bigger than others. With the help of my parents, we added a bathroom and our beloved brick patio and pergola in the backyard. After a few years, we built the studio where I work, then updated the kitchen with some marble counters and a fresh coat of paint, and eventually even exposed the original hand-hewn beams in Michael’s office. There have been too many trips to Benjamin Moore, Lowe’s, and Drillen (our neighborhood hardware store) to count, gallons upon gallons of paint, and untold hours spent sanding, digging, cleaning, and building.
In the last few years we’ve debated selling the house or putting a little more money into it to address some of our current wants and needs. While we don’t know what the future holds for us and where we’ll be living in the next 10, or even 5 years, we do know that we love this neighborhood of ours and we’re more than pleased to stay put for a while. Truthfully, there’s a lot about this house that used to bug us but over the years we’ve come to appreciate, and now we feel so thankful to call this little piece of history our own.
This year, we’re excited to be making some changes around the house and tackling some pretty big projects. Lately, this renovation of ours is all we’ve been talking about. In fact, I dreamt about bathroom floor tiles and hardwood floor choices two nights in a row one week, something I’m not too proud to admit. Although it might do us a little good to take a night or two away from the planning, we’re both excited and nervous about the big steps we’re taking to make this home of ours a little more our own.
I’ll save the details for another post, but as a quick overview, we’ll be breaking the project into three phases. First up, we’ll be taking one of the biggest rooms in the house, our guest bathroom, and cutting it in half to make room for a new laundry room (phase one). We’ll be removing the old laundry room and an odd closed-off stairway to open up our living area (phase two). We’ll be handling most of the work in the new bathroom and laundry room ourselves (save for the plumbing and electric), which will be a good warm-up for what’s to come in the next big projects. In phase three, we’ll tackle our upstairs master bedroom and bathroom, most likely involving a contractor and some exterior changes to make the space a little less cramped and more livable.
Phase one kicks off this weekend with some demolition. Soon, I’ll share some details about the inspiration for the new bathroom and living room, in hopes that I can get feedback from you about your own experiences with renovation projects. We’re really excited to be undertaking this project, so thanks for following along!
Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.