On this day two years ago, we took ownership of our new home. Little by little, we have brought this neglected once-rental property back to life. Although it had its challenges, I found the renovation process fun, fascinating and so rewarding. I adore old houses. And now that I have had the chance to live in and transform one myself, I know just how thoroughly satisfying it can be.
Our biggest project began the moment we arrived: removing walls to create an open concept kitchen and family room. The original rooms, shown below, were long and narrow and shared a common wall.
It was exciting to open up the kitchen wall to reveal the family room's rustic stone fireplace. We relocated the kitchen along the back of the house and vaulted the ceiling to follow the existing roofline. Another wall was removed between the kitchen and dining room.
The finished rooms are exactly what I envisioned — a bright, open space where family and friends can enjoy cooking, eating and relaxing together.
We also carved out my studio from the closet-sized office and full bath/laundry room below. Combining these small spaces and vaulting the ceiling created a surprisingly roomy work space.
Chock full of my favorite things, this light-filled room is everything I hoped for in a studio, and more.
If you follow my blog, you know that these projects were just a few of what we did to revive our good-boned 1925 cottage. We renovated two bathrooms, replaced the roof, paved the driveway, refreshed the landscaping, installed new garage doors, refinished floors, removed menacing trees, tweaked the AC, heat and irrigation system and painted the deck, woodwork and every single wall.
Sounds crazy, right? Perhaps, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.