Category Archives: Color

Master & Commander

Construction is well under way at Whistle Haven but the dining room walls are not the only thing we have removed.  Nope. My goal is to completely update the feel of this 1979 house by replacing finishes and fixtures AND opening the space up.  So let’s talk kitchen.


From the beginning we knew we were going to change a good bit of the kitchen layout.  The existing cabinet layout wasn’t going to work because one of our goals was to open up the kitchen to the dining room and to the living room.  To do this we needed to almost completely remove the wall that the stove was on.

The doorway on the far left of the picture above leads to the living room and the space beyond the stove and counter leads to the dining room. Before any major demolition could be done though the granite counters and cabinets needed to be removed.

The house was listed as a foreclosure and for some strange reason the bank actually had new granite counters installed. So while black granite probably wouldn’t be my first choice for a counter it’s estimated that we have around $4000 in new counters that can be salvaged.  So even though the footprint of the kitchen cabinets will change we will be able to reuse the existing granite counters… saving us a good deal of money.

And like any interior designer I love a good challenge.  It’s been fun incorporating these black counters into our dream kitchen design.  But before we get to the dream kitchen part lets back up to the demo part.

We took down most of the cabinets ourselves. And by we I mean Michael Luke did most of the work and I helped in small ways like removing shoe molding and shooting videos of him hard at work.

And while it would have been fun to take a hammer or ax to those cabinets obliterating them from the wall we tried to keep them intact because they may find a new life in Michael Luke’s work room just off the garage.

So what will the new kitchen layout look like?  The new kitchen is going to become my command central for the house. From the spot where the sink is in the picture above I will have a view of both the front and back doors and all main living areas of the house.  Just call me Master & Commander (of the house).

Cabinets will span the entire wall of the kitchen with the sink and refrigerator remaining in the same place.  In front of the cabinets will be a nine foot long island with seating for six people  The island area will be our main seating area in the kitchen vs. the traditional stand alone table with chairs that would have been used in the previous layout.

The floor plan above shows the large cased opening that provide a clear view of the dining room and living areas.  Along with seating at the island in the kitchen we left a little room by the window for a small bistro table of sorts for Michael Luke and I to use in the mornings for our quiet times or breakfast together before the girls wake up.

Ok, so let’s take a look and see what a difference removing a wall can make.  Below is the original view into the kitchen from the living room.

And then we opened up the view by removing the wall all the way to the stairs!

Doesn’t it really open the space up?  And here’s the view from the kitchen looking into the living room from that same opening. Remember this was the wall that had the stove on it.

And here is my master and commander view of the downstairs. The picture is taken from behind where the new island will go.

And finally a look back at the opening into the dining room from the kitchen. 

So that’s pretty much where we are now with the kitchen. Michael Luke has completely removed the tile floor and now we are just waiting on the installation of flooring and then we can get to work installing the kitchen cabinets.  I’m so excited about all the finishes and can’t wait to go into details with you in another post.  In the meantime, tell me the one thing you would not leave out of your dream kitchen? For me it’s adequate storage for all my large counter top appliances like my VitaMix, InstantPot, and griddle.

 

 

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Avoiding Feeling Trapped

Oh, wow! This past weekend was exhausting.  After spending two days ripping up all the flooring downstairs I felt like my body was ready for a bikini contest.  I’m pretty sure I found muscles I didn’t even know I had… like upper back muscles and ab muscles on the side of my torso.

Michael Luke was in charge of ripping up the parquet and ceramic tile flooring with the stripper we rented for the weekend.  It totally cracked me up that we had a stripper in our house for the weekend!

 

My job was taking out load after load after load of flooring to the dumpster. This involved shoveling it into the wheelbarrow and then slinging large chunks of flooring in the dumpster a little at time.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never done so much physical labor in one day before.  Which probably explains why I feel like I should have a six pack of abs and sculpted arms by now.

 


Thankfully, we aren’t doing all this work on our own.  Over the past couple of weeks there have been construction guys knocking down and opening up walls left and right.  It’s amazing how in such a short time the house has transformed.

Whistle Haven was built in 1979. Apparently way back when you had guests over and the only room your friends might get to visit was your dining room because you had the ability to close the room off and leave them feeling trapped.

Originally there was a wall separating the entry from the dining.  Guests could then enter through the door into the dining room and there was another door that could close the kitchen off.

The bright side about a floorplan layout like this is that you didn’t have to spend hours cleaning the house for company to come over. Just straighten up the dining room and your ready to have friends and family over.
It wasn’t quite the look and feel I wanted Whistle Haven to have though so we opened up the walls on both sides of the room with over 10′ of encased openings!

I knew immediately the first day that I walked in and saw all this open space that Whistle Haven was going to be everything I envisioned in my head.

The dining room feels huge now… because it is. We have plans for a table that will seat 8-10 people!  In the coming weeks new flooring will be installed, walls finished and repainted, and new light fixtures added.  It’s going to be so much fun to look back and see how much our home has transformed over just a couple of months.

Later I’ll share what we’ve done to the rest of the house because this is just the beginning of gutting almost the entire downstairs of Whistle Haven.  In the meantime I want to hear what your favorite lighting for the dining room is.  Crystal chandelier? Faux candles on wooden beams? Sleek modern fixtures? Or long horizontal fixtures floating above the table?

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Demolition Dreams

We’ve had Whistle Haven for ten days now and we have accomplished some serious demolition.  The house already looks completely different than it did January 9th.  In the eyes of Noah and Esther the house is just a complete mess and they can’t for the life of them figure out why this looks like a better living alternative to our apartment.  In my eyes, it’s a dream come true. Everyday I walk into the house and see my vision for what Whistle Haven can be come closer and closer to being a reality.

I really wanted to share some demolition pictures today so you could see how much has already changed but I just spent most of the morning editing photos while the girls are at Mother’s Day Out and I’ve got to run to a lunch date with a friend.  I don’t want to leave you empty handed though so take a look at the floor plan I’ve drafted that shows what the downstairs will eventually look like.

 

Here’s a video walk through I did before we began any work…

and for fun ML did one with the girls. It’s pretty funny to see what they consider the highlights of the house.

I promise to be back next week with demolition photos and maybe even start sharing what we are thinking for finishes.  It’s been a little bit overwhelming for me but so much fun!  And I want you to enjoy it with us.

 

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