The powder bath

The powder bath next to the kitchen  – no doubt – was in need of some new paint.


But also this hanging cabinet above the toilet looked quite threatening to me. It made this tiny space look so crowded. And who would need to store 1001 toilet paper rolls in there anyway?

The next hallway closet is just oustide this door. So bye, bye cabinet and also bye bye vanity.


You know what? In the end we took out the toilet, too. So we need to start from scratch in this little space.

Including new towel racks, TP holder and lights! Classic domino effect!



With no particular plan in mind we happend to find our favorite sink, a vessel sink. It was a floormodel and it was on sale! Since progress makes us feel good we took it right with us and drove it around in the trunk of the car, all day long!



The floors are gone

We were going back and forth what to do with the floors. The downstairs hardwood was still fine and first we tried to find a matching wood to complete the masterbedroom and the office with the same tone. During the process we learned that the wood color as well as plank width is already retired. To add some value to the house we decided to go for new hardwood on both floors, except the stairs. This will be a different story. The stairs need to be funky!

bloga4So the old floors had to go: (also you see my naked kitchen island again…)

The window frames

The window frames had this very ornate frames. The subdivision is famous for the houses with all these custom additions.

Those frames bothered me already when I saw them for the first time on the real estate listing. Since I have not seen them in person yet (my husband checked out the house and I agreed via Skype) I was not sure how easy (as in cheap) it would be to change them. I was afraid of the domino effect during the renovation process. One thing leads to the other and the next and the next and then even more…- all cost related, of course!


We opted to tweak the windows a little to make them more sleek, more clean lined. And of course changed the color. In this picture there is still a little something missing in the middle part, but you get the idea…


The banister

This is the kind of banister which you find in so many houses around suburbia – they all look the same. Since we did not want to spend the money to change the design we opted for a new color combo.



We picked “Black” by Benjamin Moore and were very happy with the first testing.




Now in the middle of our painting feast – it looks like this:



paint, paint, paint

It was clear from the beginning that we had to repaint the whole house.

I mean – the WHOLE house!

Not only walls, but also trim, baseboards, doors, windows, but also all cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms, livingroom, office and also all the shelves in the closets.

After a trip to Benjamin Moore we came back with 6 samples and had the painter paint swatches on walls and drawers. All 6 of them were a miss!

So back we went the next day and got 6 more – and – we were happy to make a decision.


White, white, white – but which one????


We do not want to have too many different colors, so the cabinets will be either white like the walls or one of two warmer grey tones.


We are going with flat paint for the walls, except eggshell for the bathrooms. All the wood is going to be semi gloss. And we are very happy with that decision so far…

Bye bye built-ins

I don’t like built-ins at all but I am totally aware that others could not live without them. This is our project, so these had to go…


It gives this room so much more flexibility – and of course space. I imagine a combination of office with a lounge-like feel. I guess in its former life this room had been a kind of man cave with focus on media – the new life is going to be a more cosy and relaxing one. I call it The Retreat.



The naked kitchen island

This is the “before” island. Uneven shape with round and cut corners and an overhang on one side that does not really make sense there. Since we are changing the hardwood floors anyhow I was flexible enough to change the whole island.


First I wanted to have the cooktop on the other side to just gain a better view into the open living room and backyard while cooking. The old version had the cook stare at the kitchen cabinets only.

Then I found the shape a little odd and asked the carpenter to straighten it and to move the doors for the pots and pans to the other side also. We ordered a new cooktop, we ordered a new countertop. We had lots of ideas…

One day while discussing the endless alterations with the carpenter, we decided to just take it out completely and start all over again…



Now this is my drawing for the new version. I wanted it to look totally different than the rest of the cabinets. I will probably have it painted a different color than the other cabinets using a very shiny gloss.

Thinking kitchen island, I want something really out of the box. We will see… it starts like this. My husband calls it a naked island.

…and of course it needs to say “flush” not “flash” in my little drawing…



The kitchen will also need all new

– appliances

– countertops

– backsplash

– paint on walls and cabinets

– sink and faucet

– hardware.

I picked the counters, the paint colors, sink, faucet and backsplash during my last stay.

The appliances are also ordered.

The island completion and the hardware will be on my next to-do list.

choosing the hard word floors

This took us very long, since we had a greyish brown in mind. Finally after browsing many, many samples our son found THE ONE.


I highly recommend asking your installer to order a full box of wood to be able to see it in a larger scale than the usual sample.  He can always return it if you changed your mind and it helped us a lot to feel more comfortable with our color choice.

Since we are redoing the floors anyhow I was finally very flexible with taking out a few built in cabinets I wasn’t fond of. It opens up so many more options…more decisions..

Since this is a remote remodeling project I am planning on flying over again for the installation of the floors end of november. Then I hope to  make the final decision on the carpet for the stairs.

But you never know with a renovation process. Plans and hopes can change…