First floor redo {week one}

I am going to do my best to keep this post concise, but I find my heart and emotions are stirred with each step as we rip out laminate flooring, scrape off popcorn ceilings, and hear the constant sound of the nail gun. You see, prior to moving into our interestingly laid-out 1982 home in suburbia Ohio, Brett and I sort of lived like gypsies. Well, that may sound extreme, but in a matter of 7 years we did live in 5 different places, and subsequently added a child on at every other stop. We journeyed from apartment to apartment, and somewhere in between even lived with Brett’s mom for a while. Towards the end of our gypsy era we lived in a townhouse for a couple years and settled. Having three kids and knowing we wanted another, we knew we had outgrown the townhouse. So, our house hunt began. After 10 months of constant searching, we found our unique home and purchased our first house! We stepped in the front door and our realtor said, “You could have 10 kids here!” Brett’s eyes lit up.;)It was SO evident it was constructed in the early 80′s (bless it’s little red cedar heart). From the red & black splash paint in the basement, to the kitchen wallpaper featuring cabins with smoke coming out of the chimney in heart shapes (seriously), we I insisted on spending the first 3 months doing a bit of “clean-up” before moving in. We knew down the road we would embark on the bigger stuff.

This kitchen redo is such a labor of love for us. My Brett is very good about handling finances (thank you Jesus for sending him into my life), and buying our home meant we had to be extremely frugal with our spending. Buying paint for rooms was about as far as our “home decorating” budget went. Interior design is something I LOVE, so this was something I just had to stifle for the time. I had major dreams of knocking out walls, evening up all the random flooring running around this crazy house, and just adding our own personal touches. One of my absolute biggest dreams was to have a nice kitchen for my hunky-chef-of-a-husband.

Surprisingly, soon after we bought this house something unexpected happened….I started a little photography business.:)  In my mind I thought, “I can make $50 here and there, and eventually buy a couple things for the house.” I was beyond thrilled. Things started going well with the biz, and the rest they say… history.

About 2 years ago I proposed the kitchen idea to Brett. He loved it, but the practical side of him gave me a budget to following a “mark” to reach before we ever took action. One day I called him over and showed him how I had surpassed “the mark” and I think I shocked the boy. We immediately began looking into all things kitchens. We also decided to redo the flooring on our first floor except for the carpeted living room. Would you believe our first floor had *5* different types of floors??? What was it with homes in the 80′s having tiny compartmentalized rooms that each had their own flooring? We spend so much time together as a family and really wanted a more open, flowing system here.

A little over a week ago, our project began!!

Brett believed in me and my crazy dream of starting a business….he supported me, and I am so proud to be able to take some of our earning to now reinvest into something that he is so passionate about. Cooking. Who knows….perhaps his dream will come true and he can cook for a living someday!

Our friends Lee and Wes of Allen Construction are handling the job. They are so kind and patient with my kids who want to “help.” I cracked up when the first day they began, I walked in the room to see my boys all working!

Goodbye orange tile! Goodbye parquet! Goodbye brown linoleum!

Hellooooo beautiful distressed Hickory!!

Gail (safety girl), it is splintery free. Promise.;)

Here is a before shot of the divider wall. Behind it is a little office turned storage-pile room….

Wall being deconstructed on left…..on  the right is the little odd room I mentioned that unfortunately became an easy “catch-all.”

Annnnd, it’s gone! The kitchen is SO much more open!!

On that wall we had been recording all of our heights over the years, and the guys sawed the wall to SAVE it for us!!!:)

“Priya! What do you think of our wall being gone?”

Next wall to go…..quite the famous wall on this blog.

Time to say goodbye!

The other side of the wall was our kids junk closet.

Wall down. It was freaky how open it looked at first, but also so junky in our living room that I will make you wait for the final shot. ;)

The neighborhood kids came in to see the progress. Their little jaws dropped! It’s so cute seeing and hearing all their perspectives. Most of them have spent the majority of their lives here, so the changes are HUGE!

Thanks for following along with us. Expect more updates to come. This week our kitchen is being gutted and the flooring will be completed!

Here’s to sanity in the midst of living under drywall dust with 4 kids! Cheers. ;)

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July 18, 2011 - 12:43 pm

Betsy - So exciting!!! Congratulations to you for following your heart and making dreams come true for you!!! Love ya!!!

July 18, 2011 - 12:51 pm


Cannot wait to see the rest! Love to see how much you two have saved for those, wanted it for so long. I know it’s going to live up to your dreams!

July 18, 2011 - 1:12 pm

Maggie - Now I am excited to visit for two reasons….to see all your beautiful faces AND to see your new house!!!! YAY

July 18, 2011 - 7:58 pm

Alyson Gawrych - I LOVE THE HICKORY FLOORS!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!! GREAT PICK!!!!!!!!!

July 19, 2011 - 4:52 am

nelly - I love your new floor ! So existed to see the rest.

July 20, 2011 - 7:38 am

Amber - This is great!! Can’t wait to see the finished product!!

July 20, 2011 - 3:15 pm

melanie - dude i cant even wait to see the finished result. oh, and adam wants to marry your floor.

July 22, 2011 - 1:49 pm

Lauren - Loved that you saved the height section of the wall! Perfect home decor for a different room!

July 28, 2011 - 3:10 pm

Uncle J - can’t wait to see the finished product in person.
what are you going to do with the wall height section? i’m sure you’ll think of something i’ll think is rad.

August 12, 2011 - 4:47 pm

Donna - Love those floors…can’t wait to see the rest!!!

September 15, 2011 - 10:35 am

first floor redo {week nine!} | studio3z photography :: Cincinnati Wedding Photographers :: Destination Wedding Photographers - [...] It’s been a couple months since I’ve updated about our kitchen and first floor home redo. If you follow my twitter or facebook, then you have seen pictures from my phone along the way. If you missed part one, click here to get caught up!  [...]

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