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old house, new tricks

This 1960s house had what most old homes have - great bones, hardwood floors, a huge yard, loads of shade trees and lots of good memories. It also had a tiny kitchen, a choppy layout, really bad lighting and some mauve window treatments.

Yes, mauve.

But Sara and Tyler saw beyond the problems and focused on the solutions. In fact, they had their eye on this property for many months before it finally (FINALLY) went on the market right after they had already purchased their Plan B house. Most couples wouldn't consider making another major move after a few short months because that would be insane.


Sara and Tyler sold their newly purchased house and started immediately gutting their (other) newly purchased house, all while juggling three little boys, an old dog, a new puppy and a workload that requires lots of out of town travel.

The heavy lifting was done by 2HP, a general contractor who does phenomenal work. Together 2HP and Tyler and Sara mapped out how to vault the ceiling, remove the unnecessary walls and create form and function in the space. I was called in to handle the pretty-no-math-required stuff - which is my favorite stuff, for obvious reasons.

The kitchen was cut off from the house and boasted tired white appliances, oak cabinetry, laminate countertops and a truly frightening backsplash. Here's a peek:

kitchen before

kitchen | mid-demo

(also known among industry insiders and anyone who has lived through a renovation as When The Heavy Drinking Begins)

Kitchen | after

appliances | Sub-Zero Wolf

paint | peppercorn by sherwin williams

hardware | atlas

stools | Tyler bought these off of some today show segment the one time he was watching tv in the morning on a workday.

I'm not kidding. So then I went on the Today site to see what he was talking about and then I bought something.

(Damn you, Tyler)

Sitting Room & Sara's Non-Existent office before

You can't really see this area because it is the space that is taped off, but notice the little faces in the cutout and imagine the space behind the adorable boys as anything but adorable.

Sitting room and sara's new office

When I asked sara where her space was located, I received the confused look I ALWAYS receive from women.

But everyone deserves a space. ESPECIALLY the moms.

So we created this little oasis.

She now has her own desk and a cozy nook to read and recharge that includes a fireplace but doesn't include a tv (her one request).

mirror, desk and desk chair | target

frames, pillows and candles | ikea

artwork | locally sourced

tables | owner's collection

Living Room Before

This is after the ceilings were vaulted but before paint and decor.

Also, if you are doing a renovation and have the chance to vault your ceilings, vault your ceilings - please. Really. Please.

Living Room after

rug | RugsUSA

sectional | custom design

table | custom design

clock and blue fur chair that I LOVE | target

artwork | locally sourced

window coverings | custom

gray accent chair | crate & barrel

pillows | custom

fur throw | zgallerie

Entryway Before

Entryway After

Sara bought these prints years ago and they were the perfect addition to this space.

New lighting, paint and flooring brought it all together.

Old houses still have a few tricks up their sleeves, so don't give up on the home you want because we all deserve a little peace, love and happiness,

See you next time at The Neighbor's House!

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