Kitchen Staging

Staging this house was a lot of fun. The room I loved staging the most was the kitchen. I went to Home Goods and Hobby Lobby and stocked up on things for the house. Hopefully the house will sell so I can use them in my own home! Anyway, I had seen another blogger make a lemonade station for the 4th of July and I thought it was very cute so I copied it and used it in the house for the month of September.

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The faux lemons and berries are from Hobby Lobby while the macarons, straws and cups are from Home Goods. The macarons were a prop so I just left them out and they got hard (side note, the expiration date on the Home Goods macarons was 2015…no thanks!)

When the weather turned colder I decided to swap out the lemonade station with a hot cocoa station.

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I got all the food at Kroger and I put it all out right before a showing. Well, it was those buyers who ended up putting in an offer for the house. Less than a week later, the home inspector came out to do the inspection on the home. Later that day I went over and several of the marshmallows were gone and one of the biscotti was also gone. WHO DOES THAT? I would NEVER eat something laid out on a kitchen counter of a total stranger’s home ESPECIALLY if I have been hired to provide a service and NOT as a guest.

But I digress.

I also got some faux cupcakes from Hobby Lobby and a cute cookbook from Half Priced Books and used those as a display.

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I’d love to use these displays in my own home for decor, but knowing my kids, they’d get hungry and try to eat the plastic cupcakes. Well, when the house is closed, I’ll pack it all up and wait for the next home to flip! I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess.

Shout out to my oldest daughter, Lauren, who’s antique Ball jar is being used as a cute vase!

Clos-Mahal

My friend Sara bought an old house and gutted it several years ago. When they got to where her closet was supposed to be she was completely underwhelmed. Sara is a clothes/shoe buyer extraordinaire.  She has more clothes than any person I know. The closet layout was not going to work for her. So, being the brilliant woman that she is, she came up with a brilliant idea! Her builder put in stairs heading down to the unfinished basement where her closet was going to be. Then, she finished off about half of the basement into her closet! This closet also boasted a cedar closet and a washer and dryer.

Whenever we wanted to be cheered up, we would go to her wonderland of a closet. It was amazing! So amazing that she named it “Clos-Mahal”.

Her closet inspired me to put in a second washer and dryer into our current home. I placed it in my closet and it is so convenient.  I’ll put up photos when our closet is totally finished.

In the house that we flipped, the master closet was shameful. It was no bigger than a closet for a child’s room. Then, there was a weird office off the master bedroom.

We decided to close the doorway to the office and knock out the wall between the closet and office and make one big closet, a la “Clos-Mahal”.

Then Dave and I designed a dream closet complete with vanity, built in drawers and a place for shoes. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Yeah, an office is nice but I wouldn’t want it off the bedroom so we combined the two rooms.

I love this closet.  It is so much bigger than mine. Maybe I should start looking at walls to knock down to get my “Clos-Mahal”. Just kidding, Dave.

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Entry Remodel

So, first impressions are kind of important.  And when I say, kind of…I mean REALLY.

I have to say that I am SO grateful that the first impression of my home (to other potential buyers) was NOT GREAT! Otherwise, someone else might have purchased MY home!

I wish I could find the before photos but I can only find the destruction photos.

The entry wall was ceiling to floor mirrors. It was hideous. The entry light was terrible and the only saving grace was the awesome front door.

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I know everyone is lamenting the fact that the pink will have to go. HA!

Let me say that taking mirrors down that have been glued and “pinned” to the walls was not the easiest thing I have ever done, however, taking a sledge hammer to them was BEYOND therapeutic.  Thanks, Elvis.

After the drywall workers had patched the walls, we painted them and I purchased an entry light that matched the light in the dining room from atgstores.com.

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I am so pleased with the flow of these three rooms, the entry, the dining room and the living room. They all flow beautifully. When two or more rooms flow together, I aim for continuity. I think furniture should be the thing that separates these rooms, not the paint or lighting. These should flow together.

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I am very, very happy with the before and after.

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Side note: Craigslist is awesome. The entry side table was purchased on CL. It was red-ish brown and ugly but I saw the potential. I silver leafed it and I LOVE it. More on silver leafing/gilding furniture later.

Fireplace and Windows Makeover

When we bought our home I knew from the minute I walked in that the entry/dining room/living room needed some WOW factor. Our house is split into four sections and when you walk in, those are the rooms you see. The focal point was a brick fireplace with windows on either side of it.  It was…meh.  As I mentioned earlier, I knew I wanted marble flooring in these rooms and the brick just didn’t look good with the marble.

Before:

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Floors being taken out:

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After the marble went in:

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When we replaced the windows in the house, I had a bit of a fight with Dave about these windows. I wanted doors. We have a lake you can see from the living room and the windows were just an invitation to look at the lake. Doors would be an invitation to go out to the lake. I wanted doors.

I won the argument and Dave ordered the awesome Pella doors.

I wan’t sure what I wanted for the fireplace remodel, I just knew I didn’t like the brick. I had many ideas and shared them with my carpenter. A good carpenter will tell you when your ideas won’t work. I had grand ideas that in hind sight, would not have worked. I am glad my carpenter pointed them out instead of just trying and THEN, when a lot of money was spent, telling me he couldn’t do it. So, I went on my go to sight, Houzz.com, and looked at hundreds of fireplaces. After looking, I narrowed it down to a few and showed them to my carpenter. From the photos I showed him, we were able to design a fireplace that would work with my current fireplace design as well as the wainscoting in the dining room. Remember, the dining room, entry and living room are right in the same area so I wanted consistancy.

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After the drawings were approved, the work on the fireplace remodel started.

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I chose to put the same marble around the fireplace as was on the floor. Again, I wanted consistancy.

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I was beyond happy! Then, it was painted and finished!

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I cannot wait to decorate it for Christmas!

Present:

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I think it’s a vast improvement!

Before:

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After:

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Renewing Vows in Alaska

During our remodel, Dave and I took a much needed and planned Alaskan cruise.

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary and renewed our vows. We made new friends (shout out to Henry & James getting married next month) and saw the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen.

IMG_8666 IMG_8675IMG_8676IMG_8677     I just wanted to write about renewing our vows. Ah, love!

We Got an Offer on our Remodel!

Update: The buyers decided to not move to Indiana. So, it’s back on the market.

Dave and I bought a home to gut and totally remodel. We finished it in about two months.

I wan’t sure I wanted to take on this house.  However, after boating over to it and approaching it from the back, I was sold.

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The home has four waterfalls, one acre, a beach area, new dock and newly drudged cove.

We had a lot of surprises during the remodel. Lack of insulation, lots of “DIY handyman specials” and cheap quality things.

Dave asked me, “Can we keep the kitchen intact?”

Me “Uh, hell, no!”

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It was too dark and the cabinets were cheap. The floor was awful and there was no island!! So. Much. Room. and no island!

I knew what kind of kitchen I liked because I had just finished my own kitchen remodel in our home, so I designed a dream kitchen for this house and the destruction ensued….

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If you aren’t sure what you like, I highly suggest going on Houzz.com and typing in what room you are redoing. How do you know what style you want unless you comb through hundreds of styles? In the past, I have decided on something I wanted without looking at different ideas. Not smart on my part. As soon as I would go to a friend’s home and see what style they had chosen for their home, I wanted to change what I had. My husband would roll his eyes and start grumbling.

After a few weeks, the custom white cabinets were in and ready to install. We had already replaced the laminate-woodish floors with hand scrapped hickory hard wood floors from ICC so the cabinets went right on top of the new floors.

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Then I got to pick out the granite. This beautiful granite is called super white and I got it from Majestic Stone Imports. They searched all over for it and found it in Ohio. This is the photo they sent me and I fell in love. Seriously, Bob and his crew at Majestic Stone are the best. I will use them for every project I have. I used this granite it in my current home and fell in love with it!

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It IS possible to swoon over a slab of granite! Because EVERY time I see the granite they have in their showroom, I swoon.

A few more weeks and the granite was installed and the finishing touches were added and the kitchen was finished!

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I used marble for the backsplash and had it done in a herringbone pattern.

This kitchen has more cabinet space than any kitchen I have ever owned.  I’m jealous of the soon-to-be owner!

Hope you like the before and after!

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What have we gotten ourselves into?

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Behold the dining room before photo.

I loved the ceiling and that’s about it.

One of the funnier things about this home was the windows. This house has SO MANY windows and only two opened. Yep. Only TWO opened.

They weren’t painted shut, they just didn’t open. So, if there was a fire, and you couldn’t use the doors, you had a choice of squeezing out the laundry room window and plummeting down onto the hill far below, or going upstairs to the only bedroom window that opened and jumping out and onto the hill. Either jump will more than likely break both of your legs. But hey, you won’t be in a flaming house, right?

This was definitely NOT code, so, we replaced every single window in the house.  That hurt. A LOT.

The dining room windows now open! Yay!

I didn’t like the chair rail or chandelier and I wanted something elegant for this room. I also hated having carpet in the dining room. By looking at photos of dining rooms on Pinterest and on Houzz I was able to  decide on a style for my dining room. Because three of my rooms, the dining room, living room and entry room. are all in the same area I wanted the three rooms to have the same style. I decided I wanted to go with a glamorous 1920’s Hollywood look.

I knew I didn’t like the current chair rail but wanted something on my walls. After combing through photos online, I decided I wanted tall wainscotting. I love how grand it looks!

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Then, I went on atgstores.com and picked out a glamorous dining room light.

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Next was the floor. I wanted marble floors with the black granite squares cut into them.  After hours of fighting with David at ICC floors about the price of installation because every piece of marble would have to be cut, we figured out a comparable design that would cost a LOT less.

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And voilà! Behold the after!

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New wainscoting, new chandelier, new paint and new marble floors. I went by Lowes and picked up a curtain rod and some white sheer curtains to complete the decor.

This was, by far, the easiest room to remodel in this house!

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I am really happy with the end result!

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Before the Remodel

When I found this home online, these were the photos that accompanied it.  Call me crazy, but I fell in love with it.  I saw past the “Elvis” and could see the bare bones and they rocked! I am married to a builder and we wanted a home we could remodel instead of building new. I love older homes. They have character that cookie cutter homes do not. I watched my friend, Sara, remodel a beautiful home and the ‘after’ was breathtaking.

This house we purchased had been on the market for a long time. It is very easy to look at a house and only see the negatives. But these older homes have such character and sometimes it only takes someone to imagine  what could be!

This was our first total remodel. Enjoy the before photos!

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Elvis has left the building.

I’ve got a blog!

I’ve had friends say that I should have a blog to show my before and afters with the homes we have redone, including our current home.

I’ve also had friends say I should have a blog to write my “Lucy-isms”.  I also want to blog about things I am passionate about. Like family, friends, and travel. I love clothes, too, so let’s see how this blog shakes out!

One of my favorite things about my current home is the view. Especially on nights like this!

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