upstairs plans—bedrooms

Are you overwhelmed with our project list yet? I am. And I'm not finished. Next up, the girls' bedrooms. They are highlighted in yellow:

Since I made this layout we've made a few changes to our plan. When we upgraded to a king bed, we swapped out the guest mattresses and were planning to get rid of the oldest of the queen mattresses we owned. Instead, we decided to keep them all and use one in Eva's room. We moved the other twin bed back in Sarah's room (so she has two beds in her room. Great for sleepovers, right?) Sarah's room below:


1. With two twin beds the flow is a little tight around her closet, so I am considering removing the doors and just putting curtains up. I would dress the two windows with the same curtains. I neglected to catch the window in my photos, but there is a large one on the left, making this such a great light and bright bedroom. (You can see other views from before we moved in here.)

2. The old original blue carpet will go and I want to put in white stained pine floors.

3. We will scrape popcorn off the ceiling, paint, and update the trim.

4. Looking back toward the door you can see the sink. I want to take this out. I'm not really a fan of having water in the bedroom, and I could use this space for a desk later. 

This is Eva's room:

5. Same routine: new flooring (also white pine), new paint, scraped ceiling, and new trim.

6. Must have a new light fixture for this room. The ceiling fan must go. Its low enough to bump your head on.

7. And I NEED to get window treatments sooner rather than later. The morning sun wakes Eva up much too early for this momma.

8. I removed the doors on the lower part of the built-ins, but after living with it, I think I might put them back on again for a cleaner look. (More images here).

I already mentioned that we put a queen bed in this room. I purchased a quilt for it that will be the basis for her entire room design. I can't wait to show you—someday! The brown chair won't stay. Tom has laid claim on it (though I'm not sure where it will go?) once I am done using it to rock the baby. 

upstairs plans—laundry room and bathroom

Our laundry room and main bathroom are highlighted in the layout below:

I love the laundry room and how conveniently located it is, but there are a few things that will improve its functionality. 

1. First, we need to repair the ceiling and walls that were damaged from leaks before our roof was replaced.

2. As in the kitchen, I want to remove the soffit in here too. Then I can move the cupboard over above the sink, and move the hanging bar over the washer/dryer. Currently when I hang clothes to dry (mostly jeans), they hang too low and get in the way of the sink. 

3. I will reuse the cabinets in here, but I want to give them a clean coat of white paint and dress them with new hardware.

4. We purchased a new front load washer/dryer when we moved in, so I want to build a new counter over them, mostly to prevent things from falling down between or behind the appliances.

5. Having a sink here is great, but this one is covered in years of hard water scum. I want to replace both the sink and faucet.

6. The other side of the room has great storage, but I would like to make some small adjustments. My Grandma had a sewing table here, but I would rather sew elsewhere and fill this space in with some open shelves to store laundry baskets. 


The main bathroom is another high priority project, but it might not be high enough to trump the Master bath and kitchen.

1. Flooring. The red shag carpet is already gone, and now it looks like this:

But we did buy the cheapest piece of vinyl we could find as a temporary solution because the long term plan is to lay tile on the floor in this room.

2. We also removed the shower doors. I would love love LOVE to have a claw foot tub in here. Since they are a teensy weensy bit over budget, I must search high and low for a vintage one I can have resurfaced. Please, please help me?

3. For the vanity I want to find a vintage dresser or credenza to convert.

4. And, of course, painting, trimming, and popcorn ceiling scraping. 

5. New vanity light fixture and mirror. I think I will actually keep the ceiling fixtures in here and just paint the metal black. Or reuse them in the hallway and buy a new fixtures in here.

If only because I need lots of time to scout for things for this bathroom, its a good thing it is further down on the priority list. It can't be too far down, however, because tile has started to fall off the counter top. And the toilet leaks. 


upstairs plans—living room

The kitchen and Master bath projects I've already outlined will make the rest seem like a cake walk. In this post I will share what we plan to do in our living room, which is mostly just cosmetic.

First, the living room area is highlighted in yellow:

You have seen the living room before, but these photos are of what it looks like currently with our own furniture:

This room presents some layout challenges. Maybe I'll share that another day and get some feedback.

For now, first on the list:

1. Flooring. This wool carpet is in the best shape of all the carpet in the house (except the bit that is patched under the piano leg), but it is also original to the house and I think it is ready to retire. I would like to put hardwood in this room—the same hardwood that we would lay in the den and master bedroom.

2. Window treatments. What does a person do on windows this big? Obviously the treatments that are there were quite pricey to install. There is lighting behind the cornice piece even. I am leaning toward simple roller solar blinds—something that won't impede the view—and going without curtains.

3. Strip wallpaper and paint. And this is the hard kind of wallpaper to remove. It will be a job. We also intend to scrape the popcorn off the ceiling in every room and replace the trim. (Much of the trim needs replaced or patched anyway because the heat registers were removed and left gaps.)

4. On the back wall in the photo above I would absolutely love to have a whole wall of built in bookcases, with cupboards on the bottom to store games.

5. Leading back into the bedrooms, we already removed a bookcase that was sticking out (before, left) to open up the traffic flow so it could go behind the seating area rather than through it.

6. I would like to replace the sconces you see above. The lighting on the other side behind the cornice will have to be removed. It isn't pretty enough to be exposed, and there isn't enough room for sconces above the window. Therefore, I will have to have another light source in this room. Lamps on switches, perhaps? Can lights? I know they say overhead lighting in a living room is not ideal . . .

I should mention that I haven't done much in the way of decorating yet, aside from hanging a few random things on hooks that already existed.

7. The fireplace would look (and be) fabulous with a new gas insert. It isn't operable at the moment. It has a gas (or propane) log in it currently, but there is a leak that makes it unsafe to use. 

Wow. Listing it all out like that makes it sound a little more complex than I thought. One thing at a time, right? 


upstairs plans—master bedroom

I mentioned yesterday that the kitchen project is my top priority upstairs (because we use it so heavily, and because I can't stand the carpet), but this project would be a close second—the master bedroom.

It is highlighted in yellow on the floor plan:

As you can see in the before plan, you can look right in to the Master bedroom from the front door of the house. I don't know about you, but I don't make my bed first thing every day, and I really don't need the UPS knowing that. So that leads us to our first project:

1. Relocate the door to the Master bedroom. Actually, there is already a second door to the room from the den, but it too narrow for a main door so it will need to be widened.

Here is a closer look at the layout:

There is nothing final about this floor plan. This is just my first attempt at a possible layout. But it illustrates the changes I would like to make:

2. Instead of just sealing off the main Master door, I would like to incorporate a powder room in that area. Currently guests have to travel through the living room to the back of the house where the main bathroom is located. It would be lovely to have a place inside the front door for guests to use the bathroom without having to walk through the whole house and for the guys to wash up before dinner.

This photo shows the bedroom before we moved in:

These built-in his and her closets and drawers are cool, but much smaller than the walk-in we had in Utah. We have been storing off-season clothes in another closet—something that requires work every season to change out. I'm not very good at keeping up with that.

This next photo shows the double entrances into the room—one from the front hallway and one from the den.

And this is what it looks like currently. We upgraded to a king-size bed shortly after moving, which we had wanted to do for a long time but didn't quite have the space for. That left us without a bed, however, so we have mattresses on the floor. 

3. Buy (or build) a bed.

4. The carpet is original and really worn. I would like to replace it with hardwood.

Here is the Master bath in all its glory.

As you can see from the layout, it is a very awkward shape. The storage is shy around the sink and there is no electrical outlet right next to the sink.

There is only room for a very small corner shower, and the toilet is an old wall-mounted water hog.

So . . .

5. Peel wallpaper and repaint. Or just knock down some walls. Ahem.

6. Move the back wall of the den forward and annex the old dark room into the Master bath space.

7. Somehow squeeze one beautifully tiled shower, toilet room (I'd love to have a separate door for the toilet—the best way to share a bathroom with your spouse), double sink vanity, and walk-in closet into the newly expanded space. Do you think we can do it? 

upstairs plans—kitchen/dining room

Next on my upstairs house tour (along with my plans/hopes for renovations) is the kitchen and dining room.

Here it is on the layout, highlighted in yellow:


Here is what we want to tackle, and not necessarily in this order:

Project #1. Replace cabinetry. The cabinets aren't in the best shape (slightly askew in some places) and are quite outdated, so I think keeping them is our least favorite option. Especially when I have a dad who is talented at building. I would just do new doors except we are planning a bit of a layout change.

The windows you see here I will probably leave bare. I like to keep them as wide open as possible and not impede the view or sunlight. After living here nearly a year I haven't lowered the pink blinds on these windows one time. (I did finally remove the floral valances though.)


2. Remove the peninsula and overhanging cabinets and add an island. There is maybe barely enough room for this, but this layout change is critical to fixing one major problem—the corner sink. When you are standing at the sink, you can't open the dishwasher very well. To get the dish soap out from under the sink, you have to close the dishwasher, grab the soap, and open the dishwasher again. It is almost impossible to have 2 people work at the sink at the same time. The sink and dishwasher would go in the island.

3. The overheads between the stove and window would be replaced with open shelves to house everyday dishes. That spot would be right across from the dishwasher and closest to the table.

4. Remove the overhead soffits. My Grandma was much shorter than I am and probably loved the low hanging cabinets. But they drive me crazy. (Oh, and the floral wallpaper border will have to come down with it. Bummer.)

P.S. If floral wallpaper is your taste, I apologize for the sarcasm. By now you probably know my tastes are slightly more modern, but I have nothing against floral wallpaper in your house.

5. No more carpet! Enough said.

6. Remove the overhead florescent fixture and add more can lights.

7. Include 2 ovens, either with double wall ovens and a separate cook top or a range with 2 ovens. Any tips on that? Who wouldn't love an extra wide commercial range—but whoa. Have you seen the prices on those?

8. Someday I would like to replace the windows on the other side of the peninsula and put patio doors there for access to a future patio. It would be perfect for harvest dinners and dining alfresco.

9. Remove the secretary in this corner (above) and use this space either for a pantry cupboard or refrigerator (depending on what I do with the ovens). Having a desk in the kitchen can be awesome, but this one is a clutter magnet and we never actually sit at it or use it as a desk.

10. The fireplace will pretty much stay as is, but I would love to get a gas insert on both sides. (It also opens to the living room on the other side.)

11. This odd little nook off the kitchen is where I would like to relocate the kitchen desk to. It isn't as useful as it could be right now, and being just off the kitchen it would allow a desk without taking precious kitchen real estate. I would have upper and lower cabinets to match the kitchen and a counter for my computer. We will need to wire power to this area for that but also because I would like to store the farm radios here (behind closed doors. Sorry, but they aren't the prettiest decor) and other various chargeables. The cabinets would house my cookbooks, phone books, school schedules, calendars, etc.

This is another view of the kitchen. This one was taken after we moved in with our Stainless Steel fridge.

12. I know a lot of people are over stainless appliances now, but I still think they are sleek and polished. I plan to replace the oven and microwave (the old ones will go in the basement kitchenette) with stainless. The dishwasher won't show so much behind the island and it works pretty well, so I may just keep it for now, or see if I can replace the front panel with a stainless panel.

This next photo is looking from the kitchen into the dining area.

And this is what it looks like now with our table in it.

The swing is long gone. The baby stays. Although that baby is almost a toddler now!

13. These sliding glass doors will have to be replaced because they don't seal well, despite the layers of weather stripping we've added.

14. The light fixtures are pretty swanky, but we will replace them with something more modern, of course. The fixture above the table needs to be centered.

And another view:

15. The built in china hutch is going to stay. It was built by my Grandma's father and given to them as a wedding gift. I think it looks great as is, but I am contemplating refinishing it to a slightly darker color* to better match everything else. And I may put new hardware on it. Thoughts? It would probably make sense to finish everything else and then evaluate.

16. New window treatments. I did finally take the lace curtains down because there was a shade under them, but the floral curtains remain because I haven't decided what to replace them with.

*Overall, I am going through what I call a "de-yellowing" process. Everything from the woodwork to the walls and trim has yellow undertones that was so popular in the seventies. I tend to like things more neutral/gray or with green undertones (like the fireplace). The yellow/orange woodwork might not look quite right when I get walls painted and introduce new kitchen cabinets and flooring.

That's it for the kitchen and dining room. Lofty plans, yes. I'd like to start here this coming winter because it impacts the flooring and that carpet has. to. go.

upstairs plans—entry/den

Although we aren't finished with our punch list in the basement yet, and we are in the thick of doing yard projects, I still can't help daydreaming about tackling the upstairs. I've made lots of plans and formed lots of ideas, so I've decided its time to share them with you.

I used the handy free tool to create a before and after layout to show you. The entry area that I am going to show you first is highlighted in yellow.

First, lets enter through the front door.

Project #1: Replace this (and every) exterior door. The windows also need replaced in the entry area. I'm thinking a black or very dark brown door with lots of glass. Either one door with sidelights or perhaps a double door.

2. Paint all exterior trim dark brown.

3. Replace exterior soffit lights. (You can't see them here but believe me—they need it. Some of them are even held together with electrical tape!) However, these by the door I think I'll keep. I want to paint the metal black, or oil-rubbed bronze.

Next, we will step inside the door. (The next few photos were taken before we moved in.)

4. I want to tile the entry, down the hall into the laundry room, and the kitchen/dining room.

5. The planter is going away—sorry. It is a crucial part of my plan to move the back wall of the den and expand the master bath area. We need the real estate for the den area. That, and having a giant planter in your house is so—well, seventies.

To the right, you have the hallway to the garage. (The door on the left enters the Master Bedroom).

6. Although the storage is great, I want to take these closets out and make a bench with hooks above to store all the paraphernalia that lands inside the front door as we come and go. The refrigerator will stay. Having two refrigerators around here is mandatory when the only hit the grocery store once a week and often feed a whole crew.

Looking back the other way toward the den/office:

7. You will see that it is covered in paneling. If I were bent on preserving the midcentury appeal of this house I would keep it, but I'm not so it will go. I would like to have a desk and built in bookcases along the back wall.

8. I'd like to keep the light fixture, however, and the sconces in the hall. I also want to paint the metal black on these.

9. The floor will be hardwood, which will continue on into the bedroom.

10. As I mentioned before, the door to the darkroom (left on the back wall) will be sealed off and the that entire wall will probably move forward (see layout). My Grandma was a photographer, so the dark room has a sink and shelves in it. I think it is really awesome that they had a dark room, but it is obviously unnecessary now in the digital era.

11. There will likely be a pillar or two to define the space (and support?) and the flooring will be different, but the half-walls will be gone.

Here is another look at the den with our own stuff in it.

12. This furniture is now downstairs in my craft room, so in addition to the built-in desk and bookcases along the wall, I would like to find or build a desk/conference table and buy a couple of slipper chairs to use here for our farm meetings.

This photo looks down the hall toward the basement stairs and laundry room.

13. I would like to find a different solution for those closet doors. I would love a sliding barn type door, but if I do sliding doors they will need to overlap because there isn't enough wall on either side of the closet for them to slide out. Any ideas?

***Edit: I forgot to mention peeling wallpaper and painting—but maybe that's a given?

And finally, just for reference, this is looking from the back of the den toward the front door. The door to the left enters into the Master bedroom.

Up next, the kitchen and dining room.