This is old news. Almost one year ago, we packed up our things from our Springville house and left our first home. It was horrible. I thought my heart would break into a thousand pieces. Can anything compare to your first home? Jayson and I had spent practically all our married days there. We brought all three of our children home to that house. We met the most amazing people--seriously some of the best in the world. Springville was such a fun community. We loved living downtown and the ease of walking to the library or going out to eat. It was the perfect place for us.
But, it was time to go. So we moved into my parents house while they would be gone for a year and a half. It was so kind of them to let us stay there. While we felt comfortable there, we never quite felt like it was home. So with my parents encouragement, we started looking at houses. There were many contenders, but it always felt like Jayson and I were looking at two different ends of the spectrum. We couldn't quite find one that we both could agree upon.
One day I found a house online that looked promising. We looked at it and we both knew; it was the perfect compromise for both of us. We closed on it the beginning of August 2012.
The house was in amazing shape, and it was obvious that the previous owner had taken very good care of it. However, there were some things that needed some updating and some personalizing...and some kid proofing! Everything was 100% livable, but Jayson and I both felt that if we had a great opportunity to do some work while not having to be living in it.
Some family and friends have asked to see photos of what we've done, so with some caveats I'll indulge them. I'm not a designer or decorator or stylist or professional blogger or photographer. This is our house and we live here and lots of times it's messy. My photos mostly don't do it justice. But if you want to see it in person, you're welcome to come over any time. Seriously.
This is the exterior of the house. We live on a pretty sleepy street. We don't have neighbors behind us--just the high school. The lots on either side of our house are empty. Many of our neighbors are the original home owners. Our house was built in 1972 and had one owner.
Come on in! Lets start in the kitchen!
The kitchen had recently been redone, and we did virtually nothing to it. We repainted, only so it would match the paint in the adjoining rooms.
We love the built in banquette and mahogany table. We eat almost every meal here. My kids think the banquette is a trampoline. But, it feels comfortable whether you're eating with a small group or a large one.
Maybe not this large. At least it seats a lot, right?
Our stove is fantastic. I couldn't have asked for a better one. The oven is gigantic and so far we've only cooked in it once. The oven next to it is the real workhorse. That's a microwave above it.
I have a pantry. This is so much larger than the cupboard I had in Springville.
I make a lot of magic on that island there. I hope my kids always remember sitting up there and making bread together.
The view out my kitchen window is amazing. Beautiful trees and the mountains just behind them.
So moving on from the room we barely touched to the room we gutted--the living room! This room is incredible. It has floor to ceiling windows and a seriously breathtaking view. It looks out onto an aspen tree grove, which makes you feel like you're in the mountains. This is how the room looked when we saw the house. It's not easy to see, but the walls are all covered in a textured wallpaper.
There were a total of four lights in this whole room. Jayson and I are lightophiles--we love can lighting so much. So the first thing on our list was to put in can lights. Because of the clearance between the ceiling and the roof, we could only put in 4 inch cans instead of 6 inch. We ended up putting in over 30 lights in this room.
We wanted a more open feel, so we took out the railing between the stairs and the fireplace and extended the stairs all the way across.
The carpet was a really high quality, most likely very expensive wool Berber. But it was white. In the adjoining dining room and hallway, we knew that wouldn't work for our little kids. So we decided we wanted to put wood down in those high traffic areas.
But as we started pulling up that carpet, we found something really discouraging. Lots and lots of dog pee. The smell wasn't very strong when we first started working in the house, but it got worse and worse every day. The carpet couldn't stay, and not just in the dining room.
Here are some during construction shots. Can you see why we wanted more light?
Railing removed and stairs being framed in.
We discovered as we peeled back the wallpaper that the walls had never had any kid of texture on them. So we had to bring in some sheet rockers to put a little mud on the walls. This was so so so very dusty.
We heard so many opinions about flooring. So many people said to put in engineered wood because our climate is too dry, but Jayson was set on solid hardwood. I thought I wanted walnut. I thought it was gorgeous and classy. But it just didn't quite seem right. We were at our 5th store looking at flooring when we saw the hickory. Hickory isn't a flooring you see very often, but it was perfect for the living room. It gave it a rustic feel while being rock solid. It's almost impossible to scratch, it's so hard. But if you do, it's an oiled floor so you just put a little of their oil on it and it looks as good as new.
Here is the mostly finished room. The room is so large and we had no furniture for it. And we were pretty much out of money after remodeling. It was empty for several months. When we started acquiring things, they were almost all bought from the classifieds--the rugs, the sectional, the piano, the coffee table.
I asked a designer for some help with the layout. We really wanted to be able to look out on the spectacular view, and we wanted to be able to sit by the fireplace. She suggested two areas--one with couches or sectionals and another with four chairs.
She said she had seen someone who did four chairs, and that it made for a really comfortable conversing area. I would have never thought to do this, but it has made a lot of sense and has actually been a great area for that.
We really need some sort of coffee table. Jayson wants a big stump. I say great, as long as it's big enough for us to play board games on. Also needs pillows or something to make it feel a little less like a hotel lobby.
I love our sectional. We found it on ksl in a storage unit in Clearfield. It has a few scratches, but otherwise was in really great shape. It's a restoration hardware full grain leather sectional. It is monstrously deep. It is ridiculously comfortable. I dare you to sit in it and not fall asleep. The Eames chair was a gift from my sister with impeccable taste.
The rugs we found in someone's basement. They had collected over 30 Persian rugs and were looking to downsize. The rugs were all in a heap, so it was a little bit of a guessing game of their overall size, condition, pattern, etc. But the price was right, and we loved the worn feel of the rugs.
We painted the whole room Benjamin Moore Plaster of Paris. It is a very neutral color. We didn't want the walls to be overstated in this room. We really wanted the star of the show to be the view. However, we need art. Lots of art. We are very new to this scene and are still trying to figure out where to start.
That blanket is a Pendelton Wool blanket. I've wanted one forever, and Jayson gave it to me for Christmas. It's gorgeous and so warm.
The adjoining dining room still needs some love. It is currently filled with tables and chairs from J Dawgs. It works for now. We put 8 can lights in this area, removed wall paper then mudded and painted, and installed the hickory flooring. We also echoed the paint from the entryway onto the ceiling. We changed the railing, but I'll get there in another post.
I love having the stairs go all the way across. I hope this is a stage for many family talent shows.
The piano was a great find. It's added so much to our room. Jayson plays all the time for us, and when he can't...the piano plays for us.
The best part of this room is the view. I think everyone should experience a sunset from our living room. These photos are all taken on different days.