Ahhhhh. Built ins. I’ve been looking forward to doing a project like this. It’s the perfect way to make your home look more customized and also increase the value. I’ve been dreaming of built ins in our living room since we moved in. I knew it would be the perfect thing to add to the long, empty wall in the family room once the wall came down.
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In our post around the holidays, I talked a little bit about how we took a trip down to Charleston, and I stopped by our old house! I was so curious about how they’re living there now after all of the work we did to it, but unfortunately, I chickened out and didn’t knock on the door or anything.
WELL, my dreams just came true. Thanks to our old neighbor and friend (hi Jess!) who alerted us that our house was up for sale again! I also ended up getting a “listing report” email from Zillow, as I’m still the “claimed owner” for that address, as in, I can go in there and make changes to the details of the property. I have no idea why the new owners haven’t claimed it yet. Oh well, more of a scoop for me 🙂
To give you a little bit of background, my job was moving us down to South Carolina in 2013, and we were looking for a bit of a project house. We were pretty sure at the time that we weren’t going to stay there long term, so we figured why not buy a project house, get some more renovation experience under our belts, and maybe make some money while we were at it. The cost of living in SC is a bit lower than DE, so we decided to look really low on our budget. We wanted to buy a house that we could put a 20% down payment on, to make life a bit easier.
Well, we ended up with this beauty?
You saw our master bedroom in our last blog post a few weeks ago, and how we haven’t really touched it in 2 years since we bought the furniture.
The wall behind the bed has been looking pretty empty, especially since it’s still “white” from the last owners. I was eyeing up things to hang above the bed for awhile, but could never really decide on anything. Art maybe? A mirror? I decided to look back on my Master Bedroom board on Pinterest and remembered that I liked a lot of looks that had windows or mirrors behind the lamps.
We went over a month without blogging, which was definitely not the plan. Life got in the way, we were having so much holiday fun, visiting friends and family, and even taking a trip back down to Charleston, SC (I even stopped by our old house!… yes, the door was still yellow!) Here’s a beautiful shot from before we moved out because the one I sneaked and posted on Instagram of it when we were there was total CRAP. BUT, it did spark an interesting little conversation about whether or not you would go inside one of your old houses, whether asking to go in yourself, or being invited. What would you do? I was too scared!
Check out this hunk.
Now, that picture right there, is going straight into his senior yearbook 😉 Sorry bud, just paying it forward.
I got this Step2 Buggy from our local Facebook Resale page for $5 last year. This boy LOVES it. We take the dogs for a walk after dinner every night and he loves driving his car around the neighborhood. In fact, “a car!” has become one of his favorite phrases, as he insists on pointing out ALL of the cars on the road, and making all of the car sounds. Best $5 I’ve ever spent.
Well, we finally feel like we’re at a point where we don’t think we’ll be changing much more in the office/playroom. Dare I say this room is “done”? Well, it’s done… for now.
Here is what we were looking at when we moved in:
And here’s what we have now:
David and I have become avid art collectors, if you didn’t know. Fine art in particular:
And we feel the need to put it on display for the world to see, just so we can brag about it. 😉
How cute is that? The room that we chose for the office/playroom has a ton of wall space, so I thought it would be the perfect place to put it.
Since the load bearing wall removal is finally complete and now we’re just working on the furnishing and room design, I figured I’d do a post summarizing all of the posts and work we’ve done over the past few months. Plus, I like being organized and having things in one place, much to the annoyance of my husband, but who still reaps the benefits of this trait anyway.
We started with this mess of a never used room:
And are now here, to a beautiful, open, family room:
For the last few details of the wall removal posts, we just wanted to go through some of the finishing touches on the room. Starting with the electrical and recessed lighting:
The room is pretty large, and we knew it would be our main gathering area in the evenings after dinner. It’s so large though, that for it to be properly lighted, we would have had to have way too many lamps, and I knew that just one ceiling light on each side wasn’t going to cut it. We wanted some lighting that was soft (cue a dimmer!) but lit the area evenly and well, so we (I, haha) decided on recessed lighting. The rest is David’s department, so I’ll let him do the talking:
We didn’t realize how many decisions we had to make on the recessed lighting in the room. How many? What size? How far from each other? How far from the walls? How far from the beam? Should we treat the room as one huge room and space evenly, ignoring the beam? Or is it two separate rooms? It was a lot more difficult than we expected. There is so much conflicting advice online. One thing became pretty clear though, since the beam is not exactly in the center of the room, ignoring it to space the lights would have looked very strange. One row of lights would have been very close to the beam.
This would have been an easier job if I weren’t particular about our flooring. There I go, making things difficult again. 🙂 The existing wood flooring in the formal living room area was still in pretty good condition, but my need for consistency won over the opportunity of reusing or refinishing. The carpeted area in the family room was trash from the day we moved in. It had a huge stain on it in the main walkway from the previous owners, and it was always embarrassing to have someone over and see them look at it.