5 Things We've Learned and Love About Our House Renovation

We're in the final months of finishing up the house and Nick and I are now able to reflect on what we've learned through this process so far. We feel fortunate to live in this wonderful old house in our beautiful city of Lambertville.

Things we learned and love about our house:

1. Designing a kitchen from scratch lets you organize the space for your optimum utility and pleasure. 

Having a blank slate allows you to take time to focus on how you use your kitchen workspace. This helps you plan your space right down to the smallest detail. We sat down with our architect and contractor to design the space for optimum efficiency, as well as, good flow. This gave us a chance to purchase the correct cabinetry and appliances and place everything where we wanted. Preparing meals in our kitchen is a joy.

This is my main work station with the garbage/recycling bin underneath; sink with a disposal unit to the left and range with powerful hood to the right.

 

 

The window above the sink has a view to the back yard and canal. Notice the old bottle to the right of the sink? It's a New Hope Beer Company bottle. I didn't even know there was a NHB Co.! 

And where was it??? Of course, found inside one of the walls when they were doing the demo! It is now our dish soap bottle. 

 

2. You can't always get what you want, but being creative can open doors you never thought were there.

We originally wanted an open concept floor plan that incorporated our dining room. We also wanted the back of the kitchen to be a wall of glass overlooking the yard and canal. These details were way more expensive than we realized, so we switched gears to fit our budget and created a lovely space that has a brick wall and a glass back door that leads to our deck and backyard. We still have a light-filled room, but with much more storage and counter space.  

 

We love our kitchen.

 

3. Sometimes white paint is the right paint.

We love color on walls, but, for some reason, we couldn't decide on what to paint the entry hall, staircase and upstairs hallway. We painted it white thinking, "it's only paint...we can change it later" but we love it! Plus, it's perfect for hanging artwork and our collection of group photos.

The vintage black and white photos with their dark frames makes quite a statement on the white paint walls. (Tip: Use "eggshell" finish, instead of flat. This makes the walls easy to clean. I always recommend this to my design clients. Just think "one step glossier" than flat. Trim I always recommend semi-gloss or "one step flatter" than high gloss.)

 

4. This. 

 

This is the Nimbus Chandelier from our store. We really had a hard time choosing a fixture for the top of the main staircase. We were at the High Point Furniture Market last April and saw this in one of our vendor's showrooms and thought, "Perfect!" Now, as you know, our house was built in 1869 and has thick masonry and plaster walls. The original fixture at the top of the stairs HAD A PULL CHAIN (!). Our electrician said it would be difficult to hang this new fixture and to rewire the switch. Plus, by code, we needed a switch at the bottom of the staircase where there was none. He figured out how to do it. There was one switch on the second floor landing that he wired for the chandelier. At the bottom of the stairs he put a wireless switch (pictured right) that works off of this 2nd floor main switch. No messing up the plaster walls. It's genius! 

 

5. A well designed bathroom is a pleasure.  

My side of the vanity.

 

Every week we finish some more of the detail work. Yesterday I painted our new back door black. It's a small thing, but what a difference. We've ordered our screen door. That will be nice to have, as we get quite a breeze that blows through the first floor when the front and back doors are open. Anyway...check in next week and see what progress we've made with the last of the painting! Thanks for reading this week's post!