On Our Merri Way: Renovation Inspiration

As I’ve mentioned, we are looking to do the following renovations to our house:

  • Take out the carpet and vinyl flooring and put in hardwoods in most areas except the bathrooms, where we’ll put tile. This also includes replacing all baseboards
  • Scrape the ceilings free of popcorn
  • Update the kitchen – New cabinets, countertops, backsplash, appliances (and floor of course). We also want to add some kind of pantry and open it up a bit to the main living room
  • Update the bathrooms – The kid’s bathroom has carpet (total yuck), the guest bathroom has the same vinyl flooring as the kitchen and laundry room, and the master bath has regular square white tile in the bath/shower/toilet area and carpet below the two vanities (again…yuck). We want to replace all of that with tile. The master and kid’s bathrooms also have wallpaper which we need to remove, and we’ll be updating all toilets, tubs, counters, etc. We’ll probably keep the cabinets and just paint them and replace hardware.
  • Get a nice fresh coat of paint everywhere
  • Take out the fountain in the backyard and the one on the front porch, and retile the front porch

We’ve been begging for advice from our parents, who have both gone through multiple house renovations, as well as our friends and the contractor. I’ve also been stalking Houzz, Home Portfolio, Pinterest, etc. for inspiration. My media planning experience on Sub-Zero & Wolf has really helped me know the best home decor/remodeling websites out there!

We are going to keep the floors hardwood to flow with the rest of the house, especially since we’re opening it up a bit. Speaking of opening up the kitchen, we’re thinking the opening isn’t going to be major – probably more of a cutout, like this:
Opened kitchen

Our overall look we’re going for is “country” or “farm” style with simple lines and colors, but we like regular cabinets versus the open shelving look. We love the look of either pickled wood, stained, or green-gray shaker-style cabinets. We want to top everything off with a white countertop, and we love the classic look of white subway tile as our backsplash.
Kitchen_green gray cabinets
Kitchen_Subway tile
Kitchen_Wood floors
Kitchen_Pickled cabinets
Kitchen_White countertops

We are redoing the hutch that is on the wall connected to the laundry room, and we’re thinking that would be a great place for something closely resembling a bar. Not sure if we’re going to put in a small refrigerator or wine cooler or something but the idea is nice.
Bar option 1 Bar option 2

For the guest bath, we’re not planning on changing the layout or anything since it’s such a small space to begin with. We want to replace the vanity, mirror, and lighting, change out the toilet, and remove the cabinet above the toilet. I like the frameless glass shower look but we don’t want to rip out a perfectly good shower, and even though we’re doing a lot to this house, we’re trying to save where we can. We’re waffling between the small gray marble tile and doing something really fun with Moroccan or Spanish-inspired cement tiles.

Bathroom_Moroccan tile Bathroom_Spanish tile

bathroom 3 bathroom 4

The hall bath for the kids is another pretty simple update. We want to open up the bathtub area a bit, removing the soffit and putting the cast-iron tub that’s currently in the master bath in there since the tub that’s there now is like 6 inches tall. Again, white subway tile (or a fun ocean color) would be perfect in the small space, and we’re leaning toward smaller tile for the floor. A simple granite countertop and painted cabinets in the vanity area will finish it off, along with taking out the wallpaper.
Bathroom_turquoise subway tile
Bathroom_tile floor

For the master bath, we really like the idea of putting a freestanding tub in the middle. By adding a new toilet for adults over 5′, a frameless shower, and new tile, we think it’s going to really make it look great. We also want to put tile in the two vanity areas and get new countertops, and potentially rearrange the door situation. Right now there are doors to each vanity but it’s open across the tub/shower/toilet area, and we think it would make more sense to close off the middle so someone can shower or use the restroom and not take up the entire area (including the closets). Hopefully, if budget allows, we’ll do pocket doors.

I am dying to paint our dining room a deep navy color, but the closer we get to making that decision the less sure I am. First, I don’t want the room to feel smaller than it is. Second, although initially I thought one of our Istanbul kilims and the print Mrs. Haydel found that matches that kilim would look great in there (they’re shades of mustard, brick, and blue), now I kind of want those pieces in our den so they get more use and visibility. So, although I still love the look, we may go in another direction.
Navy dining room

Mike’s mom mentioned putting wood on the ceiling of our lofted living room, and we saw a couple of examples and think that would look awesome. We decided on pickled tongue-and-groove wood so it doesn’t look too rustic but still highlights the texture of the wood.
Living room_Wood ceiling

We also want to paint the front door and shutters. We are ok with a white house but I’m not the biggest fan of the dark green door/shutters. Since we’re going to retile the front porch anyway (it’s brick-colored tile right now), we like doing everything in shades of gray. I also have two iron elephants my grandparents gave me just waiting to greet our guests on the porch, so gray will work well with them too!
Front porch_Dark Gray
Front porch_Gray
Front porch_Gray with porch tile

I can’t believe the house is officially ours and we start demo on Monday! I’ll of course try to keep up to date with what’s going on…hopefully this whole HAVING A BABY thing won’t derail my blog posts.


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