March 9, 2016

The House on High

Ok, so today is the day I finally get to share pics of our new house! I’m referring to this project as the ‘House on High’ both as a nod to the street name and the simple fact that my husband and I both feel like we are living on a high as we dig into renovating this place. And let’s be honest, there’s also a purely pragmatic reason for the nickname. We’ve moved so much over the last 10 years (like this house which I posted about last month) that it’s not enough to say, “oh you remember at the Brewer’s house” yada yada because no one ever knows which house from over the years that I’m speaking about! So we’re almost always referring to the houses by the street they’re on.

I do imagine this will be one where we will stay put for quite some time so maybe soon enough we can drop the geographic reference!

house on high drive exterior before scovell wolfe

Anyway, despite multiple stern requests from my mother and at least ten separate occasions wherein I brought my camera to the new house, I still failed to actually get BEFORE before pictures downstairs – save for a few random ones on my iPhone. It wasn’t until the first wall began to come down yesterday in demolition that I started bumming. So I raced over this morning before the crew showed up again and got sort-of-before pictures. And then it hit me that Scovell Wolfe did some work for the previous homeowner about a decade ago and sure enough I was able to dig up a few of those pictures in our files. So it’s a hodgepodge of befores.

Ready? Maybe pop an aspirin before you start scrolling. Apparently I’m going blind and all my pictures from this morning are blurry, so I apologize in advance for any headaches they may induce!

The woman who lived here for the last 73 years (no typo! really that long!) was in the process of remodeling the kitchen this past summer when she passed away. So below is actually what it looked like when we purchased the home.

kitchen before scovell wolfe remodelThe kitchen sits at the front of the house (the plywood leaning against the window looks out onto the street), and adjoins a breakfast room. The door to the garage is squeezed right in the middle.

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Here are some shots of the kitchen back in 2004.

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Separating the breakfast room from the dining room was this wall.

100_1615I guess at some point they must have stripped the grasscloth and were about half way through patching it when we came onto the scene (see below picture). Regardless, the wall is going away. Actually, I should rephrase that. The wall has already gone away!

2-15-16 015 Here’s the dining room. Behind the curtains are sliding glass doors out to the brick patio. This room will ultimately become our family room. As for the little faux window opening behind the chandelier that looks into the sunroom, the jury is still out. To wall it up or leave it open? We shall see…

before dining room scovell wolfe remodel

And again back in 2004.

100_1624Next up is the living room. Not a lot happening in here. I wish I’d snapped a picture before the heavy draperies came down. Think sheer curtains, heavy silk curtains and a swooping valence. The windows were thoroughly adorned. In fact, they were so well clad in fabric, you hardly remembered that there was daylight behind them!

brewerHigh20160308_0001You’ll notice there’s a little step down on the south side of the room which opens into a sunroom. I’m not entirely sure how this room functioned with its previous owner, but we plan on using it as our dining room. To say that I’m a little pumped about all the windows would be an understatement. More like, I’m elated!

brewerHigh20160308_0005So much so, we might even keep the ball rolling and add a french door on the west side of the room so we can have access to the side yard.

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Circling back toward the front of the living room is a cased opening to the front foyer. Scovell Wolfe actually installed that wallpaper back in ’04 I believe! But what goes up must eventually go down, right? So many people that have come through have said how much they love that paper. But alas, for a variety of reasons, it’s going away.

wallpaper entryway scovell wolfe beforeHere’s the front entry with a view of the stairs and a hallway to the kitchen.

brewerHigh20160308_0026Tucked in that hallway, by the way, is a little powder bathroom. It appeared to have been the storage room for the work that was done here last year and the toilet was replaced with all the cabinet doors from the kitchen.

powder bathroom before scovell wolfe remodelHeading upstairs the wallpaper continues! My picture is blown out, but I love the little crystal flush mount on the ceiling and am definitely going to hang on to it.

brewerHigh20160308_0031The house has three bedrooms upstairs. I’ll start with the pea green room. Oh wait, there are two pea green rooms. Because why have only one, when you can have two, I always say! Here is one of them which will end up as one of the kids’ rooms.

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brewerHigh20160308_0037Having grown up just a couple streets away, I love that his house has a Jack and Jill bathroom just like my childhood home. And yes, we’re keeping it. Original tile, floral wallpaper and all. Maybe someday it will get introduced to the 21st century but for the now I find it affordable charming to keep it as it is.

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brewerHigh20160308_0036And here we land in the other bedroom which adjoins the bathroom.

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brewerHigh20160308_0034Notice the plaster cracking throughout the whole second floor. ;-(

2015-12-07 12.30.28Ok and now for the master! Other than the kitchen, we’ll be doing the most work in here. The closet on the right (sort of centered in the picture below) will get removed and we’ll grab that space and give it back to the master bedroom. Because who needs two closets? One is plenty for John and I to share.

brewerHigh20160308_0044Ha! I’m not even a big shopper and even the TWO closets would have been pushing it (first world problems!). Anyway, I’m also totally and utterly spoiled and don’t want to have to go to the basement to do the laundry. I’ve really progressed in my entitlement since when I lived in a condo and had to exclusively use a laundromat just some 9 or  10 years ago. If I’m not careful I’ll be shipping my laundry out to be done before long! But anyway, to solve this basement laundry/small closet conundrum, we’re expanding onto the deck which is just beyond the door you see in the picture above.

soon to be master closet addition over sunroom roof

Our first impression of this deck (which is just a flat roof over the sunroom, enclosed by a railing) left us with lovely mental images of morning coffee and quiet time spent reading. Then I remembered that I don’t drink coffee and haven’t read a book since my first child was born. So the deck got axed.

Truly, though, having never had one I was hesitant to give it up so quickly. But after driving around town and noticing scarcely a single stick of furniture on the dozens of flat-roof upper decks in Kansas City, I surmised that despite the cool concept, in all reality, they don’t get used much.

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Instead, and per approval from the city, we’re converting the deck into both a laundry room and a master closet. Plans are still in design, but I’ll share them when they’re ready. Suffice to say, we’re real bad excited about this part of the project. Like real, real bad.

And finally, rounding out the tour is this pink flower explosion of a bathroom!

IMG_0358We can’t afford to update it love it so much we’re keeping just about all of it! We are going to go ahead and splurge on a new shower curtain and maybe some paint. Go big or go home, you know what I mean? And as much as I love the pink ceiling and wallpaper, I think it’s seen its final days. Beyond that, though, the bug drawings in the sink live another day!!

brewerHigh20160308_0049Ok, so that nearly wraps the house tour. Maybe some day I’ll show you the basement, but I’ve surely already given you a headache with the blurry pictures and would hate to also give you nightmares tonight.

But before I sign off, here’s how the kitchen demolition was coming along as of this morning…

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scovell wolfe remodel progress on kitchen in old sagamoreI’ll pop in later in the week with the kitchen mood board so you can see where we’re headed!