Progress at Acorn Hill

It’s been about six months since we moved into our new old home, and about nine months since we began the renovation.  It is high time I share some updates!  How ’bout we compare the before pics to where we are now?  I’ll list what we’ve done and what we still plan to do and I’ll throw in a few extra detail shots. 

[FYI we hired a fabulous contractor – Bubba Watts of Something Constructive – to do the bulk of the work.  My husband and I did as much as we could on weekends and evenings.]

Here’s our sweet little center hall foyer:

What we’ve done: removed wallpaper, pulled up carpet and refinished floors, added (faux) wainscoting, refinished the wrought iron banisters, painted, new light fixtures, added the Dash and Albert runner, and transformed the linen closet at the top of the stairs into a book nook.

Left to do:  Not too much.  This space is pretty much where I’d like it to be, though it would be nice to hard wire the sconces on that gallery wall. 

Living Room:

In our living room we removed the carpet and refinished the floors, painted, added a ceiling fan, and had a new flue put in the chimney (love those wood fires on a chilly winter day!). 

Still left to do:  decorate!  Following 10 years of loyal service, this big comfy couch will be relegated to the basement den, and next week our shiny new sofa will arrive.  After much deliberation I chose the York Slope Arm from Pottery Barn.  I have been looking for a pair of comfy mid-century chairs to face the sofa, and some sort of console to go under the soon-to-be wall-mounted TV.  I’m envisioning a gallery wall around the TV and a new coffee table/ottoman situation.  My desk is hidden behind the couch there acting as a console table, as well.  I’d love to replace those lamps, too.  And move that black etagere.

Dining Room:

In here we removed wallpaper, pulled up carpet and refinished floors, took off the interior doors and widened the opening to the kitchen.  We also closed off an exterior door that used to open onto the old front porch.  We installed those built-in cabinets (IKEA) and my husband built the shelves above them. 

Years ago I found a 13′ pew for $50 on Craigslist.  Miraculously it has moved with us twice, and this dining room was the perfect spot for it here.  We use it for seating along one side of our round table.  When we put the leaves in the table, we can pile lots of people on that side.  I love how the vintage country pew contrasts with the Eames inspired chairs and my Grandparents’ traditional cherry pedestal table.  One day we may add a rug in here, but honestly, it’s so much easier not to have to worry about one with two small kiddos. 

And now for the kitchen!

We totally reconfigured the kitchen:  all new layout, flooring, cabinets, appliances, lighting, etc.  The back door used to be in that corner (hiding behind the old fridge).  We put a small window there, and moved the back door to the new mudroom.  We centered a new large window over a vintage double drainboard sink, which we had re-coated in porcelain.  This was my first experience in major kitchen design, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process!  I shibori dyed the slipcovers to our Ikea stools to add character and color. 

The cabinet on the left in the photo above used the be the back side of a coat closet (off of the foyer).  We closed off the closet (since we gained a new mudroom) and created this little bar nook.  I wanted to limit the number of upper cabinets in the kitchen, so we filled the fridge wall with counter to ceiling cabinets to increase storage space.  Our microwave and toaster oven (along with all of the other small appliances) are behind the doors to the right of the fridge.  

One element we reused from the old kitchen is the cabinet hardware.  I saved all of the old pulls and cleaned them up as best I could.  I used them on our new drawers and for our doors I used vintage knobs that reflect the same aesthetic.  I love the aged brass look! Oh, and for those upper cabinets I painted some old Pottery Barn Kids number knobs glossy white to add a little subtle quirk. 

There’s a tiny powder room between the kitchen and the living room (behind the fridge wall). 

We had just planned on just removing the wallpaper in here, then discovered old pine paneling under it.  Sigh.  To remove the paneling, we had to take out the toilet and sink, so we ended up replacing the toilet and having the sink re-coated in white porcelain. 

Left to do:  Doesn’t this sink just scream for a sink skirt?!  And I would love to do some fun wallpaper in here.  This seems like a prime spot to do some pattern mixing!

So, when you’re standing in our kitchen, looking into the wing, this used to be the view:

Those windows in the right of the photo looked out through the old porch and onto the front yard.  Standing at that exact same spot, this is now what you see:

To the left is our back entrance.  We have planned a mudroom built-in to go where those hooks are.  To the right is a nook with shelves for dog food, outdoor toys, etc, and that little closet on the right holds all of our cleaning supplies. 

Straight ahead is our new master suite.  [praise hands emoji!!!]  The list of the work we did in the wing is quite loooong.  In a nutshell, we added a 4th bedroom and bathroom to the home, along with two walk-in closets (and the mudroom/nook/cleaning closet you see above).  We just finished up the wing and moved in a couple of weeks ago, so we have been living in a three bedroom house for 9 months.  I have to say, this wing has changed the way we live dramatically!  It is SO nice to have all of the perks that come along with this addition. 

Still to do:  finish painting the trim, mudroom built-ins, window treatments, decorate the bedroom, fix the crack in the brand new tub (double sigh).  Here’s a peek at the bathroom:

The dark accent wall in the bedroom and the walls above the wainscoting in the bathroom are a moody, cool green.  I can’t wait to add in some fresh blue and white accents!

Now let’s head upstairs!  First up, the guest room:

What we did: remove wallpaper, paint, refinish floors, add ceiling fan.  This room gets a ton of natural light, so we kept it bright with white white walls.

Still do to:  Decorate!  Window treatments, hang art (all of our unhung art is being stored here now), cozy up the space. 

Guest Bathroom:

It’s a tiny little bathroom, but so handy to have off the guest room.  We took this bathroom down to the studs.  New floor, tiles, toilet, two vanities, etc. 

Still up:  decorate! Maybe a bright little rug at the vanities and some artwork and accessories.

Here is the hall bathroom (the one our two little girls use):

We had to replace the drain pipes in here, and we added a vent fan.  We switched out the light fixture and mirror and had new doors made for the vanity. 

There’s not much left to do.  I would love to clean all of those grout lines really well to brighten them up, but that’s about it!

Della’s Room:

Done: new paint, refinished floors, added a ceiling fan

To Do: I’ve got some fabric to make roman shades.  And I’d like to hang a few more things on the wall.

Elsie’s Room:

What we’ve done:  You guessed it!  Removed wallpaper, painted, refinished floors, added ceiling fan. 

Left to do: Roman shades, wall art, and maybe new quilts. 

That pretty much wraps up this beast of an update.  I’ll spare you pics of the basement…it’s worse off now than it was when we moved in.  Once we get the lingering projects above finished, we will repair and paint down there.  It got pretty torn up by all of the plumbing and electrical work that filtered down from the rest of the house. 

I’ll leave you with the then and now pics of our exterior:

The biggest visible change here is on the wing to the right.  We incorporated what used to be a porch into the interior of the home and created that first floor master suite. 

In just a few short weeks the painters will arrive to paint the exterior, and we will be in for a big ole change!  I am so anxious to see that transformation.  We are also reworking the (4!) gutters on the left section of the front of the house and will eventually add a portico over the front door.  Hopefully that will help hide that odd shallow second floor overhang and help fill that wide gap between the top windows. 

April 8, 2016



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