Go with the Flow - Our First Floor Renovation

Okay, gang, this one has been in the works for a while. Our biggest home renovation to date. One that began waaaaayyy back in early March and wasn't completely finished (honestly, it still isn't), until a week or so before the wedding.

This one's a doozy.

If you remember, back in March I first shared about the removal of the wall between our living room and the "French" room (thus doing away with the French room altogether), and also our decision to open up the walls by our stairway to the bedroom upstairs, which sits between our living room and kitchen. Here's what it looked like back then:

Our contracter, JME Services, took over from here, reworking the electrical, removing the large post from the middle of the now large living/dining area, adding drywall, covering up ductwork, and doing patchwork. They also installed the stair spindles, bannister and the two huge pieces of rough-cut wood we used for the posts at the bottom of the stairs. They certainly had their work cut out for them.

For weeks, our house was in shambles. Our furniture all pushed together and covered by sheets and plastic, a thin layer of drywall dust over everything, pieces of wood in our living room, waiting to be used.... we were getting so tired of living in the mess as the house was being renovated, but we knew it would all be worth it in the end.

By the way, I just have to share a video that our contractor's assistant made of our little ham, Mr. Pancakes. P-Cakes and Lieu Lieu enjoyed the visits from their new friends who would work on the house while we were at work. And Mr. Pancakes especially loved getting into mischief while they were there.... namely, rolling around in all the drywall dust. Check out this hilarious video one of the workers made of Mr. Pancakes. It makes me laugh so hard.

Anyway, I'll just get right into it and share the before and after photos with you. The transformation is seriously incredible. Any photo captioned with "Way Before" is from the day we moved in. Any photo captioned with "Before" has been taken within the last year. Enjoy!

And here are your afters (sorry for the pic overload)!

From the living room

You can see the whole first floor (essentially) from the former "French" room!

From the front door

Seeing from the kitchen into the front area is my favorite part about this renovation!

From the former French room

From the far side of the living room

Again, from the kitchen

Night and day, AMIRITE?

We are so in love with the new, flowing floorplan. Our house seems twice as big with the two walls removed! We can actually have multiple people over without being cramped and confined to tiny spaces. We absolutely love the reno, as do Mr. Pancakes (who refused to move from "his spot" throughout the photo shoot... go figure) and Lieu Lieu. Lieu Lieu, especially, loves the stairs. She likes to sit a few steps up and look down on what's happening below. It's her one moment to be taller than everything else in the house.

Because we cut into so much of the kitchen wall, we have to completely reconfigure what we are going to do with that empty space.
Right now we've got a floor cabinet that we plan to mount this weekend, and above that we plan to hang three open shelves. We're finally getting some open shelving! I'm really excited about what we'll do with it.

We still have some touching up to do - like staining the wooden air return that we had to insert into the floor in the middle of the living/dining area, and refinishing the stairs themselves (the used to be covered with carpet, but Eric pulled it up during the renovation. The stairs are in good shape, but at a little paint splattered and need some refinishing and restoration before we're satisfied with them).

We've been living with the finished open floor plan for over a month now, and I still can't believe how in love with it I am. It's hard to think back to the time when we had a huge wall between our living and dining area - and I can't believe how we got along not being able to see the living room from the kitchen! Our home is brighter, seems bigger, and just feels a lot more homey and "us." 

We hope you like it too! Let us know in the comments below!


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