Hi Friends! It’s been a weird year, I’ve been off with my normal routine, I didn’t share a holiday tour like I usually do, or share 2020 in review (but do we really want to review 2020?) or new year house plans like I normally do either—and I’ve been slacking on sharing renovation updates here at the Hosta House in terms of small progress. I find that when I do share, I tend to just go for the gusto and I know how important it is to share the steps it takes to get to that big reveal. So before I share some big reveals in the coming months, I figured I’d back up and share what has happened over the past 3 months in this home.
The Living Room
So, I have to be honest, in this new house, there really weren’t too many spaces that blew us away off the jump. There were no 10 ft ceilings, or beautiful original details that gave us hearts eyes, besides our wooded lot. So the hubs and I really had to work hard to envision what each space’s purpose would be and how we could improve it for our family whether short term or for the long haul. The one space I knew would need a lot of vision for sure was the living room.
It’s a long, and narrow space approximately 12×20, with a slider on one long side, and a wide framed opening (with stairs) opposite the slider. This alone posed a challenge—but did I mention the extremely low ceiling height and lack of windows? The room was sooooo dark.
Our first course of action in this space was to open up the ceiling and vault it to match the roof’s pitch. We demoed what was essentially a dropped (drywall) ceiling and insulation to find an additional 5 feet of headroom (at the highest peak). One question I kept getting on IG was: why would anyone hide that vaulted ceiling like that? And my guess is cost(?)
The cost to heat the space and to also insulate and drywall that much more square footage. This part of the house is an addition, so we assume that when they added it in the late 70’s, early 80’s (my guess) is that they didn’t have a vaulted ceiling in their budget(?)
Next up was letting in some natural light but I’ll be talking more about that in a separate post. But before we could close the ceiling back up we needed to insulate-easy, peasy right? Wrong! We came to learn that insulating a vaulted ceiling is very different from insulating a flat ceiling or wall.
A vaulted ceiling needs roof/ridge vents and soffit vents to allow for proper ventilation. And then the bays of the ceiling need to have baffles, to allow air to pass through (up through the soffits, and out through the ridge vent) for proper air circulation.
The insulation can then be installed over the baffles. We hired professionals to handle this part as it seemed to be way beyond our pay grade.
The Interim Living Room/AKA the Dining Room
We didn’t do a whole lot in here besides paint an accent wall on the fireplace wall (which the jury is still out on), and updated the mantel.
I used the same technique for the mantel as I did with this one at my BFF’s house years ago. Once the sunken living room is complete, this room will become the dining room.
In the kitchen, my daughter and I decided to paint the lower cabinets on a whim, because the white was just so grimy and I couldn’t take looking at it any longer
The hubs had an itch to demo it the moment we moved in, but I wasn’t having it–so we compromised. I let him take down the large range hood and upper cabinets/soffit, but the bottoms had to stay—mainly for counterspace, as the cabinets/drawers are just unusable, and we painted them shut -oops-haha!
This clearer view makes me so much happier. Even though part if the ceiling is still currently pink and there are wires hanging—oof!
While living with the kitchen like this is not ideal, its definitely informed our planning for the reno, so we will be removing the penninsula, as it creates a serious bottleneck and ruins the flow of the space.
While most of the house had newer vinyl windows, there were some areas that needed to be upgraded, so we added about 13 new windows between the kitchen, mudroom, breezeway, basement and garage.
The Breakfast Nook
All we’ve done in here so far is remove the wooden cornice and add a warmer paint color to the bottom of the walls because it was feeling quite sterile with all of the white and gray in here. When we begin the kitchen reno we will carry the wood floors from the dining room and living room throughout the kitchen to warm up the space.
The Utility Room
This is the space I revealed last month. We gave it a phase 1 makeover, and I ‘m so happy to have one space that actually feels like us. This space also got a new window 🙂
2nd Floor Floors
We had the floors on the second level sanded right away, the jury is still out on whether we want to keep them as is or just carpet them because they are very thin and worn.
We’ve put a lot of sweat equity into the exterior of our house. mostly in the form of power washing, clearing brush, and trimming overgrown bushes, but we also got a new roof, painted the front door and changed out the front sconces and lamp post.
We’ve been debating whether or not to keep the screened porch, but in the meantime, we removed some of the dated decorative trim as it did no justice to the house.
The Garage Studio
I haven’t chatted too much about this space here or on Instagram, as it’s been a little labor of love for our oldest son and my husband: the “finished” small garage studio.
Our oldest son, Jyren, recently turned 20 and was away at college when the pandemic hit, so after getting accustomed to living on his own and being independent, he had to move back home. My hubs came up with the idea to finish this space for him, and it’s coming along:
They have worked on it together, the only thing I’ve really helped with was laying the luxury vinyl flooring. We are going to install new windows ourselves and then the rest of this space will be up to him, lol. There will be no bathroom as of right now and electric baseboard heat, so we’ll see how long he’ll want to stay out here (especially during the cold New England months, lol.) If it it doesn’t work out or if we decide to sell, we will consider it’s use as an office/or finished workshop.
The 1st floor bathroom:
I shared a little about this project last month, and it’s almost done, can’t wait to share the reveal–just waiting on my electrician for a few things 🙂
And I think that’s it for now folks!! It’s amazing, because I was feeling a little down last month, like we hadn’t accomplished much (because nothing is actually finished), but after this post, I’ve realized just how much we’ve accomplished over the past 3 months!
We have some other exciting projects in the works that I can’t wait to share with you, and I promise I’ll be sure to share renovation updates more frequently.