It's so exciting to take on another whole-home makeover, especially one where I can get a little crazy! With the townhouse, I had to make design decisions that worked with the existing elements, the overall feel of the house, its conservative facade, and some imaginary buyer's taste. I tried to pick modern/traditional upgrades that would appeal to a broad range of buyers and not look out of place. The lake house, however, is a more permanent spot for us and I see it as a blank canvas - I don't have to live with anything I don't like. Well, at least not forever. Although it is going to take some time (likely years), eventually I am going to transform the dated space into a stream-lined, casual, mid-century inspired retreat where I plan on becoming the craftiest recluse ever. I'm going to be living a beach life, so I want to simplify. Less stuff to dust, less stuff to store, fewer tchotchkes. I want simple, open, airy spaces with my trademark shots of colour but even more statement-making details. I'm going bolder, but cleaner. Even my palette is getting a makeover: oranges and yellows will be limited, in favor of soothing greys, creamy whites, but a stronger injection of bright colour, limited to blues and aquas.
|Emily Henderson; Houzz; Apartment Therapy; Desire to Inspire|
I'm going to do a Money Talks post soon about mortgages and talk a bit more about how we're balancing everything, but suffice to say expensive renovations just aren't on the books right now. Even if we did have the funds, I want to live in the house for awhile and really figure out what I want from the bathrooms (two sinks? one sink? bigger window? makeup vanity?), kitchen (open shelving? glass front cupboards? white, grey, wood?) and living area. But I can't live with oak trim and cupboards! So Hubs and I are devising a three-part plan.
PHASE ONE: Inexpensive Cosmetic Fixes
Phase One will be fun! I have a crazy kitchen update planned, fun ideas for sprucing up the bathrooms (and drawing your eyes away from the portal), and a bevy of affordable fixes for modernizing the space. We'll be doing a bolder version of our patented "spit and polish" to spruce up the space on a dime. We just want it livable and lovely, so we can save for bigger updates. I'll share room-by-room plans in July, but here's a taste of what I'm currently thinking for our oak-overload kitchen: turquoise lower cupboards (!) and light countertops paired with open shelving. Imagine my Pyrex collection out in the open! I'm going to pare back our plates and bowls so we just have what we need - no excess.
|The Decorating Files|
Phase Two will complement phase one but will also involve furniture and moveables. I always love a mix of high & low, so Phase Two will see Hubby and I continuing this mix and match. But now that we're putting down roots and decorating a "forever" home, I want to make careful decisions and invest in some pieces I know we'll love (and that will stand the test of time). So . . . although we're going to immediately replace a boatload of boob fixtures with something like this inexpensive Ikea fixture:
|Ikea Vanadin Light - lovely glass flush mount fixture, for only $24.99!|
I plan on also investing in a gorgeous, timeless, George Nelson bubble lamp for the dining room. Actually, I'm loving the look of a trio, and might even choose two smaller bubble lamps as pendants over the kitchen peninsula/bar (where dated pot lights are barely hanging on).
|Photos from Modern Conscience, also available from Modernica|
But to balance the high/low scale again, for the guest house DIYing something like this dipped drum shade might be a blast! I'm still pleased with how my DIY dyed dress turned out and I'm itching to dip something (now that the trend is almost totally overdone, I'm ready!).
|Fiona Bleu Gallery|
To help our pocketbooks, expect many more DIY furniture makeovers and things we'll build from scratch (like this desk!). I'm currently going crazy pinning furniture I love to get inspiration for some handmade pieces. This sideboard had me at welded legs.
|Vintage Sideboard - love the metal legs!|
Saving cash in some areas will help us splash out on a few beautiful pieces. Right now, I'm eyeing these bar stools. Can't stop thinking about them. The grey will look amazing with my kitchen plans (now and future), although the creamy white is such a classic too. Their easy-to-clean surface makes them perfect for my new low-key living. An investment to be sure, but if we save up and spend wisely on a few things that will last us forever, we'll be far better off than finding cheap substitute after cheap substitute.
|Fiberglass Shell Barstools from Modernica, originally designed by Charles Eames|
PHASE THREE: Major Renovations
In this phase, we'll totally re-do the kitchen, main bathroom, guest powder room, guesthouse, and guesthouse bathroom with a total gut job. Shiny new everything, installed by us to save cash. We'll need to save major bucks and Phase Three will take years, but hopefully we'll tackle the main bath in a year or so, the guest house bathroom and half bath next and the kitchen after. If we save, space them out and pounce on good deals, it can be doable. I think. We'll see. I'm going to make Phase One awfully pretty, just in case Phase Three is further in the future than I think!!
One day, we'll have a stream-lined kitchen with cupboards that make use of the vertical space (our kitchen has a tinier footprint than what we have now!) and have a simple profile. The one below combines a pale aqua, mix of closed and open storage plus a turquoise kettle that makes me weak in the knees and panting with envy, with the stainless steel appliances and WOOD that Hubby prefers. Add a white herringbone tile backsplash and I'd say this kitchen was meant for us.
PHASE FOUR: Buy a Papa Bear Chair, Upholster it Turquoise
Haha. Just kidding. Phase Four requires a lottery win (or some excellent thrifting mojo), but if it happens I'll buy you one too, Dana.