The Renovation Begins!


As many readers know, Anya has been gone for the past 5-6 weeks visiting her family and friends in eastern Europe. She finally arrived home the other day. In that time she would be gone, I decided to do a massive home renovation on half of our craftsman bungalow. We of course have a small 1000 sq ft house, so it couldnt be all that massive, could it? Im sure your first question will be… did we finish before she came back??

Here is how it all started….

For many months Ive wanted to do something to the house. I had some grand ideas of adding on to the back of the house which would be expensive, or popping the roof up to fit another bedroom upstairs… which our historic district would most likely not allow. I was really confined with what I could do. Adding on to the back of the house was our first option. I had some grand ideas that ultimately would turn out to be very expensive with permits, materials, etc. I became discouraged. When the economy took a major downturn last year, I scaled back my ideas. What if I could rearrange things inside the house to make better use of the space? I knew which walls were my load bearing walls, so if I could leave those in place, and work around them, I could start designing some house plans to better utilize our space.

I came up with dozens if ideas. I floated them by Anna many times. So much so, she thought they were all the same and I was just some mad professor type of person. Deep down I think I am 🙂 Although someone did call me a true Renaissance man once for doing things my way, the crazy way, and somehow making it all work. I dont want to overdue that title too much… or I might get too full of myself. Crazy is probably better. In fact, my neighbors think I’m crazy so that pretty much covers what I embarked on.

I knew Anya would be gone for at least a month, so my main goal was to redo the bathroom and centralize the layout. I have two bedrooms and a bathroom. One bedroom was accessed by the living room, the other bedroom was accessed by the kitchen. The bathroom was shared by both bedrooms, also known as a jack and jill bathroom. A poor design in my opinion and one we despised. Imagine laying in your master bedroom (albeit a small one) and looking into the kitchen. Really, it was stupid. If we had guests over, they would have to go though a bedroom to reach the bathroom… whichever bedroom was cleaner is the room we sent them through. Who wants foot traffic going through your bedroom to reach the bathroom anyways? I never could understand that design. And from what Im told, the previous owners raised 8 children in our house… which is just shy of 1000 sq ft. That is an amazing feet in itself!

So my plan while Anya was gone was to remove some closet space, remove some doors, centralize the bathroom access and all would be great. I had just over 5 weeks to do it all. It was a daunting task. Luckily, family members and neighbors fell in love with the idea and pitched in! (or they just felt sorry for me)

So you want finished photos right now? Are you serious??? 🙂 You’ll just have to keep reading the blog to see project photos and find out how it all turned out. This truly was an extreme makeover.

Tune in tomorrow for my sketches and ideas that I had in mind. Ciao.

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