Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Opening Up

Tony and I bought our house in July of 2007.  Ya know, mere months before the housing market really crashed and houses became cheap... We were fresh out of college, living at his parents' house, desperate for a place of our own.  There were literally six houses for sale in Peachtree City that were within our budget at that time (mere months later - hundreds! I'm still a little bitter...).   

The other five houses had crazy things like diagonal 80s pink wood siding.  We actually only looked at our house - the others got axed just by looking at the listing.  We liked this house and went for it.  We told ourselves we would probably be in it for five years max and move to a bigger place before we had kids (ya know, back in the day when you were actually able to move without selling your firstborn...).

Going on six years later, we are still here - and will be for the foreseeable future.  Although things have rebounded some, and our city/neighborhood is definitely in much better shape than other areas of Atlanta, we still could not sell our house now for what we owe on it (womp womp).     

And oh! I wish I could go back to those silly fresh-outta-college kids and tell them what a person should really look for in a house...  I have such a long list now - things I never even thought about back when we were so eager to buy.

One of the biggest on my list is an open floor plan and natural light.  Our house has neither.  It is pretty closed off, with a dark hallway connecting all of the rooms and a living room and kitchen that are  closed off from each other.  Our windows are small (with the exception of a big one in the kitchen) and the house always feels a bit dungeony.

So we decided to move forward with a project we had been kicking around for years, but didn't think we would ever get to.  It helps that my dad is Mr. Handy and can help us do just about anything.  

We are going to open the wall/doorway between our living room and the kitchen, opening up the floor plan and also allowing more light to flow between the rooms.  I'm so excited!

So here's what it looked like before: (um, I didn't clean up before taking these - Tony was all "I'm tearing stuff out rightnow")

Yeah, we have a bajillion cabinets.  We hate them, they are impractical and inefficiently-sized... but we deal.  They are going to get some TLC in this process eventually... 

See that giant cabinet - it's going to make room for more doorway!

Tony tore off the trim before I could get a picture...  That's our living room you can see into a bit there on the right.

We are leaving that right side portion of the wall alone, since that door out to our garage opens against it... But we are going up a bit with the opening.

Here's what it looks like from the living room (specifically from my indented-in spot on the couch...)

The wood is showing where the opening will come to...Big difference!
So great, right??  Well, yes, it's going to be awesome.  If one of us is in the kitchen and the other in the living room, it won't feel like we are doing our own thing separately.  We can talk while I lounge on the couch and Tony slaves away at the stove. :)

The only bummer is we are losing that very big, very packed cabinet...

It's the only cabinet where we can store big stuff like pots and cutting boards and cookie sheets.  But see how that monstrosity really blocks off the room?  It sticks out and really creates a barrier there, making the kitchen feel smaller and isolated.

Soon you will be able to see that entire window from the front door, which will be great for light flow.

My parents are coming this weekend to help us do it.  

On the future list for the kitchen is:
- Repaint
- Beadboard/trim
- Refinish cabinets
- New cabinet hardware
- Valence?
- New light fixtures?

I will share our progress as we go!


  1. So happy to see you post something! Its been too long. Also, could you not make the garage door open out so you could do something with that wall? Just a thought. I can't wait to see pictures! You will be so happy with the kitchen and living room more joined I know! Love you


  2. Cannot wait to see the outcome, what a great idea. It's funny you posted this, I was just writing a post (for next week, maybe?) about how we are struggling between moving and staying put as we had the same timeline and are going on 6 years in our house, too. You're smart for making what you have work until the market recovers more, and I think the improvements will only help you when the time does come to sell. Cannot wait to see what else you do to love your house!


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