The Before Reveal – First Floor

Author:  Autumn

If you have been a follower of this blog, you already know that my husband and I are down-sizing from the family home in the suburbs to a downtown townhouse.  We closed on the property the last week of December, gutted it, and have been in the remodeling process since then.  Unlike some blogs out there that can write 500 words about the purchase of a trash can, I didn’t want to dwell on every single, dusty, detailed step of our remodeling journey.  I thought it would be more fun to take a limited amount of photos along the way and then combine them into a few blogs rather than hundreds.  Today I am showing you most of the first floor before photos.

This is the home we sold.

I am proud to announce that we are nearing the final steps.  With just a one-week delay in our schedule, we hope/plan to move in next week.  So, I am ready to reveal the before photos of the townhouse’s first floor.  We originally looked at it in December, 2009 but with Jordan’s wedding and many travel plans last year, we couldn’t put our house on the market till the fall.  And, there is no way we would have made such a big purchase before selling our house.  Lucky for us, we had a contract on our house just three weeks after the For Sale sign went up in the yard.  And lucky for us also, the townhouse was still on the market.

Welcome to our townhouse.  This light hangs in the foyer.  Notice only one bulb is burning.  It is one of two things we kept from the previous owner.  It was made by an artist, and I really like it.  Ironically, none of our workers like it at all, and knowing my tastes now, they can’t understand why I didn’t take it out.  I think they are bothered by just the one working bulb.  Once all of the drywall dust and floor dust settle, I will clean it up and replace the bulbs.

This was taken after the remodeling started.  It is the view from the front door down the hallway.  We opened the doorway at the end as large as was structurally possible. To the left will be my husband’s office with French doors leading into it. (Another idea from the architect.)   It has a full bath so that we can convert it to a first-floor bedroom if we ever need to.

The previous owner had possession of this house for five years, but he never actually lived here.  He has homes all over the world, and this was just one of them.  However, he did replace the kitchen countertops with black/beige granite and replaced the appliances.  The wall you see behind the sink is now gone as are the countertops and cabinets.  None of it fit in with our tastes.

Here are the new stove and microwave that he never used.  (We didn’t either!)

The doorway on the left goes into the foyer.  There is a pocket door to close for privacy.

The previous owner had the kitchen walls painted red and gold, but he kept the adjacent pantry walls purple.  This photo shows the subfloor after we removed his Pergo floors.

This is the kitchen eating area with his furniture.  The French doors go into the solarium.

This is our electrician changing out the solarium light.  We had the entire place rewired.  We also removed the room’s ceiling fan and the 1990’s blue tile floors which you can barely see here.  The original brick floor is underneath, and we are thrilled.  You can see part of our brick courtyard from this angle.

The kitchen has a large pantry.  We removed these stock cabinets and replaced them with the custom cabinets that had been in the kitchen.  We also painted it, changed the Pergo floors to hardwood, added a sink, more upper cabinets, more shelves and a peg board.  My desk will be in here, too.

That big square wall in the corner housed the laundry shoot from the second floor to the basement.  We added a laundry room to the upstairs and eliminated the shoot. This is where my desk area will be.

These wire shelves are long gone.  We took everything to the Habitat Restore.

This is the doorway at the end of the hall before we enlarged it.  The opening on the right leads to the kitchen.

We love this room.  It is the great room and has wonderful light, high ceilings, and two sets of French doors.  We replaced all of the windows in the house with energy-efficient windows, and they all now have panes.   The walkway beyond these French doors is being glassed in and will become our mudroom.  Our big garage is behind the doors on the far right wall.

This view shows how long it is.  We really like having transoms over the windows.  We are replacing the granite fireplace surround with carrera marble.  We used it on all of the full bathrooms’ floors and on the kitchen countertops.

Our architect suggested we remove the stationary right window and replace it with a solid wall so that we won’t see our coats, shoes, and other mudroom items.  There will just be a single door here leading into the mudroom.  These brilliant suggestions are why it pays to hire an architect.  I had the vision and knew the improvements that we wanted to make, but he was able to fine-tune them.

This wall is the other side of the kitchen sink.  It is now a big six-feet wide opening.  We chose a paint color by Sherwin Williams for this room called stucco.  It softens the room more  than this bold white.

This shows the previous owner’s furniture.  The French doors provide another entrance into the solarium.  (Doesn’t that word sound so English and make it seem fancier than it is????)

I was so excited that there is a wet bar.  It will help keep guests from congregating in the kitchen when we entertain.  The orange laminate countertop is being replaced with honed black granite, and the brass knobs are long gone.

Another doorway off of the foyer leads into the small powder room.  This is the ceiling before we removed the wallpaper.

An artist painted this canvas which was glued onto the top of the wallpaper.  We donated it.

And last, but not least, this is as good a shot of the powder room sink area that I could get.  Sorry for the light reflecting in the mirror.

Stay tuned for more before photos.  I forgot to take befores of my husband’s office area, but can explain what we did when we show the after shots.

Next up will be the second floor.

Take care.


  1. says

    So much fun to see before pictures! This is a beautiful townhome. I can see why you wanted it! So many great details, love the transom windows and solarium and brick pathways too.
    So pretty!

  2. Jan Smith says

    You and Mike found a great town home. Thanks for sharing the before pictures. It is always so nice to have a picture of the environment in which people you love are living. Now I’ll be able to picture both of you in your peaceful home.

    Don would give you extra points for giving due credit to an architect!


  3. Carolyn Rasnick says

    Looking forward to seeing the end result. I know it is going to be lovely!