First Floor Tour of the Townhouse

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Now that you know about our recent house purchase, let’s take a tour of the first floor. These are photos that we lifted right from the realtor’s online site, so they are the perfect “before” photos. When the befores are somewhat dreary, it makes the finished project look that must better. Right? I am sorry that I cannot give credit to the photographer since I don’t know who took them. Also, there are lots of words here, so get comfy, grab something warm to drink, and come see the first floor of our new place.

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Let’s start right at the front door where there is a two-story entry. This space is loaded with light, and I love that. The ceilings soar, which might create a problem when our painter is stripping wallpaper, but that’s what scaffolds are for. To start out, all of the molding in the entire house, (and believe me, there’s lots of it), will be painted Pure White by Sherwin Williams. The walls will all be painted Stucco by Sherwin Williams with just 50 percent pigment. We have the same formula on the walls in our current house, and I love it. It is the perfect neutral for me, and there are no crazy undertones to discover once it is on the walls. I am the only blogger I know who uses this color, and it is absolutely a perfect neutral if any of you are looking for that.


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We will replace the current light fixture with a similar one but probably in black.. We will also replace the railing, balusters, and newel post on the stairs. That carpet will be removed, and we will have those steps refinished to match the hardwoods in the rest of the house. (This house was built in 1980, and we think the carpet is original).  The interior of the door will be repainted, but I am not sure what color right now.  That opening on the right will be made as large as possible without compromising any support.  Also, the landing where the photographer was standing for this photo will be enlarged with possibly a sitting area.


As far as the floors go, we have discussed having recycled barn wood used as floors. There’s a company here that installs these floors, and they are beautiful. They are also very, very expensive, so, we will have to let that be a factor in our decision. Meanwhile, I like the size of the boards in the existing floors, but in just a minute you will understand why they might not work.


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To the right of the foyer is a sunken family room with a brick floor. There’s a dingy kitchen stuck over in the corner. So here’s the plan, which is subject to tweaking. The family room floor will be raised to meet up with the foyer, and this whole room will become the kitchen. The steps will be gone.  Those brick floors will disappear, and we aren’t sure right now if flooring that matches the foyer floors exists. That’s another reason why using recycled boards might be an option. The two houses we had built from scratch both had fireplaces in the kitchen, and I loved them. I am so happy to have another kitchen fireplace. Although I love a good wood-burning fireplace, for convenience and safety, this one will be gas logs. Somehow our mason will raise the fireplace, but my brain hurts just thinking about that.  Those blue bookshelves will be removed.  All of the shutters will be replaced with plantation shutters.  The French door there will become windows, and we might add a banquet there for our table, but  I have to talk to someone smarter than I am about that idea.

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There’s the current kitchen stuck over there in the corner.  I know this is a family-friendly blog, but I described the current kitchen as a “hell hole.”  Excuse my French, but that is really what it is.  The first set of French doors beside the fireplace will become regular windows.  The second set will be a Dutch door and side lights.  That space will be the new mudroom with a closet, pegs for hanging things, and a bench.  The area that holds the stove will become the pantry.  To the left of it will be a powder room that we will enter from a doorway in the hall.


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Once the existing kitchen is torn out and the floor is raised, the wall where the fridge is will become a powder room with an entry from the hallway.

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Here’s another view with the same explanation.  The middle third of the kitchen will become a pantry/office for me.  I want an old window put in the wall so natural light can come into the pantry. The other third, which you see in front there will become the mudroom with a closet. That closet will replace the current closet at the end of the foyer. The French doors you see there will become a Dutch door with side lights, and the other French doors will be removed and windows will be added.  We are donating as much of the cabinets, etc. to the Habitat Restore that they can use.

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Now, let’s go back to the foyer. The room to the left will be opened up as much as possible, and it will be the living room. I am sorry to give up our open concept that we have now with our current kitchen/living room, but there’s no way to open the walls and still keep the stairway. We are going to replace the dental molding with smooth molding.

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We want all of the molding in the entire house to be the same, and right now there’s dental and other designs that drive us a little crazy. Consistency is the word for me. Some people might not like the fact that it’s good-bye to the dental, but it’s just too colonial for my tastes. Back in the 80’s, it was the look, but we want something sleeker.

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The room beside the living room was the old dining room. It will become Mr. Right’s office. There are doors that can be closed when he needs privacy.

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This powder room at the end of the foyer is right beside the future office.  It will become a full bath. We will steal the hallway closet space and use it for the shower and linen closet. The only entry into the new bath will be from the office so that the office can convert to a bedroom if we ever need to go that route in the future. The bathroom entry will be a pocket door in the middle of the wall, and closets with shelves for Mr. Right’s books/office stuff will be on both sides of that door. The door to the hallway will be closed off, and a bar will be added there. It will be accessible from the foyer.  I love the bar we have in this house and am so happy to be able to create space for one in our new place.  We aren’t big drinkers, but when we entertain, it’s nice that people can make a drink somewhere besides the kitchen.


Are you totally confused at this point? This is truly a fixer upper in its own right.  These are all my ideas, and I had the first meeting with the architect last week, and we went over all of them. He will make suggestions as he draws up the plans, and if my ideas are crazy, we will adjust them as needed. I am meeting there with the kitchen designer, my friend Debra Hupman whom I have mentioned here before, this afternoon.


Next up will be a tour of the second floor. Stay tuned for that. I can’t wait to hear what y’all think about this new project we have taken on. Send those emails and suggestions with any thoughts/ideas/questions you have. As an aside, I think I need to go over there ASAP and take some photos with my own camera.  There are angles and shots I want to show  you, but they aren’t in the existing photos.


Take care.