The kitchen. I loved our house when we first looked at it, but the kitchen made me a little sad. Since I love to cook and bake and hang out in the kitchen, I wanted it to be the highlight of the house. As it was, there was nothing special about it. It wasn't that bad, but it had all the basic, cheap fixtures that you'd expect from a rental house. Basic "oak" cabinets, cheap metal sink, lowest quality appliances, boring yellowish paint. Growing up, we were always in the kitchen. It's easily the room I've spent the most time in. And that's the feeling I want out of my own house. I want it to be a special place. And the basic, boring kitchen my home came with didn't have that special feeling.
The kitchen was really dark. It only has one small window which is covered by a patio cover on the other side. As you can see in the photos, I had to open the door to even get enough lighting for good photographs. It felt cramped because of the wall (which we've taken out). Nothing about it was bright and cheerful, which I wanted in a kitchen.
Overall, the kitchen isn't bad. We've been living in it for a few months and we've figured out what we definitely want to change and what we are comfortable living with. We haven't made renovations yet, but have big plans coming up! Thanks for reading the before and I can't wait to show you the after! xo. Laura
I can't believe I'm just now getting around to sharing the before photos of our home! We've changing a lot since we got the keys in March! We still have a lot of projects to check off our list. It's so fun to finally have a place of our own that we can paint and change and decorate however we want. It's been a lot of work, but it's been so fun.
I want to show you what the house looked like on the day we got the keys. Our house is a little over 700 square feet and has two bedrooms and one bathroom. It's a little smaller than what we were looking for, but it has a basement, which is pretty rare in Arizona. The basement is about 300-400 square feet and it gives us the extra space we were hoping for. You can check out the layout of our house here. It's to scale and it gives a clear picture of what the space looks like.
For the before tour, we'll start with the living room. The living room is the first room you walk into from the front door. We knew right away that we wanted to get rid of the carpet. We were told that they previously rented out the house, so we felt more comfortable pulling out the carpet. We liked the idea of putting in bamboo hardwood.
Walking in the door, we also knew that we wanted to take out the wall between the kitchen and the living room. The living room has two large windows that let in lots of light, but the wall blocked all the light from going into the kitchen, which made it feel dark and sad. Not the vibe we wanted the kitchen to have. So the wall had to go.
The only other thing we noticed that we wanted to change was the paint on the wall. It was easy to see that the whole house had been freshly painted, but it was done with a terrible light yellow/white color. I had been dreaming about a house with fresh, white walls so painting was a must.
Eventually, we want to change out the fan and update the windows and blinds, but for now making it feel like our home is our main focus. I've changed a lot so far and I'm excited to show you our progress! More before and progress posts coming soon! xo. Laura
I love watching home design shows and scrolling through Pinterest to find beautiful homes, but I'm always curious about the layout of the house. It can be hard for me to really understand the design of a home when I can't see how the rooms relate to each other. I figured there might be others who like to see the floor plan of a home too! Before I share any before and after photos, I wanted to share our floor plan. These images are not perfectly to scale, but they give you a pretty good idea on what things look like.
The image above is the layout of our entire lot. I wanted to share the layout of our lot, because it's a little unique. To give an idea on size, the house is about 700 square feet and the lot is about 8,000 square feet. What makes our property a little unique is that the house is at the back of the lot. So basically we have a very small backyard and a huge front yard. It's kind of neat, but is also causing some design issues. Currently the area labeled "parking" is gravel and allows for a lot of cars to park there. Where the parking and yard meet is divided by a pool fence. Our plan is to move the fence closer to the street to make the parking area much smaller and the yard much bigger. We also want to upgrade to pool fence to something that looks a lot nice and also adds some privacy.
Here is the floor plan of the house. There was a wall between the kitchen and living area, but that's gone now. It makes the house feel so much more open and bright. The front porch is a good size, so I'm excited to decorate it and make it feel cozy. The bedroom and office/craft room are the same size. I added white lines to show where the doors to outside are. One is on the front and the other is in the kitchen. Outside the kitchen door are the stairs to the basement. Yep, we have a basement! This is exciting, because most homes in Arizona don't have basements. Anyway, the stairs are outside. It will be a little awkward to get to the tv room (which will be in the basement), but I think it will be okay.
The basement is a little over half of the house. My guess is about 300-400 square feet. That amount is not currently listed on the total square footage of the house. Once we make a few changes to it, we will be able to count it towards the total square footage. This doesn't really matter until if/when we sell the house. The basement is currently half finished. To get the tv room finished, all we have to do is paint the concrete (we want a fun color, like mint!). However, the bathroom and laundry will need a lot more work to be finished. These will be projects that we will work on later, so until then they will be used for storage. The rest of the space under the house is just crawl space. I'm really excited to have the basement. It will be great to store extra kitchen equipment, but it will also be a cool place to hang out.
I hope this helps give you an idea on how everything in our home relates to each other. Soon I'll be sharing all the before and process photos! We are no where near done with the moving in and designing process, but it's starting to feel like home! And thank you for all your excitement for our new home! It's been great to share everything here on the blog and snapchat (@laura.hager). xo Laura
I'm so happy to finally be sharing our new home! We got the keys on March 21st and we've been renovating like crazy ever since. We've been doing the work ourselves and we've been working on the house every day from about 9 am to 9 pm. It's been a lot of work, but we've have great help from our dads.
We've finished a lot of the big projects, like taking out a wall, painting the whole house, and installing bamboo flooring. We are still in the process of redoing the tile in the bathroom. That should be finished next week! I'm so excited to install the cute hexagon tiles. There are still tons of little projects that we need to finish, but I think those projects will be more fun. I'm so happy to be so close to the decoration projections.
The yard is going to be a large project, but I'm really excited to get started out there. It's heating up quickly in Phoenix, so we will start working on this soon to avoid the extreme heat. I found some cute white chairs for the porch and finally bought two plants! I have a lot of plans for the porch and the yard and I can't wait to get started. After the inside of the house is finished and more livable, we can get started with the outside and the decorations!
If you've been following along on snapchat, you've gotten to see some sneak peeks of our projects. If not, I'll have the before and after posts up soon. I also filmed an empty house tour to start with you soon! If you're not already following me on snapchat, do it! I'll keep posting behind the scenes and decoration ideas! Find me at laura.hager! Thanks for reading! -Laura