15. November 2013 · 53 comments · Categories: house, life · Tags:

For those of you who like to know about how the house is going, here we go!

For those that don’t care, feel free to skip this post as there’s no recipe. But next week I’ll have a Thanksgivukkah recipe coming your way! :)

So today (Friday), I’m going out to NJ because I’ve officially chosen a contractor (!) and he’s going to do a walk-thru of the house with me so I can point out everything I want to save. I want to preserve as much of the original house as I can, both because it will hopefully save money and because the house is 85 years old and I want to be sensitive to its history.

We’ve already begun work on the detached garage. We removed the very cracked and old concrete floor and poured a new reinforced slab. We also had to reframe the door opening because it had two old doors on hinges, with each opening from the middle. Here’s the “before” garage pic- sorry for the cut-off pic, but the contractor took it:

Garage Before Photo

Anyway, as much as I would love to keep these awesome doors, we really don’t want to have to get out of the car and open them every time we want to pull inside- there is currently no electricity out to the garage. Can you believe the little 96 yr old lady who sold us this house used to get out and open those doors??

Since we’re installing an electric door, we decided it made more sense to have one big door instead of two small ones. If we had kept the two small ones, they’d be really really narrow. But because there were two doors there was a column between them holding up the front of the garage. In order to get rid of that structural column, we had to put a big header over the door.

That has now been completed and we’re just waiting for the door to be delivered so we can install it! I’ll add a pic when it comes in. I tried to pick a door that looked very similar to the original doors. Here’s a pic of the style I chose. They look like they open on hinges like the original doors, but they really go up like a typical electric door:

Ours will be all one piece tho, not two separate doors. I may paint the trim like the existing doors, though not green…i’m thinking black perhaps, or gray. I dunno. The “hardware” isn’t included (like the handles, and fake hinges if we want them), but the door company charges an arm and a leg for them. You can get cheap ones at Home Depot which is what I think I’ll do and just install them myself. 

As for the house, the architect finished up the floorplans and here they are!!! I’m so so excited. Sorry they’re kinda blurry. I couldn’t figure out how to get them the right size.

I’ve included the current floorplan so you could see the difference. I already gave you a tour of the inside of the house’s first and second floors, but go check that out if you haven’t seen it. Pardon all the call-outs and measurements that gunk up the new floorplan drawing. Hopefully you can read around them. 


First Floor Plan “Before”

First Floor Plan "After"

First Floor Plan “After”

Did you SEE MY NEW KITCHEN?! How glorious is it? :) Oh my gosh, guys, I’m going to cook you so much yummy food in that kitchen!

Here’s the second floor:


Second Floor Plan “Before”

Second Floor Plan "After"

Second Floor Plan “After”

That whole front part of the house is the Master Bedroom suite!

And here’s the third floor where there is currently only an unfinished attic:

Third Floor Plan "After"

Last weekend my mom came into town and we went tile shopping. What I learned is that all pretty tiles are really expensive :(

I ended up making most of my decisions for the bathrooms though, so that’s good. If you know me at all, you know that I’m extremely indecisive, so this was a big step. Thank goodness I had my Interior Designer mama there helping me out or it would have been futile. 

I think maybe in these coming months I’ll post moodboards every so often for the various rooms, showing the color/decor that I’m thinking. Would you guys like to see that?

Sorry for the photo-less and recipe-less post. I hope to have more updates soon. The house is supposed to be done in 4 months! I can’t believe it :)


  1. I’m excited to follow along with your housing updates! No need to apologize for no recipe! Have you watched Rehab Addict? She had the same type of old garage door as you did and she saved the old panels and used them in her basement!! She never throws anything out!! I know there is a lot of work in restoring an older home but it will be so worth it…especially that kitchen!!

    • Yay, so glad you love house stuff too! I LOVE Rehab Addict…she’s so badass! She made me want to do a lot of the stuff myself, but I just don’t think I’ll have time so I’m leaving it to the professionals. How did she use the panels in her basement? I’m pretty sure they’re covered in lead paint so they’re probably gonna get tossed. I do love that she never throws stuff out tho. We’re going to reuse the pedestal sink, toilet and medicine cabinet from the full bath and put it on the new third floor guest bath :) I’m PSYCHED for the kitchen, hehe!!!

  2. Amy – I’m so excited for you! The kitchen (!!), the master suite, the attic (which is going to turn out to be a jewel) all sound incredible. Good choice on the garage doors and electricity is definitely a good thing. : ) Good luck with everything. I can’t wait til it’s done, you’re settled in, and maybe I’ll be seeing you at the local Trader Joe’s. : )

    • Thanks, Monica!!! You will definitely be seeing me at TJs…and on top of that, we’ll have to schedule a bake-date for sure :) It would be so fun!

  3. Congrats Amy.. can’t wait to see the progress of your renovations!

  4. It looks like your house is going to be amazing! And YAY for a big kitchen!!
    I would definitely love to see mood boards! I love interior design about as much as I love food :)

    • Thanks, Faygie! It’s weird, but I think a lot of food bloggers like interior design too. Cooking must share some gene with creativity. Maybe it’s being visual? I dunno, but i’m with you :) I’ll totally try to get some mood boards together for you!

  5. amaaaazing! Will you design my future kitchen for me? The only room that matters!

    Thanksgivvukah prep has already begun in my house! Have a great weekend :)

    • haha, sure! Well, my mom will help me design your kitchen since she’s the interior designer and she had a lot of good tips for me when we were figuring it out. Can’t wait to hear about your Thanksgivvukah recipes!

  6. i can’t WAIT to see how your house comes together! I am a total junkie when it comes to the remodeling shows on HGTV, because i always pretend i’m the one redoing my house. :) And i do love those old garage doors, but i can see how that would be totally impractical.
    AGREE: pretty tiles are all expensive, and pretty countertops are even worse. i hate it: I just painted our entire main area (cheap for how much paint i used) and have new curtains, and i love it, but i’m on a home redecorating high now and really want to replace the kitchen backsplash, counters, and then redo our entire guest bath.
    and then i looked at tiles. and countertops. and realized that it’s not NEARLY as cheap as painting. :( but they’re fun, and i can’t wait to see what you picked!

    • Shannon, me TOO! There’s just so many decisions to make though, it’s pretty overwhelming. And I’m totally addicted to HGTV. I could watch it all day long. New paint can go a long way in overhauling a room, so good thinking! I kind of wish this was a house that we could have updated room-by-room so that I could have tried doing a lot of stuff myself and saving a lot of money. But it just wasn’t practical in this case. Oh well!

  7. consuelohoneyandfigs

    Your kitchen is going to look so great!!! Oooh this is so exciting, I can’t wait to read more about the project and see the final house :D

  8. I love the new layout of the first floor! I can tell it’s going to be gorgeous! We had good luck finding nice, mostly affordable tiles at The Tile Shop — not sure if you have one near you.

    • Thank you, Megan! I looked into The Tile Shop (I think they posted about it on Young House Love) but I’m not sure if there’s one nearby. I ended up going with a place my mom has used in the past for the houses she’s done. It’s prob not the cheapest but I found some decent stuff to work with…plus I get her designer discount :)

  9. Oh goodness I can’t wait to see the new kitchen! I can only imagine how exciting it is for you. I just love the “after” floor plans! They’re great visually—I’d probably just end up screen printing them and putting them up in the new house ;)

    • Hehe, thanks, Irina!!! I can’t wait to see it either! I have all these ideas of what I want but I have no idea if they go together…I def need to get some moodboards up. I love the idea of printing out the floorplan! We actually found the original floorplans to the house (or i guess the ones from their addition in the 50s) and I definitely want to frame it. Such a good idea!!!

  10. what an exciting process, i bet you’re enjoying it so much! i’d love to see the moodboards as you go, i bet you have a great eye for design :)
    the hobbit kitchen x

    • Thanks, Holly! I’m definitely enjoying it :) My mom has more of an eye for design than me, so thank goodness for her help. I find all these things I love but my mom always vetoes half of them, haha!

  11. CRAAAZZZYYY COOOL. I love seeing these updates. And those layouts of what the house will look like. EEEEE so excited.

  12. Wow!! Looks like everything is going well!! Happy for you guys :)

  13. Oh my gosh, this is going to be amazing! I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Awesome kitchen!

  14. There’s nothing better than a new old house! You get the best of both worlds. Can’t wait to see what it looks like when finished. Love the garage doors you picked!

  15. Yay! I love housing updates. I think remodeling homes is so much fun (but SO MUCH WORK too!) Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to see what it’s like when you finish and the garage doors look great!

    • I’m so glad you like the housing updates!! Oh my gosh, this really is a lot of work…like redoing one room is a lot of decisions, but redoing EVERY.SINGLE.ROOM is decision overload. I’m sure either my brain will explode or I’ll have a nervous breakdown. We’ll see…

  16. I’m with you Amy, I wouldn’t want to go out to open the garage door each time I want to go in and out of the garage. And what if it’s pouring out? It can be such a hassle. And I can’t believe the previous owner used to do that! Such labor and she’s 96?! WOW!

    I’m excited for you and Nate! Home improvement is always exciting. Congrats on starting this project. :)

    • Haha, it would be good exercise! Unfortunately it’s a detached garage so if it’s pouring I’ll still have to walk from the garage to the house :( BUT, at least I can get out of the car leisurely and open my umbrella before being pelted with rain. Although, maybe that’s the secret to living to your 90s?! The seller is in crazy good shape…I can only hope I’ll make it to 96 and look like her. Thank you, Anne!!!

  17. It’s been said above: I’m totally excited to live my design life vicariously through you in the coming months. LET’S DO THIS.

  18. So much to look forward to, how exciting.

  19. I’m always excited to see new home and renovation posts, looking forward to seeing you guys put your own style and spin on this. I hope there will be some dinosaurs featured!

  20. What a great name – Thanksgivukkah, love it. Thank you for sharing your housing updates, I’ve been watching loads of housing makeover shows lately! I can’t wait to see your new kitchen and the yummy foods in that kitchen! Whoohoo, congratulations you guys!

  21. Can’t wait for the completion! Good luck and congrats you guys :)

  22. I’m so excited for your updates. Those floor plans are amazing. I love the kitchen, plus the master bedroom. I’m excited to see it all come together. It seems hard to believe all the can happen in four months!

    • Thanks, Nicole! I’m so excited to share it with you guys each step of the way. I know, 4 months seems so short…but then so far away at the same time.

  23. Indecisive is written all over my forehead! hm…I don’t know if there’s anything to do with the fact that we share the same first name!? hahahah…..Anyway, I’m glad to hear the process is going on great so far. Seems like you have a lovely kitchen layout. I can’t wait to see the real kitchen when it’s all finished. :)

    • haha, too funny! Thanks so much, Amy! can’t wait to show the finished kitchen too :) Right now it doesn’t have any walls, hehe. I might post a kitchen moodboard soon.

  24. I love your home updates Amy so please keep ’em coming! I don’t do maps/floor plans (sorry, my brain just doesn’t work that way) but love reading your descriptions and would absolutely welcome your moodboards! how fun. I know what you mean about the garage… those doors are utterly cool but perhaps not the most practical. You must be so excited!! I can’t wait to see pics of your kitchen, etc. Yay for involved moms :).

    • Haha, yeah, I guess some people don’t have those same spatial abilities. I got used to looking at floorplans early on because of my mom, I think. Well, you’ll see the finished photos! I hope I took enough “before” pics so that I can get good “after” ones of the same angle. Those are the best :)

  25. Wow! It must be so much to have so much creative control over how your house will look (a lot of work, I’m sure, but nice to know it will be exactly the way you want it). The floor plan looks amazing, and that kitchen looks huge! And is that an island in the middle I see? Jealous! (Actually, I have an island, but it houses the stove top and that’s about it, so it doesn’t really count as counter space). Can’t wait to see it all once it’s finished!

    • Yeah, I’m definitely excited to get to make all these choices…it’s why I wanted a fixer-upper. I’m SO EXCITED FOR THE KITCHEN!!! Hehe, yes, I really tried to find a way to fit an island in the kitchen. My mom originally had the sink in the island but i told her that I wanted the whole thing to be counterspace so we put the sink under the window instead.

  26. Why is it that when ever you like something it costs more, when it comes to fitting out houses? The kitchen looks like its going to be awesome and with a pantry – nice! Love seeing the progress.

  27. Aww I love those garage doors, bummer they have to go. I grew up in a house without an electric garage door opener, and I was always really embarrassed about it, but now see it different for sure. ALSO I grew up in a house with only one bathroom so this looks SOOOOO LUXURIOUS!!

    Love the translucent mystery toilets hovering in the living room:)

    • Haha, awww. Nate told me they had a non-electric garage at one of their houses and it was his job to open it, so he said we should just put our kids to work. Oh my gosh, I don’t understand how people live in a house with one bathroom…although I feel ashamed that I think that way since I know the majority of people probably live like that.
      The translucent toilets apparently show you where the toilets on the floor above will be so you can figure out where you want to put the plumbing :)

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