It’s probably safe to say, I’m not your typical homeowner. Where most people look for a home they can really settle into for years to come, I think in shorter timeframes. I’m always looking for the next home project, so when I feel “finished” with the projects that will yield the most return, I get the itch for what’s next. So when I’d completed the kitchen updates to the Crieve Hall renovation, the inevitable itch began.
This time around, I was looking for more open space to entertain family and a playroom for my son that he and his friends could enjoy. I spent one day looking at four homes and this just so happened to be the last one we saw that day. It had the flow and the space I was looking for and still had plenty of original elements that were in need of updates. The perfect combination when looking for a home with renovation potential!
The main floor had hardwood throughout the foyer and kitchen, but all other rooms were carpet (some original and some updated?!?!) We matched the flooring, sanded down the original floors and re-stained the full main floor of white oak with a grey tinted stain. I’m in absolute love with these floors! Keep in mind, real hardwood floors require quite a few steps with necessary drying time between each step, which can often mean all other work comes to a halt during this time (i.e. no one is allowed to be on the floors.)
The kitchen was one room that the prior homeowners had already made a few key updates to that I’d thankfully have chosen myself. The kitchen counters (Shadow Storm Quartzite), white cabinets and (mostly) stainless appliances were already in place, making this one of the easier rooms to update, and let’s be honest, being without a kitchen is tough! I added a tile backsplash and new hardware for the cabinets. A new fridge is still on my wishlist, but it’s taken a back seat on the priority list for now!
One quirk of this house is the painted wallpaper. The prior homeowners had the entire house painted in a neutral gray (Sherwin Williams Repose Gray) which was great, but instead of removing any of the previous wallpaper, they painted over it. It’s most noticeable in the kitchen because the wallpaper has a slight texture to the paper, creating a subtle pattern on the wall surface that I’ve actually grown a little partial to.
The open living room was one of my main draws to this house, but the design was pretty underwhelming. It had a fireplace, but not much else going for it. The existing carpet became hardwood and the fireplace became a true focal point by flanking each side with built-in bookshelves, adding brick to the fireplace surround, a new mantle and a chevron design feature above.
Lighting is an easy way to make a dramatic impact to your home without overly breaking the bank. We updated the lighting throughout the entire house. While we were in the process of having the lighting replaced, we also noticed all the switch plates and outlets were yellowed and in desperate need of replacing which were quickly added to the list of updates. Don’t forget the “little” things!
Each of the upstairs bathrooms (master and hall bath for additional bedrooms) were original, and yes, with wallpaper. The hall bath also had carpet throughout so that definitely had to go. It’s now been replaced with tile, a fresh coat of paint on the existing cabinets, new counters, hardware, fixtures and lighting.
The master bath was more of an overhaul, as compared to the hall bath. We basically took it down to the studs and it now features taller black custom cabinets (the originals were shorter than what most people are accustomed to), new tile for the floors and shower, updated lighting, single faucet matte black fixtures and shiplap in place of the dated wallpaper. Another quirk: the original master bath’s door from the bedroom opened into the shower. If you happened to be in the shower and someone opened the door, you could easily pin yourself in the shower which I learned during the demo phase while tearing out the original shower. To help the flow, a sliding door was added as the main entry door to the bathroom.
This renovation had some moments that fully tested my patience which is expected with ANY renovation. Some were odd, but ultimately minor. On move-in day, I had zero working toilets! They were working the following day, but that first day and night were a bit challenging. One of the bigger curve balls was the dining room. This room was only intended to have the hardwood refinished and new lighting, which was thankfully all in place right before a big family gathering was planned. Big sigh of relief that it all came together in time. Then, the very next day, we came home to the sound of rushing water, which turned out to be a leak coming from the upstairs master bath. We’d been away for HOURS so the water had done some damage to the ceiling, walls, new hardwood floors and the dining table (which was only a week old)! Now, as you can see, everything has been restored, including sanding and refinishing the dining room table, which I opted to do myself instead of returning it which would have been just as much of a hassle. The reason I share this part of the story is to simply say that when you undertake projects like this, unexpected things are bound to happen. It’s hard to take in the moment, but with some deep breaths and some problem solving, it can and will all be made right again.
So, what’s left now to do?! I mainly focused on the interior to date, but the outside could use some cosmetic updates to the shutters and both main doors (front and back). I’d love to add a covered area to the existing patio as well. Otherwise, I still have plenty of room for more decor. Having doubled our space from our last house, we’ve had many a bare room, but that’s all part of the fun!
Construction: Harmon Home Co
Photography: Ruby and Peach Photography
@2021 HARMON HOME TEAM
1610 West End Ave., Ste 115, Nashville TN 37203 | 615.522.5100
1610 West End Ave., Ste 115, Nashville TN 37203
@2020 HARMON HOME TEAM