“The first house I’m going to show you is a four level split.”
My realtor is also my friend, but at that moment I considered slapping her across the face. A split level? No. No. And no.
“Trust me. You need to see this one.”
Cowboy and I were on the hunt for our “done” house. A house that would allow us to spend our summer weekends on a boat, not covered in paint. A house that we could live in and laugh in, not squabble about endless landscaping.
Everyone has their own personal style, taste and experiences. My first house as a grown-up was a bi-level split and I was still scarred from the lack of privacy, cluttered entryway and huddling under the cramped stairwell during tornado warnings. I feel like I am at the full basement phase of my life (two story or ranch, thank you very much) where I can ride out a tornado in comfort. Not folded in half next to my Christmas tree.
Ok, we will look.
Fast forward three months. Wait for it. We now live in a . . . split level! My pacifying agreement to “just look” ended with our making an offer. This place is great! Filled with sunlight, hardwood floors, a remodeled gourmet kitchen, a fully landscaped yard packed with lilacs, hydrangeas, mature trees, a beautiful deck (complete with pergola!), and a sunshine infused room at the back of the house now doing double duty as my home office . . . . I have died and gone to “done house” heaven. And truly? This is a four level split, so the main living area is massive and on the main floor. There is a full basement underneath it so I have no fear of any Wizard of Oz demise. Phew!
Cowboy has christened this place The Lighthouse as the majority of the living areas face south and there are sky lights everywhere. We’ve already started making our mark and the first room I’d like to show you is the kitchen.
Since the whole reason we moved was to escape project land, we decided to make the sanity saving decision called “hire a contractor” for all of the major painting we wanted done to make our mark on our new home. In addition to that, we also had the painting done before we closed on the home since the owner had already moved out and the entire house was empty.
The pictures speak for themselves. Here’s some before and after shots of The Lighthouse kitchen.
The house had been added on to significantly and the kitchen expanded and opened up. Although the granite was a beautiful black swirl pattern it got a bit lost in the darker oak cabinetry. We had our contractor paint all the cabinets white and also found some wrought iron pulls that added contrast and texture. We had the entire home painted my absolute favorite color, Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, before we moved in.
The end result is a cozy kitchen that now highlights the updated features and is an inviting space to entertain friends and family. I retract any negative syllable I have ever uttered against split levels . . . because I am in love with this place.
It is home.
Two really incredible features of this updated and remodeled kitchen was its inclusion of a built in hutch and buffet. Here are the before and after images of each:
And yes – this house does have a lot of mirrors. (Another reason it is called The Lighthouse, if sunlight isn’t directly reflected on a surface then it is being reflected from one of the many mirrors!) The mirrored back splash and pantry doors will be changed out at some point. I am seeing visions of subway tile and a rustic barn door . . .
Thank you for stopping by The Lighthouse! My design tips this time around are pretty straight forward:
- When moving into an empty home it cannot hurt to ask the seller if you can make your updates prior to closing. If the seller is agreeable it is a simple form that your realtor prepares. Any time you can have contractors coming and going when you are not living in a space is always a plus!
- If possible, contract out your projects when it makes sense financially to do so. Cowboy and I are both able bodied but we really need a break from all the physical labor we did in our prior home. It took our painter two full weeks to complete these projects. It was worth every cent for the sanity it saved us. All we had to do was move in!
Come back next week and sit in my new sun room with me. I can’t wait to share its transformation with you.
Blessings, Peace and Joy,