Since we moved to Arizona about five years ago, Michael and I have been saving up and planning for a big remodel. We really love parts of our house and we really, REALLY love our neighborhood. We feel like this is most likely our forever home. I’m so excited that we can finally make some really big changes that will make it work even better for our family. I feel so lucky and grateful that we are able to do this!
I promised to post the floor plans and here they are! In a nutshell, we are closing up the two back porches and one hallway, which will allow us to shuffle around rooms and make small, awkward spaces function much better! We have plenty of square footage in our house, but most of our rooms are either way too big or too small/narrow. The master bedroom is ridiculously enormous but the closet is TINY. We’re capturing a dark and narrow hallway to use for a bigger master bathroom and we’ll be bumping the closet out into the bedroom’s footprint.
The kitchen is also pretty small. You can see from the as-built floor plan above that it’s a narrow U-shaped layout that feels out of proportion to the rest of our home. It also feels isolated and disconnected from the living spaces. If you’re cooking a meal, or eating at the dining table it feels like you are basically on another planet! You can’t hear or see anything in the rest of the house. It’s such a bummer for me because I really love to cook and entertain and I know if our kitchen were more connected to the rest of the house, we’d all be in there together more. Here are some quick snaps of our kitchen from earlier today. We have DIYed every square inch of this space and I would say we got a lot of mileage out of those projects. But I’m frankly pretty surprised I lasted this long before started the reno! :) It’s time. We are getting ready to demo in here in the next few days and I’m already bummed about having to do dishes in the bathtub for the next 2+ months!
We already did a little work in here when the guys installed a few headers for the living room. Isn’t it funny that I’m getting rid of my arched brick hood surround right when that design is getting popular again?! Ha! I’ve actually always really liked the arch, but it bugs me that the brick doesn’t continue up higher. I might have been tempted to make it work with the new kitchen layout, but it’s right in the exact wrong place for where we will be opening up the walls.
By closing in the back porch, we can basically double the size of our kitchen and have a more separate and comfortable dining space closer to the living room. Here are a few pictures from demo and framing in the living room over the last two weeks or so! Part of me was sad to take out the fireplace, but we’ve used it exactly twice in the last five years, so it wasn’t really that big of a loss.
I just placed the order for a 16′ bi-fold door to go along the back exterior and I can’t wait to have our first party and open up the door completely! The weather here is truly perfect for about 8 months of the year and I’m ready to enjoy it more!
We were also able to squeeze in a new little office just off the master in the porch addition. This will be our new master bedroom entrance, and the office and new entrance to the laundry room will act as a sort of foyer to our room. We haven’t had a good office in this house and it will be great to move out the desk in our bedroom since we are taking some of the bedroom for the new closet.
To make the porch addition feel like it’s always been a part of the house I made the tough call to drop the ceilings. We had a crazy high vault in our living room (more than 18′!) and the highest the ceilings could be in the addition is about 11′, which is still plenty high, right? They just finished the framing for the drop and I think it was the right call.
The kitchen is just on the other side of that door. We’ll be opening the wall about where the center post starts to almost the corner. I love that my kitchen will feel more connected to the spaces where we hang out the most. Even though we’re opening this space up a lot, we’ll still have a ton of separation and privacy. It’s pretty much my main goal in life to not let people at the front door see if I have dishes in my sink! :)
We’ll also be closing in the small side porch where our giant ficus used to sit. It was truly heartbreaking to see that beautiful 30 ft tree come down, but the roots were destroying our foundation and our roof. Our insurance company told us they would drop us this year if we didn’t have it removed (!) so it had to go, even without the renovation. By closing in the smaller porch on this side of the kitchen, we will gain a bathroom and an interior stairway up to what used to be my studio space and will now be our play room/bonus room. The only other access to that part of the house is through a tiny spiral staircase in our mudroom, so a wide and straight set of stairs inside will be a game changer! We also don’t have interior access to our garage right now, but we will after this!
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks watching all the demo and framing happen! I’m a little behind on kitchen plans, but I’m hoping to spend some serious quality time with Pinterest this week and praying inspiration strikes! Guys, it is a MILLION times harder to make design decisions for myself! I can spend other people’s money all day and tell them what they’ll love for years to come, but my money? Hard to spend. My commitment to design choices? Hard to pin down! Argh! Such a fun problem to have though. :)