HOUSE TOUR

May 1, 2015

When house hunting, I did not want to even look at new builds; IT HAD TO BE A FIXER UPPER. Renovating a home has been something I have wanted to do for like, ever. The 1970’s colonial we found in Michigan has the perfect balance of being old enough to have personality and new enough to have, well, nice plumbing (usually).

It was in the summer of 2015 we bought this house – our first. We have been working on something, big or small, ever since.

All sources for everything in our home are linked below. If you want to see all the posts on anything home renovation and decorating related those are organized neatly here. The only finished rooms are the nursery and powder room, every other one is “before” or “progress” status – I REALLY NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT WHEN LOOKING AT THESE.

EXTERIOR

The exterior was one of the main selling points on the house. I find the simple symmetry of a classic colonial totally irresistible.

Just before we toured this one, we were seriously considering a mid-century ranch, and although it was close it ultimately did not feel “us.” Then here it clicked that the style we would want to decorate with and the vibe of this home fit each other.

EXTERIOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz EXTERIOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-2

So far, we have removed all ten (!) of those overgrown godzilla bushes. We have so much we would like to do in the way of landscaping, but I think the biggest boost to our outdoor space will be when we build a portico off of the front door. David likes the exterior stuff and the interior work is my thing.

All posts relating to the exterior can be found here, including planting grass seed and power washing exterior siding.

ENTRYWAY

Entryways are kind of my favorite. My pinterest board of them is always booming. I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. I just love the little slightly unnecessary pomp it brings to a house. I pretty much am about a little slightly unnecessary pomp in all areas of life, actually.

The entry has a nice, wide hallway that stretches to the family room and back of house. That open visual line helps the floorplan flow well.

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-9FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-2Entry Entry-2

blue runner rug | art deco chandelier | ship art print (similar)

We made the changes to the bones, now we have to give it life with art, details, you know.

All posts about the entryway are here, including removing the tile and laying hardwoods, stripping wallpaper using a clothes steamer, and refurbishing the carpeted stairs.

SCHOOL ROOM

To the left of the entry is our office, playroom, school room (where I am typing this wow!!). The previous (and original) owners used it as a formal living room, but we are not really formal living room people. (Who is actually?)

It only has one door which we agreed meant it would be a perfect secluded work space.

DESIGNING THE OFFICE from Rachel Schultz-2FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-11OFFICEEXTRA TALL STOOL DIY

white ball lamp | faux succulent (similar)desk knobs | standing desk | drafting stool | rug | white arm chair | chest of drawers (similar) | leather ottoman (similar) | rocking lamb | wooden baby gym | blue table lamp | ornate mirror (similar) | white faux fur throw

Because it has that seclusion, the office is the perfect place to do something a little stylistically different than the rest of the house. Still to go we want to fill up that book corner with more and create a big work table.

All posts about the office are here, including how to shiplap inexpensively, making ikea cabinets into a standing desk, and a diy countertop for $75!

DINING ROOM

While we are not much of formal living room people, I am completely a formal dining room person and one of these was a must. A couple of the previous owner’s furniture pieces I would have kept if they let me!

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel SchultzDining

This is the room of the house I felt most uninspired on for a while, but recently the vision has totally came together and I am READY to implement it. A BUILT IN BANQUETTE IS HAPPENING. It’s going to be stylishly casual in here. I feel like you have to be comfortable when you eat.

We have lots of plans to make this room super special and may bang it out mid 2018.

FAMILY ROOM

A wood burning fireplace is one of David’s great loves in life so that’s my inspiration for this room to have collected, library-type feelings.

If you are reading this, I am probably still debating if I should paint the wood ceiling beams white. Please develop a strong opinion and contact me with what to do.

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-7HIDING A TV MOUNT INSIDE CABINETS ADDING TASSELS TO A RUG!-7

rug | white slipper chairs | english roll arm sofa | blue basket (similar) |  floor lamp | floor lamp shade | modern coffee table | ocean waves print | felt letterboard | gold clock | ceiling medallion | sputnik chandelier

When I finally got the courage, the walls got a coat of glossy black. And then I didn’t like it! It was my first big design trial and error. Whatever, it is all white now – and I love it.

Slowly I’ve mercilessly been rotating out our hand me down furniture and bringing in pieces we like. Then art, plus more color and pattern in the accessories.

All posts about the living room are here, including installing millwork on the walls, adding tassels to a rug, hiding the tv mount inside a cabinet!, and finding light fixtures with character for eight foot ceilings.

SUNROOM

The sunroom is right off the family room and this can really become something good with very little cost.

When we moved in it had a blue carpet of sorts and a lot of damage in the screens. Since our babies have gotten older, my desire to have this area play safe for them has increased hugely! We also wanted to work on this area soon because it would open up our options for hosting big groups, even when our dining room was not yet ready.

EXTERIOR BEFORE from Rachel SchultzA MUTED OLIVE GREEN FOR THE SUNROOM FLOOR-2

The floors have been revived and David built this hefty dining table that can seat 10+ people. (Especially if some are children. Benches are fantastic in that way.)

I would like to do a little wall mounted serving area, a cool chandelier made of greenery, and maybe a hanging seat too. Also that lattice HAS GOT TO GO MY EYES ARE BURNING. All posts about the sunroom are here, including build plans for the table and bench and refinishing the flooring.

KITCHEN

The kitchen! It is one of my most frequented places, of course. The kitchen when we moved in was certainly not the original to the home, and it is nice that some updates have already been worked on. Where it was at, however, was not my taste. Beige is banned.

It is funny because when we first moved in people came over and would always compliment our finished kitchen and be like THAT’S NICE THIS DOESN’T NEED ANY WORK! and I have to sheepishly explain that we did none of this and I want to promptly change everything.

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-4 FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-5KITCHEN

rug (similar) | dish towel | articulating sconces | calendar | cabinet knobs | drawer pulls

But granting the kitchen was not the weakest link in the house, we did some phase one fixes: swapping the hardware, removing the chandelier for something more inconspicuous, laying white concrete counters, painting the backsplash, and painting the cabinets a truer white.

This thing is getting tackled further probs early 2018. While the kitchen is currently arranged to be an eat-in area, we will scrap that feel and install an island and some open shelving instead. Also, these fake wood linoleum floors will be switched to real hardwood. All the posts about the kitchen are here.

POWDER ROOM

All the bathrooms and the entryway in our house had wallpaper, every one of which was a definite removal situation – except for this room. The paper kind of gave me pause because in a way I was totally into it.

POWDER BATHROOM POWDER BATHROOM-2BEFORE AND AFTER POWDER ROOM REVEAL BEFORE AND AFTER POWDER ROOM REVEAL

In the interest of doing a full gut job and everything feeling really clean and fresh (and finally getting out that lingering musty smell) we stripped the wallpaper and everything else left. I think the star of the powder room is the hex tile floor we installed. And the details on the pedestal sink, faucet, and millwork.

The full reveal with all the details on the powder room is here.

NURSERY & GUEST BEDROOM

For some time this was strictly a guest room (well junk room too), but we needed to make sure this space was earning its keep and converted it into a guest room plus nursery.

A baby can move elsewhere on occasions when we have a guest, and then when they are old enough they’ll be sorted into the respective boy and girl bedrooms.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-14A NEUTRAL, SOPHISTICATED SHARED GUEST BEDROOM AND NURSERY-2 A NEUTRAL, SOPHISTICATED SHARED GUEST BEDROOM AND NURSERY-3

metal bedjenny lind crib | black & white bed sheets | white knit blanket | white faux fur throw| crib sheetsgray patterned rugrug pad | changing table (similar) | roman shade | white storage boxes | step trash bin (similar) | ceiling light fixture | ceiling medallion | green seagrass basket | white laundry basket | navy arm chair (similar)large white frame | hands art print | wooden stacking toy | yellow ring dish (similar)mint bud vase | dried craspedia flowers (similar) | white ball lamp

I love the white in here because it feels clean and I find cleanliness is one of the things that makes guests most comfortable. But also because the crisp whiteness feels so precious newborn too. In here it feels sophisticated, but still with a touch of whimsy.

To complete this room, we installed the cheapest way I’ve found to do board and batten, used a trick of framing wallpaper samples for artwork, and built a $30 wall mounted nightstand. All the full details on the nursery are here.

BOYS’ BEDROOM

I am 100% obsessed with decorating nurseries and children’s rooms. Our big(ger) kid bedrooms are in stable condition, but they will probably be one of the last ones we work on because I need to see how birth order and sleep need stuff shakes out.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-16FINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE BOYS' BEDROOM-3 copya-childrens-teepee-2-copy

What’s this room going to look like in the end? Olive walls with millwork, a persian rug. So very traditional in some pieces, but slightly industrial, summer camp, boy-ish in other elements too. All posts about the boys’ room are here.

GIRLS’ BEDROOM

Getting married was kind of a decorating shock because I had to come to grips with that I cannot furnish our home in all lavender, frills, and florals. So as to not alienate the male occupants. Therefore, everytime I see a blush pink rug or floral wallpaper THAT I LOVE I hold my own face in my hands and whisper, “patience, Rachel, in due time.” 

The in due time is this bedroom and it is going to one day be the most CLASSICALLY FEMININE ROOM YOU HAVE EVER SEEN.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-15new-lighting-for-the-childrens-rooms-copyFINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE GIRLS' BEDROOM-2 copy

But right now with all the kid rooms, they are not too gender specific in decor because I have wanted to keep flexibility until we know exactly who and how many we need to house where.

In here it is going to be board and batten, blush pink walls, floral wallpaper, and probably lots of lace white. YES. Posts on the girls’ room are here.

CHILDREN’S BATHROOM

Probably the weirdest thing about our house is that we have a master bathroom that we have never used. It just needs so much work and we are not ready to do it so we currently all use the kids and guest bath for everything.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-3PAINTING A CEILING from Rachel Schultz

It is not at the top of list to get the full gut job it deserves, so we did a few changes to make it palatable like stripping that wallpaper. All the posts on the children and guest bathroom are here.

MASTER BEDROOM

I think when we do get to the second floor (first level takes priority because of visibility and usage), the first spot will be the master bedroom.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-11a-new-master-bed-frame-headboard-2-copya-new-master-bed-frame-headboard-copy

My vision is a blue-green color palette. And though largely devoted to white walls, in here you can expect color!

We have so far simply laid wood floors (bye blue carpet!), installed a seriously gorgeous light fixture, and a new bed. All master posts are here.

MASTER BATHROOM

I would like for this to be done because then I won’t have to shower in a bath with toys and a foam alphabet set. But this big guy is going to be the most expensive room in the house (I think). Bathrooms are like that. And our kitchen isn’t a gut job.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-10SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultztemporary-flooring-for-the-master-bath-copy

All we’ve done is ripped out the carpet and placed a temporary, inexpensive linoleum down.We are going to blow out that shower and have a pretty tub installed because this girl loves bubble baths. Pretty much everything will be different.

I feel like this room will be the biggest game changer of our whole house. We never go in here now! It scares me! And then maybe one day we’ll swing the bathroom of my dreams. It has such pretty light with that great window.

SECOND FLOOR LANDING

THIS IS THE PORTAL TO ALL THE ROOMS. That makes it important.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-2FINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE LANDING-2 copyFINISHED WOOD FLOORS IN THE LANDING

The key to the landing’s arrival will be replacing the doors and hardware. That is kind of an annoyingly expensive subtle thing, but I want to get cool hardware and doors to give it lots of historic personality and make an impact. I think I am opposed to a rug or too much furniture because I like it feeling clear and clutter-less. The cool hardware and probably adding some millwork details and art will be enough I think.

We stripped wallpaper, painted, and did flooring. We did a different light fixture than the one pictured. Here’s everything for the landing.

BASEMENT

Well this is the one that if I were to include an after it would look worse than the before. Because it is now also full of unorganized storage and construction materials.

SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-5 SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-6 SECOND FLOOR BASEMENT BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-7

We decided we may actually abruptly go for it down here. All I want this to be in the blue carpet area is a “play basement” (a term I learned only entering motherhood). It will be clean and cool but not a lot of furnishings. I want it to be ideal for rough and tumble play, so mostly bare and fun.

We’ll add a dutch door for the faux brick area on the other side which will become a work space or nice bonus pantry storage.

BACKYARD

At first I gave basically no priority to doing anything on our outdoor areas. It can be hard to do the outside of the home when the interior has much more impact on daily life. But then my children reached a certain age and I was like I NEED A FENCED IN PLAY AREA TONIGHT.

EXTERIOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-5EXTERIOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-4

So we are refurbishing that basketball hoop and concrete pad and are putting up a picturesque white picket fence on the double. Some flower beds, seating, MAYBE A FIRE PIT will all occur. Okay but outdoors are the outdoors and they don’t need much to be fun for kids. Maybe a swing.

That’s it! Here’s videos too! Even better!

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