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My Home Renovation // Part 1 // Main Floor

Jan 27, 2017

Part 1 // Main Floor

My Home Renovation

Fast Facts:

  1. I purchased this as a fixer, intending to flip it, by myself, and I only owned a starter toolbox…
  2. I designed 100% of it.
  3. I completed about 67% of the work myself.
  4. I chose a few items to splurge on, hunted for things I could restore, and hit up Ikea on the reg.
  5. I highly regret white grout in the entry and kitchen. I do NOT recommend. In fact I might stain it dark to spare my OCD further trauma.
  6. It’s funny to see how design has evolved since I began. If I were starting today, I would most likely have chosen a super light wood flooring, giving it a more Dutch twist. At the time it seemed trendy and too risky!
  7. I’m such a weirdo about shooting portraits in natural light that I thought it would be best to shoot my house the same way… turns out you miss out on the glory of my light fixtures all glowy and warm. I could re-shoot it, but ain’t no body got time for that. Use your imagination.
  8. All of the progress photos are iphone pics because I’m awful at documenting my own life.


In each space the changes were 95% cosmetic. I scraped all of the ceilings, had them re-skimmed, painted everything, and upgraded all flooring and trim (with the exception of the beams). The loft above is actually the master bedroom and I didn’t mind the open-ness but I hated the railing and wanted a way to modernize the space as well as control airflow. Glass seemed like a no brainer, so I knocked out the railings and had glass cut to fit the spaces within the existing molding. **Installing the custom glass inserts was one of the portions that was beyond my pay-grade. 🙂



^^ Notice the heinous carpet wrapped stairs. I would have refinished these treads but they were super nasty from being unprotected during the initial construction. I purchased new wood, and finished them to match the hardwood flooring. As a photographer, I very much appreciate light, especially when it comes to the space I live in. It would seem contradictory to add so much dark, but what can I say, I’m a contrast junkie. 😛

Why yes, I walked that plank to paint the higher portion of  that wall above the stairs. It was more precarious than it looks, but I kind of enjoyed the thrill of potentially plummeting to my death… kidding. kind of. (this photo taken from inside the loft above)


The yellow dining set is one I purchased on Craiglist for college. It was $99 for the table and chairs plus the buffet (that I have yet to paint). For a 1949 solid wood set, I can’t complain! A few coats of white enamel and now it’s nice and crisp!





This is where the light and white come in. 🙂



Two things I find difficult to bargain shop for: lighting and faucets.



(also an example of me being stupid and shooting with the lights off?)

^notice the shrine on the right. Did you really think my home wouldn’t have a coffee station? 😛 The only thing I collect as I travel are the matching geometric Starbucks mugs. I love that they coordinate and create a bold functional art installation!

^ that one time, when the fridge didn’t fit in the fridge hole, and I wasn’t replacing the cabinets, so I had to have someone come in and trim the cabinet… You know that thing about measuring like 5 times? They’re serious.

The kitchen was my favorite. Obviously kitchens are where there are the most design choices, but I’m also pretty pumped about the cost effectiveness of some of the materials, and I didn’t let the glass mosaic + wet saw with tiny cuts scare me away. 

So the countertops: they’re not solid surface. In fact the granite sink cost me more than the counters. I found a laminate product that uses HD pictures of actual natural stone and prints the image life size. They speak my language. Combine that with not having them manufactured with special edges, and voila! a beautiful solution for a fraction of the cost. This pattern is the Calcutta Marble. I of course wanted the real deal but you know, there’s that thing called ROI. 😉 

I loved styling the kitchen. I knew I wanted everything to be purposeful and make a statement– in high-contrast, of course. 




There’s a little baby water closet right off the front door, next to the staircase. Popped a dream catcher, a couple industrial mirrors, and a salvage vanity in there. Easy peasy.

Soon enough I’ll get around to shooting the upper level that includes the master, my favorite design (the upstairs bathroom), and my home office!

Material Sources:

Kitchen Floor, Entry Tile: Home Depot – Marazzi VitaElegante Bianco

Kitchen Backsplash: Home Depot – MS International Pebble Interlocking

Kitchen Faucet: Lowe’s – Giani

Kitchen Sink: Home Depot – Glacier Bay

Kitchen Countertops: DIY using Formica 180fx via Home Depot

Refrigerator: Nebraska Furniture Mart – Whirlpool

Range: Nebraska Furniture Mart – Whirlpool

Dishwasher: Home Depot – Whirlpool

Pendant Lights: Lowes (similar)

Glass Shelving: Ikea – Grundtal

Kitchen Island: Target (similar)

Coffee Cart: Ikea – Grundtal

Coffee Mug rods/hooks: Ikea – Fintorp

Curtain Rods: Urbanest

Curtains: Ikea – Merete

Kitchen/Dining Room Rug: Tuesday Morning

Barstools: Vintage — found in West Bottoms KC, reupholstered

Barstool, Dining Chair Fabric: JoAnn Fabric

Hardwood Flooring: Bruce American Vintage Scraped Mocha 3/4″

Dining Set: Vintage 1949 via Craigslist

Dining Light Fixture: Ikea – Hektar

Palm pot: Lowe’s

Large Plant: Palm Tree

Small Plant: Mother-in-law’s Tongue

Entry Light Fixture: Lowe’s

Bathroom Faucet: Home Depot

Bathroom Sink: Salvage

Bathroom Rug: Target – Nate Berkus

Dream Catcher: Etsy – JorRainbow 

Living Room Chandelier: Overstock 

Sectional: Nebraska Furniture Mart – Designs by Ashley

Coffee Table: Ikea – Vittsjo

TV: Vizio

Living Room Rug: Ikea – Stockholm

Stair Stain: Minwax – Jacobean


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