Remodelmania 2012

Dec 31, 2012

What a crazy year 2012 has been! After nine years of living in our home, my husband and I finally began remodeling to make it truly ours. The entire downstairs is unrecognizable compared to what it looked like a year ago, and that's a good thing! We got rid of the tired beige tile with black grout (that wasn't supposed to be black), built a study, added tons of woodwork, remodeled our kitchen, and powder room. Here are some before and after pictures. Click the pictures on the sidebar for more information.


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We've since replaced the oven with a new stainless steel convection oven. The microwave also doubles as a convection oven, but I'm thinking we don't really need two of them. I'm really considering getting rid of the microwave and building a large wooden vent hood instead. I already have a spot in mind to build in a new microwave next to the fridge, too. Still thinking about it!


Before/In Progress
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There really was no entryway before. We took some of the living room to make one as you can see in the above photo.

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Before (as a Formal Living Room)
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Dining Room

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I love the new wall that separates the dining room and study. It feels so much more like an actual room now instead of a nook. Of course, the new flooring, woodwork, chandelier, and paint also make a huge difference!

Powder Room

I wish I had a before picture, but if you had seen it you would understand why I didn't feel the need to take a picture.

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One of the reasons we waited so long to remodel is that we always thought we'd move to a bigger house one day and we wouldn't get a return on our investment. When we finally thought we needed to move to a bigger home about a year ago we were so disappointed to find out a home only 1000sqft bigger would cost us three times what we paid for ours. And to top it off, all of the homes in our current neighborhood needed as much work as ours. Say what?! There are some awesome and affordable new homes in our town only ten minutes away that we looked at and sighed over, but I just wasn't willing to switch my kids to a new school to get a bigger house. So we decided to stay and make our 2300 square foot home into our dream home. Well, it's not our dream home, but it's coming along to reflect our style and the architecture of the home. Even if we do end up selling one day I want to finish this house just to see it as I always envisioned it.

In 2013, we're moving upstairs to continue the remodeling madness. We just had our new floor delivered today and it will be installed later this week. We decided on a laminate that looks almost identical to our downstairs wood tile.

This stuff is seriously durable. We beat on it as hard as we could and it didn't dent at all. As a mom to three really rough boys, that's awesome. I'm also sprucing up all four bedrooms and the boys' playroom media room to something a little cooler and less babyish. I showed my 10 year old son some ideas and this is his favorite inspiration pic. 

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He's going to be sorely disappointed! I was just thinking a new color paint, and artwork and window treatments without trains on them. I've been saving on furniture and decor, and focusing on floors, fixtures, and trimwork. Eventually, I will go back and decorate each space completely. My goal is to get the architecture in place first. The decorating will be easy, fun and inexpensive in comparison!

On a personal note, 2012 has been a great year for me, filled with fun and life changing experiences. I became an RN in May. The profile picture for my blog is actually my graduation picture. I started this blog in August and then a new part-time job in October. I also did some traveling.

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Maui (as viewed from my poolside chair)
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Yes, it's that beautiful!

Disney World
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We also welcomed our newest addition to the family, Mario.
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I can't handle all that cuteness in one picture.

We do have more trips and remodeling projects planned, but no more puppies. Mario is adorable, but it's almost like having another baby!

Here's to a great 2013! We're celebrating as we do every year.

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Um, well not quite like these people. We're staying home, family is coming over, we'll have great food and drinks, the kids will pop off fireworks while the adults make sure they don't lose fingers in the process, and then we'll struggle to stay up until midnight.

Happy New Year!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Hayley! I'm so glad you got to see the entire house finally instead of bits and pieces.

  2. Jennifer, I love this post!! Your family is beautiful, and your new dog is the cutest thing EVER.. Needless to say, your house looks awesome, too!

    1. Thanks, Stacy! I love this post because it's a good reflection of everything we've done the past year. Even though we still have a lot more remodeling to do, it reminds me how far we've come.

  3. i love that new entry space, those door are great. oh mauai, isn't it amazing!! i want to go back!

    1. Thank you! We're so happy with the way it turned out. Maui is just beautiful. We were just talking last night about going back one day soon.

  4. love your entry way! I'm thinking of doing the same thing and spooted your picture on TDC and am bookmarking it for inspiration. Thanks!! ps: what a cute puppy!!! is it a Havanese by any chance? We are considering one and my son wants to name it Luigi. (would go with your Mario!)
    -Lindsey in Ny

    1. My 4 year old named him Mario from the Wii game. I'm surpised he didn't choose Luigi since that's what he was for Halloween. Mario's a shih tzu and super sweet. Another good thing is he doesn't shed on a daily basis. I'm so glad you found your way here and good luck on your project!

  5. I just stumbled upon your page and notice that your living room, etc. had tile before. Was it ceramic? I ask because our whole first floor (LR, DR, entryway, hall, kitchen) have ceramic tile. I HATE it and want to cover it with a floating floor.

    So, my question is: did you have to remove the floor or did you float right over it? Also, did you deal with any uneven tiles?


    1. Yes, that tile was everywhere! We had it ripped up by one guy with a hammer. I bet he was sore the next day! We put down tile again that's made to look like wood because of the wet areas. It fools everyone into thinking it's real wood. I absolutely love the floors. We do have a click and lock laminate upstairs. I like it, but I'm so glad we have tile instead downstairs. It's much more durable and there are no worries with water.

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    I have come here via Hooked on Houses. What a lovely reno on your home. Congratulations! :-)

  7. Wandered over from HOH. Really great work. I can't figure out how you have 3 kids, blog, finished school, got a job, all in one year!!! Big year.

  8. Hi there -

    Saw your post on Hooked on Homes and had to see the rest of your home. I too am impressed with how you accomplished all you did last year! Beautiful home! Welcome to the world of nursing from a 32 year veteran!