Home renos always start small, don’t they?  

“Honey, I really think we should take out that awkward serving area … to enlarge the doorway … to accommodate that new piece of furniture that’s going into the living room … to complement the new planked ceiling that we had already planned to put in someday anyway.”

Serving Area- During Removal It was a bigger job than I thought...and then we had to do something about the floor beneath it. Oops!

And so it grows. In fact, that’s pretty much how it started at our house, with removing the weird corner serving area from the kitchen to the living room.

“I found this really great buffet,” Becca, our interior designer/friend, told us months ago when she first spotted the piece at a local antiques store. “But to get it in, we’ll have to widen the doorway.” (You remember Becca. We recently gushed all about her wonderful work and expertise.)

Serving Areal Removal Complete The serving area is gone! We love the new, wider entrance to the living room.

Easy enough. Check.

While we’re at it, time to deal with the ceilings. Not so easy enough. Not check.

We chose “1-bys” of three different lengths, all faux finished with a cream base. They looked perfectly distressed—on the floor. But when they went up on the ceiling, well, let’s just say I became the only thing perfectly distressed. Because of the room’s lighting—or lack thereof—the planks looked way too dark on the ceiling and ultimately weighed down the space. So up the scaffolding Becca and I went to rectify the problem.

Ceilings Before Our ceilings before the planks went up.

Ceiling Planks All of the planks waiting to be installed.

Have you ever tried to teach painters the intricacies of faux finishing? If it’s not one color that covers the entire wall, it’s just not going to happen. So in the end, we decided to paint all the planks one unified color: a muslin white. The result: a new ceiling that brightened up the space and my mood.   

Helping out the Painter Attempting to teach faux finishing to the painter...

Repainting the Ceiling The ceiling planks with the new paint.

Ceiling project done. Check. In the meantime …

“Honey, our refrigerator is broken—and leaking water onto the kitchen’s hardwood floors. While we’re at it, we need to patch the area where the weird corner serving area was. So why don’t we go ahead and refinish the floors now, while we’re in the middle of this ‘small’ reno?”

Kitchen Floor Torn Up A leaky fridge is not good for hardwood floors!

Floor Repair- During The plus side- at least I got all my floors to match!

And that’s how we ended up refinishing the kitchen floors to match the living room’s hardwood we had refinished when we moved in. All floors patched, stained, sealed and done. Check.

Renovation Complete  All done, and SO happy with the results!

All told, it took us about a month and a half to complete this “small” reno project, top to bottom. You see, this is our maybe-not-forever-but-for-a-really-long-time house, and we’re not simply renovating, we’re creating our home to build our lifetime of memories. So far, we’re happy with the results … and the memories we’ve created so far, top to bottom.

- Stephanie


Becca Gaines Interior Design

About Becca

Southern Living Idea House