slow and steady

But mostly slow.
Or maybe we're just too close to the project to appreciate how much has changed.
Wait a second though. A lot has changed. And we are grateful.
We last wrote about the new house in July:

The original structure was built in 1941. Over the course of decades a few slipshod additions were made. We've tried to undo some things that made the space feel chaotic and closed off. And to replace some things that were old or inefficient or unsafe.
 ^ the window on the left here, in the old kitchen, looked out over the small flat roof
(middle of the photo above)
same windows, below, plus rotting floor boards
^ now this corner has stairs to the master bedroom, above the garage
both windows are gone and new build is behind them
the window opening on the right can still be seen, above, framed in

In the process of replacing windows we lost a few but added several more, along with an extra large back door, to maximize natural light in the main living area. Previously the kitchen was in the center of the house, but we've moved it to the very back near most of the aforementioned light.
We also rearranged a few walls to achieve a more open floor plan and to encourage efficient flow.  The garage leads right into the mudroom which leads right past the pantry and into the kitchen. We opened what was a small covered front porch and gave that space to the living room. We eliminated one of two hallways to the boys' bedrooms and added that square footage to the bedroom that will be shared.
^ from what was the old kitchen, looking toward the back of the house (then and now)

We've also tried to hang on to a few parts of the original house. The fireplace and surrounding cabinets in the living room will remain. In addition to saving much of the original hardwood parquet, our contractor reworked what we assume was the first front door, and salvaged the linen closet frame, complete with mid century copper cabinet pulls.  Speaking of, we're not really sure what is happening era-wise, except at this rate it might look like the decades exploded inside. Fingers crossed picking our favorite things will prove to be a fine strategy, and finishes will come together.
^ the front room gained a little space near the door, and much of the fireplace surround will stay
we did not opt to save the old wallpaper, above, but we did salvage the linen closet frame, below
This week they're working on drywall. We've ordered tile for three bathrooms, and the kitchen cabinets are in production.  There's new hardwood in the master bedroom and the exterior has cement siding and a fresh coat of white paint.
We have some serious decision fatigue. But we also feel tremendously fortunate to be doing something like this at all.
It's so easy to get ahead of ourselves, to feel like the choices we're making are not for the day but for the decade. To forget that the choices are not actually life or death.  Like, we'll move in and forget that we ever thought door hinge color mattered. So for now it's just one choice until the next one, slow and steady.


Susan Kadlac said...

Jenni and Andy,
I am so happy you are able to make a new home out of this old one. It will be awesome and if you like it, who cares if the era is correct or the door hinges match. Your home will always be filled with love.

Are you managing to live in the middle of this remodel in progress?? It looks nearly impossible. :-)

Andy and Jenni said...

Thanks so much, Sue. The new house is only about a block from our first home, but this one has more outside space, something the boys need ;) We feel so fortunate to be able to make this place our home. But you're right, it's not the kind of project we could live through. Fortunately my parents have been generous and gracious, allowing us to live with them for months... That part of the adventure probably deserves at least one blog post of its own!

Linda K. said...

I haven’t been on your blog for a long time, but you have made tremendous progress! “ Decision fatigue” — we totally get that. And appreciate your first world problems reminder about it. Before long, your house will be filled with lots of wonderful memories and oodles of love! Can’t wait to see the finished product.