Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bathroom Renovation At The Westview House

So, I'm jumping around, and this post also has nothing to do with any work I've been doing, but instead more documenting the house I bought and the renovations I'm doing.

I showed you guys the weird bathroom: 

The back part, where the tub is, used to be part of the patio. The current laundry room is also part of the converted patio. So, since the tub area was over concrete (patio) the guy who owned the house before me, wanted to put a tub there without having to drill through (what I learned was 8"thick) concrete. So, he LIFTED the tub on top of the concrete, and in order for it to go there, it had to be raised. hence the hilarious stairs. It has been really funny taking showers in there. You have to walk UP, then step back down. It's actually pretty dangerous, but at least I have a handrail. haha! It's all pretty awful, and the tan travertine tile just isn't my thing. Neither is the vanity. 


Here is what it looks like now:

I decided to move the door over to the right. It used to be on the left of where it is in this photo. Can you see? I did this in order to have a larger vanity. I could've only gotten a 40" one before, if I'd done the vanity to the right when you walk in, but now I can get a 48" one, and a better view, in my opinion.

So this is what the old floor plan looked like:

And this is the new floor plan (except the linen closet and toilet are not that far away from each other. Probably only like 3'):

And a very quick sketch of elevations I drew really quick for you guys. I know some people aren't visual, so my words may not make sense. Hopefully this helps.

I'm getting way more storage, and I feel like this floor plan makes a whole lot more sense than the old one did. They were trying to cut corners by not drilling through that concrete, which I guess makes sense, but in the long run, just drill through the concrete - it's worth the couple hundred extra dollars! Especially when you probably spent that building the lovely staircase ;)

After we started gutting it, the contractor told me that there were not one but TWO layers of tile on the floor, and that the porch floor was 8" thick, so not fun at all to drill through. Poor guy. But they did a great job. Tomorrow the rough ins for plumbing happens.

I selected this faucet:

I bought it in polished nickel. I have used it a lot in brushed brass and I do love that look, but decided that this one was probably better for a fickle designer like me :) I can do brass pulls on the vanity to get my brass fix. And I do love polished nickel. 

I plan to change out the hardware to something brass. 

Today, I selected tile. I'm going to go with this one (which I have loved and used a lot for clients, too):

Here it is in the space. I have also marked out the tub and vanity here! Initially, it was going to be a regular wall, to the ceiling where that 2x4 is. But, last night after the contractor left, I had an epiphany which is to do a pony wall there instead, then do glass shower doors on the front and side, to let all that pretty light filter in to the rest of the room. Call me crazy, but I do love a shower curtain and I wanted to do that in here. However, practicality is going to win out so that we can get some sparkle and light in this bathroom. And yes I know glass shower doors are nice and pretty, too :)

Glorious shot of the tub! ha. I do like it though, because it's squared off and not round.

Going to go with this cheap classic in the tub. 

I guess that's it for now... standby! I will post more. Also, feel free to follow along for more progress and also some Insta-stories at my Instagram handle, @kfddesigns.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Hey! I have made some updates to the house, and wanted to document here, so I can remember what things used to be. Everything feels kind of slow-going, but really it's been a lot, and I feel like money is just flying out left and right. Haha. However, I have planned and saved for this, so it's really excited to finally be doing it. I want to enjoy each decision and change, but it's very easy to get caught up in the mind set of "I want it all done NOW!"

Anyway, some progress! When I first bought the house, I didn't move in until about a month after closing. Like I said in my last post, I did a lot before move-in (like paint all the walls, paint the doors, put in a privacy fence in the backyard, lots of handyman check list stuff, etc etc). 

One of the changes I made early on was this semi flush mount in the hallway. I plan to paint a fun "wallpaper" look in this hallway, but not until after the bathroom reno (Which is the door to the right in this photo. It is moving a few feet down to the right. That bathroom reno is going to be intense).



Another thing that I have been really excited about is to replace all the doorknobs (previously cheap, builder-grade brushed nickel looking ones) with brass knobs that make more sense with the 1930's home. I ordered these Schlage ones and they came in (after being delayed shipping and I waited like a month and a half) and are NOT the color they looked to be online. Such a disappointment! was kind about taking them back, and I have since ordered these. 

Here are the old ones that came in in the wrong color, boo:

The biggest change is that I TOOK DOWN A WHOLE WALL. Well, I didn't take it down, but I hired some guys to take it down. 

To jog your memory, this is what that view used to look like:

I had to work all day the day that this happened, and so I came home to quite the change. I was really excited! A lot of people that follow me on my instagram were worried about the floor plan change in such an old home. I understand, and am not always all about changing the floor plan to open open open, but in this case, I think it really helps with the flow (that little vestibule before was pointless) and also creates more light and a bigger feel.

I really love it!

Here it is this morning. The drywall was repaired and a new piece of (old) moulding was added. I think they had to buy it at some kind of moulding salvage place to match the existing old moldings, which I loved. There had to be a 16" header where the support beam for the house is. The other option was a hidden beam, but that is so much more expensive and invasive. I opted for the less expensive version, but still love the openness.  I can deal with a little header, especially with everything all painted white. 

new-old piece of moulding. I also am mad at myself because I never took a pic, but on one of the 2x4's that was on one of the old doors from when the house was built, someone had written "DOOR" really big. Old, scrolly hand writing from almost 100 years ago. I loved it. Now it is buried again for someone to maybe see in another 100 years. Probably when they're adding a wall back where I took one down. haha

Next, is a kitchen reno. No, I didn't mention this before, because I was initially going to wait on it. But, after talking to lots of people and having so many great vendors that I know and love from having worked with them on clients' homes, I decided to go ahead with it, so that I can enjoy a beautiful new kitchen for the whole time I live here, vs only a few years or something (who knows how long I'll be here). 

The layout of the kitchen will essentially stay the same, because I don't want to deal with moving water, electricity, etc. Plus, I just installed the dishwasher (another thing I've done! Well, had someone do...). The 2 major changes are that I'm going to add a peninsula to the left side of the stove that will come out 5', and include a little bar area with 2 stools. I will also be taking down the open shelving (cute but not functional) and the deep counter there and doing a shallow (15") wall of pantry/shelving (STORAGEEEE!!!) that will also include a built in microwave. Freeing up lots of counter space, and where I am losing counter space where the existing open shelving/cabinets are, I will be gaining it (plus some) where the peninsula is. So, I will have 3 working counter areas, which is enough for me (I'm no chef).

I'm also taking out the tile floors and putting in matching hardwoods in the kitchen area.

Here are elevations:

New pantry wall. I mean, so much storage, and since it's shallow, it'll make the floor space in the kitchen larger and less "galley-feeling", I'm hoping. 

New front elevations of kitchen! YES! I'm also really excited to be back in the world of hidden trash and recycling. It's the little things. haha. You can see that there will just be a new vent on top of the stove - no more tiny cabinets up there (pointless because they're hard to reach, and also feel dated to me). 

I am really excited for the cabinets to go to the ceiling, as well as the cased in box for the fridge. It's going to be such a cute little kitchen, and so much more functional than it is now. I'm hoping to not only enjoy the prettiness and functionality, but really be improving my home's value in the long run. The cabinets I have now are white and don't look too rough in photos, but they are actually old gross cabinets from who knows when, that were painted with what I think is primer. There are drip marks and brush marks everywhere. As a former cabinet painter, it drives me nuts! Plus, they were hung really high, so I can barely even reach the second shelf. 

 Other ridiculousness I've been up to is decorating (of course). 

The other day I had to go to Homegoods for a client and came home with lots of new bedding for my bed. Ha. 

My cart below. I have been coveting those Serena and Lily (the tan ones) pillows for months, and they are now on clearance and live on my bed. Such amazing quality and on clearance for $18.

I also bought this fun Kate Spade (not on clearance, but not bad for $50 at Homegoods vs who knows what originally!) pillow that's in front. I love the juxtaposition of the two elements. The pillow reminds me of some of Kate Roebucks paintings. I also bought the blue and white striped quilt which sits on top of my white duvet from Crane and Canopy from years ago (So soft, I love it).

 I also bought a custom HUGE bamboo shade for the master bedroom. So much easier than moving two shades up and down all the time. I bought it from and really really love it. I plan to add curtains to either side as well. I'm actually headed to Lewis and Sheron today for several clients, and going to look for fabric for myself, as well.

And here is the living room as it is now. Of course I want to change everything, but it's not bad. :) I was worried the chaise on this sofa would stick out too far, but it's actually fine. So, I probably won't change a whole lot for a while... I have enough going on! Of course I say that now... you guys know how I am... 

I do plan to add some built in shelving to the left of the fireplace. That's happening soon.

 last but not least, I found some really great thrifting scores recently at the Goodwill in Buckhead. YES! It's fun to shop for my own house again. For so long (like 2 years) I was really uninspired to buy anything for my house, because it wasn't permanent so it didn't feel as important. It's so fun to be making this place my own and feeling like adding my personal, quirky touches to such a sweet traditional 1930's house is what I was always meant to do. I feel very connected to this home and really love it. Also! I love the new neighborhood. It's called Westview and there are SO many beautiful homes over here. If you are in Atlanta, wanting to live inside the perimeter, near the Belt line, I do encourage you to check it out. Minutes from downtown and all the places I have been frequenting for the 15+ years I've lived in Atl (I'm old). Anyway. That's a post for another day. Have a great Thursday!

thrifting treasures 


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I bought a house!

Hey everyone! I know I haven't blogged "like I should" the past couple of years or so. But, I wanted to write, because some exciting things have happened, and I bought a house! If you follow my Instagram (@kfddesigns), you may have noticed that my life changed quite a bit, and things are quite different than they were in 2015. I got divorced in 2015, and that was obviously a very sad (and private) experience, but life is good now, and I'm ready to talk about some new things.

I am excited to try and blog (at least a little more often) about my experience renovating my new home, as I have always wanted to have reno projects in my own house to tackle. I have had so many for clients, but it will be fun to make decisions for my own place. 

I loved my last house. Everything was fresh and brand new, and really beautiful. However, I didn't have many "projects" because of that. Something in me has always been drawn to older homes, and I always thought I would be in one. Well, as things turned out, I ended up buying an 1100sf 1940's home that needs a little work. It doesn't need a ton of work, as it has already been "flipped," but of course I want to make it my own, and tweak some major areas. 

So, with that being said, a tour!

These are from the MLS listing.

These images with the fisheye camera lens crack me up. NO, the room is not that wide. And the laundry room door is not so wide compared to the fireplace. haha. Anyway, as you can see, they refinished the floors a nice dark American Walnut, and the original fireplace is intact. The house still maintains some original plaster walls, as well as some new drywall. The room to the right of the fireplace is the laundry room. This room will be a little tricky as far as furniture placement, but you know I love a challenge. 

This is the view from the fireplace. The arched doorways are one of my favorite features! This is looking into the dining room. I'm excited to have a dining room again and use my pretty dining table. Finally! I have missed it.

Front door looks huge here. Again, it's not that big. I'm planning to replace it soon, I think, because the style is off to me, considering the cottage-y nature of the home.

Dining room below. That light fixture will be replaced probably this week!

Dining room, looking into living room and kitchen on the left. I want to remove the wall separating the dining and kitchen. I have thought long and hard about it, because I don't love the idea of tweaking the home's original bones (respecting the original design, and so on), but I just feel like it would really open up the galley kitchen so much, and feel larger. I think it is the right decision.



Bedroom #2:

OK, now this is the silliest part of the remodel. This is the downstairs bath, which is the main one to be used.  The area that is to the right where the tub is here, is over where the porch used to be (the laundry room is part of that space, too). Apparently, in order to make more use of the space, they wanted to utilize that area for the tub/shower. Well, instead of drilling through the concrete floor for plumbing, they decided to put in a tub, raised off of the area that would be the concrete floor on the other side and in order to make it make sense, had to put in this dumb stairs situation. It's super dangerous and a big waste of space in a little house. SO! I have a master plan to completely rearrange it. It sucks that it was done this way, but it's really not user friendly and like I said - dangerous. And not to mention, not my style. 

My plan for this bathroom is roughly this. Thanks to my ol buddy Chip for helping me scheme this up. He's a master with floor plans and knows a thing or 2 about engineering, so getting his 2 cents before closing was really nice.

The tub will be a standard tub/shower directly in front of you when you walk in. The vanity will be a 40" vanity to the right of the door. To the right of the tub will be a new wall, and there will be a little shallow linen closet back there, and the toilet. So basically those items will be replacing where the existing tub is. 

Hopefully all goes according to plan! I know I will post lots of photos to instagram as I move forward, so make sure to check there in addition to here.

Upstairs, they converted the attic space into a bedroom and bathroom with a hallway separating the 2.

This is the bedroom. I have grand plans of adding paneled wood to make a "shiplap" ceiling in here, as an inexpensive way of covering up the ugly stippled ceilings. This will be a guest bedroom/office space for me.

The upstairs  bathroom. Huge plans for up here, too! I want to renovate this bathroom as well.

First, I'm going to tackle the downstairs bathroom and remove that wall separating the dining space and kitchen. Then, Id like to renovate the kitchen.

Look at my kitchen again:

So, there's this wall and little hallway separating the dining and kitchen spaces. I had this grand idea in my head, and SO WEIRDLY yesterday ran across an image on Instagram that was EXACTLY what I pictured it looking like:

The peninsula, the cabinets, everything. It's exactly what I imagined. So crazy!! Mine even will have the same little cut out once that main wall and hallway are removed/integrated into the existing floor plan. How crazy is that. The peninsula creates so much more workspace, and you could even do barstools, if you are so inclined. I have to have a beam overhead (mine will be 14" drop from ceiling) and so it will be there too (Although I will not do a wooden one like this, but just covered sheetrock, so it will all be white). I love it! 

I have already had all the walls painted Pure White by SW. I did Pure White because it matched the existing trim pretty well. I didn't paint them myself because I wanted it done quickly. You can see here the laundry room door is a normal size. :) I love the fireplace! Eventually I want to do built in shelves to the left of the fireplace. I love the can lighting and the 10" baseboard trim. The original picture moulding is also still intact, which I also love. The fact that the old trim around the doors is still there makes me really happy, too.

See that beautiful trim profile?

The other project I've tackled (I closed last Monday, it's been a busy week haha) is painting all interior doors black.

I did this myself.

So pretty. I would ideally like to replace all the new 6-panel doors with either antique doors or antique-look doors, but honestly don't want to spend $1200+ on it. So I painted them all black and now I love them just as much. (OK, maybe not as much, but close.)

I ordered these beautiful brass knobs for them:

I was going to do all antique knobs, faceplates. I actually went to the extent of checking out Eugenia's Antique Hardware here in Chamblee (AMAZING PLACE) but ultimately cost and efficiency won out. These knobs from only cost me around $16-$28 per knob, as opposed to $100/$150 per knob. Plus, the newer ones will be easier to install, because they're made for new doors. If the only project I had was replacing doorknobs, Id totally go for the antique ones, but in this case, like I said, efficiency won out. I am still really excited about them! 

 The most recent project I tackled was painting the ugly linoleum floors in the laundry room. They looked like this:

Really awful. I was going to rip them out and put in new tile. That was my plan, until I started thinking about how I needed a washer and dryer asap. I thought... I could paint them? Initially I was going to do a stenciled look to replicate the look of cement tile shops tiles (which I love). However, I remembered Camila's cute mint green kitchen floor . Actually I thought to myself.. Mint green floors would be cute?! Then, I think I realized that I subconsciously was remembering her kitchen floors, which I've always loved. 

So, I primed with my favorite Zinser 3-2-1 primer:

better already. 2 coats of that, then 2 coats of mint green porch and floor paint.


People keep asking if I'm worried about chipping, how will it hold up, etc etc. I know in the back of my head it could chip. However, I'd honestly rather touch up chips/scratches once or twice a year than have ugly linoleum floors. I plan to obviously put the W/D in there, and then probably a cute Oriental rug in there, too. I am having a handyman install LOTS of shelving in there for storage, so it'll be a highly utilitarian area, but honestly not a ton of like, guest foot traffic. You know? So shouldn't be much of an issue. And pretty easy and cost effective treatment. Plus .... bye bye linoleum. 

I have done other fun stuff like put in a security system and am having a privacy fence built within the next couple of weeks. It feels so good to own a home again, and I'm so, SO excited about projects and the cuteness of this little casa.

I hope you'll follow along as I (try to) continue to blog about my renovations. It'll be fun in years to come to look back on the changes. It's actually funny looking back (after only a week and 2 days) on all the progress I've already made.