Sunday, April 13, 2014

New House!

We have purchased a new house!  And I no longer have an income!  YAY!  Here is our new 1973 split level abode, in Eagan, MN:
Yep, the maroon color is depressing and dark.  The cream garage door and window is going to be a challenge to work with.  I thought about painting them white, but I'm not sure what they are made out of.   My thoughts are gray siding with bright white trim/garage door and a fun color door.  And of course, fixing the difference between the trim around the upper windows and the lowers.  And ditching the hunter green screen door.  And new lights.  Anyway, the inside of the house is so light and homey!  It doesn't feel like a 'split level' when you are inside.  Front door on the right.
Our first order of business when we close is to refinish the hardwoods - they are the beautiful skinny planks, I think 1.5 inch?  It runs through the living/dining and upstairs hallways and bedrooms.   
There is a private fenced patio area that is accessed from both the dining area and the eat-in-kitchen area French doors/slider. 
Under the snow (I took these photos APRIL 5th and they had just gotten several inches!) is a nice deck, concrete slab and planting areas. 
The kitchen is considered 'upgraded,' but of course I'm not a fan of the sea of wood.  They are nice quality cabinets, the wood is actually pretty, and thankfully the shape of the doors is ok.  The counters are ivory Corian.  Sorry I don't have a better photo of the kitchen....we saw 16 houses that day!  The backsplash is different from one side to the other, and both sides are hideous.  That will be smashed out and replaced quickly!  The lighting and faucet will be replaced, too.
We need to buy a refrigerator and a microwave.  Not sure if we will put one above the range (not a fan of those) or find another spot for it.  It's hard to see, but there is an appliance garage/bread box at the end of the counter...and eyeball lights.  Oh, and also the silly country rail at the top of the cabinets.  Hello, 80s!!
Here is a better view of the vaulted eat-in area of the kitchen.  Love this part of the house!  The skylight makes it so bright, I do not have any intention of painting the beautiful ceiling.
And this area goes down to the lower level, which then pops up again near the front door.  I totally love that circular flow. 
Here is the walkout from the lower level.  I have not decided whether I will turn this into a mudroom since the 'back' door is there, or a play area for Ashford, or possibly a wee guest bedroom...I know one thing, I will one day replace that door with a French door to let in more light.  And of course, the ceiling and light need help!
And down the hallway is the laundry and storage area, a workbench/hobby room, a little half bath, and the family room complete with tongue and groove, laminate floor, enormous gas fireplace, boob light, and faux brick.  Yikes!!
Our plans for this room are to either fix up the faux brick or rip it out, modernize the fireplace screen, put in can lights, replace the boob light, and probably install carpet over the icky laminate.  I have claimed the little nook (to the left) on the other side of the room as my photo editing/computer station, but Shaun is thinking it should be a bar.  I don't think a bar is necessary to crack open a beer or bottle of wine...right?     
The stairs here take you back up to the living room.  Then there are 7 steps up to the bedroom area. 
The main bath is nothing special, but it is simple and clean.  I will probably paint the vanity, get new hardware, faucet, and light and install some can lights since there isn't a window.   Oh, and I guess a shower curtain rod is necessary, too. 
The two smaller bedrooms are pretty small, but workable.  I love the large wood windows throughout the house.  This room will be Ashford's room, it has a huge closet!
This will be our guest room.  Due to the width, I may end up putting the queen bed against the window wall.  The closet is on the wall with the door.  I'm seeing some creative decorating in my future to open up this space!
What really sealed the deal for me on this house, is the fabulous master suite!  The master is enormous!  I think it is 23x14 or something like that.  The carpet is brand new, but we will be pulling it out to refinish the wood underneath.  If there is no wood, I guess we will be installing some!
To the left is a double-wide bifold closet, and to the right is the walk in closet.  Oh my!  Thank goodness, since I'm giving up all my fabulous closets in our current house.
There is also ANOTHER closet over by the bathroom, I forgot to take a pic - it is cedar and great for off-season clothes.  And here is the very dated master bath.
I will have to replace the vanity top and faucet, no like the sea shell.  I will also probably replace the shower door, light, and all the small fixtures.  Here is the view from the bath area.  There is a skylight in the master, which I love for the light - but we are looking into a shade, since we both love our sleep!  (This is sort of a joke, since we have Ashford we can never BOTH sleep in at the same time...)
The house also has a nice big attached garage with rafters, which we don't have now.  We are looking forward to the extra storage space for Shaun's kayak, ice shanty, and other stuff that is taking up room on our garage floor.  It's also going to be very luxurious to be able to enter the house from the garage!
So, that is basically everything.  Here are my thoughts...I am not a fan of painting short little 'ranch' trim white.  I think it looks awful.  I also don't like painting hollow core doors that are so typical in mid-century homes, and I can't afford to replace them all with solid doors right now.  I also don't want to paint the nice wood windows and doors throughout the house.  However, there is SO MUCH wood in this house.  I want to embrace the retro feel of the house, but I cannot find a single inspiration image with original stained trim!
There is also this large casement window that apparently had a slew of animals using it as a scratching post.  I am not sure I could get this smooth enough to look good painted.  I'm thinking we will remove the small baseboard when we do the floors, and replace all of it with 1x4s stained to match the floor, then I will paint the kitchen cabinets similar to what Joi did with her kitchen to break up all the wood.  I think those colors would look great with the natural trim throughout the house, and the tongue and groove ceiling.  Please give me your opinion! 


  1. Welcome to Minnesota! Can't wait to see what you do with the house:)

  2. Congrats!! I just removed that SAME exact light fixture that's in your lower-level walkout foyer/mudroom from my KITCHEN! So weird to see it hanging there. I thought I was rid of it. ;) Personally, I love split levels. Ranches are my favorite, but I'd take a split level over a 2-story -- nice and spacious, and yours looks like it has wonderful flow!

  3. Great house and I'm sure you'll be busy! Checked on Joi's link and those colors seem like they'd look good with your kitchen/wood/ceiling, etc. Whatever you decide, it'll be great I'm sure. Exciting!!

  4. congrats!!!!! i see so much potential! i hope you keep that rail about the cabinets- it's so you. ;)

  5. So Much POTENTIAL!!! Our first house was a split level - we loved it:) I'm so happy to hear that you aren't going to paint that wood ceiling. I think wood brings so much natural warmth in to a home. But you are right - there's a LOT of wood in that house!

  6. Oooh, congratulations!!!!! Your new home has SO many great things going for it - I can't wait to watch you work your magic!

  7. Congrats! I will be watching you closely as you transform this place...we are currently home shopping and it seems like a lot of the places we can afford (that have the space we need) have similar finishes and I'm always dumbfounded about how to work with them. Especially wood trim that spans the ENTIRE house!

  8. I literally gasped when I saw the vaulted wooden ceilings in the kitchen eat in area... BEAUTIFUL. I am so happy to read you're going to go with it. I think all too often people paint over wood and it breaks my heart. I can't wait to see all the progress you all make with this new home. It's very unique and I know you will do it nothing but the utmost justice!!!

    We are currently in the process of closing on our first home and while my updates won't be nearly as awesome as yours - I can't wait to read to get inspiration!!!

    ** Looking forward to the bathrooms the most. Our new home has 1990's fixtures and counter tops which are fine, but eventually we want to upgrade - I'll be anxious to see all you do in your rooms!!!

  9. Young House Love did a great reader question about inspiration photos with wood trim a while back, but now I can't find it :-/ I did, however, remember to pin this link to a wonderful blog from that article, and I have to say I love this style, wood trim and all!

  10. Yeah! Eagan isn't too far from Waconia! Can't wait to meet up!
    My first thought was to rip out the small trim and put big white chunky stuff in, and then put a super dark gel stain over the window casing and trim....
    I love tri-splits. Also, if you ask HD, you probably know this already, but a couple of times a year they do a sale of solid core doors for the price of hollow. That's how we did our house in Oconomowoc.
    YEAH! Glad you are here!

  11. Congrats and welcome to Minnesota (I too am in Eagan :)
    Can't wait to see what you do with your new home!

  12. welcome to MN! I might be biased, but Dakota County has great libraries and children's programs...

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  14. The easiest way to remove some of that wood is to paint the wood trim to white. It would brighten up everything!


  15. I think it's kind of weird, but more and more, I'm really digging 70s ranches. Congrats on your new purchase!

  16. Yaaaaay! So happy you found a place and it's going to be amazing when you get through with it. It has so much potential - I'm jealous of the open floor plan and all that space. And I love the vaulted ceilings with wood and skylights. I totally want those in our house.

  17. Looks great!! I definitely vote for painting the trim. It makes rooms feel bigger and more open. My sister-in-law avoided it for years then pulled the trigger before moving and wish she had done it years before! Also tried to find inspiration pictures for my father-in-law's cape with stained trim and could not find a single picture I liked. He is keeping the trim but I at least found that darker, earthier paint colors worked better. Good luck!

  18. Thanks so much for all the comments, ladies! I am so torn about this trim thing. I love the look of white trim, but I also know how hard it is to maintain. I'm a perfectionist, so I'm constantly repainting our white trim when it looks a little beat up. We will see how it goes!

  19. Welcome to Minnesota! We had the big urban vs suburban debate when we bought our house (we close in a few weeks). We ultimately settled on St. Paul since the kid thing isn't happening for us and I wasn't ready to sell my soul to the suburbs without them. ;) My husband grew up in Eagan, and if he had his way we'd be living there. A good friend and blogger just bought there last year too. Oh, and if you want to connect with some of crazy MN bloggers, there is a group of 150+ of us on FB. Just search Minnesota Bloggers. We get together and hang out every few months. We'd love to have you join us!

  20. Welcome to Minnesota! We had the big urban vs suburban debate when we bought our house (we close in a few weeks). We ultimately settled on St. Paul since the kid thing isn't happening for us and I wasn't ready to sell my soul to the suburbs without them. ;) My husband grew up in Eagan, and if he had his way we'd be living there. A good friend and blogger just bought there last year too. Oh, and if you want to connect with some of crazy MN bloggers, there is a group of 150+ of us on FB. Just search Minnesota Bloggers. We get together and hang out every few months. We'd love to have you join us!

  21. Yay!!!!! It looks like its going to be a fabulous home!

  22. I love it! And that flow-through is so cool. I've never seen a split with that type of floor plan, I don't think!!
    I wouldn't paint the trim personally, mainly because I am lazy. But if you find it's cramping your style, you always could!!

  23. Paint it. I feel no love for the wood, it feels dark and it seriously gets old trying to match colors with the trim and floors. Especially since it's just icky builder type trim and not amazing woodwork. What are you doing with the floor stain? The house has amazing potential though and you're right it totally doesn't feel like a split level!


Thanks so much for reading....your comments mean a lot to me!