Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Family room – almost there!

Well hey there! We’re heading into week four of our family room renovation and I wanted to give you my weekly update. First of all – the whole it will cost more and take longer than you think thing? Yep. I thought this process would take maybe two weeks. It was on track to be done by the end of this week (three weeks in) but the sander the flooring guy uses is being fixed and that will push us back. So by next Wednesday I hope to have a “completed” room. Completed in that the construction is done – then my to do list starts and it’s a doozy. :)

After they are done I can start on the wall treatment, baseboards, priming and painting the fireplace and tiling it as well. Oh, and painting the whole room and kitchen. I honestly can’t wait.

Today two big things are happening – the floors are getting patched!:

patching hardwoods

I can’t wait to see this process! Our guy is feathering in new boards, then will sand down the entire room and restain and poly. Smaller areas he’s OK with just feathering and not redoing the entire floor, but he said it looks a ton better to just redo the whole area.

We have three areas total. The one above where the long wall was, a tiny spot where another one was near our mud room, and the last minute addition is this one:

patching hardwoods

Back when we had the fridge leak (that resulted in these beautiful hardwoods) we had the island put down before the floors. I immediately regretted that but it was too late. We were just so happy to have our island back in place after weeks of mess. :)

But the whole kitchen redo I've had planned for years involves a bigger island, so I will be building on to our current one. I want to move it away from the fridge and cabinets just a bit – maybe six inches both ways.

The floors won’t be sanded and stained till next week but by tonight we’ll have smooth floors and won’t trip in holes, so that is AWESOME.

The big progress has happened over by the fireplace. I showed you this pic early on I think:

building a fireplace

Here’s how that area above the fireplace looks now:

wall above fireplace for TV

Well, actually, they installed the board in the middle yesterday so I primed and caulked last night:

alcove for TV mount

The TV bracket will hang in that little alcove, so when it’s hanging it will look flush with the wall. I didn’t want to see the big bracket and I’m hoping this helps. The audio/visual guy comes today to finish all that up – for the first time ever I’m going to have someone else hang one of our TVs and it’s pretty awesome. :) (He is installing a wireless program too so it just made sense to have him do it all.)

The lighting is DONE and I’m SO HAPPY. They put in two directional lights over the fireplace – we had them before but I chose four inch lights this time. (Just for this spot – they are expensive!):

recessed light placement

Since the ceiling was already opened up and we were doing drywall repairs anyway, we went ahead and had recessed lights installed as well – six to be exact:

recessed light placement

Holy cats, that is seriously awesome. LOVE it. We have two in the old office area and it’s the perfect amount of light – and of course it’s all on dimmers. :) It’s so nice in here at night! My husband was so excited for it to get dark that night, it was hilarious.

MY favorite part is the fireplace area. This is my inspiration as a reminder:

built ins by fireplace

I love it for many reasons, but especially because it has the same deep fireplace that we are dealing with. After studying the photo for a bit I asked the guys to beef up the tops of the side cabinets. They did a great job:

built ins by fireplace

Those cabinets are just stock uppers from Lowe’s – are you surprised? They’re my favorite. ;) I wanted them deeper than 12 inches though so they could hold the TV components – so they beefed them up from the inside. You can’t even tell they were 12 inchers:

built ins out of kitchen cabinets

Brilliant. They even took out the adjustable laminate shelves and rebuilt nicer, thicker ones. I love them! I’ll cut out the fronts of the doors and replace the wood with metal sheeting like this – I have to do that so the components can breath.

So by the end of today, provided all goes well, we will have flat floors and the TV and speakers will be hooked up again. This means I can finally arrange all the furniture just the way I want it – I’m very excited for tonight. :)

I’ll get all that moved just in time to move it all back out next week so he can sand and stain. :)

Everything is going GREAT – I’ve been so pleased with the process and all the contractors. There’s only one hiccup so far – they had to tear the island apart to get it out. It looked like this:

board and batten kitchen island

And now it looks like this:


I nearly teared up, not gonna lie. This poor island has been redone so many dang times. Now the island extension idea may happen sooner than I thought. :)

We are nearing the end – WHOO! The costs really haven’t been that bad at all. We only increased the plan a bit when things like the lights came up. We’re adding some sound system stuff that is a little extra too, but other than that this reno is insanely cheaper than our original plan of adding on to the house.

Thanks for sharing my excitement along the way! :)


  1. Yes, projects never seem to get completed on schedule much less for what we originally thought it would cost. Love how it looks. I would love a larger island as we eat at ours all the time now that the girls aren't here much.

  2. I love seeing all of your projects and this is coming together so nicely! We just bought our first home and you are the source of inspiration for a lot of my ideas.

    Unrelated- do you look at or use Houzz? They just posted an article about the benefits of black doors and I immediately thought of you!

  3. What did I miss? Why did the kitchen island have to be removed?

    1. She said when she originally built the island, it was before the floor was laid, so since the floor guy was already repairing a few spots, they took the island out to get the floor underneath it fixed at the same time :)

  4. Hi! I live in the Indianapolis area and am always looking for great handymen, carpenters, etc for work around my house. Would you mind sharing who you're using for the project?

    1. Janelle I am happy to give you their number! It's a personal cell phone so I like to email it instead of putting it here -- email me and I'll get it to you. :)

  5. I love these updates, Sarah. It's going to be so fantastic to have it all done - just as good as an addition, in that it will feel like an entirely new space! :-)

  6. It is looking great. It may seem like a little thing, but I love the recessed outlet for your television. I wish they were around when we built our house. Definitely going in the basement if we ever finish it. I can't wait to see it all finished. Your poor island. It will be nice to have it where you want it though. Debating... we are putting in prefinished hickory hardwood floors - ourselves. Crazy, I know. But labor was around $7,000, just to install. Debating if I should replace our island. Builder grade cabinets and not a fan of them. Either way, after seeing your floors, we will definitely remove it. I LOVE your wood counter top on yours. I need to show it to my hubby. ;)

  7. OHEMGOSH lookin good though. I can't wait to see the finished product.

  8. What an extensive redo! It looks like it is going to be so gorgeous in the end!

  9. I hope it will be finished on time. It will look great when everything is complete. I'm sure about it!

  10. What a fun transformation! I am really excited about the new fireplace set up, gotta love something that is beautiful and functional!!

  11. What a huge difference this is making! I love the inset tv niche and enjoying following along!

  12. It is looking fabulous, dahling. ;) You had a great vision, and it is all working out wonderfully. Ok, got a suggestion. You love wheels as much as I do, so how about putting wheels on your kitchen island? I bought one that I was never able to use in our previous small kitchen (don't ask me why I bought it- duh!). I think I was enamored with the wheels and didn't think it through too well. Maybe in the next house, I'll actually be able to work it in somehow....

  13. You're having a great experience with this - it's so fun to follow along. Planning really is key, isn't it? I'm happy for you and all your new light and lighting. :)

  14. I cannot WAIT to see the magical reveal! It's killin' me! So sad about your island. That poor little thing has been through so much.

  15. Have you seen the covers for flat screen tvs that look like mirrors when you turn the tv off? Just an idea since your tv will be flush with the wall.

  16. girl! I would SO expand that island...just do can find another place for that butcher block...I just redid our island (it's more of a peninsula since it sticks out from one wall) and can't believe how much we use that extra seems that the counters that are against the wall (the ones with the sink and fridge) get so cluttered with canisters or coffee makers or whatever...having that nice big island where you can put kids up to it (that grand baby!) or just do crafts and quick projects (laying out all the food for thanksgiving) I mean in this day and age a large island just pays for itself pretty quickly...I say go for it- and give thanks that they jacked up your lovely island because now you have an excuse to go BIG! good luck

  17. Okay Sarah,
    This is my third try. Could not get the comment area up.So I commented in another area.I am the one with the comfy chair comments,
    So again here goes...because that comment is not posted anywhere, no idea where I went wrong .i am so not computer savvy!

    I have a comfy chair in my dining area .I read check recipes.Chat and catch up with the family while sitting there. Friday find for yourself night I caought up, while husband and daughter each danced around each other making different meals. i sat an conversed. very comfy thrift shop chair . It's a creamy ivory shade cost $23.00 plus renting the cleaner .Total of $55.00 Woo Hoo!
    All my magazines are British and I love the chair or couch idea in a farmhouse style eating area.
    My chair will be leaving in a month as we have purchased new furniture for the 10x13 dining area. No more room for it. I hunted high and low for the perfect chair it was actually suppose to be from Pottery Barn mega expensive for Christmas 2012. My daughter loved it..not comfy enough for me. So I took a chance on the charity shop one to see if I would even like or use it. Has ended up being so comfortable wing back chair,deep and surprisingly wide seat. I am not giving this chair up!

    So Sarah before your floor is refinished next week, I think you should slide over a comfy chair ,small table and lamp into the bay window area and see what you think. Love the whole room renovation. Cannot wait to see it completed.

  18. Replies
    1. No, I didn't delete a comment -- I don't know which one you're talking about, sorry!


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