Uncharted Territory…

Just like we did in our first house, we find ourselves bouncing around from project to project and from room to room (we’ve tackled the living room, guest room, nursery, master bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office, laundry room, patio, deck, etc). But there are still a few completely untouched spaces after two whole years of living here (other than slowly filling them with clutter in some cases)!

Up until about a month ago they were:

  • the sunroom
  • the playroom
  • the hall bathroom
  • the guest bathroom
  • the basement
  • the carport (which we want to convert to a more curb-appealing structure)
  • the front porch (we want to frame out the columns, remove the scalloped trim, etc)

Those are a lot of spaces to leave completely alone (or fill with clutter) for nearly 24 months! But thanks to some scurrying in the past four weeks, we’ve actually started in on the hall bathroom and the basement, which just leaves:

  • the sunroom
  • the playroom
  • the guest bathroom
  • the carport
  • the front porch

That’s still a bunch of areas that’ll keep us busy, but it feels better to only have five untouched zones on the list instead of seven. And ya know what will feel even better? Starting on the sunroom. Whoop whoop!

And yes, we’re getting excited to tackle Clara’s big girl room, so that’ll be happening pretty soon too. You know us in the winter, it gets cold and we get all crazy and bite off a ton of stuff (as seen here with an update that we also gutted the kitchen last Christmas).

There’s nothing like looking a room square in the eye (the wall? the trim? the window?) and saying “dude, we’re getting on that.” So we officially did that to the sunroom. And then we got started. First here are some shots of the sunroom as it looked yesterday when we started. This is the wall that looks out to the upper patio:

This is the wall to the right of that which overlooks the patio we added on the side of the house (this terribly-out-of-scale sketch of our lot might help orient you more):

This is the brick wall to the right of that with a window that looks into the kitchen:

And this is the wall to the right of the brick wall that looks into the living room (here’s a floor plan of our house that might help orient you too):

Not much to look at, eh?

And since we all know I’m nothing if not long winded and thorough, here’s a video for ya, just to capture our “before” in 3-D. Well I guess it’s still 2-D, but it paints a better picture than the pictures, if that even makes sense at all. Maybe not? Oh and the video explains why we can’t remove that window between the kitchen and the sunroom since we get that question semi-often:

So the first step after standing in the sunroom and declaring “dude, we’re getting on this already” to no one at large was to draw up a little plan. Not to scale, just more like a brain dump on paper. It looked like this:

We knew the daybed only worked on one wall (we moved it around a lot when we first moved in and the brick wall just makes the most sense layout wise) and we thought adding a bar overlooking and patio through those giant windows would be cool and then bringing in some sort of storage for the completely bare wall across from them might make sense. We also want to reuse the jute rug leftover from our bedroom and the bright blue stools leftover from our kitchen along with a few other items that we already have (like floor pillows, daybed pillows, etc) because you know we love to work with what we have. Of course there are major things that have to happen like painting and adding window treatments, etc – but in this case we thought figuring out a layout that worked trumps paint, so that’s what we started with since we had so many existing pieces that we wanted to work in.

The first step to seeing if our little floor plan rendering would make sense in real life was to clear out the clutter and either craigslist, store, or donate anything extraneous. After about an hour in there we were left with this:

And then after moving some items that would go back into the room into the living room, just to get the room bare enough to look at/place the rug, we were here:

Yup, it looked like move-in day all over again. Except without the snow.

Then we brought the rug in and laid it down with a bit of it going under the daybed to ground everything. It’s a nice size for the room, the jute makes sense in a sunroom, and it cozied up the cold tile floor so we were sold. Although with the butter-cream color of the walls it’s a little off, we’re sure once we paint and add accessories and otherwise complete the unfinished 99% of the room we think it’ll all come together.

Then because I’m impatient, I tossed down the floor pillows, placed the coffee table, and played with a plethora of pillows. You guys know about me and my pillow problem, right? Oh but don’t mind the orangy-brown drawers to the right of the daybed (those will be craigslisted – they’re leftover from our kitchen reno) and those stacked tables to the left of the daybed (we’ll figure out where those really go someday).

Next we brought in the stools that we envisioned for the bar against the bay of windows overlooking the stone patio and it was like a DJ slammed their hand down on a record. Screeeeech. It just didn’t work. No matter if we scooted the rug over, moved the daybed, or even removed the rug and tried the daybed on another wall – in person they just felt way too cramped and not-really-functional there. Sad face.

But as we’ve learned about a million times before, sometimes the first idea that pops into your head for a room isn’t the right one anyway, so thinking things through thoroughly (especially in the middle and the end of a project- more on that here) seems to yield a room that works the best (and looks the best). So we have plans to use the stools in another way that will hopefully make more sense of the room and actually be functional without getting all jammed up on the rug/heating unit by the window. And they won’t sit on either side of the daybed, I just stuck them there for now.

Wouldn’t they look sweet in the corner with a bar-height table in an old beat up wood finish? I think I’ll shimmy the rug under the daybed more to give that corner more room so it doesn’t look quite as squished in there. Unless we change our minds for the third time and things end up somewhere else, which definitely could happen. Sometimes you just have to let things shake out as we like to call it. Haha.

I know it’s hard to picture, so we’ll just share photos and details as we go! So excited to be starting in on yet another untouched space. Smells like teen spirit progress. Are you guys starting in on any formerly untouched rooms? Do you ever sketch things out and then try them in real life and it completely doesn’t work? Oh and do you like how the brick wall stops about seven feet up right at the top of the window? This used to be the exterior of the house and that’s where the slope of the roof started, so there’s no more brick above that. Boo! Wish it went all the way to the ceiling! But we have a few ideas to make it look less jarring and more integrated. Will keep ya posted!

Psst- Wanna see what a typical Thanksgiving looks like for us? Here’s Clara’s rundown on Young House Life.

Comments

  1. janetl says

    I thought the daybed was going to be clara’s big girl bed. Change of plan or maybe I made that up? It is exciting to see a new space start from scratch. :)

  2. Kristi says

    Can’t wait to see the sunroom!

    By the way, did you know your book is Nook’s Deal of the Day for only 2.99. If anyone has a Nook or a table with a Nook app, this is a great steal for today only. I just downloaded it, and I’m excited to be able to carry your book around with me to look for ideas whenever I’m waiting somewhere.

    • MsMezzo says

      I downloaded your book on my Nook (yay $2.99!) but I cannot recommend it at all in the e-book format. Very cumbersome, the pages don’t turn easily, and this annoying 1 inch black border on the top of each page. but it gave me some instant gratification in anticipation of the real-deal. Sometimes just a hard copy will do.

    • says

      Aw man, I’m so sorry MsMezzo! Wish we had control over that (Nook formats it and offers it up for sale using our files and their formal/equipment, etc). Hopefully just spending $2.99 for it wasn’t too bad though!

      xo
      s

  3. says

    Love the brain dump! It’s awesome to see how you come up with your ideas!

    We’ve been in the Little House for almost two years and haven’t touched the spare bedroom or the bathroom. That’s about to change, though; as soon as we get that monstrosity of a dead hot tub out of the back yard, we’re coming inside and gutting the bathroom!

    PS. Tell me you’re going to paint the brick??

    • says

      We wish the brick didn’t stop at that awkward spot right above the window or we’d try to work with it like a cool loft with exposed brick. Since it’s cut off and weird we think we might try to whitewash it or something so that it flows a little better since it’s such a crazy line above the window – it’s so harsh as it is in person :)

      xo
      s

  4. says

    can’t wait to see how it turns out! we just moved recently, so we have several rooms that haven’t been touched yet. one is currently the room where the unopened boxes are,so that definitely won’t be touched for a while.

  5. says

    Your sunroom is so cool (actually, your last one was really fantastic, as well). That soaring roofline and cool angles makes such a nice change from the lower geometry of a ranch. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. The rug already makes a huge difference!

  6. Theresa says

    Love the progress you made on your “untouched” rooms. I really like the daybed. Where did you get it?

    It was a pleasure meeting you at last night’s event. Sorry if I was kinda shocked–I was literally frozen from waiting outside and I was so excited to finally meet you guys!

    • says

      Aw you’re so sweet Theresa! Thanks so much for coming out! You guys were so much fun! As for the daybed, it’s from West Elm a while back! It was actually a wedding gift from John’s side of the family!

      xo
      s

  7. Jessica says

    I think you should put the bar and stools on the same wall as the slider where you have the bookcases on your sketch. Excited to see what you come up with!

    • says

      Hahahahahah! Our last sunroom was great for lounging and reading and taking photos of Clara (such great light) although after Clara was born we did a lot less lounging and reading. Hahah!

      xo
      s

  8. Sara says

    Good Morning, Trying not to sound negative, but last night’s booksigning was a real disappointment. I waited in line for over 2 1/2 hours in the cold and then right before I got inside I was told that you were out of books. The reason I didn’t preorder a book was because you previously encouraged us to buy the book at the book signing — so I was just doing what you said . . . While you did tell me that I shouldn’t be disappointed because I could purchase the book at amazon for cheaper, I guess you didn’t realize that the book is unavailable for an estimated 1-2 months. Barnes and Noble said the book is estimated to ship on December 20. Right now I am questioning why I stood in line for nearly 3 hours, paid for a babysitter and for two cab rides. Additionally, I am wondering why you had people RSVP — that should have provided you with an estimated number of books you needed to have on hand. I enjoy your blog but am very disappointed.

    • says

      We are so sorry about that! We arrived to see the same stack of hundreds of books that have been at our last ten signings, none of which have ever run out (and we’ve had the same head count at most events so that’s a constant in this equation)! We just underestimated how awesome DC folks would be about buying multiples I guess (so many folks bought more than one, which is a different experience than we had at all the other events we’ve hosted). We definitely never want to run out of books (no one wants to make people happy and sell books more than us, I promise!). We actually stayed there until nearly midnight, signing for every last person in line (we had book plates, which can be stuck into a book so it’s signed – and since the book is out now anyone can order it from a site like amazon and have a signed one with the addition of those bookplates). We also chatted with folks and took pictures so it seemed that everyone was happy we stayed to do that and had some fun with the free food and wine and the line friends they made!

      We didn’t get home until 1:30 am, so we’re definitely dedicated and in love with anyone and everyone who came out and waited! And of course we completely understand and commiserate with you if you had to leave! Again, we are so sorry about the book sell-out, it was just nothing anyone could have anticipated since we have never run out after a ton of stops with the same amount of stock and the same number of attendees. Hope that helps!

      xo
      s

    • says

      I’d say you probably stood in line for hours like I did because you love John, Sherry, and this blog so much. Oh, and Burger and Clara too of course. I know that cab fare was steep (why, oh why doesn’t the Metro go to Georgetown?), I know that it was cold (my fingers were numb even with gloves), but that’s what you get when you sign up for stuff like this in the DC Metro area in winter, haha. However, you did get to meet the fabulous duo behind the scenes of this here blog and got a book plate signed right? I wish I could have given you my book. I was really just excited to support YHL and meet John and Sherry, even if that meant waiting a couple of weeks to get a copy in my hot little hands and leaving with a book plate at midnight.

    • Devin says

      Hey, Sara. If you’re still looking for a book, I was in my local B&N yesterday and they had 3 of them on the shelf It could just be an anomaly, but if you haven’t already checked, calling around to different stores might get you a book faster than ordering online. I live in NC not the DC area, but I thought I’d throw that out there, since I was surprised to find it given the backorders online.

    • Chris says

      I may have missed it, but how many was in this first print run (because it sounds like it’s sold out (more or less) out of its first printing already? I just ordered the book from Amazon less than two weeks ago (and received). Wow!

    • says

      It’s actually already on its fourth printing! SO crazy! They’re doing their best to keep up with everything though! Making the NY Times Bestseller list was totally unexpected so I has all been really crazy! As for the amount printed, we don’t have that info, just that it’s the fourth printing. So exciting.

      xo,
      s

    • Alison says

      Funny, I could have sworn you said the books sold out at other locations. Can’t you atleast send this gal a book? Sorry about the sad story Sara, I would be disappointed too.

    • says

      Books have only sold out once at our very first event, which was in Cincinnati (since it was two weeks before the book was actually out in stores and we had limited stock that was printed early). We’ve had over 10 events since then without any issues of selling out. We are SO sorry for the trouble though! Sara and I have emailed personally and she understands just how sorry we are. I promise no one wants our book in every single house (ok room) more than us :)

      xo
      s

    • says

      Yes, that was the Cincy one I mentioned! The very first one that was two weeks before the book was even out (so there was limited stock). Did you see my response above? Hope it helps!

      UPDATE: Just heard from Sara and she found our book at a local Barnes & Noble. Whew! With her signed bookplate to stick inside from last night she’s all set. So glad.

      xo
      s

  9. Heidi says

    Would it be weird to have a counter with the stools along the brick wall (essentially making the kitchen window a pass through)? The daybed would be lovely along the window wall, and would be such a sunny spot to lounge with a book, as well as provide a pretty view from the living room window. I know you said the daybed doesn’t work anywhere but the brick wall – is that because of the air conditioner or the depth of the daybed? Can’t wait to see your progress.

    • says

      We tried that daybed along the window wall and it’s just so deep that it bumps into the room about halfway! So sadly that wall is the only place for it! And yes, that air conditioner makes it bump out even more :)

      xo
      s

    • Amanda says

      I thought the same thing Heidi did about your putting the bar under the window so you can use it as a pass through – so handy during the summer months, especially with all your family get-togethers. I know you said you tried the daybed on all the walls, but I was wondering what the issue was with putting it against the “living room” wall? The view from it would be great and some lower shelves under the windows along the long wall might(??) help blend in the a/c … You two are DEFINITELY the experts, though, so we’ll all wait with baited breath to see this latest room come together! : )

    • tarynkay says

      I thought the same thing about the bar working really well on the brick wall. Do you have to have the day bed in there? I understand wanting non-barstool seating- but maybe some comfy chairs would work better than the daybed?

    • says

      For now we love the daybed in there since it’s functional and was a wedding present, so we don’t want to get rid of it and buy more chairs (our house is full of chairs! Haha!).

      xo
      s

  10. Betty says

    Love the transition from jogging stroller to trike – and really, really can’t wait, and I know I will, for your work in the spare room – I love that it just accumulates, just like our rooms at home do. Would you consider putting a Christmas tree out there?

    • says

      Hahah! Funny about the jogging stroller/trike! As for the christmas tree, since the room is on a different heating system (which we have to kick on if we want to go into it) we like to keep it in the part of the house that we’re in a lot more since it’s constantly heated and cooled, but it would look fun in here since it has high ceilings!

      xo
      s