Percolating In Progress…

Since a bunch of you guys have requested more details on what layout changes we’re pondering and what paint colors we’re currently leaning towards, we thought we’d share a giant brain dump about what’s flying around in our heads at the moments (which will change as we go I’m sure!). Y’all ready for this? Lots o’ words. Lots o’ diagrams. Lots o’ links. Please fasten your blog-reading seatbelts and be sure that your desk chair is in its upright and locked position.

This is what the first floor looked like when we bought our house (we’ve since removed the three sets of the double doors off of the kitchen).

 But here’s what we’re thinking we’d love to do over time with the first floor.

  • Widen the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room for easier flow
  • Create a wide centered doorway between the kitchen and living room with built-ins around it (sort of like the opening between the office and dining room in our last house)
  • Change kitchen layout from U-shaped with a peninsula to an L-shaped area with an island (and add french doors to the eat-in area that lead to the deck)
  • You can’t see this change in the floor plan, but we’d eventually love to convert the sunroom to an open covered porch with new columns and no more sliders (many of the sliders are bad and the posts are rotten) – we’re envisioning something like this

As for the second floor, this is what it looks like now.

And we’ve thought about changing things up like this.

  • The most major layout change will be opening up the sink nook and the bathroom area in our master to create one big bathroom instead of having two single sinks separated by a wall
  • In the hallway between the nursery and the master there’s a double doored linen closet that we’d love to open up to make a built-in nook in the hallway, sort of like this (but with concealed cabinetry on the bottom and nice built-in shelves on top)
  • You’ll notice there’s a door added to the end of the hallway where the laundry nook is. We briefly considered adding that to make it a legit room, but we actually think it’ll close things off more (and it will be weird to have to walk through a room to get to another room when we finish the unfinished storage area) so for now we’re unsold and plan to keep it open.
  • And of course eventually we want to drywall the unfinished storage space to create a bunkroom/movie room that we think could come in handy for older kiddos and their friends.

As for color scheme ideas, here are a few swatches (they’re all Benjamin Moore) that we’ve been loving lately. They wouldn’t all be wall colors, so some might be the color of a bathroom vanity or a piece of furniture or even the color of a ceiling or another “accent” spot (like the back wall of Clara’s play-closet). *This is a first-thought paint palette (meaning there will be accessories, art, fabric with many other tones in it – and it’ll most likely evolve as we go).

We think colors like Knoxville Gray or Black Pepper could be awesomely dramatic in the dining room with crisp white trim and built-ins, while many of the lighter neutrals will go in living and bathroom spaces and some of the deeper mid-tones might end up in bedrooms (we like the idea of Sea Star or Sparrow in our bedroom with lots of white furniture and linens). The brighter pops of color like Moroccan Spice, Milano Red, and Spotswood Teal are just for accents (like a piece of furniture, a bathroom vanity, or even a mirror or frame – most likely in a white or neutral painted room).

It’s fun to see how the new swatches compare to our first house’s palette (which was almost entirely tan, cream, and soft blue-gray)…

… and our second house’s color scheme (which had a bit more boldness like deep teal walls along with softer gray, pink, and taupe ones).

We feel like this palette will be a nice blend of our previous homes (more traditional and warmer than our last house’s palette with a lot of the neutral and classic feeling that our first house had, but with more happy hits of color). We’re excited that among the soft neutrals and rich moody hues there are also some warm accent colors like red and coral. We think we’ll like the mix of the warm colors (tan, coral, red, brown) with the cool tones that we’ve always been known to love (like blue, green, and gray). It’s also nice to have classic white trim and doors, mocha hardwoods, and gray slate flooring to temper things and keep things classy (Stay Classy San Diego!) as we go.

And now I’ll end this brain dump with some inspiration images that I’ve been pinning like crazy when it comes to the “vibe” of this house:

  • a dark tailored bedroom like this might be nice
  • we can’t wait to whitewash the brick in the living room like this
  • we’d love an airy and open kitchen vibe like this (especially once we add our future french doors and built-ins)
  • a dark dining room with bright white built-ins like this (maybe more navy like our swatches?) could be fun
  • some chic wallpaper like this somewhere (maybe in the half bath downstairs) would be awesome
  • this office feeling would be cool (love the wall of built-ins and the floating table for meetings/laptops)
  • we’d like to make a nice cozy TV room and bunk-room like this in the unfinished storage space a while down the road
  • this might be a pipe dream, but how boss would a closet full of built-ins like this be?
  • this could be a fun look (wallpaper + wainscoating) in the foyer or the upstairs hallway someday

*update: here’s why we don’t post these photos on our blog instead of linking to them

We’re still working on just getting things back to a non-blue-trim-and-wallpapered state, so nearly all of those more major room transformations are probably a ways down the pipeline (big builds and furniture/fabric purchases will mean saving our pennies each time, so they’ll definitely be spaced out between cheaper and easier things over the next few years). But It should be fun to see where we actually end up down the line. And to have this post to look back on so we can see how close – or how incredibly off – these early predictions of ours are.

Oh and I thought it might help to say that since these are all half-formed first-thoughts, if you have specific questions about what will go where or how we’ll accomplish a certain future project, chances are we haven’t thought it through yet… but when we do we’ll just mumble about it to our beanie babies. Just kidding, you know we’ll blog all about it!


  1. says

    Love the idea of opening up those walls! I’d love to open up the wall between my kitchen and dining room so I can see into it and the attached living room. Some day I’ll take a hammer to it! Gotta finish our deck, my daughter’s room, our future son’s room and possibly a bathroom first.

    • Karen F says

      I agree about the historic colors! When we were choosing paint colors for our home, my mother’s advice (she has a great eye for decorating) was that you can never go wrong with the Benjamin Moor historical colors.

      The colors you chose are really beautiful! So calming, but not boring. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  2. says

    Good to see the how your planning is coming along. This house is turning out really cool, Guys. Loving the post yesterday and painting the inside of the front door too. Very cleaver! :)
    Your Fan in NW Illinois,

  3. Allyn says

    Bwah hah hah, it’s too funny that you’re considering putting wallpaper BACK up on the walls! Seriously, though, there’s some gorgeous wallpaper out there and, in limited doses, it can really look terrific. I’d love to put up some really fabulous wallpaper in my small first floor bathroom, but the stuff I like runs $750 (yes, seven hundred and fifty dollars) a roll. Even though it’s probably a double roll, that’s way too far out of my price range!!!

  4. Constance says

    That color palate screams (in a good way) Ralph Lauren to me (at least all the vivid memories I have of it growing up).

  5. Marissa C says

    Funny…I have the kitchen layout you are going for and want the kitchen layout you currently have. Then again, our kitchen is completely open to the rear den, so I want some dividers.

  6. Gia says

    Oh how exciting! Loving your color choices… we have a somewhat similar color scheme in my own home and 4 years later, we are still happy with the colors. BTW… we have pismo dunes on our bedroom walls, with some sparrow accents in the cream bedding, crisp white trim,creamish white window panels and dark wood floors. It is SO relaxing and calm in there. On the swatch, it looks a little bland, but it really is beautiful on the walls!

  7. Rachel says

    Would you consider selling the double doors that you took of the kitchen? Our new townhouse is in desperate needs of them. If not any suggestions for a DIY?

    • Jessica says

      Rachel: If their doors don’t work out for you, try the ReStore run by Habitat for Humanity on Roane St off Chamberlayne. They have TONS of salvage doors.

  8. says

    Love all the color choices, very close to what I am using in my own home. I did gray owl in my kitchen, entry and living area and I love it! Our bedroom is hale navy right now and I love the moody feel of the room. Can’t wait to see you transform this home!

  9. Kerrie says

    I love these colors. I like how you were neutral in your first, bright in the second,and leaning toward more of muted brights in this home. It’s so fun to see the evolution, and what having a blank slate does to your color choices.

    Also, there is a typo in the list of changes to the first floor. You listed expanding the entrance to the dining room twice. I think that one of those is supposed to be putting a door in the kitchen to the deck?

    Can’t wait to see it progress as the foyer is already leaps and bounds above what it was! :)

  10. says

    I just painted my dining room edgecomb gray this week and I love it! And I’m looking forward to you whitewashing brick -it’s been on my to-do list for years but I just can’t build up the courage to do it.

  11. says

    Your color palette is winning in my book! A nice mix of neutral & drama (like me, no wonder I love the colors you’ve chosen).

    We have BM Gray Owl in our whole basement level & we love how airy & versatile it is. I think you’ve already tested it in House #2 so you probably remember it does read a bit blue-grey (in our house at least) but is a great grey with just a hint of warmth all the same. I highly recommend it!

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