Before we dive into an incredible house-transformation from Erin, Sherry just shared a little Easter-related DIY project that she whipped up for Clara over on Young House Life, so feel free to pop over there for the details (there’s a sneak peek below):
But now back to Erin’s awesome makeover. Since both of our homes have had standard eight foot ceilings, Sherry and I have always fantasized about chopping off the roof and reattaching it just a couple of feet higher. So imagine how captivated we were by the story of a couple who pretty much lived out our dream – and crammed in some awesome room makeovers in the process. Here’s Erin’s letter:
Hi John and Sherry! We loved the 1938 cottage we live in near Lake Michigan in Wisconsin from the moment we laid eyes on it in 2002 but it was lacking in just a few things, headroom in the bedrooms and a roof that didn’t leak to name two.
We started with fixing the roof (a bad design destined to leak for all eternity, it seemed) which lead to redesigning the roof, which lead to a few additions, and ended with ripping the top half of the house off and sticking it back on higher.
In the back yard, we had a deck built, but we did put in the cable railings (we’re sailors and it turns out that cable railings are nothing but sailboat lifelines). I laid the entire stone walkway to the detached garage and the mini retaining walls around the garden, not to mention designing and planting the gardens. It’s by far the DIY project that I’m most proud of to date.
What we ended up doing was changing our upstairs from two small bedrooms with very low slanted ceilings to two pretty good-sized bedrooms, one with a walk-in closet, plus an extra bathroom (you don’t realize how much it stinks to not have a bathroom on the same floor as your bedroom until you live like that for eight years).
In the master bedroom, our best decision was the built-ins, which provide so much storage (along with the small walk-in closet) that we don’t need any other furniture (i.e. dressers) in the room. We laid the bamboo floors ourselves and did all of the painting throughout the house (other than the living room’s cathedral ceilings because I love my neck too much and we don’t have a chiropractor in the family).
The new bathroom is only 8 x 8 feet, but we managed to squeeze in a 5 x 3 foot shower and more storage than we know what to do with. As with the bedroom built-ins, I designed them then had them built. You can get a glimpse into the upstairs hallway (open to the living room below) and my mini gallery wall, inspired, of course, by yours! One of the items on the wall is a piece of board that we found during demo that says “Put here July 11, 1938.” The door into the bathroom was salvaged from my grandparents house.
We couldn’t imagine loving our house any more than we did before the renovation and now we’re sure we’ll only ever live in one house: this one! – Erin
Don’t you just want to take a vacation there? You can check out some of the other makeovers that Erin has documented here on her blog. And feel free to pick your favorite part of this redesign (mine’s the old board they found and kept from 1938 and Sherry’s is that “bed and breakfast-y backyard” as she dubbed it). Thanks for sharing Erin!
Psst- We usually only post once on Friday, but Sherry will be back with a random little “bonus post” for ya in a few hours.
We always get requests for cool kid rooms, and since we have a girl bean, and shared her recent big-girl-room evolution, we thought it would be fun to share the sweet big boy room that Jesse whipped up for her son. Here’s her letter: Hi Sherry & John! My little boy is officially now a “big boy” (hold on while I wipe a tear…).
So I redid his room according to his “wish list” which included: lots and lots of colors (I mean color galore), a place for all his toys and books (not as simple as it sounds), a place to color/paint/draw, some sort of deer head (seriously…welcome to Missouri). Quite the list, huh?!
And here’s how it looks now.
I’ve never been happier than to cross his room off my to do list. We – me and my husband Sam Sam the “fill in the blank” man (my go to’s filler-inners are usually weather, handy, laundry, fisher, btw, in case you were wondering) have done a lot to this room and are so happy with the end result.
There were some big projects like making the orb light fixture (which only cost us $21), wallpapering, and painting my Craigslist finds for the room, along with a lot of little things like extending the three-inches-too-short curtains with a bedskirt that I found at Goodwill, sewing pillows, and organizing an almost five year old’s huge array of toys and books. We also added some plug in sconces to the bookshelves so if Henry wanted to read books in bed, he could. They came from Lowe’s and were less than $30.
More importantly, Henry is loving his room which makes us happy happy. I did the whole reveal post so all the details can be seen there, too, if you want to check it out! – Jesse
There are so many things that Sherry and I like about this room. We both called the wallpaper and the orange bed as our favorites. Although the deer head (Henry got his wish!) is also up there, especially since it’s made by Virginia-based Cardboard Safari. As Jesse said, you can check out her reveal post for more details and photos. Thanks for sharing it with us, Jesse!
Psst: Wanna see nearly 200 (!) reader redesigns? Just click here and scroll on through as many as you’d like :)
You know Sherry and I strive to develop the skill of brevity, so receiving Avis’ submission was a reminder that it can be done. While her email gave us the main parts of her story, her pictures did all of the talking (somewhat literally). You’ll see what I mean below:
Sherry and John, HI! I’m Avis. I started reading your blog this year and fell in love! Although we have no Clara (who is the cutest accessory EVER!) we do have a few Burgers running around the office. Aside from designing stationary I occasionally do DIY re-modeling in my Decatur, Ga condo. I was inspired by you to do a dining room re-do that I think you guys would love.
And there you have it! I know we don’t have exact paint colors or specific links to the items, but the story and the accompanying photos make us appreciate Avis’ high impact / low cost sensibilities and fill our heads with ideas and inspiration for any space. You can head over to her blog to see a little more of this makeover along with a fun mish-mash of other design related posts – and if you have any specific questions Avis will hopefully stop in whenever she has a moment to answer them. In the meantime Sherry will be walking around the house whispering “metallic paint… genius!” That’s normal, right?
Thanks for sharing your invigorating makeover and inspiring blog style Avis!