Ok, so the fact that I'm even sitting down to write this seems a bit misleading to me. Why? Because I feel like by revealing our renovation, which started last August, I'm sort of implying that our house is "done." (I can only imagine the laughs that my former roommates are getting from that comment) The truth is, any house that I live in will never be "done." I constantly find myself trying to evolve any previous design decisions....and I'll be honest, while its fun and exciting and my true passion...it can be exhausting. We're at a point where I've completed enough to be able to finally sit down and enjoy it. So with that being said, I've decided to reveal our house in it's "where we are now" state...and if when I make any meaningful or significant changes, I'll be sure to update you!
Essentially, my husband and I purchased a home in July of 2013 in an older Dallas neighborhood with a lot of character and charm, nearby horse stables and the occasional flock of peacocks. I kept a close eye on the home while it was on the market because I really saw the potential in it, but it needed a lot of TLC and I wasn't sure we were up for that kind of challenge at this point in our lives. We had 1-year-old twin babies and we are both certified workaholics, so where would we find the time to take on a remodel of this magnitude?
Well, the stars sort of aligned and we ended up buying the house. My head was spinning with ideas even before we bought the house, so the ONE FULL YEAR that we lived in the house before starting this remodel was BRUTAL. All I wanted was to feel settled in a home in which I saw so much potential.
Soooo...part 1 of this reveal will consist of the updated front exterior as well as the back yard.
Lets start with the front, shall we?! Here is the house when we first purchased, almost 2 years ago:
While I thought it lacked a bit of character, I knew it had the potential to be something charming. Here is the house now...
We added some landscaping, flower boxes under the windows (yes, those particular flowers are fake. I have no green thumb and no shame) We also added exterior shutters to most of the windows.
Here is another view...
But one of the biggest issues we had was that we had no overhang above the front doors, so when it rained, the doors would become soaked, which lead to leaks, wood rot, etc. See the original photo...
(Dang...those were some blue doors!) So we had this cute overhang built and we love it!
That's the extent of the front of the house. For now. I've already started talking to contractors about putting in a circle driveway due to the fact that our parking situation is terrible. I'll let you know if that ever pans out :-)
Now...on to the back yard...
I feel like I need to start by saying that my husband and I love to entertain. We love to have couples over for drinks, host Christmas parties, birthday parties, you name it. And we've both always wanted a pool. And even though this yard was small, I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with it the first time I saw it! The layout of the house was so that if we made our backyard inviting enough, we could open all of the french doors throughout the back of the house and sort of enjoy the outdoors as a true living space. AND it was the perfect shape to incorporate a farmhouse style swimming pool which I have dreamed of for years!
Here is what the back yard looked like when we bought the house...
Ugh, I freaking hated that stupid garage! I was so happy to finally get rid of that thing!
Here is our backyard now!
Gosh, where do I even start. Ok, first of all, the terrible garage is gone and is now our master bathroom as the former master suite is upstairs and is now our guest suite.
So the oval window is our master bath and those 2 sets of french doors to the left of the oval window are our master bedroom french doors. I looooove that we can just roll out of bed, open the doors and jump into the pool! And speaking of the pool, we opted not to do a deep end...instead we did 3 steps at each end of the pool. So from the steps it goes to 3' deep, then 4' deep in the middle and back to 3' deep at the other end. We did this because we notice when we are in my parent's pool everyone congregates around the steps. We figured this would be a great way to really utilize the entire pool rather than just cram everyone into a shallow end.
Ok, back to the house - The 2 sets of french doors to the left of the master lead to our kitchen, which is amazing bc we can open all of those doors and entertain indoors and outdoors.
Here's another angle of the back yard...
See that little room there at the end of the pool? That used to be the sunroom...annnnnnd we don't use a sunroom. So we ripped out the former deck, tore out the sunroom french doors (which had actually been painted shut) and turned this space into what we refer to as the "Cabana." I can't wait to show you that space next week!!
This floor plan might be helpful for understanding the layout:
Another shot of the yard...
If you're wondering how we keep our grass so green, we don't. It's synthetic. Love it. Wouldn't change it for the world. No, it doesn't get too terribly hot. Yes your dogs can go to the bathroom on it.
Can you see the cute little white picket fence? We added that to house the pool equipment and a dog run, so we prefer they use that area for the bathroom, but that doesn't always happen.
One thing that I really hated about the back yard was the terrible retaining wall and upper fence. Awful. But, we HAD to stop somewhere, I swear it was one thing after another, a freaking domino affect of, "oh we should add this, ok, let's do that." But the retaining wall and upper fence just killed me. And then the torrential Dallas down pour happened...and caused this...
BOOM! Mama's gettin' a new retaining wall and fence!
So what do you guys think of "where we are now?" It's been a looooong road, but I'm glad to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Photos by Nate Rehlander http: www.naterehlander.com