Wrightwood, Before and AfterLauren BraudComment

Here we go, the upstairs! I know ya'll are dying to see what this place looks like from the outside and I PROMISE I'm getting there but first I wanted to complete the tour (a mere week late…I blame Santa!)! From the plans on the tour of the downstairs you can see the entrance for the upstairs duplex on the east side of the house that you would access from the driveway. Again, here are some mostly-accurate-and-not-to-scale floor plans. We have a deceptively large amount of work upstairs:


Once you reach the top of the stairs and turn left you encounter the two existing bedrooms:


Bedroom 1:

This room is known as the "Burlap Room" - we pride ourselves on being really, really good at creative names. A couple of interesting moments in this room: the "wall paper" is actually huge sheets of burlap,


 when the furniture was moved out and the burlap was removed, we found a door into the living room! From the living room the door was totally drywalled over - in here it was just covered by a thin sheet of burlap. We'll be removing the door and reusing it somewhere else in the house. That light fixture is also a little bit awesome. Were pretty sure it's a converted oil lamp - electric now. We were debating yesterday about how it could possibly be reused. I think it would be amazing in an all white powder bath…but maybe in the next house. Both the upstairs bedrooms have a small closet and a door out onto the upstairs balcony. In my personal opinion this room gets the best light in the house - I would probably use it as a studio or study. I could also see it as a beautiful nursery!


Bedroom 2:

A little bigger than Bedroom one, Bedroom two is known as the "Shag Room". A groovy drum set in the corner, bright lime-green shag carpeting, and the yummiest wood paneling. My wonderful, patient, boyfriend spent an afternoon helping remove that wood paneling. Behind all the paneling is the same beautiful shiplap sheathing that is found everywhere in the house. Other than demo and clean up, not too much will be happening in here either. We're really debating whether to close off the access to the sunroom or not in order to get a little more privacy for the bedroom. Check out that floral wall paper, and in the closet no less, I'm actually a little in love with it.

Back into the hall and past the stairs you'll come into what was the upstairs duplex's living room, kitchen, and only bathroom.


Living Room:

This room is HUGE. Tons of light, existing wood floors, and looked SO gross when we began. We'll be converting this into an upstairs master bedroom when the house is returned to single-family status. My mom likes to call it the "winter master". The plans show that the entrance will be reworked, the doorway between that and Bedroom One will need to be patched and closed up as well as the pass through into the existing kitchen. We'll also be taking a chunk of this room for running ductwork for the new HVAC. Have I mentioned yet that this house currently has no central air? In Texas?


Upstairs Bathroom:

Even smaller than the downstairs bathroom, poorly laid out, and needs a total overhaul. Despite that this is the most decent looking of the two bathrooms even with the carpet BECAUSE: claw foot tub.

 The tub has already been shipped off to be refinished and will be reused in the downstairs master bath. By absorbing the in-between space and stealing some square footage from the kitchen for a toilet room, this quickly becomes the most graciously sized bathroom in the house. A perfect en suite for the living-room-turned-master-bedroom. The entrance to the attic will be reworked into a linen closet and the current linen closet (pantry?) will be turned into an entrance to the attic-turned-master-closet. This is going to be a gem y'all.



 This is really where the upstairs reno gets exciting. If you look at the plans we have broken up the existing kitchen space into a brand new bathroom that serves the other upstairs bedrooms, a toilet room for the master bath, and a storage closet (can never have enough extra storage). A hallway will be created to make a more public access to the Sun Room. The door in the lower left picture was discovered after removing the old, stinky fridge. From the stairway all you could see was a threshold floating about 1' above the stair case, the door was covered up, but from the kitchen there was the door. Going exactly nowhere. Another mystery of this old house. The old sink and cabinet that we're salvaging will go into the new laundry room downstairs. So. freaking. fun.


Sun Room:

 Just a little room over the driveway that has windows on three sides!

Out the front windows you have views of the downtown Houston skyline, out the back you look out over the beautiful park the property backs up to. I could see this space with some comfy chairs, or kept open for a yoga room or meditation space (a personal favorite of this yoga fanatic), or maybe even a really sweet hanging bed, because why not. 

That pretty much concludes this short-but-sweet tour of upstairs! You now have a clear idea of the mess we have on our hands AND how totally amazing this house is going to be in the end. Keep an eye out for a new post about mid-week (I promise!!) I'm preparing to reveal the - almost completed - exterior. Trust me, she's gorgeous - the wait will be worth it!


Wrightwood, Before and AfterL.B.2 Comments

This isn't a small house and as you saw in the kitchen post we're making big changes. Remember the original house had been broken up as an upstairs/downstairs duplex. Downstairs has three "bedrooms" and one bathroom, and upstairs has two "bedrooms" and one bathroom; each floor has a kitchen and living room. I was so excited about the new kitchen I just couldn't wait to write about it and share the pictures with you, but I think the best way to move forward is with an overview of each floor and the overall changes being made to the floor plan (so you won't get lost, and I won't have to keep posting long posts with dark, dirty, before pictures). So without further ado: a totally not-to-scale and not-entirely-accurate comparison of floor plans (I don't want to give away too much).


Living Room

- Up the front steps, over the porch and into the living room. It's not a big room but it has a neat little fireplace and I think could make a cozy, intimate, living room. We've gone back and forth about switching it with the bigger dining room and putting a dining table in here. I think it could be weird to walk right in on a dining table - maybe not - what do you think? Either way not too many changes are going to happen in here - I say that and yet I know "not many changes" still means opening walls, upgrading the electrical, adding lighting, refinishing floors... maybe some built ins, the fireplace needs to be cleaned up, get a new fancy pants mantle, fresh paint, you know, easy-peasy. The (42 inch!!) front door needs some work, and it's got the cutest horse-shoe shaped, hand-turn doorbell on the planet, I can't wait for you to see it!


Bedroom Three

Some very cool things have happened in here and will continue to happen in here. This is the room where the upstairs will connect with the downstairs. As you can see in the floor plans we will open up the north wall and turn the existing stair into this room. The light in here is beautiful; perfect for a reading nook and a small library's-worth of books. Under the stairs there is currently a small pass-through and closet which will get closed off and become a powder bath (aka: adding a 1/2 bath! yay!).


Dining Room

Other than clearing out (and mostly donating!) the immense piles of things from a stranger's past life, not much will be happening to this room other than the obvious facelifts: new drywall, paint, refinishing the floors, etc. As mentioned previously it could be the living room, but probably not. The kitchen post illustrated the opening up of the north wall that is shared with the kitchen made a huge difference in the flow of the downstairs and the amount of light allowed into the dining room.



Probably doesn't need another explanation :)

Bedroom One

A good sized space, with an awkward layout of windows and a bunch of built-ins that were gross and just taking up room. In the plans above you can see that we demolished the only real closet in this room and gave the square footage to the kitchen. If you're really good at reading plans you've already noticed our genius solution and we're well on our way to punching through the south wall to create the ensuite master bathroom.



 GROSS. Cramped and dark and dirty and outdated and linoleum. Oh, and those are cedar shingles lining one wall. FANCY. I think this is the one room that resounded with the loudest, most strangled screams for help. The pre-fab shower blocked most of the light from the window and allowed for barely two feet of space in front of the single, sea-shell sink. I'll address this bathroom in more detail soon enough but if you look at the plans you can see a toilet room and closet will be carved out of Bedroom #2 and added to the bathroom. Get excited about those spaces because I SO AM.


Bedroom Two

 - This room is great and weird. It has an entrance from the drive way, and is connected under the stairs to the front bedroom. At one point we considered moving the kitchen to this space (groceries in from under the carport, more central location in the house). In the end I think the solution we came up with is pretty great : we've split this room up into a large walk-in closet, a separate toilet stall for the master bathroom, and what I know is going to become just the most amazing laundry room! The framing is shaping up in these spaces and it's so exciting!


That's everything downstairs.

What do you think? Are we crazy for taking this on or can you see the potential? The demolition ahead is a daunting task and we're working to salvage and reuse as much as we can, either as-is or in new, inventive ways. Keep checking back and I'll take ya'll on a tour of the upstairs early next week!