I did this makeover in the spring, but with only 18 summers to spend with each kiddo I decided to wait to show you until now. As I’m writing this, it’s the first official day of school and the house is empty. I have a senior! How is this possible? And a sophomore, 8th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader, and 1st grader. Today I walked my 1st grader to school and he held my hand the whole way. It’s such a privilege to share that time with him.
Jessica’s family is quite an inspiration. They live close to me and her husband, Brian, taught my kids violin lessons for YEARS. My son’s first lesson, he hid under Brian’s coffee table and refused to come out. Then screamed, “I hate you,” when we left. Good times. I escorted my kids to the car and came back in alone and said, “If I keep paying, can we come back?” Brian graciously agreed and my son now plays in the high school orchestra.
That kind of patience is worth admiring, but on top of that, Jesse and Brian are rock stars when it comes to debt free living. They paid off their small starter home fairly early in their marriage, then on a modest single income, lived there through the birth of 3 children, saving all they could until they could pay cash for a larger home in a better neighborhood. Can you imagine being a young family with no payments? It’s awesome, that’s what it is.
This is the view of the room standing in the back door from the living room. It has a beautiful view of the backyard and plentiful big windows.
If you step into the room and look to the right, you see this.
Standing in the doorway to the backyard and looking back towards the house.
This is just a shot to show you her current door. It’s a cute shape, but we weren’t a fan of the yellow glass. Her screen door is real wood and a very cool vintage style, but it’s always in their way. They keep it propped open.
Jesse didn’t like ALL of the colors going on in the room. There are 3 different shades of paint on the wall, plus a 4th for the ceiling. AND the black windows, gray/brown flooring and brown door add 3 more colors to the mix. Her biggest concern was all the black above and below the window was vinyl and part of the window unit. Brian didn’t want to paint it because it isn’t drywall, but my philosophy is to never live with something you hate if you can paint it :). Showing him a photo of how it would look painted made a big difference.
Instead of pretending the black window frames weren’t there, I encouraged her to embrace them into a mint, black and white color scheme. I painted out the vinyl header and footer on the windows to match the walls and took the color all the way to the ceiling. Breaking up the walls with stripes of contrasting paint, like the previous owner had, only makes a room look shorter. That kind of thing should be saved for ceilings 10 foot or taller. I painted the crown molding to match the ceiling, but it could also be painted to match the walls.
Taking the drapes all the way to the ceiling minimizes some of the black while making the room feel even taller. I kept them pushed off the glass to let in as much light as possible. These drapes are just to soften the room and give a feeling of height…not to block light or the view. A rolling cart holds an herb garden that’s conveniently close to the kitchen. This is a space where Jesse can enjoy an iced tea with a friend while watching their kiddoes color in the art corner.
Jessica’s kitchen window overlooks one side of the sunroom. They use the room for homeschool projects, especially art and science experiments which needed storage. I used Ikea Trofast bins to create a corner bench area and added upholstered cushions on top for comfort. She can customize the size of the bins to the things she wants to organize there.
These are her original chairs painted a shade of green that’s slightly darker than her walls. The table is a similar shape and size to the one she had, but the solid wood top (no hole for the umbrella) and the pedestal bottom really elevates the piece. I recommend she search Craigslist and garage sales to find something this style and to use her original table until then.
The windowless side of the room is the perfect spot for a chalkboard and art storage. Since her children are so young, I hung the chalkboard on the bottom half of the room, with bins below to hold chalk and erasers. Above the chalkboard, I used clipboards for easy art display.
Since they prefer to leave the door open to this room, I recommended a Dutch door. This allows them to keep their dog in a specific area, while still giving sight lines for Mama. That screen door was precious, and I think they should keep it for a bit to see if it has another purpose for their home, but remove it from this area for now. What do you think?
Rolling Herb Garden Cart (White is currently discontinued, but it can be spray painted.)
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