Let there be light! {Small Space Remodeling Tip}

Glass Window Room Divider
image via Crazy Mary 

A s we are considering what kind of house we can afford (and hope to find) if or when we end up in Seattle, we are fairly certain that it will be a small house, and possibly one we will need to remodel at least a little bit in some way, hopefully right away. (You can catch up here if you are wondering what’s going on!).

I can share more details on what we think we are looking for in some upcoming posts, but we’ve gone to quite a few open houses to get a feel for what might be available and what to expect. One thing we’ve noticed in the older, smaller houses in our price range is that quite often the kitchens are small, closed in and very dark. Not only do they sometimes have dark cabinets, but many times the exterior walls are lined with cabinetry so windows are small or non-existent.

Glass window as a room dividerimage via Crazy Mary 

So in addition to imagining how we might open up a kitchen by removing walls, adding on with french doors or exterior windows, there are other interesting ways we’ve considered to accomplish the goal of more light and better flow through the house.

An interior window is a great way to create the illusion of more space and additional light without adding a single square foot to the kitchen. And, the interior window allows the kitchen to still feel like a separate (and quieter) space if you want it to, while removing the visual barrier of a full wall.

Light is so important in a kitchen, and in a small house more light will mean feeling less closed off or claustrophobic. After living in this house for the past six and a half years, I know a big thing I’m going to miss is my kitchen (AH!!! Sadness!) not just because I love how it looks but in great part because of all the light. Our kitchen gets beautiful light pouring in all day from all the big exterior windows.

Even if our next house doesn’t have as much light as I hope for, I enjoy a good challenge! I love finding ideas that are not only charming, but practical and problem solving, too. In some cases, an interior window just might be the perfect solution to a dark and cramped kitchen and dining area!

P.S. We actually had a similar interior kitchen window in one of our old houses (the picket fence house, if you read my book Love the Home You Have!) so I’ve always really liked that look. You can actually see a snapshot of that old kitchen window in this post (warning, it’s a really small image from a lifetime ago!).

Happy Monday, friends!

Master Bathroom is Ready for a Refresh!

Bathroom Mini Makeover Before

Y‘all, this bathroom has been patiently waiting for its turn to get pretty. It’s functional. It’s kind of clean :) and it is definitely NOT the worst bathroom we’ve ever had.

There are many things I like about it. Compared to other bathrooms we’ve had, it’s one of the best! This is the first time we’ve ever had double sinks and that alone has been awesome! Our bathrooms in other houses have been so tiny we could barely fit one person in at a time, this one could basically hold a party! If you wanted a party in your bathroom, that is. And to be honest, when my kids are all getting ready to go somewhere, we are all in here at the same time (even though we do have two other bathrooms).

I like that the vanity is roomy and tall (being short myself you wouldn’t think I would want a tall one, but I do.  Why are so many bathroom vanities so short?). I love that you can open the drawers easily. I love that we have a skylight and four windows to let in light. I love that we have a deep soaking tub. I love that we have a separate “potty room” with a view of the lake (hahah). I love that our master closet is connected to the bathroom. I love that it has real slate tile floors instead of vinyl.

But there are many things I don’t like. Mostly, I just wish it felt a little more like a spa hotel and less like a brand new house :). Too much to dream about? OK. I guess it is actually kind of a like a spa when I think about it, a spa where weak and weary fiddle leaf figs to come and rejuvenate themselves in the sunlight during the winter months. That’s a spa, right? Plants love this room.

Master Bathroom Before Mini-Makeover

Of course, I wish the cabinets, tile and floor were more my style and my colors. I wish it had full trim around the windows. Our fan is REALLY NOISY! But you know? That’s OK. This bathroom has served us well for over six years just as it is and I really don’t have a lot of complaints with it. The walls are a bit dinged up and in need of a fresh coat of paint, so it really is time for a little makeover.

Yes, I know what you are thinking right now. Those walls are SWINE, aren’t they? Yes. Yes they are. Long time no see, right? Not for me, I’ve been looking at swine for six years now FIRST THING EVERY MORNING. Ha! Yes, they are still that dry builder grade base coat color (that the builder probably thought was a nice safe beige but looks suspiciously mauve in some light so it has been the bane of my existence ever since), a paint color we affectionately named SWINE (no disrespect towards pigs, I assure you). This is actually the very last room with swine still standing. Can you believe it? Man. I feel like we’ve come to the end of an era here and soon we’ll be saying good-bye to swine for the very last time. Oink.

Because we don’t think we will be staying in this house long enough to have the time for or reap the benefit or enjoyment of a full makeover, this one is going to be a real mini makeover. New paint on the walls. Maybe something at the windows. Maybe new towels and accessories. There are many dreamy things we could do that would cost a bit more in time or money, and would undoubtedly make this bathroom super cute, but it looks like I’m just not going to be the one do them. But I will enjoy being able to give this room even a little facelift because I know it can be better than it is with a little effort.

I’m thinking about doing some blinds or faux shades or curtains or something at the windows. The lower half is privacy glass, but I would love to see some fabric color and pattern in this room if I can manage it. I don’t think I’ll do much more than paint, actually, but I still can’t wait to see how much better it will look with a fresh new color on the wall!

I do wish we had been able to fix up this bathroom sooner during our time here so we could have enjoyed it for a longer period of time, but that’s really OK. It just didn’t happen. My one dream going forward if we ever end up in another house full of swine or another color that just isn’t my favorite, that I will be able to paint the walls in the entire house in much less time. Like maybe immediately. I think that would be a good goal.

So now you know where I’ve been brushing my teeth. I think we are all pretty much BFFs now (if we weren’t already), now that you’ve seen my bathroom. I’ll be back to show you this room with more photos and after shots, very soon!

What paint color would you choose for this bathroom?

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