Saturday, April 14, 2018

Before and Afters of the Aly

Do we know how to spell Alley??  Yes, we do!  Even the realtors were confused on the spelling of this word.  Some documents said Aly.  The street sign says "Alley,"  yet all of our mail was being changed to "Aly" automatically.  Did you know that Aly is the official abbreviation of Alley?  I mean, why does Alley even need an abbreviation?  Its not like the word: Boulevard....where you have to stop and think how to spell it.   I digress.

WHY did we move?  We get that question ALL THE TIME.   To sum it up:  we have 4 kids.  At the time, Mason was sleeping in an oversized closet.  We could definitely benefit from a different layout.  We wanted a flatter backyard for the kids to play in.  We ended up buying 20 acres behind the new house to keep any future builders from using that for more subdivision extensions (which they were trying to do).  The entire house is focused on the back yard view -- and I couldn't imagine seeing neighbors back there.  It would ruin the view.   And the new house had a "MIL suite" with a second laundry room, second kitchen, living room, and 2 bedrooms with a jack-n-jill handicapped accessible bathroom.  Perfect for when my extended family comes to visit!

We love the family that lived in the house before us.  We haven't met the original family that designed/built/lived here first.  So that makes us the third family to live in this house.  And it is pushing 15-20 years old I think.   I try really hard not to post any before pics, because it was THEIR space then.  And I'm not judging.  People walk in now, and they don't realize just how much we have done to it.  Even the toilets got replaced.  So to give you an idea why there are ALWAYS trucks here and work crews making loud noises ALL DAY long for the past year.   Here are some before and afters!

We've been living here for about 4 months and we still have some rooms to finish.  Some rooms you'll have to wait to see later.  Or just come over now.

My main purpose in renovating was to make it even MORE EFFICIENT for a family of 6.  There were certain parts that were great, but maybe not meant for 4 kids.  I wanted every square inch of this house FULLY FUNCTIONAL FOR A FAMILY OF SIX!

The BEFORE pics are the ones I downloaded from the realtor's website.  SOOOO for all you inquiring minds (and most of you that read this have probably already seen these).  But you may not have seen the before pics.  enjoy!!


Added a pot-filler since we lost the island sink.  

Overall, the kitchen got all new appliances (KitchenAid), farmhouse apron sink (Rohl Shaws), two pendant lights added (PotteryBarn), an entire new island to allow a mini fridge and microwave, new paint (SW Repose Gray), new floors, cut off the bar level, and added a pot filler and coordinating sink faucet (Rohl). Cabinet hardware (chrome Lugarno) and bar stools are from Restoration Hardware and runner is from Annie Selke (Marco).  

We were leaving what I call my "double wide" fridge/freezer to a current single unit.  NOT HAPPENING WITH 4 KIDS.  I refused to budge on this issue.  I needed my double wide plus a mini fridge plus another full size fridge in the apartment suite (not to mention the deep freeze in garage full of deer meat)!  Putting a double wide unit meant shifting the stove top down the wall, and losing some counter space.   I also didn't need a vegetable sink in the island.  I felt I could use the island better with just a smooth flat top.  We cut off the two-level bar height to open it up into the living room more.  


There is not a formal dining room.  But the nook area is large enough to fit up to a 12-seat table with room to spare.  Because the rest of the house is pretty casual, and the kids eat at the bar most of the time, I chose to go fancy with the new table, chairs, and chandelier.  All of that is from Restoration Hardware.   We have very little usable wall space in this house (mostly windows everywhere), so I went with the verses of "How Great Thou Art" for the dining room.  My grandmother that I did not like at all died right before we moved in.  Even though we never got along, I learned about forgiveness.  And the only thing she ever taught me (besides what type of grandmother I hope to never be) is how to play that song on her organ when I was a kid.  

I didn't understand the original built-ins.  I also wanted to widen the fireplace to allow a bigger TV. 
Living room (while it was still under construction) but we do not have our new couches yet, so I refuse to post the hot-mess that it still is now.
The brown was the original color and you can see how the original white trim had aged


Mati Claire's room had what I called 3 little "ship windows".  I felt like we were in the cargo hold of a ship.  The blinds weren't working for me cosmetically.  But you also can't put drapes on a half-wall.    The only wall a bed would go on was the large window (which it covered half of that as well).  It was such a "usable" wall if I could just get rid of those darn little windows!  We were SO restricted on even the type of furniture to put in that room.  Marcus R. to the rescue! From the outside, the windows are still there.  But he sealed them, and sheet rocked over them!  Now the large window can let ALL the light in! New carpet (Titanium).  New paint:  SW Rhinestone is a great color!  


We knocked out the linen closet and created a walkway for Mason to access the boys' bathroom. It ended up cutting Mattox's original closet in half but he still has a large closet (and quite possibly the largest bedroom of all).  

Mattox's room is the ONLY room in the house we did not change other than new carpet.  He liked the little boy (Manning's room) sports theme and so we kept it as is!  


Adding a closet for Mason's room
His room is still in a work in progress.  I don't push him to get out of his crib, but when he does, he will get a new bed and some drapes to let the light in again.  He sleeps best in total darkness right now :)
His new paint color is SW Worldly Gray and its one of my favorites! It has a brown tint to it.


 Merritt's room probably underwent the most drastic changes!  It was an office space before.  It had no closet or bathroom access.  We added a closet and knocked out a wall for bathroom access.  New paint.  New carpet.  Still working on framing her small windows (but not as small as Mati Claire's ship windows).  This room also has limited wall space because of the vaulted ceilings everywhere.  Chandelier is from Restoration Hardware Teen line.  Bed is from Pottery Barn.  Fabric mural on wall is also from Pottery Barn.  After all the beautifulness we put into this... she said she wanted a pink room.  Not purple.
 Her new paint color is SW Fashionable Gray.  Definitely has a purple tint (which I wanted).



The sliding barn closet doors are AMAZING.  Really you just have to see them!  The previous doors made it difficult to access the back half of my closet.  I couldn't even get to that half of my closet without walking in, closing the door, and then walking behind it.  Very tight space.  Barn doors solved that problem!  
Clawfoot tub is Victoria + Albert volcanic limestone tub from Ferguson's in Jackson.  Chandelier is also from Ferguson's Showroom.   Installed marble floors, marble countertops, new shower.  Cabinet hardware is from Ridgeland Specialty Hardware.   And I don't remember the names of the SW paint we used in this room.  blue and gray :)  


 Ripped out all the built-ins (which I don't think I ever got a picture of before).  Added 4 locker system.  New tile floor.  New countertops. Copper cabinet hardware is from Ridgeland Specialty Hardware.


Oh the backyard.  The house is completely focused on that view.  No matter where you are in the house, you probably have a view of the backyard.  We didn't intend to redo much of this, but after pulling up the tile in the kitchen, and we kept finding water in the garage... we discovered a crack in the foundation that supposedly was traced back to the pool area.  We ended up ripping up the slab around the pool and putting new flagstone down.  And under the stone is ALOT of new drainage pipes hopefully pushing the water away from the house.  We also updated the landscape and trimmed our lovely "green giant" gazebo (that smells amazing when in bloom).   We added approx. 20 acres,  drainage work, new stone, painted the brick, added a child-safety net to the pool, and new landscape.  

and after all that:


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Before/After:  Obviously the after was not finished yet, but we changed the built-ins and installed a movie theatre screen.



The Sisal stair runner rug is FANTASTIC!! I highly recommend it for stair use our outdoor use.  I wouldn't use it where kids play on the floor because it can be rough and almost splinter-like.  But gives good traction on stairs.  Matt wanted carpeted stairs and I wanted bare wood.  We compromised on this runner and its one of my favorites!  Mason LOVES playing on it too!  He was doing his best Miley impersonation here I think?? ;)

 We've had a snake.  We've had snow.  Twice I think.  We've had our first Christmas.  We've had rain for months.  We've probably scared off all the neighbors with all the yelling we do.  We've had to replace some A/C units and had everything break all at once.  So things we weren't planning to replace eventually got replaced anyways.  Ugh.  But finally settling in!
The half bath is going to look awesome when we get it finished!  Almost done with it! This concrete sink vanity is from an Etsy store called CreatingConcrete.  Daryl Stanley does an AMAZING job and is great to work with with even greater prices!  I used Kohler Purist faucet in brass finish from Home Depot.  Mirror is from Pottery Barn.

New landscape is in finally after all the rain we've had!  
 Master bedroom, apartment bedrooms/living room, and pool house are still in the works but nothing we needed done immediately.  We painted most of that but nothing else major.  I need to focus on outdoor furniture and foyer entry.  Whew!!  Its been almost a year.  I can't thank Marcus Rushing and David Rushing enough.  They did all the hard work.  Homescapes, LLC and Malouf did the landscape and stone work.