The Atrium House: Before + After
I'm so excited to be writing this post. It seems only fitting that I should update the blog (we've been done for about two months!) but with the holidays and everything this poor post got so sidetracked, but we are now officially under contract! So to celebrate, let's look back on this poor house's scarier times, when we were blissfully naive about what we had just signed on to.
This poor house needed LOTS. OF. LOVE. So let's start with curb appeal! Everything about this front was awful. Beams needed to be replaced due to rotting wood. Brave Josh worked on these for so long in the middle of a Phoenix summer. He painted the whole house again, as well as smoothed down the beams, replaced beams, painted trim gray, installed the slat privacy wall, replaced the front door with a new door and extra window, and capped the main beams with steel caps. We hired landscapers to lay new rock down, and the plants in the atrium area (blue agaves and a paddle cactus) I planted with my own bare hands and guys they were so heavy and I got many thorns but I was so proud of myself for doing it. Hah!
We also had this brick wall built to match the style of the brick on the house to display the address.
Ok let's talk entryway!
To me, this entryway shows a lot of difference, but maybe because we stared at it for 7 months! Besides the new door and adding a window to let in more light, Josh removed the soffit above the doorway that was pointless (no ductwork behind it or anything) and it felt like we added SO much height and space to the area instantly! We also took those pretty cool 1980's sconce wood panel things off. In general, all around the house, Josh replaced all of the baseboards with a more modern 5" baseboard and refinished and stained the concrete floors throughout. He is a STUD. (Side note - all my favorite staging things came from Craigslist / Offer Up, including this perfect console table and the large Gainey planter -$20!). The entryway light is from AllModern.
And the biggest transformation of all - THE KITCHEN.
The kitchen was previously a very small, outdated galley kitchen (again with the pointless overhead soffits!). I seriously do not understand how lower cabinets and a lower-ceiling feel was ever a trend. I think Josh had a lot of fun demo-ing the kitchen, and as he removed the drywall, we found this beautiful original brick wall behind it, so we decided to leave it. It has kind of a tile effect, and we were going to put tile up anyway! But this way brings out a lot of the mid-century history feel. Josh built all of the kitchen cabinets by hand (he doesn't want to talk about it) and i love how the plywood look is carried throughout the house, as plywood was so big in the 60's. It feels current, yet it feels consistent to the era. We chose a matte white Corian countertop and I'm obsessed with it - it's so clean and different. The globe pendants are from AllModern, the chandelier is from West Elm (though the bulbs are from AllModern - the Edison bulbs didn't feel right in the house). We built this space out with dreams of really fun dinner parties in its future. Perfect for entertaining, right?
The living room didn't undergo many huge changes other than the new paint, baseboards, and floors. It already had a great skylight which we did have to replace (by "we" I mean "not me"). But my favorite part is that Josh exposed the beautiful wood beam overhead (it was previously covered in drywall. Crazy!).
In the living room: the sofa is the Hopson sofa from Joybird, and everything else was either borrowed, thrifted, or Craigslisted. Also I gotta mention - my favorite candle company ever Standard Wax gifted us a ton of beautiful soy candles (see one on the coffee table) to keep our house smelling fresh and lovely! I love how minimalistic the ceramic containers are and I reuse the crap out of them. Look them up! They make great planters after the candles burn down.
Probably my favorite before-and-afters are the bathrooms! I mean, look at this. For real. Crazy. We decided to take out the ugly fluorescent lighting, add a couple of sconces instead, and installed a sun tube skylight where the ceiling is raised over the sink. I speak from experience when I say this bathroom is AMAZING to put your makeup on in!
The bedrooms were all the MOST fun to stage. Duh! Everybody asks about the rug in the Master, but it was a great find from a seller on Etsy (who doesn't have any more rugs - it was a chance find). The lounge chair was a score on Offer Up, and the beautiful streamers print is from one of my favs, Kelly Christine (you can grab it HERE). It's the perfect amount of cheerfulness! It belongs above the bed, but then I chickened out about putting holes in the wall, so just imagine it above the bed please. (I like it by the chair too - you can see it all the way down the hall!)
From the hallway, we get to the second bedroom! What you can't see in the "before" photo is that half of the room was painted a deep blood red. PRETTY GREAT VIBES when you pair it with "bars over the window." Josh custom built all of the closet doors out of the same plywood as the kitchen cabinets so the look carries throughout! I love them so much - they turned out amazing. This is another room full of secondhand finds, but the light is from eBay, and the yellow velvet pillow is from H&M.
This room! I fell in love with this room even in its dismal state, because the light in this room is completely perfect. Bright, airy, and sweet - I knew we had to stage this room as a nursery! I will do another post on staging soon, but here's my highlights from this room: Chair is from Houzz, large Gainey planter was found on Craigslist, the rug is from Ikea, the beautiful vintage bassinet was from Craigslist, as was the vintage Scandinavian rocker (I'm selling one similar to this for $30 if you're local! Email me if you're interested!). I also LOVE the Goodnight Lights (Piña Colada and White and Gold Cactus) and I want them in every room of my house. They are pure magic! There's also some sweet toys from Oli & Carol and a couple of THE prints by Marke Newton.
And finally, the back porch!
This was definitely a little harder to show before and afters, as the back porch was previously just a big enclosed room (scary wires hanging out of the wall covered in duct tape, and walls just barely pieced together, along with a faux brick-paneled fireplace). The windows were held up with tape. We actually tackled this room first in our demo process, and it was 118 degrees outside, which I'm sure I've mentioned before because it makes me feel really tough to say it.
But guys, look at this transformation. I LOVE IT.
This is the way this house was meant to be enjoyed. An open breezy porch. Conversations in comfy chairs after dinner. Contentedness even in the heat of summer with cold drinks in hand.
We sprung for new sod and an irrigation system because I know you guys are thinking "Uh is it impossible to keep a lawn green in Phoenix?" and the answer is NO! It's actually stupid easy if you have an irrigation system. For real, we don't check on the house that much, and the lawn still looks this great, and if you're walking into the house, you see straight out the sliding glass windows into the back yard. It needed a fresh green lawn! Josh built up a privacy wall on top of the back wall just to keep things a little extra cozy, as the house backs up to an empty lot with businesses across the street from it.
Well there you have it! Our labor of love this past 7 months. We've learned a LOT of things the hard way in the process (how to NOT get burned out, mostly!) and I'd love to share more later. But be sure and let me know any other questions you might have that I can also write about next time!
Thank you so much for following along. It means the world to me! I am so grateful to be living my dream. So, so grateful.