Our Biggest Renovation Yet…

Have you heard the news?

Big things are happening here in the Mercer house…

If you follow along on Instagram, then you may already know that we’re in the midst of our biggest (and messiest) renovation project yet.

In the 2.5 years that we’ve live here, we’ve managed to transform quite a few spaces in this big old house from the 70’s.


In fact, you can see most of the changes in this video tour I shared earlier this year…


It’s been a slow + gruelling process, as renovations often are I’m sure. With many bumps along the way of course. But in the end, it’s always been worth the late nights, busy weekends & small fortune.

Which is what I keep telling myself each time I start to loose my mind with the chaos and mess that’s taken over my entire house lately. Now, you might think I’m exaggerating here, but let me assure you, this isn’t just a case of my being dramatic.

Just picture this my friends.

Plywood floors, no ceiling to speak of & we’re down to just one light on the entire main floor. There are holes in our floors + walls all the way upstairs (thanks to the hvac we’ve had to re-run) and of course the whole house seems to be covered in ten layers of drywall dust at all times, no matter how many times I clean it.

Oh my goodness, living through a major renovation is no joke my friends.

Now, I bet you’re wondering just what is going on to create such a state of disaster and chaos around our house.

Well, from the moment we set foot into this house, we’ve been dreaming up some pretty major changes to our main floor…

We’ve never loved this view walking in.

House - Before
Looking straight ahead as you walk in the door

House - Before
And straight back down the hallway to the front door


Everything about this hallway was dysfunctional and well, ugly. The closet was in an awkward spot and I’ve always hated having to walk through that hallway to get anywhere on our main floor.

House - Before
Closet smack dab in the middle of everything


The view to left wasn’t much better…

House - Before
Looking left from our front entryway


This front living room space was so long + narrow we could never figure out how to decorate it and I can’t say I love that dark and dreary brick fireplace.

House - Before
Dark + dreary brick fireplace


The sunken living room not only served to section off this narrow space even more, but it stole a ton of height from the basement below.

House - Before
Looking back from the fireplace to our front entry


On the other side of that long wall you’ll find the kitchen, which has always been fairly functional, but oh so dated…

House - Before
Walk through to the kitchen from the living room
House - Before
Looking from the living room walk through

And from our dining area

House - Before
Looking back toward the hallway to the front entryway


But honestly, we were fine with all that. Okay, maybe I’m using the word “fine” a bit loosely here, what I mean is that those are all simple(ish) fixes. The thing that bothers us most, that we’ve been itching to change since the moment we set foot in this house, is the big old wall separating our kitchen and living room, making them both so much smaller and less functional.

This one wall literally cut our entire main floor in half.

It separated the mudroom, the kitchen, the front entry and the front living room, making each one of those spaces feel small, dysfunctional and disconnected from the rest of the house.

House - Before
“The wall” viewed from the kitchen
House - Before
“The wall” viewed from our mudroom/ laundryroom
House - Before
“The wall” viewed from our front entryway

House - Before
“The wall” viewed from our living room


It was so in the middle of everything that every room on our main floor essentially made a circle around it.

It’s truly been the bane of our existence since the day we moved in.

Which is why we’re so totally over the moon that’s it’s no longer there…

Renovation Progress
Drywall down…

Renovation Progress
We removed the small entryway wall too


And of course, it made no sense to leave that sunken living room in place, continuing to divide the spaces even without a wall.

So, we took that out too.

House During
Yes, we took out the entire floor.


We thought about just building a new floor right on top to make it all one level, but in the end we decided to remove the floor and rebuild it all so that we could gain back the headspace below it in the basement.

Seeing that big hole in our floor was probably the most jarring part of this whole renovation so far. I was totally wondering and worrying whether we’d gotten in over our heads with this one.

But, the very next day, we had a floor again…

Renovation Progress

House - During
And we have a floor again!


One that was level with the rest of our main floor, creating the most wonderfully big, open space!

Renovation Progress
I can stand in my kitchen and look right into my living room!

Renovation Progress
And my front entryway too!


You know, it’s funny how we can make such a BIG change and yet, it feels so familiar, like it’s always been this way.

Renovation Progress
LOVING this big open space!


I guess that’s how you know you’ve made the right call.

Which was just the reassurance I needed to find faith that this will all be worth it in the end.

It’s been a few long weeks since that wall disappeared, and though we’ve made some progress rerouting all of the hvac and electrical that had been living there and adding all sorts of lighting throughout our entire main floor, it still looks pretty much the same.

Which is to say, a construction zone. But, at least it’s all still functional for now (I am NOT looking forward to cooking with a microwave for three meals a day while we’re working on the kitchen!).

Fingers crossed I’ve got some prettier pictures to share soon (including our plans to bring this space back to life)!

Have you lived through a major reno? I’d love to hear your tips and advice for coping with the chaos!

Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!

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20 thoughts on “Our Biggest Renovation Yet…

  1. Oh my goodness! My head is spinning just looking through the pictures; I can’t imagine how you’re feeling actually living in it. I am SO excited for you and to see what’s next 🙂

  2. Wow, you are making a huge improvement to your main floor. It’s going to be amazing when it’s done! Looking forward to seeing it progress.

  3. Whoah, now that’s a renovation, and one that I admire you two for taking on. It must be reassuring to see your vision taking shape at this stage, messy though it may be. And it certainly will be both beautiful and functional when it’s done. Cheers, Ardith

    1. You are always so kind Ardith, I appreciate your encouraging words! It’s been a long journey already, but I’m so excited to see how it all comes together! Thank you so, so much!

  4. Looks amazing so far! It will be fantastic when it’s all done. We’ve done some small renos to our 80’s house but plan to do a major renovation similar to yours. Open concept all the way! Have to save up some $$$ first. Can’t wait to see your finished spaces for inspiration!

  5. Kristi, my question is not related to this post. I spent some time tonight looking through your blog for the paint colours used in your master bedroom. I loved that bedroom makeover and haven’t forgotten about it since the day you did the stencil painting. I am about to re-paint my bedroom and I am going to try to stencil one wall with a stencil i picked up. Would love to know the two paint colours you chose. I hate picking a white by myself. I think it’s one of the hardest colours to pick. Thanks so much.

    1. You are so, so sweet Angela! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m thrilled to hear that you loved our bedroom makeover so much! White is definitely tricky to choose. I used Cloud White from Benjamin Moore throughout my bedroom space – it’s my favourite go-to white as it’s nice and warm without looking too creamy. We’ve actually used it on all of the doors and trim throughout our house (and I might just be planning to have our new cabinets painted with it too). If you’d like a cooler looking white, Simply White is a great option as well. And just in case you’re wondering about the other colour I used on the stencilled wall (and most of the other walls in our home) – Edgecomb Gray from Benjamin Moore. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

  6. Wow, what an amazing job you’re doing! We also just finished a renovation (down here in Canberra, Australia) though not quite as major as yours. I have a blog about it too (again, no where near your incredible level, more just for fun!) You are very inspiring! I’ve really been enjoying reading your blog and great projects, keep it coming! <3 Elaine

    1. How exciting! There’s nothing like seeing your home and the visions you have for it take shape. And even more exciting to share that story with the world – popping over to check it out now. Thank you so, so much Elaine!

  7. Very pretty. You have beautiful vision and getting rid of that sunken floor was definitely a plus. I’ve never understood the attraction some have for them. We bought a 1990s beach cottage 4 years ago and have lived through some major renovations including scraping all the popcorn, tearing out and replacing all new flooring with hardwood, opening up and renovating the kitchen and adding a family room. We also opened up the ground floor entry, which is not the main living floor in our cottage so that the two floors felt more connected. The crockpot, an electric skillet and electric frying pan, as well as our outdoor grill got our large family through the very long kitchen renovation. You’ll look back with a grin and be proud of yourselves when you are all done.

I can't wait to hear your thoughts?