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.
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.
The view to left wasn’t much better…
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.
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.
On the other side of that long wall you’ll find the kitchen, which has always been fairly functional, but oh so dated…
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.
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…
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.
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…
One that was level with the rest of our main floor, creating the most wonderfully big, open space!
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.
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!