|Hi, I'm Julie ... artist, photographer, potter, etc. I am so happy you are here! I consider this blog my creative journal where I can share my recent work, ideas and dreams, and lots of little details about my life. Please make yourself at home. Whether you are a bride-to-be, a photographer, or just a visitor, I hope you will find inspiration here and even become a friend.|
Exactly one year after moving out of the city and into the woods, I'm really excited to share with you a little tour of our home. It all started with a few hypothetical questions between me and Nick ... Wouldn't it be awesome to have a little land for the kids to play and explore? Would we be happier with a little less noise and a little more privacy? And a few real estate ads later and we were all over the state looking at properties. We enjoy that kind of thing so it didn't seem like a serious reality that we were going to attempt a move with two little babies. But sure enough a few months later we were neck deep into a home renovation in the middle of Nowhere, KY.
(disclaimer: Some of these are phone pics, some are not, some are edited and some are not.)
Real estate and renovation are a part of Nick's profession so he tends to see the possiblities in a place. We looked at a couple of other homes in this neighborhood that I loved ... but when we pulled up to this one I honestly didn't even plan to go inside. Nick went in with the realtor and I stayed in the car with the kids. They stayed in there a long time and I thought surely he's just in there being chatty. But no. We put in an offer and planned a huge renovation.
Hidden in the woods, underneath all that vinal siding was a tudor style cottage that would become our home sweet home. We had a fabulous, hard working team of contractors who started this intimidating process. Even Eleanor and August helped pick some of the paint colors.
But I still wasn't convinced that I would love this place ... until the coversation Nick and I had over this piece of paper right here ...
And this is where I just want to get real for a second. When I look back about eight years ago or so ... I was in a very sad, different place. I don't share all of this here to brag and show off my perfect life. But I have to praise God for giving me a dream and guiding me to a different path. When I met Nick a little later I knew that God had a beautiful life in store for us. We are so far from perfect but we are happy. And although I didn't do anything to deserve this, I have found the one who makes my dreams come true (and my dream kitchen) ... and I just want to acknowledge that as God's work in my life.
And so the renovation continued from October 2014 until May of 2015. Packing and moving is a stressful thing. May 2015 was a particularly busy time with prior commitments and family vacations. Somehow we squeezed in moving our whole life to a new house. And we were finally home.
It's such an odd thing: we lived at our previous home in a historic neighborhood in downtown Lexington and we loved it there. But I didn't realize how much we didn't love it there until we came here. The quiet, the absense of street lights, the peace, safety, privacy ... it was all kind of missing before. Once again, I'm so glad that Nick saw the potential here. I just didn't know I needed it.
before/during/after the foyer:
When we first moved in along with that feeling of peace there were all kinds of little confirmations that we had found our perfect place ...
Like my obsession with the sequence of 1's that show up everywhere. And the most amazing sun rises you've ever seen.
Sweet morning walks with my best friend forever ...
There were also a few signs that we might have made the biggest mistake of our lives. Like Eleanor's concrete accident on the first day here that sent us on an emergency trip to the dentist in a panic. Or giant spiders in the house, which obviously meant we needed to just burn the whole place down immediately.
But eventually everyone began to get settled in ...
The neighbors were kind of curious about us, but they've become good friends now.
Nick doesn't love the deer neighbors as much as I do. But we both really love the human neighbors and friends we've made so far. Serious, like forever friends. It's so good how God knows exactly where you need to be and who you need to be next to.
Here are some more before/afters of the renovation ...
I call this the living room. Nick calls it the library.
AND YES THE KITCHEN ... Everything happens in the kitchen and it centers the whole house. The original kitchen was kind of divided into two spaces. This kind of design was popular in the 80s when the house was built. For me, that division just made the room feel crowded and messed with the functionality of the space. We talked about removing just the center island thing and keeping the cabinets ... but quickly decided it all just needed to go.
We put in everything new. A new french door, new floors, new cabinets, countertops, appliances, lighting, and the island. I wanted a massive island!!!!
I am not fancy. My priority was that the kitchen be functional ... and also beautiful. Clean, open, simple, and big! It took the most work of all the rooms but I love it.
Our previous kitchen was so tiny and had NO drawers. I am so happy for the drawers and cabinets in this house. There is a perfect place for every little thing and that makes me so happy!
That plant window is one of my favorite things in the whole house. Ironically, t's pretty much the only recognizable thing in the kitchen when you look at the before/afters. I think it doesn't even look like the same place.
My beloved husband does the dishes. He doesn't do them every night ... but he always does them. And so we chose this enormous sink to hide them in. It's pretty much a bath tub. But the kitchen is a large space so it can handle large ammenities.
And the living room ...
Remember that time the floor of your entire house was stacked up in the living room?
I don't remember the name of this living room paint color but we toiled over several options and finally settled on this one. And I have to say I am as happy as I could ever be with a paint color. It's soothing but not sleepy and it looks good with everything without being total neutral. Love it.
This next one is the last room on the first floor. The previous owners had this as a master bedroom but we were able to put all of our bedrooms on the second floor. We discussed a lot of options for this room but once we decided to make it the office and play room I knew it was right. There is something magical about this room and I feel very creativly inspired here ... it's so good.
August's bedroom before/after:
Don't be fooled ... it NEVER looks this tidy.
The secret door opens into August's club house!
Eleanor's room before/after:
The kid's bathroom renovation was a last minute decision to knock it all down and open it up:
The storage room from the bathroom turned into my dream closet:
The master upstairs has an extra entrance room we call The morning room ... It has Nick's closet and a bathroom and it's a great place for stretching, reading, and quiet time before I start my day.
Master bathroom before/after:
Master bedroom before/after: (it had an odd little closet/wall we just knocked out to make the room feel bigger.
My absolute favorite thing about living at deer lane is that we have extra guest rooms for extra special guests. Granted ... those rooms are under renovation currently. And I'll have lots of photos to share once that's finished. But we still have plenty of space for the people we love.
I've also found that the property is perfect for photo shoots!!!!
The kids have an awesome place to play outside ...
But mostly we are just so happy to have found the house that we can make a home. We have so many memories already of birthday parties, friends, and fun ...
Eleanor is learning a lot about gardening ...
And our first Christmas here was unforgettable ...
I'll have to do a whole separate post to show a tour of Nick's garden, the kid's play ground, the renovated basement, and our new back porch once it's completed. There is always a project at hand! But we couldn't love our home any more ... and I am so grateful to have found it. I hope you enjoyed this peek into my personal life!!!!