I haven’t been posting here very often, but I finally straightened out the house to take a comprehensive set of photos, like I’d been meaning to do for some time. I’ll go through this in the same order I usually give tours when people come to visit — upstairs, from one side of the house, down the hall, to the other, and then the same downstairs. Here we go!
I love how open the main living area of the house is. It couldn’t be any better! It’s wonderful to have a vaulted ceiling (strangely, it doesn’t match the profile of the roof above), and the wood paneling makes it even better. I had worried at first that it would make picking out furniture difficult (too many wood tones), but the ceiling sort of disappears until you decide to admire it — perfect. The living room is completely open to the dining area, which turns into the kitchen. The patio doors open onto the newly rebuilt deck on the back of the house.
This is another view from the same corner. You can see the hallway that leads down to the other rooms (behind the lamp at the rear). And some lazy cats. The frames in the living room contain plat maps that I got for $1 each at the antique store. People always wonder if our house is on them, but they’re of north-western Minnesota (we’re east-central). We think they’re great pieces of art, though.
And this is the living room as seen from the near end of the hallway. All four pets are in this photo, although it’s difficult to see the cats.
This is the kitchen and a bit of the dining room. As I usually tell visitors, the cabinets are the only things that were here when we bought the house. All the other things — the counters, appliances, floors, light fixtures, and even the door pulls — were added or replaced by us. Thank goodness for excellent contractors.
The backsplash was one of my projects, though. There had been a (broken) microwave here before, which we replaced with the hood (I did up the screws on the hood, but I think Rob should get most of the credit for holding it very awkwardly in place for longer than was comfortable). That left some chewed-up wall exposed, and it’s nice to have something more durable behind the stove, anyway. We put larger slate tiles by the doors out to the deck, so the backsplash ties in nicely with those.
And another view of the kitchen. I had originally wanted to remove this island, but I’m glad I was talked out of it. There’s a ton of cupboard space in this kitchen, but we’ve used every bit of it, including what’s inside the island, and it’s also just a handy place to set things that are coming out of the fridge. It’s got an outlet on it, so I occasionally plug in my electric beaters there when I’m baking.
I think this is never-before-seen! This is the hall/guest bath. I’ve mentioned before that none of the bathrooms have windows, which is one of the only things I don’t like about this house. Mainly because I like taking baths in natural light, but also because it’s really difficult to take a good photo! Our contractor replaced the old brown/mauve toilet and bath/shower with shiny new white ones, and someday I’d like to paint the (cheap, slightly worse-for-wear) vanity white, too. But wait, what’s that you can see reflected in the mirror?
Oh, it’s just a giant cut out of Minnesota! I used a jigsaw to cut this out of MDF (first I used the grid technique to blow up an 8.5×11″ image of MN to the large scale I wanted), and I found 3/4″ metal tubes to use as spacers, so it’s mounted away from the wall. I love the shape of MN, and I really love this huge version.
I thought I’d posted photos of the guest room before, but I hadn’t! This is it, always ready for a guest. I’m curious to see how this room will evolve over the years — right now it feel straight out of a Target bag. (But I do like it.)
This is the other side of the guest room. It has a big window with probably the best view in the house. Since the room on the other side of the wall (Rob’s office) doesn’t have a closet, the guest room has this little nook that we’ve put a dresser in.
Rob’s office is in the funny L-shaped room at the back of the house. He also has a great view of the pond from here. I should put a disclaimer before these photos of Rob’s office, bedroom, and bathroom. He’s in the UK right now, so it’s not like he had a chance to get things just right before I took photos. I think the rooms look fine, but FYI, etc.
Around the corner of the office. Lots of storage space!
Rob has the master bedroom, which has an en suite and walk-in closet. And the fanciest furniture — isn’t it nice?
The master bathroom was a mess when we closed on the house, so Rob and I worked out what he wanted and asked our contractor to get going. Nearly everything is new in here. There’s a big soaker tub (with a great tile surround) and a neo-angle shower stall on the other side of the vanity. Still no windows, though.
And now we’re downstairs. Which reminds me that I forgot to take a photo of the entryway! The house is a split level (you have to go up or down immediately after entering), so there’s not much to see. But we had leftover maple flooring from the kitchen, so we used it to replace the crumbling entryway tile.
Anyway, this is the family room, which is pretty big — it’s basically the same size as the living room + dining area + kitchen above it. We aren’t putting the room to its best use at the moment, but we have several ideas for what should go down here. I think both Rob and I would like to have a treadmill eventually, and I’ll someday get my piano up to Hinckley. Right now there’s just this (very nice) futon (in case a ton of guests show up, needing lodging) and my turntable.
And there’s this little corner, near the patio doors. My cookbooks are the book shelf, and I made a mini gallery wall with several bits and pieces that didn’t have a home before. You can also see the stairs in this photo, and the door next to them is a closet. (For as big as this house is, the closet under the stairs is the only real storage space. Bah!)
You’ve seen my bathroom before, and it hasn’t changed much at all. I think the only real difference is the striped rug on the floor.
And the triangle room, which I still love a lot! I’ve been doing some sewing in here, and I brought up my iMac for work projects. I keep meaning to take a photo of the triangle wall straight on and use it to create a desktop image for the iMac that matches up with the wall behind it.
I don’t think I’ve shown you the map in the triangle room before. It came from the thrift store, and I glued a piece of trim wood to the top and bottom and attached a chain to hang it. It was a very cheap project, but I like how school-room-y it looks.
My bedroom has mostly stayed the same, too. I’ve added objects to the shelves, and I mounted the headboard to the wall (it was resting on wobbly legs before).
This is the opposite corner of the room. The mirror came from the ‘in-town fleamarket’ in Hinckley — I’d been looking for a mirror similar to this for quite a while, and I snagged this one for $30 (the guy estimated it to be about a hundred years old). This and the framed Minneapolis poster are the only things I have on the walls. Sometimes I think about hanging more stuff, but I like the starkness of all that white.
And, at the end of the hall, the mudroom. Still the same as when I originally posted about it (plus a couple new painted splatters). I haven’t shown you the utility room, but that’s because it’s dark and messy and only houses the utilities, anyway.
And that’s the tour!