Love it or List It | Kitchen Makeover Reveal | Sarah Kane Photography

Love it or List It | Kitchen Makeover Reveal | Sarah Kane Photography

They say the best things in life aren't things and although I do agree, sometimes things make you very happy, like a brand new kitchen! Last year we made the decision to stay in the house that we started our family in and start making renovations to truly make it our own. We started with smaller projects like refinishing our hardwood floors redoing the staircase banister (still a work in progress) landscaping the yard and redoing our fireplace.  This year our big project was the kitchen! Our old kitchen was totally dysfunctional with a lot of counter space that coudln't really be used. You could tell it was a "do it yourself" project and a lot of corners were cut. I'm not a big fan of cooking to begin with and this kitchen's setup (and the style that was far from our taste) made it even less enjoyable

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Love it or List it | Striped Hallway | Sarah Kane Photography

Now that the floors are complete and looking spectacular it's time to move onto the next project! We are still deciding on a banister for the top and bottom of the stairs, so that will have to wait.  In the meantime we are tackling a simpler project, the front hallway. We love the look of the very trendy striped hallway, but wanted to do something a bit different with it. We originally painted the hallway a very pale blue (which ended up just looking like a dirty white) with the hopes of brightening things up a bit. What a huge mistake that was! We are learning that light doesn't always mean bright and that bold is the way to go! Here are the before and after of the new hall. We are still undecided weather we will hang anything on the stripes or just let them stand alone. Next on our list, the family room. Time to update that 1980's brick fireplace. Stay tuned...

Here is the hallway before the makeover. Blah...

and here it is after!

Here are a couple before and afters side by side

My hubby is the best! It's a good thing he doesn't mind painting!

Love it or List it | Home Improvements | Sarah Kane Photography

We've been in our house now for 6 years and it's time to "love it or list it" and we've decided to love it, but it needs some improvements. The first major improvement is refinishing our hardwood floors, stairs and adding hardwood to the hallway upstairs. Since the floors were going to be stripped down to their bare wood we decided to update the stain to a white wash. Yes, this is pretty non-traditional,  but we aren't traditional people. If we are going to live in it for the next 30 years we may as well live it up! We'll end up having to update it anyway when it's time to sell.

I'm so excited!! It has completely changed the look of the house! Although we live right in the suburbs we are in a heavily wooded area that feels like we are far from everything. I could never actually live in the country because I like to be within 20 minutes of everything, so our neighborhood really is the best of both worlds. Every night we are graced with the sounds of nature's most beautiful orchestra. Although I love the trees one downfall is the lack of sun. As much as I enjoy the forest like backdrop I also long for a bright sunny house, but that's just not possible where we live. I was hoping the new floors would add some brightness to the house and I was amazed at just how much it did! 

When we started pricing for refinishing the stairs our first quote from a carpet and flooring place was $4000!!! Just to refinish our stairs?! That was way beyond what we planned on spending and started to think it wasn't possible. Yes, Scott could likely do it himself, but it would take some time (especially with his schedule). Thankfully we went to another carpet place and they said that price was outrageous (ah -yeah) and gave us the name of a guy whom they trusted. He refinished their wood floors in the store's office. They showed us the floors and they looked spectacular!  We gave him a call and couldn't believe it when he came out and quoted us a significantly lower price to do the stairs, add hardwood in the upstairs hallway and completely sand and re-stain the entire downstairs!! It was a no brainer. 

So I bet right now you are dying to get this guy's information!! Well here it is. His name is Zach Sweet. You won't find a website for him, but he is on Angie's List. The best way to reach Zach is by text or call (804) 836-7180. Zach is a bit old school. He'll show up and schedule your appointment with a flip up wall calendar (I didn't know they even made those anymore ;) Don't let that deter you, we found Zach to be one of the most trustworthy, honest, and likable person we've ever done business with! He truly cares about getting the job done right and will do whatever it takes to make sure his customers are happy. Without hesitation I would highly recommend Zach to anyone! If you are interested in having some work done now is the time to contact him. It's the slow season, but once spring and summer hits you may have to wait awhile. 

Now to view his work! The first picture is the before and the second is after :)

Look how much it brightens up the room! It's so much more noticeable in person!

Obviously we had to take off the banister to the stairs. That will be our next project. Now that they are gone I really like how open it looks, but may not be the safest route with the kids. If you have any ideas as how to keep it open, but safe leave me a comment! I would love to hear it!

Before. Yuck!!

Before. Yuck!!

We plan to redo the handrail too, but look how open it is! I hate to obstruct the view!

Tips if you are having hardwood refinished

1. You will have to be out of your house for a minimum of 4 days 

2. Make sure you cover everything! Dust will get everywhere. Even in rooms that aren't being worked on. Although Zach put up plastic to block off the rooms it will get through.