In June of 2014, we moved into our current home and we really love it here. Our home today has plenty of space and with that, of course, come so many ideas and opportunities to tweak, update, design, and redesign. Ha! The opportunities are endless here because I’m working with a blank canvas, in a way. This is one of the reasons I decided to start a blog. I wanted to keep a record of everything we are working on and I thought it would be fun to share my ideas and keep a journal of our progress as we make this house our home.
Before I dive into details about the home we live in today, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the home Vernon and I lived in as a newlywed couple. Shortly after we were married, in 2008, we moved to a lake in Virginia for Vernon’s job. I was about six months pregnant, and I had just left my job/design career in architectural sales. I was in what you might call “Newlywed, Soon-To-Be Mommy Bliss” and was very excited to embark on a new adventure with my sweet husband. Looking back, I could have been easily overwhelmed by this large project we had that was our new home (and Vernon’s former bachelor pad!). I didn’t feel overwhelmed, though. As mentioned, I was in a blissful state. I love my husband. We approached this whole thing as a new project we would take on together, with his architectural background and my design background. Are you wondering what our house/project looked like? I promise I’m getting there . . .
There are a few photos I want to share first. This is a photo of me on my wedding day. I’m telling you, this is Bliss! Can you see it in my eyes? I am one happy woman!
I also want to include a photo taken shortly before we moved. This is me with two of my friends from college. (These two were my roommates when we moved to New York City after graduation.) Shortly before moving with Vernon to Virginia, we met up for lunch. I’m about six months pregnant in this picture.
This next photo is one of my favorites of Vernon. I took this picture when we first visited his home in Virginia. When we met, Vernon and I were working in Philadelphia. Vernon lived in a Philly apartment while keeping his lake house in Virginia. I had not yet seen it until he took me for a visit in the Summer of 2007. When I first visited his house (aka, the bachelor pad), Vernon was simply sharing with me a part of his life I had not seen yet. I took this photo while he was taking me for a walk down a trail in his back yard.
I love seeing these old photos because they remind me of what a special time this was in our lives. Anyway, on to
When he purchased his house, before meeting me, it looked like this . . .
At this time, Vernon was very single and just wanted to live on the lake which was not too far from his office. This was an affordable piece of property and the perfect project for this bachelor to chip away at over time, when he felt like it. He had all kinds of plans for this house and absolutely no time line because hey, he was living the good life. Foot loose and fancy free. Little did he know that a few years later he would be starting a family. Anyway, this was the outside shortly after he purchased it in 2004.
Eventually, Vernon decided he wanted to add a garage (one that would be large enough to hold a boat, should he purchase one down the line) and driveway. He also had plans to remove the vinyl siding on the house. As time went on, the house looked like this. This is just about the way it looked when I visited for the first time.
Before moving into the house, we decided we needed a paved driveway . . .
In time, all of the gray vinyl siding was replaced with cedar shingles. We also added stone veneer along the wall by the driveway. A lot of hard work went into the evolution of this house, which included local helping hands (or angels as I sometimes refer to them!).
Five years, and two kids, later this is what our home evolved into on the outside . . .
You might be wondering what the attraction was to the lake we lived on. It was incredibly beautiful and calming, I could see why Vernon was so attracted to it. It was a change for me personally because I’d been working so hard, and always in a pretty big city. Living in a rural area on a lake was a departure for me. I think the timing of this move worked out well because I was pregnant and entering into a different phase of my life. The calm environment was helpful and the views of the lake were really very special. Here are a two of the many photos we took from our back deck . . .
So, this week, I’m going to be giving you a tour of our Virginia Lake House, with before and after photos. While living in the house for five years, we painted the entire interior, doing our best to transform Vernon’s bachelor pad into a home for our family. We also completed (with help from the angels I mentioned previously . . . ) a large unfinished basement, adding a family room, wet bar, play area, two bedrooms, and a full bathroom on the lower level. Here is a sneak peak at a small coat area we created, which was located just beyond the inside entrance of our house (the paint color is Benjamin Moore HC-149, Buxton Blue) . . .
Has anyone experienced a home renovation with little kids under one roof and lived to tell about it? If you have any advice for others going through this process, please feel free to share. (I know it’s not easy!)
I’ll be back soon with a tour of the first floor. Have a great day Friends!