Demo to Reno – an impromptu project

I think we must be crazy! You would have to be to start a DIY renovation project in your home while also figuring out how to run a new online business and taking care of three kids.

Our home is 120 years old. We live in a community where a lot of the homes have been turned into multi-unit rental properties. Our house started as a single family home, was turned into 4 units (2 upstairs, 2 downstairs) then about 25 years ago the main level was turned back into one unit. The 2nd floor of our house is rented and we live on the main level. Needless to say with all the changes made to this home the layout is a little funky.

So, after two seconds of thinking things through we made an impromptu decision to take out 2 back to back closets which opens up the space and provides a large walkway. Without a bunch of confusing details about all that went into this I will just say by taking out 4-5 walls that were essentially in a rectangle shape we now can see from the front door all the way to the kitchen in the back of the house. This is a much better open concept.

I forgot to mention that we also had to switch around 4 rooms to make this open plan possible. We switched the family room with our master bedroom, and switched the front room with our office. What does this all mean? LOTS OF WORK!!

We did all of the demolition ourselves. We are getting some help with framing and electrical but are hoping to do most of the rebuild ourselves as well. This includes completely gutting and updating a bathroom. Its a huge project we probably shouldn’t have gotten into but are loving how it is looking. To speed up the demolition I actually did most of the tear down of dry wall and tons of plaster (this stuff is horrible, and dusty, and gets everywhere) myself, while my husband was at work. Its a learning project and a serious time consumer. Needless to say this quick decision to tear down some walls has consumed our lives for the last few weeks. We aren’t done yet. We still have to frame walls, drywall everything, completely finish the bathroom, finish the flooring. I will post updates within the next week and write a new post with the finished product hopefully soon!

I will say if you are thinking about making some changes to your home don’t be scared of a challenge! Its fun learning new things and diving head first into a life consuming project.

Before the renovation started you had to walk through the master bathroom to get from the bedroom to the dining room and kitchen. Weird I know. Here is a view from both sides of the walkway through the master bathroom.

This was the master closet. It was in the master bathroom. The closet was on one side of the walkway to the kitchen while the bathroom was on the other side.
Here’s the master Bathroom. Its pretty hideous. I especially love the black and white wallpaper and ancient black laminate  floor.
More master bathroom
This is a double plastered wall. My worst nightmare. 
A view of the walls coming down from the dining room. The wall where the dog cage is and 2 closets behind it will come down.
A view from the master bedroom. this closet on the right is coming out!
Closets are down and walls are open. The bathroom seen on the right will have a wall put up. You can see that our master bedroom is on the other side. This will soon be the family room with the living room/ entryway on the other side of the wood pillars.
A view of the Master. You can see the dining room and kitchen.
Some of the chaos that comes with switching 4 rooms at one time.
More chaos. this will ‘someday’ be an office/craft room!



  1. Oh my goodness! You are so brave!!! We once lived in a house that was built in 1906. It was an adventure! I could not imagine renovating it!!! What a project!


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