May 9, 2014

Marantz House Project: Help Us Design This Room

Ok, so this is definitely going to be one of those “life gets kind of messy, everything is not always pretty & perfect” kinds of posts!!

I think when you’re doing something as overwhelming as a complete gut renovation home remodel, it can be really tempting to just show the after. Because let’s face it, the after is polished & put together and makes for much prettier blog pictures! And honestly, I think part of it is that we just want to focus on the positive and all that we have gotten done, versus ALL that there still is to do! But that can probably lead to the illusion from the outside looking in that everything was just automatically finished and perfect right away. And that we’re some sort of superheroes, who secretly redo homes in our sleep. When actually, nothing could be further from the truth!

And while the “after” might make for the prettier pictures, I think the “before” and the “yep, still ongoing” are the ones that tell the story. The ones that are honest. And the ones that are far more interesting.

So in light of that, today I wanted to share with you guys a room in our house that has honestly just….perplexed us for the last four years. I just have NO idea what to do with this space. It’s a little complicated because when we first bought the house it was actually a two family home. And this room was the second kitchen in the house. So the first thought was we would keep both and the first floor kitchen would be our “business kitchen” for hosting workshops & entertaining clients, but that the second floor kitchen would be our “real” kitchen. However, after living in the house for a while and figuring out the patterns of life and what it looks like to live here, we realized that the first floor kitchen by FAR makes more sense as our main (and only) kitchen. It has the better floor plan, the better flow. And after talking to some real estate expert clients of ours, we decided to fully convert to a single family house (single family is more attractive to future buyers of waterfront property) and now we have no need for a kitchen on the second floor.

So what we’re left with is this really weird room, that is still very much a raw space: unfinished dry wall, pipes sticking out of the floor (that would have been for the island), these three random pendant lights (that we installed to go over the future island), exposed wires, broken molding…the whole works. Let me tell you, it is totally awesome to walk through every day. :) :) But because we have no idea what to do with it, it’s just sort of stayed…stuck. It’s funny how indecision can cause paralysis isn’t it? :)

So now we’re looking for suggestions as to what on earth to do with this room!

To give you an idea, it is an open room/ flow area at the top of the second floor, so you come right up the stairs into it. This first picture is the perspective coming up the stairs. That door straight to the front used to go to the second floor back deck which we just removed, so we’ll be closing that off eventually. The door on the left goes into our laundry room. And just outside of frame straight to the left is the door to the guest room.

This is the perspective from that window you see in the picture above, looking right. You can see into the guest bedroom and you can also see how there are these two hallways on either side of the door to the stair that both lead out to our main second floor living room.

This is the view from the window looking left, so the room kind of makes this “L” shape.

Some possible ideas we have thrown around are to turn it into a morning room/sitting area. As you can see, it gets really great light and it would be cool to sit there and read a book in the morning or fold laundry in the afternoon. But we don’t have any shortage of sitting areas in this house! We have a first floor meeting room, a second floor main living room, and a third floor bedroom sitting area. So that’s a lot of sitting! LOL!

The long term plan will be to extend that wall right behind the trunk where the suitcases are in that third picture up to that second window and make a huge master bathroom one day. But that’s a long way away! And even then we’ll still have that front part of the room as open space.

So that’s it, we’re open to suggestions! What on EARTH do we do with this room? Weigh in!

Happy Friday friends!

  1. Alicia daw

    Extra bedroom? Will add value to the house when you sell eventually.

  2. Shannon Sorensen

    More bedrooms always add value. You could put up a wall where the "L" is and make two smaller room, use one as a library. If I had extra rooms, I would want either a craft room, an office (assuming you already have), another guest room or maybe a game room. Does Justin need a man cave? :)

  3. Rebekah

    OOH, extra space! How fun. With the laundry being right there I would be tempted to finish off the wall down by the living room and put french doors in the open casement and turn it into a walk in closet/ dressing room/ ladies boudoir. You could still put a folding island over the hole in the floor. This way it could also be easily made into a third bedroom/nursery when you want to sell. Other options are a music room (if you play) with a baby grand. A game room with a ping pong table or foosball. So many exciting options.

  4. Jennifer Bacchiocchi

    What about a beautiful gallery? We’ve added a gallery hanging system in our dining room and we love it! You can easily add images or change things around. You could add some comfy chairs. It looks like you have beautiful light.

  5. lauren

    perhaps put an island back in (to cover the piping/cords) and use it as a laundry folding area. turn the entire space into a huge walk-in closet/room. use the island as a craft/wrapping space. maybe you could prep your albums/promo materials here. good luck with it! your home is awesome! :) *

  6. Kirby

    Amazing Laundry Room?

  7. Jessica Warren

    A really cozy sitting/library area. A place where you can go to relax, unwind, read a book and escape life’s stresses. Every house needs one of these spaces!

    Someone had mentioned a gallery space which had me thinking. When you meet clients during their initial consultation, do you have a designated space in the house, like a studio, to show off your work? I just bought a house and am looking to also hold my consultations in my home but don’t have an area to make a studio. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s necessary to have your work on the walls, or having them meet in a living room area where you can just show them albums is sufficient enough? I appreciate your feedback.

  8. Sarah Nickerson

    One word: hammock.

  9. Kristin H.

    What if you make it the official dining room? Move your bar height table from the other room into there and keep those gorgeous pendant lights right where they are as the "chandelier".. Then the other room keep that little 1/2 wall where it is and expand the living room area into that whole space, maybe add a cozy built in banquet where the table is now as the morning sitting/reading(/blogging ;) area you’re talking about? Then maybe someday put the bathroom where the kitchen was going to be (I think that’s right above-ish your half bath downstairs? So maybe plumbing wouldn’t be hard?). I loooove house layout stuff and your house goes on forever it has so many possibilities!!

  10. Rici

    I would pick up the great light idea. Maybe it´s just my wish but I would either make it into an artsy room, with crafts (if you like that) for painting, drawing and art on the walls which is not for the first floor. Like an inspirational room. OR, shoes… you know they neeeeeed space, right? haha. or a combination of both ;)
    Very curious how you develop the new ideas.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  11. Jamie

    Conservatory? Conservatory-inspired library/art gallery? The great light could make for great growing… I’m having visions of fig trees in huge containers…!? Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  12. Stephanie Rita

    Library / Reading / Relaxing nook! Lots of floor-to-ceiling shelves and books, a couple big, comfy, leather chairs or a love seat. Make it a place you can go to unwind and cuddle! (Then again I’m living in a one bedroom apartment so I’m pretty much just daydreaming right now…) :) Excited to see which direction you pick! -Stephanie

  13. Levi Brown

    You should turn it into a suitcase storage room.

  14. Urška Majer

    What about a big walk in closet? You know, every girls dream ;)

  15. Karen

    Originally, I was going to say WET DARKROOM. :) We have 2 "living" rooms in our house. 1 is for TV watching and one is a TV-free zone. Honestly, I say KIDDO PLAYROOM! BUT …. do you want to walk into a kid’s playroom as the first part of your living space? I might turn this into a family/tv room, and know that the back "living/TV" room will eventually become a playroom for those grandkids we keep hearing that you’re going to have. :)

  16. Laura

    How about a shooting studio? That way you can have a designated space for big muslins and lighting equipment instead of having to set it up in your living room for workshops! :)

  17. Tira J

    I vote that it become Cooper’s Room! What dog wouldn’t want his own space to play, lounge and just be? And then maybe Cooper can get a brother or sister? :) xoxo

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