I’ve been dying to share all of the details with you about the home transformation from the pilot episode of Almost Home and now that the show has aired, I can share all the photos and details! Apologizes in advance for the ridiculous amount of photos… you know I can’t help myself.
** And, good news! If you missed the episode the first time around (or if you just want to support us again:)), you can catch it this weekend when it re-airs! It will be on HGTV this Saturday, 11/18 at 2pm Eastern/ 1pm Central! **
Dave and I were honored when our friends, Tim and Genessa, asked us to renovate and restore this 124 year-old (3 bedroom/ 1 bathroom) home for their family of five. We have a soft spot in our hearts for historic homes and this house is no exception — it has been a part of our town for over a century and we love all of its quirks and character. Restoring the original charm and updating the home to accommodate a young family of five was a super fun challenge.
The exterior trim was an extremely bright yellow – earning the house the name “the yellow house on the corner” with everyone in town. For some reason, the house also had two front doors on either side of the home – one leading into the kitchen and one leading into the master bedroom.
Dave and I wanted to incorporate as many original elements back into the home as possible. We were able keep the overall character of the home in tact, while freshening up the look.
We replaced the rotting front porch, tore out the cement staircases leading up to the multiple front doors and replaced those with one brick walkway and entryway. For the walkway, we used the original brick from the old fireplace inside the house. We kept the original front door (the one that had led into the kitchen) and gave it a fresh coat of paint. I really wanted to keep a little yellow on the exterior and a yellow front door felt like a good compromise from the neon yellow trim. We also removed the strange “extra roof” in the front gable and added a stained glass window our friend Adrian at Olde World Door and Sunshine Glass salvaged.
(Because I have SO many photos, I thought I’d share in gallery form – be sure to click through to see them all!)
One really unique feature of the house was the original hardware on the doors. Adrian (from Olde World Door and Sunshine Glass) was able to restore the original door knocker and doorbell and reinstall it on the front door for us. The door knob contains a built-in doorbell that still works! It is probably the coolest front doorknob I’ve ever seen! You simply push the button on the doorknob that says “push” and the internal doorbell rings. I’m sure the Newberry kids have had a lot of fun with that feature… (sorry, not sorry, Genessa. Hehe).
We really needed to update the layout of this historic home in order to make it functional for a family of five. In order to do so, we moved the staircase entry out of the kitchen and into the living room, then added a pocket door from the kitchen into the new laundry room. We also knocked down a wall in between the foyer and the living room, creating a large and welcoming space as you first enter the home. We also moved the door entering the powder bath out of the master bedroom and into the living room. We completely transformed the attic space from a non-functional floor with one pseudo bedroom, into an entire second floor with two bedrooms, an office and a bathroom.
Because this photo of the schematic in our office was used during filming, we didn’t include the layout of the en-suite master bath and walk-in closet which are now just off the master with an entry in the far left corner. There wasn’t time in our very tight filming schedule to include that portion of the renovation, yet I know there were questions about removing the powder bath entry from the master bedroom so I want to be sure y’all know the Newberry’s have a master bathroom:).
Overall, we went from a 3 bedroom/1 bath home to a 3 bedroom/ 3 bath home with a new office and laundry room.
A gallery of “before” photos…
KITCHEN + DINING
We modernized the kitchen and dining space for the Newberry family with custom cabinetry, a zinc stove hood, granite countertops and a window seat nook behind the dining table.
FOYER + LIVING ROOM
After opening up the space, we created one grand room for the Newberry family. We were all disappointed to find the existing chimney was shot, and it wasn’t in our tight budget to install a new fireplace. Even still, I really wanted a cozy fireplace feel for the family and was able to re-use the original mantle as a focal point in the room. I also created this map with the words “Home Sweet Waka” painted on to represent their ties to home here in America and in Uganda, the birth country of two of their kiddos. Waka means “home” in Luganda, which is their kiddos first language in Uganda. It was so important to me to make this first home in America representative of their entire family and to honor the birth country of their adorable little ones.
The original floor plan did not include a bathroom for guests. Yet I wanted to give Genessa and Tim privacy and prevent all of their guests from having to use their master bath, so we reworked the original (super small) bathroom into a powder bath for guests. I found the vanity at a local thrift store and love how it looks in this space!
My goal was for this space to be a quiet retreat for Tim and Genessa at the end of a long day. You can spot the door to the en-suite master bath and walk-in closet to the right of the bed. 😉
After tearing down walls and reframing the attic space, we created rooms for the boys and for Izzy upstairs. Izzy’s room has such fun angles and cozy nooks throughout while the boy’s room has a custom bed Dave built with a fort underneath. The fort goes back into a closet space under the beds as well. My kids literally cried when they had to crawl out from under there so we could film and reveal this room to the Newberry boys. I think I have Dave’s next project in mind for our own boys’ room…
OFFICE + BATH
We created two extra spaces in the attic – an office for Genessa and a bathroom for the kids. I love the angles in the office and the kids’ sink is my absolute favorite.
The Newberry family had lived in Uganda for the past five years, and I cannot tell you how incredibly rewarding it was to surprise our dear friends with their very first home back in America as a family of five. It was an absolute joy!
(I have to give a BIG thank you to two of our producers, Stephanie Ellis and Rachelle Lazzaro, for the photos! I didn’t take a single photo during filming… so thank you both for sharing yours!)