This is one of my favorite happily ever after stories ever, mostly because I get to revel in all the glory of a perfect renovation (and by perfect, I mean perfect for the end-user, which is how it should always be measured). Please, soak in the beauty of the before.
Notice the four different types of flooring....yes, four. Count them. Parquet in the front foyer (sounds way fancier than the area actually is), and then a different parquet in the "den" off of the kitchen. The kitchen had that classic faux brick linoleum and then the dining room (back left) had a lovely carpet, with no hardwood underneath, to my dismay.
Once we had committed ourselves to the thought of buying this house/we had actually signed a contract so there was no turning back, we tried and tried to figure out a way to make the kitchen work. But that door. That damn door. You may not be able to see it - it's a chameleon amongst all the wood paneling. And then there was another door (just south of the fridge) that totally ruined all plans of an open kitchen/dining/built-in hutch area.
So, here's what happened:
1) All the walls came down (along with several others you can't see from this viewpoint). And it's amazing. I hope we made the previous owners proud. The dining room became a sitting area that is the hub of our home. It's pretty much in use, all of the time.
2) One flooring for the whole house. Including what lies beyond that chameleon of a door, which is now the finished garage, turned bar/mudroom/office (who doesn't lump all those into one room???). In this house we chose an Australian Cypress. We wanted something similar to hickory with a touch more warmth.
3) It took us two weeks (two weeks!) to figure out that we could (duh) move the doors to create a larger kitchen/dining space. The wood door was filled in and became our pantry; a dutch door took its place to the left of its original position. What you can't see in this "After" shot is that the door to the south of the old fridge is where the current fridge now resides (in the sunroom behind that hole is a lovely bookcase to fill the void). Essentially we popped a fridge in the space where the door used to be, filled in the back of that with a bookcase, and then made a new opening elsewhere (which now leads into said sunroom).
So, here's the deal, sometimes it doesn't seem possible to find the house of your dreams, or to even love the house you're in.....but it is. Even underneath four different kinds of flooring and walls galore, the possibility is there. You just need a little imagination, and maybe a lot of wine.