OUR 1920 SEAR'S HOUSE RENO: before tour

this spring and summer has been a wild one so far (and we aren't done yet!). we put our house on the market in late April and sold it within days. we put a contingency offer on a project house within the same week of listing our house, and although we closed on our house early June, we have just now closed on our project house - three months later! whew!

since selling our house and waiting for the next one to be livable, we have been staging houses that are on the market - and they keep selling. it's a nice temporary living situation gig - if you like keeping your house SUPER clean ALL the time and like to wake your baby up from naps for showings. ya know. fun stuff like that. i'm not bitter about that or anything. haha! we have done the house staging thing before - sans kids - for about a year and a half a few years ago so we knew what we were getting into. we've just been grinning and bearing it knowing that it's saving us lots of money - especially while we have two house payments. but, it looks like we will be moving (for the third time within three months) into the project house by the end of August! >ALL the praise hand emojis inserted here <

i know, you're not here to read my whining about our difficult summer. you're here to see pictures of the project house. so, here we go....

this is the exterior of the house in the early spring from the mls listing. it is super boxy and dated looking. 

this house has some neat history. it was built in 1920 from a house kit ordered from the sears roebuck and co catalog. the house is surprisingly well constructed. our last house was just over 1000 square feet, and this one is 2000 plus a full unfinished basement (which is very rare in tulsa). i'm not sure i will like having that much space to clean. we'll see.

this was a few days after we had closed on the house. jeff removed the 1970's awning and the screened in porch and it already looks so much more inviting. we are hoping to add a deck and a screened porch in the back. besides painting the exterior, we are replacing lots of rotten wood trim around the windows, pouring a new walkway and driveway, replacing the porch flooring, and the front door. I envision lots of fall evenings spent out here swinging in hanging rattan chairs and sipping cider after theo goes to bed. (fingers crossed on the hanging rattan chairs part)

have i mentioned that we are only the third owners of this almost 100 year old house? kind of crazy! the previous owners had lived here for 63 years.

for some reason, i didn't take a picture of the view right as you walk in the front door, but you'll get the idea as we go. the front door is to the left of the picture above and the door to the back hallway is to the right. those huge grates for the floor heaters will be removed and the wood floor will be patched seamlessly (hopefully). this is the view from the formal living room.

a million times better with the carpet removed. i'm already excited to decorate this entry space for christmas.

this is the formal living room just to the right of the entryway. i have a feeling that this space will become a playroom of sorts as it's not the best laid out space and we aren't formal enough for a formal living room.

these windows look out onto the front porch. the house has 34 windows, so i'm budgeting a small fortune on window coverings.

this first room was the dining room, but we are converting it into the informal living space or TV room. mostly because it is the only room on the first floor with wall space for a tv and it's right off the kitchen and dining room. notice the curved ceilings! from this angle, you're looking into what will be the dining room through that case opening. we will be removing those windows to put in french doors out to the deck. it was difficult to get a picture of the dining room, but the wall to the left will be removed to open up the space to the kitchen.

the dining room is fairly small, but workable. there is a closet in that room, so we think it could have been a bedroom at one time, but it's kind of odd since that opening looks original.

here is the view standing in the dining room, through the living room and into the formal living room/playroom. 

and then this is the view standing in the living room, looking into the kitchen.

the previous owners had done a remodel of sorts in here many years ago. they took out some of the original cabinets, replaced the countertops, added ikea upper cabinets, and moved the washer and dryer in here up from the basement. not completely ideal. so, this whole space has been gutted to the studs.

there are wood floors underneath several layers of linoleum. hopefully it can be salvaged. you can see the pantry through that doorway. we are keeping the original cabinetry in there and just giving it a fresh coat of paint. we had to remove that cute, little cabinet to the left of the doorway, but it stayed in tact so we are going to put it back once we drywall.

that little back porch space is one of the many quirks of this house. that wall is a supporting wall, but after a couple of strategy meetings with our structural engineer, we figured out a way to remove it and open up the kitchen.

i know the sink is cool (it even has legs so it can stand alone!), but we aren't keeping it. it's huge but shallow (6 inches maybe?) and weighs around 150 pounds. and we are moving the location of the sink to the other side of the room in front of those two windows because that wall will be gone and mostly open to the dining room.

this is the back hallway looking from the kitchen through to the front door. the pantry and a little hall closet is on the left and to the right is a bathroom and the stairs to the basement and the side entry. i think i'll like having those doors there to block off the stairs and the direct view from the front door to the kitchen.

this half bath was an addition at some point. there is only a toilet right now, but we are going to get super creative and make it a full bath. don't worry, i'm doubting myself too on this one, but we think we can pull it off.

now for the upstairs...

looking down the stairs from the hallway.

this is the hallway view looking from the bathroom into the third bedroom. a large closet that we will be converting to the laundry room is to the direct right. also, notice the attic fan! i LOVE attic fans in the spring and fall and this one still works.

this is the future laundry room. we will be bumping out that wall a little bit to make adequate space for the washer and dryer. we'll put upper cabinets above to create more storage.

and this is the opposite view down the hallway from the third bedroom into the bathroom.

i guess i didn't take true "before" pictures up here. the day we closed on the house, we took a sledge hammer to the plaster enclosure around the base of the tub. i was super curious to see if it was a claw foot tub and couldn't wait any longer to find out.

turns out, it is a claw foot tub! the tub is a mess, but i think it will clean up well.

because we are completely rearranging the bathroom, all the tile will have to be replaced. the contractors are coming in the next couple of days to start work in here and i am beyond excited!

i didn't take too many pictures of the bedrooms, but here is a shot of the master bedroom window seat.

another angle of the master.

and a shot of theo in what will be his nursery. he loves opening and closing doors all day every day. there is a window seat in this room as well.

the third bedroom is very similar and will be a guest bedroom.

although the last few months have been frustrating as we waited for closing day to arrive, it did give me lots of time to redesign the kitchen and bathrooms, pick out paint colors to sample, hunt for vintage rugs, decide on tile and grout colors, and maybe make a few premature decorating purchases online - but that's not important. these house renovations make my brain spin with all of the decisions to make. but i have to say that it is way more fun and easy the second time around.

people keep asking us if this is our forever home. eh. no. i'm not even 30, people! i can't decide to stay put for the rest of my life. we will lovingly restore this house and enjoy making it our home for the next year or two. and then we'll see.

i hope you have enjoyed the tour! i'll post occasional updates here on the blog and snippets on instagram and instagram stories (instead of snapchat). i'm hashtagging all of the house posts with #Our1920SearsHouseReno.  stay tuned because the fun stuff is just starting and i have some collaborations lining up as we get to the final stages of pulling this all together.

ready or not, we will be moving into the house by the end of auguest. yes, THIS MONTH. i feel slightly insane saying that out loud.