The Search for Home: The Treehouse

So we've put in an offer on a house & are waiting to hear back. eeeeeeeek!! I'll wait to post a photo of the front of the house until I know if we're getting it or not. Below is an inspiration image (of Chaffee Braithwaite's home featured in Cottage Living) for the feeling I'm going for in the house: natural, textural, clean, airy, and comfortable. I really want to bring the outdoors in. It's imporatant to me that the focus of the house be the views of the outdoors.

It's a bilevel home from the 70s & is very contemporary (shocking for me, right??) But it's really a blank slate with clean lines, lots ofs space, an insane amount of windows (you feel like you're in the trees, hence "treehouse") and tall ceilings. It's situated on a culdesac and backs to trees and a creek & feels really private. I strongly dislike the outside of the house. (more on that later)

Below is the entryway which leads up to the main level or down to the lower level. I think I've got room for a small console. I'll probably do a hodgepodge of art on the main wall going up because there are so many windows in the living room, I don't have much space for art. Also, an oversized chadelier will work wonders here. New hardwood floors need to go down... (White carpeting going up the stairs will so not work for this messy family.)

Below is another view of the entryway from the living room. Need new railings but I think that will be one of the last things we get to. And who knows, they might grow on me since I'm going for the indoor-outdoor thing?
Below are photos Pam's (owner of Red Ticking) living room. Most of her pieces are antiques but she's really made them work beauitfully in her contemporary home. (This is what I hope to do with my furnishings)
Here is the living room. I love it for its 5 (one is on another wall) huge winows, cathedral ceilings, and spaciousness. It's directly off the kitchen which is a must for us.

(My photos are the gloomy ones- we've had a lot of dreary days lately.)
I think for the living/ dining room I would pretty much use the whole thing as a living room since the kitchen is large enough to be an eat-in kitchen. I'll most likely do some sort of library table or pedestal table that we'll use for books, projects, etc that can do double-duty as a dining table.
Or maybe something like this (Chaffee Braithwaite's again)
Here's Darryl Carter's Farmhouse living room (again, I know! :) But I love the room and it's breakdown of space. Eventually I'd want to do some white paneling & beams on the ceiling too.
Below is Lee Kleinhelter's living room and I love the layout of it as well.

Here is the kitchen in it. I wish they hadn't even put this "new" kitchen in because I just feel that it's all wrong for the house. Argg.. the arches in the cabinets, the maple, the color.. everything. So not this house and so not me.
I would really want to redo it right away but that's not really in the budget. I'm having thoughts of tearing down the uppers & going with a really cool tile backsplash up the wall and maybe some shelving for a temporary (as in a few years) fix:
For this house I like the look sans-shelving but I don't know where I'd put everything & I also have dishes I'd love to show off.
Below is the color scheme/ feeling I want. (my favorite kitchen again.) Clean lines, white, weathered wood. We're going to attempt concrete countertops ourselves right away until we can afford a "real" kitchen redo.
Below is the view from the kitchen into the living room. I'd want to have that little area be a little bar spot from the other side so the part of the wall needs to come down. (Looks like a great little blogging spot to me! ;)

I think I might still be able to pull in some farmhouse details if I really want to go that way. The simplicity would fit this house.

There's a huge space under the window:
I'm planning something like this:
Or more of a window seat with a table pulled up to it:
I think we'd be going with some type of indoor-outdoor fabric for the little ones:
Here's the view of the backyard from the living room on a very gloomy day:

Here's the master bedroom (below). There are 2 huge windows (pic only shows one) and it's a really nice size. There's a walk-in closet & bathroom suite and the view faces the back yard. So, do you see the pickled paneling??? Well, I was first like- eeesh it has to go---- but in the weirdest way, I'm now questioning... maybe it would stay till I got sick of it??? I love grayed wood & it is real wood... I can always paint it later... can I please have your thoughts on this? Am I just totally transfixed by the time warp of this house? crazy???
Anyway, when I walked in here the first time, I immediately thought of Atlanta Bartlett's room that I love so much. Can't you see that feeling in here???
So let's go down to the lower level:

It's the same setup as the upstairs living room with a lovely 70s stone wall (help!! I need ideas here!!!) except where the kitchen is there's a funny room. It's is fenced off and up a little step & there's a drop ceiling in there. The fance is definitely leaving & I've got to see what posts need to stay for structural reasons. I'd really like to ditch the step too. Anyone have any thoughts?? (That's my mom in the pic)
I'd like to put a sitting area & my office in there and make the ain part of the room be our lounging area/ with TV & huge comfy sofa. (Christian will have toys- hidden away in hutches, don't worry- on both levels so he can be with us wherever we are & have funs on both levels of the house.
Below are some inspiration pics (cottage living) for the lower level:
Below is the patio which really needs help.
Dave (my husband) has promised to build a pergola which I'm SO excited about:
I really love the thought of wisteria covering it:
There are 2 bedrooms on the lower level. One will be the guest bedroom & our 4-poster will go in there because it has really tall ceilings, and the other bedroom will function as storage for work & the Workbench & my husband's weight bench/ workout stuff.
Here is the bathroom on the lower level. Oh boy.
Here are some thoughts:
Here's the (huge & sunny!) laundry room:
Here's what I'd love it to look like: (this is the laundry room in the same house as my favorite kitchen)
And that's it for now. As you can see (if we get it) we'll have our work cut out for us. As I said before, when loking at comps it seems the owners are asking a bit much for it so right now we're waiting to see if they'll take our (very reasonable) offer.


High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Lauren it's amazing!

I'm totally jealous. I know that it's a fixer upper, but it's so exciting to have new projects in the works and make the house your home. It's huge! I love all the space and glad to hear it has a guest room :)

That laundry room space is amazing. I see such potential. I love what Dave is planning for the outdoors. Jon was actually planning on building one as well. Too funny.

Fingers crossed that everything goes well!!!!

Unknown said...

Lauren, I hope that you get it! It seems to have a ton of potential. I really like all of your ideas, too!

Unknown said...

wow! i am so keeping my fingers crossed for you. with your eye for style and vision for this home i'm certain it would look spectacular! i love fixer uppers because you can, if you put in the work, make it into your dream home. this seems like it has everything your looking for.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Hopefully some good news will be coming your way soon because we can't wait to see what you do with the place. Looks like a fun fix up.

LindsB said...

I LOVE it!! Its so beautiful, and it has so much potential too! Its funny when I saw the picture of the kitchen, before I read what you wrote I was thinking, hmm wonder if she took down those upper cabinets and put in open shelving to create more of the cottage/open living feel- and you read my mind...or actually I read your mind :)

My fingers are crossed for you, and I'm still sending positive house thoughts your way- good luck!!

Chris said...

I have no advice right now because I'm soaking up every. single. inspiration picture you posted. I haven't seen some of these, and they blew me away! One thing though...Candice Olsen is really good at working with structural support beams. Try looking at her site to see what she does. You could always embrace them and just trim the heck out of them with wood. Make them into gorgeous columns like the first picture on this page

Well, good luck! I hope the deal goes through for you!

Natalie Meester said...

wow, i do covet your decorating ideas! Fabulous! Good luck.

Jennifer said...

it looks like it has a ton of potential and I'm certain you'll be able to pull off your ideas! split-levels seem weird but you end up getting SO much house out of them. I hope everything goes smoothly for ya'll!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I hope it works out for you Lauren, you have some great ideals. It will be wonderful!

Kierstin Bridger said...

GREAT inspiration rooms- can't wait to see what you do!

Fargerike Dagny said...

Love all the windows! And the rooms look really spacious and nice :)

Good luck!!!

KM said...


Caroline said...

I LOVE your ideas. One idea for the kitchen (which you've probably already considered) would be painting the cabinets. When we gutted the kitchen in our last house, cabinets were by far the biggest expense. You could also remove the upper cabinets and add open shelves (maybe a cool hood over the stove). We painted the kitchen cabinets in our current house, and I've loved the results.

I hope everything goes well, and you get the house with minimal hassle. I can't wait to see what you end up doing!!

DesignTies said...

Great inspiration pics!! I'm amazed by how you always seem to have the perfect inspiration picture for every spot in the houses you're looking at :-)

I'm a firm believer that if it's meant to be, it'll happen. If this is the house for you, then you'll get it :-) If you don't get it, you'll find an even better one!!

Fingers crossed for ya :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

cotedetexas said...

So exciting- I can see why you like it = straight plain lines - you can turn it into anything. Snd I adore tht bathroom with the rocks! I love that!!!

Romana said...

Lauren - good luck with the offer! I say convert that funny half-fenced area on the lower level into a petting-zoo with baby farm animals and charge kids to feed/hold them (help pay for the renovations!!),lol. Hope to hear good news soon!

DesignTies said...

You're right... a house with potential! I love all your ideas!! I've done what you're doing a few times and I've always enjoyed myself... that's why I want to remodel/repurpose homes for a living!

Here's something for you to think about... from the moment I saw the living room I thought how fantastic it would be with larger, almost to the floor, windows. They're already terrific windows, but I'd want to be able to see out to that lovely treed backyard more easily when I'm sitting on the sofa :-) To take that idea further... add a deck off the living room (or a portion of). That would mean a different plan for the ground-level patio... but it could work. AND it would allow for a place off the kitchen to BBQ on those nice summer evenings!

Listen to me... making plans for your almost-home! Just tell me to shut up, please!! :-)

Victoria: EdinDesign Interiors @ DesignTies

Anonymous said...

You are going to be one busy bee! These are such awesome ideas, I can't wait to see you carry them out. Sending you good vibes . . .

Maria Killam said...

So great, love the way you've shown all the images to relate to what you want to do. You could paint that kitchen white (which I'm sure you've already thought) At least it's something you can live with while you get the rest of the house looking the way you want. Otherwise if it was really bad, all you money would go there immediately.

So I'm waiting. . . I hope you get it! Looks like tons of potential!

Melkorka said...

good luck on your bid! how exciting! I just found your blog and its lovely! can't wait to see / read more!

Brown Button Trading said...

Fingers, toes, legs, eyes and even ears are crossed for you - I hope you get it!!! Amazing place and you have the most beautiful ideas for what you will do. good lucccckkk! xx

Velvet and Linen said...

Oh yes, Lauren, I completely get it.
Love all of those windows. I love the idea of using antiques in a contemporary setting.
Your inspirational pictures would work very well in your (hopefully) new home.

When Steve and I bought our home in Channel Islands it had wall to wall white carpeting. We wanted wood but couldn't afford it. So, we put down sea grass with area rugs on top. It was so much cheaper!

I can't wait to see what you do!


Mike Heidebrink said...

Hi Lauren,

If you do decide to go ahead with the concrete countertops on your own, please give us a call at CHENG Concrete in Berkeley, CA.

Ask for Mike, I'm the president and would love to help you with the project.

Haven and Home said...

Love your ideas! If you are teetering in the paneling I would leave it until you got everything else in there and just see. I know it is not something you would normally like but you never know!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Lauren...It has some great simple lines to work with! I think it's great! The light is wonderful. I like the downstairs too...lot's of space!

Crossin' my fingers for ya!!

My Galveston Cottage said...

I can't wait to see what you do. You have such a good eye for clean, simple and chic. Good luck!! And have fun.

###### said...

Hey..I love it and all the ideas that you have come up with. I cant wait to be apart of your decor journey..glad I found your blog and you finding mine!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on taking such a big step. I hope you get the house! I absolutely love your vision. It will be a truly calming home.


pve design said...

My husband and I love going back in time and watching videos of us, during the many projects of making our house a home. It takes a "heap o living to make a house a home." But it will be worth it.
I love your vision.
I am keeping my fingers crossed, in a country sort of cross.

Bert said...

The fenced in area with the step could make a great play space for a child. I can see puppet shows where the fence is. Or even tea parties! You can paint paneling and the stone in the bathroom is kind of cool!

Lauren said...

Thanks everyone so much for staying crossed for us!!! We still haven't heard yet (3 days later!!) Also, thanks SO MUCH for allnthe suggestions & ideas & please keep them coming!!!! :)

ps- we now call that fenced area "the petting zoo" thanks to romana!

Anonymous said...


I think you're on the right track with the first example of the antiques in the contemporary home. Seems like a hard balance to achieve but I think you can do it. If you center yourself on that idea I think it will see you through the remodel. Good Luck, I'll be following along.

The Estate of Things

I think the paneling might have to go, just my opinion-- but it would be a greater challenge to make it work!

Wendi said...

do you have any ideas what color the walls are in the picture of the kitchen with the open shelving or where you got that pic from?
love your style!

Vanya Wilkinson said...

how exciting, what a great project. I would paint the kitchen cupboards a light colour and add some nice handles until you can afford to change.

Best of luck!

paula said...

This is a very beautiful place. Love all the photos you have shared. Very neat.

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