Today is the day, folks! You may have read the hints and seen the clues on Instagram, maybe even watched the video tour on IGTV (I was too excited to wait!), but today is the official announcement of our newest project: The Greystone House.
You may be wondering, “Another house?!”
I was sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, desperately in need of something to occupy all the free time I have (ha!) – so, here we are. Kidding aside, here’s how it all went down.
You may remember that after we sold the Edgmon Ranch in August of last year, we were hoping to simultaneously buy two investment properties. One house would be a short-term investment, where we renovate it top to bottom in six or so months, like the Edgmon Ranch, and sell it come spring. The second house would be a longer-term renovation – one we could live in and work on at a leisurely pace. (More on that in this post.)
But the real estate market in our area – and across U.S. in general – has been insane. Tennessee is one of the fastest-growing states due to a significant migration from more liberal areas. That, of course, continues to raise demand and housing prices.
So, after selling the Edgmon Ranch, we began our house hunt once again, and after months of touring, bidding, putting in offers, and getting denied, we secured only one property that fit our requirements – the Greenfield Remodel. As you already know, we ended up moving in, despite it being the short-term fix-and-flip.
I have so much to share, but let’s start with the basics:
- The Greystone House is 3,332 square feet but can be well over 4,000 if we were to finish the unfinished parts of the basement.
- There are 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an attached double car garage, and, as I just mentioned, a partially finished basement. The living-kitchen-dining area is all open concept with cathedral ceilings. It’s massive and overwhelming and exciting all in one.
- The house sits on a 0.7-acre rolling lot in a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood with a stream in the backyard and a private (not ours) pond in the center of the subdivision. The rolling lot may sound romantic, but it’s actually quite steep in places and at the very least will require building a retention wall for a more family-friendly backyard.
- My parents and in-laws live approximately 6 minutes away, which is a huge bonus considering the fact that my dad helps us oh-so-much with our projects, and my mom helps us oh-so-much with our girls.
- The Greystone House was built in 2007 with basic, builder-grade finishes and hasn’t been updated since then. Some of the layout, as you’re about to see, makes absolutely no sense and will need to be completely reconfigured.
Let’s start the photo tour, shall we? As the title of this post already mentioned, I’ll be sharing some of my initial plans for each space.
The front door opens directly into a massive open space with extremely tall ceilings. Here we have the living room, kitchen and dining room all in one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an open-concept layout this…open, ha! I’m so looking forward to stretching my design capabilities in new ways!
The living room area is not the biggest, and it lacks any sort of character or even a focal point, so it’ll be a fun challenge to infuse it with charm. In my dream world I’m imagining a gas fireplace with white brick extending all the way to the ceiling, with recessed, built-in bookshelves on either side. Having not yet measured the space, I don’t even know if that’s technically possible. But one can dream, right?
I definitely want to do something interesting to the ceiling and am leaning towards faux wood beams, sort of like what Jenna from Jenna Sue Designs did in their Heights House. I can only dream of adding some skylights to the roof, but I don’t know how complicated of a project that’d be, so I can’t make any promises.
Ideally, I’d like to figure out some sort of separation for the entryway. But I’m afraid the living room is already too small as it is, and the last thing I want to be doing is adding walls (I prefer taking them down, ha!). But it seems there will be quite a bit of wasted space around the front door, so if nothing else, maybe I’ll just put a credenza or console table in front of the stair railing that can serve as a catch-all for keys, wallets, etc.
Would that be strange? Do people do that – put furniture in front of the railing like that? I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’ve seen a floorplan like this one.
Let’s make our way to the kitchen.
Obviously it’ll all need an aesthetic update, but the space is quite large, and thankfully the cabinets are in great shape. My initial thought is to paint the cabinets and maybe make a couple minor updates to them.
I’ve always preferred white kitchens, but maybe this’ll be the kitchen where I venture out of my comfort zone… I’ve been pinning taupe and blue-green-grey kitchens as inspiration! We’ll see…
The bigger issue, though, is that the upper cabinets aren’t as tall as I’d like, so still debating whether to do open shelving instead, or to try to find the same cabinet doors, or to update all the doors, etc. There will definitely be open shelving somewhere here, though.
I’d love to add a range hood that extends all the way to the ceiling, though, and I definitely plan to add a huge island. Three pendant lights would be great, but I haven’t thought through the full lighting plan just yet. There are 2 spots right in the center of the entire room where it appears 2 large chandeliers previously hung but have since been closed off. Not sure how I feel about the chandeliers hanging in those specific spots, since it technically will be between the kitchen and living room. Changing lighting can be tricky in an open concept floorplan, especially when there are high ceilings and thus no attic above.
Back to the kitchen layout, I also had the idea to switch out the 2 cabinets on the very left to a tall, double pantry, which would allow me to demo out the random pantry closet near the dining area.
The staircase railing will be upgraded or at the very least made over, and I’m also quite set on taking down those pony walls. In fact, I want to eliminate the pantry closet altogether and extend the dining area into that space. I think the kitchen has enough storage as is, but especially if we end up replacing two of the cabinets with tall pantries.
For an open area of this size, I wish there were more windows, but that’s not a change we plan to make because of the brick exterior. I crunched some numbers, and it’s like in the $1-2K range to enlarge just one window in a brick house. Not exactly how I want to spend my budget. Besides, new paint and resurfaced floors will do wonders to lighten this space, I’m sure of it.
The French doors in the dining space are lovely, though, as is the balcony they lead to. The husband wants to add a staircase from the balcony down to the ground floor terrace. But I actually like the privacy – especially with there being a bit of wilderness directly behind the house. By the way, when you’re out on the balcony – and the backyard in general – you can hear the babbling creek. I can just imagine enjoying my morning coffee out there year-around.
Through the doorway beyond the dining area, you enter a smaller hallway. The door on the right leads to the double car garage. Straight on we have the joint laundry and mudroom. Then, there’s an interesting little linen closet and the master suite to the right.
I really like the fact rang the laundry and mudroom is right off the garage – so convenient!
I’m excited to have a whole entire room dedicated to containing messes. I’ve never had a joint mudroom and laundry room before in any of the houses we’ve renovated, so that’ll be exciting to design. I’ll be adding upper cabinets, maybe a vintage-style sink, countertops above the washer and dryer. On the opposite corner of the room, I’d love to add a small mudroom cabinet for jackets, shoes, etc. There will also likely be wall paneling and peg racks, and I may even surprise everyone and myself by painting it something other than white or black!
I love all the natural light here. It’s a great size, although definitely not as massive as the one at the Greenfield Remodel. The ensuite bathroom and closet is where we’ll likely spend a big portion of our budget, because it’ll have to be completely ripped out and redesigned. The current layout makes absolutely no sense, what with the strange L-shaped double vanity, another pony wall (my favorite – not!), and so many doors in really close proximity with one another…
My initial thought is to leave the shower in it’s currently location but to open up with a glass enclosure, allowing more light into the room. So, essentially there will be a giant glass wall separating the shower, with the door being right in the center. I’m thinking to put separate vanities on either side of the shower, facing each other.
For the toilet and master closets, I’m trying to come up with a way of making both entrances be along the same wall instead of the awkward layout that they are now. I’m still not sure whether that means borrowing some space from the closet for the toilet or extending the master closet to where the toilet room starts. The latter would mean moving the bedroom doorway into the bathroom.
Anyway, it’s a lot to consider. I was initially stumped by this nonsensical layout. But I’m happy to say that I am feeling quite optimistic now.
On the other side of the open living space is another doorway that leads to another small hallway. From there you see the guest/kids’ bathroom, a linen closet, and two more bedrooms – one on each side of the hall. The children’s bedrooms are identical, like a mirror image of one another. They’re quite large in size, with lots of natural light and a big closet. My initial thought is to have the girls share one of the rooms. The other will likely be a guest bedroom.
There’s actually another extra bedroom in the basement, so it’s not necessary for the girls to be in one room. But I just don’t foresee them wanting to have separate spaces any time soon.
The guest/kids’ bathroom is a basic, builder-grade bathroom that’ll be completely updated. It’s a standard layout, so not a lot of room for doing something out-of-the-box. I definitely wish there was a window here, but what are you going to do?
Let’s head down to the basement.
You first enter an open area with another set of French doors that lead out onto the terrace. I imagine this being the playroom/homeschooling/family room/etc., with an outdoor seating area for the warmer months. Maybe I’ll finally hang some outside swings for the kiddos right off that upper balcony.
Even though this part of the basement is finished, there is still a lot of work to be done. For starters, that ceiling has got to go.
I realize that ductwork is likely the reason for those random beams, but there’s got to be a way to make them less in-your-face.
There’s another full bathroom in the basement; it even has a window, so that’s nice. It’ll definitely have to be completely ripped out and redone, though. I don’t know what’s worse – the lime green paint, missing baseboards, mismatched floor tile or that angled shower. I initially thought to close off one of the doors in order to fit a tub and shower combo. But now I’m leaning away from that. I like the idea of the bathroom being accessible from the common area, as well as from the guest bedroom.
Let’s move on to the guest bedroom in the basement. I’ve thought about making it into my office… I’m not sure, though, if being within such close proximity to the children’s play area is a good idea. I do love the natural light in this room, and the view of the woods is so pretty. There’s also an attached walk-in closet here, making it quite an ideal setup for guests.
There are definitely some issues with the ceiling to figure out, though.
The unfinished parts of the basement are equivalent in size to the entryway, living room, master bedroom, ensuite bathroom and closet, laundry room and part of the garage upstairs. So, there’s definitely room to expand. I’m just not sure we’ll stay here long enough to do that, or whether it even makes financial sense.
We for sure don’t need that extra space for ourselves; I can barely keep up with maintaining the Greenfield Remodel, which is only 2300 square feet. The Greystone House, on the other hand, is more than 1000 square feet bigger!
You also have to take into account resale value. In the U.S., on average, finishing a basement gives you a return of 70-75 percent. So, if you spend, say, $10,000 on improvements, it’ll only increase the value of the property by about $7,000.
But I’m excited to have all that storage! We’ll likely convert one of the unfinished spaces into our workshop, and the other will be for storage. That would mean the double garage would only have cars in it. Imagine that, ha!
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
What do you want to see from our renovations? More videos? DIY tutorials?
Do you want to see more aspirational projects, or more budget-friendly projects – or both? Do you want more of my design process? More behind-the-scenes? Which part of the Greystone House are you most excited to see transformed?
Your responses will help me so much in planning a more interesting content calendar for you!
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the following posts about our property investing adventures:
- Introducing Our Next Venture: The Greenfield Remodel
- House Hunting: 7 Qualities We Look for in an Investment Property
- We Sold Our Latest Flip Property – What’s Next?
- We’ve Been Keeping a Secret: Tour Our Next Renovation Project
- We Found Our Next Home – and It’s a Rental
- House Hunting: Our Wish List for Our Next Home
- The End of an Era: We Are Selling Our House