Entry level

You may have noticed that most of my posts have focused on the 2nd (parlor) and 3rd (top) floor of this house. Thats because we will be living in that space and is the primary concern of most of posts. Yet we also have the first floor (garden level) that has been getting the same gut and reno treatment so this post is an update in that area. That floor, which might otherwise be a rental apartment, will be the new home of my in laws (grandma and grandpa Limestone).
One of the things that appealed to us about this building was that the garden level was actually level with the street. Many houses like this have this floor somehat submerged into the street which requires a few steps down to get to inside. So the garden level being a straight walk in was a big plus.

Originally the house had its "rental" on the top floor but that layout did not work for us since the whole purpose of having the 'rents move in with us was to give them one level living without any stairs. We were doing a gut reno anyway, the movement of the rental apartment wasn't that big of a deal. Not to mention that the upper rental hardly had much worth saving anyway.

the piece de resistance of the original upstairs rental

A little more difficult has been renovating the space to suit the tastes of an older couple without it being too different from style of the house. I think we've struck a happy balance but you'll notice the finishing choices on this floor are a little different than the upper floors.
The apartment had very few changes to the front living room area and a lot of changes in the back kitchen/bathroom/bedroom area.

Here is the front living room. Aside from some fresh paint, refinishing the floors and a few other finishing touches, not much is going to change in here. It already had beautiful woodwork, fireplace and a nice space so we didn't need to do much. Since it wasn't getting a lot of attention its been a bit of a staging area for materials.


But the back got quite the extreme makeover.

Here is the kitchen as it was when we found it. The kitchen was pretty huge. We've cut it down a lot to allow for a larger bathroom and a bedroom that got southern exposure.

To give a sense of the space, here is the entire back half of the apartment during the demo:

And here it how its looking now
walking into the kitchen
the little dining area at the end of the kitchen looking out at the garden
standing in the dining area looking back toward the front of the kitchen

Here is the bathroom when we bought the house:
No, this is not a joke

Bathroom as it is now:

Obviously, there is still quite a lot to add here like toilets, molding, etc.. but its really coming along.


  1. I followed you over from constant chatter. I just read your blog and I am shocked that people were living in your house in that condition. How is that possible?????

  2. Id like to know the answer to that question myself. As bad as it looks in the before photos, they don't capture just how bad everything really was.

  3. You are brave souls, but good thing there are people like you to bring back a gem, really I don't know how you do it, you must be loaded and patient.
    It is looking incredible, I am amazed there was a pair of you who could see through the mess to invision what it could be .
    You could have sold me but my husband would never have had the drive needed to take on such a big project.

  4. Wow, that bathroom has received quite a transformation. Have you posted any afters of the other bathroom? I'm going to have to check, the "before" of that one was almost as priceless as this one.

    Great choice of materials also.

  5. Anonymous4:27 PM

    love all that you are doing! What kind of tile is in the bathroom? Looks very similar to something that I am thinking of doing.

  6. Oh wow! You sure had/have your work cut out for you! It is looking amazing, you must be so happy that all that hard work is paying off.
    Well done you!!


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