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.