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The Fourth House


If you read my last post you know that I had to tell the company I worked for in Baltimore that I started to date someone I worked with (someone that I should not have been dating in my position). I didn't lose my job, let us just say it was no longer comfortable working there.

In the aftermath of telling my bosses, I continued to date this someone and my mom fought hard to stay alive and beat cancer. I married my someone and my mom lost her battle.

Soon after my mom passed away, I was offered a job with a broadcast company based in Detroit, Michigan. The job was truly my dream job within the industry, my end goal job when I started in the business. The offer felt like a life raft and I grabbed on. In the span of the previous two years I had faced my own life threatening illness, cancer diagnoses for both of my parents, and a shattered relationship with the company where I had worked and thrived for years. Upon reflection, not the best time to take a new, high pressure job.

Every day and every thing felt like a struggle to me so when we moved I really wanted a house that was not going to add to that struggle. When we found out we were pregnant the weekend before I was starting my new job, that sealed it, we for sure did not want to move into a fixer upper this time, we needed a house that would quickly become our home.

We found a house that we loved that was move in ready. It had curb appeal and a great location in Grosse Pointe, a suburb close to Detroit that resembled the neighborhoods back east that we were used to. The picture above was taken soon after we moved in. We lived in this house for thirteen years, longer than any other house I have lived in in my entire life. In addition to painting the rooms to match our style and the necessary maintenance and upkeep that comes with owning a home, over time, we re-did the backyard, added a shed and tackled a few projects inside.

The first project was to turn a louvered window porch in the back of the house into a sunroom. We, mostly John, tackled this project ourselves:

Here are some in process pictures:

The dormer windows and roof alcove above the garage had wood siding so we sided the sunroom to match that. The house also had all of its original windows so we chose windows and doors with wide mullions to keep with the style of the house (and I prefer wide mullions in general).

Here is how the inside turned out with a few guest appearances from our younger two children:

We (John maker of all house dreams come true) connected the heat in this room to our existing furnace and gave the sunroom it's own thermostat.

The next project we, meaning John again, undertook was building a banquet in the kitchen.

Here is a picture of the eating nook in the kitchen before it was built. This awesome semi-circle of windows that you can partially see is original to the house.

Here are in-process shots. We made it look like panels so that the bench would match the existing kitchen cabinetry.

Here is the finished product!

The third project we undertook was renovating the "smallest bathroom ever". The house had a bedroom and bathroom above the garage. The ceilings were angled in both rooms and the bathroom was tiny. The original (extremely heavy) cast iron tub started to leak into the garage so rather than repair the leak, we decided to renovate the bathroom with the help of a contractor friend.

Here are some before pictures of the bathroom:

It was so narrow, it was impossible for someone with my photography skills to get the entire bathroom in a single picture or two.

Here are some in-process pictures:

We put in a shower instead of a tub and we had to change out the original floor (which I liked) because it was destroyed taking out the tub. We were able to reuse the original marble threshold at the door into the bathroom though.

John built a custom vanity table to fit the space.

We sourced the narrowest pedestal sink we could find and kept the original medicine cabinet.

Here are some (almost) finished photos of the bathroom. We used a rain shower head and a stationary glass panel so that we did not need a door to fit into the angled ceiling. We also built in a little "leg shaving" corner stand.

We put the faucet at an angle to make the most of the narrow space.

The last project we did was to partially finish the basement. I do not have a before photo or in-process photo. Here is how it turned out though (these are actually the listing photos from when we sold the house):

The sofa was custom made using two twin beds and a corner piece made to connect them together. It was tough to get furniture down in the basement and the beds made it easy to get a big sofa and also made a great place for sleepovers and guests. I love the idea of the sofa, I do regret the "performance fabric" that we used though.

Next time I will post a tour of the rest of the house.

Thank you for taking a peek at our Grosse Pointe projects with me,





Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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