Big {Home} Changes

When we moved to Knoxville, God blessed us with a beautiful, large home. At the time we prayed that He would enable us to use it for His glory. We prayed that, if it was His will, He would fill the house with children (we had 7 at the time) and we prayed that we would be faithful to use it for hospitality.

Currently we host a weekly pot-luck dinner (40-70 people), a monthly family Bible study (40-70) and a monthly Visionary Womanhood group (8-20 people). We also strive to be available for regular hospitality. God has blessed us with a home that makes this all possible.

Nearly a month ago, Mark and I were talking about how we could make the floor plan more open and usable and we realized we could take down the wall between the living and dining room. This would give us more space in our ‘getting-tight’ dining room (most homes are not equipped with a dining area that will seat 13 plus company) and would provide a more open area for our larger groups.

This is our dining room before:

BEFORE

The next picture, shows the wall that we took down. It’s the dark, magnetic wall.

BEFORE

Not only has God blessed us with this home, he has also blessed us with a friend who has blessed us in the past and been willing to continue to bless us with his time and expertise.

With our plan in place, we set the kids to work taking down the wall.

Nick (3) and Colby (5) working at demolition

[Yes, we turned off the power and made certain it wasn't a load bearing wall BEFORE we started.]

It was a HUGE mess, but how often in a kid’s life do they get to tear down a wall?

The kids had a wonderful time.

Carter (10), Matthew (12) and Kaitlin (14) continuing demolition

Our new space is lovely, light-filled and even better suited to our use.

AFTER

AFTER

Total cost: about $100

The transformation inspired us to try something else.

We have big plans (including this and maybe this) and hope that it turns out to be a practical and pretty solution.

And to think that I generally just paint during the second trimester…

Updated to add this picture of Bella (1) taking advantage of the chaos of the process:

Isabella (1) - The kitchen is looking better already

Suggestions are always welcome!

If you liked this, you may also enjoy:

Facebook22Pinterest0EmailTwitter2

33 Responses to Big {Home} Changes
  1. Sarah
    May 22, 2012 | 9:26 am

    Love the new floor plan! I was wondering if you could tell a bit more about the Visionary Womanhood group. It sounds wonderful from what I read about it on the VM site. And, I am about 30 minutes from East Town Mall area of Knoxville. Wondering if you are far from there, and if not…perhaps I could actually join your group once a month! That would be so neat!

    [Reply]

  2. Annie
    May 22, 2012 | 9:31 am

    Everything looks great! The changes really bring in more light and makes it look so big!
    You all have done an excellent job!

    [Reply]

  3. MomStarr
    May 22, 2012 | 9:33 am

    Looks great!! We are also making some changes to our kitchen. I am very thankful for a big kitchen but it needs a little personality. We are taking down some cabinets to add open shelves to hold dishes, changing light fixtures, painting, remodeling room adjacent to kitchen (office/school room), updating trim, and changed out windows throughout house. I hope it all turns out as nice as I am imagining. It is fun anyway!

    [Reply]

  4. Stephanie
    May 22, 2012 | 9:56 am

    I think a bar (small counter with stools) on that half wall might be nice. I would love one for children to be able to sit and visit while I or other family members are in the kitchen :)

    [Reply]

  5. Heidi
    May 22, 2012 | 9:58 am

    REALLY LIKE THIS!!! So practical! Makes it feel like a new house, doesn’t it? My dad’s a carpenter, so every house we’ve lived in has gotten walls removed and moved. :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    What a blessing. This is the first time we’ve ever done anything like this!

    [Reply]

    Heidi Reply:

    Fun! Enjoy the new spaces. :)

    [Reply]

  6. Blair @ The Straightened Path
    May 22, 2012 | 10:01 am

    Love, love, love! This post makes me want to pick up a hammer. lol

    Does this mean your house will be taken off the market?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    No, not yet. Both of these projects are low budget, so we should recoup if we sell.

    However, I’m less ready to move to a much smaller house now that our living areas are getting these updates.

    [Reply]

  7. Jolanthe
    May 22, 2012 | 10:11 am

    It is looking great!! Love how open it is!

    [Reply]

  8. Jarnette
    May 22, 2012 | 10:30 am

    Kimberly ~

    I LOVE the changes and know that this will be a blessing to the flow of hosting larger group activities! The open kitchen to living area will keep those serving in the kitchen part of what is happening at the event.

    Blessings as the Lord continues to give you creatively to “bloom where you are planted”. :D

    In Him ~

    Jarnette @ Seasons of Life

    [Reply]

  9. Lois J.
    May 22, 2012 | 10:38 am

    Thumbs up to your new arrangement! We are building a new house, but it’s not as big as your house. I’m excited about it (after living in a 2 bedroom/1 bath shouse (shed/house) for 15 years…we have 4 children), but almost envy you being able to remodel! :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m not sure that I could make all the decisions necessary to build a new house. It’s a daunting task.

    I am loving the remodel though (at least so far).

    [Reply]

  10. Rachel
    May 22, 2012 | 10:44 am

    Love how open the dining room and living room are now. How did you fill in the gap in the floor and get it to match so well?

    Also, what are your plans for an extractor over the cooker now that the wall has gone?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    For the gap in the floor, we had wood flooring left over from where the previous owners had put it in. (Free and it matches perfectly. :) )

    We have two possible plans for the vent over the cook top.

    One, since it’s not really necessary, our home is on the market and we’re doing this low budget, we just don’t put one in.

    Two, if our home doesn’t sell, we really want a vent over the range and we have the money, we’d like to get one of those pretty decorative ones that come down from the ceiling.

    [Reply]

  11. Jenny Anne
    May 22, 2012 | 10:57 am

    I love it! Won’t you miss that magnetic wall a little bit though? ;) Your home is lovely. I wish we owned instead of rented. I have so many plans that we can’t do with a rental. Removing wallpaper being the first!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, I do miss the magnetic wall. Although we painted it to match the rest of the room before we put our home on the market and that’s when I really mourned it’s loss. It was still magnetic, but without that lovely chocolate brown color it just didn’t have the same impact.

    [Reply]

  12. Tracy E.
    May 22, 2012 | 12:23 pm

    I love the breakfast bar idea. In regards to the wood countertops, did you see Kelly Crawford’s blog, Generation Cedar?? They made wood countertops out of wood pallets and they are gorgeous! BTW, did you cook that squirrel up?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We did cook up the squirrel, actually Matthew cooked it up. We should have insisted on a more skilled chef. :) Most of the children really liked it. I’m still dealing with a bit of pregnancy nausea, so I’d like to try it again when that is not a factor.

    I haven’t seen that on Kelly’s blog, but will check it out.

    Our big decision now is, if we go with a wooden counter top for the are in the dining room, do we have to paint the cabinets white? We were hoping to stain and poly them because white is so tough to keep nice and clean with all the wear and tear they are sure to get. (Yes, all of our kitchen cabinets are white.)

    [Reply]

    Tracy E. Reply:

    No, you wouldn’t have to paint them white. Some people actually even mix it up in the kitchen with different colors/finishes on the cabinets. I think it would like very nice with stain/poly. :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Even if the counter top on top of them was wood finished? :)

    [Reply]

    Tracy E. Reply:

    They weren’t a wood finish countertop but they were a very neutral colored counter. What I would do is choose 2 stains that look well with each other. Use one on the shelves/cabinets for the breakfast bar and use the other on the counter. I think that the cabinets are stained that have the counters made out of wood pallets (Generation Cedar blog). Or another idea is to use the same stain but use 2 different kinds of wood.

    [Reply]

  13. Becky Burns
    May 22, 2012 | 2:13 pm

    It looks beautiful! And I didn’t realize we lived so close to each other. I am only about an hour and half away from you. Would love to meet up sometime when I go to Knoxville.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Shoot me an email sometime and we could meet at a park.

    [Reply]

  14. Karen
    May 22, 2012 | 2:25 pm

    I really like the rooms. I do have a question about the monthly family Bible study you mentioned. We have several children, too, and have tried to host small groups before, but have provided childcare. We would really love to host a study that included the entire families, but are at a loss as to what that looks like, in practice. Can you share about how you do this study? What do you study? Do you all sit down together? Is your church family integrated (ours is not, but we have that desire)? Do you alternate homes during the month, or just meet once a month? Is the pot-luck dinner group the same as the study group, just staying for a study one week a month? I appreciate any insight you can give me into how to approach a small group with lots of children.
    THanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    The study is geared toward the adults. We’re currently talking about discipling your family.

    We all sit down together and while our church is family integrated, many of the people that come to the study are not in a FIC.

    Our Bible study just meets once a month everyone brings a light snack to share and we enjoy a time of fellowship after the study.

    We host a pot-luck dinner every Sunday evening. It’s unrelated to the study. There are some families who come to both, but mainly it’s two different groups.

    [Reply]

  15. Candice
    May 22, 2012 | 8:50 pm

    The breakfast bar on other side of now island counter top is how I designed our kitchen as well. It’s so much easier to be a part of the group and still serve if standing across from them in the kitchen ;) I actually added a third level right above the center…so the kitchen counters are as is, the seating side is a touch higher, then in the center is going to be a 6″ shelf a bit higher again. This is for buffet setting, crock pots and salads. And for herb pots. Haven’t finished yet, only half the counter length will have the shelf, the half where the sink is (under the shelf is an excellent place to put sink necessities but have them neat and out of sight!) We are doing something like the cabinets under also, but like you I think we will use legs to raise them up…or special order some different heights of the unfinished (cheaper) cabinets at Home Depot. Our cabinets plan to still allow a receding place for feet under the bar (2ft bar, 1ft deep cabinets) I don’t want little feet kicking them in. And I wont have them open like those beautiful white ones, wood heat makes me close EVERYTHING for less dusting ;) And at feet level in kitchen, yeah, dust lol!

    [Reply]

  16. Christine
    May 22, 2012 | 9:55 pm

    I love your remodel. We have a galley kitchen, and I would love to do something like what you have done, though I am not sure that it would work with my living room. Open floor plans are so nice!

    [Reply]

  17. Mari
    May 23, 2012 | 3:24 pm

    I would love to hear how you organize your weekly pot-luck suppers? Is it the same group of people/different groups? Did you throw it out there, “I’m having a pot-luck this week wanna come?” Would love to start this at my home, any information would be helpful and appreciated.

    Blessings,
    Mari

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Mari,

    It’s generally the same group of people (although we invite new families frequently). It’s extremely casual. I honestly tell people to bring food if they want to eat and if not they are welcome to come and just visit.

    Our family provides the paper products (although with the expense we’re looking at moving to re-usable plates and cups) and has lots of water on hand for drinking.

    We start around 4:30, eat around 6 and people generally filter out by 9:30-10 ( and sometimes midnight). :)

    If the weather is nice the children play and eat outside and we have a bonfire to sit around and talk. We love having this time of weekly fellowship!

    [Reply]

  18. Alene
    May 25, 2012 | 8:30 am

    I don’t know… somehow roast Bella doesn’t sound like a good dinner idea…! :-)

    What great changes to your living space. You must just LOVE it every day!

    [Reply]

  19. Michele
    May 26, 2012 | 4:19 pm

    You all are amazing! I love the new look, but even more importantly that you are doing it so you can better bless other people! Hospitality is a gift!

    [Reply]

  20. Tisha @ Delectable Home
    May 29, 2012 | 9:36 pm

    Yea! I’ve been so anxious to see through that kitchen wall! I love the changes, and I know you will love the new outlook from your command central.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL http://raisingolives.com/2012/05/big-home-changes/trackback/