Our New House – Second Floor

The staircase that leads upstairs is on the other side of the wall that has the stove and microwave on it…

Here’s a view from the first landing, down to the first floor…

Kit-Cat loves being upstairs…

…and I’ve gotta say, I’m really enjoying the whole two-story thing too. I grew up in a two-story farmhouse in Minnesota, and being up higher than some of the trees around this place definitely brings me right back to that time.

At the top of the second landing, you can either go to the left, or go straight.

The room on the left is going to (temporarily) be Kev’s office…

(Sorry I didn’t get a wider angle on that one!) Here’s a photo that shows the opposite side of the room, looking back at the door…

(Note to self: use your wide angle lens next time you shoot this room!) There’s a closet on the left, and a small (full) bathroom to the right of that. It’s a completely blank slate and it’ll probably stay that way until we turn it into a room for our little one next year. (Insert warm fuzzies HERE.)

The door to the master bedroom is at the beginning of the long hallway. Once you walk through the door, there’s a closet for our washer and dryer on the left, and then our walk-in closet is on the left after that.

The master bedroom is nice and big, and because there are windows on three sides of it, it’s filled with natural light from sun up to sun down. Yay!

My favorite windows to look out of are the ones in the corner of the room, on the far side of the bed…a.k.a- my side of the bed. You can see a couple little chunks of the lake from those two, and I spend several minutes getting lost in that view every day…

Thank you for letting me sleep on that side, Mr. Palmer.

The master bathroom is….interesting. We’re assuming it was one of the reasons nobody bought the house all these years.

I was standing in the doorway when I took this photo:

The toilet is inside the door on the left, the (teeny) his and hers sinks are directly across from each other, and the shower is behind the sink in the middle of the photo. There’s a tall window on the wall to the right of the shower. (On the front side of the house)

We’ll have to make it work for now, but in the future, we’d like to add on a master bedroom/bathroom, laundry room, and a kids room downstairs- on the back side of the house. Then we’ll use the two rooms upstairs as offices, and do something different with the bathroom(s) up there too. Maybe just pull out one of the vanities in this bathroom and install a tall storage cabinet in its place instead? Maybe reconfigure the two bathrooms completely, so that there’s only one bathroom that leads off the hallway?

Who knows.

We’ve got time.

Kit-Cat says so.

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  1. says

    I am so excited that I get to see this transformation from the beginning…I came late to the party for the old house. Kit Cat seems settled enough. How about the dog child? And isn’t that Kevin’s friends house out yoru favorite bedroom windows?

  2. kris says

    I actually like those little sinks… less counterspace = less junk all over the place! Pretty house all the way around.

  3. says

    Love the trim work! Can’t wait to see the layout downstairs. I like the openness you seem to have with the kitchen, and I assume dining area? Can’t wait to see what you guys do with it! Though I feel a little like a kid whose parents made her move. *sniff sniff* “I still liked our old house, mom and dad.” :) I know you’ll make this one completely awesome too!

  4. Laurel says

    I just recently moved into a “new to me” house. My friends and family encouraged me to move in and THEN decide what I wanted to do and in what order. I’m SO glad I did because there are a LOT of things I want to do (like outside lighting) before tearing out the eyesore that I originally thought was most important.

    Live with it for awhile. You may find that other things are more important than a tiny sink…..but WOW, ARE THEY TINY! LOL!

    BTW, that is a BEAUTIFUL house! Sounds like you got an INCREDIBLE deal! :)

  5. Regan Warren says

    You have a lovely new home………..I have been following you for awhile now and sneaking some of your designs for my home, I know you will have this new home decorated as great as you did you old place. Second floor has been waiting for someone like you two to come and tweak it into a “Kevin and Layla Design”! Enjoy!

  6. says

    That is a great house. Love that view including the rooftops.

    Our cat is 2 years old…we just moved into this house 4 months ago. Each morning she goes upstairs and runs from room to room. She ricochets off the beds and has a great time. Sounds like a buffalo up there!

  7. Jenn C says

    If anyone can make that bathroom work, you can! This is not a knock on your or anything…just curious on your take on things…but do you miss living in an “old-ish” house vs living in a “new-ish” house? I ask b/c I live in a new-ish home and long to live in an older home with more character. Everyone thinks I’m cray-cray for wanting an older home. Did you move into something newer b/c the older home was driving you nuts? Or just something different? Am I nuts for wanting older? ;)

    • Layla says

      Hi Jenn!
      Now that we’ve lived here for almost awhile, I can honestly say that I don’t miss living in our old place, but I wouldn’t be opposed to living in an old house again in the future! I love BOTH and look forward to making this place *feel* like an old house in the years to come! :-D

  8. says

    I”ve been enjoying the tour, thank you! :) I kind of like how the stairs are tucked behind that wall. It doesn’t look so easy for moving things around that corner upstairs though. The bathroom sinks are a bit odd so I think you’re right on why others passed it up, but if anyone can see potential and transform a space into something pretty spectacular, it’s you guys! Looking forward to seeing the changes you make.

    P.S.-I love these pics of Kit Cat too-he seems really happy in the new house.

  9. says

    Love all the new possibilities you now have to loose snooze over. Oh my gosh! How thrilling and just exhilarating?!? Fav photo? Last little kit kat toe through the rails. I know there is a proper name for them but it escapes me at the moment and I don’t want to leave the page to google he he.
    Congrats and thank you for sharing.

  10. Donna says

    Layla . . . I was so thrilled to see the interior of the new house but I got REALLY excited to see KIT-CAT! I’ve missed seeing him and Max! You guys are going to do amazing things with this house and I can’t wait to see! Sending many blessings to you and Kevin! :)

  11. says

    Layla, it’s gorgeous!!! I’m worried about one thing though: are you going to paint those beautiful stained banisters? Please say no. (love you anyway, even if you do!)

    • Layla says

      Hi Susan!
      I’m thinking we’ll probably switch out that bannister with something a little more kid-friendly in the next couple of years. I saw one on Pinterest that’d I love to try to replicate! :-D

  12. says

    Wonderful view from the bedroom! That master bath is definitely a little weirdly configured.

    If I was planning on making an addition, I would add a bedroom, bathroom and laundry downstairs, and convert the whole upstairs to a master suite with a bathroom, so that you can take advantage of the view :)

    We have a 1.5 story house, which means that tehnically, there is an upstairs, but for the most part, it’s contained under the roof, with a bump out at the back for my husband’s office and the remainder of the room being our home theater. The advantage you have with having the office space upstairs and the rest of the living area and bedrooms downstairs is that oftentimes you never need to go upstairs – I only go upstairs in our place when its family movie night.

    Love your house!

  13. says

    Your new home is beautiful. Its liveable, with just enough projects to keep you busy until next year *smile*. You’re right…the view is breathtaking and your husband’s a gem. Congratulations on your new home. Here’s to many fun projects and a lifetime of making memories with THIS as the backdrop! xo, Kimberly

  14. says

    Oh thats a lot of ‘yellow oak’ to refinish! Can’t wait to see it all cottaged up, at least you have great 6 panel doors and hardware to start but some of those light fixtures need a little TLC! So excited for your new adventure.

  15. Dawn says

    I’m thrilled for you and the purchase of your new home!! It’s adorable.

    But I’m even more thrilled that you decided to keep Kit-Kat!! He looks so very cojntent, secure, and LOVED:)

  16. says

    I love your new home, and that view is amazing!!! I’m very excited to see what ya’ll do with it especially with your little ones room :)

  17. says

    Definitely no counter space in the bathroom, but the shower looks nice. You were the perfect couple to buy it with all your know how.

  18. Tenacwalker says

    Can’t wait to see how you turn the builder blah into cottage cool! Neat house in a neat place- y’all are going to turn it on it’s ear!

  19. Ann W says

    So happy for you! It’s nice to live in a nice clean new space until you make it entirely your own. Buy a boat or kayak. Water is very healing. Ann

  20. Denise Carter says

    Love the house. Perfect size. I live in a church parsonage that was built in 1934. Wood floors, funny kitchen, two bedrooms and one bath upstairs and two bedrooms and one bath on the main floor. It is my all time favorite house ever. Yours will be wonderful.

  21. says

    Hi Guys, Love the house! It is so open and light. I’m sure you will make it “home” in no time. btw, what a cute cat! I’m a total cat person and she is a cutie. Have a great day!

  22. LindaSonia says

    Are those metal roofs I see on all the rooftops seen through you favorite window view?? Is that the standard for your area?

    Congrats on the new home and all the best wishes for the future!

    • Layla says

      Yep! This neighborhood is chock full of ‘em! Seems like there are lots of them here in the South. I really love them! :-)

  23. Lesley says

    Congratulations on the adorable new home! I’m very happy for you two and what’s to come in your new nest. :)

  24. Lin says

    Your new home is beautiful and I can just imagine all the wonderful things you will do to add to that beauty as time goes by!

    Thanks for showing that sweet Kit-Cat!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Nicole! The walls are painted Algonquin Trail in these photos. It’s a Benjamin Moore color. :-)

  25. Jennifer says

    Your new house is just beautiful. I can’t wait to see what you guys do with it. Have fun. Thanks for sharing.

  26. says

    I’m all for crazy master baths, but yeah that one is weird, I love the shower though! … I can’t wait to see how you’re going to take this very new, very un-cottage home into a warm and cozy palace =D

  27. Geri says

    Layla that view is priceless. The colored house, the roofs and the lake waving hello all makes me feel like vacation. There is really
    nothing about the house that would have made me walk away.
    Run through the front door for joy, Yuppers! I love moving, and playing with a new home. I think you have made me itchy to start a new project. Just do not tell my Glennie. Love your new home.

  28. shelby says

    It is beautiful just as it is, what a blessing! Have fun making it yours! What project do you want to tackle first? Inquiring minds wanna know…;)

  29. melissa says

    Congratulations on your new home. It’s beautiful! Looking forward to all the fun things you will add. Kit Kat is a great addition to your family & blog. Love him! Enjoy your new home. You guys are great.

  30. Andrea says

    Oh congrats to you, Kevin and the fur babies…the new house is adorable and will ever so much more so once you guys work your magic. thanks for taking us along!!!!

  31. Sarah T says

    The house is really quite beautiful now. So whatever you do will be icing on the cake. Again, thank you for sharing. It’s just lovely. I love all the big windows.

  32. says

    Layla, I didn’t know you grew up in Minnesota. We are expecting snow tomorrow (flurries).

    Congrats on your new house, can’t wait to see what you guys do with it.


  33. Nicola Blake says

    I definitely agree with you on the master bath. I am not as handy as you guys and thats why I read your blog. It would be hard sell for me if I entered that bath. BTW is there a full bath with a tub? If you are going to have little ones( not fur babies) you are going to need a tub for bath time.
    I really love the view. Its completely gorg!!!!!!! Happy house warming and I cant wait to see all the transformations.

    • Layla says

      Yep! That room (with the bath tub) will be perfect for the kiddo! :-)
      Thanks for your kind comment, Nicola- we are excited to share our renoventures with you!

  34. Nicki says

    Beautiful home! And, from what you have written, it sounds like a wonderful place to raise a family. So happy for the both of you. Look forward to seeing what you do with your new house. Blessings to you.

  35. Maggie says

    Thank you for taking us on the tour. What were they thinking, master bath? I know you will make it adorable and functional. Your home is beautiful and Kit-Cat is loving it. . Enjoy seeing the happy pictures :). Gosh, what beautiful views! I’m so happy for you and Kev..

  36. Dawn says

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing! I love it all and the potential that I know you guys will “Cottage” up a bit.

  37. Lisa W. says

    Thank you so much for taking the time to show us your new home. Very very excited to see all your Layla and Kev touches. My parents have a metal roof (don’t see a ton in Michigan…to exspensive) but I would have one if I could. They ARE truly beautiful!!! Can’t wait to see more pics:) Happy Weekend!!!

  38. Sandy A says

    Your new home is just lovely empty–so I know when you and Kevin start making your design come to life this will be an absolutely charming and warm home. We can’t wait to see your ideas…

  39. says

    Your new home will be a wonderful place to start a family! Four of my seven grandkids are adopted and I’m feeling warm fuzzies for you, too. A couple that can give such a good home to poor, injured, stray Kitty Kat will be marvellous parents!

  40. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    This is surely, CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER! For you, Kev and all of us. Love the house. Love the feel of it.
    Are you going to “sage” it?????????
    Kit-Cat’s little face says it all.

  41. Patricia Norton says

    Welcome to your new house, Layla and Kevin I am happily anticipating watching you make it your home. Love the fur kids exploring …they make terrific tour guides.

  42. Angela says

    Even as-is, this house “feels” happy &, with your touch, it’ll just get better & better! :)
    P.S. Did Kev cry when he had to leave his brand-new office? lol I would’ve tried to tear out those gorgeous closets & take them with me! Hope your shy carpenter is still close enough to come build you some more!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Angela! :-D No, Kev didn’t cry…he’s been inspired by our new neighborhood for so many years. As a matter of fact, he’s outside shooting photos of the fog on the lake right now! :-D

      • Angela says

        That’s wonderful! I can totally appreciate that, having just come inside from shooting photos of the trees in the woods in my backyard! There are a lot of things I want to change in my house but the view out of the windows is perfect! MA in fall…breathtaking! :)
        Hope we get to see some of these shots Kev’s working on!

  43. Rachel Carey says

    Ok, people are getting all worked up over a……bathroom? It’s a BATHROOM, the least important room in the house, lol! As long as there is a place to do the business and wash your hands…that’s all you need!

    The reason that house never sold hasn’t a thing to do with the bathroom…it was waiting for you and Kevin and your family.

    Good Job Layla!!!

  44. says

    Hey guys love the new digs! I’m sooo excited for this house bc I live in a newer home that my husband and I had built. This was before I discovered all these wonderful blogs and found out what my decorating style is. Now there are many, many things I would change…oh well. =0) All it takes is a little time and patience. But I can’t wait to see what ya’ll do to your new house!!

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Stephanie!
      We love that the house *looks* like an old house, but *feels* like a new house and that’s there’s lots of room to add cottage charm!
      Here we go again! :-D

  45. says

    Love the potential in this house! It was just waiting for the two of you to make it shine. :)

    I also grew up in Minnesota and am very familiar with those two-story farmhouses you’re talking about. My dad grew up in a small farming town and I have so many happy memories of farmhouse family gatherings.

    Can’t wait to watch your progress!

  46. Susan says

    Wow, I am jealous of the view. Weird bathroom layout, but at least it is done. I have a 1950’s bath to re-do! Hopefully we start soon. Whew!

  47. Terri says

    Gorgeous!!! Love the sun coming in!!! and do I spy…. wooden sash windows????????????? In a new house????? I seriously am loving this neighborhood…. can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeve!!!!!!! :)

  48. Shawn Wood says

    I can’t wait to see what you two do with this house. Although many people would look at this and say “that’s a really pretty house” – as is – to me all I see is “builder basic.” I know you two will up the charm factor exponentially and make it a true home. Have fun!

  49. says

    Loving the tour of your new home, Layla, and can’t wait to see the changes you make. No pressure… you have time. =) I grew up in a two story farmhouse in (central) MN as well. I still find that two story homes are my preference. Can I ask where in Minnesota you grew up (or region if you don’t want to say specifically)? It’s funny because if I could see myself living in another state, it would be AL. My husband makes yearly business trips down there and sometimes our kids and I get to go along too. We’ll be heading down in a couple of weeks. It’s my home away from home!

  50. says

    I’m so behind in saying a huge congratulations on your new home! It seems like everything came together so well and your new house is just beautiful. I know the two of you will turn it into a charming, gorgeous home. I smiled when I read your two story comment… I never lived in a two-story house until a couple years ago when we bought our old farmhouse… but always wanted one from the time I was just a little girl. :-) Have a wonderful weekend!

  51. Mary says

    Love the house, lots to do for the next few years. Love 2nd floor laundry it is the best! Mary in NY

  52. says

    Looks nice! I”m looking forward to your posts on renovating the bath room. It’s an odd layout and bathrooms are supposedly the hardest to change. Good luck girly!

    Also, Kit-cat is adorable. <3

  53. Julie says

    I love the new house and can’t wait to see what you do with it! We are currently in the market and as I’ve come across newer built homes, I’ve thought, “Nah, it’s too fancy for us.” I would have felt bad about going in and replacing things that were so new. Of course, you can always sell them on craigslist! Best wishes to you guys. And get on it would ya so I can have some new inspiration!

    • Layla says

      Our thoughts exactly, Julie! We’ll definitely donate whatever we remove to Habitat for Humanity, or sell it on eBay.
      Happy house hunting! :-D

  54. says

    Love Love Love it Layla I look forward to seeing all your styling you are both so talented.
    I see what you mean about the en-suit lucky you have the vision enjoy your new home :)

  55. Claire says

    I am curios to see how you “cottage that up”. It’s so typical “builders beige”. It really is beautiful the way it is but I know you will change it up and I”ll learn a lot watching what you do. You’re so sure of yourself and you both seem fearless. Where will you start?

  56. Debbie says

    Hi Layla,

    I love your house! It is precious and beautiful! I personnally like all the finishes, except carpet, I’m a hardwood lover. But the carpet you have looks so plush and pretty. I even love the masterbath, cozy yet there’s privacy with the toilet room secluded with a door. And all the framed windows! Oh my! It’s so light and bright! I Love it!

    I have only one suggestion, and it may not be popular. :-). I would move your laundry room down to the basement if you have one. Now hear me out… :-). The washer hoses are the LAST thing we think of maintaining, and trust me, they DO burst! If one of them burst you would come home to water pouring through your first floor ceiling and down your stairs. It would be devastating. Also, when you have a little one you will have a boatload of laundry and VERY LITTLE sleep. You will want to do laundry whenever you want to, especially when your sweet child is sleeping. With the laundry upstairs it can be noisy. I learned this the hard way with our last two houses when my daughter’s room was next to the laundry room. Never again! The laundry room is in the basement where it’s secluded from the rest of the house. It’s quiet, I can run a load whenever I need to, even in the middle of the night, it hides the laundry room mess, I don’t have to worry about a hose bursting because it would all go down the drain, and I get “free exercise” going up and down the stairs. And with as busy as you will be with a baby, and as cute and tiny as you are, exercise will be a luxury! :-)

    I love your design and can’t wait to see how you decorate your home. It’s so lovely!


  57. Karen says

    I am so thrilled with your new home. That neighborhood, that view, the lake so close, all the other beautiful homes and a beautiful boned new home. Which you guys would only be truly happy putting your personal stamp on. Your clean, sophisticated style and wonderful use of color, space and balance is the reason so many of us are constantly inspired. Besides the fact that you are both a beautiful, devoted and faith filled loving couple who go through the same ups and downs we all do. This always makes you seem the neighbors you pray for next door. ( sorry know grammar and punctuation off there:).
    Happy wonderful times are coming. My husband ended up doing our nursery all by himself as I was hospitalized from 4th month on so there is special meaning in every drop of work. ( he did a whole of sawing, mite ring, hammering( anything he could be aggressive with) worked his tension out in that beautiful little boys room.
    I wish you both the best. What an amazing place.

  58. Lisa says

    Can not wait to see y’all work your magic….especially on a new house this time! The possibilities seem endless!!!!

  59. says

    What a beautiful place. With all that space from where you were standing to the actual kitchen, I’m surprised that the kitchen itself is so small. I’m often surprised by house layouts though.

    We’re currently looking after our neighbors cat, and being in her house brings back memories of the first house that hubby and I owned. It was a split level (same layout and builder as hers actually), and we had turned part of the basement into our master bedroom. Besides the vaulted ceilings, the silliest thing I miss are the stairs. I miss having stairs in my house for some reason.

  60. says

    I can definitely see the potential, you guys are going to do amazing things here. Jealous of the lake nearby too! :) Congrats on everything working out just how you hoped!

  61. says

    Thanks for sharing a tour of your new home with us. I can’t wait to see what you do with it, but for now it is already a really wonderful home. Blessings in you new diggs!


  62. says

    Love all your plans and ideas. That view is awesome! I don’t know why but when I saw that view and I saw the porches in your other post, I keep picturing Seaside, a community that I’ve always loved, though I’ve never been there. Just love looking across all those pretty roofs with the lake beyond. I’m sooo happy for you guys!

  63. Kim in MD says

    Your new home is already gorgeous, but I can’t wait to see what you and Kevin do to “cottageize” it! :-)

  64. says

    I LOVE the outside of your new house! How lucky to have a BLANK CANVAS inside. I know after much thought and a little time…you will have the inside looking UNBELIEVEABLE! I can’t wait to see pictures! Good for you!!!

  65. says

    Hi Layla,

    My name is Susan Henderson and I’m the architect that designed your house many years ago. I was given a size limitation and the program for bedrooms and baths, and there you go. But there is a master bedroom addition for the rear of the house that I can send you if you’re interested. No cost to you, the developer paid for it.

    My firm, PlaceMakers, designed The Waters original master plan, so I’ve been involved with it for quite awhile although not since the new owners have been in place.

    Please let me know if you’d like a PDF of the downstairs master.

    Enjoy the house!

    • Layla says

      Hi Susan!
      We actually got that plan from Andrew shortly after we moved in, and we’re excited to customize and make it happen at some point in the future!
      We’re having SO MUCH fun living out here, and are so happy to e-meet you today! :-D

  66. Heidi Holdridge Frantz says

    I have only recently discovered ur blog, and this is the first time I’ve had a chance to check out anything more than ur recent posts. I love your new home. The house and neighborhood are delightful. I wish you the best of luck with all of your projects and look forward to reading about them. I adore the photos of Kit Cat…children and pets help make a house a home. From the sounds, you will be fulfilling the other half of that soon. The house really looks like a great place for a child to grow up. God bless you, your family and your new home.

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