I’ve talked a lot in the last year about our living room, kitchen/dining room and the kids’ room. We’ve been working on the other rooms in the house too, but our focus has definitely been on making those three spaces really work for us.
One of the reasons this house was perfect for us is that it has a dedicated guest area that is very removed from the rest of the house. We’ve always had guest rooms or at least an extra bed for family and friends to crash on wherever we lived, and we wanted our house here in Colorado to be the same. At the same time, we now have three little kids who are tons of fun and make tons of noise. So we were really hoping to find a house with an area for guests that was as removed as possible from the main spaces we live in on a day to day basis for their sanity.
Amherst is a bi-level, which means that you enter the front door to stairs going up on the right and down on the left. Upstairs is the main part of the house where we spend 90% of our time. Downstairs is the “guest suite”, along with the utility room, laundry room, half bathroom and then the garage. Basically the downstairs is two big rooms (garage and finished room) with the utilities, laundry and bathroom separating them. This is what the guest suite looked like when we bought the house.
It’s cool, right? Not gonna lie, one of the biggest reasons we bought this house was this space. Yes, having the separated dedicated guest area was a huge factor, but seriously how cool is this room? It’s like a little time capsule from the seventies! The paneling! The multiple flourescent lighting fixtures! The brick! The built in bar! The yellow paired with orange and brick red and more paneling! :) It’s so ugly it’s actually kinda cool. Right? The only thing missing was some thick shag carpeting. We found a shag rake (yep, that’s a thing!) in the garage after we moved in, so my guess is that this room used to have shag, but fortunately had been replaced recently with some really nice stainmaster carpet.
Here’s a better picture of the bar area. Funny story, there are two old rotary phones up on that shelf, and the black one was apparently still connected to a real phone line when we bought the house. For the first week we lived here someone would call multiple times a day asking for Mike, and be extremely flustered when we told her that he didn’t live here anymore. Eventually they shut off the phone line and we never did find out if she found Mike or not.
The closet in the corner is cedar lined, which is super luxurious. It smells awesome and I love having that extra little touch for our guests.
Through the door to the right of the bar is the utility and laundry room. This is an ugly, hardworking little room. Laundry on the left, half bath in the corner, water heater and furnace straight ahead, and a little pantry/storage area under the stairs to the right. This is also the exit to the garage. The half bath has some more brick, a yellow toilet and a lot of scary spiders :)
So obviously our goal was to freshen things up a bit, bring in some comfy furniture and a few decorations. We decided to leave the orange paneling intact and just paint everything else. We’re about 75% done with the painting down there – I feel like this whole first year has mostly just been painting, more painting and even more painting! :)
Our plan was to tackle a complete remodel of the utility/laundry/half bath this summer and convert the half bath into a 3/4 with a stand up shower. But our sewer line issues used up all of those funds, so we’ve put that on the back burner for a bit. I’m currently brainstorming some low cost ideas to freshen things up a bit in there to make it a little nicer while we save up again!
So what do you think? Do you love it as much as we did? The retro thing is pretty cool, right? ;)