Home Renovation, Inspiration

The Connector House

We purchased the Connector house in the fall of 2017 and sold it in the fall of 2018.  It was our sixth home remodel.

All of the textured ceilings in the house were sanded down, re-mudded and sanded again.  Then, of course multiple coats of fresh paint.

All of the stained woodwork in the house was removed and replaced with 5″ colonial baseboard and farmhouse trim painted Behr Satin white.

We used the same wall color, Chelsea Gray by Sherwin Williams throughout the house.

All of the cabinetry in the home is custom built.  

Product links are provided throughout the post, some of them being affiliate links.  


We completely rearranged the kitchen at the Connector house.  We took out all of the cabinets in the kitchen and friends of ours reused them in theirs.

The wall dividing the kitchen was removed and an exterior door was moved down so we could make room for the 5’x7’ island.  Now the kitchen and dining room are all one giant space—perfect for gatherings.

Can lights were moved and replaced, and many were added.  The pendant lights and barn lights are from Home Depot.  I’ve provided the links below.

As you can see from the “before” picture, this kitchen originally had a peninsula, but if I see an opportunity to design an island into a kitchen—I go for it.

The island countertops are distressed pine and the countertops over by the sink are concrete.

The floors are bamboo from Lumber Liquidators.  The hardware is from Historic Houseparts (links below).

One of the big decisions I struggled with in this space was the single-basin sink.  I’ve always had a double-basin sink, but according to several people we’ve “interviewed” that have the single—they testify that if I went with the single, I’d never go back to the double.

This is the second time we’ve done concrete countertops in a kitchen and I love them (the island is pine, not concrete).  There’s so much texture and character in concrete.  I want them in my kitchen!

I ordered the cabinets for this space, and then woke up in a cold sweat one night because it hit me that when we enlarged and stretched the kitchen window to the left, it would change the cabinet spacing below.  Thankfully I caught the mistake before our cabinet maker got to that section of the kitchen.  Details can be exhausting!  I make so many mistakes—but I’ve learned from each one.

Click on the images for product links…

I’m not a huge fan of Lazy Susans, so I asked our cabinet maker to create a pull-out with canisters inside for utensils beside the stove.  He kept reminding me that I was wasting space in the corner, but I still liked this option better (See picture below).

The floor-to-ceiling pantry has pull-out trays inside its doors.  I have one of these pantries in my kitchen, and I think it’s fantastic.

Another view of the island…

The canister pull-out…

The pantry pull-outs…

The single basin sink…

Because we included a floor-to-ceiling pantry on the opposite side of the kitchen, we didn’t feel like the little pantry in the “before” picture below was needed any longer.  So—we eliminated it all together and gave the space to a built-in in the upstairs bathroom (it makes more sense if you know that the home is a split level—so half way up and on the opposite side of this wall is the main bathroom.)  This new found space provided a perfect place for towels, linens and toiletries for the new homeowners.

The chalkboard is made by painting chalkboard paint on a 1/4” sheet of plywood and giving it a simple wood frame (stained with General Finishes java gel stain.)

The barn lights are from Home Depot.  The 10’ bank of drawers was custom made with a distressed pine top.  The bin pulls are from Historic Houseparts.

Click on the images for product links.


We added a couple of feet to the width of the front windows in the dining room.  Our contractor had to redo the header over the window to be able to make the windows larger.  The things we do for a view, right?!?

The wall in the picture below was removed, and we slid the exterior door down to the left to be able to expand the kitchen and make room for the kitchen island.


We enlarged the width of the new bathroom vanity and designed it to look like a piece of furniture.  Some of the “drawers” on the vanity are actually doors.  Can you tell which ones?

Behind the bathroom door, there was a small medicine cabinet. When we pulled out the cabinet, we noticed there was extra, unused space behind the wall.  In the end, we were able to install a floor-to-ceiling cabinet that allowed for huge amounts of storage.


The back yard of the Connector House is so private and beautiful, and we knew if we lived here, this would be our “hang out” room.  So, we decided to rebuild the bump-out in this room, add a bench and some drawers, and of course, all new windows.

We wanted to highlight the vaulted ceiling in this room with wood—and while we were at it, we added “wood” to the walls.  It’s actually called “nickel gap”, and it’s made of mdf.  We used 8″ boards.  Our contractor sprayed the walls, ceiling and woodwork with Behr white satin paint (Home Depot).

Our cabinet maker made the built-ins and bench top.  The top is made of pine that he matched to the floors.  He added faux “worm holes” and distressed it perfectly.

The barn lights are from Home Depot and the chandelier is from Lowe’s (links below).


The room in the picture below is located on the third level down in this split level home.  The floors are concrete and part of the walls are block (partially underground).

When we were showing this house to family members for the first time after purchasing the home, we stood on the patio outside this room and began to brainstorm ideas.  I had initially wanted to build a fireplace with cabinets flanking each side and bookshelves up to the ceiling, but once we stood outside we realized how amazing (and possible) adding extra windows to this dark room would be.

My uncle is an extremely talented brick/block mason, and it was fascinating to watch how labor intensive it is to build a “real” fireplace.  There was already a chimney on the side of the house with just a hole in the wall of this room (as you can see from the picture), so we decided to just go for it and build something fantastic.

You would think I was lying if I told you how many times I had our contractor build and re-build the wood surround on this fireplace.  Let’s just say it took a lot of tries for me to figure out just what I wanted.  

This room is adjacent to the laundry room, so we thought the new homeowners would appreciate a barn door to block the noise.

The floors are concrete in this room, so we chose vinyl planks for the floor covering.  These vinyl planks are a great option for basements—they’re very durable, easy to clean, and extremely simple to install.

We replaced the stair treads, newel post, and hand rail as well.

The barn door track is from Amazon.


I love the amount of space in this laundry room!  The exterior door is also great—extra convenient for coming in from playing/working outside and having a designated spot to leave clothes.

I wanted to add a little fun and texture to this room with the painted faux brick wall (I have a full tutorial on how to create a faux brick wall if you click here.  In the tutorial I sealed the brick with a polycrylic, but on this wall, I simply painted it white.)—and function with the built-ins.

The top cabinet in the tower is hiding the electric panel for the house, but the rest of the drawers in the space are functioning and usable.

The “Wash & Dry” sign is from Antique Farmhouse (one of my favorite websites).


We carried the vinyl planks from Lumber Liquidators into all of the rooms on the bottom two levels of this home.  The gentleman that helped us choose our flooring said that our house could “float away” and these floors would still be in great condition.  So, obviously a great choice for concrete floors–especially in a basement bathroom.

We had the vanity custom made for this bathroom also.  

The countertops are concrete.  They have a leathery texture to them which I think is great.  It’s always exciting to see how concrete will turn out—it’s different every time.

The walls in here were really rough—so we went over them with 6” strips ripped down from 4’x8′ sheets of plywood.

The Connector House is a split level home, so the area in the picture below is partially underground—which means part of the wall is block.  When we tore the paneling off, the drywall butted right up against the block.  So, to fix this problem we just went right over top of the block (and drywall) with wainscoting.

The top is painted in chalkboard paint.  The floors, again, are vinyl planks.  

Thank you so much for reading about the Connector House.  Please let me know if you have any questions in the comment box below and I’d be happy to reply.

I’ve provided links to our other home remodels below if you would like to check them out.  Thanks again.

Colonial house remodel
The Colonial House
The Crestview House
Mulberry House remodel
The Mulberry House

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About therestoringhouse

51 thoughts on “The Connector House

    1. Yes, it is a 1×6, and then our contractor ripped down a board to 1.25″ for the top and bottom piece.

  1. I would love to see a picture of the outside of the house to be able to see what those windows look like especially the one in the living room with the bump out but also the front ones that you used to replaced the bay window. I have both of these scenarios and although they look great on the inside I’m really curious about how they look outside. Thanks

    1. Hi Rebecca. I will send you the pictures I have of the outside. I didn’t focus too much on my outside pics…I should have. I’ll send what I have to your email. 🙂

      1. It would be awesome if you could share more exterior photos! We are considering offering on a very similar home based on being able to visualize the possibilities. Thank you!!!

        1. I kick myself for not taking good exterior photos…I really don’t have any worth sharing. I’m sorry 😔

  2. I noticed in the before shot of your kitchen there was a HVAC vent in the wall that was removed. Can you tell me if you relocated the vent or what happened to it? We have a similar wall that I want to take down, but we’re unsure if the vent will be a problem. Thanks!

    1. Hi Betsy. Yes, we relocated vents and ductwork in this house to allow for the floor plan change. We hired a professional for this job. He said it wasn’t difficult. 🙂

  3. I absolutely LOVE everything about this remodel. You did a fantastic job. My husband and I are thinking about taking on a similar project and I was wondering if you would be able to tell me the average total cost of your renovation?

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Every renovation is so different, it is very difficult to price out (especially when you take into consideration varying cost of contractors, location, varying material costs, etc.). It’s definitely not cheap, I can tell you that!😂

  4. We just bought a tri level home very similar to this. We dream to make it as amazing as you have made this house, although we don’t have the experience. What are your tips on finding the best contractors, cabinet makers etc? How much of the projects did you do and where did you learn how? Thank you so much!

    1. Hello. Congrats on your new home. Thank you for your kind words. We are very blessed to have one contractor and one cabinet maker that we work with on all of our houses. I can’t really give you any tips on finding contractors, because we’ve just found and worked with one and stuck with him for five home remodels (he’s amazing). We learn more and more each house, but we’ve still got A LOT to learn!!

  5. You did an amazing job! Would you please share both the bamboo and vinyl flooring color/style choices? I am in the middle of a renovation in my home and I am looking for flooring options and the ones you chose look fantastic!!

    1. Thank you! Both flooring types were purchased from Lumber Liquidators. The vinyl plank is called “Farmland Hickory Engineered Vinyl Plank”. I don’t have record of the bamboo flooring name. Sorry. It was a glue down floor, and to be honest, I don’t think I would take that route again. It was kind of a pain to install.

  6. I live everything about this home! How do you not get attached to the homes when it’s time to move on?

  7. I love the house! I had been planning to do these colors in the house we will be building, as a change from my Griege colors in my current house. Paint is circa 1990, an now is back in, but I need a change. I am thinking white, cream, straw color with blues and wood accents.
    Have you done a house with these yet?

    Love all these homes! And the colors two. I was planning to go the white, grey black in the new house we will be building this year. My current house interior was painted approximately 1990 in white, greige and dark taupe. Last year I was thinking I would need to repaint before selling, now I hear it is back in.
    For something different from what I have, am thinking white,cream-beige and straw color with blue accents. Am I thinking right that that would be where colors are heading? Have you done any house with these colors? What are you up to for 2020?

  8. I am in awe with your work. I am trying to convince my husband to get someone to remodel our kitchen now and our baths later. Your work is exceptional!

  9. Hi there!! My husband and I just bought a home built in 1996, only one owner and the before pictures on this post are very on point with the atheistic of said home. However, said home is one level, 1700 sq feet, and needs mostly cosmetic work (has a peak roof). We are aiming to renovate with intention of living in said home and selling in a few years when our family out grows the space. We also don’t live in said town. I’m not worried about finding good people to execute plans, but would like to build a knowledge base bc we don’t have a huge budget (40k). My question surrounds windows and electric! Right now, as the sun rises to the East of the home, there is only one window off to the far right corner of the living room wall not utilizing natural light. The other one window is at the front of the home—can you provide perspective on making windows when on a budget? Our top priorities are flooring throughout, new counters, cabinet refresh (painting most likely) and appliances. Other question is there is no ceiling lighting, also thinking of under cabinet lighting. Is this customarily a bigger type of expense? Would very much appreciate your insight here. Ending this in an echo to the message train here — what a beautifully done renovation. Embarking on this process feels overwhelming, but still exciting. Thanks in advance for any tips and tricks.

    1. In our experience, adding windows is (for the most part) not a huge expense, but adds SO MUCH to a house! If I can add a window, you better believe I’m figuring out how to get it to work with the budget. I hope everything is going great for you!

    1. Thanks. In most of our flips I’ve used chalkboard paint, but lately I’ve been buying flat black paint (it’s less expensive than the chalkboard paint). I believe the last gallon of paint I bought, the color name was simply, “black”.

  10. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these homes you have shown. I am in the process of starting the remodel of our first level of our house. I am going with the black, white and wood look. I love the white in the Connector House. Do you happen to remember what color white you used? Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you so much! I use Behr Ultra Pure White in a satin finish, no tint added.

  11. Absolutely phenomenal! We just finished our first home restoration and are in the process of getting it sold now. Your stories and tips totally helped us out. I’d say the hardest thing for us was just making decisions together haha But by far the easiest thing we did was resurface the wood floor. It was the last thing on the list and we were ahead of budget so we hired out the job and ended up finishing ahead of our anticipated schedule. All of that can be attributed back to following you. Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and congratulations on finishing your first home restoration and getting it sold!

  12. We just bought, sight unseen, what appears to be a similar house, in similar condition. Unfortunately I can’t get through to walk through for another 2 months, ack! Could you share an exterior photo to help me try to invision how our layout might compare? I think it’s a match split level… thanks!

    1. I wish I would’ve taken exterior photos of this project, but I didn’t. The way the house sat on the property made it difficult to photograph. There was a gigantic tree line right in the front yard that inhibited photos. Sorry I’m no help. Congrats on your new house!

  13. Hello! Love the remodel of this house! The split levels in my area are a particular 1970’s layout. When you walk through the front door it’s the largest room (usually the family/living room), then straight ahead there’s a smaller room on the left and parallel to that is the kitchen. I love that you did a remodel where you walk into the dining room. Do you think that would be a waste of space if I tried to figure out how to do that? Do you happen to remember the square footage of this connector house?

    Thank you!!

  14. Hello! The set up of this home is very similar to mine and I am wanting to remodel! I’m curious to know what the exterior of the Connector House looks like? What color is the exterior!? Can you please send photos?

    1. Hi! I didn’t take very many photos of Connector’s exterior because of the way the house sat on the property–it was surrounded by trees and sat on a hill, so I couldn’t stand back far enough to get good photos. Sorry.

  15. We are looking for a good, inexpensive flooring to put on our concrete floors in a renovation home. Can you give any more details on the floors you chose?

    1. These floors are a luxury vinyl plank, but I wouldn’t recommend these exact ones, simply because they’ve improved them so much since we completed this house. There are some great options out there right now. We just installed a luxury vinyl plank in our personal home and I’m very happy with them. They’re by Provenza and the color is called First Crush.

  16. Wow, this is a beautiful remodel! We are looking to remodel our outdated kitchen in the next few months. We are just debating on a few things, like if we need a dumpster rental, what style of kitchen we would like, and what colors, etc. This post is inspirational and we will be using some of these ideas!

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