Our very own fixer-upper: Alaska style

I don’t think I have ever felt so thankful, fatigued, frazzled, and overjoyed all at once! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of sawdust and, well dust in general. We have been tested on our ability to be patient, flexible, and handle unforeseen unfortunate events.  We have also been supported and encouraged by family and we are officially, and ever so happily, settling into our new nest!

D and I purchased our first home together back in December and it needed some TLC. Our place is the perfect size to grow together over the next few years and we are so excited to be in this chapter. Buying a house is a great milestone and we’re still over the moon that we are officially homeowners. Pinch me, this can’t be real!

That said, we had a few dreams for this little fixer-upper of ours and enough HGTV marathons under our belt to believe we could tackle them. We decided to stay far below what the bank approved us for and instead put our pennies towards remodeling a sweet space and truly making it ours. I’ll be transparent and share that my dad is an entrepreneur who started Alaska Property Brothers LLC and works as the general contractor on the team. He was willing to teach us how to do a lot of the remodel ourselves, as well as lead the project.

Our downstairs “before,” was small. The kitchen was crammed into space off the garage with simple island seating. We enjoy having friends and family over as much as possible and the available dimensions didn’t serve our need for seating and table space. The layout also cut the kitchen off from the living room and the kitchen itself provided limited storage.

My dad designed two different remodel options and we chose the first which allowed for an open concept floor plan, large island seating, and more kitchen storage than I know what to do with … for now. Over the next three weeks, our walls were torn down, the downstairs closet was removed, soffits removed, sub-floors replaced, electrical and plumbing checked, and a transformation was completed.

We chose simple white kitchen cabinets that carried up to the ceiling for added storage as well as a cohesive look that brightened the small space. Since our little nest is a duplex, we decided on a nice Ouro Romano Formica countertop for the sides of the kitchen with a butcher block countertop for the island – handmade by us! The butcher block project took us about 6 hours total to create (not including the two days it sat to dry), including flat planing the wood, strategically pre-drilling, gluing and screwing the pieces together, sanding then fine-sanding, staining and finally sealing.  Our home had a beautiful cherry wood beam that we loved, so we chose a walnut stain for the butcher block countertop as well as warm cherry floors to create contrast within the space.

One of my favorite parts was choosing a paint color for the new space and I settled on Lapland Ice by Sherwin-Williams.  I love it so much more in person! We settled on white trim and painted the dark doors white to compliment the cabinetry and contrast the warm floors. (The front door is next to be replaced this summer!)

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We are thrilled with how this renovation turned out, it completely changed the entire look of our downstairs and is bright, warm and welcoming -exactly what we wanted! We can’t wait for all of the memories that will come in this kitchen: dinners, game nights, dancing, parties, maybe even pitter-pattering feet .. a lot of happy memories will be had here!

Sipping coffee from my new nest,



Our very own fixer-upper: Alaska style