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New home, what would you do?

Tiffani Davis
28 days ago

We're starting with a blank slate and looking to paint and update stairway immediately. Open to changing flooring as well. The only thing we know for sure is that we want to add wainscoting in the formal dining/living area and the kitchen remodel will have dark blue base cabinets in the island.

Comments (30)

  • PRO
    Home Interiors with Ease
    27 days ago

    What overall design style do you want?

    farmhouse modern...Traditional...French country....modern?

    what furniture will you be using?

  • graywings123
    27 days ago

    That looks like a contemporary, open concept house. I don't associate wainscotting with that style. Before you add design elements, you should have an idea of what style you are working towards.

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  • Tiffani Davis
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    We're pretty traditional people, slightly transitional. We will be purchasing all new furniture. This is a photo that we liked (for the formal living/dining area), but aren't locked into it yet.

    Traditional dining room with wall papered ceiling · More Info

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    Your inspo is nine MILES of trim. ...............are you certain this is the house for you ?? Maybe time for a gut check. What is the plan for the stair? Decor is the least of the issue, ...........your windows, front door, and stair? They are at ODDS with one another.

    Before you begin slapping up trim, get an architect to help make sense of deign build in the suburbs. Get a kitchen designer on board as well.

  • cat_ky
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    I would never put wainscotting in that beautiful room. I wouldnt be changing out the stairway either. That room is already very nice. Wainscotting would not look good in there, and the stairway itself, goes perfectly with the style of the house. Paint walls, if you feel the need to do anything, and then live with the house for a while. What you think you want right now as new buyers, just very well may not be what you want, once you live there. Its hard to tell anything about the kitchen, since there is not a good picture of that, but, from the very little of the top cabinets I can see, I think painting them would be a good idea. If this is a diy paint, please read up on painting cabinets, so they are done right. You need to use cabinet paint, and prep takes a long while. Lots of cleaning of them, lots of sanding, and a proper bonding sealing primer. If you are replacing the cabinets, then they will come finished, so above doesnt apply.

  • beesneeds
    27 days ago

    I would live there for a few months to see how the place really works and flows or not. Come up with a cohesive plan for changes before piece-working it out.

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    27 days ago

    Agree that your inspiration photo is a house style very very different from the new house you have purchased. Proceed with caution.

  • Tiffani Davis
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    Y'all sure do know how to make a girl feel good, lol. Let me clarify some...I liked the colors and the chairs by the window in the inspo photo. Not the ceilings, columns etc. I could have been more clear.

    I never considered the home to be modern 🤔. Some suggested that I wait a while, but I don't have any furniture. So I need to buy a few pieces that will ultimately work with the end product. Kitchen table, sofa, etc. My thought process was to work on the entry room first.

    I see no one agrees with the wainscotting for that room, what would you do? Note: I was only planning to do the two walls with the windows and the back wall.

    Someone noted the front door. We are looking to change that as well. I'd welcome thoughts on what you think could work. A pic of the outside

    As for the stairs, there is an ugly brown paint on the treads. At the very least it will be stripped and stained. I planned to leave the kitchen remodel until last...

  • Tiffani Davis
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    Heading over to do some research on contemporary open concept....

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    27 days ago

    Large rooms with wainscotting that stops short of the ceiling.






  • Julie Zygmontowicz
    27 days ago

    Traditional is the way to go..add your wainscoting...it will look beautiful...lots of white...you have a lot of painting to do!
    You can make this your dream home no worries if you have a vision go for it but you must follow thru...details details...

  • teachermurph
    27 days ago

    Beautiful house! Congrats!! If it were me, I would look at Studio McGee for ideas. I’ve seen similar open rooms and she’s great with kitchens and placement of furniture. You could use your own style, of course, which I think is pretty!




  • A S
    27 days ago

    I would change the floors and add fresh paint. Those two alone will spruce it up

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    No wainscoting! The house is modern, with no appreciable trim at all.

    If you want to do something interesting, I would look toward the ceiling and restain the floors dark. New tile in the kitchen area is a must.




  • Julie Zygmontowicz
    27 days ago

    Wainscoting can be used in all design styles....it is not only the tradition design anymore...

  • PRO
    Home Interiors with Ease
    27 days ago

    Have fun make it your own!


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    27 days ago

    Congrats on your new home. Hold off on wall treatments until you get a better handle on your overall plans and main furniture. I understand you probably want some "architectural" interest which is driving the "wainscoting" concept. I would put my money into furnishings, rugs and great art first. I think you need for wainscoting might disappear or perhaps just a chair railing in your dining room. Gather pictures and ideas for a stairway change, but be sure before you do anything, because stairs are labor intensive and difficult to modify. A runner on that stairway and possibly painting the stair treads and railings and posts might be all you need. Get in and plan a bit to avoid costly mistakes.

    staircase · More Info


    Southern Avenue · More Info


  • dsimber
    27 days ago

    Congratulations on your new home, Tiffini. I agree 100% that you need to take time to develop a cohesive master plan. That will save you from disappointments, regrets, and a lot of money. I hope working with a designer is feasible for you.


    I would definitely start with the floors before moving in. Time and budget will determine whether you can do the painting and desired wainscoting at that time, too. Can you give us a sense of what that looks like for you? I’ll also note a couple of painting recommendations I’ve read here on houzz. Usually, I read that paint should come last. @Home Interiors with Ease (aka Julie), would you please share the order of steps here? Also, I recall at least once reading advice to live in the house for up to a year to observe how the light changes through the seasons. Re: the latter, that may not apply here. For the former, it’s much easier to choose your paint color after deciding on your furnishings.


    Very impressed with Beverly’s observation about, and illustration of, the great lines you have going for you! as well as the inspiration images that follow her first post. Having seen the range of options shown by Julie, I wonder what specifically appeals to you.


    This is going to be exciting!

  • A S
    27 days ago

    While there is often advice to live in the home for a year or choose paint last that’s not always realistic. Who wants to move multiple times? Choose a flooring and a paint. Get both done before you move. Then choose pieces you love to fill the home. You couldn’t pay me to pack up my house again once I’m in it to change floors and paint. If you choose a neutral colour for most of the house you can add more down the road but the bulk of the intrusion would be done.

  • dsimber
    27 days ago

    I agree, A S. Especially for the floors when furniture must be moved out of the space. And if possible, getting the painting done at that time, too. Even the wainscoting...depending on how much time you have...but it’s not too bad to add that trim later.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    27 days ago

    I agree and since we just moved I picked paint colors before moving in so owner could get it done before we moved in. But I know color so easy for me. I would go neutral walls with possibly some complimentary color in dining room. Once you get cost/price for all that flooring rugs might seem a better investment. Flooring is one of the biggest costs to change in a home other than entire kitchen or bathroom make overs. If you want neutral wall color SW Alabaster is what I just chose. It is really pretty and just warm enough to not be stark white. Most anything goes with it. Start there and try planning out overall color palette.

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    So the home is a contemporary style with Mediterranean/Spanish details added.

    It would be easy to add ceiling beams to mimic the structure of the home. Hard to believe the home doesn't have a fireplace. Seems like a natural element between the two windows.

  • Julie Zygmontowicz
    27 days ago

    Floors...any added trim than paint...ready to move in!

  • katy3816
    27 days ago

    I love how open it is!


    So many ideas, but would be too long of a post.


    I would make the staircase grander by removing the drywall and extending the handrail all the way up. A nice classy black iron and have it curve into the room at the bottom.


    Not sure what style you're going for, but high ceilings look stunning with wood beams. Perhaps wood paneling on the ceiling with a whitewash and large beams throughout.


    You should check out Rachel Parcell's renovation. She used Alice Lane Interior design company.








  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    27 days ago

    House seems to be more formal so be careful of going too casual. I would walk a line between formal and transitional. Mix some modern with some casual pieces adding some animal prints for fun.

  • Tiffani Davis
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    Thank you all for the wonderful feedback; both positive and negative. It's truly forcing me to think through the numerous decisions just a bit more. I don't know how to respond back to the posts directly and don't want to make an extremely long post either. I love the examples and reccomendations. I'll take tomorrow to really check them all out and maybe I'll be able to connect with someone to help me through this process.

    Someone asked about a timeline. If all goes as planned, we move in April 5th. I'll be redoing the roof 1st (yet another decision lol) and like mentioned before want to paint the interior while it is empty. I was leaning towards completing the floors for the very same reason, but we may need to hold off until later.

    PS whoever said animal print, you pulling my heart strings lol.

  • dsimber
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    April 5th. Exciting! Unless you have some great connections, it doesn’t seem that your timeline would allow for scheduling replacement of floors. In my experience, they are booked out for a couple of months, at least..I need to share a story with you before you decide what to do. I can’t recall if this has been mentioned, but earlier today I was wondering if you would be pleased with having the existing floors refinished. You could choose a stain color or not. In my most recent home, there was white oak in the kitchen and foyer but not the living area. I went to the showroom of a well-established, family-owned business and carefully selected the prettiest wood I could find. Then the owner, a very nice man who reminded me of my brother, came out to write the estimate. He was shocked. “We’re not going to tear out those good floors!” His plan? Match the wood, sand and strip the existing floor, install the new, and finish all. I can’t tell you how much respect and trust he created that day. He could have made a lot more money, but he cared more about saving the wood! In my case, I chose not to have a stain, so that was to be the change. When his crew finished, I had floors that looked so much better than they had originally. What quality work. Absolutely spectacular! I was so grateful to him. The difference was that the original floors were pre-finished (factory-finished...maybe Bruce Hardwood.) The finish his guys applied by hand was amazing! They were the most beautiful floors I’ve ever had. So...It’s an option worth considering, depending on the look you want.

  • Tiffani Davis
    Original Author
    10 days ago

    I'm back. We closed on the house and I'm ready to begin some work. We won't move in until the end of the month, but will slowly start bring things over and getting things done while its still empty.

    Here is my kitchen. I don't want to do a full scale remodel, but would like to make some major update. Things I'm considering. Putting in a range with a double oven. I'd like a decorative hood (maybe copper). Change the other appliances and the sink. Move the island to be more centered and have the cabinetry in a navy blue. Place the microwave and a mini fridge in the island. Do you think I can use the existing countertops? Open to all suggestions and ideas. It's approximately 16' 8" x 16' not including the breakfast area.

  • Julie Zygmontowicz
    10 days ago

    Spend a good amount on that countertop it needs updating for sure before anything else....than appliances..paint cabinets.