Renovating Our Home

Closing Day! (Pictured here with us is Farukh’s mom).

We purchased this home in November of 2015 and renovated it while planning our BIG Fat Indian Wedding, AND while flipping another house, doing a major launch in one of our businesses, plus we purchased another business… all in a six month period.

Suffice to say, those were the busiest 6 months of our lives and for the record… I DON’T recommend taking ALL that on at one time!

We worked from 5:30am to 11:00pm, 7 days a week, for nearly 5 months. Fortunately, it all turned out beautifully.  Our wedding was magical and we’re really happy with how our home turned out.  We didn’t “finish” the house, but we’ve decided to call it finished.  We came to a point where we were both feeling really DONE.  And truly, homes and websites are two things that are never “finished”.  They perpetually need updating, refreshing and fixing.

The house was only 18 years old when we bought it so most all of our updates were cosmetic.  Throughout the house, we painted most of the ceilings, the woodwork, walls, and replaced most of the floors and lighting. It’s a 6,400 square foot house… so there’s a LOT of walls, ceilings and woodwork to paint!.

Scroll down for before’s and after’s, and some during’s.  You can click on each picture to enlarge it.


**Note… The before pics were taken by a professional photographer with a wide-angle lens, and my after pics were taken (quickly) with my iPhone.


Our Great Room

This is where we have tea with guests, curl up by the fire, and watch movies on our super comfy reclining sectional.  The sectional is really big, and from a design perspective not ideal for the space, BUT, it is ideal for our life and for us… function is more important.  Farukh found this sofa (and quite a few of the furniture pieces).

Something that you can’t see in the photos is that the fireplace cabinets are filled with pieces we’ve collected from our travels around the world.  In each of the countries we travel to, we love getting a small handmade good, such as a vase, a sculpture or a candle holder.

We thought about putting long custom drapes in the Great Room but instead opted to have special film installed on the windows that blocks the UV rays to protect the floors and furniture and help with cooling costs in the summer.


We painted the doors black and the woodwork and ceilings white (they were yellow – not cream, definitely yellow).

Our Dining Room

We entertain a LOT, so this room gets used more than most dining rooms.  And from a design standpoint, it’s my favorite room in our home.


Our Kitchen

In the kitchen, we painted the upper cabinets white, lower cabinets light grey, and the island a darker grey.  The backsplash and pot filler didn’t quite turn out how we had planned.  We were away on a business trip when they were installed, and got a bit of a surprise when we got back.  Also, we had purchased pendant lights to hang over the island and took them down immediately after they went up because we hated them.  :-/

I would still like to put up pendant lights eventually.  The specific lights we choose were VERY wrong for the space, but I think the right ones would be nice.  All in all, we’re happy with how it turned out.

Two features we added that I’ve always wanted in my kitchen are a “tea drawer” and a “spice drawer”.  We love them and use them multiple times a day.

We lined all of the drawers, pull outs and cabinets with a foam-like liner and it’s worked out really well for us.

Our Foyer

This is where you enter our home and we wanted it to be warm and inviting.  It features a gallery of our wedding photos, a metal world map that we had custom made from an artist on Etsy (this was my hubby’s brilliant idea), and a hand-carved elephant from our big trip to India in 2017.  The elephant is made from the same material as the Taj Mahal (the hardest marble in the world) and by the same craftsman that help do the restoration work on the Taj Mahal.  It’s a very special piece to us.

The light fixture is the same one that was there, we simply painted it and replaced the frosted glass shades with black fabric shades.  Giving this chandelier a make-over instead of getting a new one was Farukh’s idea.  It ended up being easy project and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Half-Bath off the Great Room

By the time we got to this bathroom, we were way over schedule and budget so we just gave this room a coat of paint.  My vice president (who was an interior designer in a former life), recommended this soft pink to work with the grey woodwork and all of the black and silver.  I think it really helped brighten up the room so for now, I’m am happy with it.  Eventually, we’ll gut it.

Farukh’s Office

Farukh generally doesn’t work from home so his home office is more of a den.  We put the massage chair in here and a trundle bed for when we have extra guests (we have two guest bedrooms but we often have so many guests that we need to use this room as an overflow area).

Farukh loves airplanes and has wanted this aviator desk from Restoration Hardware for YEARS, so we made his dream come true and got it.  It’s constructed of the actual metal they make planes from and welded together in a similar way (it’s even cooler in real life than it looks in the photos).  To keep with the theme, we installed an aviator ceiling fan.  We also installed new light sconces from Restoration Hardware which I really love.

My Office

In here we just removed the curtains and painted the walls.  From these pictures it looks like the woodwork is a different color, but it’s just the lighting.

Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom just got a fresh coat of paint on the woodwork, and doors, and new curtains.

Master Bathroom

This room just got a mini-makeover.  We painted the gold cabinets black to make them look like a furniture piece.  We updated the hardware with a set from Restoration Hardware.  The towel bars were across the room – so after a shower to get your towel you had to walk across this large bathroom dripping wet.  We installed new towel hooks on either side of the shower and we removed the old towel bars and installed robe hooks.

The his and her sink/vanities in this bathroom were one of the top selling points of this house for us.  I’m not joking.  For us, this contributes to marital bliss.  🙂

When my hubby was installing the TV in here, I was rolling my eyes.  Now at least a couple times a month I take a candle lit bubble bath and watch Netflix or Hulu, and love every second of it.  Soooo… I take back my eye roll.  😉

Master Closets

We did quite a bit of work in the closets… new lightening, paint, custom closet systems, and we installed a washer and dryer in my walk-in.  We each have our own walk-in closets which let me tell you… helps make for marriage bliss!!

It’s tough to take pictures inside small walk-in closets, but here’s a little peak at our closet systems, which we’re both really happy with.

Guest Room 1

In this room we painted the woodwork, walls, and put in new carpet.  It now has Farukh’s old bedroom set in it.

The second guest room had decent tan carpet and walls so we didn’t make any updates to that room.  There’s a large Jack and Jill bathroom between the two guest rooms which could use some updating but we didn’t get to it and probably won’t for quite a while.

Mother-in-Law’s Suite

In her suite we took down a wall to give her an extra large walk-in closet, which she has successfully FILLED.  Her room turned out nice too but I’m not posting it as it looks a tad bit like a teenage girls room… clothes, jewelry, makeup, handbags galore.  🙂   And her bathroom was in great shape so we didn’t do any updating in there.

The Rest of the House

The rest just got fresh paint on the woodwork and walls… no dramatic transformation.  We did install custom closet systems in most of the closets throughout the house.  We’re really happy with how they turned out, and the quality of the Easy Closet systems, but we made a HUGE mistake ordering them all at once.  Easy Closets delivered a mountain of boxes of closet parts to us and they mixed up all of the parts.  For example, one box would have parts for three or four different closets in it, and none of the parts were labeled.  It took two handymen an entire day to sort them all out. :-/


Unfortunately, we didn’t take any before pictures of the backyard but we’re happy with how it all turned out.  We did quite a bit of concrete work on the back terrace, painted the gazebo, and manicured the WAY overgrown landscaping throughout the yard.

Cleaning up the landscaping on our 2.5 acre lot ended up being a MUCH bigger job than we anticipated.  We hired Perez Landscaping and it took their full crew two weeks!  And three truck loads of mulch.  They did a FANTASTIC job though.  If you live in our area, I HIGHLY recommend Perez and his crew.  They’re reliable, professional, fast, and they go above and beyond.


Paint Colors (they’re all Benjamin Moore):

Woodwork is Super White PM-1 in Regal Semi-Gloss

Light Grey walls in the Great Room + Farukh’s Office + Lower Kitchen Cabinets are Nightingale AF-670

Dark Grey upper walls in the Great Room + Fireplace + Kitchen is Island Cinder AF-705

Foyer + Dining Room walls are Upper West Side (this is a discontinued color that they can custom blend for you)

Walls in Heidi’s Office are Ashley Gray HC-87



Below are some pics of the process.  Many of them feature our rockstar handyman Kenny, who basically became family during this project.


Unfortunately our built-in fridge died right after closing, but we do love our new energy efficient fridge.

A delivery truck couldn’t make it all the way down to the garage, so our awesome handyman, Kenny, got creative.

Our First Meal

This was our first real family meal in our home.  We’d often have crockpots of food, deli trays, and snacks out for the workers and ourselves, but this was our first meal in our new home.

My dad, the bald guy, was our saving grace on this project!  And on the house we flipped.  He came to town and slaved away 12-14 hours a day for us for THREE WEEKS straight.

When he arrived we were WAY behind schedule and over budget on both projects.  And our wedding was approaching FAST.  Several of our wedding events were going to be at our new house in our backyard.  Plus we had over 30 people planning to stay with us.  The house wasn’t anywhere near ready, and we were STRESSED.

My dad is a retired electrician, incredibly handy, organized, and a good project manager.  He basically rode in on a white horse and saved the day.  I wish the whole world had a dad as amazing as mine.