We started renting a space for World Fare at 37 N. Main St. in Three Rivers, Michigan, nearly five years ago and we've long dreamed about the possibilities for the second floor above the store. The idea of living above the store is very appealing and fits in well with our long-term plans--both as a couple and as the directors of *culture is not optional.
We were finally able to purchase the building on land contract in January 2007 (a process we highly recommend) and we recently secured funding through a state matching grant/bank loan. So, with fear and trembling, we've begun the renovation process to turn the second floor from a space unusable for anything but storage to a living space.
To begin, we needed to clear out all of World Fare's stuff from the storage space on the second floor (which filled the back room in the 'before' picture below). We moved everything to a newly cleared and cleaned space in the basement.
Then we needed to tear out three strange walls in the middle of the space to open up the back of the building into one large area that will be used for a kitchen, living room and dining room. The standard before and after shots are below; if you'd like to see more photos of the process, check out our photo set on Flickr.
We hope to document this process as we go with writing, photos and drawings, so you should hear more from us soon!