I feel like this house is our own personal makeover project and we can totally get it elected Prom Queen if we just work hard enough. It's got such great bones, an awesome layout, a charming personality and if we can just get it to take off its glasses and blowout its hair, we'll have a super "wow" moment on the stairs when all is said and done. The unfortunate thing is that making over a house is about a frillion times more expensive (but probably less judgmental and condescending) than making over a human, so we're having to do it bits at a time.
We've spent this last month ripping out carpets, painting rooms and scrubbing bathrooms in an attempt to save money where we can. We hired out things like tearing down the wallpaper and the downstairs painting because we decided it was a priority to get that done as soon as possible for livability purposes, and a generous loan from our parents made it possible to not have to do everything ourselves. We have engineered wood flooring scattered all around the house just waiting for Colby's dad to arrive to help get that installed this weekend. And last week we made our last big purchase for this round of renovations, ordering new kitchen cabinets, quartz countertops and a refrigerator.
From here on out, we'll have to start taking a bit more time with the projects we have in mind. The master bathroom has a leak that may have damaged the structure of the floor, so that will probably require more immediate attention. The guest bathroom needs updating still and we have big dreams for turning the unfinished basement into a 5th bedroom with 3rd full bath, playroom, storage area, and less creepy laundry room. But that will probably have to wait until the next tax refund comes through--bought a new house? Had a new baby? Lost money on a rental property? Check, check, check! Give us our money back, thanks!
But we do have a fair amount of progress to show for our work over the last month. So, without further ado, let's go to the photos!
Stripped the wallpaper and painted in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter with white trim (we stayed with this consistent color throughout the downstairs since it is all so open), pulled up the linoleum, and replaced the old wood and brass light fixture (not pictured in the before) with a brushed nickel fixture. Just needs the floor and the baseboard and we'll call it done!
Powder Room Before:
Powder Room Progress:
Ha! Not much to see here yet! It's been gutted, and is currently awaiting installation of the wood floors, then the contractors will come back to do another coat of paint, install the new ceramic tile, vanity and toilet.
We had the contractors remove the desk, patch the wall and paint. We'll be moving the fridge to the center of this wall and surrounding it with floor to ceiling pantry cabinets. Colby pulled up all the carpet, linoleum, and thousands upon thousands of nails from the subfloor. You can also catch a glimpse of the fireplace in the background which is in the midst of a little makeover as well. It got a coat of white paint on the dark wood surround, we're going to put a glass tile over the brick, a grey ceramic tile on the hearth and pull out the brass insert. It's not currently functional, so at least for the summer, we'll just stick some candles in there for pretty factor.
Living Room/Dining Room Before:
Living Room/Dining Room Progress:
The contractors also stripped the wallpaper in here and painted the Revere Pewter on top and white on the bottom, as well as extending the chair rail into the second room through the doorway. Still needs floor and baseboards, and we plan to add a faux wainscoting effect on the white part of the wall, switch out the light fixture and possible add crown molding. We are taking down the small wall that separates this room from the kitchen and extending cabinets in here. We will likely use it as a sort of transitional room between kitchen and dining room, with a bar and possibly an island, then use the longer room at the front of the house as the dining room. This is the part of our plan we're least sure about and are waiting to get all of our furniture in the house to make a final decision.
Master Bedroom Before:
Master Bedroom Progress:
It was with huge regret that I realized I never took a good before photo of the master bedroom, showcasing the white laminate vanity taking up a huge amount of space in the alcove where my suitcase currently resides. However, the above photo (which is actually the future nursery) does at least show off the same dingy, yellow, beige color we covered up. We had our contractor remove the vanity and patch up the wall, then did the painting ourselves (Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue). I've done a fair amount of painting in my life, but never had to paint ceiling, trim AND walls, and if I ever have to paint another window, it will be too soon (spoiler alert: I will have to). But whatever color the previous owners had chosen to paint a room, they stuck with it for walls, trim and ceiling. So unless you want pink trim or a yellow ceiling, you just have to suck it up and repaint the whole thing. And I am thrilled with how it turned out. All it needs now is furniture and it's ready for showtime! We would like to have an overhead fixture installed (none of the bedrooms have them), but we'll get to that down the road.
Master Closet Before:
Master Closet After:
All that happened here was a coat of white paint, but man, what a difference. It looks so much cleaner, and my clothes are very happy to have such a bright, cheery backdrop. I would eventually love to add some built-ins around the bottom so that it's not wasted space.
Guest Bathroom Before:
Guest Bathroom Progress:
I'm calling this one "For Now" done. Ideally, I would like to get the bathtub reglazed, change out the toilet (that part will probably happen pretty soon since it's a water hog) and vanity, and retile the floor with the same tile we're using in the downstairs powder room. I'd also like to do a DIY frame on the mirror to make it look more custom and less builder's grade. But in the meantime, it's amazing what a fresh coat of paint (Benjamin Moore Antiguan Sky), a camouflaging shower curtain (that desperately needs to be ironed) and bath mat can do. I also discovered these miraculous pumice sticks at Home Depot that shined up the bathtub so it looks almost new. Still yellow, but at least not yellow buried beneath 40 years of grime.
So, that's where we are for now! Last night Colby started pulling down cabinets and demo'ing the wall between the kitchen and dining room to prep for floor and cabinet installation. Next week we will likely have a floor and maybe some baseboards, and all of our belongings finally arrived from Germany, so we'll be able to start unpacking and really moving in and making this a home. It hasn't all moved along as quickly as I'd have liked in an idea world (like, one day would be better?), but it is really rewarding looking at how far we've come. Fingers crossed my next update will have us that much closer to DONE!