I can mark that one off my bucket list. We flipped and sold our first house. There were days I hated it and days I loved it but overall, IT.WAS.FUN. Here are the before and after pictures of our 100 day project. We did a lot of it ourselves, with some really talented help (dad) and a few good contractors along the way. I got strangely attached to this cute little house, and in terms of being a rewarding experience, it wins. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer buyer. I would love to do another one, but for now…we rest.
Our kitchen remodel has been done for a while now, we’ve just been busy enjoying it! It’s hard to believe how different it looks from when we moved in. It felt so dark and closed in and all I wanted was the exact opposite of that.
In the beginning, we were planning to salvage our existing cabinets and got a couple of quotes on painting them white. (This was too big and messy of a project and one I didn’t want to tackle myself!) The bids seemed high because of all that would needed to be done just to prep them for painting, new hardware, and hidden hinges. That’s when we got a few more quotes on replacing the cabinets completely and were surprised that it was actually an affordable option. In addition to that, the quote to paint the cabinets came down because they would be raw wood and much less prep work would be required.
Since the cabinets would be replaced, we were able to consider function and design. We chose a poplar wood cabinet (ideal for painting) and opted for a basic shaker style. It’s not a huge kitchen to begin with and we had lost 3 cabinets when the wall came down so the new ones needed to be well utilized. We added slide-out drawers behind the long cabinet underneath the microwave and opted for single longer drawers rather than two smaller ones side-by-side to capitalize on space. I also wanted drawers on most of the lowers rather than two doors with a shelf inside. And, our new cabinets go all the way to the ceiling which adds quite a bit more storage.
My favorite parts of the new kitchen are the open wall and the open shelves. I love being able to see my family or guests while I cook. I also really appreciate the convenience of the open shelving. We use the same white dishes and clear glasses every day. They look nice enough and it made sense for them to be as accessible as possible.
The counter tops are white quartz, the backsplash is Carrera marble, and my dad and husband installed several can lights and a Frigidaire hood vent. There were weeks that I had to do dishes in the bathtub, days of endless drywall dust, and more than one meltdown…but in the end, we’re very happy with how it turned out. If any room in the house was worth it, this is it! It’s the place where our hectic days begin over coffee, where we introduce our daughter to new food, and where we talk about our days over a glass of wine in the evening. It truly is the heart of our home!
Our kitchen is half way complete! The wall is out, the plumbing and electrical are done, the new floor is down and the lighting is up. Also, in the midst of all of that we had the popcorn ceilings scraped throughout the entire house. Next will be to have the cabinets painted (I’m not tackling that myself!), install new countertops, a backsplash, and a new sink and faucet. Here are some pictures that show our progress.
We took down the built-in lighting box, installed 8 can lights and a new pendant over the sink.
We painted the walls, trim and doors white, installed a new light fixture over the table, and had 12 x 24 charcoal tiles put down on the floors.
The wall is out and patched. Whatever countertop material we choose will also be on the ledge. We also painted the entire living room white, I love how much it brightened everything up!
Here is the living room ceiling before. We also replaced the dated eyeball lights above the mantle.
We moved most of our furniture into the sunroom and garage. We spent the next few days with family and friends while our home was transformed!
If you have gotten any of the latest Crate and Barrel or West Elm catalogs you know that mid-century modern furniture has made quite the comeback. I love the clean lines and simplicity of the style. The only problem with it being popular is that it’s also very hard to find original pieces! A few weeks ago my friend Amanda found two of these great sideboards and was nice enough to let me buy one of them. Here is my latest furniture makeover.
This is the piece as pictured in the Craigslist ad –
It was in pretty good shape except for a few rough spots. These are relatively easy to fix if you’re planning to paint the piece. I wood-filled the gouged spots and then sanded them smooth.
Next, I removed the hardware and painted the entire piece with bonding primer. I always use bonding primer because it creates excellent adhesion on any surface, including veneers and laminate.
I loved the simple pull hardware but wasn’t crazy about the boring, small knobs so I picked up 4 square, black knobs from Hobby Lobby. (I buy almost all of my hardware there, they have a great selection and are always half price.)
I spray painted the hardware a fun, brassy gold so they would all match. I also opted to make the piece two tone to give it some depth and visual interest. The dresser body is tricorn black by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish. The drawers are a simple high gloss white by Valspar.
Here’s the finished product!
Here is another mid-century piece that I found at Salvation Army for $12 and painted the same high gloss white. My parents have this one in their living room.
If you find a mid-century piece for a reasonable price, buy it! I’m hoping this trend is here to stay!
The last dated light fixture in our house is finally gone. It turns out that it looks much better on display at the Habitat ReStore than it did in my office!
My husband bought a new light fixture for me for Christmas. (I remind him often how lucky he is that I ask for practical things that benefit us both!) As I mentioned before, we got all of the popcorn ceilings in our house scraped, textured, and painted. Since Brandon had to take down every light fixture in the house for them to do that, we waited until it was done to put up the new one. And, it looks much better on a clean ceiling!
Here are two photos of the office right before we moved in.
Four years ago, I painted my office Homestead Brown from Sherwin Williams. I really have enjoyed it, but I wanted a new contemporary look and I bravely decided to go with black! (Tricorn Black from Sherwin Williams). I was ok with this for a few reasons. This room faces west and has a huge window so it gets a lot of natural light. Also, it’s not a big room or a primary use room, and the wall of built-ins breaks up the monotony of dark with light.
Lastly, I spray painted the storage boxes that I have on my shelves and the makeover was complete. I love my new simple, black and white workspace!
After four years of wondering what it would look like, we finally took down the wall in our kitchen! We made sure the wall wasn’t load-bearing and then removed the drywall, cabinets, and studs from the cut-out window all the way to the end of the wall.
I love it so much I’m wondering why we didn’t do it sooner. Although, it couldn’t come at a better time. It’s perfect for entertaining (which we do often) and more importantly, we can now see our baby playing while we cook.
This is also the start of a much bigger job, a full kitchen remodel. We are painting the cabinets and walls, installing new lighting, putting in new countertops and a backsplash, and laying down new tile for the floor. We always try to do as much as we can ourselves (with a lot of my dad’s help and expertise!). However, we will definitely be needing an electrician, plumber, and a drywaller at some point.
The plan is to take it slow and just do a few things at a time, especially since many of the steps make a huge mess. In fact, before we do anything else to the kitchen, we have decided to bite the bullet and pay someone to scrape the popcorn ceilings and paint them throughout the entire house. We will be spending a full week with family! But, this inconvenience is a big step toward updating our 1990 house.
Here are a few more pictures of our kitchen before we started.
It’s all finished! Now we are just patiently waiting for her arrival. I’ve never had so much fun decorating a room before and we love how it turned out!
Here is the room when we bought the house…safari wallpaper and all.
Then, for the past few years, it’s been a pretty boring guest room.
Most of the rooms in our house have popcorn ceiling which we are trying to remove little by little. It’s a ton of work and creates a big mess but makes a huge difference when it’s gone. My husband made the mistake of showing me how good he is at taking it down! So, with our baby’s room, after removing the dated ceiling fan, that’s where “we” started.
After he scraped the popcorn, mudded and sanded the ceiling, he rolled it white and put up a new, modern ceiling fan from Lowes.
Then it was time to paint! We decided on Functional Grey by Sherwin Williams.
Next, the new floors went in.
I didn’t want to go overboard but decided to do a subtle “travel” theme. I also wanted to keep the colors simple and allow the room to be one she can grow into. The crib is Babyletto by Hudson, the chair from Lazyboy, the end table from Target (we spray painted it black), the dresser is a repurposed Craigslist find, the map from Etsy and the white lacquered shelf and city prints are from IKEA.
We hope you like it! Just waiting on our new inhabitant, can’t wait!
Our new floor is finally in! After a few weeks of tile and carpet tear out, followed by a few more of living on concrete, it feels so good to have a permanent, clean floor. We opted for a high quality laminate because of cost and durability and are very happy with it. Now we just need a few rugs!
We did a lot of the labor ourselves, including the tear out and painting the quarter round trim that went in last but we did decide to hire someone to do the actual installing. We definitely wanted it done right the first time and didn’t want to run into any problems later on.
We also went ahead and replaced the tile in our hall bathroom (it’s the same 12×24 tiles that are also in our master bath). My husband repainted the walls a bright white and we replaced the toilet and the framed mirror with a modern, floating one.
The baby’s room is next!
I used to get tired of something in my house and before you knew it, it was either torn out and discarded, in a pile at Goodwill or posted on Craigslist. And, some of my things definitely still do end up there; but, I’ve also learned how to keep them around longer by simply changing the look. This can be accomplished using paint or even fabric. Is there something that you want to replace but instead could just be inexpensively transformed? Here are a few of my “cover-ups”.
Most recently, we were going to chip out the tile around the fireplace and replace it. It was going to be a big mess, a huge hassle, and a significant expense. Instead, we just painted it! Most people don’t know that you can actually paint ceramic tile. Personally, I wouldn’t want to tackle a whole floor or shower, but a fireplace with minimal contact seemed like the perfect place to try it out. You do have to use a special bonding primer but after that step, it’s relatively simple.
Large pieces of art can be expensive and I wasn’t quite ready to part with this big piece. However, after a few years, I was really tired of it. I took the measurements, bought a cheap geometric pattered curtain from Lowes and recovered it.
This piece was definitely on it’s way to Goodwill. My parents found this in the trash over 20 years ago and used it for many different things throughout the years. Most recently, they used it for shoe storage in the garage, but didn’t need it anymore. My husband drilled holes in the back and now it’s the perfect storage piece for speakers, patio and paint supplies for our sunroom. I painted it white and changed out the knobs. It was rescued once again!
Another change I made in the sunroom was to spray paint the ceiling fans. I’ve replaced several of the ones in the house but didn’t think I needed to do so in the sunroom, I just wanted them to be inconspicuous. We needed them out there but they definitely didn’t need to be a focal point. Another simple fix.
Take a look around your house, what is it you’ve been wanting to replace? Can it be “covered up”?
We are officially living on concrete! You know your carpet was bad when you actually prefer living on your slab. Our house was built in 1990 and we’re pretty sure it may have been original carpet. We’re having a baby girl in August and the thought of her learning to crawl on it really motivated us to get some new flooring.
I don’t mind carpet at all, in fact it can be very cozy and comfortable; but, we decided that with a baby on the way and an 85 pound dog who does occasionally come inside, that we wouldn’t put any back in the house. So, we have chosen an ash colored laminate from Germany to go in our dining room, entry, living room, hallway, both offices, and bedrooms. We have already replaced the tile in two of our bathrooms and will eventually be replacing the tile in our kitchen and laundry room. Although we will definitely need to invest in some rugs to warm things up, I’m happy with our choice and I really wanted to keep the types and styles of floor coverings in our house to a minimum (there will be only the laminate and the same tile throughout.)
After we picked out our flooring, we started to rip out the carpet. (And by we, I mean Brandon, with some help from my dad!) They rolled it up and kept the carpet and the pad as in tact as possible. I posted it on Craigslist in the free section a few rooms at a time and we had it all picked up the same day. We didn’t have to worry about how or where to haul it to and someone else got some extra carpet they could use.
We scraped the glue from the concrete and he grinded the nails down where the tack strips were to smooth it out. The most difficult part was the tile he had to remove from the entry, fireplace, and back door area. After a long, labor-filled weekend it’s now all pulled up, hauled off, and cleaned up. It’s time to start laying the new floors and getting our house back together!
One other recent project we did was to remove the pergola on the back of our house. I didn’t mind how it looked and it did provide some shade in our sunroom but the painted wood was starting to rot. We took it down a week before our city spring cleanup so that we would have the means of disposing of it. I did however, put the green shades for free on craigslist so that was one less thing to go to the landfill. I’m really happy with the cleaner look on the back of the house.
Soon I will be sharing the progress on our baby’s bedroom and bathroom as they get completed. We have a busy few months planned so that we can rest and enjoy our baby when she gets here. Thanks for watching our progress and transformations!