The Grand Reveal: moving day

The house is not 100% complete but our apartment lease ended September 30, so it was time to move, ready or not.  Among the things still to finish:  paint & caulk main floor base & case, finish upstairs casing where we ran out, paint & install interior doors, paint & carpet the stairs, paint the entryway crown, re-install living room crown (where the wall was cut back).  It’s not a terrible amount of work and the house is definitely livable and cozy as is.  My plan going forward is to obviously finish the big things but then switch to a room-by-room approach.  Take one room each weekend and tackle all the little details that make a house a home.  Things like coat hooks, rugs, curtains, decor, etc.  Once that is finished it will probably be time to get started on the backyard … or the basement … haha.  It’s never ending 🙂  And now, a room-by-room look at the changes as they stood on moving day.

Entryway

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Dining Room

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Kitchen

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Half Bath

Playroom

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Living Room

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L’s Room

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2nd Bedroom

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Kid’s Bath

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Master Bedroom

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Master Vanity

Basement Stairs

 

Wow!  I know we’ve been working since June but, man, all these pictures really show just how much work we’ve done.  When I first walked into this house I was not impressed.  The evening after our initial showing I told J: “Every inch needs work *sigh*” and sure enough we have worked on nearly every inch — and those inches we haven’t worked on yet are simply waiting for future time and funds.  This house went from “meh” and “ick” to “Home Sweet Home”.

Going from a 990 sq ft apartment to a 2800 sq ft home is amazing!  There is plenty of room for all our stuff — our materialistic, American, collection of stuff; plenty of room for little L — I don’t have to dodge landmines aka toys just to sit on the couch; plenty of room for friends and family — we don’t have to crowd into a tiny living room.  The one down side of expanding our living space is that we don’t have enough furniture!  We technically have the same number of seats as before but at least people aren’t sitting knee to knee anymore.  And the basement is essentially empty except for storage.  Little L’s playroom is mostly a room of toys without kid-sized furniture (here we come, Ikea!).  The rug that used to fill our entire dining room/nook in the apartment is now a sized-too-small rug for the playroom — it looks so tiny!

I could go on and on about this house.  I haven’t even touched on the exterior work yet.  And I haven’t even started on about the neighborhood or our great neighbors!  This is simply, hands down, a very good move (pun intended). Our future looks bright (not to be too cliche).

P.S. I promise we will host a housewarming once things are a little more settled and the big work is finished 🙂

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Finished Tile!

The bathroom tile is completely finished.  And it looks amazing!

The kids’ bath was originally an off-white linoleum that wasn’t in terrible shape.  It had definitely seen better days but was liveable.  However, the new tile looks freaking awesome.  A hundred times better than the old linoleum.

The master water closet was originally linoleum tile that was no longer stuck down.  It looked absolutely horrible.  Brown-beige, old linoleum that was peeling and shifting.  We used the free tile we found in the garage and it actually looks pretty good.  A thousand times better!

Since the square footage of each bathroom was fairly small we decided to get just one grout color.  I’d say it turned out great in each room.  In the kids’ bath it matches the tile, a sort of neutral gray.  In the master water closet it somehow looks blue and really pulls the blue color out of the tile and the wall.

And with that, this is probably the last post about the upstairs tile.  There will be many (well, probably just a few) about the main stairs tile once that gets underway.

Bathroom Tile

I’m not feeling up to a full-fledged post tonight so this one will be short and sweet.

Last Sunday, J’s dad came over to help and advise with the bathroom tile.  We decided to go with a brick pattern for both rooms to add interest and hide flaws.  J and his dad worked all day measuring and cutting.  Miss L and I left around 5pm which was just as the guys were getting the mud mixed up and prepping to lay the tile.  J made it home a little after 8pm.  It was a very long day!  But look at the beautiful tile work!!

Master WC

This little room was exactly 3 tiles wide which made for a great layout.  If you remember, this is the free tile found in the garage.  Ended up looking pretty good.

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Kids’ Bath

I remember this tile being more white but it still looks really good.  Combined with the fresh paint the room looks great.  Before, the white vanity countertop was probably the nicest looking thing in there, but now it’s the worst.  I suppose it’s a good thing that we improved the room but it’s a bad thing that I want to replace the counter and old tub tile now too!

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J even painstakingly measured, cut, and recut all these funky tiles for the bath closet.

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Plumbing!

One of the things that attracted us to this house was that the bones were good.  Visually/cosmetically things were outdated, old, and in some cases poorly installed.  But underneath it all the structure, the electrical, the plumbing, the AC, etc was good.  The inspector identified a few areas of concern like leaky faucets and slow sinks – but nothing that scared us away.  In my opinion, that’s just normal house maintenance that wasn’t given the proper attention.  But J and I are here to give it proper attention!

Last Saturday, my dear Papá volunteered to help address the leaky bath fixtures in the kids’ and master baths.  He had previously taken a look and thought it was old washers so he brought over his plumbing tools and with J’s help took things apart.

Kids’ Bath

Sure enough the washers were essentially gone – half the size of brand new washers which meant water was just leaking around the seal.  The insides of the handles were also full of hard water deposits and corroded, as was the drain trip lever and the spout.  We ended up getting a complete rebuild kit with new stems and handles (this kit from Home Depot); and a separate new drain lever.  We still have to swap out the spout and the shower head but after that the kids’ bath will be completely leak-free and brand new.  I think J and I picked up some handy tips from my dad as well.  It’s good to be new homeowners learning the tips and tricks of home maintenance.

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Master Shower

The shower head in the master was constantly dripping.  I thought it was just a bad shower head but my dad and J explained that if the water was dripping from the shower head then it wasn’t properly sealed and shut off at the handles.  Duh – seems so obvious now.  So once again they pulled them off and found they needed to be replaced just like the kids’ bath.  It was cheaper to get a second rebuild kit with two handles and a diverter than it was to get everything separate so now we’ve got an extra diverter – yay!  We went with the cheaper chrome for the kids’ bath but spent the extra $5 for the brushed nickle for the master. Et voilà!

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The end.  Coming up next time … Tile Install!

Paint Transformation, part 2

This weekend was about more painting.  And lots of family help again:  me, J, J’s mom S, my parents M and J, and of course Miss L’s adorable “help”.  And this means the upstairs is done – well, mostly done; the bath vanity doors still need some finishing touches.  Like painting the backs and touching up the fronts.  Without further ado, here are the before and after pics that everyone loves (or maybe it’s just me that loves them).

Kids’ Bath

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Dark blue walls were switched out for light blue.  Brown, scratched-up vanity was repainted a nice berry gloss.  It might seem strange, but trust me, the color combo is going to look great for a kids’ bath.

Here’s a shot of the wonderfully blue walls.  And the paint covered in only two coats.  No joke.  Best ever considering how dark the original blue was. (P.S. Zoom in on those corners, I’ll wait, go ahead and check out that excellent cutting in.)

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Beach Foam (Behr)

Here’s a close-up of a vanity door.

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Sugar Beet (Behr)

Overall, I am much happier with the colors as they turned out than they appeared on the paint chips.  I hesitated that the blue was too blue not white enough and that the berry was too red not purple enough.  But I think they really turned out just as I had envisioned.

Oh, also (I’m getting bad at keeping up with all the weekday work – so sorry!) the floors were removed.  Yay!  But some water damage was found.  Not yay.  Hopefully, it’s easy to replace.  At first I didn’t want to replace the kids’ bath flooring since it wasn’t in terrible shape but I’m glad we tore it up or else we wouldn’t have seen the condition of the subfloor.

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Master Bath

The master was already partially painted.  Since the vanity/closet area is open to the bedroom we continued that Heather Sachet color into that area and decided to go with a white-ish for the water closet.  White because 1) it’s a smaller room and 2) the free tile from the garage is tinted blue and we couldn’t think of a light, airy color that would go well with the dark grey-purple walls in the vanity and the blue-tinted tiles.  So blue-tinted white it was.

It is really hard to see in the picture but if you look closely you can see the line where the blue-white wall ends and the pure white ceiling begins.

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Maui Mist (Behr)

Since the vanity/closet area is a bit narrow and again the darkness of the grey-purple, we went with a pure white vanity.  Doesn’t look half-bad does it? (Not really the best before & after, sorry about that!)

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Ultra Pure White (Behr)

Hallway

The last area to be painted upstairs was the hallway.  I wanted a bright white entryway, a fresh and open area to greet people.  Since the entryway flows right into the upper hallway it’s easiest if they are the same color.  We didn’t want pure white walls so J picked a blue-tinted white.  Blue is my favorite color but I’m starting to think J favors it as well (his idea for grey-blue kitchen cabinets with blue walls, blue-tint in the master bath, blue-tint hallway …).  The picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s really a nice bright white in direct light and then a soothing, subtle blue in shadows.

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Frost (Behr)

Don’t worry about the crown (I know you were worried about it).  It will get a fresh paint of Ultra Pure White gloss.  Unsure if we’ll do semi-gloss or high-gloss … Add your suggestion in the comments!

The final project of the weekend was to begin prep on the main floor.  Patch nail holes, smooth the wall where there once was chair rail, and address that torn-to-bits half-bath.  If everything stays on schedule, we’ll be able to paint the main floor this coming weekend and with that, only the kitchen cabinets and trim will remain to be painted.

Sanding … again

Just when we thought all the sanding was done.  Nope.  It will never be done.  We still had the bath vanities to prep for new paint.  J, knowing how much I hate sanding, took this project on himself.  Luckily the brown paint on the vanities was not nearly as goopy and glopy and terrible as the black kitchen cabinets.  So there was no stripping involved and a relatively quick power sand of the doors, drawer fronts, and boxes.  We’re planning on painting the kids’ bath a berry red which will pop and add a playful element to the room.  The master bath will be white to lighten the small area and off-set the dark walls.  So all in all, an improvement over brown.  And now for our favorite:  before & after pics (before & during?).

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Lovely brown vanity
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No-longer-brown vanity fronts

Unfortunately, the sanding is not quite done.  We still have to go over everything with 320 to make it really smooth and ready for paint.  But that should be quick and mostly painless.  After that, all the interior power sanding will be done.  Still need to prep the walls and ceilings for paint.  As for exterior: some of the trim needs sanding as prep to painting/staining to keep the wood from rotting.  Ugh.  As I said above, the sanding never ends.

Paint Transformation

This weekend was all about the paint.

Saturday

Saturday began with a morning run to Home Depot for 5 gallons of ceiling paint (Ultra Pure White flat), 7 gallons of bedroom paints, and painting supplies.  My sister and I got a head start, completing one coat on the ceiling and in the closet of miss L’s room.  Break for lunch which J and his mom brought over at just the right time.  Then we busted it out in teams of two: J and his mom, me and my sister.  Little L had a great time hanging out in the master bedroom watching everyone paint.  She was much happier roaming free rather than in her playpen.

The difference that a little white paint can do!  Fresh, white closets look amazing.  The closets were probably the biggest pain to paint – all those corners and crawling up to get the top shelf.  But totally worth it.  Seriously, I recommend it to all of you: paint your closets.

I think the biggest transformation on Saturday was the kids’ bath ceiling.  Here’s a “during” picture.  You can really see the grey, half-painted ceiling as compared to the fresh, bright white ceiling.

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Kids’ Bath Ceiling

All in all, we painted little L’s ceiling and closet, the second bedroom ceiling and closet, the kids’ bath ceiling and linen closet, the master bedroom ceiling and closet, the master bath ceiling, and the hallway ceiling.  And there was only one extra run to Home Depot for another 5 gallons of ceiling paint.  It was a very long day and no one died from the paint fumes so that’s good.

Sunday

Sunday morning everyone slept-in.  For J and I that meant 7:30am because miss L doesn’t really sleep-in.  J’s mom met us at the house a couple hours later and we started in on painting the walls.  Judgement day.  Hopefully we chose (paint colors) wisely.  Cutting in brings out the perfectionist in me.  But at some point you have to admit it’s “good enough” because the walls and ceiling are not perfectly straight.  As long as it looks good from the floor, it doesn’t need to look good up on a ladder 3 inches from the wall.

J, his mom, and I were able to get a first coat on L’s room and the second bedroom before lunch.  Another run to Home Depot for more rollers as we decided to have dedicated rollers for each room/paint color so we didn’t have to wash rollers between each room.  Just slid them into gallon-sized ziplock bags to keep them from drying out and move on to the next room/color.  During lunch my sister arrived to help.  The Dream Team was reunited for another day!

Again teams of two and we busted out the master bed first and second coats, the second coats on L’s room and the second bedroom.  Miss L wasn’t allowed to roam completely free today since she was tempted to touch the freshly-painted walls.  So when she was awake someone was on duty to watch her.  I have to admit, I failed when it was my turn.  L and I were watching the neighbor’s guests come and go from the master window when J pointed out that L had leaned against the wall to press her face against the window.  Oops!  I leaned forward at that moment too and left a little hand print but poor L pushed her whole toddler tummy against the wall.  So she now has an official paint shirt like us adults.  L’s first paint shirt!

The verdict.  I absolutely LOVE the master bedroom paint color.  It turned out perfect:  warm, colorful, darker, and not too feminine.  Little L’s room may be too much color.  I’m thinking with all the finishes, furniture, and decor it won’t seem so in-your-face-BAM-purple.  The second bedroom is my second favorite after the master. It’s brightened up the room and it a great mix of color pop but not too intense.

The Grand Reveal

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L’s Room, in-your-face-BAM-purple aka Evening Slipper (Behr)
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Before & After

 

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Second Bedroom, Wintergreen Dream (Behr)
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Before & After
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The two bright Bedrooms as seen from the Hallway
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Master, Heather Sachet (Behr)
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Before & After

Overall, it was a very productive weekend.  And it’s true what they say:  fresh paint does wonders!  It’s starting to feel like our home now, with the colors and touches that we want.

All that remains for the upper floor:  paint bathrooms, tile bathroom floors, base & case, carpet.  The List is getting smaller, step-by-step.

Tile finds, part 2

Being the holiday weekend we kind of took a break. Plus we’ve reached a lull in the work schedule where we are mostly waiting for professionals (electricians, plumbers, carpeting, etc). We did go back to Floor & Decor to get some budget tile.

If you remember from our first journey there, they have clearance and bargain tile that is essentially cheaper than linoleum. So the old linoleum instead of replacing with new linoleum will now be tile. I’m excited to see how it all looks redone and upgraded.

Here’s the kitchen, mudroom, half bath tile. We went with a light gray. Light since the existing laminate floor is dark and gray so that it 1) ties in with all the wall colors we’ve picked out and 2) is neutral enough to go with anything else should we decide to repaint.

The kids bath linoleum wasn’t terrible but it could stand to be replaced, and with tile so discounted we went for it. A plain white since we’ll be playing with vanity and wall colors in a small area – really need something white to off set it.

Now just comes the hard labor of tiling all those floors. But we think it will be well worth it. Til next time!

Paint Samples

Saturday was an errand day. We did get a little work done on the house (yard work and wired the sprinkler control box) but mostly we looked at paint and tile.

We spent a fair amount of time at Sherwin Williams looking at colors and types of paint. Even with 40% off it was still more expensive than we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s probably true that you get what you pay for but right now we’re trying to do this reno on a budget so we’ll go with bargain paint and update later as needed.

Here’s the color scheme we picked for the main floor.

Entryways, kitchen cabinets, kitchen walls, dining room, living room & playroom with accent wall in playroom.

I think they all look good together and are the light, slightly neutral colors we had envisioned. I’m concerned it might be too much green but J thinks it’ll be good so I’ll trust him. He did pick the house when I was hesitant, the entryway tile when I was hesitant, taking down the walls when I was hesitant. So he has a good track record. 🙂

We also pondered colors for the kids bath and selected this. Very light blue walls with a bright, playful vanity since it is for the kids. I’m not sold on this shade of berry red but this is generally the vision.

I’m excited to see everything start to come back together!

Half Bath: an update

The last time we visited the half bath J and I had removed that green wallpaper.  Since then we pulled the toilet to finish removing the wallpaper.

Also, another great find (like that tile)!  We were definitely not planning on replacing the vanity.  All the cabinetry in the house is in fairly good shape just a bit worn and dated colors.  The half bath vanity though had been chewed and scratched by the dogs.  So we were planning on replacing the doors.  But then, The Home Depot special buy of the day was bath vanities.  I immediately forwarded the link to J after reading the daily email.  We ended up snagging this combo for roughly equal what we would have spent on doors plus shipping.  And in the words of the legendary Barney Stinson: “New is always better”.

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Glacier Bay Delridge Vanity

 

And we get a new mirror!  The medicine cabinet in the half bath is actually attached to the mirror.  I was going to try to separate them and reframe the mirror but now we have a bonus new mirror!

Next step:  New flooring.  With the toilet and vanity out in the garage, we have direct and easy access to the flooring so they will remain in the garage until the old linoleum is replaced (probably with bargain tile).  Stay tuned!