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.



Dining Room




Half Bath



Living Room


L’s Room


2nd Bedroom


Kid’s Bath


Master Bedroom


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 🙂


Finishing Touches

While some areas of the house still look like it’s demo day, other areas are nearing the finish line.  Upstairs, the bedrooms are almost set!  Carpet is coming to measure on the 13th; hopefully installing the week of the 18th.  The just leaves some finishing touches.  J has been switching out the older, yellowed outlets and switches for new, white.  At first, I was skeptical that it would be worth the effort but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

We also installed brand new faux wood blinds in each of the bedrooms.  They’re a small touch but really make it look more like home.

Last but not least, the master got a new ceiling fan that actually works.  The old one attempted to spin but made a god-awful noise which was kind of frightening and definitely not conducive to a good night’s sleep.  After looking at quite a few models we went with a classic look.  Initially we were both drawn to more modern styles but in the end wanted at least 2 lights.  The 3 bulb style we ended up with light up this larger room wonderfully.

The kids’ rooms were suppose to each get one of the new lights below, but they’ve been back-ordered until late October.  Wah-wah.  Moving day is fast approaching so I guess little L will just have to live in the dark for a month or so — or I suppose we could just find her a floor lamp for now.

Progress Lighting

Paint Transformation

This weekend was all about the paint.


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.

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 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

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


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

Paints (plus a bonus entryway update)

With little L spending the day with auntie, J and I got to tackle a variety of jobs around the house.  We also spend a fair amount of time in Home Depot, which is unsurprisingly easier without a restless toddler around.

Floors, Paint Prep

As first time DIYers we are bound to forget some things.  First item on that list: we forgot to protect the floors we are not replacing.  After noticing a few scratches and a nice little chip, I made a point of protecting the flooring before any further work.  It’s fairly affordable — $10 for tape and $20 for paper — and really easy.  I was a bit sloppy with it but it still gets the job done.  Bonus:  we’ll need to cover the floors anyway to paint.



While we’re not quite ready to begin painting, I petitioned J to pick out bedroom paints today.  1) It’s a nice change of pace to improve the place instead of destroy stuff and 2) one less thing off my mind.  Since you never quite know what paint will actually look like on the walls, we bought a couple samples for each room.  J and I have our favorites, but please, comment with your favorite!

Oddly enough, the original colors of the kids rooms are what I had in mind anyway just a bit brighter and bolder.

Miss L’s Room

Left:  Evening Slipper     Right: Cyber Grape

2nd Bedroom

Left: Undine     Right: Wintergreen Dream

Master Bed

Heather Sachet

Shutter Makeover

From the beginning, I was not a fan of the black shutters against the white/cream siding.  It seemed harsh and ugly.  We removed the shutters last week to see if we should get rid of them altogether or just switch up the colors.  Without the shutters, the house looked a bit blah so we’ve decided to keep but update the color.  J and I are both a fan of the new blue siding trend for exteriors.  We are not going to replace the siding, so we thought we’d try blue shutters.  I painted a couple today and it’s going to look great!  The blue adds a good amount of color and it really pops with the orange-brown rock (which I actually do like; odd, I know, since most people are moving away from that lovely ’70s rock).


Obviously the shutter is not staying there, but I still have a little paint to touch-up and the other four to go.  But I’m excited to get them on the house to see the transformation!

Bonus Update: Opening the Entryway

J and I couldn’t agree on just how far to open-up the entryway.  After taking each wall back one stud I suggested we sleep on it before making a decision/trying to compromise.  After talking it over with family, we thought it worth it to remove the drywall to the furthest extreme we would go and just take a look.  Turns out, it looks pretty damn good!  So here’s a couple “during pictures”.  Check out the original entryway post to see the “before” entryway — closet and all.  It feels wide open and so much bigger.  The whole house has kind of opened up.


That’s all for Saturday.  Adieu until Sunday 🙂


Base & Case Upstairs

While the baseboards and casings were not in terrible condition, we decided it was worth replacing to give the place a fresh, new, updated look.  The master bath was missing baseboards so we’d have to put something there anyway.  Removing the baseboards was a bit more difficult than we thought it we would be.  The baseboards were installed correctly, meaning they were installed first then the carpeting so we had to pull up the edges of the carpet and work around the tack strip.  This resulted in some of the baseboards splitting and getting damaged as we ripped them out.  Also, they were installed with 16-penny nails.  Pulling up the carpet was no big deal.  1) It was super easy and 2) We are going to replace it anyway so why not pull up the edges now.

J and I managed to get little L’s room done after dinner one night.  But that was all.  J had the next day off so he went back and completed the rest of the upstairs – including all the casings. Yay!  Here’s a sampling of after pictures.

Little L’s room


Kids’ Bath


Master Bath and Vanity Area


With the base & case gone it will also make painting that much easier – less cutting in to do!  Step one for the bedrooms is now done.  There’s still a ways to go but they are looking good – we can really start to envision the finished product.