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 🙂


Entryway Progress, cont.

I’m gonna make this one short and sweet.

The last week or so has really been focused on the main floor – especially the entryway.


With the help of many (me, J, S, R, and A), we were able to fully paint the entryway in one day.  As I’ve mentioned before, we chose Frost (Behr) which is a nice bright white that is a cool blue in shadows.  Here are a few shots:


Also one of J, tapping into his acrobat-side to get up close and personal with the window trim.



J, fortunately, had 8 days off from work this past week which was amazing timing.  He was able to get all the entryway tile cut, laid, and grouted.  First thing last Sunday before painting the entryway walls, we cleaned and sealed it.  All done!  The pictures don’t do it justice.  It’s really not quite as busy in person and really suits the space.


And one final picture.  The railing is coming along splendidly!  Here’s a just a little preview for you before the grand reveal.  The stair railing is the one budget-buster we’ve encountered and boy was it a big one!  But totally worth it.  This railing is absolutely fantastic!  I cannot wait to show you all the final railing.  It’s going to look freaking amazing; especially next to a ‘before’ pic.


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.


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!


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


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!

Tile, Tile, Tile

Great Find!

As we go through the house we find little surprises of things left behind.  The half-bath has a medicine cabinet of half-used lotions and sunblocks (nay).  The laundry cupboards had miscellaneous laundry supplies (yay?).  The kitchen had a cupboard of paper plates and cups (yay!). The garage has had various things.  Good finds like extra floor molding (yay!) which will be put to good use finishing around the fireplace.  So-so finds like various mops and old baseboards (meh).  However, we recently found something great!  On the shelf in the back, a stack of brand new tile! 😀  The color is good, the condition is good!  Where should we put this wonderful (FREE) tile?  My first thought was the entryway.  Unfortunately, we’ve got just about 30 sq.ft. of tile and the entryway sans closet will be closer to 60 sq.ft.  Master bath then?  The WC area is only 15 sq.ft.  Something to think about …

Here’s a close up.  I am a fan of the color and design so a great find indeed.


Floor & Decor

Second tile find of the weekend.  We took a trip to Floor & Decor to get some ideas.  Check out what exactly you get for bargain prices.  Unfortunately, they do not have any carpet or linoleum.  We did peruse the tile though and found some really great deals in the sale and clearance section.  We were always planning on tile for the entryway.  At only 60 sq.ft it was going to be a little splurge area.  Well, we found these great guys at only $0.89 per sq.ft!  So … we get to have a tile entryway and stay under budget. Win-win!

Here’s the tile:


And here it is on the diagonal, which is how we’re going to install it:


P.S. The sale and clearance section of Floor & Decor was such a steal that we are seriously considering tile for the other areas.  The kitchen, half-bath, and master bath linoleum are in bad shape – stained, peeling and dog-scratched – but we didn’t want to budget for fancy flooring so we were going to stick to linoleum.  But now, with clearance tile starting at $0.45 we could afford to tile all those areas.  Sure, it’s more work but even with all the tile periphery (backer-board, grout, sealant, etc.) it will come out even or just slightly more as linoleum plus installation fees would.  So now, we just have to decide:  linoleum now with high-quality tile later or low- to mid-grade tile now?  More things to ponder…