Posts tagged ‘renovation’
First let me explain something. My house has a full bath (upstairs) and an old servants “bathroom” downstairs that is actually only a closet with a toilet in it. NO SINK. And unfortunately there is no room to expand on either side (it’s blocked in by a stairwell and an exterior brick wall). Anyways, this weekend I decided I would tackle the half bath by peeling the wallpaper. It had been painted over several times, so I thought this was going to be difficult…but not so. (Meanwhile, keep in mind it’s hard to photograph since it’s so small.)
A general idea of what I’m working with.
Here’s what the old wallpaper looked like when I started peeling.
Progress made. I ended up peeling a lot of wallpaper in no time! However as I began to keep peeling I realized that the exterior wall was covered by a weird 50′s wallboard that was super soft and not worth painting over. So I poked a small hole…and then the next thing you know I’d torn all the wall board down and discovered an old exterior doorway that gave me an extra 8″ in depth where I’d be able to create built-in shelves!! In a space this small…every centimeter counts!
Wow!! I was thrilled to have found an old doorway! At the bottom of the pic is the old baseboard. I’m so thrilled!! Now I have to either sheetrock or use beadboard to close it in. (Oh, and install some foam insulation.) I can’t wait to get you the after pics soon.
Lastly, I did some digging online and found the perfect sink for my teensy little powder room. It’s only 8″ deep! If you have a teeny, tiny space and are looking for a sink, I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s from the Whitehaus Jem collection and is so cute in person. Vintage Tub & Bath had the cheapest price on it, plus free shipping.
Reminder. Here’s how it used to look.
Here’s the new wall color. Note that the trim hasn’t been painted yet. (Although it’s not going to be terribly far from what it is now.) Also the ceiling has been re-done in this room. Woohoo!! Now it’s not super gross looking.
I recognize that it appears basically like off-white in these pics. And I’ll be honest…it kind of is. Originally I wanted to do it a wild color, but then I changed my mind. Oh well. What can I say? I can’t wait to finish this room. Once this is done, I’m planning on doing a photo update on several rooms of the house including the dining room, living room, bathroom, and guest room. The winter doldrums have had me in their clutches, and I’ve got very few projects done on the house. But it’s a new year, and I’m trying to motivate again. Because come spring, I have a whole NEW batch of things to do on the house.
After my semi-breakdown last evening, I went to work today and had a co-worker send me an instant message telling me that she hears I’m a “home renovator extraordinaire.” She said that if I had a minute or two, she’d love for me to come to her desk so that I could give her some home decorating advice.
Hmmm….well, first of all I was flattered that someone that I work with (and doesn’t read this blog) gives me credit for such a thing. Second, I went down to speak with her and it turns out that she’s considering buying a house in my neighborhood and it’s a handyman’s special (to say the least). After looking at the pictures of her potential project, it gave me A LOT of perspective on my own house as well as my own bellyaching. I realized that I didn’t have it that bad after all and should probably zip my lip [on the complaining tip]. Anyways, it felt great to be able to chat with her (a first time homeowner) and give her some thoughts on what she was getting herself into, etc. It reminded me of my freelance gig, and how natural it felt to be helping someone out with these types of questions.
Also, thanks for everyone’s comments giving me moral support. You know, it’s odd…there are support groups for new mothers, support groups for dieting, and support groups for alcoholics, but there are no support groups for people who are trying to learn how to renovate their old houses! It seems like a good idea, right?!
Oh…and seeing as how I never posted the pics of my closet mini-facelift, I’ll go ahead and post them now. (more…)
I don’t know quite what to say about the renovation work on my house these days. I’ve got a bathroom that’s still not finished, a guest room that needs wall repair and painting, front windows that need fixing, floors that need sealing, paint that needs removing, curtains that need sewing…and the list goes on. You name it, and I need to work on it.
Oh my goodness, I think I’m hyperventilating… (And those are just the projects that I’ve STARTED. I’m not even going to discuss the ones I haven’t started yet.)
For those of you that live in an old house and are doing renovations, have you ever gotten to that point where you just want to throw your hands up in the air and give up? Well, I kind of feel that way this weekend. There is just sooo much to do! Everyday I read all the design blogs and see everyone talking about all the cute things they’re doing in their house, and I look around at the ton of work still left undone… and just feel frustrated. My expectation of myself is that I should be able to make things look perfect. I expect perfection of myself and my house. And so…right now I’m frustrated.
I can’t be the only one out there that’s going through this. Are any of you feeling the same way?
One of the reasons I wanted to move to a house that needed work was to teach myself some lessons. (Crazy, right?) Well, yesterday I definitely learned a couple. I like to think of myself as a very smart and capable person, therefore it was with great enthusiasm and energy that I decided to install new living room windows ourselves. Nick and I enlisted the help of our neighbor, and with great gusto we started off taking out the old window sashes, weights, etc. We filled in the holes, scraped the old caulk and unwrapped the first window only to find out…
The windows were wrong. Three special order Andersen all wood, colonial-style windows. It was a frustrating moment to say the least. Let me be honest…I almost burst into instantaneous tears. I had two giant holes in the FRONT of my house and I’d only just realized that the three special order windows I’d waited a month for were wrong. What exactly was wrong with them you ask? Well, not only were the windows that I’d ordered NOT actually replacement windows (these were for NEW construction), but one of them was one inch too wide. UGH. I wanted to scream. The only way I’d even considered buying these windows was because Home Depot was having a sale on them (it’s basically something that never happens on Andersen windows), and I’d also opened the Home Depot card so that I could save another 10%.
Well, after some serious back and forth on the phone with the sales person at Home Depot, we arranged that I’d bring the windows back and re-order the correct ones. I’d have to wait for the windows again, but they agreed to waive the 15% re-stocking fee. They wouldn’t budge on giving me the sale price though. So now my new windows (that I could barely afford the first time) were going to be FULL PRICE. I felt frustrated and like a TOTAL idiot. After all, I could have saved myself all this trouble and expense if I’d double checked my order with the window sizes again when I got home. I should have also someone experienced with this type of thing to the store with me in the first place, and I would have gotten the correct type of windows.
One other important thing I learned yesterday was about being a good neighbor. Our neighbor agreed to help us install the windows and unfortunately got a lot more than he bargained for. He spent all day long with us going above and beyond to help me get things straightened out. We had to re-install the old windows, take the new windows back to Home Depot, and sit and deal with the frustrating salespeople to get the correct windows re-ordered. At the end of the day I was frustrated and felt like an idiot… BUT I’d also never felt so grateful and happy to have moved to this particular block. My old ‘hood definitely didn’t have neighbors like this. Someone who helped out even when it wasn’t convenient. I was reminded how each of us is called to be a good neighbor. I can only hope that I prove to be just as kind and generous to him (and whomever else) someday. Life calls us to be kind to each other. The world is a much better place when we help each other out.
Big lessons for today:
- Enlist the advice of someone experienced.
- Double check your order.
- Review the new product before ripping old things apart.
- Be thankful for your neighbors…and be kind, generous to them. You never know when you’ll completely turn around their day for good.
So these days I haven’t had much time for posting on ye olde blogge because I’ve been spending so much time [pardon me for this] obsessing on the house. One of the the things you always hear is to not start a NEW project without finishing the old one, however I don’t seem to bother listening to people’s advice because I’ve got at least four projects in progress at the moment. I thought I’d catch everyone up on what I’ve been up to these days.
My pal Shauna taught me how to sew a slipcover.
I’m actually EXTREMELY proud of it because I’ve owned this stained Ikea ottoman for years, but hated anyone to see it because it was…well…stained. So I re-purposed fabric from an old duvet, and now I have a SWEET little slipcover. (Plus extra fabric left over.) Total cost = $0.
I also antiqued a HUGE mirror for my dining room. I purchased this mirror about 10 years ago from Costco for $200. It’s a 3.5′ x 5′ mirror that’s great…except for it’s crappy gold painted frame. So here’s a photo of the in-process antique-ing process. Nice afternoon project and the mirror now looks fabulous. Sorry for no complete after photo, but it’s hard to photograph it now because the dining room is in progress.
And today while the rain poured down, I painted…and painted…the dining room. Here’s a sneak peak of the work in progress.
I won’t show any more than that at the moment, but trust me when I say that it’s looking good… And for those of you who knew me in real life, yes…this is the same Orla Kiely wallpaper from my last house. I loved it so much that I decided to use it again. I’m creature of habit. Haha.
Well, it’s been quite a few months since I moved into the new house, and quite a bit of that time was spent obsessing over the kitchen during the renovation process. Gutting it down the bones, and building it back. Well, finally I give you the before and after photos!!
More photos after the jump… (more…)