Tag Archive | "home"

A Peek Inside My Home- Before and After

We purchased a home in need of a lot of TLC. It’s been months since we moved in and I just recently completed painting the home. Every. Single. Room. Me. Just me. I couldn’t stop until each room was painted because when we bought the home every room was some shade of orange or yellow. Not only was our home orange but it was a badly painted orange. Light switches were coated with paint, splatters were all over the windows, paint was even dripped on the marble under windows and floor! The laziness of whoever did that job still astounds me. What ever happened to pride of ownership and attention to details? I’m not a miracle worker. Many of their mistakes can’t be fixed but I’ve done my best to make this home as polished as possible without spending a fortune on contractors and professional painters. It’s the little things like replacing every electrical outlet and light switch, re-caulking trim work, patching holes, and of course the new paint.  My husband and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done and we make a great team.  Even though I did the painting he did the electrical, much of the bathroom gutting and remodeling, and most of the heavy lifting.

Before and After Rooms

Now it’s time to sit back and see what about $600 worth of paint and at least 100 hours of painting can accomplish. Keep in mind this is a work in progress. I’m still hoping to find the perfect mid century pieces to add to the home or to replace items I’m not in love with. Many of the items in the home were thrift finds (virtually all of the pieces in the Golden Girls room were). You can also find even more photos for each room if the room name is a link- just click it.

The Front Door, lights, and exterior

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exteriorafter

The Entryway

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The Family Room

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The Kitchen

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The Master Bedroom

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The Master Bathroom

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The Front Room

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The Office (formerly a dining room)

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The Octopus Bathroom (our only full gut and remodel)

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Everett’s Bedroom (serves as second guest too)

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Fletcher’s Bedroom

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The Golden Girls Guest Room

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The Laundry Room

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Just for fun, these are a few examples of the laziness of the previous owners (or contractors?) who painted and did “repairs” and some of the condition issues we faced. Many outlets were painted over and stuck to the walls, and there were dozens of holes left from feeding cables through the drywall for TV’s.

stupidbefores

Despite all of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into our home there are so many projects on my to-do list. Now I feel at home here and can’t imagine living anywhere else. The thought of moving in the future is far from my mind (unless we find a true mid century home!) because this house has so much of us in it. The biggest next step- landscaping! Oy! Can’t a girl get some rest?!

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DIYbathroombeforeafter

Bathroom Remodel Status: Complete. From 70′s to Sleek.

DIYbathroombeforeafter

After beginning the bathroom remodel process over 4 months ago I’m thrilled to call this project DONE.  After being quoted $8,000-10,000 for our little hallway size bathroom from professional contractors my husband and I unexpectedly decided that we would DIY it.  I was shocked myself but after doing so much around the home already we learned that we were more capable than we thought.  YouTube is a magical thing and it gets all of the credit for teaching us how to completely build a bathroom from studs to finish.

When we bought this home we knew the bathroom would have to be completely gutted and re-done.  There was a tiny, disgusting toilet, a mauve/pink little tub and plain tiles, and the kicker- the seas shell sinks and deteriorating vanity that was crumbling with each touch.

Steven had fun with the demo and tore down most of the room in one day, leaving us with a toilet, sinks, and bathtub in our living room for a few days until the junk guy could come!

Getting the tub in was a PITA

It only took 8+ hours to hand sand the seams and nail holes. Sheetrock dust is no joke. (I don’t like electric sanders)

We have WALLS!

Every weekend for the next 3.5 months was dedicated to remodeling.  It was exhausting and we both spent long days doing labor intensive work.  DIY renovation is not for the faint of heart or for couples on the verge of divorce.  Our love and sanity were tested again and again and this process just about killed us all.  It was HELL.

The results were totally worth it.

View from outside- newly refinished door which had to be scraped clean and repainted, including all hardware.

Spray painted handle-formerly worn out bronze

Clear shower curtain

Open curtain and sexy new tile

Everloc shelf and towel bar

Tile close-up and Onyx glitter grout

Push to close bath drain and sleek overflow in Kohler tub. Retrofit Delta hardware so we didn’t need to mess with the connections.

When the lights go down the shower curtain looks amazing

Mr. Octopus- a stencil

He holds towels too! Ikea hooks and towels

View of the new vanity/mirrors/light/sinks from above.

Sexy waterfall faucet

Sideview

Boon Grass for toothbrushes and accessories. Genius.

Swanky toilet with slow close lid (to not smash my little boy’s weiners!)

Custom art “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie wipe the seatie” inspired by the art at my grandmother’s. From etsy.com

Beneath the sink view

Porcelain tile that mimics the look of whiteashed wood floors.

Grand Total: $4,800

Including the $500 for the labor used to install and cut the shower tiles (which is the only professional help we used for the entire remodel) the total cost of this bathroom comes in at about $4,800. The costliest item was the vanity and sinks coming in at $1500 (faucets were seperate). The mirrors were the best deal at $30 each from Homegoods and the texture matches the floors perfectly. It was a lucky break. We ordered most of our large items (toilet, tub, vanity, faucets) from FaucetDirect.com and were very happy with how that went. The artwork was purchased from Chelsea Burdick Designs on Etsy and she was kind enough to color match my paint after I sent an online example. The giant octopus stencil is also from Etsy from Olive Leaf Stencils. The tiles were all purchased locally at Floor and Decor.

It doesn’t even seem real that we built this bathroom with our own bare hands. Drywall hanging, spackling, sanding, tile laying, mitering moulding, tub installing, plumbing moving, painting, the list goes on. It came out beautiful and exactly as I imagined. Sleek and modern but still fun enough to be a kid’s bathroom. My husband and I made a great team. We both had strengths and we played to those. He is great for caulking but I’m the master of perfectly smoothing it out. As a perfectionist DIY really is the way to go. If you make a mistake you can live with it and know you did your best. If a contractor makes a mistake you feel cheated and annoyed at their laziness/carelessness. I will admit that I have to paint the trim still… but I just couldn’t wait to shaire the new bathroom!

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“Don’t Touch That Saw!” and other tales from bathroom remodel HELL

Without sounding like I am complaining about living in the house we waited over 6 months for please let me whine to you about trying to renovate our bathroom with two little ones running around.

The weekend before last my husband got the itch to start this huge project.  We knew before buying the home that gutting the bathroom was the first thing on the list if we got it.  Seashell sinks, a rotting 36 year old particle board vanity, and a pink/brownish dirty tub were not exactly up to snuff in my world.  After waiting for 6 months to even GET this house I started dreading that we woudn’t be settled in for a long time.  The sheer number of projects -big ones- were suffocating me.  Having a home is great and I am so grateful this sale worked out but there are days when I wish we were in a turn key home instead of one with “character” but in need of TLC.

He started by gutting it and removing the toilet, vanity, mirror, bathtub, and tile.  Suddenly we had dirty bathroom items in my livingroom.  ”Mommy why is the toilet in here?”  A 4 year old is endlessly amused by a tolet in the livingroom.  It was stressful times 10 having these items, broken to pieces, within reach of the children.   Both are old enough not to eat anything and know they aren’t toys.  That doesn’t mean they won’t get curious and dig in.

Fletcher is a big boy and he wants to help.  This has been adorable but time consuming.  My husband and I understand that we can’t just ignore the children while we labor so there are times he is included.  Steven has been really great at finding things Fletcher can help with.  I was actually impressed with his patience and creativity.  Other times, like when I was ripping down drywall and rusty nails were flinging around the room, required our big boy to stay in another room.  I found myself wishing that someone would come to rescue my kids and play with them so that I could focus on the task at hand and not feel so guilty about my children.  We don’t have any family or friends here so once again, like it was in Syracuse, we have no village.

The insanity of working on major renovations while the boys are in the home is just crazy.  You might be thinking that we are amazing and our kids are great at entertaining themselves.  You are wrong.  I have been using the iPad and television as babysitter during this process.  That being said, we do take breaks and during intricate work (like plumbing) I have taken the kids out to do something fun or get a treat so Steven can concentrate.  Since we do the biggest amount of work on the weekends I also make sure we go swimming and to the park during the week to make up for it.

Fletcher has been caught picking up a saw (hence the title), trying to bust drywall with the sledgehammer, and trying to caulk things with the caulk gun.  The measuring tape is a favorite toy and he enjoys wearing daddy’s big gloves and putting on the ear protection and face mask too.   It’s like big boy dress up.  Everett has been surprisingly indifferent.  As long as I take breaks to sit with him, snuggle, and nurse him he could care less what is going on in that room.  Every so often he comes by but we shoo him out.

As much as it sounds like the kids aren’t hindering the process they are, but only because I am stressing over them not getting hurt/ getting tetanus/ breaking our supplies.   We keep losing instructions and parts only to find them in another part of the home.

Regardless of having children in the home the remodel is more time consuming than we anticipated (I watch DIY Network so I should have known this!) but we’ve managed alright.  Fitting the bathtub in was the hardest part and has taken 2 days of work and finesse.  In the end Steven had to cut an access panel to the pumbing from Everett’s room.  Luckily I haven’t painted that room yet.

The tub was the hardest part and took to days to get corectly fitted and in place.  Now we can move on to putting up the drywall, tiling, putting in the new toilet, vanity and sinks, and paint.  Once I typed that out I had a mini panic attack.  We will survive and my kids will be able to recite Little Einsteins episodes.  Still, when I catch my breath and take a look around I’m glad we are here.  I’m living the American dream, minus having a pet.  We live on a beautiful and quiet street, on a cul-de-sac, in a {soon to be} beautiful home with a pool, and we have shady oaks and plenty of yard to play in.  The Guard Lizard is just icing on the cake.

 

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Finally, a place to call HOME

It’s been 6 months in the making but I can finally say that my family is living in our new home in Florida!  We bid on the short sale home on January 26 and we got our keys on June 28.  My husband moved down from Syracuse to Florida after our home was packed up at the end of February.  Earlier that week the boys and I flew to Charlotte, NC to stay with family.  We all assumed we would move into the hotel with my husband for the expected 3 month wait.  Thankfully we stayed behind because it took much longer than we anticipated. More on that story in a previous post.

By now several people have asked me “Was it worth the wait?”  I’m not sure how to answer that question.  Truth be told, the wait wasn’t the hardest part.  It was not knowing if waiting was going to result in the home, or when the waiting would end.  Had we been told “You will definitely get the home in 6 months.” it would have been a piece of cake and totally worth waiting for.  Instead we were told “It should only take 3 months.  You won’t know if you are getting the home until the bank tells you and there is no way of knowing how long that will take.”  We were in for an insane emotional roller coaster but finally, we are home!

Now that the wait, and uncertainty are over, the real fun begins.  We purchased a 4 bedroom 1976 ranch home on a cul-de-sac with old growth oak trees.  We also purchased the home “as-is.”  Before I list the many issues I don’t want you to think I hate my new home so I’ll explain WHY we bought the home.

Shade!  This house has shade tress all around and these beautiful oak trees also have romantic spanish moss hanging from them.  There are several palm trees and other plants around too but the trees mean that my kids can play outside even on hot summer days.

 

 

 
Cul-de-sac!  As a parent I am trying to keep my kids as safe as possible.  Living on a cul-de-sac allows us to also get some asphalt playing time with our ride on toys.  If you have never lived/played in a cul-de-sac then you don’t know what you are missing out on.

 

 

 

 

Charm!  Our street is so charming.  Or creepy.  Or both.  When I saw it for the first time it was at dusk and the orange sky was behind the shady oaks with their spanish moss hanging down.  It was a picturesque Halloween Street.  Every home is unique- most are ranches and a few are 2 story.  Some are brick, some have stone facades.  Each home has a unique mail box that matches their home’s style or bricks.

 

 

 

One level!  I despise stairs.  I like to have access to my kids.  Even though the home is fairly large I can be right at the scene of the crime as soon as a cry is heard.  I’m a bit of a worry wart and an paranoid of NOt hearing a cry so this is perfect.  Also, I don’t like carrying laundry up and down stairs.  Call me lazy… In Florida having one story makes it easier too cool the house too.

Pool!  Okay, so this one is a plus and minus but my husband really loves the idea of a pool.  He just had to shock the water tonight so the reality of pool upkeep is creeping up on us.  However, the kids both LOVE swimming and since it’s Florida almost everyone has a pool.  We have some more childproofing to do on this one too.  I’m a “worst case scenario” kinda mom so I’m thinking of every far fetched (but still plausible) way the kids could get to the pool when we are sleeping/showering/blinking.

When my husband and I were  younger and would talk about our dream home I said “Victorian” and he said “Brand new.  I don’t want anything old and dirty.”   Somehow we ended up with an old and very dirty home.  The bones are great, the layout is good, but the interior is YUCK.  Think 1970′s outlets, paneling, shell shaped sinks, and random stone planter in the great room.

It’s renovation time.

Since we are mostly unpacked (don’t tell that to the 20 boxes left in the garage… shhh) the real hard work begins.  The guest bathroom is getting completely remodeled.  We are removing the paneling from the walls where it exists and hanging dry wall, then painting.  We also have to replace all of the interior doors, repaint every single wall, remove the stone planter and fireplace, and somehow make our kitchen work with no pantry and very little overhead storage.  The lawn is just miserable and we’ve already had landscapers come just to remove the massive amount of leaves left over from years of neglect.  There are electrical issues, holes in walls, grime, and a deck that is just sad looking.

I have BIG plans and a tiny budget.  Pinterest, take me away…..

I’m not a home renovation or DIY blog but you might see some posts here and there about our home progress.  It might be interesting to some of you and if not, just skip to the next article.  As you can imagine our family is undergoing a lot of change at the moment.  I just got my Internet back and still haven’t unpacked my filming equipment.  Family (and sanity) come first so please bear with me during this time in our life when I might not be updating the blog as much as usual.  Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support over these long 6 months.

It really is true what they say about home being where your family is.  My fears about adjusting to life together again were quelled immediately as we all just went back to life as usual like it was 6 months ago in Syracuse.  Except now we have more room to play and more sunshine!

Gallery of the inside of our home before any work has been done.  The theme is orange.

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Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Where my Children Sleep




This post was inspired by the book “Where Children Sleep” by James Mollison. Looking through the images was emotional as I thought of all of the things my children have that so many others do not. This is where one child sleeps all night, and the other naps.

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Is it possible to have a baby AND an attractive home?

Yes, and no. My dilemma before my son had even entered the world was this: Buy the crazy interactive, plastic, sound making, light flashing toys that would probably entertain my son OR go for the natural, wooden, Scandinavian design toys that would meld into my decor as if a baby didn’t even live here.

I chose the latter. I bought a neutral swing that folded, a bouncer that folded, I didn’t buy any toys for him at all in the beginning since he was too young for toys, and I swore an exercauser would NEVER enter my home.

Then my son started acting bored. I had one rattle. The rest of the toys gifted to us were far too old for him. After hearing him cry for days I decided he needed an activity gym. He was too young to play but he could watch the toys and perhaps bat at them. My husband and I booked it over to Babies r Us and bought the mac daddy Tiny Love Activity gym. $$$ was spent but once we put him on it he was enthralled by all of the colors and the chimes. I began to see that babies need toys. It snowballed from there. Next we bought a Jumperoo that looks like a horse. Probably the best 30.00 I have ever spent. Next, little hand held plastic, rattling toys invaded my home. Then, he needed to be occupied in his car seat. Home came a frog who shakes when his handle is pulled. And so on and so on.

My dream was to have a home filled with wooden toys from haba, bouncers by Svan, high chairs that modern looking (which I did get!), and a baby who was thrilled to have those things. Now I have a ton of plastic toys and a horse in my livingroom!

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