Month: February 2013

Living Room Update

I don’t think I can even explain how different this room is from our closing date.  The living room had a really uneven floor, smelled like a litter box, and had some crazy paneling that the previous owners tried to smooth out with drywall mud.  Now, we are living in that same room, which is crazy! This house didn’t have much as far as selling features, but the fan in the living room was listed as a special feature in the real estate listing.  Check out that beauty in the next few pictures, definitely a selling point (bulbs not included, we put those in ourselves):





We took many layers out of this house.  The main issue was the uneven floor so we put in a new sub-floor after leveling the foundation:



The fireplace is a very special part of this room.  You can see an update on that project here.  This room was a challenge to prepare for move in day.  The floors were a big issue, but we were able to level most of it and the people who installed our carpet did a great job taking care of the rest.  Here is the room with carpet:

LR Carpet


We also added some laminate wood in the entry.  After moving in most of our furniture this is how it looks now:



At some point, I would like to get a different couch (smaller and lighter color).  For now, the room works great and is a good size.  After we add some trim it should really start to look nice! Hopefully we will have a fireplace update soon when we tile in our insert, so check back soon.  Thanks for reading!

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Antique Fireplace Makeover

Our fireplace is easily the most important part of our renovation.  The fireplace was the only original piece of character that our house had left.  Everything else had been stripped out over time.  When we bought the house, the fireplace was in rough shape.  REALLY rough shape:




We stripped of many layers of paint and stain.  There were layers of white, gray, bright red, more white, stain and some permanent marker.  You can see the tutorial here.



Once the fireplace was cleaned up it already looked much better:



Last night we were finally able to sand and stain the surround.  I love the way the stain turned out.  The color matches our dining room table almost perfectly.  (The color is English Chestnut and we let it soak for about 6-7 minutes):



We ordered a custom cut mirror to replace the old one.  Also, I started building a custom made hearth, but it is not quite finished yet.  I will write a tutorial post for that as soon as I finish up.  I will also be putting tile in around our fireplace insert.  Here is our most updated picture (still needs a little work):




It sure makes a big difference in the room! Let me know what you think.  Thanks for reading!


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Guest Bedroom Update

So far we haven’t spent too much time working on the guest bedroom.  The drywall was decent and only needed to be patched in a few areas, so there wasn’t much renovation work done.  Here is what we started with:



We tore out the carpet and trim because there was a “cat smell” issue we were dealing with when we bought the house.  The carpet was torn out the day we closed on the house.  We also put in a new window and lighting early on.  For a long time the room looked like this:



After we chose the green color for the living room, it seemed like we had too much green and they didn’t match well.  When our paint froze in our pantry and we had to buy all new, we decided to switch the paint to yellow.  The green still needed another coat so we needed to paint it anyways.

Last weekend I did a dresser makeover (the tutorial can be seen here) and we had carpet installed.  This room is the one we will be staying in for now because our master bedroom hasn’t even been started!

We received a nice quilt from a family member last summer that was my inspiration for this room.  Some of the details have come together already, but we do have a ways to go.  I promise that the yellow doesn’t look quite as bright in person.  Also, keep in mind that we will be adding trim, neutral colored curtains, a DIY headboard, and some extra touches in the near future. (The yellow will be toned down quite a bit.)  So here it is, our guest bedroom as it looks today:



Dresser Final


It is such a big difference from what we started with, be we still have a long ways to go! We will keep you updated as soon as anything new and exciting happens. Thanks for reading!

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Dresser Makeover

Soon after we bought our house I was already looking for cheap furniture to put in it.  I have seen a lot of dresser makeovers online and decided to start with a nice easy project.  I found this old, basic dresser at an estate sale for $10:



I recently saw a similar dresser tutorial by Young House Love (with a much nicer dresser) and found that it was very simple. If I can do it, you can.

First I had to get rid of those awful wooden knobs, prime, and paint the dresser white.

Pick an accent color to put on the drawers.  Only the edges of the drawers will be painted and you only need painters tape and paint.  First apply the tape horizontally on the top and bottom edges at whatever thickness you would like (I used 1.5″).  Make sure the tape is very secure so paint can not leak underneath.  Paint the edges with your accent color:



It is important to tear the tape off while the paint is still wet in order to get a nice clean line.  Once the paint is dry, you can tape and paint the vertical edges.  Be sure to paint in the same direction on each edge to make it match:



It’s really just that simple! Just let the paint dry and put knobs on each drawer.  Somehow I ended up one knob short and since I’m no good at photoshop you’ll just have to pretend they are all there until I can find the last one:

Dresser Final


So, for less than $20 and an hour or two you can turn an old, basic dresser into something fresh and new.  Thanks for reading!

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Always an Adventure

Today is an exciting day! We are getting carpet put in and we will be moving in most of our large furniture items.  We have been working really hard, but luck hasn’t been working out in our favor.  After dealing with nothing but problems yesterday Ryan said, “This is good, because that means nothing will go wrong tomorrow.”  He jinxed us.

We arrived at the house this morning about 15 minutes before the carpet installers were supposed to get here.  We sat in our nice warm car outside because we didn’t want to deal with the -10 degree weather between us and the house.  Finally we got up the courage to run to the door and get into the warm house.  Only problem….the house wasn’t warm.

The thermostat read 32 degrees.  32 degrees and the carpet installers are coming in 15 minutes.  We ran to the furnace and tried to adjust the thermostat, but the furnace would not come on.  Panic! Turn the oven on, get the space heaters, maybe a hair dryer?!?!?

Lucky for us the carpet guys came an hour later, so we could get the house to a nice warm 40 degrees.  The furnace repair man arrived at the same time as the carpet installers.  Now the furnace is up and running, but it takes a long time to warm this house up.  We are actually very lucky we were here when it decided to quit on us.  Our pipes did not freeze, but it was close.

I was planning on getting before pictures of each room that is being carpeted, but with all the panic this morning it just never happened.  Here are the most updated pictures I’ve got of each room:


The room with the table in it is actually yellow now.  Funny story: our paint all froze last week and we still needed a second coat in this room.  (Apparently heat isn’t our strong point.) Since we couldn’t get that color anymore we completely switched it up.

I will update with new pictures soon.  Thanks for reading!


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