What a Week

There’s so much to say I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll start by saying it’s been a crazy week to say the least. Between the bombings at the marathon on Monday and then the search for the bombers and finally the lockdown of the city and capture of the terrorist on Friday- it’s felt like we’re living in a movie. And on top of all of that- we completely gutted our new home. It’s a miracle we’re all still standing.

With the gutting of the house came a lot of questions answered and a lot of lessons learned. Lesson number one: with any major renovation  just go ahead and double the budget because it’s going to happen. Even being the most detail oriented people and researching everything to death, Jared and I are still stretching our budget to a frightening number.

So allow me to get off my sassy horse with all my “sexy appliances” and “high end fixtures.” We’re going to have to get a lot more realistic about what we can afford. That means even harder bargain hunting, getting really creative, putting in a lot of hours ourselves, and making compromises.

But that’s all the negative stuff. Let’s talk positives! Check out all we’ve accomplished in the last week.

1. Completely gutted the entire first floor- living room, dining room, kitchen, back mudroom, and entryway.

IMG_0770 IMG_07712. Gutted the upstairs bathroom. As I mentioned on Friday, this was not in our plans for a good year or two. However, with the kitchen ceiling open, we needed to move the pipes for the bathroom (directly above the kitchen) now.

IMG_0779 IMG_07783. Found a great new spot for the toilet though! Kidding.

IMG_07804. Two interesting discoveries were made. There’s a gorgeous curve from the staircase in the kitchen. This was blocked by a doorway to the basement before but we think it’s way too cool to cover again. And then there was the discovery that the back mudroom used to be an open porch. There was siding above the drop ceiling and this awesome post they built right into the wall!IMG_0773 IMG_07745. Then there was a lot of progress on our bedroom which I’m pretty proud to say, I did most of myself. Wall paper down, check! Vinyl flooring in closet up, check! Drop ceiling down thanks to me and Mum, check!

IMG_0781 IMG_0783 DSC_00646. And finally, Mum and I got really well acquainted with the wallpaper steamer. The entire hallway and up the stairs is covered with 80s purpley blue streaky wallpaper and whoever put it up used a lot more glue than the bedroom walls. Those ripped off like nothing but the hallway was another story. We’ve gotten most of the walls done before we figuratively and quite literally ran out of steam.

DSC_0088 DSC_0087





Craigslist? Why Not?

I know it’s easy to be weary of Craigslist but honestly, it can be a fantastic tool when you’re remodeling.

We knew going into this that our house had design choices from the past 60 years that we had no interest in saving. But I understand that just because it’s not our taste, doesn’t mean someone in isn’t going to love it. As I like to say- there’s a butt for every seat.

So with that in mind and the prospect of maybe making a couple bucks, we posted our white appliances and ornate glass lighting fixtures on Craigslist. If you know of anyone interested, please leave me a comment and we’ll chat. And if you’re interested in posting anything on Craigslist, here are a few helpful tips.

Please note: These are just general sales tips. Craigslist has safety and scam information here. And you should always be careful when agreeing to meet anyone or giving any personal information.

1. Always post a good image. With an emphasis on good!

You’d never buy something sight unseen, right? Probably wouldn’t buy it in the dark or without your glasses either. So enough with the dark and blurry images. A clear image shows you have nothing to hide. Plus, the majority of people will click on image-based ads first or even filter by “must have image.”

2. Repost like it’s your job!

This will keep your post on top and assure that even the most lazy Craigslist browser will see your post. Craigslist will place the most recent post on top but has parameters to stop constant reposting. It’s also to stop those spam posters that have nothing better to do than take over the site. Repost daily!

3. It’s all in the Details!

Be as specific as you can possibly be in your ad. Use brand names, list materials and colors that may not come through in your images. Before anyone takes the time to come collect your unwanted goods, they need to know they want it! I mean, would you buy a car if an ad said: Car. Runs on gas.

There’s Good News, And Then…

So just when all the walls are opened up and everything is going smoothly… we learn we’ll have to do the upstairs bathroom NOW. While the ceiling is opened in the kitchen, the pipes for the bathroom are directly above it.

Remember that full bath upstairs that we were going to wait a year on? That giant eyesore that we were going to live with for a while because we’re already spending all our money remodeling the entire first floor? That second most expensive room in a house to remodel after the kitchen? Yeah… that room.

Last I checked, this house didn’t come with a money tree in the backyard. I could check again but I think I’m right.

If we had all the money and time in the world we would obviously want to redo this 1960s bath/laundry room. We knew that maybe in a year or two we would change the layout and replace the outdated decor with some new fixtures. But that plan just moved up to NOW.

So if we must we must. We’ll give the plumber our new layout for the bath. He’ll move all the pipes to the appropriate places. We’ll slide all the fixtures around the room accordingly. And then we’ll probably live just like that for a while- no tile or flooring or walls but a functional bath with everything where we want it.

But that’s no fun to think about! So let’s focus on what it could look like when we do finally make it pretty!

I love these soothing tans and ivories with the dark wood vanities.


Picture 3But (surprise, surprise) I also love the rustic look of these weathered vanities.

Picture1Picture 4Maybe I could compromise masculine dark wood with rustic weathered like this.

Picture 5And finally, I love the large floor tiles in the photo on the left and the mesh door on the stackable laundry unit on the right. A tall cabinet next to the laundry is a must for hamper and detergent as well!

Picture 6

Have Hammer, Will Demo

Jared sent me some photos from the first day of demo. I was still at work so I showed my team. There were a lot of “wows” and one “you guys have some large cojones!”

I guess it does take guts to buy a home and then rip it to shreds. But without your own stamp, how does a house feel like your home? I promise you, we’re not pulling a Beetlejuice here and turning a lovely old farmhouse into a concrete mansion. It’s all about maintaining the true integrity of the home while making it our own.

Now- are you ready for this?!

Living Room Before

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2013-04-15 14.51.33Living Room After

photo (3)

photo (2)Dining Room Before

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2013-04-15 14.52.16Dining Room After

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photo (6)Kitchen Before

2013-04-15 14.52.512013-04-15 14.52.562013-04-15 14.53.53Kitchen After

photo (5)photo (4)photoAnd one random old compass in the wall.


Chateau de Bris

We wasted no time getting to the bottom of a couple unknowns. Within five minutes of the previous owner pulling away from our house and Jared and I finally left to our own devices- we tore some stuff up!

First to the master bedroom closet. Prying up some linoleum, we discovered the floor lined with the New York Times from 1958. You think we could take the NYT up on their advertisement for 7 days in Miami for $113?

photo (2)And under it was…

photo (3)Hardwood! Woo hoo! Those will sand up nice! Definite rustic look but… hellooooo! That’s what we want! If only we knew what was under the carpeting all over the first floor…

photo (1)Bam! And to quote my favorite DIYer Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict, “why in the hell would you cover that up?!”

Wallpaper came off walls in the bedroom like a bandaid only less painful.

photoAnd then then the big guns showed up. With Dad came tools and then the dust really started to fly.

2013-04-15 15.04.18 (1) 2013-04-15 15.04.59Chimney chase revealed! No more 45 degree angle walls. We’ll frame this off and gain some square footage. We were hoping the chimney would be in better shape and we’d have a small section of exposed brick in our home. But no such luck. As my Dad said, these were never meant to be seen. Oh well.

Over on the kitchen side of the chase, we discovered there used to be a stove in a pink kitchen! Luckily, it’s already been sealed so one less to do.

2013-04-15 15.33.27More demolition to come. Stay tuned.