House #2 In Progress

I’m back! I still haven’t figured out if blogging is something I want to do regularly, or if it’s time to say goodbye. But, today we took down Christmas decorations and I looked around at our now seemingly empty house, thinking it might be time to share some of the DIY/renovation projects we’ve done so far. Also, I just painted the basement stairs so I can’t go down them, and Kevin has football playoffs on the TV upstairs, so basically I’m bored.

This post is essentially a photo dump of our move in process, but thought it’d be good to share more or less for my own memory of how we made house number two a home.

We closed on our new house on Tuesday, Oct. 4 in the morning, and had the movers scheduled to deliver our things that Friday. We both went to work on Tuesday, returning to the house that evening to slap up some paint samples, prep the floors and drop off a few things (i.e. toilet paper) to have until our things arrived.

I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off… Kevin took Thursday and Friday off, and my parents basically gave up their lives to help us during the week. Kevin’s mom and aunt came to down to help too! They arrived Thursday night, and were a huge help!

Before our stuff arrived, we had an aggressive list of things to get done. Mainly, we really wanted our living room, dining room, hallway, entry way, master bedroom, guest/office bedroom, and entire basement painted. And because the house is old, we painted errything, including the trim, ceilings, baseboards, crown molding, door jams, etc.

I hate picking out paint colors. As you can see in photos, I had a bajillion different samples to chose from. For the living room/dining room/hallway, eventually, we went with number two (from the top), which was Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore. In our first house, I thought the grey color we chose for the main living area was too blue and I really wanted this color to be very neutral, and slightly warm. Grey Owl is perfect. I couldn’t be more obsessed with how it turned out!

Guys, painting the majority of a house in four days is not for the faint of heart. I swear I’ll have carpel tunnel by 30 now. Many beer breaks were taken.

Finally, Friday arrived along with all of our STUFF! Having your things packed away for months is no fun. I was so happy to see this truck! (However, not happy to see multiple things damaged/broken, including but not limited to: our washing machine, three of our four dining room chairs, my childhood piggy bank, two wine glasses we got for our wedding, and much more. Thankfully, the moving company reimbursed us for everything but the claim process was no fun by any means.)

ANYWAYS. Our stuff.

The movers didn’t mark the boxes (they’re on a roll, guys), so Kevin and I opened each box when it was brought in, and told them where to put it. We had my whole family, and Kevin’s mom and aunt over helping unpack boxes as they came in.

We also found some fun treats while unpacking…

Shoutout to my old coworkers for hiding these gems at our going away party (which, by the way, I need to blog about. #isuck)

My grandma was in a nursing home at the time recovering from a hospital stay, so my aunt went to go get her so she could see the new house. She brought lunch! It hit the spot.

Here we are… some of the crew helping break in the house.

First family photo in the new home! #nomakeup #haventshowered #butsohappy

So let’s talk moving in weekend. Because the upstairs was painted, and some of the boxes were slowly but surely being unpacked, we wanted to tackle the basement next.

Kevin and I really really wanted a finish basement in this new house and now that we have one, I’ll never go back. I had a vision for this area and was so glad to see it come to life.

Originally, the basement had a wall separating the main living space into two awkward-sized spaces. The back area was used as a bedroom, though it couldn’t legally be called a bedroom as it didn’t have an egress window. So we decided to knock the wall out to create one big open space. We weren’t losing a bedroom, and we really wanted a large spot for a big couch, big TV and eventual bar.

We got up early on Saturday morning and began knocking the wall down! It was my first time tearing one out, and it was so fun. Basically, we took down the trim, then ripped out the paneling, then finally knocked down the 2x4s. There were no outlets or vents in this wall, so it was pretty painless. We did have to fix the flooring, as there was a big gap left from the wall. We luckily found the same exact laminate flooring and laid a few new pieces down. That wasn’t easy or fun, but with a little bit of patience and muscle, I knocked that out Sunday morning. Here’s a time lapse video of the wall coming down:

Once it was was down, we started painting and putting up the wood wall where the TV is at. I saw the idea of a wood wall on Pinterest, and immediately fell in love. We originally wanted to do this in the bedroom, but I love it in the basement so much, and glad we decided to do it there. And actually, this isn’t wood. It’s stick on flooring!

I don’t have any pictures of the process, because it was the stickiest mess E.V.E.R., but it was pretty simple. We started on one side, and put up an adhesive (to make sure the flooring stuck well), and then placed the wood. We used my scrapbook tool, which is now trash (so, so, so sticky) to cut straight lines when needed. Overall, it took us about four days to get this done because it was pretty much just Kevin putting up the panels. I was in charge of the adhesive, and because it was so sticky, I couldn’t do anything else. So he measured, cut and placed, and I essentially stood there covered in glue. It was miserable.

But, worth it because it turned out so great!

I’m so happy with the color we chose for the basement. It was originally brown, with a pink tint. Basically, it needed to go. We opted to go neutral again, but a little darker than upstairs, and painted right over the already-painted wood paneling. I actually like the textured look, so we didn’t even consider dry walling over it.

The color we chose was the oh-so popular Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.

Sunday was an exciting day for Kevin because he finally got his lifelong dream of a big screen TV. We went up to Best Buy and gave them all our money (kidding), and came home with the bad boy.

So move in week was insane, and exhausting, but it was amazing to have a lot of the big things out of the way so we could focus on smaller projects, unpacking and getting settled. We, of course, could not have done it without our family’s help!!

In the weeks after moving in, we purchased a sectional for the basement. Guys, it’s so comfortable. Many of movie nights and naps have taken place since we brought her home.

Because our house is so old, the doorways are very small, and a standard sectional probably wouldn’t fit down the basement. So we decided to look at Ikea, since we could take the boxes down one at a time. However, joke’s on us, because the boxes wouldn’t even fit through our doorway, so we ended up taking each piece of the couch, one cushion at a time, down the basement. Anyone that has put together Ikea furniture knows how much fun it was trying to figure out what was in what box. (see above photo)

Also right after moving in, I painted the back of our built ins. Again, inspiration came from Pinterest and I’m obsessed with our living room now. I painted them either Naval by Sherwin-Williams or Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore (I can’t remember, and the samples are downstairs, which I cannot access right now #wetstairs) to add contrast and help make the built ins stick out.

I’m still working on filling in the shelves – there’s a lot of space! – but hope to pop in with a “finished” photo soon.

Of course, we’re taking one project at a time. As with any house DIY project, mistakes will be made. But it’s coming along, slowly but surely, and we are so in love with house number two!

House #2

I haven’t completely fallen off the face of this earth, just bought a new house. If you’re a home owner, you know how insane it is to move and make the space your own. Hence the complete radio silence for two months.

Truth be told, I’m not even sure this blog is something I want to keep up with on a regular basis anymore. My domain name expires in February and I’m considering letting it go, but until I can really make up my mind, I thought I’d share details of our new home and our grand plans for it.

As said before, location was the most important thing for us this time around. Homes in this location are old and small, but the schools are amazing, the crime rate is low and it’s central to everything. When we found a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch that had a partially finished basement and a two car garage, we literally jumped on it and put it an offer that evening.

The house is certainly far from perfect, and needs a fair amount of updating, but as the saying goes, it has good bones.

Figured it might be easiest to go through each of the original photos (from the listing) and write what we’ve done in that room and what we still want to do. So, here we go!

Front 

What we’ve done

  • Nothing.

What we want to do

  • Install a porch swing
  • Add shutters
  • Re-paint the front door
  • Decorate

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Living Room

What we’ve done

  • Paint the walls/ceilings/trim
  • Paint the back of the builtins
  • Paint the fireplace white
  • Buy a rug
  • Buy accent chairs
  • By a new coffee table
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

What we want to do

  • Hang curtains
  • Hang art/photos
  • Finish filling in the built ins

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Dining Room

What we’ve done

  • Paint the walls/ceilings/trim
  • Buy new dining room chairs (the movers broke 3 of our 4 chairs!)

What we want to do

  • Replace chandelier
  • Buy a buffet/sideboard for barware
  • Hang curtains
  • Hang art/photos
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

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Kitchen

What we’ve done

  • Nothing

What we want to do

  • Tear down wall to open kitchen into the dining room
  • Move fridge to other side
  • Paint cabinets
  • Paint walls/ceiling/trim
  • Replace tile
  • Replace flooring
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

(Clearly the kitchen is going to be our biggest project.)

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Master Bedroom

What we’ve done

  • Paint walls/ceiling/trim

What we want to do

  • Hang curtains
  • Hang art/photos
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

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What we’ve done

  • Nothing

What we want to do

  • No real plans yet. It’s fine as it is for now.

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Office/Guest Bedroom #1

What we’ve done

  • Paint walls/ceiling/trim
  • Remove light track from ceiling
  • Organize office supplies and storage closet

What we want to do

  • Hang curtains
  • Hang art/photos
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

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Guest Bedroom #2

What we’ve done

  • Nothing

What we want to do

  • Paint walls/ceiling/trim
  • Add ceiling fan
  • Hang curtains
  • Hang art/photos
  • Install closet doors
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

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Half Bath

What we’ve done

  • Nothing

What we want to do

  • Nothing for now. It’s fine as it is.

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Basement

What we’ve done

  • Paint walls and trim
  • Tear down wall separating main living areas
  • Install wood wall
  • Install TV
  • Add TV media cabinet
  • Purchase furniture for the basement
  • Fix flooring
  • Organized both storage rooms
  • Hang curtains

What we want to do

  • Build a bar in front of backbar
  • Add high-top table behind bar/sectional
  • Drywall over exposed pipes
  • Add closet door
  • Spruce up laundry room
  • Replace light switches and outlets from beige to white

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Basement Bathroom

What we’ve done

  • Nothing

What we want to do

  • Nothing for now. It’s fine as it is.

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Backyard

What we’ve done

  • Starting tearing up vegetation to create a grassy space

What we want to do

  • Tear out retaining wall next to addition (it leaks water into the basement crawl space)
  • Add string lights
  • Add more furniture
  • Plant grass where plants were

 

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And there she is!

We also fixed some cracks in the foundation, filled a hole where the addition met the original house and sprayed for bugs (lots of boring house maintenance things). We also decided to replace all of the home’s original windows to new, vinyl, energy-efficient windows. Those are being installed on Friday!

All in all, we’ve done a ton so far, which I’ll share photos of soon, but there’s still much to be done. Our kitchen is probably our biggest project (now that the basement is nearly finished), which we won’t tackle until next year.

More to come! Hopefully. Probably.