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Thursday, April 30, 2015

House Update : One Month Later

It is INSANE to think that we closed on this house 30 days ago. I don't know if it's insane because it feels like yesterday or if it's insane because it feels like months ago. Maybe a little of both. We are loving this house, though, and this neighborhood. We knew exactly two neighbors in our old house despite living there for 10+ years - and here we've already met probably a dozen neighbors. Carys had no friends her own age nearby at the old house, and she's met several here already (including one set of siblings we call her "fence friends" - they're behind us and one house down, and their kids climb a backyard tree and Carys climbs on the deck fence railing and they yell across the yard to each other and it's the most adorable friendship in the world and they need to get a string can telephone STAT).

Despite the fact that we closed on March 30, we just actually finally moved in on April 24 - over three weeks later. In that time, we sanded and painted and primed our asses off (we being Chris and I and my cousin Saint Danny, Our Paint Angel Sent from Heaven). It took so long because a) the trim ended up needing three coats and b) we only had small amounts of time to paint and c) we were mostly trying to do it with two toddlers running around. So in all that time, we really only got the trim and walls done in the entryway, family room, and upstairs hall. But what a world of difference it has made! On the downside, it's made those areas that aren't yet updated stand out like....well, areas in a house that haven't been updated when everything else has been.

I thought I'd share the before and after in progress pics of where we are at today, so you can see the progress thus far....and see all that we still need to do. These are in all their "we only moved in less than a week ago and it's still an unorganized mess and our furniture isn't put together yet and everything is covered in a fine layer of dust from sanding even though I've swept and vacuumed a hundred times" glory. SO REAL LIFE, YA'LL.

Also, these are just quick unedited cell phone pics, because my computer to edit "nice" pics isn't set up yet, and I wanted to get this post out in a somewhat timely manner. Like now instead of six months from now when it's all old news. You'll also be able to see the dimensions of the room as they are in reality, versus how they are when the realtor uses super wide-angle lenses to make all of the rooms look way bigger - yeah, while the house is bigger than our old one, it's not full of 40x40 rooms that could each house a small family.



- Front door painted white

Still to do:
- Touch up exterior paint
- Paint accent windows on either side of the door
- Update house numbers


- Trim painted
- Stair rail and spindles painted
- Walls painted

Still to do:
- New chandelier (looking at this one: Orb Chandelier or maybe a hanging lantern like this?)
- New floor
- Replace closet door with paneled door
- Paint or stain stair kicks
- Pull up carpet and do wood stairs + stair runner (probably a loooooong way down the road)
- New screen door for exterior door


- Trim painted
- Bathroom painted (this was done by the previous homeowners between taking the listing pics and selling the house)

Still to do:
- New floor (I'll probably leave the wood-looking tile inside the laundry room, since it'd be nice to have a completely water-resistant floor in that room whether it remains a laundry room or is made into a mud room)
- Paint trim inside laundry room
- Paint walls inside laundry room
- Turn laundry room into mud room (down the line)
- Replace boob light
- Replace doors with paneled doors


(We are replacing the brown couch - it doesn't fit in this space like we thought it would)

- Valance removed x2
- Removed vertical blinds
- Small built-in removed
- Trim and walls painted
- Built-ins painted
- Built-in hardware replaced
- French doors painted

Still to do:
- New floor (dear god...new floor!!! If we had pets, it might make sense, but for us it's always cold to walk on and too busy-looking and not cozy.)
- Replace ceiling fan with ceiling fan + light combo
- Spray paint brass fireplace insert
- Add wood mantle over brick mantle (not the entire thing, just the ledge)
- Remove overhang on step-down into family room (it's not very stable and wobbles)
- Replace windows with ones that open more
- Replace basement door with paneled door
- Figure out what to do with the holes left in the wall from removing the built-in (where the previous owners ran cables and stuff)


- Nothing. Ha!

Still to do:
- Paint walls and trim (if you look behind one of the chairs in the "after" pic you can see a tiny part that I painted to get an idea of what the color would look like in there)
- Caulk gaps in walls
- Replace a few windows with ones that open
- Fix (hopefully) or replace windows with broken seals
- Add screen door to exterior door
- Replace French door handles
- Find source of leak and fix it! (I think it's at the bottom of one of the windows - water pools on the window sill and floor but nothing at the windows or ceiling)
- Fix the threshold - it's loose to the point that one good step might make it come off entirely)


- Painted trim around windows and doors

Still to do:
- Update cabinets (thinking dark stain?). Possibly replace upper cabinet doors with ones with straight insets instead of the curvy ones?
- Update counter top
- Update backspash. I actually am fine with what's here, but Chris wants to redo it.
- Paint?? Maybe down the road?
- Replace island lights with globes (like this maybe)
- Add screen doors to French doors to deck (possibly replace entirely)
- Replace handles on French doors
- New floor
- New dishwasher (ugh)
- Possibly replace built-in desk with pantry cabinets


- Painted door frame

Still to do:
- Paint wainscoating
- Paint walls
- Paint tray ceiling
- Paint rest of trim (crown molding, etc.)
- Bigger window? I'd love to enlarge the window(s) down the line!
- New light fixture
- Replace carpet (it is so disgusting even after like only ten meals)
- Hang curtains


- Painted entryway frame
- Removed curtains/valance
- Removed metal scrollwork from window and door frame

Still to do:
- New floor
- Paint built-ins
- Expand built-ins? I'm thinking I might like that entire wall to be a built-in bookshelf instead of having the opening in the middle?
- Paint trim (crown molding, etc.)
- Hang curtains
- New lights (if we don't build out the built-ins)
- Add more built-in lighting (this room gets SO dark!)
- Replace cabinet hardware


- Painted trim and doors
- Painted walls
- Painted staircase (I know I already listed this in the entryway section BUT DAMNIT I LOVE IT SO MUCH I'M LISTING IT TWICE)

Still to do:
- Replace door hardware/knobs
- Replace carpet (??)
- Replace can lights with something more substantial?


- Painted outside of door and exterior door trim
- Painted accent wall
- Painted closet

Still to do:
- Paint rest of trim and closet/bathroom doors and inside of door
- Add ceiling fan with light (or more built-in light)
- Replace carpet (way down the line)
- Replace bathroom carpet with tile/vinyl
- Replace toilet seat
- Replace lights in bathroom
- Frame out mirror in bathroom
- Add drapes/blinds to window
- Fix window (the side that opens had a piece that was rotting out/rusted so when I opened it, the entire window basically fell out of the frame)


- Removed wallpaper
- Removed twine trim at top of wall tiles

Still to do:
- Remove or paint over wave tile
- Paint walls
- Paint window trim
- Paint or stain cabinets
- Replace sink faucets
- Replace cabinet hardware
- Replace light fixture


I don't have a "before" of this view, but since it's the only thing that's been done in her room, I included the "after" anyway.

- Painted closet
- Painted exterior of door and exterior doorway trim

Still to do:
- Paint trim, closet doors, and inside of door
- Replace ceiling fan (it's nice, just doesn't match what decor she'll have)
- Paint walls
- Replace carpet


- Painted door (this was an unfinished door, so we went ahead and painted both sides) and exterior of doorway trim

Still to do:
- Paint remainder of trim and closet door
- Replace carpet (way down the line, probably, when this isn't being used as a playroom anymore)
- Paint half-wall with chalkboard paint?
- Fix built-in desk (you can see from my pic how it sags - need to brace it up with a bracket or pole or something)
- Straighten outlets (none of the outlet covers are level...none!)
- Add pegboard or hooks to inside of closet (which is where all of C's dress up clothes are) for all her accessories


- Filled it with a bunch of kid's junk stuff (ANYTHING TO KEEP THEM OCCUPIED AMIRITE)

Still to do:
- Fix a couple of loose boards/steps
- Touch up paint on the deck
- Touch up exterior paint
- Fix up a portion of the fence that's falling down
- Have the dead wood removed from the Willow tree


No after pic here because literally all we've done is dump our furniture in it.

- Absolutely nothing

Still to do:
- Remove wallpaper trim
- Paint trim
- Paint walls
- Replace carpet (down the line)
- Replace window screen (one is missing)
- Replace ceiling fan


Again, no after pics because nothing has been done, and no one wants to see pictures of our toothbrushes.

- Nothing at all

Still to do:
- Replace countertop/sinks (I would love something fanceh like a vessel sink, but that might be too trendy?)
- Replace faucets
- Remove carpet (hopefully I can talk Chris into this...)
- Paint trim
- Paint walls (I want to do a cool accent wall over the tub)
- Add chandelier over tub (I mean....WHY NOT?)
- Paint cabinets
- Frame out mirror 
- Add "built-in" storage in middle of mirror (like this)
- Turn one of the closets into a laundry room? (way down the line)

So there you have it - it being our EIGHT MILLION projects still to do. Some are huge, some are small; some are must-dos, some are like-to-dos, some are probably-will-never-happens-but-man-I'd-sure-like-tos; some are cheap and quick, some are expensive and time-consuming; some will need to be hired out, and some we can do ourselves. I can't wait to see this house unfold (mostly I can't wait to get new floors - particularly replacing the tile floor in the family room!).


  1. LOVE it! Can't wait to visit! ;-)

  2. It is amazing. I want to live there too!! :D

  3. Love the hallway grey - which did you finally go for? We are in the Uk looking at a paint chip of BM Harbor Gray which I picked up out there last summer ... thinking kitchen!

    1. Kerri, this is Smoke Embers by Benjamin Moore! http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/smokeembers

  4. Looking for examples of Harbor Gray in real homes and came across your blog. Saw your decision process and had to find your choice and see the result. I have been trying not to get a few samples as possible so I don't spend as much in samples as I could in a gallon of paint. haha! Anyway, the transformation of your entryway was amazing and I am so excited to see what my home will look like after I paint. The walls make a big difference, but you painting the doors and railings really put it over the top. Makes me want to paint my kitchen cabinets too. Thanks for sharing.

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