Category Archives: home renovation

Hello World!

Let’s not talk about how long it’s been since we’ve shared any updates or new DIY projects…suffice it to say, it’s been too long! But, you’ll have to trust us that we have been making progress with house/yard projects and we have a few good excuses reasons for not stopping in to say hi and share. Not only have we been diligently working on the basement (which deserves a post of it’s own soon!), but we’ve converted our upstairs guest bedroom into a new bedroom for the tiniest of people…because THIS little guy is now part of our family! ūüôā

Insert happy dance here!

But before we get ahead of ourselves with pictures of snuggly, chubby baby cheeks, here’s a sneak peek of the 2 projects we were determined to reach at least 90% completion before “Tiny” arrived. Until now, we had our master bedroom, G’s bedroom and the guest bedroom upstairs. The plan when baby #2 came along was to transform the guest room into their nursery/bedroom and create a guest bedroom in the basement. The phasing of the nursery was contingent on getting the basement pretty far along, so that we could move all of the furniture once the carpet was installed and only have to move furniture once. There are too many lessons learned to get into here, so I’ll save that for another post!

Here’s what the basement looked like when we bought the house – and it stayed like this (well, actually it got worse…chock full of stuff everywhere!) until we started renovations in September 2014. Please excuse the dark and terrible before image – documenting the true nastiness of this space wasn’t a priority while touring the house since we knew we’d use it for nothing more than storage for awhile. ūüėČ

All of the glamorous framing work you see was done by the man-of-many-talents…the better half of our duo. ūüôā This is the same view as above, the stairs are just off to my right in the photo. You can see the column and far window to the right, to get your bearings. The room enclosed by the wall the light switches are on is going to be a full bath and laundry room.

Here’s where things stand today…keep in mind that while you see painted walls, carpet and a couch, the space is far from done. We have wood window sills, tons of built-ins and the stairs/railings still to do, to name a few upcoming projects. Oh, and more interesting walls to come…that’s all I’m at liberty to say. ūüôā So, stay tuned for those updates!

And here’s what the 3rd bedroom looked like before we got our hands on it. It’s amazing to me how small it looks when there’s nothing in there to give it scale!

Sorry for the inconsistent angle, but it’s the only shot I have of it as our guest room. Make note of that larger-than-life accent green color… ūüėČ

Unlike the basement, this room is finally actually done now. ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā We’ll be back with a recap showing each wall of the room in a separate post – there are a lot of fun little details and pieces to tell you about!


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Filed under family, home renovation

FENCE! (does that express our excitement?)

After the¬†DAYS of ivy removal and then the joy of bamboo removal, it was finally time for the new fence! ¬†Timing for everything worked out really well. ¬†We felt like we really cleared out as much as possible before the new fence went up and were excited that once it was up, we’d be at the point of really starting to transform the yard.

Two days before the contractors showed up, we also got another big delivery…


PLANTS‚Ķlots and lots of new plants! ¬†4 hours in a nursery with a toddler, now that’s a story for another post. ¬†For now, we had a patio full of plants and on that Friday morning, this rolled in:

photo 1

That’s a lot of lumber and I have to move NONE of it! In 30 minutes we went from this:



To this:


I’m not going to lie, it was really nice not having a fence at all. ¬†I considered (for about 1 minute) the idea of not putting one back in and letting our yard feel like it goes on beyond the alley to the back lot of another property. ¬†Reality then set in, of course, and the guys got to work setting the posts.

photo 3





Things went quickly once they got rolling and it was exciting to FINALLY have a real fence in place. ¬†Of course, they also removed and rebuilt the side panels from the house to the neighbor’s properties to match.



photo 2-3

So long nasty, broken, wobbly, rotting, barely operable fences and gates, it’s really been great living the last year with you. ¬†Now that I’ve gotten you to this point, I’ll have to leave you with a little teaser. ¬†Since the new fence went up, we jumped right into getting the landscaping in and haven’t actually taken finished photos. ¬†Crazy, right? ¬†Sorry about that. ¬†In the meantime…

photo-2 copy



May 22, 2014 · 3:24 pm


Along with Ivy, Bamboo was¬†another ‘wonderful’ addition to our backyard landscape. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I actually really LIKE bamboo and think that it’s structure, height, and leaves are very pleasant and add a nice structure to landscapes‚Ķ in pots or VERY well crafted planters. ¬†Using bamboo to create planted ‘walls’ and a place is great. ¬†When you create such a place in the middle of the open lawn with NO boundaries to contain the bamboo, then you get a big ‘ole mess of nasty that takes over the yard. ¬†This was the secret garden in our yard:

photo 2-2

Lovely, Huh? ¬†I cut back about 1/2 of the bamboo in the fall to get a better idea of what was really in there and this was what it looked like this spring. ¬†Originally nestled between 2 large trees, I imagine at one time created a very pleasant oasis. ¬†In fact, we uncovered a lot of stones that created a little patio within the bamboo jungle. ¬†It was the intention that after all the ivy removal, I would take on the bamboo removal. ¬†Everyone balked that I would say that. ¬†Neighbors responded with ‘good luck’ or ‘yeah, we tried too’ and even ‘no way in hell will you get that all out’. ¬†But I was determined. ¬†After day three of ivy removal, I was exhausted but very pleased with all the progress! ¬†I grabbed my trusty pick-axe and shovel and walked across the yard to the jungle. ¬†With the new fence installation about to be scheduled, I was on over-drive to clear out as much as possible before it’s arrival. ¬†I found a little batch of young bamboo shoots furthest from the main jungle and thought I’d start there and work inward. ¬†One, two, three thrusts of the pick-axe and‚Ķ nothing moved. ¬†Not an inch. ¬†What the hell was I thinking? ¬†I’m exhausted! ¬†I threw the pick-axe onto the ground and walked away. ¬†It was decided. ¬†Everyone was right, ha, there was no way I was tackling this myself. ¬†The next day, I called a landscape crew; they came that night for an estimate. ¬†It was half the price of a previous estimate, so they got the job. ¬†Three days later this happened:

photo 3-2

photo 2-3


photo 1-3

Daycare was closed that day and Naomi was selected as a jury and sitting in a trial, so Gabriella was home with me when the ‘truck’ showed up. ¬†She loved EVERY MINUTE of it and could not stop watching. ¬†It couldn’t have been any cuter. ¬†In the end, this is what we were left with:

photo 3-3

A 95% bamboo free side yard that had been seeded and strawed. ¬†And look how HUGE it is. ¬†We truly had no idea how much space was over there and it completely opened up the yard. ¬†We just spotted little grass seedlings popping up today so it’s well on it’s way to becoming a previously-useless-but-now-full-of-grass-and-open-air section of our yard.

Ivy removal- check

Bamboo removal – check!

Up next, NEW FENCE! ¬†The crew was here last¬†Friday to remove the old fence and build the new one. ¬†It’s unbelievable what the yard is looking like now!



May 16, 2014 · 2:27 pm

April showers, brings May landscape overhaul?

We’ve lived in this house for just under one year now! ¬†It’s hard to believe because sometimes it feels like we just moved in with lots of unfinished little projects; other times it feels like we’ve been here for much longer. ¬†But the truth is that moving day was May 18th so we’re officially coming up on our one year in this house anniversary. ¬†Crazy what we’ve been able to do in that time and yet, there was one large area of our home that had seen very little improvement. ¬†Sure, we ‘maintained’ what we inherited and made some very modest improvements in order to get through the summer, but let’s face it, we were busy unpacking and trying to get our new LIFE in order to really worry about too much more. ¬†The YARD. ¬†One of the things we LOVED about this house was the flat, open, manageable sized yard. ¬†Well, we loved what the yard could be. ¬†We knew that buried under years of neglect and layers upon layers of leaves, ivy, dirt, ivy, ivy, bamboo, and some more ivy, there was a great outdoor space for us!

We thought this year, we’d tackle a new fence and a phase one round of improvements, but once we decided to hold a large outdoor event at our house in mid-august, we decided to bite the bullet and do a more complete overhaul of the yard.

Here’s what we started with when we saw the house:






Ok- from a distance, it doesn’t look THAT bad. ¬†Trust me, it was. ¬†First step was finally taking care of the fence. ¬†It clearly had seen better days and was in need of a complete removal. ¬†There really was no saving it because some years back, a tree along the back property line had fallen (onto the garage, no less) and when the roots up-rooted, it took the fence up with it. ¬†Hence the current condition with our fence lifted at one point and leaning into the alley in that spot while leaning into the yard at the other end. ¬†The side fence pieces from the house to our neighbor’s ¬†were also barely holding on. ¬†The left side literally blew down one day and the right side with the gate was hardly operable. ¬†No saving them either, they all had to go.


We got 3 estimates for the fence. ¬†Two large companies that have done a lot of work in the neighborhood and a smaller, local landscape company. ¬†In the end, price and product led us to contract with one of the large fence companies. ¬†We’re basically installing the new fence in the same location as the existing, except we’re adding a larger gate by the garage and moving the short fence line into the yard by 4 feet in order to create a larger parking pad off the alley in front of our garage. ¬†Not that parking is ever a problem in our neighborhood, but we figured we might as well plan the new fence to allow for it now because we wouldn’t want to have to modify the new fence in the future. ¬†Also, fences are expensive! ¬†We’re hoping to do this now and NEVER AGAIN! ¬†Fence install day is Friday (TODAY!) so we’ll show you how that turns out in a future post!

Our to do list included more ivy removal. ¬†We knew we’d have a few weeks before the fence was installed so we figured we’d take the opportunity to clear out the ivy along the fence line so that once the new fence is in, the area would be cleared and done. ¬†Ivy. UGH. I’d like to meet the person who thought, ‘Oh, what a lovely green plant that has no fragrance, no flowers, and no real purpose in life. ¬†Yes, let’s plant it everywhere and let it cover the ground, climb the walls of the house, climb the trunks of all the trees and, my favorite, spread through the lawn creating a desert condition on the ground that no longer supports the growth of anything more than a collection of weeds.’ ¬†Oh, what I’d say to that person‚Ķ anyway. ¬†We know that ridding the property 100% of ivy is not realistic, but we wanted to give ourselves the best chance to maintain its removal which meant that we had to dig out as much of the plant and roots as possible.

And so we set out on the ivy clearing, pulling one root strand at a time.  A pick-axe, shovel, and three 12 hour days of physical labor, and the yard went from this:

photo 1


to this:

photo 1-2

photo 3


photo-2 copy

The yard was already looking better and BIGGER! ¬†We packed 14 contractor bags full on ivy vines. ¬†JUST THE VINES‚Ķ14 bags! ¬†It was ridiculous and we’re so glad to get it out of here! ¬†In the process, we uncovered a stone retaining wall which was a nice surprise. ¬†It wasn’t huge but we dug out all the stones and stock piled them for use elsewhere in the yard makeover. ¬†It may not look like a lot in these photos, but trust me, the yard was taking shape.

Up next in the yard overhaul…Taking care of the bamboo jungle once and for all!

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May 9, 2014 · 10:15 am

Baby got BACK.

‚Ķas in BACKsplash. We got ‘er done, FINALLY and COMPLETELY (!) and here comes the best part‚Ķsharing it all with you! ūüôā

Ever since our contractor finished¬†correcting installing the final¬†corner of countertop¬†in¬†our kitchen, I fantasized about the backsplash and the day we’d have one (so for about 10 months now). Ha, I’m not joking. We lived with bare drywall/plaster behind our countertop forEVER‚Ķthere were scratches, pencil marks, scuffs, notes, measurements…you name it, our wall had it.

See? Not so pretty to stand and cook in front of.

So, let’s start with the easy part: the choice to use a “free” material to complete 75% of our backsplash. In our room by room update, you may remember seeing bamboo as the backsplash. We should have bought stock in the bamboo flooring industry for crying out loud, since we’ve used it now in 5 applications¬†between¬†2 houses‚Ķthis makes it the 6th. Somehow when we bought it for our first house, we ended up with a ton of extra material. Hence the free-ness of it this time around. By now, we’re just trying to use it up in smart, unique and easy ways. I’ll never forget that moment when the light bulb went on above Anthony’s head as we were standing in the kitchen looking at the bare, nasty white walls.

The conversation went something like this: “so, this may be totally crazy, but what do you think of bamboo on the walls as the majority of the¬†backsplash?” “ummm, love it. let’s do it!” Done and done.¬†One of the quickest home renovation ideas we’ve both arrived at. Here’s why we thought it’d work well:

  • with all of the white in this room, we wanted some contrast and some warmth in our choice of backsplash.
  • laying it out horizontally meant large areas of coverage could be accomplished¬†fast (side note: this is the exact opposite of what happened with the tile we chose, lol…at least 75% of our backsplash went up quickly!?).
  • we’d installed it in the full bath of our first home and knew that it would be extremely durable when¬†water landed on it.
  • did I mention it was essentially FREE at this point?! We had nothing to lose‚Ķexcept for the boxes of stuff that went up on the walls and allowed us to GAIN storage space back!

The installation process for bamboo took about 3-4 days of working nights after work for a couple of hours each time.¬†Once that was in place, we started looking into what tiles we may want behind the stove and range hood. Man, there are lots of options out there. We looked online at tons of stunning kitchen reno’s. We looked through Houzz every night. We went to the big box stores and the small, boutique tile shops nearby. I looked through all of our tile samples at work and asked reps for what new styles they were aware of and any discounts they could offer. Long story short, we knew we wanted a fun shape (even though we LOVE the classic simplicity of subway tile, we felt that this was our opportunity to add some interest to the room), and a bit of color and texture.

Enter a recommendation from one of the reps at our local Architectural Ceramics stores. They are Walker Zanger tiles from their Ashbury Mosaic line. We fell in love with the shape and these 2 colors. We immediately thought about alternating them to create a fun pattern on the wall behind the stove.

Once we found out that they were only in stock in the California warehouse and shipping was going to cost over $200, we had to rethink things. ūüė¶ How is it possible that the most perfect tiles that we had searched so long and hard for, were so far away and cost so much to get here? I mean, yes, they’re ceramic tile and they need to be packed and shipped carefully, but SERIOUSLY?! For $200, I could charter a plane to get them here. Is that what they were doing?! Needless to say, we were very skeptical. Architectural Ceramics was giving us a discount because we work in the design industry, but our theory is that they were trying to make up costs by changing us an arm and a leg for unnecessary shipping costs.

After a little more research and asking around at work, a colleague reminded me of a local tile shop not too far from our office. Chesapeake Tile was outstanding. I emailed them to get a quote and immediately got a response. After asking about shipping, I learned there was a warehouse in TX that could get them for us and that shipping was only going to be $87. #thatsmorelikeit

7-10¬†days later, many of these boxes were sitting in our dining room. Very unassuming, just staring at us from the corner‚Ķwaiting for us to get the courage to start one of the more visible and time-consuming projects we’ve done since moving in.


We unpacked them and were faced with full mesh-backed groupings of tile that needed to be taken off one by one, since we were going to hang them individually to allow the alternating color pattern to work.

A few beers and some good music later, we had this scene on our hands. ūüôā


Before installing¬†tile, we had to apply primer to the wall. There were 2 reasons for this: it sealed in the new plaster work the contractor did and helped the thin set mortar really bond. It’s amazing the difference¬†a bright white wall made after months of dingy grayish white! I was almost ready to stop right there and leave it white‚ĶHA, or not. We have 867¬†sf +/- a few feet of white surfaces in the kitchen already. ūüėČ

We used Kilz Primer since it has really good coverage and blocks out any stains or marks on the wall. We also used this (a few coats of it) on the panelling in the playroom to bring it from a nasty, dirty, it-used-to-be-white-but-was-seriously-stained-yellow back to bright white again.

Here’s my first pass at setting up our pattern. It’s not the pattern¬†we ultimately ended up going with‚Ķbut the fact that we had this many individual tiles ready to go was exciting in and of itself.¬†ūüėõ



These were absolutely integral to a successful installation. They were kind of a pain since every 6th one would fall out, but 96% of them stayed in and allowed us to know if we had evenly spaced tiles.

One last countertop mock-up before GO time…!

Step 1: schmear thin-set on the wall.

Step 2: use a notched trowel to make sure that you apply the proper depth of setting material to the surface. The rule of thumb is the notches in the trowel should be approximately 2/3 the thickness of your tile.

This was the thin-set we used. We spent a good deal of time researching a Bondera-type wall mat in lieu of using thin-set but ultimately decided against it for a few reasons; our main concerns with it were¬†longevity and the requirement to have to grout within 8 hours of applying the tile to the wall. Ain’t gonna happen as parents of a toddler! We’re lucky we got half the wall done in one night much less the whole wall and then grouting it soon after.

Once it was time to start applying tile to the wall, a part of me was all giddy excited and a part of me was totally nervously anxious! We’d hung the backsplash in our first house, but it came ready to go in 12″ x 12″ mesh backed squares‚Ķthis was one‚Ķsingle‚Ķsolitary‚Ķtile…by one. HERE GOES!


We started by sticking the first row of tiles next to each other, with spacers as we went. Take note of the spacer location‚Ķthat’ll be key in a second. After finishing the first row and starting to stack the second row, it was immediately clear our system had a fatal error‚Ķsee how close each of the first row of tiles is, measured at the fattest, most rounded middle part? Well, once we layered the light blue ones in, they didn’t fit. The vertical¬†part of the shape didn’t have enough room. So, we moved the spacers up to that area and started setting the light blue ones in and alternating tiles up and down‚Ķgrayish tile, light blue, grayish tile, light blue, grayish‚Ķyou get the picture.

It was so nervewracking since I for one, was convinced we weren’t going to be able to keep it straight the whole way up by eyeballing it! Anthony may have worried about the same thing, but he never let onto it‚Ķsomeone’s gotta remain calm and confident around here. And it’s not me by any means! ūüėõ

Once we got rolling, we were cooking with gas‚Ķha! Not really. I hate cooking with gas (true story, I’m one of the few people who begged for an electric stove when we were shopping for our new appliances), I just wanted to use a cheesy pun. Lol.


Getting there…cutting each tile surrounding the range hood was oh-so-fun. We have our contractor to thank for that. They jimmied the thing into its location so tightly, we were afraid to take it off.

A final close-up before grout made it’s appearance‚Ķ! Notice the spacers that hated consistently doing their job.


After heading to the HD to choose our grout, we chose this baby in Snow White. It took 1.5 bags to complete about 20 sf.


It’s shaping up to be a real wall finally!



If you look closely below, you can see the whole process in one image. Whoever said a picture is worth 1,000 words wasn’t kidding. ūüôā A fully grouted bottom part of the wall, a top left corner that’s drying and a right corner awaiting grout.



What’s that? It’s close-ups you crave? Sure thing. I gotcha covered.

And then, just like how¬†they make a full-blown meal with the magic of tv, we had a full-blown completely tiled wall. Just like that‚Ķ ūüėČ A few late nights, a few days of our stove sitting in the middle of the kitchen with just enough room to sneak by and a few 6 packs¬†of beer later, we had a COMPLETED BACKSPLASH! Bada-bing-bada-boom.

Before the big reveal, here’s a¬†before photo, just to remind you of the blah-ness…


And here’s what we get to enjoy on a daily basis now!!! ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Sorry for the long post, there were a lot of details, a lot of decisions and so much¬†effort that went into making this project a reality! I’m just glad to see less and less remnants of a construction site…I see enough of that at work. ūüėõ And, I think Anthony is glad to never have to cut any number of tiles around a range hood again.




April 3, 2014 · 11:14 pm

Last major kitchen project – started!

It was about time for us to start the last project left in the kitchen – the tile backsplash!¬† We’ve had the boxes of tile stacked in the corner of our dining room for, oh, I don’t know 4 months or so.¬† Just sittin’ there.¬† Waiting.¬† Collecting dust.¬† Just longing to be on display behind the range.

With all the holidays, G’s birthday, and scheduled visitors out of the way, we figured it was time to start that project which would undoubtably make our kitchen a dissaster.¬† We were realistic about the mess because it was not like we had a week off in order to complete the project – we knew it would be a done a few hours at a time after G was asleep/on the weekends/when we had a few minutes here and there.¬† By accepting the mess and being able to leave all the tools/supplies out on the counter, it would be easy to pick up and work on a section and then put it down to be continued later.¬† Ideal? No. But do-able with work and a toddler? Yes.

We also knew this project would take a little extra time because unlike 99% of people who take on a tile job and purchase that tile already assembled on one foot by one foot sheets where each tile is already perfectly spaced and the project moves 1 square foot at a time; we decided to mix two colors of the ornate tile we purchased and had to remove each tile from the pre-spaced backer and place each individual tile one by one on the wall!¬† Oh, and the two colors of tile are not the exact same size making it a spectacular effort to keep them well spaced, level, and plum! Handmade tiles, we love you, but you’re a real B—- to install!

Here’s a sneak peak from when the first few rows went up (you’ll have to wait for the rest!):

tile 2

Optimistic we can get all the tiles up by the end of the weekend (maybe even grouted??) and then share with you all.

Happy Friday!


February 21, 2014 · 10:34 am

Room(s) by Room(s) – Upstairs!

So, we missed our self imposed deadline by two days (we wanted to get an update of the entire house out before our one year anniversary in our new digs), BUT two days isn’t bad, right? ¬†The downstairs rooms had the most dramatic changes and in some way, were a lot easier to make progress on. ¬†Something about, oh I don’t know, having a toddler in bed at 7:30 makes it a little more difficult to break out drills, hammers, and nails and start getting things done in the master bedroom or the guest room which are just feet way from the precious, little sleeping ears. ¬†That’s not to say that we haven’t completely changed the look and feel of the bedrooms, but they are not what you would call, complete, by any means. ¬†Slowly but steadily around here- no judging please! If you missed it, we’ve previously shared the dining room, living room¬†and sunroom,¬†here,¬†here¬†and¬†here.

First up, let’s take a look at how G’s room has changed over the last year.


Large, yes… ugly? More YES!





Before we go any further, yes, we still need to paint all the trim in that room. ¬†It has a coat of primer on it and has been patched in some places where the old heat vents were removed, but overall, you can still see some of the original deep pink coming through. It drives us crazy and is high on the list of things to tackle when the weathers a little nicer and we can air out the room while we paint it. ¬†The room is coming together and G LOVES it. ¬†It is LARGE and all of her small furniture (from her first nursery) seem a little dwarfed and we are trying to plan out some significant built-ins, but it’s come a long way. ¬†The paint color, curtains, and light fixture all came with us from our old house, so being in the room is a sweet reminder of Port St. for us. ¬†Here’s what we tackled:

– LOTS of plaster repair and paint

-New windows (Marvin)

-Carpet (Berber)

-Bookshelf (Ikea)

-Curtains/furniture/artwork/light fixture – all from her first room!

Let’s tackle the Master Bedroom next. ¬†This room is almost three times the size of our former master, definitely one of those, ‘WOW’ moments when we walked in and thought this might be our house. ¬†Ok, ok, it’s not huge, but coming from a 12 foot wide row home, this is spacious! ¬†Here’s what we saw:


Biege and orangey – definitely not what we’d choose!





Someone upgraded to an ‘adult’ bed!¬† ha!¬† Our full size, Ikea platform bed served us well and was VERY comfortable, but with this new space, it was time for an upgrade.¬† Still lots to do in here, too, like, um‚Ķ closet doors. ¬†Yeah, we’re still not actually sure what we want to do for them so rather than put the bi-fold doors back up, we’ve just been living without them. ¬†Does help make us keep the closets organized, I’ll say that! ¬†The fact that this house has two closets in the master AND that they are decent sizes is actually pretty great. ¬†We still have plans for a second floor addition to create a master bath and closet (through that window in the last photo) but for now, we’re making it work.

– Just like the nursery – lots of plaster repair, paint, and new windows

-Refinished/stained original wood floors

-All new furniture: (we had a 6 foot by 12 foot walk in closet in our old house – so we needed clothes storage!) dressers (Ikea), bed (Joss and Main), duvet (West Elm), pillows (Marshalls), nightstands (Marshalls), lamps (IKEA)

– New ceiling fan (Home Depot)

Fun factoid for you, the grey rug (which we kinda just threw in there temporarily) was actually the rug we used in the living room of our row house and yes, it basically covered the entire floor there!¬† “Movin’ on up, (movin’ on up), to the east side..err…North side!…”

The last bedroom, the guest room, got arguably the most dramatic update.¬†¬†Overall, our home is a collection of cooler, contemporary neutral colors. ¬†When we started thinking about the guest room, we thought, if not here, then where could we really experiment the most with color? ¬†Let’s see what you think:







Thoughts on the green? ¬†We’re really digging’ it. ¬†The room, overall, is still a miss match of furniture but offers a great place for guests to stay (and we’ve had lots, which is great!). ¬†Aside from the plaster repair, paint, carpet, and new ceiling fan, this room was put together with things we already had!

So that rounds out the tour of the bedrooms. ¬†Since we’re upstairs, we’ll give you a quick peak at the full bath too. ¬†Lots of room for improvement in there and we already have new tile picked out and plans for a huge overhaul, but the bathroom is completely functional right now and it’s just not the highest priority. ¬†Some paint and new fixtures (some of which still need to be installed, so bear with us) and we got from here:


Literally a ‘bath-room’ with no sink and a toilet that might have technically worked, but looked like the crime scene of a very gruesome movie.

To here:


You can’t see it in the photos, but there’s a new toilet on the other side of the shower wall.¬† We (Anthony) also spent a solid 3 hours scrubbing the floor and grout with a toothbrush and bleach and then a Magic Eraser to clean it up.¬† New window, paint, sink/vanity/mirror (all IKEA) and lightfixture (Home Depot) and we were in business!

That’s where we’re at! ¬†Not too shabby for 12 months of owning this place with 4.5 months of major renovation/construction and moving in mid-May, right? ¬†We’ve definitely learned that trying to renovate and DIY projects is MUCH more difficult and takes longer with a toddler running around. ¬†We also try to remind ourselves that we’re planning to be here a while and Rome wasn’t built in a day; some things will take some time to get just right‚Ķ and by then, we’ll be ready to repaint something anyway, knowing us! ūüėČ


January 27, 2014 · 11:31 am