Old House - Renos Thus Far
We moved into our 1999 built bungalow 2 years ago this past August and although the house is a great size on a nice 3 acre lot, it wasn’t exactly a young couples' dream home (and I admit to being part of the entitled generation...) Now I know 1999 wasn’t that long ago but the house felt very outdated when we moved in and very, VERY, lived in. The previous owners ran a day care out of this home, had 3 small boys of their own, plus had 2 large dogs inside. Needless to say there was a fair share of mystery stains, animal smells and as my good friend put it, ‘booger hiding places’. When my mom and I did the initial cleaning after we got the keys, we swept up an entire grocery bag amount of toy cars, mini hockey sticks, figurines and candies from behind the fridge alone. I bet the daycare here was really fun.
Everything aside, when I first walked into our now home, I knew it would be exactly that. My husband wasn’t able to make the first viewing with me so I brought my mom along. I could see the potential immediately. I have a knack for visualizing just about anything (well unless it’s sports related) and seeing what this house could be was very exciting. I texted my husband right away and told him we had found a house. He didn’t have any protests when he saw it, and so it was, we bought our first home (got married on our property) and not so long after that we started renovating.
Stippled ceiling is just about the weirdest thing. Who ever thought covering the space above your head with off-white speckled protrusions of a chalky texture resembling a miniature mountain range would look good? I don’t know. All I do know is it all has to go. Scrapping stipple is about as ugly as a job as it is a thing. It’s messy and dusty and coats every conceivable surface with a thin film of pulverized whiteness. And it’s hard work! (I think...) Marty has done a wonderful job thus far removing the nastiness that is the stippled ceiling. I make a very good supervisor.
The built in gas fireplace in the living room also had to go. Growing up, my parents had (and still have) the same gas fireplace that we ripped out. I think my family can count how many time that fireplace was turned on as it literally was only ignited for Christmas Day morning. Very lovely, don’t you know, opening gifts by the light and warmth of flame. But, after a couple of hours camped out around it we would all get so hot that it was inevitably always turned off. Marty and I felt that we'd use our gas fireplace even less than that, and besides, we have a good-old-fashioned wood burning one in our basement. Oh, and we put in some Costco grade laminate flooring!
After taking out the ugly, useless fireplace and mantel, we assembled our barn board wall, the true centerpiece of our home. We used pallet boards Marty saved from the dumpster. Some are sun-bleached and some are stained. We couldn't be happier about the way it turned out! Our new mantel not only has rustic charm, but is also a very sentimental piece of wood. As mentioned prior, we were married on our property and Marty and my dad built the arch under which we were wed. The arch was then transformed into our mantel and was a salvaged piece of wood to begin with. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
Beige Cave; the state of most homes before becoming personalized by homeowners, when some shade of builder beige is thrown on to every single wall as to make the whole house into one incredibly unstimulating beige cave.
There was no way we were living in such a state! It's just not very us. So if it hasn’t been painted yet, every wall surface is bound to such fate. Our throughout neutral is Behr’s Gentle Rain (grey), while Topiary Tint (green), Cottage White, Yellow Gold (yellow) and Catalina Coast (blue) grace our walls here and there thus far.
In the front foyer we added some classy crown molding, tackled our first tiling job and added a new light fixture from Lowe’s. The big thing on the wall is an old rake wheel from Marty's farm.
Light fixtures from Ikea now grace our halls as the builder-boobs had to go. I feel like if a crocheted gramma doily could take on a life as a light fixture, these Ikea gems would be them!
Towards the back of the house, the back entrance/laundry room, we took out an extremely useless wall. Understandably, it was likely built to shutout laundry noises from the rest of the home, but we thought that having a spacious back entry way trumped the need to shut out the noise. A small pony wall was also removed to create better flow. The ceiling was a bit of a mess after the wall removals, so we covered up the messy bits with some faux beams.
Well, that's some progress, folks. It seems like things are moving in turtle-gear (one of Marty's favourite sayings) but alas! Rome wasn't built in a day... This renoing thing is a lot more work than imagined; constantly cleaning messes and moving things from one space to another. It is A LOT of work, and eats at the pockets! But in the end we will have our dream home!
(Originally posted July 22, 2014)