Michigan has a lot of great educational opportunities - so my friend will be moving here and living with us while she goes to grad school in Detroit! Thus began operation Make the Bedroom Livable. Since moving in, it had become a dumping ground for all of my crap that I needed to sort through and make sense of. The original goal had been to convert the bedroom to a workroom for my art. Seeing as how it never happened, this became a perfect opportunity to convert it to a bedroom and workspace for her instead!
Originally, it was a blank canvas. It was painted the color "Creamy Mushroom" by Behr. The registers in the room were scuzzy looking grey/brown with rust and paint stains. There were gaps between the trim and the wall. (This is an old house after all. With over 100 years of settling and adjusting, not everything is going to stay in perfect place. Overall the room just looked...uninviting and not exciting.
I decided a dark purple accent wall was just what was needed, so that's what happened! All the other walls became one shade lighter of the original color. Painters caulk was used to seal all of the small gaps between the trim and wall. All trim was a dark, uneven brown. It's now a bright white!
I bought a silver curtain rod on clearance at JoAnn's for 5 bucks! Curtains will be coming soon - once I find ones that don't look stupid, of course.
This week, we will be installing an entire wall of shelving. I purchased "project" pine boards from Lowes and Home Depot. We stained them a dark walnut and applied roughly 5,839 layers of oil-based polyurethane to seal them and smooth them out. It took a week, but it was worth how nice they look now. The hardware was pipe I sprayed a metal midnight black color. We found an inspiring photo on Pinterest and rolled with that design because it fits perfectly for the space and what she's going to need.
I need to still finish spraying the futon metal that same color I sprayed the shelving pipe. Once that's complete, we can assemble it in the bedroom.
As part of my cheap nature and love of getting bargains, I found a dresser on a Facebook resale group for 35 bucks. That will be going in her room in the closet. Considering that the closet is a solid 4-5 feet deep, it will fit in the back nicely and save space in the actually bedroom space.
Photos are on their way once the project is complete!
In the laundry room floor saga, the last I reported on was that I was either convincing or already convinced Dan that we needed to buy tile that looked like wood.
Today we decided to look at a local discount store and see what the selection was. It was miserable. The lowest cost tile was about $2.00 a square foot in the clearance bins with just enough of that tile to do a 4 square foot room. Noooot gonna do it. So we left and went to Home Depot today to finish buying enough mud to complete the laundry room. Then we thought, "Hey, while we're here, why don't we look at their wood-tile selection?" It was all pretty expensive, and Dan complained that if we bought it, we would need to redo the kitchen flooring as well because the transition between one room and another would be awkward if we didn't.
We found a pretty tile that was in a plank shape but wasn't a wood texture. So the compromise began. I said I could live with it and he sort of liked it too. We grabbed one tile and walked around looking for backsplash-ish tile to match it and blend in on the floor. Eventually the clearance pile appeared in our sights. After circling twice, we found a tile that was LESS THAN 10 DOLLARS A BOX. With 9 boxes (less than 100 dollars) we could tile our entire room. And it looked very similar to the one we already decided we could live with. We bought that tile, so that's that! And now another stress is down. Tonight is a FINISH THIS DAMN MUDDING SO WE CAN MOVE ON WITH LIFE night and tomorrow is pure sanding. Yay.
It's amazing how little blogging gets done when drywalling a laundry room - because HELL YES that's where we are! (Aside from a recent 2 week period where my darling bearded love of my life left for work training in Las Vegas.)
We're at the mudding/sanding/rinse-repeat stage and I absolutely hate it. I hate mudding, yet it's only slightly better than sanding. I think perhaps that in hell Satan devises high ceilings full of drywall mud and he hands newcomers sanding sponges and tells them to get to work for the next 1,000 years. Endless and eternal suffering, thy name is drywall.
Once we're done with all that, it's going to be downhill! The next step will be framing out the windows and doors, painting the walls and ceiling, and then laying down tile. Yes, tile. I was able to convince my handsome Bon Bon that we need tile that looks like wood. Once that happens, I can FINALLY get my washer and dryer. I may yet have a laundry room before winter!
No, I didn't leave out an article "the". Just so everyone knows, we are equally the boss. (And more me.)
This past week, he was able to wire our entire laundry room and outside lights like a BOSS. The electrical arts mystify me so it makes it that much more compelling to give him props here. I really hope it's downhill from here because I'd REALLY like to do laundry in my own house.
Currently we're in a debate. I want some non-tile flooring for the laundry room and he wants tile. I wanted to compromise with tile that looks like wood but I don't think I've sold him yet - so obviously I have work to do.
My dad has done carpentry work his entire life - his father taught him and the knowledge has been in our family for several generations. Let me just go ahead and say that he has been one of the most helpful people in this whole 'buying an old house' process. He's helping us redo our laundry room (if you can even call it that from what it was and how it functioned before.)
We demoed the room and he has already helped us reframe everything, even out the floor and add plywood, build stairs, and add 3 new large windows in. I want it to be gorgeous when it's done so I've got my eye on some flooring from Lumber Liquidators. I already purchased a rustic looking light fixture from Lowes.
He dropped the stairs off today and added them to the room (by added, I mean he put them where they will be going but hasn't fastened them in yet.) From here we're going to get a material list together to wire in the electrical, re-add plumbing, and get the washer and dryer box framed in. After that, it's pretty much all downhill! After all the annoying things, it's drywalling, painting, and then getting a brand new washer and dryer. It really can't come soon enough. I've been to the laundromat once. That's quite enough.
I was able to paint my oak bookcase and it looks FAB...or at least it will once I paint the rest of the room to actually MATCH the bookcase.
My loving paramore took the repurposed wood I whitewashed and added them to the bathroom closet last night so our towels finally have a home.
Everything is coming together and it's making me ridiculously happy!
The day of reckoning finally arrived: we were able to move in to the house. After many trips back and forth to load the large items in his truck and the smaller ones in mine, we made our final trek on Monday. Dan had to turn the keys in Monday because we didn't make it to the office in time. (Oh well.) We were trying to sell his TV to someone on craigslist so we waited and waited but the person was a no show. Thanks random craigslist bunghole!
It's been a LOT of work this week. I've been trying to cram 50 things a day into a day that contains slots for only 10 of those things. We at least now have the living room relatively arranged with how we want it. It also helps that the living room looks 20 times better than every other room in the house because it's the only one we've completely painted and hung curtains in. All other rooms are currently works in progress. Before school/work starts back up again I'd like to get the bathroom painted as well as the dining room. And of course the dining room can't be painted until I clean it out of old furniture I'm trying to sell. There's also a pantry cupboard in here that needs to go in the laundry room - which of COURSE can't go in there until the laundry room is done! Sometimes remodeling is so frustrating because it's a huge chain and things cannot be done until OTHER things are done.
Once we get things more organized and put in appropriate places I will be able to continue painting throughout the house. The bathroom is my next target so that we can hang shelving once I'm done. (Pretty silly to hang shelving and then attempt to paint around it.)
And I swear photos are coming soon. I am the worst at that.
I spent the weekend cleaning all of the trim with a mixture of water and TSP to ready it for the oil based primer I purchased. After painting all of the trim with said oil based paint and waiting for it to dry I happened to look at the back of the can. "Do not use TSP." Well poop. Strike one.
I left the house and let it dry overnight. The next day I drove to the local hardware store and used a $10 off $30 or more coupon to purchase a gallon of white paint to go over the primed sections. It was nice to finally be able to paint without having to wear a heavy duty mask. PROGRESS! I left to allow it to dry for another day or two. The mistake (or strike 2) I made in this was then going online and reading about how other people paint to make sure I did it right. Because according to the paint experts of the internet, I've done everything wrong. From paint technique to dry time to brushes used - everything was wrong. My boyfriend keeps trying to assure me what I did was fine, that the paint won't flake and fall off and that I won't ever have to repeat what I've already done. Frankly if it did start peeling off I would just embrace the whole haunted house theme and roll with it. I don't have it within me to start over and try again at this moment.
Today, because Sherwin Williams was running a huge sale, I bought 6 gallons of paint for the living room, dining room, and bathroom. If I'm lucky I might even get a bedroom or laundry room out of it! I plan on taping off the ceiling tomorrow so I can paint the molding at the top. After a nice dry time, I'll tape all of the trim and get those walls painted.
It's now officially 1 week until move time! SO much to do, AHHHHH!
With the summer in full swing, various bumps in the road of life are making it harder to continue working on the house with a steady schedule. (Of course this stresses me out to the highest level. We have to be out of our apartment by the end of July. AHHHH!)
I've nearly stripped the entire "inside" of the living room and have begun to migrate into the dining room. I'm glad I didn't think about, or really have knowledge of, the scope of this project. Otherwise I probably would have decided not to do it. Today I purchased another gallon jug of Strypeeze at the local hardware store and worked for a few hours trying to get the varnish off from the pillars. I've found it's much easier to wipe curved and rounded areas off with shop towels rather than try to use a scraper.
Having had no guidance with this process, I really hope I'm doing it right. Thus far it's been apply lots of varnish remover, scrape, repeat. When the area is clear, I wipe it down with a mixture of water and TSP and let that dry. After, I apply wood filler to any uneven areas and let THAT dry. Then I sand everything down. Final step? Wipe all the dust off so it's clean and prepped for some primer.
I've picked the paint color the living room and dining room will end up being - and possibly the kitchen! The previous owners used one paint color over the whole house. The only words you could use to describe it are "plain", "neutral", and "warm putty". It's not offensive, but definitely not the comfortable, cooler look we're going for. I've found a nice light blue-grey that goes perfectly with our tastes, the curtains (very important), and white trim.
We've been taking photos all during this whole process. It's nice to actually SEE the progress you're making when everything feels like it's going at a snails pace.
Work is going well if not VERY slow with the house. I've taken lots of photos that I will hopefully be able to upload side by side with the changes we've made. I've continued stripping the trim of the strange alligator-like varnish covering every inch of the house. I can't WAIT to see it painted with a fresh coat of white.
My boyfriend accuses me of putting the cart ahead of the horse and focusing on too broad of a spectrum. (Confession: it's true.) I get so excited about all of the things I WANT to do that I focus on ALL of the things - at once! Unfortunately it will be at least a few years before the interior of the house is something I'm semi-okay with.
We're headed there as a team tomorrow after he gets home from work so he can complete gutting the laundry room while I hopefully finish pulling the nasty trim gunk off the windows.
Wish us luck!
Today marked the official first day of adding my touch to the house. Because we're waiting to begin demolition until tomorrow, I decided today was a good day for the beginning of weeding and gardening. This house has a LOT of weeds.
A quick drive to Meijer netted me far more than what the trip was intended for. But hey, now there are strawberries and rhubarb planted! Gardening and digging holes through layers of roots and bullshit is not for sissies. I worked up a really good sweat and felt AMAZING when I was done. Living in apartments makes you miss out on the glory years of gardening. It is also extremely time consuming. I'm fairly certain I have the tiniest of areas weeded in comparison to the time I spent in it. But hey, it's alright, I have all summer! The goal is to mold it into what I want it to be during next spring and summer.
We've also begun demolition on the laundry room. Fortunately there were no dead bodies or secret hordes of spiders discovered underneath the floorboards. I was sanding in the living room but whatever is on the walls does NOT want to remove itself. So my new agenda is to buy the super-plus-extra-angry sand paper to attach to my sander and release my rage on the wood trim.
Update: Apparently even super-extra-angry sand paper does not work. I had to purchase Strypeeze and will spend the next 20 years of my life vanquishing the nastiness that is old, textured varnish.
July is going to be one tiring month.
My "New" House Blog
I've never purchased a house, haven't a clue what I'm up to, but I still plan on doing home improvement projects that reflect my personality and sense of design.
In keeping with my need for record-keeping, all of my achievements and mistakes will be broadcast here (preferably more achievements and less mistakes). Hopefully this will offer insight to those trying to do what I've gone through!
I came from a family that valued education. (For the record, getting a degree in design was not part of that "value in education" piece.) I pursued my degree anyway and now am pushing towards my dream of becoming a craftsperson, using the house I'm buying as a practice run!