Sunday, February 16, 2014

First Impressions

One thing I am sure about is that I have never been that great with first impressions. I am always awkward and nervous, I second guess myself later, it goes on and on, you get the drift.

So, when it came to my house, who was I to judge a house by the first impression? I mean, if I had just turned my nose up at at the site of those white bathroom tiled floors, the 1967 wagon chandeliers, and the chipped up wrought iron banister..I would have had a lot less work to do missed out on a great house. 
Sadly, I didn't think about blogging at the time, so the only photo I have for you is this snapshot from that shows a portion of the entryway on the left.
The day after we got the keys, we ripped that tile up as fast as we could to replace it with hardwood. Well, "we" meaning our contractor, I was 5 months preg with high blood pressure so ripping up tile wasn't exactly on my list of approved activities. The banister came out for the refinishing job on the stairs(we refinished the whole house prior to moving in) and the lights came down about 2 weeks after we moved in. Then, things got a little quiet in that room. 

We actually lived without a banister for 2 years(hang my head in shame) and I am pretty sure if there wasn't a toddler and a grandma in this house it might still be that way. Last November we decided to bite the bullet and have this project done. It was becoming a safety issue and I really wanted to hang garland on it at Christmas. I can't believe the difference it made. I knew exactly what I wanted after checking out several other blogs and Pinterest. I love the look of the white newel post with the stained banister.

So, while there is still a lot to do in this area to work on my first impressions, we are making progress. Here is the list:

  1. Rip up tile and replace with hardwood
  2. Remove wrought iron banister and refinish steps
  3. Paint
  4. Update lighting
  5. Add new banister and newel post
  6. Replace door, stairway and floor molding
  7. Replace closet doors
  8. Update electrical and get rid of that weird old smoke alarm(we have DIY all the other switches. This is a 4 way and over our head and we aren't sure about this smoke alarm yet)
  9. Create a fun and huge gallery wall going up the stairs
  10. Refresh paint on stairway steps
  11. Add crown molding
  12. Paint again - When we moved in we just had it painted a basic color. I am considering a light grey instead of this one because it is more warm/taupey
  13. Add round table in place of that chair(still waiting to find the perfect one for the perfect price)
  14. New rugs(these are leftovers from our old house and a little warm for my taste now)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spruce Job: The Tale of the Blue Bath

So one of the 989 things that scared me on the first day I walked into this house was our main bathroom upstairs. So, so blue. It was finished in 1969...and I don't think it was ever touched again. Except maybe a failed attempt by the sellers to make the blue tub, toilet and sinks blend in by painting the walls blue? Oh man...I remember mentally listing the positives, the things I felt like I could work with, and yeah, that list was SHORT. But, still I was ready for the challenge to make this work a bit...because I knew this house was "the one".

Well, fast forward two years and a complete kitchen reno, a gut job on the 1/2 bath, 101 other projects and a baby later...I am ashamed to admit, that bathroom was still blue. I think I walked in there every day for 2 years and told myself I was going to work on it "this coming weekend". Well, about a month ago, after coming to the realization that a gut job on two bathrooms was just not happening in the near future, and knowing the master is a must gut...I decided to suck it up and deal with the blue madness.

It's looking much improved with a checklist of 8 items and a budget of $300:

  1. New white toilet $150 (this was done around week 2 of ownership...for obvious reasons)
  2. Remove the doors from the shower and hang curtain(I have never been a fan of doors and not practical for bathing the little guy. $0(we had the curtain and rod from our last house)
  3. Paint the blue walls a light grey/remove old chair rail molding - $0(had the paint and filler already)
  4. Scrub the tile/grout with a deep cleaner to try and restore it (I tried but it's still in rough shape) - $10 
  5. Paint the vanity, add contact paper and new hardware - $25
  6. Update electrical - $15
  7. Update window treatment with fresh white blinds - $25
  8. Add artwork, rug and decor items(these are the things that I think draw attention away from the fact that the room is still pretty outdated) - $75

Things I would like to try down the road:

  1. Paint the counters and sinks - this is a job we will do after the master is finished
  2. Paint the blue tub - this is a job we will do when we can start showering in the master to let it set
  3. Add two shelves to the empty space in the middle of the cabinets for towel storage
But - for now I will enjoy the minor low budget improvements. I think it looks much improved!