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Posts Tagged ‘home remodeling’

Frink the frug

No, we’re not Frink. I don’t think we’ll be ever be done. Frink, you may never know a home without projects. You’re a renovation pup. There was a time you enjoyed rolling in torn up carpet foam and tracking through wet paint. Even those exotic textures and smells  bore you now? Sorry, Frink, how do you think I feel?

Tudorks 1 year update: Well, we aren’t divorced yet. That’s good. Everyone says that when you take on a project this huge that a divorce is certain. No, I completely disagree. If anything, it has made our marriage stronger. We have accomplished so much, still working on 1 year before and after pics. We’ve defuzzed, defurred, decarpeted, defunked 2500 square feet of living space. We’ve painted every single room. We’ve waxed every single floor. We’ve put down a new kitchen floor. We’ve electrical and plumbing down. And much, much more. I’ve blanked out half of the nasty projects from my memory. So, what’s left? Here’s the short list as to not bore you, Frink.

  1. Finish upstairs bathroom. Please don’t laugh at us. Wasn’t this supposed to be done months ago? Need to touch up paint, clean up floor, maybe get tub glazed. This should be finished in a weekend.
  2. Finish downstairs powder room. Put up ceiling tiles, rip up old floor and put down new. Maybe get “new” fixtures, meaning something more authentic to the era of the home. Oh, and get them working. A month of weekends?
  3. Random paint touch-ups. We painted every room and then messed it all up in the renovating process. A room could be done nightly.
  4. Repair front porch. Concrete is cracking, chipping. It’s a big mess and we are so intimidated by concrete projects. Pay somebody.
  5. Finish cleaning door hardware and hang up remaining doors. Maybe a weekend?
  6. Fireplace mantel. I will be so happy when that is done. I’m so picky that this may never get finished.
  7. Oh, and all the new things that have to be done: replace windows, roof, make us completely and totally broke. Ughh, do I have to think about this? Welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership. Frink, can’t you get a job posing on a greeting card or something so we can replace a few windows or something? All you do is lay around, complaining, staying in your kennel all day.

So, yeah, these are the main things left. It’s doable considering how much we got done in 1 year on our own, but frankly I’m sick of renovating. I know this feeling is very normal when talking to other people and visiting home forums.  All of you home builders, home restorers, home renovators- how long did your project take? Are you finished? Am I sweating the small stuff? I expect repairs throughout ownership, but how long did it take you finish your “must do now” list? How did you live through it? 🙂

-Victoria

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We really underused white during our renovation. Now that I am design exhausted, I feel that white would of been the way to go. It’s simple and fitting, especially for bathrooms. The only two “big” projects that we have left are the bathrooms. One have one full-size bath (as full-size as a 1930’s bathroom comes) and a “powder” room. I’m halfway finished with the full bath. I can’t decide what to do with the powder room. We keep changing our minds.

This first bathroom is very nice, very simple. I like its simplicity but I do fear that my “flamboyant” personality will grow tired of this. This really would be my exhausted design choice. I love those beams. Those will never be in this house. Oh, and a bathroom this size will never be in this house either unless I decide to convert a bedroom into a bath. Lame.

The other room is a rustic bathroom. I apologize. I have also forgot where this one came from. This is more our speed. It appears to be a tiny, realistic bathroom. I do like the wainscoting going all the way up the wall. I look as wainscoting as the paneling of today. I do fear that it will be horribly dated. I am considering wainscoting because the plaster in the powder room is well, crumbly and thin. Frink smushes his smushed, flat face against the wall and it dents. We need to come up with something to solve this problem. Anyways, I like this 2nd bathroom because it is so practical. It actually looks like it is lived in and they’ve had to create storage for an older bathroom. David’s solution is to get rid of my skincare rituals. This will never happen. He better be ready to hang up some shelves.

-Victoria

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Why do I find mantels so intimidating? Oh, maybe because we don’t have one. Sometime during this home’s life, somebody ripped it off and paneled over it. What a shame! Since we have never had to think of mantels before, I’ve been searching for one to love. I found 2 black mantels online. I like them but I don’t love them enough for my own home. They are share worthy.

Woman's Day black mantel

Woman's Day black mantel

The 1st one is from Woman’s Day magazine (how did I ever come across this?). I liked it because it is both moody and romantic. The black and lilac really go well together. It’s a pretty picture into this space. But, let’s be real here. That is one killer mantel and it has some amazing details. This thing would look stunning with any room. I’m not going to be a purist and get all my granny panties in a wad, but could you imagine how beautiful this thing was underneath that poorly applied coat of black paint? I love painted furniture but I’m trying to only use that as a way to make something work that couldn’t otherwise. Wood is a beautiful thing. It brings nature into the home. But, I’m not being a purist. I have no idea what that mantel looked like before and the black adds a certain drama that this room needs or else it would be too shabby chic and predictable.

The other room is from House Beautiful magazine. It isn’t exactly a black mantel but this space packs the drama. This is a beautiful space but I fear it is only photogenic. I’m always attracted to these dark rooms in photos but I rarely see them in person so I haven’t been able to form a rational opinion of the black room. But, anyways. As far as eye candy goes, this room is it. What luxury! What mystery! The light from the fireplace plays with the black glossiness. The accessories are nice, maybe not what I would pick but nice. Well, I would pick them but the symmetry makes it hard to breathe in there. Does vintage modern apply to this art deco modern approach of decorating? But, once again. This is a lovely mantel and I’m sure it would work with any room, even one with a more traditional color.

House Beautiful mantel

House Beautiful mantel

I am having the hardest time deciding on a mantel. My dad’s friend will be making us one and he says he can use mahogany. I love the richness of mahogany and will not paint over this (not even with black). I just can’t find a style that I like. So when all else fails, go simple, I guess.

-Victoria

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woodfloorsOK, so we have to move into our “mess sweet mess” next week. We’ve been working really hard to make it “acceptable”, but what really matters is that the plumbers and electricians can finish so that the place will be “working” and “usable”. Initially our plan was to rid the home of its ugliness. This means removing wallpaper, prime, paint, remove carpet, tile a few floors, and refinish the floors. Last Friday we came to our senses. This was going to be too much work. We realized that we only had a week of prep time and refinishing the floors would take all of our time. Plus, the “team” hasn’t finished and rumor has it they want to cut up some floors, walls, umm, destroy. After feeling overwhelmed and researching wood floor refinishing online and at every home improvement store in the area (no help at all), we talked to a few neighbors. Many have the same “batch” of floor as we have. A few have refinished and this was time consuming and expensive. Others have done nothing and just live with it, rugs do so much. And another waxes their floors for that hand-rubbed shine. We realized that we can live in a floor that is less than perfect for the time being. We have to prioritize expenses and our time. David sanded down a closet and put a poly coat over it. This looks awful! I really dislike the look of poly and the sanding took the lovely patina out of the floor. We were not going to do this throughout the house.  I bought a can of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax because I always liked the sheen it left on my parent’s Shaker furniture reproductions. I practiced in a closet and it looks “revived”, yet still very rustic. (Hey, I’m working with what I have here). So, our plan is to do this before we move in: wax the floors. We plan on renting a buffer and going to town with this task. We have almost finished all of our painting upstairs and half of downstairs! The place already looks soo different. (I’m working on creating an album). I think clean floors will make a difference, haha. The floors aren’t in the best condition. There are scratches, looks like somebody has been shooting off fireworks in one room, and horrible kitty stains (the worst!). But, we are looking at empty rooms and to be honest most of our furniture will cover this up, rugs, etc. And really, as you can see from the pic, the floors aren’t horrible. I think sometimes we strive for too much perfection. We’ve decided to live with it and eventually have a pro do it in the future. Refinishing floors that are over 70 years old and have had zero maintenance is too much for us right now. We are stressed and have decided to not take on such a big job on top of our other big jobs, well, at least for now. I better go and finish painting over black trim…

-Victoria

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First impression: awesome wallpaper.

First impression: awesome wallpaper.

When this house was for sale, I peeped through the windows before being showed the home “formally”. Glad I didn’t get accused of being a Peeping Tom. I was peeping but not for those perverted reasons. Trust me, nothing to see here but junk and not that kind of junk. Geez. The windows through the back were open and I was amazed at what I saw. It was the most amazing red and gold wallpaper ever in a small dining nook. I just knew that I had to see more and boy did I see more.

I love wallpaper and this stuff is tops. It is felt and foil and completely fabulous. Unfortunately, it is grotty (filthy, peeling, felt rubbed off in areas) and it has to go. New windows are being put in and some electrical stuff needs to be done. It’s sad because I would love to work with this stuff, but dirty is dirty and repairs must be made. I hope to salvage and frame some of it. The print is just too good to disappear. I did find the exact same stuff online, Rosie’s Vintage Wallpaper (awesome site BTW), but for  $325 a roll! I would of splurged but a roll won’t do the space and the ceilings are tall and coved. It’s hard to “draw a line” of when to quit. I just thought it would be cool to be able to keep that bold print in such a small space. Heck, Brocade Home (pictured below) does this all the time and people love it. Brocade has tacky light fixtures as well but I don’t think any are as tacky as a Tiffany styled swag Huskies lamp. The carpet is going too. Can’t wait to see the wood floors beneath!

Everybody is doing it!

Everybody is doing it!

After looking for vintage wallpaper online, I came across some pretty groovy stuff at a thrift store for like a $2 a roll, some very Buck Rogers stuff. It’s foil, no felt. It’s a mod in a 70’s way design with silver, white, macaroni n’cheese orange, and yellow. I don’t know if or where I’ll use it but I do have a bit of a wallpaper bug right now. Perhaps in the speech studio?

-Victoria

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Hey, this reminds me of my stark life!

Hey, this reminds me of my stark life!

This past week, um 100 days, has been kind of hellish. We still haven’t closed on the house and really don’t know when we will. We hope to close tomorrow but we’ve been hoping that for over 100 days. All the docs are in but I’ve lost hope on closing this deal. Last week we were in a panic. The rental property wanted us out because we couldn’t sign a year long lease since we are hoping to close on a house soon. Our other options included month to month renting which was expensive, $1300 + other expenses for 700 square feet out in the middle of nowheresville. We could rent a vacation rental for a minimum of $900 a week. This would of been nice but David is still working over the summer and this would of made his commute too long. The other option was to rent a hotel and this was over $100 a night and totally booked because of the heatwave that took over the area. People were renting hotel rooms just to cool off. Just for 3 nights it would of been over $350 at a crappy hotel. These options had the possibility of totally breaking us. But, we really didn’t have any other options other than calling the housing deal off and just renting yearly again. We asked the stupid property management crew if we could rent month-to-month and they gave us a “no” about a month ago. After we had moved all of our stuff to a stinky storage unit, rented a U-Haul, and were doing the last cleaning touches to the rental at about 3 hours before we were supposed to turn the keys in, we get a call from the PM crew asking if we would still like to rent the place for a month. Some timing. We didn’t want to but it would be cheaper than our other options plus we don’t have an actual closing date and the other house isn’t move in ready. We were a few hours from homelessness and this seemed to be the best thing to do in our state of desperation. So, now we are in a minimalist house pulling some of the things from storage out that we need. Need I remind you that we loaded that stuff into storage on the hottest day like ever in Washington? This has been a really abusive week, months, but at least we have a home for the time being. A very minimalist ,almost like camping, home where we sleep on an air mattress, have like 5 clothing items, no washer or dryer, no pots/pans, tables/chairs, etc. I am seriously not a candidate for the minimalist lifestyle. I am not a fan of this starkness. It’s too frustrating and cold. Oh yeah, we threw out all of our food. I hate to complain about this but it is all a bit overwhelming. Currently, we have a home, an empty home, but it is a place to live and we know how much the costs are monthly. No surprises. Hopefully we will close this week and be able to start the other home’s renovation. It would be nice to have a clean place to live during this rehab time. I hope it all works out, it usually does, but man have we been up doo-doo creek lately without a paddle!

-Victoria

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marthastewarpinkroom

Martha Stewart's all pink cottage.

As you can tell if you look at the First Impressions entry, this home has not had a woman’s touch in well, at least 40 years for sure. No lady would put up with the custom van look for their home. Since I am married, I’ve always tried to keep the  decor gender neutral to respect David’s presence in the home. This hasn’t been difficult since David always has an opinion and is actively involved with this kind of stuff. I think I may be rebelling against the disorganized masculine mess that we will be calling home, I’m going pink. Yep, pink. Yep, we don’t have a little girl with a princess complex and we aren’t planning a nursery. I want pink. I’ve been “attracted” to these pretty pink rooms for sometime, keeping them in little inspiration folders, but never thinking I would do it. I’m getting a teeny tiny room to turn into my “boudoir”, my little nook of all things that I enjoy smelling, touching, and looking at. This will be the new home for the fragrance collection, Gig prints, and soft lush fabrics. This room will be pink. It took me a long time to determine the color, haha, actually it was a choice that would otherwise be too painful due to my indecisive nature, I let the mistint gods make the decision for me. It matched my ballet pink top at the moment and it made sense. It is a color that goes very nicely with my complexion. This is my “big” girl’s room and I might as well go over the top XX with it. David has no complaints since this “room” is what many would consider a walk-in closet, tiny and out of the way. (Oh, the door is getting painted raspberry, courtesy of the mistint gods).

I suggested that if we had any paint leftover then we should paint the downstairs powder room the same color, pretty pale pink. (It matches the kitchen counter, which I will be keeping, too darn cute and retro).  And to my surprise David agrees. I would of never have guessed this in a million years, I was prepared for a moan. David isn’t Mr. Macho, but he is a guy. I think he agrees because A. it is cheap and every penny saved is a Sputnik lamp earned and B. I think he sees what happens to a house when there is no presence of a lady (yep, I’m going to excluding Miss Larger-than-Life mural babe, even though she is a female presence in the house, she doesn’t count). We already decided this is where the signed H.G. Lewis poster will go. Exploitation media should make any home less feminine…

The room above is the living room from Martha Stewart’s pretty much monochrome pink cottage, this resembles my mistint the most. And from what I understand, this mistint may be because of Martha, she is mum about the color used in her cottage. It’s top secret, her Bush’s baked beans family secret. I think she can’t make a buck from it so she doesn’t care.

southernaccentspinkroom

Southern room.

The second room is from a southern home magazine (Southern Accents?). This pink is much bolder than what I plan on using but I love it. Maybe some day. I would pair my with much more stuffy and formal and “traditional” furniture with eye scalding shades of acid with black or espresso accents. Seriously, the more I look at this pic, the more I want to do the living room this color. I have found a million other pink room on the world wide web. I do love them, especially when they are mixed with lots of nice antiques and all the lovely vintage things I collect. I have a good feeling about the pink rooms that we will have. I really do and if we hate them then there is a nice mistint somewhere waiting to go on top of it.

-Victoria

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