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Posts Tagged ‘rehab home’

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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Our unfinished kitchen

I think it is only appropriate to show such a “moody” picture of the kitchen. This is how this kitchen makes me feel. I feel we made many gains quickly and then it stayed in this shape for 4 months. If you need a refresher, I’ll give you one. All of our cabinets and drawers were covered with blue faux fur, think Cookie Monster here, underneath the custom van complex addition, there were layers and layers of paint. This included an adorable mint green with the cutest vintage rose decals ever, too bad that couldn’t be. I think David spent 3 months just removing layers and layers of paint off of the cabinets/drawers. Oh, and Trappy’s Pepper Sauce (rehab homes are not easy may I remind you). Months later and we are still waiting for the fresh coat of white paint to dry on two doors. It then took me a couple of months to find the perfect vintage hardware (not seen in this pic). I did find the perfect hardware and that is a post soon to come. David redid the floor with eco-friendly (I couldn’t resist) and vintage fabulous marmoleum, the white tiles have been salvaged. We ordered the black. The original floor was a wreck, once again, a post in waiting. We did keep the original fixtures. I adore my faucet and my light fixtures and my shallow, long sink. I worked with my pink with gold flake counter top. I do love that as well and would get it new if I could. The walls are painted a ’57 Chevy teal or a milkier Fender Strat in Taos Turquoise, of course not seen in my moody pic.

It’s not the best picture. But, this hasn’t been a picture perfect renovation. It is going to take some time to get there with us both working full-time. I just thought I would share some of the progress we’ve made and to also complain a little about how I live. At least we have a stove and fridge. We lived off of a George Foreman and a mini fridge for many, many months. I guess I shouldn’t complain that one can see my spice collection, tea library, and bare white dishes. There used to be a dead muppet on the doors in there and a wigs worth of crazy bachelor’s hair. Oh, and I forgot the shagadelic, mod felt faces wallpaper!!!

-Victoria

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Dining nook, I think 7 layers of wallpaper.

Dining nook, I think 7 layers of wallpaper.

Every room in this house has been covered with wallpaper! And not just one layer but like 7 with a few layers painted over! Getting this stuff off has been a nightmare. Seriously, I’m having nightmares over it. All the paper has to go despite its coolness. I love vintage wallpaper and even before we bought this house I spent hours online “researching” different types and popularity because I love vintage prints. As you remember this house was filthy (still is). We have to start fresh. Electrical work must be done, did see some slime mold in its reproductive stages in some of the felt, and I need to know if there has been any plaster damage. So, we have 5 known rooms to remove wallpaper from.

I have removed wallpaper before as a kid. It was a small bathroom and my dad just did that soapy water soaking method. My little fingers and strange obsession with picking made me a good “helper”. It was awful. It is still awful. My little kid memories did not fail me. For some reason we first started with the dining nook. Who knew this little space had been wallpapered so many times?

1930's bottom layer peeping through

1930's bottom layer peeping through

We got all the way down to the original late 30’s stuff that was there when it was built, notes are on the plaster below of what “model” of wallpaper to use. We first started with scrapping, this took forever! Then we soaked the walls with warm water. This helped. But, it made a huge mess. (To our advantage we are not keeping the carpet in there). This process was still taking forever. After 2.5 days of scraping and peeling this tiny space, we had enough. I remember a lady I work with telling me about how her son rented a wallpaper steamer during his old home renovation. Off to Lowe’s on Sunday we went. They did not rent them. Instead they sold them. We purchased the Wagner 705 Power Steamer for $50. We were seriously hopeless and couldn’t believe how cheap this thing is and we have so many rooms to do. We went home and it melted paper off like butter! Unbelievable. We wasted so much time! It is the easiest machine to use ever, it does get very hot but it doesn’t require caustic chemicals, just water. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and the wallpaper will be running away in fear.

Kitchen wallpaper

Kitchen wallpaper

Removing wallpaper even with the steamer is still time consuming but it definitely cuts it down to like 3 hours instead of 3 days. I have to hold it over the painted over wallpaper for 3 times as long. So, I just give a space 2 hours of steaming and walk away and come back later or another day. My shoulders are not happy with me! We just have so much to remove. Glue just stays in the plaster with its knock-down finish. I’m finding that even though I get most of it off, I still have to come back later and steam and run a stiff broom over the wall to get all the debris off.

I’m almost done. I have finished the foyer, stairway, 90% of the dining nook, and remember that luscious lady mural, well, she’s gone now. I just have the kitchen with its amazing wallpaper. It looks like only one layer so the steamer will tear through it. And I have the powder room, ughhh, it has been painted over and I fear it will take all of my patience.

Anyways, if you have wallpaper to remove do not hesitate to purchase one of these steamers. It is really quick and clean in comparison to your other removal options. It isn’t very expensive and you probably could sell it on Craigslist when your finished.

-Victoria

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will not be called that anymore. Dig if you will a picture: 10 ft+  silhouette of your girlfriend, black trim, red shag carpet tiles laid out in a checker board pattern over hardwood, blue faux fur king sized waterbed, and mirrors on the ceiling. This is what I called the “porno” room.

DSCF0457

Really it is a master bedroom and it will not be called this anymore. I was getting too many stares at home improvement stores when I would ask David, “Well, we need some scrubbers for the Porno Room”, etc. Sweet David called this the “Blue Room”. There are other blue rooms so I found this too confusing. Yesterday the confusion has ceased. The red carpet tiles have been removed. They left behind the craziest black rubber mess. We scrapped it off and vacuumed up the rest. Beautiful white oak, ready to be refinished underneath. To my amazement and disappointment, the mural was painted over wallpaper. This meant we had to remove it with the Wagner Power Steamer (which disinfects too, haha).

A room with a view.

A room with a view.

This was my project yesterday. She is no longer there. Instead there is a plaster wall painted mint green under the mural and 2 layers of lovely painted over 1940’s and early 1950’s floral wallpaper. This was an unpleasant surprise. I thought we would just have to prime this room, not remove wallpaper too. However, only one wall had wallpaper. This one wall took over 3 hours of removal. She was stubborn and it was almost impossible to remove her silhouette. But, we did. We should be able to prime and paint in the next few days. We need to remove the tape/ sticky stuff from the ceiling and repair a few plaster cracks.

The trim and doors in this room have been painted black. I kind of like that. But, I am sure we will prime over it and paint it white. However, I want to leave the door as is. It’s strangely goth and menacing and looks like it belongs in a classic Bela Lugosi flick.

The door.

The door.

I wanted to paint a few doors black anyways. I do plan on painting the trim white.I think I am painting this room a sea pebble taupe. David and I are using this as our studio. It would make a grand master bedroom but I like cozy, small bedrooms. We would get much more use out of this larger room if it was a working studio space and not where we crash.

This room looks very different now and we haven’t even started. I imagine this entire home will look very different in the next few weeks. You won’t believe what removing a larger than life babe mural does to your space. You should try it.

-Victoria

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junkroomhouse

We think there is a room under this...

We now realize that we did make a risky purchase. When we made an offer on the house many of the rooms were cluttered, some you couldn’t walk into. This house was literally filled with junk. We had an inspector come through. He did the best he could do but he had to note that many of the rooms you couldn’t walk through. One room downstairs was overflowing with stuff. I could see a king size mattress, two couches on their side, bags and bags of kitty litter, a faux fur covered 8-track mini bar, huge moose antlers and tons of other overwhelming messes. This room could of had no floors, no windows, no walls. For all that we knew, it could of had a huge opening to hell. The realtor informed us it was a bedroom. Somehow we looked through this mess. I wanted to make this a “media” room. We have no need for 3 bedrooms and I don’t want a TV junking up my formal living room.

Well, the last time we inspected the home, it was pretty much cleaned out. Not all the way, but I could see the floors. They actually don’t look so bad. They are old growth hardwoods. Dirty, dirty, but Murphy oil soap works wonders. It has a nice reddish glow from age. I don’t think they will need refinished. And look there is base trim! I didn’t know if the room had it or not.

Cleaned out, sort of, but it's a room!

Cleaned out, sort of, but it's a room!

Seriously, we didn’t know if the windows were there. Ends up it is a bedroom. It has a nice size closet for an older home. The trim isn’t very wide but it will look nice painted white, for now. I hope to add some crown molding around the top to jazz it up. Maybe, one day I’ll add wider base trim. Oh, and the curtains come with the place. What a deal! I really wish he left that 8-track mini bar…

I plan on painting this room a neutral taupe and the trim white. It will house the couch that I so badly what to get rid of, which is an icy light blue. I wanted to keep it the walls this icy turquoise but that couch won’t go. It would clash. Not that I am planning my room around a couch I dislike, it’s just that all of my accessories, painted furniture, etc. is painted in this shade. I do have a love affair with this vintage color. This room will have the TV, stuff like that. This is my plan as of today. We’ll see what I want to do once I get it cleaned and primed.

-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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I’m at full fledged panic mode now. We are supposed to close in two days but we haven’t heard from anybody. I feel like this entire process has taken a million years. I mean I guess 60 days is normal , especially these days, but still I feel like we’ve been worried senseless about getting this house for sometime. The current place we are living in will not let us go month to month rent like they said they would and last Friday, I pretty much received an eviction letter telling us to be out by the end of this month. Naturally, this freaks me out because I have never been told to leave a place. (BTW, our property management team sucks and I pretty much hate their guts and I hope it takes at least 6 months for this place to get rented.) And we haven’t officially “purchased” the home and this new home is not move in ready. Like it isn’t safe, see David’s previous post. So we need this process to hurry up. Sooner is better than later. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

kitchenhouse

The kitchen

Anyways, I thought that I would share my first impression of a few rooms on the first floor of the house just in case something doesn’t work out, then you guys can make me feel better if I have to start all over.

wallpaperhouse

The kitchen and its wonderful wallpaper.

Above is the kitchen. Notice the most amazing mod felt wallpaper ever. Too bad I can’t use it or salvage it. It is just too nasty. Notice the mess in the middle of the floor. It is a pretty big kitchen, well at least according to us but we couldn’t walk through it. And please take the time to stare in disbelief of the blue faux fur covered cabinets. I know that releasing this pic will cause all of America to do the same to their own. Also, take a look at the 2 mini fridges stacked upon each other. It is filled with Ensure and Natural Light Beer.

junkroomhouse

A bedroom under all the mess.

We have what I believe is supposed to be a bedroom. It is literally stacked to the ceiling with stuff including: a red faux fur 8-track mini bar, a king sized mattress, bed, fuzzy couch, and a rack of elk antlers. We also noticed that there were new cabinets and counter tops, sinks, etc. as if a renovation was going to happen.

powderroomhouse

Powder room

This is the half bath/powder room. It needs some love and a sink that is not just leaned up against the wall. Please take the time to appreciate the faux fur red door. All the doors in the house take on this theme. If you think you can handle anymore of a first impression, please continue the tour to the upstairs. I save the best for last, friends.

sexymuralhouse

The porno room

This is the bedroom, a peek into the world upstairs in this house. She is huge. She was his girlfriend when he was 16, rumor has it. What is in the middle of the clutter? Well, a pimp blue faux fur king sized water bed, stacked with pounds and pounds of polyester suits and blankets. Look no light fixtures! And the sticky remains on the ceiling of what used to hold the mirrors.

This has been a look into what I first saw when I walked into the house. I will keep the silver foiled wallpaper bathroom a mystery. I will not show you the scary basement or the other bedrooms that are piled sky high. Either talk some sense into me or encourage me. I’m an anxious wreck right now.

-Victoria

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