Friday, March 9, 2012

March Update - What We Have Done so Far

March House-ness

So at the end of 2010 we moved into our house in the middle of a cornfield (sorry, that's not fair, we are actually just next to a cornfield - my bad). We moved out of Philly to a 'burb that was 45 minutes from each of our jobs. (I go north; he goes south.)

Our townhouse was and basically is a three story box that was decorated in 1977. . .and then the owners never looked back. . .well, I guess they never looked forward. They changed the carpet on the first floor, their kids took down some wallpaper before they tried to sell, but that's about it. So we have worked and worked and worked to make it homey and look a little more like us. Some days it feels like, wow! we have come so far, and some days it feels like, what!? this is all we have done after a year and a half? We have worked on our house every month, every week, and almost every day that we have lived here. So here is an update on what we have done so far and what we still want to do. Spoiler alert! The to-do list is winning. We will never be bored!

Entry/Dining Room:
Installing the hardwood flooring in the dining room. The old carpet is on the right, the underlay is on the left. We think even just the underlay looks better than the carpet. We have rented that floor nailer from Home Depot so many times we wonder if we should have just purchased one.
  • Remove carpet and install hardwood floor - A third to halfway done 
  • Lighting - Installed chandelier from the Restoration Hardware outlet, got a closet light
  • Put a bench near the door for Maxwell's famous landing strip - We currently have a substitute bench. We need a real one, but the Target special is working for now.
  • Still to do - Finish hardwood install, install baseboard, find rug and runner, put in entry tile, paint, install some interesting moldings - maybe?, get art for the wall
  • Still to do - Everything - they are covered with aqua/green carpet
Hello stairs!
  • Do we want wood stair treads? - Yes, but the dogs would slip, and it's expensive. (Actually, as I type the dogs are freaking out because they think the doorbell on Rehab Addict is our doorbell. Argh.) Do we want a runner over wood treads? I think we will have to have something soft for the dogs, but it would have to be indestructable and very cleanable. I am sure that will be both inexpensive and easy to find. We also would like some kind of chair rail.  The stairs are a blank slate! (If your blank slate was covered with hairy aqua carpet instead of slate. That would be gross. . .and it kind of is.)
  • Still to do - Everything 
The Old Kitchen
The Kitchen Now
  • Hard wood flooring - Done
  • Install butcher block countertops - Done
  • Make pass-through into a door - Demo done and wire removed, need to make it pretty
  • New appliances - Refrigerator and stove - done, microwave - purchased but not installed, dishwasher - still to purchase
  • Paint lower cabinets - done
  • Install new sink cabinet, sink, and facet - Done
  • Soffit - Removed - still need to install drywall where soffit was
  • Chalkboard calendar - Done
  • Cookbook shelf - Done but probably need another one underneath it - we have many cookbooks
  • New Pantry - Put together (Ikea) but not attached to wall - we had to get a new one versus painting the old one because new refrigerators are so much fatter than old ones. We may use the old pantry in the laundry room or the basement.
  • New light fixtures - Light now centered in kitchen, need pendent over sink and new light fixture in kitchen
  • Still to do - Finish painting walls, install missing drywall, paint and install upper cabinets, level butcher block, possible other shelf for cookbooks, finish rough opening of new door- possibly widen door, install backsplash, install shelf under upper cabinets, install microwave and cabinet over stove. I mean, clearly, we are basically there with the kitchen. :)
Living Room (which used to be the dining room)
The Living Room/Den when it was at the front of the house

  • Move the furniture from the front of the house to back of the house - Done
  • Cable line installed - Done
  • New rug - Done
  • Curtains - Installed but I do NOT like the clip holders, need to think of a new plan there
  • Still to do - Replace lamp, improve the fan, more storage, artwork, new side table, some kind of built-in media center?
Laundry Room (aka - the scariest room in the house)
  • New washer and dryer - Done
  • New door to balcony - Door installed, still need to finish it with molding
  • Still to do - Clean!, new utility sink, clean!, storage, clean!, organization, clean! roman shade?, new door to living room, clean!
Master Bedroom
The Master Bedroom in the beginning days of painting, orange shag carpet and all
  • Flooring - Carpet removed, carpet staples removed, floor squeaks like an angry xylophone - need to fix that, need new carpet or other floor covering
  • Light fixture - Overhead light fixture installed, need a final fixture - right now we have a spotlight lightbulb in there and nothing else
  • Paint - Done
  • Crown, baseboard, and chair molding - Done (and so pretty! Yay us!!)
  • Closets - Have Elfa in one - love it, need curtains for door, possible new closets on the left?
  • Curtains - Done, black out fabric needs to be attached a little (lot) better
  • Bed - Love our bed linens, need a headboard 
  • Doors - Want new ones that are not hollow-core, that's for the whole house - not just in the bedrooms
  • Other - Needs art, seating, maybe a window seat, also I need a nap, but I am not sure that is relevant here
Guest Room
  • Wainscoting, moldings, baseboards - Pretty much done - maybe need a few tweaks
  • Flooring - Carpet removed - needs new carpet or something
  • Window covering - Currently has a dirty, 70s era shade that may contain life-threatening microorganisms but blocks the light, so we need a new curtains
Picking the colors for above the board (of the board and battan) in the office, note the killer lighting
  • Needs a new door, I threw the old hollow-core one away after the ReStore would not take it as a donation
  • Flooring - Done with engineered wood that fell off a truck from Lumber Liquidators. It looks good, but one of the boards is loose
  • Closet - Needs a door
  • Board and batten - The board is up, we still need the batten
  • Paint - Done and it looks fab!
  • Other - Art, seating, more storage - we need it all
Upstairs bath - aka - the untouched room - all we have done is put in a towel rack
  • Flesh colored tub and toilet - Still there
  • Lilliputian height double vanity - Still there
  • Most untouched, wall-papered covered room of the house - Check and double check
  • Sighing -Us
  • I don't want to talk about it  - Me
  • Carpet - Still there - yes in a bathroom
  • Plans out the wazoo for this space - Us!
Balcony and Porch and outside
  • Not bad - Can always use some tweaks
Basement/Backyard/Front Yard
  • Basement equals storage area at this point, but we  are hoping for something more someday. Not today. Obviously.
  • Basement doors - Replaced the sliding glass doors with French doors (lots of help from the fam on that one)
  • Backyard - Fenced and starting landscaping with native plants, some pavers installed
  • Bulbs - Lots and lots planted!
  • Vegetable garden - One raised bed started in the back, wouldn't mind another one for MORE tomatoes in the summer!
So that's where we are. I wish the list could better represent the blood (literally - every project - it's amazing), sweat, and tears that we have put into this house, but the house knows.

Have you ever tried to rip a house from the then to the now? How did it go? Did you live? Any inspirational stories appreciated.

Happy renovating!

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