Sunday, February 7, 2016

Renovations Week 2: Get your paint on

Even though this should technically be the end of week three of renovating, we lost a week due to my parents visiting and snow- my husband does snow removal so he's gone most the day and night during a snowfall. 
Also, my phone shattered about a month ago. I refuse to pay $165 to have it repaired just to have it be dropped and broken all over again. So these photos were taken with my dinosaur iphone. I'll have to bust out my "real" camera for some better quality pictures. But until then, here's what we've got. 
Bought this chandelier for $25 off craigs from this guy in Penn Hills that ironically enough I use to buy from for my store. It's now bright yellow and hanging against this green wall in our office.  I plan on putting little round bulbs in it. I'll share that next week. 

 I was going to leave the carpet in this room, except a little person wondered into this room today and had some paint on the bottom of her boots. Paint is a beast to get out of carpet, so out it goes. I plan on painting the floors an ultra white (gasp, I know I should refinish them, but there's so much paint on them from the previous owners and I'm feeling overwhelmed right about now).
Meanwhile, my husband has been working on exposing this awesome rock wall in the kitchen. It already felt like a cave, now it's official. We'll be replacing the door with an all-glass door soon to let some light flood in. 

I'm looking at these groutable, vinyl tiles for the kitchen, and I like this pecan vinyl floor for the living room. It just so happens to be a whopping 79 cents a sq. foot! I'm not sure I'm ready to go vinyl in the kitchen, but I honestly hate tiling big areas, not just out of laziness, but if one breaks, it's impossible to replace the section. This will be a rental for most the year, after all, so I'm trying to not break the budget here on something that someone else will be using ( and perhaps not be as good at taking care of). 

And if the Broncos win the superbowl, my husband owes me this chandelier from etsy. I think it'd look awesome in the kitchen over the island. 

Finally, the master bedroom was painted a stony grey. The window in this room is so big that I struggled to get a good picture of this room since the light was just flooding in. Maybe with a real camera I'll be able to capture a pic of the view of the Hot Metal Bridge and all the buildings of Oakland in the background. 

On the agenda for this next week: a contractor friend is coming in to put a beam up in the living room/kitchen so we can open that wall up and reroute the air ducts. He's also helping us re dry wall the bathroom. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Renovations Week 1: The Rip Out

So if you missed it, we bought a new, little project. I explained everything in this post here. This was probably the hardest closing I've had since becoming a Realtor (almost two years ago!). Annoying things kept getting in the way of closing on time, including the furnace breaking down not once, but two times! But alas, we closed last Monday and we've already began the process of ripping it apart. 
If you like progress, DIY blogs that are in the moment, then you've come to the right place. My goal is to have this be a livable space come March 1st, so we can put our current house on the market. We'll see how that goes. 
So far I:
 -ripped the carpet out of the living room, then had to rip up some suspect looking tiles. Please don't follow my lead on this. They were probably asbestos tiles given the age of the house, and general size and shape of the tile. I did not have them tested. Most of them came up easily, then we'll encase the floor with new flooring on top. 
-Next I punched a hole in the wall to see if I could open up the wall between the dark kitchen and living room. There seems to be four heat vents running up this wall so we're having a contractor come in today to look at costs of rerouting these. Also, for those Fixer Upper fans out there, I swear the old wall under the dry wall looks like ship lap, so that's kind of fun. 

I also was a little hammer happy so I opened up a water-damaged wall in the kitchen, only to find an old, stone wall behind it (I'll get pictures of this next time). I was reading up on stone walls and I guess they need to "breathe". Don't we all. I'm thinking of leaving it exposed so as not to ruin yet another piece of dry wall, but it desperately needs re-mortared. 

The third floor got a new paint job. The whole house is painted in what I'll call "renters white"- which is pretty much what I've seen every rental painted. It's fine, but kind of dull and the room was dark so I thought I'd freshen it up a bit with some Ultra White paint. 

See the difference ? 
Attic spaces are tricky because of the sloped ceilings. I read up on whether or not to paint the ceiling the same color as the wall, and most experts said yes. Since I chose white and not a color, I was pretty much stuck doing the ceiling anyways which wasn't too bad because it's relatively low. 
I know white's kind of a boring choice for me, but I really like how the light bounces off of the walls (it really made a difference) and I'll get to incorporate some colorful repainted furniture in this space.
 While I've been working on those projects, my husband has been ripping out the flooring in the bathroom. I'm so glad he did this because we found some nasty black mold on the plywood underneath.


This room is so scary to us because there's an open crawl space under the house where our pipes are exposed to the elements. They've already burst once and were replaced with PEX before we bought the place. We really need to use our noggins to figure out how to better insulate this bathroom before fixing it up. I'm thinking in-floor heating for toasty toes. 

Oh, we have our hands full, don't we? It's kind of fun to have a project in the middle of winter though. 
Next week's plan: Kitchen, stairs, hallway flooring, and lighting. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Years: 2016

Happy 2016! I can't believe it's already the new year. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. 
Thanks for all your support in my many endeavors. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Finished Wall

I don't think I ever showed a picture of the finished wall job my husband completed. It's such a big difference- we actually have a usable front yard now. I'll have to get better pictures to show, but for now here's a few.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A New House, A New Start

Guess who's buying a new house? This girl. Well, technically my husband is, and I'm his realtor. And to be more technical, we're still in the negotiation process, so realistically I shouldn't be counting my eggs till they hatch (we don't close till around Christmas). But, I just figured I'd tell you because while I'm super excited about this particular opportunity, I know that even if this one falls through, there will be others. 
A lot of you who know us personally know that we've been talking about moving to Florida for a while now (I'm from Jacksonville, Fl, in case you didn't know). So why buy another house in Pittsburgh, you might ask? Well, we've decided to split our time in both places and see how it goes. I'll be getting my Realtors license down there, as well, and my husband will continue to run his landscaping business from afar. We figure we can rent the house here for nine months of the year (perfect for a student or young professional looking for something temporary), or list it on Airbnb. It's low in the South side slopes, so it's a great location for walking to say, The Cheesecake Factory on a Friday night, or the really cool garage coffee shop at the bottom of the hill. 
Our current house in Forest Hills, while we love it's character, we feel like it doesn't have the same appeal to renters as this other house. Plus, the mortgage would be too hard to carry if it didn't work out. So if you or someone else you know might be looking for a great house in Forest Hills, send em my way- it'll be hitting the market first thing this spring. 
Alright, enough talk... here's a pic and some ideas (because that's more exciting!). 
We like this house because it's simple. It has two large bedrooms plus an office, a living room, kitchen and bathroom, and that's it. It's very plain-Jane, but most of its issues are cosmetic, and that's my specialty. 

 You walk right into this ho-hum living room then into the kitchen, which right now is nothing short of a cave. They're both good sized rooms, but lighting is an issue so we're planning on opening that wall up between the two rooms to create one big space.
 The kitchen will get a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, new countertops, and new appliances. I'm also planning on adding this antique apothecary-style medical exam table as an island with stools around it for seating. I've been saving this piece since my days as a shop owner, knowing it'd make the perfect kitchen island. I also recently purchased these two club chairs from an auction. They're covered in green velvet and I think having a crisp black and white color scheme will work great with them. Here's my inspiration below.


via Elle Decor Magazine
And because I'm slightly psychotic about designing a new space, I create floor plans via homestyler to see where all my furniture will go. It's fun!

So there you have it- our plans for the next several months. This will keep us busy, I'm sure. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Switching the Living & Dining Room [back again]

When we had our first child, I switched the dining room and the living room in order to see my baby while I was in the kitchen. Believe it or not, that post received some of the highest traffic in the history of my blog. I guess there are a lot of people out there who want to know if there's some rule against switching rooms. Well there's not. And that worked for us for a while, but if you've been reading my blog for a while then you know I thrive on change. Thus, I changed it back (plus, we've been through a bunch of different tables and couches since that last post).
While I miss not being able to see my kids from the kitchen, one huge, unforeseen benefit has been that we now actually eat at our dinner table verses eating on the couch. Bonus! Who would have thought? 
Here's the room before (slightly cluttered if I do say so myself)... 
 ...and here it is now as we speak. I mean type. 

We had to take a section of our super-long sofa out to fit. It sits nicely in the corner now as an arm(less) chair. Next time I'll post about my new (old) dining room. 

And just in case you were wondering how many times I've changed the layout, here's a recap from the most recent to the oldest:

 All the way back to our very first set of couches we ever purchased (that didn't even fit the scale of the room).

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ikea PAX Wardrobes/ Master Bedroom Redo Part 2

Our bedroom's been repainted and we've been enjoying our new Ikea PAX wardrobes for a couple weeks now, and I think I'm in love. If you'd like a little recap of the process you can click here for wardrobe info and here for paint color info. Otherwise, let me show you in pictures the {almost} end result. *Update: Part 3 here.

 The wardrobes. After living "doorless" for a couple weeks, I've been thinking more about getting doors to obtain that hidden built-in look from my original inspiration picture, but I know a certain 3 yr. old who's ecstatic that she can now reach mommy's makeup.

I painted the inside of the "vanity" with a latex paint. It did not adhere well to the wardrobe at all. Primer was definitely necessary, but somebody got lazy (me). I hand painted little red flowers to match the mirror. This was just an ordinary oak mirror I bought at construction junction before I took some of my Cherry Jubilee to it. I'm not entirely satisfied with this part, but it's just paint and I can always change it later.

I bought new lamp shades from Target to go with these awesome hammered gold bases my mom bought me a while back for $4 each from a grocery store of all places! The shades look like a Van Gogh painting when not lit. The left end table is vintage and the right one my husband got from a hitchhiker he picked up one time. Random, I know, but he gave the guy a ride home, and he gave him this adorable Moroccan inspired table in return. Thank you hitchhiker Bob! 

I think I need to invest in some pretty Euro shams for the bed, and maybe a more neutral rug option. There's a lot of pattern going on here, although it's somehow not quite as overwhelming in person. The walls take on a neutral effect. It was hard to capture the shade of the room with my camera and the bright light streaming in through the windows, but I'm very happy with the color.
Our next step: hanging pictures gallery style on the wall adjacent to our bed. I already bought two fun paintings from a thrift store today. Can't wait to get hanging.


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