So I promise a BLOG series about the house… and then I post nothing. Cool, Chelley. Cool.
I wanted to start with the bathroom and kitchen. Seems like an odd pairing? Nope. Oddly, these two rooms can cost the most to renovate and also offer the least percentage (as a nationwide average) on return. That’s not saying much when it comes to sanity, so here goes. To be honest… when we looked at the house, we were in love. Stars in our eyes. I’m not the type to play princess for a few months while dating (nope, I fart by the third date and admit to a deeper love of whiskey and hockey than any man I’ve ever dated… before Dave), but while house hunting I was on Cloud 9- and like our home was trying to woo me, it didn’t show it’s true colors (or bursting plumbing) until closure.
Then we moved in.
I saw the real deal whatever the heck that means, and it looked a little like this: every house in Cranston (EVERY) has a pink bathroom. If you say that’s not true, you’re a liar and don’t know the history of your home. Chances are, it also had wallpaper. Perfect for trapping, well, everything. So we got to work:
There are about a million and one things I want to say to my Dad, but for starters: thank you for teaching me how to tile. I pulled out the old towel rack in the shower (sure, hang my towel almost under the spray head) and replaced the tiles with a blue accent (also used near the sink for built in soap and toothbrush holders) and re-grouted the entire shower wall. Above, you will see the plumbing in the wall… Or “plumbing”. It was all backwards and rotted, so we replaced it, of course, but not without serious time and energy… you’ll notice in later pictures that there was no overflow installed in the tub and the faucet is in its place. Fancy! (I use that term with utmost sarcasm when it comes to home installations!) We had the assistance of a professional (read: licensed) professional, but worked with PEX to have the most current waterworks in the house.
So what else? We added a fan to the ceiling with a retro-feel fixture. My amazing hubby also added a SOFFIT VENT for better ventilation in the bathroom and attic. Dave rewired the original fixtures next to the mirror for safety (the house was ALL cloth wired and is now replaced), but we loved the aesthetics of those bulky glass pieces. We replaced the vanity with something smaller and granite topped for longevity. We also stripped the wallpaper, repaired the walls and painted. The toilet was replaced for plumbing (which was replaced) as well as look, with a smaller base and more efficient water use. We kept the original tile in the bathroom on both the walls and floor, as well as the original porcelain bathtub, which we would like to refinish at some point. The tub faucets are original… which leaves us on a never ending hunt for the finishing products, but someday we will swallow our pride and buy reproductions. The baseboards were painted to freshen their look, and not nearly as expensive as replacing the covers.
It was a lot of work. A lot… but worth it in the end. We have a bathroom that is functional for the family, but pleasing for guests, with relaxing colors and plenty of space for showering, using the mirror and storage.
Oh… and the other renovation that kicked our tail?
I have a dream that our kitchen will look like THIS someday when I come home… One of those shows will come in and see our dreadful set up and offer us more efficient use of our space- move the storage space up, replace the laminate with granite,break down a wall for a window to the dining room (?), give us much needed counter space, and forgo our aging 50’s cabinets for new ones. But, alas a dream. Instead, We replaced this:
Using all of the original cabinets, counter top and sink, we transformed the kitchen from 50’s country to 2000’s retro. Uninstalling all of the cabinets, I sanded and primed and painted each one from the inside out. Dave replaced the hinges to be slower closing and more sturdy, as well as the hardware to bring the cabinets up-to-date.
Dave replaced the ceiling light with a full fan, in red (of course) with multi-directional lighting. The kitchen is still poor in lights, but installing a small light over the sink and the one overhead has improved vision greatly!
While the flooring leaves something to be desired (stick tiles), the feel of the kitchen- retro, homey, classic, comfortable- means more to us. The original apple stenciling and taupe paint has been replaced with 5 (yep, FIVE) coats of candy apple red against the largely gray wall tiling- giving some brightness to the space. We plan on adding chalk paint to one wall for a place to menu plan. As well, the plumbing was all replaced, and the fixtures, but we kept the sink, as it fit with the design of our home with no cause for replacement. All-in-all, we have a wonderful place to cook with a workable space for prep. If Dave and I had a dream kitchen it would be a 6-range with more space for everything and more than one oven, but if we lived our dream, it would be in a kitchen where great meals and memories are made. And that we have.
2 am came many times without notice, food or sleep… but we did it! Thank you to my newest blog find YOUNGHOUSELOVE, for encouraging us to keep improving. We will never be blogging about our improvements, solely (we could never fund that!), but it is nice to revisit our DIY adventures and see how we made this shell of a house into what embodies our home.
Thank you for joining me on phase one of the home blogs! Are you embarking on any DIY projects? Let me in on your secrets to success!