At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted anyone to see our new place; no doubt they’d think we were crazy. This haven is a fixer-upper (and that’s an understatement).
I wasted no time in beginning the fixin it up. My priorities upon receiving the keys to our dwelling place were painting, buying curtains, wall boarders; you know, making the house a home. My beloved husband on the other hand, he could care less what the place looked like and was all about the functionality. We butted heads a few times, but we do complement each other nicely. In the end, we have a working toilet and a cozy place to sit.
It took some coaxing, but I decided that letting our friends in to help (despite the sad state in which our haven stood) was better than trying to do it all alone. In fact, having all the help has played it’s role in saving my sanity.
I soon realized that our house does not need to be perfect. As it turns out, people aren’t all that concerned with the aesthetics of our home, they come here for the relationships. So, the living room still isn’t painted (in fact part of the ceiling is still hanging down where we knocked out one of the walls) and yet, I have been perfectly content to open my home and invite people in.
For the fun of it, here are some pictures and details of the renovations. We didn’t take many before photos, but you’ll get a good idea of what it was like…
Here is the kitchen. Beneath the paint and wall boarder is nothing short of a mess slapped all over the walls; uneven surfaces, mismatching trim, poor patch jobs, cracking etc. Hiding behind the microwave stand is a large patch of unevenness where someone very poorly patched a very large hole. You can’t see them, but the wooden cupboards are slathered with about a trillion coats of paint. A couple at the top are actually painted shut (or something). A project for the future. There were no appliances in the house. (He) picked up two fridges for twenty bucks. Sure, it was a fabulous deal, but I did have to spend an entire day cleaning this one out. Disgusting. The stove, which (he) forgot to mention was brown, was purchased off of Craig’s list. It works, and at least it goes with the decor. The trouble with the stove however was that the landlord told us we needed an electric when we in fact needed a gas. It was just last week that the electrician finally came and installed everything needed to get our “new” electric stove working. As you can kind of see, the floor has several strips of linoleum, and not all the same kind. That’s a project for the future too. I still feel like the kitchen is missing something, so we are going to get an island and some stools for the area between the stove and fridge (the extra counter space is much needed).
The dining room is much larger than our previous. I was going to paint the whole thing, but just wasn’t feeling it that day. The colors all came together nicely though, and I like the way it turned out. There is a doorway between the dining room and the kitchen, must have been from when there were five apartments here. I took the door down. You can’t see it here, but there is one wall that is painted top to bottom in the darker color. Behind the paint is a flower printed board that was screwed onto the wall because whoever busted part of the wall down to work on the pipes behind it apparently didn’t want to re-plaster or drywall or whatever and decided that throwing a big board up would be better. Yeah.
We knocked down a wall that split the living room in half, and doing so created a massive space. It still needs to be painted. The house was built with hard wood floors and trim. The trim is now covered in layers upon layers of white paint and the floors, as you can see, are scratched and stained with paint and who knows what else. We do have plans for sanding them down. Yes, that is an AC unit. We’ll see what the summer is like, I am optimistic and we have numerous units to put throughout the house. Anyway, I’d take a few hot rooms over a snowy day in a heartbeat.
On Saturday, we knocked out a doorway between the front entryway and the living room that had some interesting green windows. It really opened things up. The taped up thermostat is (his) way of getting a rise out of me. It will be installed correctly.
So, when we looked at the house the claw tub wasn’t hooked up and was sitting against the back wall. We were given the option of keeping the tub or having a standing shower installed. We opted for the tub (I think it’s kinda cool, and it’s large)… The plumber came and hooked it up… I can’t say type what I said when I first saw the thing sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor. I worked with it though. One day, when we put linoleum down and take up the old and badly laid carpet, we will extend the pipes and put the tub in the corner. Yes, we have to find a mirror for the medicine cabinet.
The house doesn’t have any closets. Not a single one. This is a shot of my “walk over closet”. I put up a similar deal in the boys room, and we now have several wardrobes and dressers where the linen and coats and normal hall closet stuff is stored. Our room isn’t complete yet, and neither are the others. The baby’s room is coming along nicely though, I love the new theme. Since I know she’s a girl, I was able to go pink. Pink, flowers and some navy blue accents… I’m excited for the final product. The boys room isn’t much yet either. Eventually I want to paint the walls, I’m thinking clouds, trees and maybe a train.
The attic is one of my favorite places in the house. It was once a scary navy blue (from top to bottom) dungeon with no carpets and boarded up windows. We primed, painted and laid carpet. There is a play room up there, a TV and computer room, a school/craft area and a small hall way where my sewing machine and craft supplies sit. There is still some work to be done though. The stairs have to be carpeted and the walls leading up to the third floor need to be patched and painted.
This is the monster that grumbles down in the basement. It went out this last weekend and we shivered in below 50 degrees for about a day. The basement comes with a few other interesting amenities. There is a room toward the back of the basement that has a toilet and a standing shower in the middle of the room; no walls or anything around it. It’s dirty and a little frightening in there. I just keep the door shut. We still have a lot to clean and organize down there… but that’s for another day.