Remodel: The Living Room

 

Before

Before

When I picked colors for this house, this color seemed perfect for what I had in mind. I opened up the paint can with a little bit of fear that maybe I had gone a little too far. I

Before

Before

stuck to my guns. I had a plan. That first day I had cracked open the paint can and started painting. With every visitor that wanted to stop by and see the new house on our first day, I saw the look in their eyes as they commented with “really?” or “repaint it white”. Luckily, I have never lived my life defined by what other people expected of me, and though I was starting to question myself, I knew that they were just unsure because they didn’t see the big picture.

I joked that the color “Carnival in Brazil” was my homage to Tom Brady and the world’s highest paid supermodel. I knew that with the children, (before we even considered the second dog), that a dark couch was going to be my best option. Anything lighter, and it wouldhave been destroyed in a week. I knew that the rest of the furniture was going to be darker in color. With the sun shining in, I saw my vision on the wall.

After

After

This color was a very prominent one in my wedding bouquet, which I had because it looked like fall foliage and my husband and I are huge fans of fall. I would like to think that it was fitting to choose orange for that reason, this is our home we built together and it made sense when I saw that giant window of mine let the sun take over the walls. I was confident that I was right.

The floor was in surprisingly good condition, considering how awful the shape of the carpet was. It was a long process to pull of the carpet in here, and it took weeks before we finally pulled up all the staples. Don’t worry, my unlucky feet that always find the danger was the victim and not my children.

My office, which isn’t pictured hereis located in this room. It’s a “writer’s area” that is completely covered in bills, various other paperwork I need to have at hand, and Post-it’s

After

After

that are stuck everywhere. It wasn’t “photogenic” enough to land itself here.

The coffee table was a clearance steal I had to put together from Kmart. The “oriental” rug was from Wal-Mart. The television stand was a hand me down, as was the recliner. Our living room also has the front door located in it, as most do. The living room door is painted with a nicer, lighter color than the living room with a more yellow-orange color and a beautiful “fall” wreath that I keep up just because I love it.

Monday, should be the tween’s room, filthy or not.

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Remodel: The Kitchen

This one is short and sweet. Just like my kitchen? Har har.

Before

Before

When we first saw the picture of it on the website we were searching for homes on, everyone winced at the picture. I understood; it was pretty tiny and I love to cook. How was this ever going to work?! It turns out there was a name for this kind of kitchen: a galley kitchen. When we saw it in person, we acknowledged how small it was but it wasn’t as small as we thought. The pictures certainly made it look like it was too small for more than one person to stand in it. We can fit most of our family in it at a time, so that was

Before

Before

fine. Being that I am the only one who really cooks in the family, the fact that it was small wasn’t really a big deal to us.

The only real change in terms of remodeling was the floor. It was simple adhesive stick on tiles that you can just grab boxes of at Home Depot. It is both very inexpensive (bought 3 boxes at $27 a box) and it is quite lovely looking. The cabinets received several cleanings before I felt it was ready enough to just leave it be. Originally it was discussed to paint them, but the lovely solid wood was really hard to part with and with the urging of family members, we left it alone. The pass through in the wall is incredibly handy and I love how classic it is. That, along with the shudders on both the kitchen and dining room window, provided a lot of charm that I felt should stay because it’s something you can’t buy in a more modernized house. I love how unique it is.

After, showing off my awesome mixer

After, showing off my awesome mixer

The other big changes are the appliances. The oven didn’t work so we had to get a new one, and we wanted to upgrade to an energy saver fridge

and not leaving the 1960’s appliances in. The 1960’s hood range still exists. We are too poor to replace it, and quite honestly it is still in very much working condition. Which is the same that I could say about the washer and dryer that was left. Old, but in working condition. I’ll take it.

Friday, the living room. Monday, will come the tween’s bedroom clean or not. I suppose showing it a

After

After

mess will give a realistic picture of the tween lifestyle.

Remodel: Mama’s Room

Only a few more rooms left when it comes to seeing the transformation of this 1960’s ranch into the LaRochelle abode. We’ll have a fun time getting my oldest son’s room, as he is a tween that does not seem to understand the phrases “Clean your room” and “make your bed”. Even I make my bed everyday. They say it’s the best way to start the day for whatever psychological reason they have concocted. Despite that, it does give a sense of accomplishment doing so, even if that was the only thing I managed to do for most of the morning.

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Before

The room was pink. (Bleh.) Not even like a tolerable baby pink. I’m talking like salmon colored meets coral colored meets gag me with a spoon. The carpet was the same nasty 1960’s shag carpet that was located in all the bedrooms. It needed to be gone. And it needed to be gone very soon, because I was not looking at those pink walls any longer. The only thing worse would be if the color was yellow. /shudder.

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Before

So the painting immediately began. We had nice brown curtains in our old room that my busy husband has yet to put up, so those were not in the picture. But you can imagine how nice a pair of brown sheers with a black curtain rod would be hanging in that room. The blue, luckily, matched the blue I had in my previous room exactly. And in case you didn’t notice, I love blue and that was going to be the color of the master bedroom. It almost feels very spa like and relaxing in there. The carpet was easily just torn up without any real issue, and again we were lucky to see that the floor was in next to immaculate condition.

The comforter set came with the pillows, and I have owned it for a long time. We purchased it in the clearance section at Bed Bath and Beyond. There’s really not much else to the room. Not pictured is this beautiful Victorian Styled electric “oil” lamp. Also not pictured? The step stool I need to actually get into bed without my husband having a heart attack from watching me climb up. #shortpeopleproblems.

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After

The furniture set was one we bought just before we got married from Bob’s Discount Store. They get a bad reputation but that set is still has sturdy and in the same condition as the day we bought it. Well mostly, which led to some very inappropriate jokes that caused my husband to blush.

So that was the easy room. Friday, we will get into that small little kitchen of mine that I adore, even though everyone else thinks I’m crazy.

Remodel: The Throne Room

Alright, so it’s really the bathroom though it would be pretty awesome to have an Iron Throne toilet. It probably won’t be the most comfortable toilet in the world, but it would be pretty cool looking.

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Before

The bathroom had grey and black tiles and we were stuck on what color would actually go with that set up. Since I had chosen pretty much ever other paint color in the house, I let the husband decide here.

So with that, all that we really needed to do in here was pull that god awful wall paper down and repaint. Soon we will get up the energy and funds to retile, but until then everything still seems to work out just well. The wallpaper seemed to come off easy until the painting started and we discovered a thin layer of paper that we didn’t notice after pulling off the wallpaper so we needed to make use of that wallpaper removal gel we had bought a huge bottle of only to not need it in the kitchen and dining room. Then, the painting started.

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The After

I was in charge of the decor in the whole house, which I was very happy to do. My husband conceded that I was much better at that than he was. So I thought about all the other decor in the house and realized that my husband did not have a room of his own. Then I decided, what better room than the bathroom! The color on the wall inspired me to give it a superhero theme, which the boys absolutely loved. Bed Bath and Beyond had classic comic book artwork on a wooden panel which helped add to the vintage effect. I picked them out and surprised the boys with it. I cannot stress how awesome it was to see their faces when seeing it.

 

Remodel: Toddler Room

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Before

We had a scheme in our head for this room. Our toddler’s favorite things in the world are “Thomas the Train” and “The Chica Show”. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a Chica wall decal and we’ve just ordered a set of decals, hooks, and a toy chest all “Thomas”. We also ordered a very lovely “Thomas” toddler bed which ended up being lost in transit by UPS and apparently not sold in stores anymore so we had some really super awesome luck there. I hope your read this Toys ‘r Us and UPS, we really wanted that bed for him!

Back on point. Originally it looked as though this room was used as a den/office from its previous owner. The carpet was this disgusting shag carpet from the 1960’s (which was in all the bedrooms) that since my son and I suffer from allergies we knew it absolutely had to go. Again, there was a gamble on what we would find underneath upon pulling up this carpet. Luckily there was hardwood floor underneath the carpeting. Unfortunately, there were some  spots that had some water damage but in general, this wood floor was in pretty good condition. Score one: LaRochelles!

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After, exact shot as before.

We went with a calm blue/grey color in here called “Rest and Relaxation”, again a Clark+Kensington paint. I laughed hoping that a color with that name would surely tame the beast that is my precious toddler, alas I was wrong. The bed is his crib converted. We did manage to get a nice set of “Thomas and Friends” bed sheets, comforter and pillow case set that he loves. The chair was my “feeding” chair that we used to comfort and give the baby his bottle, which will remain in the case of turning this room into a nursery. Not pictured is a nice whale lamp we got for $5 on clearance at Babies ‘r Us and a lovely 3 drawer oak chest that matches the crib also from Babies ‘r Us clearance for about $50. The rug was from Target and just screams “boy” and was very soft to the touch.

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A toddler’s sleeping heaven?

In this other, more artistic shot, my photographer husband wanted to share what the room looks like at night. Not pictured is a monkey nightlight but what you do see is a turtle sleepy buddy that glows stars of 3 different colors on the ceiling. The blue photographed the best, so that was the one we went with.

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After, to show the floor and area rug.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of our remodel.

Remodel: The Dining Room

Today is the first day in the series of the “remodel”. It was pretty funny to look back and see the old pictures of the house.  I could definitely see why people told me not to even bother looking at this house when we were looking to buy. However, we did and we all know the story there. We knew it was going to be when the house came back a second time. I can’t wait to show off the results of this, and I will give a step by step detail of process that went in though most of the process would be self-explanatory.

The dining room and kitchen were the first things on our “to-do” list. This was important, because our house had cracked asbestos tiles that we knew were there and could pose a health hazard for our younger child and possibly our forever puppy Zoey. We didn’t want to paint or remove carpeting or anything else until the tile was up and the dust was out of the air.

before shot

before shot

Before Shot

Before Shot

The next step was the removal of the wallpaper. This was easier than anticipated, but it turns out this ease came at a price. The wall started coming off with the wallpaper, leaving chunks off our wall. We quickly plastered the wall and realized that we were going to end up with a textured look to the wall. Luckily, it looks like it was done on purpose and as far as I know no one noticed this. We painted while all the old flooring was doing to use it as a drop cloth while praying for hardwood underneath. It was a gamble that we really had no choice in. To get the double color, we measured out the tape in what would be an even line around the center of the room. After the paint had dried, we pulled the tape off and retaped it on the top color to finish off the bottom color. The paint was Clark+Kensington brand, which was fairly inexpensive but it had the primer in it, and was think and easy to apply. That seemed to work perfectly fine. (I’m not the greatest painter in the world and even with tape I managed to get it everywhere. I am still too tired to care so much about it though.)

Upon pulling up the tile, it had this very thick and sticky adhesive on the floor but we noticed that underneath that adhesive was beautiful hardwood floor. Despite our best efforts, the adhesive was too strong to be pulled up, so our hopes of saving money on buying flooring was quickly dashed. The flooring was that simple wood laminated that you piece together yourself like a puzzle to put in. It was a long and tedious process. The flooring was supposed to go into the kitchen as well, we will get into that story on Wednesday when we get into the kitchen.

Before Shot

Before Shot

Next was the fun part: decor and furniture. The table and chairs were both second-hand gifts from family. The carpet was a pretty inexpensive one purchased at Wal-Mart, as were the small pictures on the wall. The clock and “Kitchen Rules” pieces came from Bed, Bath and Beyond. My favorite feature in the dining room? The little pass through window that leads into the kitchen. It has surprisingly come into more use than you would think, and not just being decorative. Sometimes I even reach across to that counter to grab things I forget to bring to the table when we eat dinner. The wooden shudders that are on both the dining room and kitchen window add a nice personality and charm to the house, so it was decided to leave them up. Hope you enjoyed the first edition of my home remodel.

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DSC_0293After Shots:

 

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Finding “The One”

My husband and I luckily agree on most things. Our criteria for our dream house was this: a nice yard for the kids to play in; a large kitchen; and decent sized rooms. We were realistic though; we knew at our price range that this would be close to impossible to get everything in our first home and agreed that the concession was giving up a large kitchen for a nice yard. The yard would be for the kids and that was the most important thing.

Saturday was a disaster of a day. It should be illegal how awful our first day of house hunting went. The first one was incredibly tiny, so tiny that my 6 ft tall husband had to crouch while walking around. The second house was even worse, causing me to doubt how well this process would even go. Defeated, we went back to the realtor’s office to plan our next day. We chose 3 houses. One house was a 2 story house that was very dark on a main street.  The second house was huge on an even  busier street. The last house was a house that needed unfinished projects finished, only had a picture of the front of the house, and well under our budget.  We later received a call informing us we would see the fixer upper first and the dingy 2 story second. Our other choice had just received an offer, so that one was gone.

I was scared going into this unknown house. I didn’t know what we were going to walk into. We didn’t know if it was a spray painted drug den. What does “having many projects” even mean? We braced ourselves and entered, I soon saw my jaw drop: I loved it. I didn’t see that part in the kitchen that needed new sheet rock. I saw the newly done cabinets and dining room. I saw the amazing antiquated wood work and stairs. I saw how every room was large. I saw a room with French doors that would be an amazing office. I saw all the work that needed to be done and realized this place would be gorgeous when it was. I realized that even with the work, this house would still be under budget. Then I saw the yard and I said “this is it”. The second house never even stood a chance.

This sets us up for a dilemma, however.   Now we need to get a rehab loan rather than a mortgage. Luckily today we have an appointment with a loan specialist, who hopefully can help us out. If that works out, we have to hope the other people who saw the house didn’t want it and draw up a “good faith” contact. Then we’ll get it inspected and hope that nothing is structurally wrong. Then we have to meet with contractors to get a quote one what needs to be done to move in. This will be a nerve wrecking week. I really hope this works out. I really do. I hope so, I think we’re due some good luck. If this does become a reality, I am toying around the idea of vlogging this process of turning this house into our home.