~*~Formal Dining Room/Parlor/Office Update~*~

So moving the office/studio upstairs didn’t quite work for me or us. Plus hubby was going to put a pool table in the former formal dining room, but it turned out to be 1 foot not wide enough. So, here we go again…………….

At least we’re getting it all painted as we go. So, the cocoa color is out and in this new office the bottom will be the Oklahoma Wheat like the living room, but the top which is old embossed wall paper will be Innocence White. The wall paper is in excellent condition, but a little tired after many years. The paint is helping to seal it and brighten the color at the same time. You can really see the difference in the 3rd picture. These rooms were fortunately all mold free.

So the old spare bedroom is going back to being the new spare bedroom, but the sewing and crafts will stay there. The old office/studio will now be the pool room and the futon will actually make it a 3rd spare bedroom when necessary. The old formal dining room will become the new office. This will force me to keep it a lot cleaner since the formal dining room, oops, the office is the center of the house.


I finally finished painting the kitchen and it looked so nice, clean and organized that I had to take pictures. For those of you that are tuning in late, this remodel came about do to unscrupulous sellers who neglected to tell us the first floor bathroom and kitchen were mold infested and not sealed to the outside (water had been seeping under the sun porch and kitchen wall). They neglected to tell us a lot of things ~ so much for disclosure statements and older people being basically honest. We were forced to tear out the bathroom, kitchen and sun porch within a month of moving in. Considering all of that, we can live with the plywood counters and floors a bit longer. We combined the kitchen and sun porch into one room so now we don’t have four corners, but 6 just to make it confusing.
We still have a few cabinets (the sink base unit, the 24″ set of drawers to the right of it and the 36″ to its left, the 36″ base to the right of the stove and the 24″ base to the left of it) to purchase, stain and mount, but we’re getting there. We also still need counter tops, but can’t do those until we have the rest of the base units in place. We still need to do the bottom & corner moldings, but first we have to get a floor which we can’t do until the base units are done. We still need to do the ceiling panels, but can’t do those until the rest of the top cabinets are hung. We still need to do all the top molding, but that hinges on the ceilings and the floors which hinge on the base units. I can’t get rid of that rolling rack until we hang the cabinets. Darn we keep coming back to those pesky cabinets. And I didn’t even get to needing 10 windows in there. They are single pane originals t the house as are the storm windows on the outside, so they’re basically uninsulated and worthless! When I took the pictures, I was so happy with all the progress we’d made, but after writing this I’m exhausted with what is yet to be done.

Living Room is done…. well almost

the living room is done… well almost… the floors will be last throughout the entire house. They had told us the hardwood floors were in good shape, but once again they lied ~ wow big surprise. Since the hardwood floors have such bad patches in them, we think we’re probably going to carpet this room as well as most of the house. These pictures make the room look yellow, but it’s called Oklahoma wheat and is more of a golden wheat color. They also tell us it will darken for the next 2 weeks as it cures. I still need to do the windows, but that will wait till spring since it requires dealing with old lacquer. I also broke one of the antique globes on the ceiling fixture, but will start searching the restorations catalogs to find a replacement.

Living Room & Fireplace Update~*~

So we chose the colors. The walls will still be Oklahoma Wheat, but the fireplace was changed from the Burmese gold (way too yellow) to Caramel Latte which just sounds so yummy. It looks good too, really brings out the colors of the 115 year old tiles we are trying to preserve. It’ll look even better after the next coat. I can’t wait for the walls to get done and the living room back in one piece. With tonight’s snow storm, maybe we’ll just stay home tomorrow and paint the walls.

~*~Living Room & Dining Room Make Over~*~

It’s barely above zero outside and hubby has been spending all his time inside driving me crazy! So I convinced him to start our easiest projects, painting the living room and dining room and ‘parlor’ better known as the new spare bedroom. Those rooms all need really minimal repairs before paint and the dining room is empty right now (at least until early March when he gets a pool table for his birthday) so it’s perfect timing and relatively inexpensive to make this easy.

The dining room has an embossed wall paper on the top 1/2 of the room above the chair rail that I want to preserve, but it wasn’t in the best of condition. Then again, it wasn’t in the worst shape either. I decided to try and paint it (I’d heard that this doesn’t always work well). This paper is fortunately one of those that works. It’s turning out better than I thought.

As you can see, I have been ‘trying’ out some colors. What? We’re going to paint anyway. I just wanted to live with it for a few days first.

We’re using BEHR paint and are going with shades of a creamy, milky cocoa aka Oklahoma Wheat for the walls and an off white aka Innocence for the wall paper and oak wood tone Golden Burmese for the mantle. I’m not sure why the mantle was painted in the first place, (I’m not going to strip it), but it really fits with the character of this old house so we want to make it warmer (no pun intended). It’s a ‘double’ mantle with a beveled mirror and dimpled support posts for the upper mantle shelf. The original tiles under the mantles and around the fireplace are a khaki gold variegated mix that we are trying to preserve and accentuate. The wood stains used on all the baseboards, doors and windows are ALL DIFFERENT, so we’re trying to coordinate with all of them since they don’t need doing. These are the colors we picked here on the computer, but we’ll see if in the store tomorrow they look the way we imagine they will in our house. I just don’t want to end up feeling like we live in a cave with the 9 foot ceilings.
These are obviously the before pictures. I’ll post some more before and after pictures. Cross your fingers, if all goes well, we’ll have a new living room by Super bowl!

~*~2 more cabinets 3 less totes~*~

We were able to get 2 more cabinets in and first coat finished. This also allowed me to get 3 more big totes off the floor. Right now, I’m just throwing all the totes out in the barn ad will figure it all out later. These are unfinished from Home Depot, but match 95% to the oak cabinets we were able to get from a cabinet guy going out of business and saving us thousands. Ironically to get them to match we’re having to stain them with a English Maple stain. These still need a second coat of stain and clear coat, but I’m beginning to fall in love with organization again!

Overgrown weeds and bulbs to Contained Backyard

I never finished this one during the summer, so it only seems appropriate to do it now while it’s all covered with snow! The “garden” area looked okay from a distance, but was a tangled mess of bulbs, weeds and “stuff”.

We tore out all the weeds, and “stuff”. I dug up all the 50 year old iris bulbs and cleaned and thinned them. We put a scalloped cinder block style border around the existing area so we could save the original wall from the late 1800’s and then used 1/2 whiskey barrels (some of these I think are what’s holding up the wall in some places) and cedar planters to replant the bulbs. We filled in with primarily white marble chips, but since we need more anyway will finish with smooth river rock in the spring. It looks so much better. Some of the barrels already have the river rocks and we like them so much more.

It’s so much easier for hubby to mow now. Hopefully even that won’t be an issue next summer when we build the deck. It will replace the lower grass area.

Bathroom Anniversary

Some of you already know this story, but for the sake of clarification I’ll reiterate a little. It’s a really great house, but it’s 115 years old. So, we knew we’d need to do some upgrades eventually. We figured we’d have all the time in the world to do them though. After all, the previous owners had just painted some of the more crucial rooms like the main bathroom and kitchen. So, we figured we were set for a while. What we didn’t know was that they had only temporarily ‘fixed’ the problems noted on the home inspection report ~ things like the electrical box holding water and broken drain pipes ~ that they were supposed to “permanently” fix to complete the sale ~ I guess they truly believe that duct tape and electrical tape are the fixalls they claim to be. The “fresh” paint was actually “camouflage” for a mold problem they’d been having and failed to disclose to us ~ no wonder they were in such a hurry! Ten days after we moved in we were forced to begin the laborious process of tearing out all the walls in the main bathroom and kitchen as well as the plumbing fixtures and cabinets since it was ALL infested with mold. We hadn’t even finished unpacking before we were forced to pack back up and dig in to the work at hand. Before it was all over we had 3-60 yard dumpsters and MANY more truckloads that we took to the dump.

Now we still need a couple of things in the bathroom; a new toilet and a new floor, but the rest of it is finally done. We tried a 3 tone color scheme to enhance the character, but I hated it. So after I finished yesterday with painting the entire room “INNOCENCE WHITE”, my husband said it looked SOOOO “BOBBIE” (my sister-in-law loves white)! I just thanked him and continued on.
We had to replace everything with any kind of wallboard, but we were able to salvage some of the old wood pieces for the lower cabinets. The challenge came with trying to distress the new wainscotting to match with what we could salvage.

The room was originally a butler’s pantry when the house was built. It was changed into a downstairs bathroom in the late 40’s. It’s kind of long and narrow (6×12), but it has this really interesting ‘room’ at the end. It was originally used for cold storage when it was a pantry, but someone added a window. The window never made sense to me because there was a door on the room and the window added no value to the bathroom. We turned the door into a ‘dutch’ door so the light could shine through. In the spring, summer and fall I’ll have curtains up there and in the winter we’ll use top and bottom doors to aid against the cold. We also added a ‘cat’ door and now use the little cold storage room for the cat’s food and litter boxes as well as storage.

The pictures are in chronological order for the past year. As you can see, the mold was horrific! We added an exhaust fan and replaced the molded light fixture and added an additional light towards the rear ~ now you can see what you’re doing in this room! We also added 36 inches of upper oak cabinets for storage and a glass shower door. We had to replace the sink due to the mold and will add a pedestal after we get the floor done.

1 step closer

Well we’re 1 step closer this week to feeling finished. As many of you know, the contractor we hired last January to seal the sun porch floor and put down a sub-floor over the slab to line up with the existing kitchen floor did us wrong. He left us with a sub floor that was 1 3/8 inches taller than the existing kitchen floor. Once we got the sealing done and the outside baseboards we were able to start on the ‘new’ sub-floor. Along with the ‘spot’ warping of a 115 year old floor ~ by the time we finished the new sub floor yesterday it was over 2 inches off. Fortunately, we have taller ceilings than today’s build and can afford to lose a couple inches. We took this opportunity to add a little extra insulation also. As you can see Whiskey is settling just fine with the new floor ~ she loves to lay where she can see 2 doors.

Now we can start on some of the little things like molding, baseboards, ceiling, real floor…

2 more walls

We’re getting closer, now I can see the light at the end of that tunnel really bright! The electrician finally got light to the kitchen and we were able to close up the final walls that were going to be exposed to the winter cold. We are also getting closer to the right trim color. After the 14 day cure time and maybe another coat we should be there.

Finishing Touches

The Coca-Cola sign on the left had been my dads, the antique dryer on the right had been my moms and the butcher block next to the stove was my grandma’s. The flag my mom won at a golf tournament, but thought it would look better in our house and the ceramic heart above the mirror was a wedding present from my aunt and uncle. A few of our comfort items make it seem more like home.
I know there are still things to do, okay okay lots of thing to do~some of them major, but having a few finishing touches done makes me feel like we’re getting closer.

Turn Key House??

As you know this house was supposed to be a “turn key” deal. What none of knew was the depth of the seller’s deception. Fortunately, there is always a positive side to everything ~ IT IS ALMOST DONE!!!!! I know I keep saying that, but the more we get done the brighter I can see that light at the end of the tunnel!!

Hubby got the rest of the wainscotting mounted today and we have a primer coat of paint on just about everything. Hopefully next week we can do the second half of the sub-floor and then move the refrigerator and freezer into the respective places as well as finally move the washer up from the basement. He even got the over the refrigerator cabinet mounted.

While he was doing all that, I got the front steps and the side deck painted. Now remember this is supposed to be a “merlot” color. I used their prescribed color tinted sealer/primer (which was pepto pink by the way) and everything. It came out fire engine red!! Needless to say Home Depot, Behr and I are going to have a chat and develop the right color for the last coat and before we paint anymore of the house. At least the sealer/primer and the first coat are done on the steps.

So I went to Home Depot and it turns out that she mixed the wrong color! She gave me ‘rocking chair red’ or as we affectionately call it, ‘where’s the fire’. She was supposed to mix ’tile red’ or as we call it ‘merlot’. We were going to need another gallon to do the second coat anyway so we have the new color and the next dry day, I’ll get the final coat with the dry-lock grit mixed in to get rid of the slippery surface.