WE ARE DONE! That’s right. DONE with the renovations, contractors, and all things home improvement. And I couldn’t be more pumped. We began this adventure sometime in January, and are thrilled to report that within 6 weeks, we were totally done with our home improvement projects. At least the heavy lifting. I suppose a house is never really done, is it?
BEFORE AND AFTER | HOME RENOVATIONS
Since 90% of the work was on the main level of our home, I’m going to take you on a tour of it today. Here is the view you have of our home as soon as you open up the front door….
THE DINING ROOM
No real renovations here. Just some upgraded decor. We added a new rug, that I’m so beyond in love with. I love the vibrant colors, and to quote The Big Lebowski, “the rug really ties the room together.” We swapped out the hideous light fixture with this beautiful piece of art. It’s super retro, and exactly what I was looking for. We replaced placemats with a runner, and that’s it for the dining room. Nothing dramatic, but it feels complete, and so less bare.
THE LIVING ROOM
Our old condo had the most gorgeous built-in’s that Alex and I both loved so much. I found a fantastic carpenter online, and he was able to get a mini version of the built-ins we had. Our carpenter was a dream. He finished this project in less than four days. Not only did he work on our built-ins, he also redid our coat closet, and installed shelving into a narrow closet we had, which we turned into a pantry.
Since we had a column in the right corner of the room (next to the globe), the contractor simply extended the bookcase to be flush with the column. The bookcase totally feels like it’s always been a part of the house, it seems very organic and we couldn’t be happier.
My husband has a pretty unique and interesting collection of books that we both felt strongly about displaying. We haven’t quite figured out how to properly organize it (it’s nearly 1/3 the size of our last built-ins), but we’re working on it!
The laundry list of items in our kitchen included a new tile floor, for starters. OMG our old floors…. HUGE improvement, I can’t say that enough. We added a backsplash, swapped out the main appliances, and we’re debating upgrading our cabinets. We met with a cabinet refacing company (I really wanted white cabinetry), but the cost was so overwhelming expensive that we decided to pass.
Oh man. This stove. I can’t say I was sad to see it go. It was IMPOSSIBLE to clean, it always looked dirty, and was just awful. I mean, it worked. It was a functioning stove, but I think anyone would agree with me that this old POS needed to go…
VIEWS FROM THE LIVING ROOM HALLWAY
THE LITTLE TOUCHES
I hated the overhead lighting the previous owners had, Alex hated the toggle switches and wanted to replace them with rockers. We had an electrician here (twice, it took a total of two trips…) to replace every single light-switch and overhead light. We purchased LED track-lighting for the kitchen and the hallway, and of course, my beautiful piece that’s proudly displayed over our dining room table. We now have rockers with dimmers, which Alex boasts as more modern and updated.
As I mentioned, we had orginially planned on refacing our cabinets. I’m not in love with this weird shade of oak we currently have. But the time, energy, and of course money didn’t seem worth it to either of us. The cost would’ve eaten nearly 70% of our modest home improvement budget. My spreadsheet said no, but thanks.
My mom suggested replacing the hardware, and seeing if it made a difference. So I bought rectangular knobs for the cabinets underneath the countertop, and long pulls for the ones above. I spent a few hours one Friday, and HOLY COW it made a HUGE difference. And saved us about $9K…
And since our home was upgraded, Alex thought it was finally time to upgrade our little betta’s home too. He bought a gorgeous new tank with a partial lid on top because….
SEBASTIAN AND MAXWELL
….we needed a fishbowl with a lid, because after renovations were complete, we adopted TWIN kittens! We call them Sebs and Max, and I couldn’t be more in love with them. Adoption story to come soon!
Now that the struggle and challenges of renovations are behind us, I can now say that I get to cook in a kitchen that I absolutely L O V E. One where I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into. Which is kind of a cool feeling.
And that completes the renovation projects completed on our main level. Stay tuned for our guest room, and the basement!