Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop

Hi! It has been awhile since my last post but things have been busy around here. Thanksgiving came and went. We had all kinds of issues we had to fix at our primary house (leaking roof, water in the walls, new drywall, leaking fireplace) but that is complete. We have been house/property hunting, planning a trip to Europe, and of course working on Spotswood House.

Here’s an update on our house search.

This is one of the houses we toured. Remember, look for the potential 🙂

home orange

I thought this house had a lot of potential on the exterior but after seeing the inside we had to pass. Moving forward, I may pass on this elevation altogether (more on that in a minute). So, we toured the first floor of this house and it still had potential. Here are some shots.


This is part of the kitchen. What you can’t see is the old oil burning stove/heater. We could work with this. It would be a total gut.


Here is the living room with an old oil heater. This would be a total gut too.


This was the best room in the house. A good sized dining room we could open up to the kitchen. The house came fully furnished and the owner had no intention of removing anything 😦

Now, lets talk about the problem, the second floor. The ceilings were so low on the second floor, that the amount of work required to just raise them a little bit would not be worth it. This is the main reason we had to pass. Upstairs you had two bedrooms and a bathroom (that you can’t even classify as a bathroom). Here are some shots.



It’s really hard to tell just how low the ceiling is but trust me, it is. Now, I saved the best for last, the bathroom. The reason you can’t classify this as a bathroom is because there is no tub/shower/or sink. There is only a toilet. I have no idea how you live in a house with no tub or shower, or sink for that matter. The ceiling was especially low in the bathroom and there is no way to reasonably fit a shower in.


Here is another house we looked at. This house appealed to me because it was small and we could easily manage a renovation. I’m not going to share any pictures because we aren’t considering this house either because the foundation is compromised due to termites.

house orange 2

Finally, we put an offer on a lot in downtown, Orange, VA. The lot is about half and acre and is located right downtown. It’s a great location. The owner doesn’t want to budge on the price so we’ll see where this ends up.

Mill St

Let’s switch gears and discuss something a little more positive. Adam and I booked a trip to Germany and Sweden, specifically Berlin and Stockholm so if you have been to either location please send recommendations of things to do. We are still in the process of planning things but I will share what we have so far.

When we travel abroad we like to stay in Airbnb’s. I debated cashing in Marriott points but the hotels look exactly like they look here in the states and that didn’t feel authentic to me. For our stay in Berlin, we are trying something different and renting a room, not a private residence. Does that sound crazy? We are staying at a super host’s place and he has perfect reviews. Here are some shots from the place.

We thought we were going to be able to squeeze in a trip to Munich but we couldn’t make the flights work so we will be staying 4 nights in Berlin and 4 nights in Stockholm.  The Airbnb in Berlin is more on the luxury side but the place we booked in Stockholm is a little more quirky and retro. It is maintained by a super host with perfect reviews too. This place is a private apartment, lol. Here are some shots.

Finally, we have started renovating the bathroom at Spotswood House. Here are the before pictures.


This bathroom is tiny. We are going to completely gut it and start over. Since there is only one bathroom in the house we are going to put in a shower/tub combo. Originally, we wanted just a shower but I think we need to keep a tub. We are going to replace the pedestal sink with a vessel sink that sits directly on the counter and we will add a floating cabinet underneath the counter. We need to add as much storage as we can.

For tile, we are going with white subway tile on the walls but we may lay it in a unique pattern. The floor, we are going to do black tile. Here is a sample.

floor tile

In a prior post I shared the accent tile we are going to add to the bathroom. Here it is again.


I still have tons of things to discuss but I think I’ll stop for today. For my next post I will share some of things I bought for our European trip. Here’s a hint, it involves a whole new wardrobe.





2 thoughts on “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”

  1. I love the cast iron tub in the Spotswood bathroom. They are so much better than the new ones because of their ability to hold in the heat when the tub is filled. The porcelain looks like it is still in good shape. You could put a new surround if the porcelain isn’t compromised and save some money and work getting it out. Just a thought.


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