Holiday Vortex

Hello again…I feel like I have been stuck in a holiday vortex the past 2 months and my regular life has gone by the wayside. That floor remodel I was talking about in my last post is still dragging on (awesome). We have made some progress but I would definitely expect more if I was you. We finished the gargantuan living and dining area, knocked out the hallway and have almost finished the master bedroom. Then, that leaves 2 bedrooms and we are done (with that project).

Before I get into our floor update I can finally share our finished master bathroom from our condo in Alexandria. I am so happy with how it turned out. The hold up was really minor. I was waiting on new drawer pulls because I didn’t like the first set I bought (a regular occurrence Adam is used to by now). Here are the before and after shots but let me level-set first. The before pictures don’t look that bad but trust me the camera is hiding a multitude of sins. Tiles were falling off the shower stall walls and the walk-in shower could hardly be classified as that. I don’t think Adam could’ve even fit. Personally, I am not a bath person so the garden tub had to go. This is an interesting topic – I didn’t realize how many people dislike baths like I do. I am a shower girl all the way! Finally, the vanity – ugh! It was cheap and not functional. We were going to sell it once we pulled it out but it fell completely apart (if that gives you an idea of the condition it was in). Oh, and finally, finally, all of the material was builder basic which is not okay for someone like me. I need style, pizzazz, and good design.


This was another hold up on the remodel – the mirrors. I couldn’t figure out what shape I wanted at the price point I needed. Side note, I love nice things but if I can’t get them for a discount or a deal then I’m not buying it. I must’ve looked for weeks before finally deciding on a scalloped edge. I think they fit the space nicely.

Toilet closet
View walking into bathroom

At the beginning of my post I mentioned that I decided to change out the drawer pulls on the vanity. The original pulls had an oil rubbed bronze look which I wasn’t going for. It just felt a little too traditional and I wanted something more modern. I decided to change them out for a lighter, brighter lucite and I could not be happier I made the change.

Vanity with oil rubbed bronze pulls
Vanity with lucite pulls

Here’s an update on our guest bath remodel at the condo (because who doesn’t want to have 5 remodeling projects going on at a time). We have had nothing but issues trying to get our bathroom vanity. First, it started with the purchase. We bought the vanity only to find out they didn’t have it in stock and I didn’t like any of the other options. They told us it would be 4 weeks before they received another shipment. Four weeks turned into 8 weeks. Then, when we went to pick it up the holes weren’t drilled properly for the sink and then we had an issue with the backsplash. What a colossal nightmare! And now our sink drain is lost somewhere in the mail/shipping stream. All of that to say, our bathroom is still not finished but we are getting ever so closer.

After – different angle

Lucky for you, you get a long blog post today. Now we’ll move to our Tallahassee house for an update. As I mentioned, we are entrenched on our floor remodel but we have made progress since the last report. The floors are turning out beautifully but I’ll let you in on a little, dirty secret. The tile flooring is so painful on my feet. I cannot walk barefoot in the house for fear of massive foot pain (how old am I again?). We have never had an all tile house before so I was not aware we would run into this problem. I now have extra thick house slippers (thanks mom) to cushion the blow. Now that that is out of the way on to the photos.

Grouting in progress in dining room area
Finished floors in living room
finished floors in dining room
Before – hallway
After – hallway
Before – master bedroom
Current state – master bedroom

Now I want to switch gears and go into some financials on the Tallahassee house. When you are doing a remodel you have to keep a close eye on costs (duh!) and you need to pay attention to making purchases that will give you the biggest return. For example, stainless steel appliances will increase the value more than white appliances (in most instances). New appliances can get very expensive and eat into your renovation budget. So I always try to buy appliances used which we have done for the Tallahassee house. Nobody will ever know the difference. Here are the before and afters on the appliances and costs associated with each.

This was the refrigerator that came with the house. Works fine but not aesthetically pleasing. We sold it for $175 on Facebook Marketplace.
We replaced the “bisque” refrigerator with this french door Samsung for $500 (bought on Facebook Marketplace). Minus the $175 we got for the original fridge, reduced our cost to $325. Um, this fridge is $2000+ new.
Our “vintage” wall oven. This thing works great but the baking shelves are tiny and can’t hold a standard cookie sheet. We will be parting with this soon.
Originally, I wanted a slide in range but finding those at a great price is difficult so we bought this convection oven for $300 on Craigslist. It was filthy but we cleaned it up and it will look great in our kitchen. Quite the improvement over the easy bake oven.
Original white dishwasher.
We bought this dishwasher for $100 on Facebook Marketplace. Quite the improvement over the white one.

If you were doing the math, we paid $900 for our appliances and sold our existing refrigerator for $175 (and we will probably make money on the oven and dishwasher when we sell them) totaling a $725 investment for 3 stainless steel appliances. That is how you make your remodeling money work for you!

I am always on the lookout for deals and steals to decorate our house and I have found a few things in Tallahassee even though the pickings are slim. I should’ve mentioned above the refrigerator came from Jacksonville, Florida, the stove from Alexandria, Virginia, and the dishwasher we got in Monticello, a town outside Tallahassee. This is my latest find. It’s such a cute side table!

I hope you enjoyed all of our remodeling updates. We have a new bed arriving tomorrow for the master bedroom so hopefully I can share an update on that finished room soon. I will be making a buying trip at the end of this year to Atlanta and Birmingham to see if I can find more items for our house. Surprisingly, there are many items we still need to furnish the house. Home ownership, the gift that keeps on giving.

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