The Beat Goes On

Very exciting news…our floors are done! Now on to the kitchen, ooft!

Here are the floors without baseboards and doors nowhere to be found.

Wow, who knew baseboards were so transformative?! We hung the doors back up but not a big fan because they are hollow core but not worth the return to replace them. Sometimes you gotta let things ride when doing a remodel.

We were so over doing the herringbone pattern throughout the house that we laid an off-set patterned floor (kinda like subway tile) in the guest bedrooms.

In between all of the floor work we took a couple shopping trips to Atlanta, Birmingham, and Dothan, Alabama. Dothan, Alabama, you say????? Yes!!! What a hidden gem!

In Atlanta we bought a dining room table from a West Elm outlet and another portrait painting (one of my favorites). The dining room table (below) is pretty basic and more on the industrial side in terms of style but I like the simplicity of it. The room is still a work in progress and I’m currently looking for a rug to break-up all of the wood tones. I had my eye on the dining room chairs for quite some time and pulled the plug when they went on sale for 40% off. I combined that with a 15% curbside pickup discount, and a $10 off monthly reward. That is the holy grail for a bargain shopper. I could not contain my excitement!

While in Atlanta, I think I found my favorite store EVER, Kudzu. It’s a combination of antiques/vintage finds/and new items that have a vintage flair. I bought another portrait there, Denise. Denise was in rough shape when we bought her but after watching a few episodes of Repair Shop on Netflix Adam decided he could fix her up. Apparently saliva is the best way to remove dirt and dust from a painting. Also, Denise was sliding down the canvas because of how it was attached to the frame. Adam took everything apart and rebuilt the frame and now Denise is as good as new.

After Atlanta, we went to Dothan, Alabama and picked up a credenza and bar cart. We made a subsequent trip back to Dothan and I picked up the postal scale you see sitting on the credenza. I gotta represent the United States Postal Service!

Here is the bar cart (below) prior to any accessorizing. This also gives you a good look at our dining room pre-remodel and a little cameo of me taking the photo (so serious), and Adam holding up a mirror as I try to decide how to decorate the room.

Here is the final product of our bar cart (below). Ok, I have to brag about this…see the brass birds in the circle section of the bar cart below? That is not part of the bar cart, I had that decorative object and thought it would give the bar cart a mid-century look. I absolutely love how it turned out. I bought the white parrot at a Goodwill for $2. Also, you’ll notice a tiny part of my drink stirrer collection. On the bottom shelf of the bar cart is a set of mid century glasses we bought in Birmingham and an ice bucket, ceramic deer, and swan serving tray I bought at an antique store in Dothan, Alabama…crazy! Oh, and I paid $90 for the bar cart I found on Facebook Marketplace.

And, I bought another portrait in Dothan, Alabama!!!!!! I think I will name her Miss Hannigan because she looks so serious and strict.

So, I absolutely love lighting/light fixtures. It is my favorite decorating accessory. In fact, every time we move I insist on taking some of my lights with me and now I have too much. But can you really ever have too much??

A dear friend of mine, Linda, sent me a photo of this light fixture someone brought into her church thrift store. She wanted to know what I would price it at. It was a real one-of-a-kind. I told her if she couldn’t sell it, I would buy it. Long story short, it made it’s way from South Florida to Orlando to Tallahassee, Florida where it proudly hangs in my dining room now. I mean, what a show stopper, right?

I need to take a moment and brag on Adam. When we first got married, let’s just say he was kinda handy but more like a bull in a china shop. As the years have gone by, he has turned into a jack-of-all-trades extraordinaire. During our move from Virginia to Florida we had to store our stuff in a Pod for about a month. Our tv stand got damaged because our stuff wasn’t being stored in a controlled climate and quite frankly, the tv stand wasn’t high quality. I think it was particle board covered in laminate (but it looked pretty). I think I paid $40 for it from someone on Facebook Marketplace. I was going to sell the stand for parts but Adam decided he could fix it.

Here is a before picture (below) of the tv stand prior to it getting damaged. After the move the entire back of the stand was warped and the alignment on the drawers got off track and looked crooked:

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Adam turned my tv stand into a nightstand! Pretty impressive.

We still have a kitchen to remodel and two bathrooms, and we still have to decorate the space. We decided to turn one of the guest bedrooms into a second living room so Adam and I can watch our shows separate of each other and in peace but you know what that means, more furniture to buy. Darn! 😉

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.

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After
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After

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.

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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.

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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.

Well hello darling!

I have been on quite a hiatus. Sorry, I blame it on al-al-al-al-cohol. Just kidding, I blame it on buying a fixer-upper that required an immediate fix as soon as we moved in. The house we just purchased in Florida (The Oriole – all of my houses have to have names, after all they are my babies) had wall-to-wall carpet. In addition to that they had a dog who used the carpet as his personal toilet. That required immediate action – operation remove carpet. Look at that living room (below), it is swimming in carpet, yuck. I won’t even describe the smell of removing the carpet. I’ll keep that little nugget to myself.

There was carpet at the front door so as soon as you entered the house, you were on carpet. That’s crazy! On top of that we had a ton of rain the past couple weeks which exposed water seeping into the house through the back door threshold. So every time it rained that carpet would get soaked with water; that is so gross.

Once the carpet was gone it felt like we lived in a warehouse.

I’m not sure what this looks like to you but it is extremely stressful. How can anyone comfortably live in this scenario?! The only way to remedy was to get to work ASAP. We created a plan – wood look tile floors ASAP, in a herringbone pattern. LOLOLOLOLOL…the remodeling gods were laughing at us. Why didn’t someone stop us from making this insane decision??!! 2 weeks into this project and we have gone through 5 1/2 bags of mortar, 1 1/2 bags of grout, god knows how many cases of tile, and only half of the room is complete. We are officially stuck in remodeling HELL!!!!! People, this is a public service announcement…DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME UNLESS YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL. I am hating life right now!!!!! Did I mention we are only halfway done with one room???? Here are our time lapse photos.

Notice I started the time lapse photos and then said, “screw it. This sucks. Here is our halfway point.” Ok, half of the room is tiled. By Thanksgiving, maybe the whole room will be tiled (tears are streaming down my face). Ok, snap out of it; get it together gurl, positive thoughts….we’ll be back at it trying to get the rest of the room tiled. Wish me luck!

This house is the largest house we have ever owned at 1659 sq ft. I get it; this house is certainly not big by many peoples standards but we have always loved old, historic homes (which are traditionally small). I say all of this to say I am woefully understocked on furniture. I need to purchase a new dining room set, 2 living room chairs, and a king size headboard/bed. In the meantime I purchased this cute little gem of a chair.

OMG, this little puppy is so comfortable! I am totally loving the 70s vibe it’s giving me. Another purchase I recently made is this wall art (yeah, that isn’t paint, its yarn). Ok, honestly, are you throwing up in your mouth?? I am totally loving the vintage feel of this!

In a couple weeks we are going to take the truck to Atlanta for a shopping spree. I am so deprived here in Tallahassee, FL. I am so spoiled by my options in the DC area for furniture/accessories etc.!

On a final side note, I have only taken 32 hours of leave this year. People, it is October and I have only taken off 4 days this entire year, WTF! I need a vacation sooooo bad. I literally have 590 hours of annual leave on the books and I can roll all of it over to next year. We’re talking about going back to New Orleans but touring some of the mansions outside the city or going to Birmingham, Alabama. This is certainly a departure from France, Belize, and Argentina, LOL. Times have certainly changed….

New Beginnings

We finally closed on Spotswood House!! Here’s the empty house to prove it.

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It felt like it took forever to get this off the books, or maybe it was the 45-day close we agreed to. I would not advise going that route if at all possible. On top of that, the closing was delayed by 3 days. But, we got our proceeds check and we are rolling it into a new house. We are under contract on a house in Tallahassee, FL! I thought the DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV) housing market was super hot but Tallahassee was crazy too. This is the first time ever we are paying over list for a house. We were 1 of 5 offers the first day the house went on the market. Our hefty down payment and the fact we weren’t a first-time home buyer secured the deal. Which I want to talk about for a second. You keep hearing about interest rates being super low, lowest ever, blah, blah, blah. Well, we couldn’t qualify for the lowest rates because mortgage lenders punish you if you finance under $100K. Even though you have great credit and a massive down payment, you aren’t worth it to a mortgage company because they won’t make “any money” off of your loan. How infuriating is that to hear?! So, I told the lender, “all the more reason to pay cash next time!!” That’s the goal, cash for a house. Might take a couple more remodels but we’ll get there.

I’m guessing you want to see the new house? Believe me, I want to see it too! I was still in Virginia when the house came on the market. I saw the listing on realtor.com, sent it to Adam, and told him to go tour it that night. It had our two non-negotiables – an in-ground pool and two-car garage. Bonus, there was a detached workshop for Adam (he was very happy). In addition, the major ticket items were taken care of – fairly new roof and HVAC. The inside will take an entire remodel but, hey, that’s what we do. Another bonus for me is it is brick on three sides with hardi-board on the back. I love the look of brick ranchers. I guess they remind me of my neighborhood growing up. The house was built in 1979, another plus for us. I love older houses! There is one major downside to the house, SEPTIC!!!! I promised I would never own a home with septic EVER again but here we are. We did the septic inspection and everything came back A-OK so hopefully we won’t have any problems. Fixing septic is a big ticket item! Oh, another thing I forgot to mention, the house is on 1/2 an acre. What the hell is it with us finding houses on huge lots? I am not looking forward to cutting that grass in Florida heat!

Here’s a photo of the front exterior.

tally front exterior

It even has an “L” for Lindsey 🙂 We’re talking about changing the paint on the front door, shutters, and trim. Also, we want to chunk out the columns and give them a more craftsman look.

Here’s the pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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And another one…

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I cannot wait to jump in the pool. I will be in that thing everyday. I’m so excited!

I won’t share any interior photos because it will all get changed anyway. The first thing to go will be the carpet, everywhere. We are thinking about doing a wood-look tile in a herringbone pattern, kinda like this.

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We are definitely going to try to keep this remodel manageable cost wise because our end goal is to sell it in a couple years. And we probably don’t have as much wiggle room to make a big profit. I’m excited for this weekend, we’re going floor and cabinet shopping. Yay, so much fun! I’ll be back soon with more updates.

 

Another Bathroom Remodel

Most sane people would not undertake a bathroom remodel in the middle of selling their house but we’re not most people. We like to keep the stress level exceptionally high! We are under contract on our house and going through the various inspections right now…talk about a money drain! In addition, which I have failed to mention before, we (Adam) are moving back to Florida (kinda).

I forgot (no, I didn’t) how horrific moving can be. This time around we made the brilliant decision to pack our belongings by ourselves. We decided to go the Pod route since we don’t have a home in Florida to move to. It took us 8 hours straight to get the Pod loaded and multiple, multiple trips to the dump ( I see a side hustle in removing peoples junk. It is a lucrative business.)

Now that I have hit you with all of that, let’s talk about Florida. Adam got an offer he couldn’t turn down to work for the State of Florida as the Chief Innovation Officer. I cannot make the move because I am committed to the Postal Service for the next couple of years (too long to explain). So, we will make trips back and forth and try to make this new telework environment work to our advantage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help Florida is being stupid when it comes to managing COVID-19 and enforcing the wearing of a mask. Not sure how the back-and-forth is going to work in the immediate future. While all of that is going on we still decided to remodel our second bathroom at our condo in Alexandria…I literally cannot make this shit up!!!

So, that is enough talk. Time for some pictures. Here are the “before” pictures of our bathroom.

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Did you notice where they patched the bathroom tile around the shower knob with a different color tile? Classy!!

This remodel isn’t as intensive as the “owners suite” bathroom but we did remove everything except the tub. We’re going to get the tub reglazed. We have never done that before and we aren’t trying to do it ourselves.

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That tile was such a pain to get off of the floor. I’m sure our neighbors below us really enjoyed that part of the demo.

We started with the remodel of the bathroom floor. I chose a modern, geometric pattern. Figuring out the floor tile pattern took a minute.

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OMG, I love this floor. I really took liberty on this bathroom to go all-out with design details. Next, we moved onto the herringbone accent wall in green, my favorite color.

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Then, we moved to the other walls in penny tile.

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We took the tile all the way to the ceiling. It takes a little bit more work but it is so worth it. It makes the space feel more expansive and cohesive.

Right now my vanity is on back order so I’m going to have to wait to finish this thing out. This is the color I’m leaning towards painting the room, Behr Marquee Pumice.

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Here is the current state of the bathroom:

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NEWSFLASH: I am on Instagram now. You can follow me at https://www.instagram.com/spotswoodhouse

Finally, I have a new lady I added to my collection. Let me introduce you to Valerie.

Valerie

 

We are under contract!

Ok, so it is fair to say that I have a few meltdowns when it comes to the home buying and selling process. It is such a stressful period and huge money drain and sometimes a gain. When we sold our house in Alexandria it was under contract in a day with a good chunk of change over the list price. Things are a little bit different out here in the country. I started freaking out when only 2 people viewed our house within a week of our house going on the market. But, we ended up getting an offer over list (buyer offered over list to get closing cost assistance) and we are pressing forward.

Our buyer is getting a USDA loan which is little bit different that FHA and Conventional (quite frankly I don’t care what type of loan they get as long as it closes). USDA loans are for rural communities and allow buyers to finance 100% of the purchase price for a pretty reasonable interest rate. Our buyer is a first-time home buyer single mom. She is getting a great, little house. I mean, we fixed EVERYTHING in it. I’m a little bit sad to leave this house because we are selling it as soon as we finished remodeling it. So, I never got to live in it remodeled. Oh well, that just gives me more ammunition for our next house.

We ended up listing our house buy-owner and it has been quite the experience so far. I will fill you all in on it in a later post and let you know where we saved money. We still have the inspection and home appraisal so we aren’t out of the woods yet. Once we get through that, oh, and our septic inspection, and water quality check I will feel much better. Adam says I’m worrying for nothing. What does he know! 😉

We listed our house on a Monday on MLS and it took us until Friday to get on Zillow. We had an offer Sunday and went under contract that evening. Once you calculate the over ask price and the closing cost assistance, the offer was $1K under list. I can live with that.

Here are the photos from the listing.

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You saw some of these pictures in my previous post but I wanted to share all of the photos we used in our listing in the exact order. One of the top suggestions for selling your home is to get professional photographs done. Well, we didn’t have time for all of that so Adam bought a wide angle lens designed for cellphones and attached that baby and took these photos. We brightened the photos and added “pop” but I think they turned out as good as professional photos would have. The lens only cost about $40 compared to $300 for professional photos. Here is the lens if you’re interested. 

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After we painted the front door we found a pink moth cozying up to it. I think it was in love. I don’t blame it. Have you ever seen a pink moth before? Adam said they live in Silver Maples. Hopefully, that is our good luck moth. 

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I loved that pink paint so much I painted our bistro table and chairs too. It needed it. That brown finish wasn’t doing it any favors. The table and chairs were left behind by the previous owner and the chair was broken, of course. So, Adam got his welder and put it back together for me. 

Now that our house is under contract we are in the initial stages of another remodel, our guest bathroom at the condo.  No turning back, we already bought the tile. So here is a sneak peek of the project. Yes, that is a herringbone pattern you see there! We’ll see how difficult it ends up being to install. I end up using a lot of blue in my decorating but my favorite color is green so I’m so excited to use green tile on this project. The green herringbone will go on the long shower wall and the white penny tile will go on the two short walls. The black tile will go on the floor. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to start on this project. 

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That’s all I got for now. Be back soon with more updates.

And just like that…DONE!

We have been working frantically (more on that at a later date) to finish remodeling Spotswood House and I am happy to say she is done!!! We should have her listed for sale tomorrow.  This has been a labor of love and such a good learning experience. And I am happy to say this is not the end of our remodeling road. We have the bug now. As soon as we go under contract it is on to the next house.

I’m going to go through as many before and after shots as I can. First up, the exterior. We didn’t do too much here; pressure washed, painted the front door a really fun color, painted the porch, painted the shutters, and removed the car port. The reason why we removed the carport is because it wasn’t up to code and it was easier to just demolish the dang thing.  We had bees and wasps living in it, a total hot mess.

I think my favorite change is the front door. I wanted a red/orange/pink color and as soon as I walked into Home Depot I found “Drama Queen.” It’s more on the red/pink spectrum but I love it. So fun! Unfortunately you can’t see my welcome mat but it goes perfectly with the door. Something else we did was paint the outdoor light a really modern gold color instead of basic black. It turned out fantastic. It’s so funny how the little things get me the most excited.

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Probably the biggest change of all is the kitchen. You all know the saying, “kitchen and baths sell the house.” I’m going to show you three pictures here; the before, the first after, and the second after. After we remodeled the kitchen and decided to sell the house, I changed the color and lighting so it will appeal to more buyers.

DSCN0746IMG_0884IMG_20200606_145913429 Now our kitchen is light and bright with a soft blue/green/gray color on the wall and a new light fixture (I got it for free from Facebook. A couple of the glass panes were cracked so I took them to Home Depot and had new ones made. That is a really nice light now!!!) It is so much brighter since we took the carport down too. I’ll throw in a couple more pics of the new, new kitchen.

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I’ll be so sad to sell Spotswood…well kinda. The one thing I don’t like about the house is it sits off a busy county highway and the road noise is legit. Tractor trailers are the worst!

Ok, I’m back on track now. Time to move into the living room. The biggest changes we made here were painting the room, painting the baseboards, painting the ceiling, updating the bay window with removable wallpaper, and removing a corner cabinet. I was gonna say we didn’t do too much but after reading what I just wrote, we have done a shitload here!!!

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I recycled some of my furniture (couch, leather chair, dining table and chairs) from my house in Alexandria but I bought alot of new stuff for Spotswood too. Probably my favorite thing in the living room is a picture on the wall from IKEA. It looks like a mid century modern house in Palm Springs. That, and my ceramic parrot. I bought it for $2 or $3 at a Goodwill.

On to the dining room. I guess it is officially the living room but we swapped them since the area next to the kitchen was larger.

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Probably the most notable change here is the front door is white now instead of its original wood color. There is a creepy portrait in the background of an older lady I bought on impulse. I gotta be honest, this is my least favorite room in the house.

We’ll move to the bedrooms now. In the first bedroom we used the same furniture we had in our Alexandria house. We painted the walls, replaced the ceiling fan, painted the trim around the windows, and added curtains. That is my thing, curtains and lighting. Besides paint, you can have the biggest impact by changing curtains and lighting. This is the only room in the house where we liked the color on the wall but we still repainted. Sigh.

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Next up, the back bedroom. I call this my mid century modern room. Prior to that, it was painted red and had a massively heavy, hideous built-in.

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You may have noticed I broke my curtain rule in this room. I always hang the curtains from the ceiling but I needed curtains quick for this room and found standard size ones on Facebook for $10. Their actually pretty nice but I don’t like the 84″ length.

The final bedroom. This little dozy  had a futon bed and a weight lifting bar in here when we first laid eyes on her. Of course we repainted, replaced the door, added closet doors, and we had to patch drywall where there were holes…yikes.

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After looking at the before photo, I just remembered we completely reconfigured the closet. For the bi-fold closet doors in this room Adam found them on Facebook for $25, including the track, knobs, and hardware. What a steal! I’m so proud of how resourceful we have been with some of the items in the house.

Now for the other moneymaker, the bathroom. We took this down to the studs. It is itty, bitty but we made smart design decisions to make it seem much larger. We hung the shower curtain from the ceiling and Adam built a custom vanity so we had more space for the toilet (hey, some people need to spread out).

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Another major change we made to the house was ripping off the leaking, moldy, rotting sunroom. In case you were wondering, it wasn’t done to code either. Once we took off the sunroom we found a deck, one of the few pleasant surprises in this house. The people before us literally built a sunroom on top of a deck.

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Ok, let me explain. If you look at the 4th photo above that is the before shot of the mudroom. Notice there is a hole in the ceiling. Adam found a spare key where the hole opening was, LOL. I guess that is one way to hide your spare key. We completely remodeled the mudroom. We moved the door to the back of the house, took out an old window, added a new window, hung bead board on the walls and ceiling, painted the beadboard, and just for good measure Adam made the bench above using leftover wood we ripped off the house. Yeah, he’s crazy! We actually kept the light but Adam painted it gold and it is so pretty now.

Honestly, the biggest transformation of them all may be the laundry room. The before picture literally looks like a glamour shot compared to how it looked in-person. It had tons of holes in the walls, water spots on the walls and ceiling, and cheap vinyl floor tiles. It literally looked like a murder scene. It looks so much better now. We painted the walls and ceiling, added a a new window, ripped up the vinyl and added some shelving and a cabinet door. I had plans to do a stencil on the floor in the laundry and mudroom but we just ran out of time.

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We ended up getting really lucky earlier in the week when some guys from the power company came by and offered to remove three of our trees in the front yard for free!! They were growing in the power lines which made them dangerous so they offered to remove them and we said, “YES!!!!!!” The before and after is stunning.

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Needless to say, we’ve been busy the past few weeks. I did find time to stream a new show on Amazon, Upload. Has anyone else seen it? It’s from the writer of The Office so that definitely intrigued me. But, it’s definitely not like The Office. It’s about a guy who dies and instead of going to heaven or hell he goes to an artificial afterlife where he can still communicate (and have sex) with living people. It’s really good.

I’ll be back soon when our listing goes live and I’ll explain what we decided to do differently when selling this house.

 

 

Busy Beavers

This whole COVID-19 thing has been a pain in the ass crack but it has really afforded us time to do home updates. Heck, we just ripped the back of the house off at Spotswood House over the weekend. What am I doing back at Spotswood, you might ask? Well, we’re trying to wrap up the final projects there and get that baby on the market. And shocker, I have repainted the kitchen at Spotswood, TWICE!!!

I’ll start with my favorite project. We had a bay window in the living room at Spotswood covered in this orangy, ugly, wood. I have been thinking about painting it for months, and WOW, I magically have time now. Here is the original.

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Of course I don’t have a good before picture. I was so sure I had a picture of the bay window that I didn’t think I needed to take a photo before the transformation. I swear, you can never have enough photos!!! Well, here are the after shots.

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I had some leftover removable wallpaper and thought it would look perfect in the bay window. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Ok, so why did we rip the back half of the house off? Hmmm, because the owners before decided to add a sunroom right on top of a deck. Oh, and they decided not to slope the roof, so it leaks. We knew all of this when we bought the house, lol. Here is a before shot.

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Adam was able to get the room ripped down in one day!!

IMG_1940IMG_1942IMG_1948IMG_1949IMG_1950IMG_1969 We ripped the sunroom off and we are in the process of enclosing the mudroom. We replaced the window on the side and back of the house and relocated the exterior door from the side of the house to the back of the house. Next up, is adding the siding. Sure enough we had to special order siding to match the original but hoping it looks really good when we are done.

I saved the best for last, our remodeled bathroom at the condo. I’m only going to give you a sneak peak because it isn’t 100% done. I still need to get the glass doors and vanity mirrors but it is looking goooooood! Just to refresh your memory I gotta show you the before picture. It looks completely different now!

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Ok, one more pic 🙂

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Ok, seriously, last pic.

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Before I pop-off (The Great British Baking Show reference)  I want to share a couple things I’m digging right now. I’m a total weirdo and actually love water, as long as it is iced. But I recently started drinking flavored sparkling water from Lidl. Ok, before I go off on a tangent about how much I like Lidl – the classy Aldi, let me focus. Cherry Lime Sparkling water. It is so good. It doesn’t even need vodka.

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Finally, I started streaming Parks and Recreation beginning with season one. Anyone watched it? All I can say is Ron Swanson. See ya next time.

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Looking Forward

I’m already looking forward to our next remodel (my poor husband), our guest bathroom. I love the look of mid-century modern (I will make it to Palm Springs one day) but I still gravitate towards traditional. Our master bath remodel is very traditional or maybe classic is a better word, I don’t know. So, when it comes to the guest bathroom we will take more risks and add more color.

I don’t know what it is about us and small bathrooms but we have inherited another one.  The sink, toilet, and shower are all on top of each other so we are going to make tiny tweaks to see if it makes a difference (replace 30 inch vanity with a 28 inch vanity). Here are some designs I’m leaning towards.

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Originally for the floor tile I wanted cement tiles but after reading about the maintenance I decided to go a different route. I am so in love with geometric shapes and patterns so this tile really hits the mark for me.

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We are keeping our tub, just getting it reglazed. For the shower wall tiles we are going to attempt the very difficult herringbone pattern. I am envisioning lots of cussing and many, many tile cuts but, maybe we’ll surprise ourselves. We are going with either a green or aqua blue elongated subway tile.

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Ahhhh, I’m so excited about our next project even though we aren’t done with our current project yet. I really need to start an Instagram account. I could spend all day online looking at home remodel projects.

Let me give you a travel update. Our flight to France was cancelled. Now I’m trying to get my money refunded instead of a travel voucher and here is why. I’m going to let you in on a secret…and I’m so hesitant to tell you because I get the most amazing travel deals this way. I never share with you the cost of my trip but here goes. I paid almost $2000 for our flight to France, flying into Paris and departing from Nice, super stupid. I started researching flight deal sites and came across Scott’s Cheap Flights. Ok, this site is AMAZING!!! I booked our flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina for about $1100 total. Um, that is ridiculous! When you sign-up (I paid $50 for a premium annual subscription) you provide your preferred airport and they send you International deals as they come available. The downside is you can’t put in specific destinations or timeframes, just sit back and wait for deals to any International destination to populate, no continental United States options. I saw a flight deal to Hawaii for less than $350. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to book due to my husband’s lack of adequate leave but that is a really, really good price. I highly recommend Scott’s Cheap Flights (I wasn’t paid an endorsement fee. Ha, not enough people even read my blog) if you are interested in discounted International travel…oh, and the deals they send are on major airlines. I have status with American Airlines and was able to get my Argentina and Belize trip through American. So there you go, a major secret revealed. Does anyone else subscribe to a travel deal website?

Are you looking for ways to keep entertained during  the COVID-19 quarantine? I hosted a virtual game night with my work team last week and O-M-G it was so much fun! We played Quiplash. It kinda reminds me of Cards Against Humanity but you provide the “inappropriate” answer. I purchased the game through Jackbox Games for $5 or $6…totally worth it! The way it works is you get asked random questions and have free reign on the answers. NOTE, the more inappropriate the answer the better. Some of the questions you get asked are, “What is the name of a disease you don’t want to catch?” “What is a bad name for a new beer brand?” You get the point. If anyone wants to play, hit me up. You are guaranteed to laugh your ass off.

Ok, that is enough secrets. Stay safe.

 

Bathroom Fun

We are about 65-70% done with our bathroom remodel, woo hoo! Floors are in; grouted and sealed. Shower wall tile is almost done. The main things left to do are finish wall tile and grout, lay shower basin tile and grout, tile niches and around window, install vanity and faucets, install shower head and hardware, and paint. Hmmm, maybe not 65-70% done. Man, it sounds like we have so much left to do, UGH!

One of the biggest decisions of the bathroom – the paint color. I wanted a soft, greige color and settled on Silver Feather (Behr). It’s so neutral and classic.

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Here is our bathroom closet, nice and framed in. I know, not an exciting photo but we’ll get to the tiling momentarily.

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I was really worried about our vanity being available for pick-up due to the coronavirus so we decided to get it before everything shut down. Turns out, it is an essential business or they think they are an essential business, whatever. This little beast was a bitch to get into our condo. Thanks to our very nice neighbors, they helped us lug it up 3 flights of stairs. But, OMG, it is gorg!!! That’s real marble folks, extra heavy!! Ignore the cheap hardware, we upgraded it with brushed bronze. Apologies for not being able to capture the full vanity, it is crammed into our guest room.

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We chose marble for the floors (seeing a pattern) and they turned out really, really, really good! The underlayment was a bit of a chore. When we bought the condo the bathroom floor tiles had cracks in them so we had to put a Schluter Ditra membrane down. You all know what that is right?? It’s a membrane that goes down before you add tile on top. It allows the floor movement underneath the tile so it does not crack. We’ll see if it works….

We were a little worried once we grouted because the grout left a wet rim around the tile (see below). Luckily it dried.

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Unfortunately, we immediately covered the floors to focus on the shower tile install and I was only able to capture the finished product in the toilet room. The lighting is terrible, and on a side note, all of these photos are taken with a regular ol’ iPhone. I’m not trying to make money off this blog and it shows, lol.

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Laying floor tile goes down like a dream, the shower tiles, not so much. It just takes so much tile and takes fo-ever. And, you never get perfectly straight walls but I digress. It is looking really pretty though. We chose a pale blue subway tile. Look how straight the subway tile lines are. I will admit I got put on punishment for getting the tiles misaligned and haven’t been allowed to tile since (or was it all part of my master plan).

Thanks for coming along on our bathroom model. I’m off to do more work, or watch Adam do more work 🙂 Hopefully, we can get the bathroom mostly done this weekend. Fingers crossed, I’ll keep you posted.