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.

 

COVID-19 Go Away!

I hesitate to even do a post in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic because I want to be sensitive to other people and their situations and I don’t want to come off as out-of-touch but I do want to share my thoughts and experiences. As with all of you, Adam and I’s life has been turned completely upside-down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Fortunately, both Adam and I have the luxury of working from home and have guaranteed paychecks (for now). I have been working from home since Wednesday, March 18, 2020. By nature I am a homebody so the self quarantine isn’t really bothering me. I do miss human interaction but I really miss eating out. Every Friday night is date night for Adam and I and that usually involves stuffing our faces at a local establishment. We ordered take-out but it wasn’t the same.

I realize how lucky we are to be able to stay home while other people are on the front line fighting this virus. My company, the U.S. Postal Service, is considered an essential service and there are many employees who can’t stay home, the mail has to be delivered! I hope they stay safe and don’t contract the virus. So far, 4 people in my building of over 1000 people have the virus. I am hunkered down at home and don’t appear to have any symptoms, although the allergies here kill me!

To occupy my “spare” time, I have been watching a lot of movies (only one movie per day, I have to maintain my schedule). Here is a rundown: Jumanji, Jumanji 2, Knives Out, Bombshell, Gemini Man, King Arthur (Guy Ritchie version), Collateral, and Valentine’s Day. I actually really liked the Jumaji movies with The Rock and Kevin Hart, just light fun. I also liked Bombshell, it was terrifying and so sad because even though it was lossely based on fact I don’t doubt any of that happened. I also threw in a Taylor Swift documentary for good measure. And, I finally finished The Man in the High Castle series on Amazon. Don’t get me started on that one. They took an amazing series, ran it into the ground, resurrected it, only to end it permanently.

A couple bright spots: Our drywall guy is coming tomorrow. Once our walls are mudded-in we can start tiling. That will be our sole focus this weekend – Lindsey Taylor, Tiling Machine. Very lucky that our bathroom remodel coincides with a full lockdown. I’m not trying to be funny, I’m happy we’ll have something to do to keep us busy and it will bring us a lot of satisfaction in the end. And now for an update on my milestone birthday year – notice I pivoted from day to year. I will most likely be celebrating my birth “day” quarantined so I’m kinda sad about that. I haven’t cancelled our trip to France yet. I have two months to figure it out and I have the option to change the flight with no penalty. We have a trip planned for Buenos Aires later in the year and I just booked a trip to Belize. Traveling brings me so much joy as well as the planning part of a trip. I will spend countless hours working on my trip planning projects.

What are you doing to cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic? Any tips on how to stay sane?

THANK YOU to those on the front line, working to fight the pandemic and to the essential businesses, please stay safe. Thank you for your service to our country. I hope this passes soon.

And Just Like That, Another Remodeling Project

We are now in the middle of our master bathroom remodel.  Or, I should say we are in the beginning stages. Here are BEFORE pictures. Spoiler alert, it has the worst layout. Another spoiler alert, we aren’t completely re-configuring the room, just minor tweaks.

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So, that’s our builder basic bathroom beauty! Did you notice the size of the “walk-in” shower…more like “scrunch-in” shower. It is pretty much not functional.

Here is the current layout of the bathroom. We have a garden tub and tiny walk-in shower. Not my idea of a great time!

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In the new layout the garden tub is outta here, replaced with a purtty walk-in shower. Where the munchkin shower used to be will be turned into a closet. You can never have enough storage, ya’ll.

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Here are photos of our current situation.

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The “in progress” photos just aren’t as much fun as the “finished product” photos.

The plumbers are coming tomorrow to move the shower lines and drain and then it will be on like parmesan. We have already purchased the floor tile and it is a really pretty creamy marble. Here it is laid out in a sample pattern.

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We popped over to Baltimore this weekend. I don’t know why people hate on Baltimore, I definitely think it is “Charm City.” They have great food, great architectural design stores, and funky neighborhoods. If they built a high speed rail from Baltimore to DC I would totally live in Baltimore.

We hit the jackpot at our first stop, an antique closet door for our bathroom. I LOVE IT! It was exactly what I was looking for.

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Adam found this hardware for the door on Ebay. We just need to clean up the green paint and it will be beautiful.

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Now for an update on my favorite past-time, travel!!!!! Or, thinking about travel, dreaming about destinations, plotting out possible trips…you get the idea. I think I mentioned before that this is a milestone birthday year for me. To celebrate, I want to take 4 international trips in 2020. So far I booked a trip to France – starting in Paris and ending up in Nice. Then, I booked a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m still trying to decide on the other two locations, wherever the flight deal takes me. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus is threatening my Paris trip but I’m going to hold off canceling as long as I can. I really want to take that trip!

A Whole New World, A Whole New Dining Room

Well, what started with a new rug turned into a new dining room. Here’s what I started with (you may remember from the last post).

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I really liked the polka dot rug but it was just a pinch too small so I returned it. I finally pulled the trigger and bought a rug from Wayfair (see below).

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This rug is really cool, like an abstract painting. But, the curtains don’t match the rug. Luckily, I have two houses with tons of furniture and accessories (there’s some sarcasm there). I took the velvet curtains down and moved them to Spotswood and took the curtains from there and brought them to Stonegate. I spend lots of time arranging and rearranging things…

But, after all is said and done I’m really happy with how the dining room turned out.

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It’s driving me crazy how the bar cart isn’t centered underneath Priscilla (the portrait). I’ll figure out what to do soon to fix that. I really like how the room has a bit of a modern feel to it, different than my usual taste. I swear, I have so much fun decorating my house!!

I think I have cured my rug purchasing phobia and I am now eyeing new rugs for our hallway.  Polar opposites, right?! I always chose neutral rugs in the past but I’m really feeling patterned rugs right now.

We are still waiting to get started on our bathroom remodel. Our HOA meeting is this week and fingers crossed our renovation plan is approved. During one of our weekends of waiting we made a quick trip to Philadelphia. The highlight of the trip for me was Bud & Marilyn’s, a restaurant of course. The food was so good…CHEESE CURDS!!!!! The design though… amazing, decorated like a mid-century Midwestern rec room.

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We have been to Philadelphia before but we never visited Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed. So, we had to check that off the list.

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I’ll be back soon with more updates. In the meantime, I’m on the search for our next international vacation.

 

 

The Agony of Design Paralysis

My current life consists of spending an inordinate amount of time rug shopping. I mean lots and lots of time!!!! The problem is I’m online rug shopping and I don’t like online shopping (for most things). I need to see it, touch it, and be able to easily return it if I don’t like it. I don’t want to drive all around DC searching for a rug either because – TRAFFIC. So, here I am, still searching for my forever rug.

I visited Home Goods yesterday and bought a rug, actually THE RUG I was eyeing online and I found it in-person. Problem solved right? Hahahaha, no. I knew the rug would not fit. I have to have at least a 5×8 rug and this was 5 x 7’6…yes, that makes a difference. I bought it anyway just in case they can’t do math but they can and I will be returning it, LOL. I just wanted to see if I was headed in the right direction and I’m not. I need something a little more subdued. So, here is my rug.

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Novogratz by Momeni Delmar Boho Dots, Home Goods

So, obviously I don’t have the dining room staged so please excuse the mess. Notice the blue outline on the floor, that’s the dimensions of the rug I’m looking for. I really like this polka dot rug but I think it’s a little extra. I need something not so in-your-face.

So, back to the drawing board. I was in West Elm the other day and found this rug that might work (below).

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Birch rug, West Elm

Ok, this is a perfect example of how what you see online looks nothing like real life. Here is the photo of the rug above online (below). It looks gray but the rug in-person looks navy, what the hell?! See why I don’t trust buying something online? Maybe you are wondering why I don’t just buy the West Elm rug. So, I’m being really cheap. I don’t want to pay for shipping. I mean, we have a local West Elm, why do I have to pay shipping??

birch rug
Birch rug, West Elm

When I first started my search process, these were the rugs I was attracted to. Then, I noticed if I didn’t check carefully, they weren’t really 5 x8, they were 5×7’6. That was really frustrating. Just as I was adding the rugs below I noticed the rug on the bottom in the middle is not actually 5×8 so it is out of contention now.

Then, I almost bought this rug ( yes, I have a thing for dots) but after reading the reviews, the rug is brown, not black. I wasn’t sure if that would look right.

almost bought
Textila Hand-Woven Wool Black Area Rug, Wayfair

Then, I started gravitating toward these (below) and I think I am on the right path now. No closer to making a purchase but getting closer.  

KITCHEN IS DONE!!!!!!

This seemed like a long time coming but the kitchen in our condo is finally done! Hip-hip-horray!!!! Here is a before and two afters:

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The before picture doesn’t look that bad, right? Well, don’t let it fool you, it was a disaster. Cabinets so tiny, they are practically useless and the cabinets themselves felt like they had a cheap, plastic coating on them. And whoever thought is was a good idea to put a desk in an already microscopic kitchen?? The biggest changes we made were…well everything! Even though our kitchen is small, it lives large. We have even more space than we did in our Yorktown house.

Lets start from the beginning. Here are photos of the kitchen prior to the remodel.

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We completely demo-ed the kitchen.

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One of the biggest changes we made was opening up the side wall (unfortunately we couldn’t take it out completely unless we added a beam and that just didn’t make much sense). It was a minor change but ended up making such a difference.

Below: All of the pergo flooring is out and real hardwood is in!

Then it was time to put the cabinets together. There were so many cabinets!!

Installation time:

We originally bought a wine rack to go over our refrigerator but when we put it up it clearly didn’t fit. That was only the start of our problems. Here are the cabinets installed with the massive gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Note: if your ceilings are taller than the standard 8 feet, 42 inch cabinets will not go to the ceiling.

Adam didn’t think the gap was that bad but I couldn’t stand it! As we debated what to do we moved forward with the countertops (below). The stone company kept pushing me towards marble looking countertops but I wanted the kitchen to have a bit of a modern edge and I was adamant about getting the light, speckled color. It’s so pretty and sparkles at the right angle. I am very happy with our selection!

Next up, backsplash install.

I am ecstatic with how the backsplash came out! We bought this tile on clearance and I have no idea why it didn’t sell out. It is such a cool, modern shape and that color…green, gray, blue. Is there a better color on the planet??!

So, back to our unresolved kitchen quagmire…the cabinet gap. We decided to build a soffit (props to Adam’s handiness) and cover the gap between the cabinets and the ceiling. Here is phase one: soffit painted and installed.

Phase two: molding

Phase three: crown molding

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I bought this really cool removable wallpaper and we installed it in the pantry. Holy F, that was an experience. Why is wallpaper back in favor?? It is so hard to install!

Finally, the moment you have been waiting for, the fully installed kitchen.

As you can see from the photos above I got pull-out drawers, a silverware organizer, a lazy susan, and a pull-out trash can. I highly recommend those extra features in a kitchen or if you decide to remodel your kitchen definitely add those features.

Another change we made was removing the microwave from above the stove and purchasing a drop-in range. Both of those changes were life changing. Having all of that extra space above your range, instead of a massive microwave that just collects grease and dirt, is totally worth it. We are going to move the microwave to the pantry.  The drop-in range was a little bit of a vanity purchase but once we had it installed, it made such a difference. It just completely streamlines the look of the space and we really like having all of the knobs and controls on the front of the range.

There is one thing left to purchase for my kitchen, a rug. I have been eyeing this rug from Ruggable – a line of washable rugs. Has anybody purchased a Ruggable?

ruggable

With the kitchen down, we are aggressively planning for our remodel of the bathroom. We bought our vanity today and I will purchase the faucets and shower accessories next. Stay tuned for more updates.