At it again…..

After taking a break and catching our breath, we began looking for a house. This time, we said, it would be move in ready. This time, we said, we weren’t going to do a “thing to this house”. Yeah, Right!

I’ve come to the conclusion, that we lie to ourselves ALL THE TIME. But, we really did want to walk into a house and have nothing to do…but, every house we looked at, we found something. From having to repair floors, painting, updating a bathroom, or finishing a room. Some houses just literally mad us angry. To ask the price they were asking AND still having to do updates. We just couldn’t do it.

There were 2 houses we visited that we wouldn’t have had to do anything to…AAANNDD, they had multiple offers on them, well above asking price. That was something we really didn’t want to get into. So, we regrouped and finally found a house. Our realtor had mentioned this property earlier, but, we were not interested at the price. I remember the conversation, not interested, too high, won’t get that asking price, etc. We thought it was overpriced and didn’t even want to look at it….And then, we looked at it.

We walk pretty much everyday, and this house sits on the path. It was our mid-place stopping point. It had a cement bench where I would sit (I knew the owners weren’t there) and we would started asking “What would you do here, or there, etc”. I thought we were speaking hypothetically. Little did we know.

After walking through it a few times, we decided we would purchase the home. Let the adventures begin!

Leaving one chapter behind and moving on to the next…

We have lived in some pretty cool places; Oxford (Michigan that is), Chicago, Nashville, just to name a few.  And in all those places, this is the only home where we have a video documenting some of the improvements we’ve made AND it’s on YouTube!  Proof of the hours we have spent working on the home and living to talk about it!

It’s fitting that the Realtor that helped us purchase the house also helped us sell it as well.  This is his video business card, but, it’s filmed in the house.

The video has some pictures of other homes, but, it’s primarily the home this blog was started for!

Pool Update

One of the most intriguing part about this property is the pool house.  It went from this…

To this when we bought it…

At times it seemed like there was something wrong or needed to be fixed daily.  I remember when we first started swimming the scaling on the pool was so rough that if you caught an edge it would cut your skin.  Many a time and swimmer needed bandaids and ointment after swimming.  I began to keep bandaids down there just  in case.

We ended up draining the pool and having it “sanded” down.  We had both the pool and spa heater replaced, that after having swimmers over in February realizing it was too cold to swim in!

We decided not to have the pool recoated based on advice from the pool guys.  If we had it done, it would end up looking exactly like it looks now and spending quite a bit of money for the same outcome.  So we filled it back up!

After we filled it, there were other issues like the auto-fill didn’t auto fill or a drain flap would close or the pump stopped working. Phew. I’m sure more went wrong during that time, but, it all got fixed.  And after painting the spa I now know why people get paid a lot of money to do it.  The prep is not fun and the paint fumes are horrendous.  I lost a few brain cells that week for sure!

We have quite a few good memories from this and have been able to share this space with family and friends and hopefully the new family will enjoy it as much as we did!


All good things must come to end…

Yep. It’s true. We decided to sell.  It was probably the biggest renovation we have ever tackled.

From this…

To this…


Yes…same room, a little different huh?

Here some more changes I hope you really like!




This was was one of the first big updates we made…


And boy were we happy with it…


Ok, and how ‘bout this…


I’m not missing those pink walls at all!


This was a fun room to redo…


We removed the carpet, hoping the hardwood was underneath…guess what, it was…


This was a great room to redo because not a lot needed to be done but the changes we made, mage quite an impact..


We just changed the color of the walls, added new carpet and brought in the new project system.  Lots of sleepovers and movies have been watched in this room….I’m sure there’s popcorn underneath the sofa.


Its been quite an under taking!  But, it so awesome to see all the hard work pay off and now another family will get to enjoy it!

It’s gettin’ hot in herree….

The fireplace really has been blessing.   When it gets cold in the morning, it’s so nice to turn it on and let it warm the room.  Plus, the warm glow from a fireplace is so lovely.  I love having one in the Master Bedroom, but, it’s ugly.  I hate to call anything ugly; ugly is so ugly.  I remember when we lived in the South, mom’s would say to their children “now don’t be ugly” (meaning: quit acting so mean) …I think that’s where I decided I didn’t like the word ugly because I don’t like it when kids act ugly (or maybe when the mom’s called their kids ugly).   So, let’s use unsightly.  The problem is, every morning, we wake up and see the unsightly fireplace.  It doesn’t change…every morning, fireplace.  Every night, fireplace.  I tried looking at other places in the room, but, couldn’t help but look at the eye sore.  Which of course, was the fireplace.  Maybe at one time it wasn’t so plain, but, with age and being compared to other fireplaces, it needs a lift.

Tell me that doesn’t need alittle TLC (The Lovely Construct)


The tile was a tile that would be used in a shower or spa, not a fireplace.  The decision was made, FIX THAT FIREPLACE!  That’s a show waiting to happen…

So, I think I have looked at some many different tiles for this thing.  I saw a fireplace that had this tile:



It isn’t the same fireplace, but it looks like the one in our neighbors house.  I didn’t want them to think I had hearth envy.  Plus, I didn’t want to ask “can i pop a pic of your hearth”?  I’m sure there would be a look of confusion on that one…is that what they call it now addays…my hearth?…please leave, now!

So after looking at endless photo’s of fireplaces (If I just spent a little more time on Pinterest said no one ever).  We came up with something I really hadn’t thought of, but, looks so good with the bathroom.

I know what you are thinking. Too much?  Too dark?  Too late.  It’s done.  No turning back.  So, once the ring is on the finger, there’s no turning back…I mean, once the tiles cut, it’s a go.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  We thought the tile would be hard to remove…and it wasn’t…I mean not for me cuz I didn’t do it.  I just took the pictures.

Anyway, it was a day project.  We decided not to remove the mantel because we just didn’t want to get into a bigger project repairing walls and adding new molding.  So we gambled.  We gambled on it still looking good.  And this time, it worked.

Here’s a side by side hearth action….

I know, I know, what a difference.  Why did we wait so long?  Cuz it costs money, that’s why!  But money well spent I’d say!

Loads of fun!

After we moved everything back into the kitchen and saw how good it looked, we decided the laundry room needed a facelift.  Nothing too extravagant, just a few updates.

This is what we started with..,


Cute right? The cabinets are really nice and decided not to change the counter top.  But, a few other things needed to be updated.

First,  we eliminated the intercom system.   The intercoms were everywhere.   There was an intercom in the master bathroom!  Thank you, but I’m sorry, I don’t need a intercom in my bathroom!  I know we are all about be “connected” but, that’s way too much connectedness.  I guess it could be useful like when you’re in need of paper products, kind of like placing an order at Wendy’s, “yes, I’d like a single with everything an a roll of tp”.  Anything an intercom could provide is not anything I need in a bathroom.  There were 5 intercoms alone in the laundry room so we disconnected them from the main system, pulled them out and had the wall patched.

Another step as one of the major updates, that didn’t cost a lot was painting the wood trim white and removing the dark blinds.  It closed the room off and didn’t bring in a lot of light.  So, off with the blinds and paint the trim.  I really think that made one of the biggest differences to open the room up and make it feel bigger.


Steve also painted the ceiling and I painted the walls.  Finally found the right “griege”…some grays were too purple and some too blue.  The paint color is a Sherwin Williams brand called Sedate Gray.  Sedate Gray, doesn’t that sound like a pill for anxiety?  Sedate Gray, take one and you won’t care what color your wall is!


We then added crown molding and it finishes a room.  We only added a 5” and didn’t stack them and kept them white to bring a crisp freshness to the room.


The linoleum looks really good in the picture.


But, looks can be deceiving.  It wasn’t cute, at all.  Pretty dingy and positioned next to bright wood floors, really made the dinge stand out.  I’ve been reading a ton about luxury vinyl tile and thought “what the heck, let’s do this!”  After researching for some time now, I found one that coordinated with the counter tops.  It’s Metrofloor Engage.


We choose Smokehouse because it coordinated with the granite in the kitchen.  Plus, I thought it would hide dirt because this is where we primarily enter the house.

After reviewing many, and  I mean MANY,  videos on how to install this, Steve and I decided to get it done.  Once you get the hang of it, it lays pretty easily.  You just have to make sure it’s connected correctly and snaps together securely.


Looking good!  At this point we both realized we could really finish this project and it’s not going to look awful!  There was some cutting of the tiles that was required around the cabinets but it wasn’t that difficult.  I’m just always cautious around things that could cut fingers off and really am proud we both have all  our fingers left after completing this project.  That will be the question to ask for doing other projects, could we cut off a finger?  Circle yes or no.  No…let’s try this ourselves.  Yes…. let someone else more experienced do it.


To finish, I found this rug from Amazon (Surprise!) and flexible laundry hampers in black from Walmart.


Last, but, not least, I found this cute mirror at Rusty Galore in Battle Ground.


This is great for checking yourself out before you leave for the day!

More Pictures of the Kitchen

It’s been awhile!  I’ve been busy with many projects and will post once all are complete.  I did want to add more pictures of the kitchen that Dave from Kitchen Concepts took.  So here they are.

Jeff found the bar stools that fit perfectly in the opening.  They were tough to out together but, we did it!


So happy to say that the kitchen renovation is complete!  After a few weeks of moving everything back in we can say it’s complete.  Here’s a peak of the finished work.

The funny thing about this remodel it looks so good, now every room has to rise to its level!  Next on the project list, the laundry room.

We have a Pantry!

Well..almost.  But we are getting closer.

When we moved into the house, we noticed there really wasn’t a pantry.  Oh sure, we had closets that we used for the pantry, but, both were small and didn’t really work well.


So we decided we needed to carve out a space and remove the fireplace.  The fireplace didn’t work well anyway and the cost to improve it surely wasn’t an incentive to keep it.  Out goes the fireplace!


We also removed a closet that was in the Laundry Room to make the new pantry more spacious.  It was a catch all for stuff that should have been in the garage anyway.


Drywall, texture and paint next!  It’s getting there.

I added the brick wallpaper….that was fun!  And really not hard to put up at all.


Now comes shelves, trim caulking and repainting.


More patch, paint and more braces and trim….


Next, the wine racks!  We looked all over the place for cool wine racks.


Jeff found them on Etsy (Island Woods and Design).  They were made to order per our dimensions.  There are 16 hooks on each rack.  We bought three.  And wine to go in them!

Last, but, certainly not least, the door!  We wanted a barn door look without the barn door.  Jeff found the brackets at Krown Hardware in Portland.  I repainted the door and Jeff found the handle to match all our handles in the kitchen.




Crazy happenings with the “hood”

After we bought the cabinets, I knew we were going to have a cool looking hood.  I just didn’t know how it would look.  I knew once it was placed it would bring a finished look to everything.

So this is where we started from.

It’s a well used kitchen I’d say.  Love that it’s getting a makeover.  First things first, removal of cabinets and counter.

That’s quite a change in a little over 2 weeks!  Next, the tile comes off.

Tile is tough.  Not an easy task to remove a backsplash.  The tile was green and a mixture of other colors.  When we painted it the Divine White color (which isn’t really a white…more like a beige) it went ok with the backsplash, but not great.

Next in our makeover recipe we add new drywall and texture.

Stir in some paint and cabinets.

Add the tile and stove.

Now for the part you’ll really like!

Almost there.  Can’t wait to get the cardboard off the counter to get the entire effect!