1920’s Renovation – Part 1

And, it begins again. We acquired our family home! And the renovating begins.

After deciding we wanted to update it, well, that’s when the measuring and design work began. It was built in 1922 and it’s a well maintained Bungalow. It has a wonderful backyard and have enjoyed it with family for years. Many, many wonderful memories have taken place in this home. So, we want to continue the family memories and can’t wait to see the finished home.

As always, we wanted it to go much quicker than it is, but, agreeing to the exterior and interior design, seeing if we could vault ceilings, and availability of work made it close to a 9 month process, before really anything was touched.

This is the bungalow with the old steps. It’s been renovated and the steps were added later.

Working with a designer has really been a great experience. She was able to create some great designs that really have gotten use excited to see it finished. Here’s a few ideas she came up with that we really love.

It’s doable. Don’t you think?

Mr. And Mrs. Clean

It’s nice to have a clean, organized garage. This may be the first time I will attempt it. I mean just having space for cars and lawn tools and maybe a tool box. That’s what we will try to attempt. The laundry is just off the garage too, so, it needs to have a face lift too.

Isn’t it beautiful? Don’t worry about answering, I already know the answer to that question. Lots of dark stains and some cracks.

The first work that was done on this house was the garage flooring. Not the most interesting thing, but, so, so worth it. The company name was CAP, concrete coatings. They came and measured everything and as soon as we closed, went to work the following Monday.

It only took 1 day to put the coating on. They filled in all the cracks and were meticulous.

It smelled and you couldn’t walk on it for a day, but so worth it.

Step it up

The stairway in the home is one of the first things you see when you walk into this home.

When we changed the stain on the floors, the stairs had to be updated. We knew we had to change them, but, how? The first step….I know, too much….anyway, the first thing we thought to do, is change the stain on the tread.

After looking through many pictures, we decided changing both the tread and the riser would really update the stairway.

This photo was what saw from Inspired by this.com. Seeing it helped make the decision. The stained we picked is the same stain in this photo and even though the railing style isn’t the same, the color is.

This stairway is from one of the homes we lived in a few years ago. Once again, the riser is painted white and tread is stained.

We decided to stain the treads dark and paint the riser and sides white.

Kip’s Hardwood stained the tread and then after a week of drying and curing, J3 came back and finished up by painting the risers and the sides.

Happy with the partially finished product. It’s “partially” because we are thinking about adding trim work, the wood railing needs to be stained to match and we may even change the railing. But, for now, this change was the update that it needed.

Wall to wall and then some….

When we walked through the house before we purchased it, we noticed right at the front door, there was 5 different types or colors of flooring. The living room had a light colored carpet and the stairs to the basement had green. The entrance, hall and bathroom had slate tile and the kitchen a white and black marble. Finally, the majority of the area had light oak wood floors.

In previous homes, we have had hardwood installed throughout. This home, we decided would look great with dark wood floors. The plan is to once again, weave in new wood, have them stained and include the steps going upstairs. The stairs to the basement will be a grey carpet from Home Depot.

We once again called Kip’s Hardwood to get the floors updated. The tile and carpet were the first things to go. With the tile out, the sub floor needed to be added to add height to meet the existing wood floors.

Then the weaving of new planks into the old began.

Once all the wood was installed, the sanding starts and picking of the stain!

We chose the stain on the right, Rosewood. It coordinated with the stain on the 2nd floor, without matching and was dark enough without being too dark.

So happy to have it all finished!

One Big Job

Before we closed on the house, we figured what we wanted to do first. PAINT! There were a few updates we wanted to do immediately; before we moved in. We knew it was going to be a big job and wanted all completed at the same time.

We looked at many reviews and decided on J3 Painting and so happy we did. From start to finish it was a great experience. After walking the job with Jeff, it seemed like a lot, but nothing they couldn’t handle.

With only a few exceptions, we have used Sherwin Williams in the past and landed on Agreeable Gray. This gray seems to be the “right” gray for our home. Not too blue, purple or green and yet, isn’t beige.

Our painter uses Rodda paints and thankfully were able to match it. We also needed to lighten things up so we decided on a white ceilings and ultra white trim.

The molding that was in the house matched the floors and coordinated with the cabinets, but, we decided to change the floor color so, it necessitated the white trim. Plus, I think it updates the interior as most new homes have white trim. So, molding was stripped and sanded and sprayed white.

Right after the ceiling was painted, it seemed much brighter in every room.

It was fun to see the improvements just by painting! I’ll post more before and after pictures going room to room.

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!