Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Country House Bathroom

The original thought when we got the country house was that we would live with it for while and gradually make changes.  However, after the previous owner had moved all of her belongings out we could really get a clear sense of what we had gotten ourselves into. In other words, a dump.  Every single finish in the house is crap that was poorly installed and/or executed.  Oh and I don't think anything has been cleaned in years. Everything has a grime that just doesn't seem to wash off. So we quickly realized, nah, we're just going to jump head first into another renovation. I think since our house is taking sooooo long to be restored I've been itching to do something creative.  The kitchen and bathroom is our main focus at the moment but I'm just going to start by discussing the bathroom. Since we're all going to be sharing the bathroom we needed something with two sinks. We started working on the bathroom and have a plan of what we want it to look like. I'm thinking beadboard walls, subway tiles and a new bathtub, and a green double vanity cabinet. Step one was gutting it.  Good riddance to the color, the old fiberglass one piece shower/bath, and the mismatched cabinet...everything.  Blech.  We're in a small town with limited shopping options and we're trying not to blow the bank on this renovation so we're getting most things from Lowe's. 

The toilet is going away too but we just haven't removed it yet.  And now we've had the new tub installed with the tile and new bathtub/shower fixtures.

Bam! And just to remind you of what it looked like before...

The cabinet is on order and the beadboard is getting ready to be installed. There's still more to do but this is a great start.  

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Latest On The Renovations

 It's been a while since I blogged about our house but, honestly, there hasn't been a whole lot to talk about...until now.  It's only taken a year + but the roof is finally done.  I remember the roofer saying that it would take 8 weeks.  Yah right.  Eight weeks plus 1 year.  In fairness, we can subtract about a month though since there was that little complication of a TREE FALLING ON OUR HOUSE!.  Lord help me I'm not making this up.

It literally fell right on top of the only section that had new slate.  But this was last April so all is well now and I can look back on it and say WTF! Still not over it. But it is done now and since the house is sealed drywall and new flooring went in. Hallelujah! It's finally starting to look like a home again. We did take advantage of the situation and change some of the layout of the house to make it more functional. I'll show some examples.


I had updated the foyer and living area but I can't find a picture of it. Before there was an entrance into the living room on the right or you could go straight through that opening and hit a wall and have to make a right and then go straight down a very narrow, dark hallway. Now when you come in the door you can see all the way to the back, and we made the openings into the living and dining rooms larger. In order to have it open to the back we had to move our back stairs.

Here's a view from the back to the front and you can see where the new back stairs went.  

The Powder room is getting a bit larger as well. Other things that changed are the layout of the kitchen, location of the butlers pantry and we are eliminating the second bathroom on the first floor since it really didn't make sense. I'll address all of that later.

Some other happenings...we did have another "ghost" issue in the house.  One of the workers was on the third floor wearing headphones. He felt "someone" grab his shoulder and pull him around but there was no one there.  It really freaked him out apparently, as would be totally normal.  I definitely have heard things in the house in the past which I just chalked up to an old house settling...at least that's what I told myself.  I'm not about to have a Scooby Doo moment where I go investigating what causes the noises. Nope. I just pretend that everything is normal and carry on. There was one night when I was in our room with the lights out and I heard footsteps coming into my room.  Sometimes our daughter would come in at night and try to sleep on one of the chairs in our room.  I definitely saw movement and spoke to her to tell her to go back to her room.  There was no response and eventually I got up but she wasn't there. I asked her about it in the morning and she said she hadn't gone in our room. I'm not really a believer in ghosts but I'm confident that I don't want to be proven wrong.  So we decided after the worker's experience to go ahead and burn some sage in the house and say a few prayers.  Since then there hasn't been anything to report so hopefully whatever was going on is no longer going to be a issue. So that's that for now.  They are starting some of the tiling as I write this so I'll have some updates about that in a few days. The goal is to work top down so the third floor will get done first. I can hardly wait.

Friday, March 19, 2021

We Bought A Country House!

 In the middle of the pandemic when school was virtual and we were all here...all day... every day...four people in 550 sqft with one bathroom... I thought I was going to lose my mind. I had to dust off that teaching certificate I never earned and try to teach my youngest about things that I couldn't even remember learning.  I remember one particular day when she wasn't getting a concept. Her teacher told me to have her watch a YouTube video.  The video, in my mind, could not have been more clear. I was thinking, ok, she's got this. It's going to be a breeze now.  Nope. Poor thing, she was just not getting it and I had to go in my room 2ft away and cry out of frustration. It was a low moment.  There is just no room here for any sort of privacy for moments like this. And don't even get me started about the bathroom.  I started dreaming of just getting away from it all..like in another city.  I had a friend, growing up, who always spent Christmas at their vacation home in Lake Tahoe. It sounded so charming. The idea of being in the mountains, out in nature, with the possibility of snow sounded like something out of a Hallmark movie. Also, I'd really like to get my city kids to get outside more and off of electronics.  So I started googling different areas in my state and came across a small college town, population 7,000 with beautiful pastures and mountains.  The goal was to have some land and be far enough from the town that it felt remote, but close enough to town to still get a cup of coffee. We had looked at a property in another town that was so remote I felt assured that if something happened to us we would definitely perish. No thanks. It took a while to find something because, lo and behold, we weren't the only ones looking for an escape.  We found a property with 17 acres and a small house with a detached studio.  The house itself is about 900 sqft...2 bedrooms/1 bathroom and meh.  But we knew we could make it cute. The studio was an art studio. Just one big 600 sqft room with a bathroom. When we looked at the house it was STUFFED with furniture, knick knacks and art. Oh and high gloss paint on both the walls and ceilings! Why? Must have been a special running on that paint. Bizarre.  Here are some befores.


Bedroom 1:

Bedroom 2:


Living Room:

Are you seeing a pattern here? Stuffed? Dark AF? It was a cloudy day though and that paint color isn't doing it any favors. It isn't a super bright house though since it's in the middle of the woods on a north facing mountain. Not ideal but we really bought it for the views and property. I'm not even going to bother sharing pictures of the studio because we don't plan on renovating it any time soon. We're just going to  focus on the main part and try to get it into this decade.  I'll be posting updates soon.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Main House: Scaffolding/The Roof...

So it's been 9 months since the fire and not a whole lot has happened.  There was asbestos abatement as we found out that there was asbestos in our ceilings...which collapsed all over our stuff.  So we had to throw away all clothes and anything with fabric.  Then the house pretty much sat for a period of time.  There was a reason for this but it's a long story and not really worth talking about at this point.  It just is what it is. Moving on... so the newest thing is that we have a dumpster, porta potty and scaffolding, oh my.

It sounds so boring but when absolutely nothing went on for so long it's encouraging to see progress. The next thing to be done is to remove the entire roof, re-frame it and re-tile it. It just started but it's going to take about 5 months. Needless to say nothing can really be done in the house until a new roof is put on.  As it stands the house is not weather proof and leaks when it rains...awesome. We occasionally go in the house just to plan and see what's going on in it.  It's so bizarre to see it now. It doesn't even feel like our house anymore. Probably because it doesn't have our things..or walls! Meanwhile I've gotten quite used to living in our carriage house.  For Christmas I bought a half Christmas tree to save space.  Yep you read that right.  It's literally a half of a tree...fake, of course.  It was really a space saver though.  Since our decorations were in our basement and in plastic containers they were able to be saved. So the kids stuffed every ornament onto half a tree.  It was kind of comical to see but they loved it and that's all that matters.

Now that Christmas is over I'm looking forward to a fresh start in 2020.  We had a rough 2019.  There were a few highlights but mostly it was a pain in the ass.  Here's to a New Year, progress, and keeping my sanity in 550 sq ft with kids who are trying their best to drive me bonkers! Honestly, they've really been troopers and are good most of the time #nothey'renot.;) Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Carriage House Project: The Bedroom Moodboard

This was the plan for the master bedroom.  Master sounds a bit stately for such a small place, but, you get it.

Fabric: Sanderson Etchings and Roses
Light: Pottery Barn Kids Quinn Chandelier
Bed: Wayfair Lyster Platform Bed
Nightstands and Dresser: West Elm
Rug: Rugs Usa Temara Morrocan Demarche Tassel Rug
Bedding: Wayfair
Anywho, the room is mostly done...except for the curtains.  I've completely let the ball drop because I've just had more important things going on and the room is completely functional without them.  I've always loved the fabric though and it's discontinued so I'm not sure if it will even happen at this point.  I've got my source on standby to buy it if it's still available.  We shall see. The rest of the room is cute though.  Or it was until my husband left a bottle of scented plug in oil on the nightstand and it leaked, unbeknownst to us.  It wasn't until we were dusting that we noticed that it totally saturated the top of his nightstand. So the nightstand smells great but looks like crap and is completely ruined. So we'll be buying another one. I'll post some pictures soon...like after the craziness that is Christmas;)

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Carriage House Project: The Kitchen

We were able to salvage some of the kitchen from our house for the carriage house.  Since the kitchen in our house is an addition with a separate roof it wasn't as affected by the water damage as the rest of the house.  Not all the cabinets were salvageable but we were able to piecemail some together. We were also able to reuse our pendant light, faucet and island counter top.  We didn't even need to adjust the size of the countertop to fit the smaller space!   It's like those jeans in that movie "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"! We felt really good about being able to reuse some of our original kitchen.  It seems environmentally responsible and there's also some nostalgia there.

The shelves were actually cut out of the wood from the beams.  I never thought we'd have open shelving since we aren't the tidiest people.  Having very few things lends itself to less mess though.

And this is our small "mudroom".  It's a much needed place for shoes and outerwear.

So that's it for the common space for all four of us.  It really doesn't feel that small to us, just very cozy. I'm kind of loving it. Good thing since we'll be here for a while.  The bedrooms are quaint as well.  Quaint is code for teeny tiny.  I'll get to them in another post. They still aren't quite done pretty-wise but they're functional .  Good enough for now!

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Carriage House Project: The Living Room

This is the moodboard for the living room/kitchen:
Bookcase via Ballard Designs, Almazan Buffet via Wayfair, Rivy West Chandelier from Home Depot,
Lederer Rug via All Modern, Deliah Coffee Table via Grandin Road, Donington Stool via Wayfair, Tobacco Road Acacia Floors from Lumber Liquidators

And this is how it turned out.

We got the couch second hand.  Someone was moving and had only had it for a very short period of time.  It was the exact one that we were looking at at a local store but for much less...score! The flush door is a storage area.  It's kind of a mini office for a printer, papers and anything else we need to hide out of sight. And a glimpse of a keyboard. Both of my kids play the piano.  We had a baby grand (not sure if that made it out alive) but we were very fortunate that their piano teacher had a keyboard to lend to us.

I love the beams and the ceiling.  It's probably my favorite part, honestly.  The exposed lighting wasn't what I wanted originally but I actually really like the feel of it in the room. We actually get quite a lot of light in the room but the weather outside was a bit meh when I took these so I needed the extra light.

Next post I'll show the kitchen.  It really wasn't ready for its closeup if you're picking up what I'm putting down. Until next time, cheers!