Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome to my home!

Our house is a labor of love. I wanted to give a little history before I unveiled our newest finished project. Get comfy...

When we were house shopping we decided we did not want to get a fixer upper for our first home, and when we bought our house we were under the illusion it was totally move-in ready.

Here it was on that day...

Now, for all intents and purposes it was technically move-in ready. No live wires hanging out - oh, except for the one we discovered under the kitchen cabinet when we were dealing with the strange smell. The foulness turned out to be 15 years of rat poo festering in our crawl space and seeping up through the hole in the bottom of the cabinet...drilled for a wire which was forgotten about, and left hanging there, live! I couldn't make this stuff up.

And then there was the case of the carpet. It looked like it was in good condition. Not perfect, but not bad for second owners and nothing we would have to worry about for a while. Until the day J moved in and we saw the stains everywhere from an extremely incontinent dog. Or two. Note to self - and to anyone house hunting - move furniture when you are looking around because you don't want to make unpleasant discoveries after you have bought the place! After months of unsuccessfully treating the stains, and living in the one room of the house that didn't smell like dog piss the carpets we replaced them. We loved our new carpet, but it was an expense that we had not budgeted for so soon.

The carpet replacement included J and his dad pulling up the old carpet, painting some wood treatment on the floorboards to get rid of the dog smell as well as doing some leveling before the guys came to fit the new carpet. We also decided to paint as many rooms as possible while the carpet was pulled up so we didn't have to be too careful. When we moved in the house was white, everywhere and we really wanted to put our stamp on it and although we didn't think we would be painting the whole thing in 2 weeks, we managed it. While we are painting the walls we may as well paint the ceilings, right? Check.
and...while we are doing the walls and the ceilings we might as well bite the bullet and paint our baseboards too. Sure. The weird pine finish was so hard to match with paint colours and we thought the easiest thing would be to paint it white. Baseboards, window wells, window frames, and the stair rails all needed to be turned from pine to white. Little did we know this would involve primer and then about 4 coats of paint - on everything for it to look good. And again, we had two weeks to do it while the carpet was out.

In our frantic weeks of painting we certainly had a thousand finishing touches which we marked as un-essential and have been (very) slowly working our way down the list. It's been 2 years and we are finally feeling like we are living in our home.

One of our last projects in our downstairs living space has been our fireplace remodel in the TV room. This room is off of the kitchen and houses our TV. It is a space that has been hard to work on because we use it so much. We have people over to watch movies or football and baseball games, but the fact that we use it so much has made it almost impossible to give it full DIY attention.

We had a design in mind and it has come to be! Yay!
It started off like this.

(Even Christmas cards, lights and candles couldn't make it look better - and those paint swabs were on there for the best part of a year!)

Yes, red walls and not a good red. It looks 100% better in this picture than in real life. They only used one coat of paint so the white wall underneath was still visible and patchy in places. The fireplace arch is not straight, it's off by a few inches and we believe this is why the previous owners hand painted the ivy trail around it. It did little to distract me, in fact I think it served as a frame to the bad building work.
Also notice how the paint just stops mid wall, next to the window which for some reason s a diaper along the top. Yeah, that's been outta here for a while.

J and his dad knocked down the upper part of the wall and dry-walled, re-textured and finally painted. In the process, they realised our fireplace was not centered on the wall - so they moved it over. Next they tore out the old tiles and laid new tiles for the hearth and surround. They built bookcases, and painted them before topping it with the mantel piece.

Ok, so finding the perfect mirror to hang (we are trying this one out) and setting the shelves and mantel up the way I want will take time, but it is 100% better and we just love it SO MUCH! Ready...TA DA!!

While I was looking through pictures to find one of the red walls and the painted ivy of doom, I came across a few other pictures of rooms we have made our own since we move in. For your browsing pleasure...

Here is what the hallway looked like,

we even opened wedding presents with it as a background!

But now it looks like this!

And here is the living room as was - if you look closely you can see those yellow dog pee stains even through the neatly vacuumed carpet.

And here it is now, dog pee free carpet and everything!


  1. You guys have really done a sterling job on the house!
    As a fairly recent visitor I can vouch for the fact that it looks fabulous.

  2. Oh Chrissie! It looks AMAZING! We're getting ready to do some sprucing up/painting around here, and this totally inspired me. Thank you!

  3. i love it! you did such an impeccable job!! Looks like a Real warm home!!

  4. It looks beautiful and so homey!!!

  5. Oh it's stunning! I TOTALLY love your style!!! Absolutely gorgeous! And the chair in that little nook by the stairs? Where did you get that? It's a MUST. HAVE. in my house!

    P.S. Happy ICLW! (#83)



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