So excited to finally show off the finished house renovation

Back during the last week of January we started a big project to renovate our house. Because living in chaos is not easy, we decided to go big and get it all over with at once.

With the exception of the den, half bath and laundry room on the lower level we got the whole house painted and had all new floors installed. At the same time, they replaced many ceiling fans and lights, switched out all the outlets and switches to match white face plates and had the electric and cable updated. Along the way they did some extra little things like labeling our electrical box (because if you are messing with all the electricity, it’s a good time to get this done).

Today, it is officially finished. To be clear, we weren’t living in a constant state of upheaval, but rather timing things with our regular contractor, the carpet installation and then the weather.

Anyway, here are the befores, the durings and the afters.  It’s amazing how our little split entry seems so much more open and modern with these updates.

Here is the old kitchen.  Take note of the hideous linoleum floor. The whole room used to go with this hunter green and mauve theme. (Remember those old counter tops?)


I was never a fan of the blue lights and the weird thing on the ceiling at it’s base.  Turns out it hid a hole in the ceiling, presumably from an old fixture.

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Here’s the old living room and hallway covered in carpet that had seen much better days.

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The entry and stairs were my least favorite.  That green tile in the entry wasn’t the worst but it was the only green tile in the entire house.  And since the cats frequently run up and down the stairs chasing each other and to get water and other things downstairs, they were always such a pain to clean.

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We got rid of all the carpets in the bedrooms and had the walls painted, except in the guestroom which stayed green.


For about two weeks, our house was in a constant state of disarray.  Both our refrigerator and stove spent time in the living room.


When they started on the kitchen tile, they discovered an old floor underneath.


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While the tile was being finished, they started tearing out the carpet and laying down the new hickory floors.


I think they turned out great. I also like the new light green paint color in the living room.

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Here’s the hallway.  You can see the new light in the hall as well.


Here’s the view of the two new floors from the kitchen.


Check out the new light in the kitchen.


We got this white wool area rug for the living room.

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And then after a break for a couple weeks, we moved everything from the three bedrooms into the kitchen and living room.

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We had new light gray carpets installed in the three rooms.

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At this point, it was the end of February. Because of the cold weather, our contractor decided to wait on working on updating the entryway and stairs.  The new stair treads had to get multiple polyurethane coats and he didn’t think they’d dry fast enough.  Then they were working on some other jobs.  Finally, near the end of May, they started the stairs.

On the first day, they finished with the last of the hardwood in the entry and took out all the carpet.

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And then today, it was finally finished after a brief pause because there was a missing tread!

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It feels good to be finished.


Weekend Project

Two weekends ago we gave away the bed in the guest room and we’re getting things together so that I can have a room for me in our house.  Remember my card catalog? As soon as we find someone strong enough to help Mike move it, it will be ready to use in my new space.

But for now, I was concentrating on this great little $5 wooden desk that Mike picked up for me from Penn State’s Lion Surplus.  They had tons of these desks which are solid wood except for a laminate top.  Mine was mostly in good shape except for some places where the wood was scratched.

I took it outside to start sanding and in about five minutes, it was pouring so I ended up working in the garage for the rest of weekend. Sanding was much easier than I thought it would be, but fortunately, this desk didn’t have much surface to cover.

I chose a bright, sunny yellow color and got started.

This is what it looked like after the first coat.

Maybe it was my painting technique but I did four coats of paint just to play it safe.  And I am so pleased with how it turned out.

Chica already seems to like it.  It’s placed perfectly for looking out the window.