Fireplace Mantle Redo

We’ve finally completed something!! Well,,,… not fully. But… it looks good at least for now! No – not the entire living room. However, we have {almost} completed the fireplace/mantle. Here are some before pics:


Beautiful border with grapes and roses.


We love the fireplace with the wood stove insert. It was one of our favorite features of the house. However, the whole room was very outdated.

Here is the AFTER!


We took the border off the walls. Then we painted walls and ceiling a fresh coat of flat white. We sanded down all the wood wainscoting. We painted it all an eggshell white except for the gray mantle pieces above. I HATED it until i painted the brick gray too. Now i basically love it. Yes, i did paint the red ceramic tile below the fireplace with regular latex paint. That is why i say this is not fully completed yet. It obviously scratches off really easily and is not a permanent solution. We plan to re-tile eventually. I sure do love my mantle decor though 🙂


Here is a pretty before and after picture 🙂

Before and After


The Progression of DIY Remodeling – The Not-So-Fun Stuff

We are working on about a million different projects at all times. I wanted to show one such project that is no where near completion, but you can definitely see progress. And just keep in mind, my husband and i have a 1 year old, have never even owned a home before, and have never really done much of this type of thing. So we are going slowly.


The picture below is the dining room looking into the kitchen, and through to the living room. This is WITH wall.



Here is a picture WITHOUT wall. Hubby took the wall down largely by himself. Yes, demo is one of the easier things but still. Notice the sagging ceiling drywall and the weird area where there used to be a pantry, that is open to the attic.


In the picture below, we’ve cleaned up a bit.  We’ve taken out the layers of old flooring and exposed the hardwood, which was weirdly patched and we’re probably going to have to fully replace. We have started to create our bedroom hallway. We did this because we didn’t want our bedroom opening up directly facing the stove (we will be moving the stove in the next month or two).


The picture below is where we are today. Notice we turned the weird attic opening/pantry hole into a cubby! I love the cubby because this old house is very short on storage and the cubby will be a (blanket?) storage area in the future. Ta da!


Creating a New Layout

The original house layout was very ‘compartmentalized.’ Each room had at least two doorways and there was a hallway running through the house wasting space. Our master bedroom had two doorways, the kitchen had three, and the dining room had two. So we tore down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, took out the tiny disgusting pantry, closed up one doorway which you can see {Here}, rerouted our bedroom entrance along with creating a little hallway so that the bedroom door didn’t open right up facing the stove, and took down a hallway wall to enlarge Ryker’s room.

Below is the original hallway.


At the end of the hall is the original entrance to the master bedroom. Right of that is one of the entrances to the kitchen. The first doorway to the left is Ryker’s room. We close off the master bedroom doorway and the kitchen entrance and tear down the wall between Ryker’s doorway and the end of the hallway. 


Tearing down the hallway wall!



Wall is down! 

After that wall was torn down we built a new doorway for him and closed the old hallway-to-kitchen doorway, and the original master bedroom doorway.


Ryker’s new doorway! We used the old door which i will NEVER do again. 

As you can see a little in the pic above, we also opened up the doorway from the hallway to the dining room.


This might not look like a huge change but it made the HUGEST difference!

The picture below shows the before and after of taking down the kitchen-dining room wall!


House Project – Closing a doorway

As i mentioned before, our master bedroom had two doorways. I think this is because originally the room was built as a den, connected to the garage. Then the garage was remodeled into a living room and the doorway into it was kept. Here are some pics.


Door and door frame taken off


Took stairs off and framed it. It was open to the crawl space for a while – not cool


This isn’t the best pic but we drywalled over, removed wallpaper border, painted a fresh coat of flat white, put the wainscoting over where the stairs were. Now all we need is to fine a matching piece of trim (and clean).

House in the Woods – A Fixer Upper

As i said in my last post, hubby and i BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE!! After putting in offers for four other properties and then losing them for one reason or another, we finally got one! It seemed like it was never going to happen. This house was not exactly our first choice – the backyard has a steep hill and the living room is four steps down from the rest of the house because it used to be a garage some 30-50 years ago. The house was built in 1942 and every single room needed updating.  But we saw that part as a good thing because we wanted a fixer upper that we can eventually make some cold hard cash on once we sell. Here are some before pictures.


Front of the house. Those brown interior shutters are gone now


Living room and front door #1 


Front door is on the left edge. Looking into kitchen




So much wood!!


Who doesn’t want a booth?


The beautiful booth and glass brick window


Dining room


Hallway – this is gone now


Bedroom #1 – Extra bedroom


Main bathroom – Beautiful pink


Bedroom #2 – Ryker’s room. It used to be TINY!


Our bedroom. You can jut see out of bedroom doorway #2 that goes into the living room. Also our bathroom.


And of course, the bathroom has the beautiful wall paper to match.