If there is one topic Chris and I have revisited and talked about for more than a decade, it's renovating houses. We've both enjoyed learning new skills on our own homes for over 20 years, so it made sense. Cameron and Haley grew up and are busy with their own lives, I closed the brick & mortar and began working at a slower pace.... the timing suddenly felt right. The next thing you know we were going for it!
So after lots of house searching and a few losing bids, we purchased our first official flip!
Last week we did demo, opened up the main living area, and started some exterior work. The list is long with projects to make this 1950's house a stunner! I"m so excited to stretch my design wings a little wider, and Chris is looking forward to making it all happen.
You all KNOW I'm so excited to get to the staging part of the process. I plan to fill the house with some of my vintage finds, as well as some custom furniture or lighting pieces. All of those items will be available for sale! Once the house has sold, the unique pieces will be posted for sale. You will also be welcome to pre-purchase them at an Open House (to be picked up after the house has sold).
Here is a little look at my mood board or this first project...
Our summer is all booked! In addition to the day and evening work, giving up or weekends will totally be worth it! We plan to do the bulk of the work ourselves, since getting our hands dirty is something we enjoy. Although, we both admit it's a little harder with each passing year... middle age will do that to ya!
We share all the action on our Intagram Stories, as well as posting pics of the work and inspiration for the project on our feed. Be sure to follow us there!
Let's go straight to the AFTER photos! If you're anything like me, you like to skip right to the good part. The before look, details and cost friendly tips to follow.
Fresh. That's how I would describe this guest room makeover. Even though many things in the space are vintage or vintage inspired, there are other touches that bring a more modern vibe along with the light colored walls that keep Fresh in the forefront.
Making a plan come to life.
The guest room has remained untouched since we moved in three years ago and I've been dying to take it on. Starting out with a 3D design program to see my vision come to life was fun to do (and can be addictive!).
The shiplap went up fast and was completely done in two days. It's made of 6" planks of 1/4 plywood or underlayment.
If you haven't seen the blog post about my "faux chimney", you can see it here to get all the details about making this German Schmear architectural feature using brick paneling.
Next came the floor. The carpet was pretty gross but underneath was some hardwood just waiting to take center stage. After sanding down lots of paint and the old finish I added Special Walnut stain and two coats of polyeurathane.
Pulling off a budget friendly makeover.
The budget for the bedroom was small. I'm re-posting some of the photos to show you where many of the pieces and decor came from in hopes it can inspire you to jump into something you've been putting off because of a limited budget. Most things were found at flea markets, thrift stores or discount stores and web sites.
Collecting things for a makeover takes time. Write down your ideas for the space you want to freshen up so you can start a list of items you may need. Visit local thrift stores for small decor items, search Craigslist or LetGo for larger pieces, and then fill in at discount shops or hit up Amazon for that one elusive splurge. For me that was the ceiling fixture. I knew what I wanted, it was just a matter of waiting it out to go on sale, and it finally did.
Now I just wait for a house guest!
I love exposed brick!
Especially when it's in an old home and found in an expected place. Something about
it seems so warm and cozy to me, even if it's found in an industrial space.
Warms it right up! It has a history. And if that brick is showing wear,
or the remnants of old plaster then even better.
What if you don't have any brick walls hanging around in your home and crave
some architectural interest? Create some! The exposed brick look can be created
so easily and is just as perfect as a wall as it is a fireplace or chimney. A brick
wall in your entryway or hallway would be just as enchanting.
I'm in the process of making over our guest room and doing a shiplap look (that post to come later). As you will see in the photos, there is an odd "bump out" in the middle of a wall where our furnace vents run up to the roof. In my original design it was going to be done in the same shiplap look as the rest of the room, but once the faux chimney idea came to me I was so glad I hadn't gotten to it yet with the wood.
The first step was to run to Home Depot and buy a sheet of faux brick paneling. I lucked out by getting the VERY LAST ONE! More than likely it was still there because it had some damage, but who cares about that when you plan to cover it in joint compound, right? It also meant it was half price due to the damaged area. Even better!
I used a jigsaw to make the necessary cuts, and applied the paneling with a nail gun. You can also use construction adhesive, however I didn't want to damage the plaster should I
decide to ever remove it....as if!
That completed the first step.
Now to create the old plaster "German Schmear" look. I just used what I had on hand, which was about half of a bucket of joint compound that was left over from the bathroom remodel. Perfect!
I grabbed two different trowel sizes, but found that I preferred the smaller size to apply and "smear", then followed with the larger one to knock down some of the roughness and
give a dragged look to some areas. And in case you were wondering, yes those are my pajamas and slippers. I tend to jump into things right after my morning coffee and news... then sort of
forget to get dressed, or brush my teeth for that matter.
Here is where I suggest you take a step back. When you're working up close it's hard to see the big picture. Step away and see if you're loving it. I decided I liked that it was inconsistent. Heavier with more coverage in some areas, and thinner in others. YOU CAN'T GO WRONG HERE! Because guess what? It's water soluble! At this point you could even take a damp rag and start wiping away areas if you want more exposure. Or do as I did and wait until
was was nearly dry and "scrape & chip" away areas. Between water and scraping you have
plenty of opportunities to play around, and of course can always go heavier if
you want a very plastered look.
Once my chimney was almost dry I decided to scrape some away and reveal more brick to let a little color show through. If you did this and didn't like it you can just as easily add more. The only step left to do after it's cured overnight is to very lightly sand off any places that are rough
and wipe down with a damp cloth.
I absolutely love it! It looks as though we really did discover the brick chimney behind our plaster walls. Now back to finishing up the bedroom makeover and get that shiplap painted!
From my initial design board to the finishing touches, it was worth all the work. There's something so rewarding about making a vision come to life and doing it ourselves. We started demo in February, but then life got busy and spring came...then summer.... and yeahhhh.
We jumped back in this fall and met our goal of finishing before Christmas! And a week to spare!
From plumbing hassles, to bad knees... it's all in there! The before and after photos will tell the story.
The final product ended up being super close to the design board we started with. I decided to go with a bolder floor than the initial plan of marble.
The porcelain floor tile and the live edge vanity base make bold statements. The space is so small that I wanted a few key parts to make big impact.
Before & After
Love The Little Details
It's a tiny little bathroom but it shines up nice! Next week our son and daughter will be home for Christmas and I'm so excited for them to have this new space to use.... bubble bath provided!
*UPDATE added at the end of the post.
Why did I wait so long? We moved into our 1950 Cape Cod 2 1/2 years ago and I've wanted to paint the unattractive parquet floor since the first day.
I'm not so paint crazed that I paint everything in sight. I love a beautiful hardwood floor, and can't wait to redo the hardwood floors in the rest of the house. However, this parquet was nothing special, tired looking and only in this room. This kitchen needed something fun, I just KNEW it!
What I used on the floor was Sherwin Williams Porch and Floor Enamel. It required no primer because this type of enamel will adhere better than a primer would. Less work for me!
The Prep - I was told I only needed to sweep and mop the floor, but I decided to use a prepaint cleaner to give me an edge. I cuts the gloss and was super easy.
My game plan worked out pretty well. Cut in the trim in the evening, and before bed I rolled the first coat on the rest of the floor. This way no one would need to be in the kitchen, and we kept the pets in our bedroom overnight. I have to say when I walked into the kitchen in the morning it took my breath! I loved it!! Just look at that color! A second coat when on and was dry by lunch. We did let it cure a day before moving things back in, and a week later I'm having not a single regret and love spending time in the kitchen.
I'm thinking that if I ever tire of the sea of aqua, it could someday look super cute with a checkerboard floor by adding some white, and would really look good with our kitchen still being original to 1950 for the most part. When the day comes that we can finally gut this kitchen and renovate, some beautiful new flooring will be coming my way, but until then it's more fun to hang out in here than ever before!
From drab to fab!
*WEAR-ABILITY UPDATE: When I originally finished painting I didn't follow up with any sort of clear coat. After 4-5 months I was having trouble getting the traffic pattern clean and it seemed the paint was sort of absorbing the dirt. Before the holidays I decided to add a fresh top coat of my color and then follow up this time with a clear polyurethane. Perfect! It eliminated any porosity of the paint and was what I should have done after completing the job originally.
The product I topped it off with is made by RustOLeum, and I used cloth type applicator for a smooth finish.
Who Am I?
I've tried it all...hair stylist/faux painter/stay at home mom/jewelry artist/late in life college student/retail shop owner/design consultant/home stager. Through it all my favorite things to do have been sharing DIY ideas, thrifting, and making something out of nothing.