Home Improvement

Renovation Station, part 2

When I last left you in March, my house was in complete disarray after opening the wall between be kitchen and my dining room.


Even when the wall project was complete, our renovation was not. We decided to go for it and rip up all of the carpet in our house to refinish the hardwood flooring underneath. We had hardwoods underneath all of the carpet on the upper two levels of our house, except for in our coat closet. In two weeks, Brian and I tore up all of the carpet, tack strips and staples before we had a company come in to do the rest of the work for us.


It was a lot of work, but we saved about $1,000 doing it ourselves. The payoff was pretty immediate.


Look at those hardwoods!


We got pretty lucky. For being covered up for who knows how many years the floors were in pretty good shape. We had some major scratching in our office that sanded out, much to our surprise.


We effectively moved out of our house for a week while the floor guys came in to do their handy work.

First they sanded down a few spots to do a stain test. Our goal was to match our laminate flooring as close as possible.


We ended up choosing the stain on the right corner of the step.


It is Minwax’s Provincial, and it was a tough choice! We really liked the darkest color but I didn’t want to pick a color that would immediately make all dirt specs visible. Especially with a light-haired dog — it seemed like a big mistake.

Here’s our bedroom before:


After they sanded it down:


And from a different angle, with Minwax Provincial stain:


OH MY GOSH SO PRETTY. Here’s the stairs after being stained:


And here they are stained:


The stain color we chose matched really nicely with the laminate flooring we’d laid in our basement a few years ago. It was a great pick!

Here’s our living room floors before:


You can see here a lot of dark staining on the floors. The flooring guys actually tore out those boards to fix the problem! How cool does this look?


And you’d never know they had to remove anything:


We are really happy with how the floors came out. I’ll share photos of the entire renovation soon. Stay tuned!

Home Improvement

A few updates on the house

I finally remembered my camera AND the memory card! So, as promised, here are some updates on our house!!

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

I mentioned earlier in the week that we added handles to our kitchen cabinets. Look at how nice they look! Glen had a great way for installing the handles on the same spot on each cabinet. He took a piece of cardboard and cut it into an “L” shape. He then pressed the handle into the cardboard to make an indent where the holes needed to be drilled. You drill holes in your cardboard and line up your cardboard stencil the same way on each cabinet, and voila! Perfectly spaced cabinet handles! It was a neat trick that will certainly come in handy in the future.



Ahhhh, so much better. Now we can actually figure out which way the cabinets open, which is especially nice since the Fannie Mae people installed some of them opening the wrong way. Oh well! Problem solved.

Basement Renovation

Now, on to the basement. I showed you a picture yesterday of the entire basement torn out. Glen finished that yesterday while Brian and I were at work. It looks huge!

The debris seems to be never-ending. Check out all of the bricks from our rounded fireplace hearth. This will be fun to remove.

Our fireplace looks a little sad now with no hearth, mantel or molding. But I know it will look so much better when this whole reno is complete. I’m going to pick out a granite hearth after work today. We are getting a black hearth will sparkly, gold flecks in it.

Glen also started ripping up the carpet in the room. Look at the lovely flooring we had underneath!

But wait, there’s more!

We have three different types of flooring in one space. I think we should leave it like that, except that we already bought new flooring last night. We also bought recessed lighting kits for my craft room, the family room and our kitchen. I can’t wait for all of the light!


So I have a confession to make. I picked out paint last night, and I’m already concerned that I picked a bad color. I bought a can of Valspar Sprinkle for my craft room and two cans of Olympic Caruso for our bedroom… I am second guessing myself though. Bad news bears.

Valspar Sprinkle - Craft Room
Olympic Caruso paint – Bedroom

So what do you think? My craft room has no windows, so I think the bright blue will be OK. But I’m less sure about the Caruso color for our bedroom. And we bought two cans… ugh. Silly hubby, I told him we should buy the $2.50 samples!

A secret room?

My last update is that we discovered we have a secret room in our house! Well, sort of. When we looked at our house we noticed a little cubby underneath our stairs that I joked was Brian’s timeout room. Well, it turns out this mini cubby is another long storage area! Glen found a hidden light in the cubby yesterday, and I was incredibly excited!

Once you get past the stair cubby, you can stand up back there (just be careful of the nails poking through at the ceiling from the floor above). Of course, I had to test it out.

Bahaha. I love our secret room! It’s so sneaky :p And the pink carpet is just oh so nice.

Tonight, Dad and the hubby are planning on dragging all of the debris out to the  car port so Brian can load up a U-Haul tomorrow and take it to the dump. Meanwhile, I’ll be taping and spackling so I can paint this weekend. AND!!!! Tomorrow we get our fence. So excited to have a large cage for our crazy beast of a dog.