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, Paint

The itch to paint

Right before the Christmas holiday we had a radon mitigation system installed in our basement. Turns out Columbia has a lot of this cancer-causing gas just hanging around. Lame-o. Basically how it works is the radon guys come and drill into your foundation (we have two) and create a well for the gas to collect. Since gas takes the path of least resistance, the gas will pretty much all pool here instead of seeping into our house in other ways. Then they install a pipe that connects the hole in the foundation(s) to a hole they cut to the outside of your house. They seal it up nice and tight so no gas can eek out, then put in a fan that runs 24/7 to keep the gas flowing outside of the house. And with that, we are radon free! Woot!

The whole thing took about two hours. Not too bad!


Gee, I sound so knowledgeable about radon.


I was really happy to have this completed because our radon levels were a little bit higher than normal and I’d like to avoid cancer if at all possible. Crazy, I know. I was also happy to have it done because it inspired me to paint our laundry room/basement area! I bet you thought there was nothing left to paint… that’s what the hubby thought, too.


There was nothing wrong with the color of our laundry room as it was.


A boring neutral was just fine for the space. But I spend a fair amount of time down there, especially at those cabinets in the back. The cabinets in my craft room are a great sitting height, but the cabinets in the laundry room are great for projects you want to do standing. I wanted to brighten up the space a bit.

I set out to paint the whole space white. Yes, white. I never want to paint anything even close to white, but I didn’t want another blue room and I didn’t want to paint the space anything crazy. So white it is.

I went with Behr’s Waterfall Mist. It was a nice contrast between the white of our door frames, so that was a win.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.27.44 AM

Well, it turns out Waterfall Mist is blue. Even though I tried to paint my laundry room white, I ended up painting it blue! I think there is something wrong with me.

Look…. even in the Behr virtual paint chip wall, Waterfall Mist is categorized as white.

Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 11.24.54 AM

But it’s not. *Sigh*

So I painted the whole room and stood back to admire my work… then realized I had inadvertently painted another room in the house blue. Oops.

At least it’s brighter!! And I love blue…



The other mistake I made, aside from painting it a completely wrong color, was I painted our stairs (which were orange before) the same color as the walls. That just looked weird. Really weird.


So the day after Christmas I ran to the store to pick out some dark brown paint to match the floor you can see peeking in from under the door.

IMG_2520Ahhhh…. much better.


All in all, the basement looks nice. It’s not some crazy huge improvement to what it was before, and let’s keep it real, I’ll probably want to paint it again in the future. At least for now it satisfied my itch to paint something. Now I just need to make some cutesy decorations for the laundry room and I can let it be for a while.