Before & After: Part 1

So if you follow on insta, the cat is out of the bag…we have moved! Again! I hope someone out there is saying Bless her heart because moving and remodeling two homes in two years is, well, hell. BUT. Things happen as they may and here we are. Before I dive into our new adventure too much, I wanted to share some before and afters of the remodel we said goodbye to. Anyone interested in moving to the lovely little town of Edenton, this little gem of a house will be for sale at some point.

Front Exterior

This was her original curb appeal. Not bad. We redid the landscaping, planted lots of grass, etc.

We bought this house sort of on a whim. We like to do things like that. It is in one of the best locations downtown and has great water views. So anyway, we felt it would take a couple months and we would whip her in to shape. HAHAHAHAHAHA. It took 7 months. SEVEN. Oh yeah, and about half way through…guess what I’m pregnant! Anyway, it was sort of a nightmare but we all made it through.

Why did it take seven months you ask? I’m not even really sure. We had a dreadfully cold winter. It snowed multiple times (in eastern NC this is abnormal). The electrical work was a bear and it took a while to find someone to do it. Our carpenter worked after hours. We did a lot ourselves. Needless to say, it was a learning experience. Let’s get to it.

BEFORES – I don’t have that many. We start demo pretty much the first day we got the keys.

Before - LR Wall

Immediately we knew this wall had to go. BuhBye.

Before - Living Room

The glorious living room. Note: Covered in wallpaper. All cornflower blue trim. Everywhere. Positive note: good floors.

Before - Kitchen

Oh that kitchen. It is making me nauseous thinking about it.

Before - Middle Room

This is the other side to that wall we removed. SO MUCH WOOD.

Before - Sailboat Room

This wood was actually really pretty heart pine. I love the warmth of wood, but can’t handle the darkness.

So this isn’t the most enormous post ever. I will do the other half of the house later. Now for the good part.

AFTERS

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To our surprise, there was a full chimney behind that wall so we knew we wanted to have it exposed. Because this was a load bearing wall, we had to have a new beam with some supports.

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Mike and I did all the wainscoting ourselves. Our carpenter added the crown molding. We refinished the hardwoods and stained them a darker color. Wall color is SW Sea Salt.

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We added french doors to open into our tiny office.

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We wanted a totally open floor plan so we chopped off the bar from the original kitchen and added an island. Island was purchased from IKEA.

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I installed the backsplash myself! Granite is Blanco Gabrielle and I loved it. A great mix and warm and cool tones so really versatile.

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We added recessed lights throughout. We painted our existing cabinets SW Agreeable Gray.

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New appliances of course. We had a tv mounted over the fridge where cabinet doors used to be. Since we never use the cabinets over the fridge we used a scrap section of wall we had cut out from somewhere else to close the cabinets off. We added a door on the side to still have some storage and added outlets inside the cabinet to make everything appear wireless.

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This is the one room where we kept the natural wood. It gets a ton of natural light and I loved the traditional feel it gave the house. That pendant light on the left was over a small table where you could eat and gaze at Queen Anne’s Creek.

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Standing in the kitchen looking toward the front of the house into the living room.

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Unfortunately there were not hardwoods throughout the whole house, so we had to do something different behind the fireplace. We used one of the many new types of laminate flooring that look a lot more expensive than they are. Will I do laminate again? Probably not for my main living area. While it holds up incredibly well to dogs, I would still rather have real wood.

So that’s the main living area. I kind of miss it! Especially my kitchen. New kitchens are just the best. Next post I’ll share the rest of the house!

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Friday Randoms

Random posts are always my favorite.

– So, we half-assed moved. As in, there is still a lot of little crap left in the warehouse. Our carpet installers have just completely dropped the ball and are holding us up big time. But whatev. At this point, I don’t have much care left in me. I have just been relaxing and watching a lot of tv and doing a lot of online browsing. After not having tv or internet since Nov 1…we have earned some time on the couch.

– Speaking of couch…we got ours back from the upholsterer. I like it. I can’t say I wouldn’t have preferred velvet, but velvet + dog slobber just wasn’t in any way practical.

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– Madewell is offering 30% off sale items {code: BYEMARCH} and I scooped up two more of my absolute favorite tees. I ordered a size up so hopefully they will accommodate the growing belly throughout the summer.

– I have been cooking up a storm this week. If you follow on instagram then you have seen a couple of my go-to recipes, Baked Egg Rolls & Italian Frittata. Mike’s uncle lives in the midwest and he and his wife own and run a restaurant. He visited once and brought with him their egg rolls and served them with big leaves of lettuce and assorted herbs {any herbs you want, I usually use cilantro and/or basil}. You sprinkle some herbs on a leaf of lettuce and wrap around the egg roll. It was amazing and I try to always eat my own egg rolls this way. Since my egg rolls are baked and just shy of bland, I always like to have a tasty dipping sauce. I love Newman’s Own sesame ginger dressing, which I recently mixed with a sweet thai chili sauce and added a healthy squirt of sriracha. Basically I just make it to taste. Nothing fancy or measured. Egg rolls are one of those things that you can use what you have in the fridge. I have added chicken, shrimp, and fish and it is all good.

I don’t really have a recipe for the frittata…there are hundreds of variations so I suggest just looking it up online to find one you like. Once you make it once, you won’t need a recipe! You can also eat it hot, cold, or room temp for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Plus it is packed with protein and veggies (and in my case, cheeese too).  This is what I added to mine (I only used half the italian sausage + shredded sharp cheddar and sprinkled some feta on top):

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– We have zero window treatments. How am I supposed to decide on and afford window treatments for every window in our house like right now? I mean, people are staring at our every move at night because there is zero privacy. I also hate to waste money on temporary options because unless they are from Dollar General nothing in the drapery world is cheap. I want to try my hand at making my own. It can’t be too hard right? More than the cost savings, I don’t want to wait for someone to do it for me. The lady that did our sofa and chair took forever, and while she was good and very reasonable, I want something now. I cannot get this fabric out of my mind, and it is not too expensive, so I may give it a try. The colors are perfection and it is just fun and formal at the same time. Plus it has dogs and ginger jars…a win win.

That is all for this Friday. We will be busy moving the rest of our junk out the warehouse this weekend. Fun fun!

A success story

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th holiday. Mine was quite nice. We spent a lot of time on the water, caught and ate fresh flounder {which is perhaps the best thing ever}, booze cruised, fine dined with friends, and generally enjoyed ourselves.

Most of us do a lot of pinning, and for those that don’t, I have created boards for you. I love it when I actually read or hear about Pinterest ideas that really worked, DIYs that weren’t total fails, and recipes that were actually delicious.

My latest Pinterest success from The Dramaterialist:

See my before & after for both a blush and a bronzer on Instagram.  A perfect project for those mornings when you are up early and feeling productive. It really took no time at all and I was happy with the results.

Recent recipe success includes: Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two, Avocado & Tomato Salad, Sante Fe Chicken, Breakfast Casserole. Next on deck, I have a giant container of blueberries and this Blueberry Cream Cheese Crostata sounds like the perfect summertime dessert…or breakfast. Check out my recipe board on Pinterest for the links to these great recipes and more.

Renting woes

Renting after you’ve owned a home feels like a burden has been lifted off your shoulders at first.  When we bought our first home, within weeks our washing machine broke, refrigerator broke, HVAC broke, ya know…small things. Le sigh. However, since we began renting over a year ago, not one.single.thing has broken or needed to be fixed.

Back to my point at hand, the downside of renting is your lack of freedom. Before we moved in, the owners so graciously repainted every wall in the house a beautiful shade of almond. Blegh. And they thought it would be nice to leave all the interior doors a natural wood finish. Not cute. But the rent is cheap and we have a huge fenced-in back yard which is very important for our dogs.  So, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can work with what I’ve got without making any major changes, both for landlord purposes and financial purposes. Bottom line: I don’t want to sink a lot of money into decorating this matchbox. Here are some things I have done or plan to do to spruce this place up a bit.

Renting RulesHome Decorators Collection has a sale going on right now of temporary wallpaper. I’m thinking of using this to create a faux headboard for our guest room bed. It has many possible applications, I think a guest bath or powder room is always a great place for wallpaper.

Using “sticky hooks” and tension rods allow you to hang and drape without making holes. I used tension rods in my office to make faux roman shades, and they worked great. I’m trying to figure out how I can use some kind of adhesive hook and curtain rods so I can hang drapes, again, without making holes. I’ll get back to you on that.

Errybody get your lean on. I’m a big fan of leaning art and mirrors be it on the floor, a shelf, or mantle.  Mostly because I like it, but also because it is easy.

So you can’t paint your almond walls? There are tons of ways to add color and drama to a room besides paint. I would squeal to get my hands on that tufted sofa from Anthropologie.  A printed console table and colorful lamp shades  brighten up any entryway. And the best part is…all that can move with you when you go! So get creative with fabrics, throw pillows, and rugs to add color and texture to your otherwise almond room.

To all of you renters out there, how have you made your house a home? Do tell.