Is the Downtown Luxury Slum Finished?

Kitchen Before Renovation

People always ask me if the house is finished.

Yes, we’ve got a good roof, solid walls, functioning doors and windows, a floor that you can actually stand on, electricity, running water, flush toilets, heat, and air conditioning. We’ve also got perfectly painted walls, beautiful bathroom tile, matching appliances, the prettiest hardwood floors you ever did see, and a triple folding door that opens to the backyard. We’ve got functional furniture in every room. So the house could be finished.

But what’s the fun in that?

Here’s what I plan on working on in the next little while. Maybe this year?


  • Add a backsplash. I’m leaning towards copper of some sort, but we might still go with tile.

Dining Room:

Dining Room
  • Get a new dining room table. We’ve got a pretty good sized table, but I want a HUGE table. I’m undecided if I actually just want two large tables or one huge one. Ideally I want one made of reclaimed wood but I’m undecided if I want to try to build one (or two) myself or keep shopping for the perfect one.
  • Get chairs to go with the dining room table. It’s very unlike me, but I love the idea of mismatched (but all white) chairs to go with the table. Currently we have three mismatched chairs, a bench that matched the table, and then we use black folding chairs for extra seating. The biggest downside of mismatched chairs is that they won’t easily be stackable for storage.
  • Convert what is currently the bike storage closet into an “office”. Basically I’d put my desk and chair in there and add sliding doors so it would be hidden away when not in use.

Living Room:

Living Room
  • Get a coffee table. We currently have two mismatched IKEA Lack tables that aren’t big enough even together. I don’t really know what I want this table to look like, but I don’t want to to overly obscure Gary, our cowhide rug.

Master Bedroom:

  • Move my desk out. To the new “office” off the living room.
  • Get a headboard. This is so far down the priority list, but now that we have a bed with a frame rather than just a mattress on the floor, I think we need a headboard. I’m trying to sell Andrew on a pink velvet one.

Master Bathroom:

  • Build a piece of furniture to contain all of the cat stuff. I’m working on this now so hopefully I’ve have something to show you in the next week or two.


  • Build a walkway from the sidewalk to the front porch. Currently you just have to walk through the grass to get to our front door. I’m envisioning reclaimed brick in a herringbone pattern.
  • Get a porch swing. I don’t feel that I need to justify this.
  • Build a walkway around the side of the house to get to the backyard. I’m not sure if I want to do more brick for this or something more porous to encourage drainage through the ground when it rains.
  • Build a shed. Move the bikes out of the dining room. The shed would also store tools and projects that I’m working on so that I don’t have to wait days for everything to dry after it rains, only for it to rain again.
  • Build a firepit. I’m leaning towards wood burning, though I think it would be easy enough to do gas.
  • Plant climbing vines around the perimeter of the yard. Because as luxurious as it is, the chain link fence just isn’t pretty.
  • Add to the garden. Because I’m a crazy person, I’m trying to figure out a way to incorporate bench seating and a compost pile into raised beds.

So that should keep me busy for a while.


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