My Cloffice

We turned our bike storage closet into an office.

After getting the shed built, I was able to move our bikes out of the dining room closet and into the shed.

Bike closet

And then I was able to turn the dining room closet into my office!

Luxury cloffice

It’s super basic. There are actually no electrical outlets in the closet so I ran an extension cord from the nearest outlet in the dining room. So in addition to figuring out what to do the with mess of cables needed to run a computer, I also need to figure out a more long term power solution. There is an outlet on the other side of the closet wall so most likely we will take advantage of that and install an outlet in the closet … eventually.

Luxury cloffice

This closet doesn’t have doors, largely because I could never decide what kind of door I wanted to put on it. And that’s largely because I don’t want the doors to interfere with whatever mural we eventually, hopefully, get painted on the big, empty dining room wall. So for the time being, I’ve just hung a pair of pink curtains so I can “close” the office when I’m not using it. Spritz! thinks the curtains are there for her to practice climbing so we’ll see how long they last.

Luxury cloffice

I hung a couple of plants from the bike hooks that I didn’t bother to take down. The plants hanging quite high because I’m hoping that Spritz! doesn’t see them and decide to try to play with them. As you can see by the number of toys on the cloffice floor, she is quite fond of this space already.

A Downtown Luxury Shed

I am so very excited to have a place to store tools and gardening equipment and bikes and lawn chairs and all sorts of outdoor things.

One of my goals for this year was to build a backyard shed and front walkway. While I was able to finish the walkway months ago, the shed took longer due to holdups in the zoning permit and then the excessively long wait-list for the shed. I lucked out in that because of the pandemic, our Certificate of Appropriateness that was set to expire in January, was automatically extended for an extra 6 months.

To recap, the Certificate of Appropriateness is essentially a special permit we need because we live in a Raleigh Historic District. The Historic Development Commission reviews plans for basically anything that we want to do to the exterior of our house or property to ensure that it aligns with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and is consistent with the character of the neighborhood.

For the shed, the main constraints were that it needed to be wood siding (not plywood), and have a wood window. This meant that we couldn’t just pick something out from the Home Depot catalog, we basically needed something custom built. We found that several neighbors had used Carolina Yard Barns, which left us confident that we would be able to get one of their sheds approved, but I still needed to also order a custom window because they don’t offer a wood window option. So we had a window sitting in our front entryway for 3 months while we waited for the shed to be built.

Shed after 1 day of construction

The build date that we were quoted was initially April 13th but that got pushed back until May 6th because of rain delays. And even then, the build that was theoretically only supposed to take a full day didn’t get completed until May 11th because it kept raining.

Shed after 2 days of construction
Above is how it looked after the second partial day of construction. At least there was a roof now so supplies could be stored and stay relatively dry inside.
Shed after construction

Above is how it looked when Carolina Yard Barns was done with it.

Shed after painting

And then I needed to caulk and prime and paint it to match the house. I still need to touch up the paint a bit, but we’ve already started moving some things in there and it’s so nice to have our front entryway and dining room back, just in time for people maybe coming to our house again someday soon.

The Second One That Got Away

We almost bought a house yesterday. But now it’s on the record as the second one that got away. Here’s the full story.

Despite it happening a full year ago, the first one that got away is still to raw to talk about but here’s the story of the second one that got away.

While scrolling Instagram (I apparently do so for an average of 4 minutes per day), I randomly stumbled upon a super cute and reasonably affordable house for sale in Wilmonton, NC. Andrew was on board to check it out as part of a little road trip. Well by the time we were getting set to go for said road trip, I discovered that of course it had already sold. But! since we already sort of had plans to head that way, I decided to do a quick search to see if there were any other interesting houses for sale that we could take a look at.

Lo and behold, this little lady came up on my search, and at about half of the price of the original reasonably affordable house.

The one that got away listing

Isn’t she cute?

The one that got away exterior

It turns out she looked slightly different in reality, but we didn’t notice, we were smitten.

After crossing the wrap around porch, you enter into a front hall area. The living room is immediately to the left with its beautiful vinyl floor sticker.

The one that got away living room
There are 3-4 bedrooms, depending on how generous you want to be with the definition of bedroom. They all had closets and there were a number of built-in shelving units throughout the house. And a built-in ironing board which is always a favourite feature of mine.
The one that got away bedroom

There are two full bathrooms, one of which was quite large, and the other was a pretty tight jack-and-jill. However, it was listed as a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, which were hoping would cut down on the list of interested buyers.

The kitchen was updated with stainless appliances, and the whole house was painted what I’m pretty sure is SW Agreeable Gray.

According to easily available records, the house was originally built in 1920, but it appears an addition was added at some point so when you leave the kitchen to go to the back half of the house, you have to climb 4 steps.

The one that got away stairs

How many flooring types have you counted? The listing mentioned the “all new floors”. In addition to one bedroom, one bathroom, and the laundry room, there is also a large living area in the back half of the house.

You can access the attic (great storage space), and backyard. The lot is 0.12 acres, which allows for a pretty big backyard and giant storage building. I don’t have any pictures to show it, but the storage building would be a good contender for Storage Wars.

The Plan

We wanted to turn it into a short-term rental. It’s walkable to downtown Wilmington and the riverfront, but we’d provide bikes to make it even easier to get around. And it’s a 25 minute drive from the beach making for easy beach days.

We’d put a locking solid door between the front and back half of the house. We’d add a kitchenette to the back living area. This way the front and back half could be rented as two separate units or as one. The front half would have two bedrooms with a bathroom between them, but beds or pull out couches could be placed to add sleeping space for four more people. The back half would have one bedroom, and a pull out couch and/or bunks could be added to add sleeping space for up to four more people.

We’d pretty up the yard with furniture and lights and such to make it a nice place to hang out. We’d also plan to eventually replace the storage building or simply update it to accommodate both storage and one more small rental unit. The storage would be for bikes, beach equipment, yard games. It would also provide a place to stash outdoor furniture during storms.

Part of the appeal of this kind of setup is that it could accommodate any any size group. We could stay there ourselves while having the other unit(s) rented out. Or we could invite family and friends to join us.

I was surprised it didn’t sell the day it was listed. And I was really surprised that it wasn’t sold five days later. But as we were getting ready to put in an offer, we found out that it actually did sell in three days, they just hadn’t updated the listing status yet ­čśŽ

But now we’re on the lookout for another potential property in Wilmington.

Some Potential Project Properties

I’d like to tell you about a couple properties that have caught my eye recently. They’re both early 1800s houses in Warrenton, NC.

I’m still over here, dreaming of starting a new renovation/preservation project so I thought I’d share a couple of the properties that have caught my eye as of late.

The Reynolds Tavern

They Reynolds Tavern is thought to have been the home of prominent cabinet maker Thomas Reynolds after he moved to Warrenton, NC in 1804.

The Reynolds Tavern is is 1290 square foot Boom Era house in the Warrenton, NC historic district, which is a little over an hour away from us and vaguely near a couple lakes.

Though the front elevation and first floor have been remodeled over the years, the rear elevation exhibits much of its early character.

Interior and exterior early 19th century features include the stone foundation, roof dormers,

winder stair,

9-over-9 sash windows,

door and window surrounds,

boxed eaves, flush gable ends, and large center chimney.

The second floor retains early wide wood floors,

and views of the mortise-and-tenon construction.

The building will require a complete rehabilitation including structural/foundation work, restoration carpentry, and all new systems. The Town of Warrenton does offer attractive economic development incentives that could make the rehabilitation feasible.

I’ve never been to Warrenton so don’t really know what the community needs, but I like the idea of restoring the upper level as a small airbnb apartment and the lower level and yard into a chill tavern / wine bar / beer garden type space with cheese. Does that sound weird?

The Louise Allen House

The Louise Allen House is also located in Warrenton, NC.

It is a lovely, 2992 square foot home built in the 1840s in the Greek Revival style and later refashioned in the Colonial Revival style. It sits on a 1.39 acre lot that also includes a 1200 square foot craftsman era guesthouse.

The Louise Allen House is a lovely, large home built in the 1840s in the Greek Revival style and later refashioned in the Colonial Revival style, which was highly popular in the early 1900s.

When the house was redesigned in the 1920s, a brick veneer was applied and additions were made including a warm, south-facing enclosed sunroom.

The interior of the home retains several elements of the 19th century, including some elegant neoclassical mantles by noted Warrenton builder Jacob Holt and prominent Greek Revival woodwork.

The interior also includes a graceful double staircase with delicate turned balusters, which was added in the 1920s.

The Louise Allen House will require a complete rehabilitation including reconstruction of the 1920s-era front porch,

all new mechanical systems, structural repair (or rebuilding) of the rear kitchen area, miscellaneous interior and exterior cosmetic repairs, and a new kitchen and baths.

Situated on a beautiful in-town lot nearly 1┬Ż acres in size, the property is shaded by mature trees and was noted for its lovely blueberry and fig bushes. The property also includes the Smiley Cottage, a 1930s Craftsman-style guest house, sized at approximately 1200 square feet.

The cottage will also need cosmetic repairs, updated systems, kitchen, and bath(s).

I am in love with the Smiley Cottage. I mean just that name! I like the idea of working on it first, getting it cute and habitable and offering it up on airbnb to help cover the costs of rehabilitating the bigger house. That way I could also stay in the cottage if I wanted to get in really long work days and not have to drive home after. I don’t know why, but this house feels more like it would just make a good giant single family home. In my dream world, we’d split the lot and keep the Smiley cottage as either a short or long term rental and sell the Louise Allen House.

So I suppose we should take a day trip to Warrenton sometime soon.

What are you dreaming of?

Revisiting Potential Project Properties

We are revisiting a few properties with potential that we considered a while back and checking in on how they are doing now.

A while back, I shared a few potential future luxury slum projects, and feeling uninspired today made me want to revisit them.

In this post, I considered Tanglewood and The Church and in this post, I considered The Raleigh Lustron House and The Wine Country House. Let’s take a look at what has come of these properties.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood is 3,500 square foot farmhouse built in 1835, sit ting on 3.5 acres with a collection of outbuildings, and located 30 minutes from Raleigh.

Tanglewood was listed for $159,000 but sold for $85,000 in March 2020. I do not know what, if anything, has been done to it since it was sold.

The Church

The Church is is 5000 square foot church built in 1930 and located in Hickory, North Carolina.

Mt Zion Baptist Church

As far as I can tell, the church is no longer for sale and appears to be in continued use by the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, but I’m not entirely confident in that.

The Raleigh Lustron House

This is a 1020 square foot house on a 0.09 acre lot and was manufactured in 1949. It was moved from its original site to just a few blocks from the Downtown Luxury Slum.

It features prefabricated enameled metal-panel walls and roof, aluminum tripartite casement windows, built-in pass-through metal China cabinet, bedroom vanity, and trellis downspout porch post. Assembly required. All 3300 pieces are numbered and there is an instruction manual to follow.

Raleigh Lustron House, assembly required

The Raleigh Lustron House is still for sale which means I keep thinking about it as an potential next project. The price and location are certainly right.

The Wine Country House

Next on our list of potential luxury slums was the Wine Country House.

2017-03-Barnett-Carr-House-16

The Wine Country House is a 3,234 square foot Victorian house built in the early 19th century on approximately 1 acre of land in Duplin County, the heart of North Carolina’s wine industry.

This property was actually called the Barnett Carr House and I can’t for the life of me figure out if it ever sold or even still exists.

If anyone else happens to know what has come of some of these properties, please share!

And maybe I’ll share a few other potential projects next week.

Diana

Planning a Kitchen Garden

I’ve expanded my garden and am sharing some details about what I’m planting where this year.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

In my post last year about Phase Two of our Luxury Yard Renovation, I shared the small raised bed garden that I had built and told you that I planned to add onto it this year. Well I’ve done just that.

Unfortunately a few of the boards I bought are a little too thick for some reason so I’m going to have to trim them down but for now, they’re sitting horizontally around the back box. But they do give you a bit of an idea of what it will all look like when it’s complete, since my plan is to add horizontal boards on top around the entire perimeter to be used as bench seating.

Each of the boxes is four feet by four feet so I put together a garden plan that is perfect for an indecisive person who can’t decide what to grow.

I included some information about what I’d be planting in other parts of the yard so here’s a quick snap shot of some of those areas to refresh your memory.

The Trespassing Garden
Some planters
Front walk and more planters

Along with the plan, I broke down when I needed to plant what.

I missed starting some of the seeds on schedule so I have the option of either just starting them a little later, or buying seedlings from the farmers market or getting them from friends.

And I also have a longer document with notes to remember about each type of plant.

This document includes tips about companion planting, spacing, timing, supports, pest management, fertilization, and more. This document is actually what I used to come up with the layout and schedule in the first place.

I’m going to have to figure out some sort of irrigation system since keeping up with the watering by hand was a little much last year and I have even more space this year, so that’ll be another project in the next week or two.

Are you planting a garden this year?

A Luxury Front Walkway

It’s been a long time in the making but The Downtown Luxury Slum now has a walkway leading from the sidewalk to the front porch so you don’t have to trample over the grass.

When we bought the Downtown Luxury Slum and until now, you’ve had to trample over the grass to get to the front porch.

New roof

This has generally not been horribly problematic aside from the one hidden hole that I could never successfully fill in and that always seemed to attract unsuspecting ankles.

It took me quite a while to figure out what kind of walkway might look good because the steps are 10 feet wide and the entire length of the walkway would also be about 10 feet and having a square walkway seemed weird. And having half of the steps not leading to a walkway also seemed weird. But I finally came up with a plan and submitted it to the Raleigh Historic Development Commission along with my request to build a backyard shed. The plans were approved way back in July but that happens to also be when we bought the Mulberry House so I didn’t get around to actually building the walkway or shed until now.

I actually started in January, and then it snowed, and it finally got warm today so I finished up!

Here are some progress shots:

Laying out the walkway

I used green spray paint to mark where I needed to dig. Thinking about colouring the entire lawn this way next winter.

Digging up the lawn

After I marked out my plan, I started digging. I had this idea that I would start participating this this cutesy Instagram thing called #RenovationFancyFriday, but it turns out that I am not cutesy.

After getting the appropriate amount of lawn dug up, I laid down some heavy-duty landscaping fabric.

Then I laid down these paver panels and this edging which is basically what allowed me to not have to dig another couple feet and buy a ton of gravel. I’m going to admit that maybe I still should have leveled the soil a bit better before laying bricks, but oh well.

Our very first pile of bricks actually came from the chimney of a house that had been moved from a block away from us. A few more bricks got collected randomly as we went on walks over the summer, and I grabbed a couple from the crawlspace of the Mulberry house. But that wasn’t enough so we went on a search for more.

´╗┐

Andrew helped me collect some bricks from various brick graveyards around the neighborhood. This one is just around the corner from us on our block. Another was a few doors down from his old house. Another yet was a neatly stacked pile that a Nextdoor neighbour tipped me off about.

I love the way the pattern turned out and also how incredibly obvious it is that we did not buy these bricks from a brickyard.

The last step for the actual walkway was filling in all the little gaps with sand, which is honestly still a bit of a work in progress. But this picture was taken the day before it snowed, I think, so the rest of the project got put on hold for a few weeks.

But today I was able to finish up digging the garden beds out a little better and filling them with as much soil as I could fit in my shopping cart.

Hopefully I’ll get to plant some pretty flowers in the next couple of weeks.

The mailman is enjoying the new walkway. I hope someday you will get to too.

Mulberry House Exterior Reveal

The exterior of the Mulberry House had a few things that absolutely NEEDED to be done so we focused on getting those done before our tenants moved in. Curb appeal updates will have to wait until phase two of the renovation.

Hello!

Today, I’d love to show you some of the fixes and little updates we made to the exterior of the Mulberry House.

Here’s what the house looked like when we first bought it:

Exterior Before Renovation

At this point, the front porch was safe, but definitely rotting pretty heavily, especially around the edges. The railing mostly needed cleaning and painting, but also a few nails here and there since some of the vertical rails were just hanging from the top rail.

Front Door Before Painting

For some reason I don’t have pictures of the front door from outside, but this is what it looks like from in the living room. Mostly just dirty with a weird lock that is not actually a deadbolt and doesn’t like to close properly.

The back door situation is a little different. The back door opened to a drop off. I’m unclear as to why there was no landing or steps or anything here, but there wasn’t. The front door had the benefit of being covered by the porch roof so it was pretty well protected from the elements but the back door not so much. It was in pretty rough shape, paint wise. The picture on the right above is from after I was procrastinating one day and just scraped off a bunch of loose paint with basically no effort.

So anyway, that was our starting point.

From the start, the exterior renovation plan was to:

As with the kitchen, I was under a bit of a time crunch to get the house habitable so not everything got done as planned. But here’s what we did get done:

Back Entry After Construction of Steps

I ended up hiring someone to build the back steps. It seemed like it should have been simple enough, but every time I sat down to try to calculate how much lumber I needed, I ended up giving myself a headache. Getting these steps built was definitely a need versus a want for this renovation.

We had also originally intended to fix the porch ourselves. But at some point, we noticed that half of the porch boards were screwed down, obviously with rusted screws. So just the demolition portion of the porch would have taken us forever with our limited tool and skill set. So I hired out the porch board replacement job. The guys removed the railing and ripped out all but the central section of porch boards within a few hours.

Porch Joists Barely Holding On

Upon removing the old porch boards, we also discovered that the joists supporting the porch were lightly rotting, but also barely being held in place with loose nails. So we had the guys replace those too.

While the guys took only a few hours to remove the old porch boards and joists, I spent the better part of three days priming all of the porch boards. There were just over a hundred of them. Painting the tops (seen here) was easy, But the tongue and groove sides required me to get into all sorts of tight corners. And unfortunately this is super essential because the primer seals the boards to prevent moisture intrusion so the boards don’t expand and cause the porch floor to buckle. As you can see, this absolutely should not be done during autumn. Honestly, only a masochist would choose to take on this particular job.

If you see the hubcap sitting on the driveway, it’s there because this is also the day I blew out one of my tires which Andrew was kind enough to get replaced for me while I primed the boards. Shout out to Andrew’s dad who also came over and helped me paint for a couple hours.

Porch During Painting

After the new porch joists and boards were installed and the railing put back into place, I put another coat of primer on top of the porch boards. Since I had a little primer left in my paint pan and bucket, I used it to start priming the right side of the railing. You can see it made quite a difference! It took me a few more days to get around to priming the rest of the railing and then actually painting the boards and railing. I have to say that this part of the process was SOOOOO much less tedious than priming the individual boards.

Exterior Door During Painting

We took the exterior doors off their hinges in order to sand, prime, and paint them on the driveway. Between coats, I was able to provide the same loving treatment to the door frames. This picture was taken after just one coat of paint which is why it looks a little streaky. When mounted back in the door frame, the colour is lot less intense. Which is actually a mistake. We accidently bought the wrong paint colour … we bought the colour that was the closest match we could find to the current colour. Since I didn’t get around to painting the shutters, the door matches them pretty well with it’s fresh coat of paint so I guess that’s good. Phase two will definitely involve a brighter shade of blue on the exterior doors and shutters.

Front Door After Painting

Just like with the “before” pictures, I don’t have a good picture of the front door from the outside, but here it is from the inside. What a difference a few coats of paint and some new hardware make! The icky looking stuff in the door frame is actually some stick-on weather stripping that I had added (after painstakingly scraping off the old stuff), only to discover that it prevented the door from fully closing. So I tried to remove it, but it wasn’t interested in being easily removed, and I wasn’t interested in putting in any more effort removing it.

I also don’t have any good “after” pictures of the back door, probably because after I fixed the screen door so that it now closes, the freshly painted back door just looks like a door hidden behind a screen door.

Exterior After Renovation

So what does that leave us with? We still have a boat taking up half of the driveway. The walkway is still a tripping hazard. The drainage is substantially better, but definitely still needs work. And I’d like to paint the doors and shutters a brighter shade of blue. So that’s all for phase two, or possibly some things will get done during weekend visits over the course of this year. Oh, and that bush needs trimming. I hadn’t trimmed as much of it as I would have liked because I was waiting for the million flower buds on it to bloom and they were just starting when this picture was taken. Oh, and Andrew really wants new house numbers.

Here are all the exterior paint details:

Porch floor: Behr Premium Porch and Patio Floor Low-Lustre Enamel in Slat Gray

Porch railing and door frames: Behr Premium Plus Exterior Flat Enamel in Ultra Pure White

Doors: Behr Premium Plus Exterior Satin Enamel in Tidal

That’s it, I’ll talk to you next week!

Mulberry House Kitchen Reveal

I hope you’ve slept well because you’re in for a long kitchen reveal post.

Hello and happy National Carrot Cake Day!

You’ve seen the main bedroom, the main bathroom, and the living room of the Mulberry House, which leaves us with just one other room. So without further ado, here’s the kitchen!

Let’s start with some before pictures to refresh your memory:

Kitchen Before Renovation

This is what you would see when you first walk into the kitchen from the living room. The floor is a beautiful vinyl sheet with a yellow tile look, and a giant seam down the middle. The laundry area to the left has a ceiling that’s a couple feet lower than the ceiling in the rest of the kitchen.

Kitchen Before Renovation

And this is what you’d see turning slightly to the right. Above the upper cabinets is the only wallpaper in the house (thankfully). The countertops and backsplash are covered in matching, sun-bleached yellow Formica.

Kitchen Before Renovation

This gives you a better view of the laundry area. In theory, the dryer should actually sit fairly flush with the cabinets, but the dryer vent pipe prevents that from happening. The falling ceiling is definitely also a problem.

Kitchen Before Renovation

This is the view standing by the sink and looking towards the laundry area (notice the lower ceiling). Yes, that is paint literally falling off the walls and onto the floor above the door to the living room.

Kitchen Before Renovation

Behind the fridge is the pantry door. It’s unclear why the fridge is in front of the pantry, but I suspect that the fridge and a stove once sat against the wall where the broom and fridge door are. The opening behind the fridge leads to the bathroom (straight ahead), and back entry (to the right).

Kitchen Before Renovation

And as you may remember, directly across from the kitchen cabinets, was the 1319 pound gun safe. This picture really gives you an idea of how badly the paint was peeling.

So anyway, that was our starting point.

After figuring out our layout, the kitchen renovation plan was to:

  • remove the safe
  • clean, sand, and patch the walls; caulk gaps in the trim
  • prime the walls with triple thick primer to prevent further peeling
  • paint walls, trim, and cabinets
  • add new electrical outlets for the fridge and stove along the wall where the safe was, replace all electrical devices and covers
  • paint the ceiling fan
  • replace the flooring
  • replace the countertops and backsplash
  • add cut off valves for the dishwasher and kitchen sink
  • replace the sink and faucet
  • get a new stove and dishwasher
  • refinish the fridge, washer, and dryer

Patching the ceiling was definitely one of the first things I needed to tackle in the kitchen because it was crumbling more and more. I ended up hiring a handyman to do it and he struggled to find anything solid enough to anchor the new drywall to. I did have to do a couple smaller and/or more hidden ceiling patches myself, but none that required new drywall.

There were a number of gaps between pieces of trim and also between the trim and wall / ceiling / floor. Not caulking these would have left the space still looking unfinished but also hopefully helped keep unwanted cold air and hot air and bugs outside.

Peeling wallpaper and paint, and then trying to make the walls look remotely even was definitely the most time consuming part of this room. After peeling off any paint that was remotely interested in being peeled off, I had to wipe down the walls with TSP to control remaining lead paint dust as well as clean, degloss, and degrease the walls thus ensuring better adhesion of the new paint. I read a lot about the best way to do this and ultimately decided to use TSP with proper protective equipment, but there are multiple sources that suggest avoiding the use of TSP for health and environmental reasons which I’m not going to get into.

Then I had to patch holes and try to smooth out edges as best I could with a combination of joint compound and spackle and light sanding. At that point, I was able to start priming the walls. I think I used three coats of triple thick primer and then at least two coats of regular white primer to try to keep the paint from further peeling and even out the walls as much as humanly possible.

And then if you guessed that I painted the ceiling, walls, and trim white, you’d be correct.

The cabinets had all sorts of latching hardware much of which didn’t work and all of which I removed. Of course once I got the cabinets all put back together, I realized that latches of some sort were quite necessary. We ended up causing a fair bit of damage to the hinges while removing them to paint the cabinets because the hinges had been painted over and the screws stripped. So I ended up buying all new hinges. We had just enough of the original cabinet pulls for the whole kitchen and they were in perfect shape so after cleaning them, we were able to reuse them.

Cabinet Painting

I just thought I should share some evidence of why the cabinets needed to be painted.

We decided to keep the perfectly good stainless steel sink but replace the leaky faucet. This picture might be the only evidence I have of how wonky the wall is behind the backsplash.

Pulling up the old sheet vinyl flooring was surprisingly easy. It probably took me 20 minutes to do while Andrew was finishing up his work day. But then scraping up all of the glue and mildew-filled underlayer took another week. Laying the underlayment and luxury vinyl tiles was also pretty quick once we got the hang of it. It took two days to get all of the tile laid, with most of the time spent making weird cuts.

Once all of the tile was down, I had to nail the quarter round back down, as well as cut a couple extra pieces where it had been missing. Then we had to find some trim to use to cover transitions between rooms where the tiles ended. And then it was just more caulk, baby!

There was a fair bit of rust on the fridge, washer, and dryer. It turns out that lightly sanding them and then painting them with appliance paint is a really quick, easy, and effective way of making them look brand new.

I was under a bit of a time crunch to get the house habitable so not everything got done as planned. But here’s what the kitchen is looking like now:

Kitchen After Renovation

Here’s what you see when you first walk into the kitchen from the living room. Everything is white and there is no more peeling paint. There is no dishwasher in the pictures because it didn’t get delivered until about a week after the tenants moved in.

I can’t say I love the pendant above the sink, but it’s certainly better than the old fluorescent tube it replaced.

Kitchen After Renovation

Here’s a slightly different angle. I had purchased everything I needed to replace the countertops way back in August, but didn’t want to do it until after painting which ultimately meant I didn’t have time to do it before the tenants moved in. I was planning to keep the vintage vibe of the Formica but with a fresh, un-faded salt and pepper design. However, I actually really like the pop of colour the the old yellow countertop brings, so I might try to replicate that when I get to updating the countertop in phase two.

Kitchen After Renovation

The dryer still sticks out way beyond the cabinets so for phase two, I could try to move the vent, but I’m leaning towards just building a small section of wall between the cabinets and the dryer, that sticks out maybe a foot beyond the dryer to partially separate the kitchen and laundry areas.

Kitchen After Renovation

This is the wall that was previously occupied by the safe. On the left is a portable dehumidifier because I was never able to fully manage the ridiculous humidity levels that this house experiences in the summer. Beside that is obviously the fridge. On either side of the range, I had intended to add additional storage and work surfaces but that will have to wait until phase two.

My sister-in-law replaced all of her kitchen appliances and offered us her old range. It turns out that it was exactly the kind of stove I wanted for this house and the price was right. Perfect. It is not hooked up in this picture because it needed a new power cord, which the electrician father of the tenant offered to hook up for me. Long story short: when they attempted to plug it in, it fried the motherboard. So I had to order a new range which was successfully delivered and installed about a week later.

Kitchen After Renovation

I obviously did not get around to updating the ceiling fan. So this is how the entire kitchen side of the kitchen turned out. The tenants ended up picking out an old wood dresser or something that they found in the shed, and they put it under the window to use as a coffee station. I wish I had a picture because it did a great job of warming up the space and making it look more like home.

Kitchen After Renovation

You might remember from the living room reveal that I painted the inside of the built-in cabinet yellow but failed to take a picture. Well here is one picture of the inside of the kitchen cabinets which I also painted bright, happy, yellow.

Although I had wanted to properly tile it, I used a peel and stick tile for the backsplash because the wall was so messed up, uneven, and unlevel. Up close, you can definitely tell that the wall is not flat, but with a little extra adhesive, the tiles stay in place and do a good job of making the space look finished.

As you can also see, some of the windows were very much in need of replacing. I ordered new windows in August, but they didn’t actually arrive and get installed until after the tenants moved in in December.

So there are definitely some projects left for phase two which will hopefully not be for a while.

Here are all the details and sources:

Walls: Behr Ultra Interior Eggshell Enamel in Ultra Pure White

Ceiling: Behr Premium Plus Ceiling Flat Paint in Ultra Pure White

Doors and trim: Behr Premium Semi Gloss Interior Cabinet and Trim Enamel in Ultra Pure White

Cabinet interior paint: Behr Ultra Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel in Unmellow Yellow

Appliance paint: Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy in Gloss White

Cabinet knobs: vintage, similar

Cabinet hinges: Liberty Chrome 3/8 in. Inset Cabinet Hinge Without Spring

Cabinet latches: Everbilt Double Roller Catch with Spear

Backsplash: Smart Tiles Muretto Brina Peel and Stick Decorative Mosaic Wall Tile

Faucet set: Delta Foundations 2-Handle Standard Kitchen Faucet with Side Sprayer in Chrome

Floor tile: DuraLux Performance Volakas Marble Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Plank

That’s it, I’ll talk to you next week!