Category: Our DIY Home

6 Years at Home

Six years ago we closed on our house! I can still close my eyes and see our house exactly as it was on that day.

Oy.

Since we purchased a foreclosure, there were some issues that arose that delayed our closing for a few months and, at the time, it felt like ages! Then we drove from our closing right to the house and walked into the house and found that a huge chunk of the hallway ceiling had suddenly crumbled onto the floor from a leaking pipe. This house was a messy adventure from the very start.

But today I’m not going to talk about the mess or the chaos or projects. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite things about this house.

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An Overall House Update

I can hardly believe we have been in the house for five and a half years! We’ve finally reached a good (ahem, healthy) place with our project load.

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While our to-do list is still about seven pages long (Yes, really. We wrote one out.) for the first time we have been able to really step away from projects. We knew with the arrival of our daughter last fall that the amount of time for projects was about to take a significant cut, so we tried to get as much as we could finished last summer.

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DIY Bathroom Updates and How to Build Your Own Bathroom Mirrors

If we know how to do anything, it’s draw out a renovation.

Design Lively Bathroom Renovation

We started our bathroom reno about 6 months ago, and are almost crossing the finish line! The bathroom has been 80% done since early summer, and since then we’ve slowly added the last finishing pieces.

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Three Renovation Years Later: Downstairs Before and After

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It’s CRAZY that we’ve been working on this house for over three years now! It only seems like yesterday that we got the keys to the house – and immediately tore out the built-in bench in the old sunroom, and starting ripping down the wallpaper in the dining room. Every few months, when certain projects get too overwhelming to even think about, I look back at the photos I took when we first bought the house and I realize just how much we’ve gotten done.

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Our (Messy) Bathroom Renovation – Part 2

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I last left off talking about gutting our bathroom, having new walls built, with rough plumbing and rough electrical, new door frames and window boxes, and the promise of progress. I am happy to say that, eight weeks after the initial gutting, we have a shower again!!!!! Not one of those exclamation points is excessive. Two months with no shower is too long!

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Things from the Internet I’ve Tried and Loved

The internet is a crazy place. To think that I am the last generation that will remember the world pre-internet kind of makes my head spin. The internet is also an amazing place – full of ideas, co-creation, and advice (both good and bad). I find a lot of great recipes, projects, and tutorials around the web – so I am going to start sharing them every few months.

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Inspiration Board for a Cottage Bathroom

I posted last week about the small modifications we’ve made to our bathroom over the last several years to help us get by until we were ready to totally renovate this room – and I couldn’t be happier that the time is finally here!

bathroom-inspiration-board

As you can see, I am feeling drawn to whites, grays, and blues – light, airy spaces! It feels nice and clean, which is always a good feeling in a bathroom.

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My DIY Powder Room

The powder room was our first gut-and-overhaul project. Coming in at only 12 square feet, it’s a small space. The original layout didn’t help at all – a pointless radiator took up too much floor space and crowded the rest of the bathroom to one corner. And that extended countertop you see? If you sat down the countertop was jutting into your back and your elbow was nudged up against the sink! Not to mention that beautiful access panel on the wall.

This room is so small it’s hard to get very good pictures, so the straight on view is the best you’re gonna get! You probably can’t tell from the photo, but that was the world’s tiniest sink! It’s not a standard depth (old house) and the faucet was in the corner. You could hardly get both hands in sink to wash them.

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My DIY Living Room

Our living room was the room we’ve had to work on the least. So that makes it my kind-of favorite because there are no memories of slaving away.

DesignLively: My DIY Living Room

:p In this room we painted the ceiling, walls, trim, built-ins, and fireplace mantle. We removed a radiator, and added new cabinet doors to the built-ins. There was a bit of work we needed to do with the fireplace – replacing the doors and re-tipping the chimney. But my favorite change (which is still in progress) was widening the doorway to the living room by about 14″!

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My DIY Kitchen

Our kitchen is definitely one of the places we spend the most amount of time in. It was the very first place we started working on it our house, desperately trying to get to a place where we could cook and eat!

DesignLively DIY Kitchen - Before & After

While it’s not a large eat-in kitchen, we often have Saturday morning brunch or a late night snack at the island. We still need to do a lot of finishing work in the kitchen (someday!), but for now it’s been working very well for us. And, believe it or not, I don’t miss that crazy wallpaper one bit.

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Inspiration: Board and Batten in the Hallway

For some reason, the DIY projects I always want to do the most are the ones we put off the longest. Probably because the projects I am most interested in are the frivolous ones.

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Right now our hallway is BORING. It’s long and narrow and lacks any traces of personality at the moment. While we (briefly) toyed with opening it up, it’s just not worth the trouble. Instead we widened the door to the living room by a foot (as evidenced by the lack of trim boards).

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