Monday, March 26, 2012

Whew!!! Remodel Part 1: The Living Room and Bathroom

Wow!  It's been awhile!  I didn't intend for four or five months to go by before posting again!  Way to make a splash in the blogging world, eh?  :-/

I have been busy with a lot of things, even a little bit of sewing.  I helped remodel a house, moved, unpacked (sort of), had a sick baby, worked on contract design projects, had a sick baby, worked on contract design projects, had a sick bay, worked on contract design get the picture.  And sewed a few things :)

I'll post a few before/after pictures of the remodel, because that's probably the most interesting subject.  My parents bought house to use as a rental, and are letting my husband and I live in it until my husband is finished with graduate school.  We (meaning my parents, siblings and spouses, husband and I) remodeled the house, start-to-finish, in almost exactly one month.  It was wild.  And that is not an overstatement.  The remodel was done completely during the month of December (so throw a couple holidays on top of it) and we all caught a nasty cold and the stomach flu during the process.  We redid every surface in the house, with the exception of the tile on the walls in the bathroom.

Here is the living room before (fortunately, these pictures don't transfer smell...also fortunately, the smell is entirely gone).

These are the realtor's picture, so they make the house look as good (and large) as it possibly can.  You can just see on the right a monstrosity of a closet covered with paneling that was obviously not original to the house.  It made the living room feel really cramped and weird.

Here are in-process pictures.  We ripped the closet out and re-framed the wall in.  The flow is much, much better without it there.

We had to prime all the walls with Kilz, because someone had painted latex-based paint over oil-based paint and the adhesion was poor.  So we primed all the walls, ceilings and mouldings before repainting them.

The patched-up, removed closet area...

Now, the after pictures:

We replaced all the baseboard (there were telephone wires running along the baseboard and around the doors all over the house) and installed crown moulding, repainted the the woodwork and ceilings a glossy white and repainted the walls.

We also replaced the wood floor.  The original wood floor was in pretty bad condition and squeaked terribly.  So we ripped it out, nailed down the floorboards so they wouldn't squeak, then installed a new wood floor.

The house has also been almost completely rewired electrically.  My dad, brother and husband ran new wiring through the attic and walls to bring it up to date and make it much safer.

 The ceiling fan was there before, but as you can see in the before pictures, it was a (lovely) brass and oak creation.  I repainted the brass parts with and oil rubbed bronze spraypaint, and my mom refinished the fan blades, so it doesn't look quite as offensive as it did before.

Now for the bathroom.  Here are the realtor's before pictures.  There is a reason they have the door closed on the tub surround.  It was the original tub from the 1940s and was in pretty nasty shape.  The toilet was original too.

My baby was a little nervous in the house in general, and the bathroom in particular.  She may not look like it here, but she was :)

Here is the bathroom, mid-demolition.  My dad and my husband removed the old cast iron tub by breaking it up into pieces with a sledge hammer!  It was quite a process!  Then they ripped the old tile off the walls of the bath area and tore out the floor, because there was mold damage.

They replaced the plumbing in the walls for the tub, toilet and vanity sink.  They replaced the mold-damaged subfloor, then put in a new tub.  They also ripped out the old window because it harbored mold and replaced it with flush glass block when they retiled the shower.

Retiling the shower...

Here are after shots, complete with new tub, new toilet, new floor, new paint, new vanity cabinet and over toilet cabinet.

My dad owns a cabinet shop and had them make the cabinets for the house.  When I post about the kitchen, you'll see more, but it was so nice to be able to replace the yucky old cabinets with new beautiful ones.

The only other original-to-the-house item was the light fixture over the vanity.  I thought it was pretty, so we took it down, I repainted it with oil rubbed bronze spray paint and put it back up.

 I'll post the kitchen and bedrooms later, but I think this is a long enough post already :)


  1. Was fun to see the before pics since I have seen the after pics. I love the baby side of the 2nd room. I had a crib like that.

  2. Wow!!! That is quite the project!! The house looks amazing now!!! What a great reward after all that hard work!! :)

  3. Awesome! How lucky that you and your family members are all so handy and talented! My dad could build a house from the ground up so I'm used to *thinking* that I can tackle big projects by myself...instead I get through it halfway (like well into demo) and then realize I can't finish it, at least not to any degree of quality. oh well! Now at least I know I have to hire someone. ;)

  4. Your house was not yet finished in this post, but I can tell that it turned out to an amazing home. I like the furniture. All of them complement with the new color of your wall. Also, I'm not sure if the ceiling fan is the same one in the old photo, but it made a great contribution to make your new living room look cozy nonetheless.

    Staci Severns @Brooklyn Fan