A Little Bit of Everything

Where to begin? In true Kylie fashion I have about 13 projects started at the new house as opposed to a more reasonable one-at-a-time approach. As such, we're not even close to the possibility of having a single "after" shot of a single corner of a single room. In fact, the house is living up to the full glory of the demo phase. Piles of trash. Plaster crumbs trailing all the floors. Random screws and nails floating underfoot.

Nonetheless, for the sake of my records, let's take a look around at what's been happening. 

First up within about five minutes of unlocking the door Sunday afternoon, I took down these beauties. They'd been hung with PVC pipe (and never dusted as evidenced by the picture below!). Brilliant or bizarre? Leaning toward bizarre PVC pipe usage...The drapes were so old, discolored and dirty that I've been using them as drop clothes until I throw them out for good. The pipes are headed to the Habitat restore because they're - for all plumbing intents and purposes - brand new. 

I was hoping that taking down all her window treatments throughout the house would give it an immediate facelift but sadly, it just caused waterfalls of plaster to come cascading down and giant, gaping holes.

Then I walked around the house with a screwdriver and unscrewed every single outlet cover and took down any window hardware left. In an effort to save money, we're doing as much as we can to the house ourselves before calling in the professionals. Unscrewing outlet covers in 9 rooms is time-consuming, but the last thing I want to pay someone by the hour to do. 

Then it was Sunday night. And we just couldn't help ourselves. We got hammer happy and began gutting the kitchen. In addition to a garage full of trash, the previous owner left an appliance lift which she was coming back to get the following day. So we took advantage and moved the dishwasher, etc out. Again, the demo crew was coming in the morning and we wanted as much of the easy stuff already done so they could get straight to it.

The lower cabinets where in such an odd shape and were so broken up by dishwasher and oven holes, that we straight up took a hammer to them and trashed them. I saved the drawer pulls either to donate or reuse somewhere else down the line. Because we wanted to save the uppers and rehang them in the garage, we let the crew take them down Monday. John lacks a bit of caution when it comes to swinging a hammer (or doing dishes) and would easily have broken them (to add to a whole list of glasses and plates he's mistakenly broken since I've known him)...

Then Monday, while some guys from Scovell Wolfe were finishing the kitchen gut, I got to stripping wallpaper. The dining room, Annie's room and the powder bath came off in full strips. The green room hasn't been so generous - even with an insane amount of scoring and a trip to the hardware store to buy a heavy-duty concentrate billed as having enzymes strong enough to break down any wallpaper glue. 

Well you can't believe everything you read. These enzymes are no match for this stubborn green paper. This room in a thorn in my flesh! Below is my progress over about SIX hours! Haven't decided yet if I'm giving up and hiring professional wallpaper strippers or if it's becoming my entire family's weekend project. Five hands are better than one, right?

Like I said, I have about 13 things going on at once. Among them is my first foray into gardening. It's more like damage control gardening. The dumpster didn't exactly do the overgrown plants any favors when it slugged through this week. Instead of cutting back, I ripped out.

I saved all the bulbs to be transplanted to a different area of the backyard. But the driveway barely fits my car at places and I was sick of inevitably stepping out onto the flowers. Problem solved!

Back inside, here's a look at what our kitchen is looking like right about now. Down to the studs. We're saving the hardwoods and refinishing them. And we're reopening the window that has been covered on the right side of the picture. After 6 years in a condo with no windows in the kitchen, we couldn't pass up the chance while the kitchen was gutted to reopen the wall there.

Below on the right is the doorway to what used to be a coat closet, followed by a pantry you entered from the kitchen. Both are adios. The original entry to the kitchen will be partially walled to accommodate the refrigerator and the old coat closet door will be widened and become the new entry. I was pretty pumped to get to watch all that framing go down yesterday. Love learning stuff like that!

This next shot shows the opening to the dining room. It's being enlarged all the way to the left of that gray air duct you see. The air duct is more than likely being fed through what is now the laundry shoot. I know - sad day. The laundry shoot is getting vetoed. But it's a small price to pay to create openness in an otherwise chopped up house.

Another thing going on is some minor bathroom updating. So after measuring all the existing vanities, my search has begun for some inexpensive replacements that bring the house from 1970 to present day. Before you think I'm nuts for trashing what are not the most offensive vanities I've ever seen, just know that the faucets were leaking so bad that whenever you turned the water on to wash your hands about as much water spilled back behind the sink. Ok, a bit of an exaggeration. But enough leakage to merit replacement.


I bought a Kohler sink at Home Depot with some of their Home Depot faucets just to try on for size. For being a big box store, it wasn't exactly cheap. So they might head back if I can find something comparable online. We didn't screw anything in. Just momentarily staged it all to wrap our heads around it.

Oh, and after about three minutes with a paint deck up next to this tile, I decided to paint...the tile. Because there's no shower in here, the tiles see very little moisture and can definitely handle (according to Sherwin Williams) an oil based paint. Another reason the sink isn't being re-installed until next week.

And the built-in vanity is having some cosmetic surgery done as well. New top. New paint. New hardware. A really killer vanity light that should be coming in the mail soon.

Well I'm off to meet our contractor and finalize the cabinets for the kitchen - which even best case probably won't be finished and installed until a week after the baby comes. Womp. Womp. 

Also deciding on an exterior paint color (there's so little to paint given it's mostly brick and we got a jaw-droppingly low bid to have it painted that we're going with it! John and I are going to be painting the garage and just about anything else we can reach to save some money).

So there it is. Another long, mostly (maybe entirely) boring update on the house.  

OH! And before I forget, let's take a quick minute to commemorate the worst moment of the week. The moment where from standing in an upstairs window stripping wallpaper I saw the previous owner of 42 years come to get her appliance lift and gaze upon the dumpster full of her kitchen cabinets, drapes, blinds, carpet and light fixtures. It was brutal. I most definitely snuck out of the house without having to see her and took a little car ride until she was gone. Talk about awkward. And scary! This woman is a woman to be reckoned with and she was one unhappy lady when I saw her through the window. One very unhappy lady.

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