This takes GUTS!

Last time we checked in, we had taken down all of the wood paneling in the sunroom and two walls of the living room…


However, we still had two more walls and the ceiling to the fact that we had a drain pipe malfunction in the guest bedroom and lots of panic. The demo in this room was a welcome distraction from the drama of the water damage/insurance/blah blah blah. It certainly gave us a chance to take out our frustrations.

First up was the removal of all of the trim and baseboard heater covers. We did all of the prep work on Friday, then got started early Saturday morning. We used a saw to cut through the tops and bottoms of the boards to make it easier to pry them loose and avoid hitting the baseboard heaters and cause any damage. We also got on a roll with using a Sawzall borrowed from Josh’s dad to cut the nails from the side to remove the boards with less breakage.

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^ WHY, YES..that is an interior wall WITH insulation and an exterior wall without insulation. 🙂



So, this little area has a funny story…We ripped out the top part of the tin foil insulation (not a technical term!), then revealed our….attic. We totally didn’t put two and two together for a second since we enter our attic from our mudroom area which is down two mini flights of stairs, I think we thought we have uncovered a huge time capsule or something…nope, just our Christmas Tree. Haha!


^ All walls done-starting on the ceiling….


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After getting cleaned up (we could finally take showers since the plumber came on Saturday morning and got our shower up and running!), we went out for sushi and came back to our house for a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity.

We woke up on Sunday morning ready to go …. not. We were tired. I was cranky. But we kept on truckin’. I was pretty much at my breaking point (tears were almost coming out of my eyeballs) when Josh found this:

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It is a corner of a newspaper dated November 16, 1954 and it totally put me in a better mood because I JUST KNEW there was a note/newspaper/etc somewhere in this mystery of a house which, again, was supposedly built in 1957 and obviously this section was completed before that. I love being right so much that my tears disappeared and were replaced with determination.

We think that after our new insulation is put in and before the planked ceiling goes in, we will put one page of this old newspaper back into the wall, along with a note from us and a now newspaper so that it might brighten the mood of a future owner of our house when they are renovating the house 60 years from now. Cool thought. 🙂

Anywho, back to work….



..and by about 4:30 that night, the room looked like this:



This past weekend, we took on the wonderful job of insulation. I won’t even go in to how that was just pretty terrible.

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After removal…

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D-Day for the Sunroom

Snow day = Demo Day in our house! On March 3rd and 4th, an ice storm came to our area and allowed us to have two days off from work. So naturally, Josh and I got to work on the beginning stages of the next project!

We started by removing all of the trim, baseboards, baseboard covers, and ceiling. We are trying to salvage as much of the wood paneling as possible, so that if we decide to do a wooden plank accent wall or another project-we have the wood ready to go!


Side note: That Navy Blue mirror was a great find at an estate sale last summer (Taylor! It is the one I bought with you!) and was removed from the room prior to the actual demolition stage. No mirrors were harmed in production of this blog post.

Anywho, the ceiling tiles have been begging to be ripped out since the day we moved in. Not only are they AQUA (like everything else in the house!), they are extremely saggy in some spots of the room. We really can’t wait to rip out every ceiling tile in this house, but we have to be patient so as to not live in a construction zone in every room of the house.

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See? I told you so! When we started removing them, we were very surprised to see a bit of insulation in the ceiling (certainly not enough!).


Ceiling: GONE!

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After the ceiling tiles were removed and put in the back of the truck to be hauled to the dump, we started taking out the wood panels.

We found exterior wall boards on the living room side of the room (meaning the sunroom was added at some point after the living room-which we thought anyway because why else would there be windows in an interior room?). We also found a bit of non-active termite damage in one of the boards, but none of the surrounding boards, which was extremely weird!


As more boards were taken out, we stumbled on my favorite pieces of wood in the house-the mystery boards with the letters EB on them! I want to try to make something cool from these-maybe a table or wall hanging?


Another weird thing we found was the tin-foil like wall covering that was installed between the exterior wall and the wood paneling. We suspect it was used as “insulation” definitely doesn’t work. There were some places in the walls that we could feel a breeze coming in from the outside. Not very energy efficient, but we loved the reflective quality of it? Haha!

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Here is the exterior wall once the tin-foil insulation was removed and the current state of things in the sunroom!:


Although it isn’t pretty, it feels good to make a bit of progress in this room.

So, here we are in the great to-do list for this room:

Take out and replace all trim (including window sills and window trim).

Remove all wood paneling and replace with drywall.

Remove ceiling tiles and replace with drywall.

-Remove and replace flooring (it is currently faux brick tiles).

-Move / Install new wiring to move light switches and install more lighting. This room currently only has one small light fixture-we’d like to have at least two or maybe three to provide enough light.

-Insulate all windows, walls, and ceiling.

-Widen the door and window cut outs from living room (if possible).

-Prime and paint all walls, ceiling, door, trim, windows.

-Prime and paint baseboard heater covers.

-Figure out furniture/use of the room, then decorate.

Moving on.

Some of you may have seen my instagram shot of the interesting wall boards hidden behind our lovely wood paneling in the sunroom.


I guess I neglected to mention on here that we are about to embark on another huge project: our “sunroom” and our living room.

Here is the living room before we moved in (listing photo-not our furniture):

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And then the photo we took during the inspection (yes, that is dust on the floor):


Since moving in, we have taken out all of the shelving on the walls due to mildew issues. We think the books held lots and lots of moisture when the house wasn’t occupied. Yuck. It was gross, ya’ll.

Through the window ‘cut outs’ behind the couch is the “sunroom.” I put it into quotations like that because…well, our house doesn’t get much direct sunlight. Even though this room may have the most windows, it is only sunny for a few hours every day. I guess maybe in the future I will call it whatever we USE it for..

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To be honest, we have no idea how we will use this room. It is basically a glorified hallway from the living room to our laundry room/mudroom/garage. The wall with the window cut outs is a load bearing wall and the floors and ceilings are different heights, otherwise, we would just rip out the wall and make the living room huge. In this room, we are going to:
-Take out and replace all trim (including window sills and window trim).

-Remove all wood paneling and replace with drywall.

-Remove ceiling tiles and replace with drywall.

-Remove and replace flooring (it is currently faux brick tiles).

-Move / Install new wiring to move light switches and install more lighting. This room currently only has one small light fixture-we’d like to have at least two or maybe three to provide enough light.

-Insulate all windows, walls, and ceiling.

-Widen the door and window cut outs from living room (if possible).

-Prime and paint all walls, ceiling, door, trim, windows.

-Prime and paint baseboard heater covers.

-Figure out furniture/use of the room, then decorate.

As far as the living room goes, we have one major inspiration photo that makes both of us really super excited:

Granted, that house has way more windows and higher ceilings and a different layout..but..holy yes, I want our room to have the FEELING of that room.

So, how will we get there, you ask? We will:
-Remove all paneling on walls and ceiling.
-Move / install new electrical wiring to center our light fixtures/fans between beams (they are currently NOT centered and it drives us crazy!) and possibly move light switches.
-Insulate all walls and ceilings.
-Drywall all walls and ceiling (We will probably have to have a layer of drywall to have a “fire barrier” for our spray in foam insulation in the ceiling..more on that later).
-Whitewash/Distress Panels for ceiling and install.
-Replace, prime and paint trim around windows.
-Prime and paint walls, trim, window panes and sills.
-Replace all outlet and light switch covers.
-Widen door and window cut outs into sunroom.
-Install extra flooring (which the previous owners left for us in the attic!) where the door was widened.
-Sand and refinish flooring to match newly installed floor where door was widened.
-Paint baseboard heater covers white.
-Buy window treatments and you know…decorate. Haha!

We are currently on the removing wood paneling step, so…we have a ways to go! Wish us luck!


This little corner of our kitchen has been through a lot the past 7 months. To be honest, it is hard to remember how far this space (and the house as a whole) has come since we live here every day, but seeing these pictures side-by-side makes me feel really proud. We poured our blood, sweat, and tears (literally..I’m not even exaggerating.) into this kitchen and I think we are both really happy with the results so far.

This is the original real estate listing photo :


And this is from after we moved in:


We decided to take out the paneling so that we could flip the boards over and whitewash them. In the process of doing that, we realized we had to rip out the floor, as well. This is that stage of the project:



After we took out the floor and white washed and re-installed the paneling, we prepped for tile (and then covered the hardi-board with paper for our housewarming party (picture below):



Then, we deglossed, sanded, and primed the old baseboards and chair rail and re-installed it. We also replaced all of the trim surrounding the doors and windows so that it all matched. The room originally had four different styles/sizes of trim. Oh, and we added another tiny tiny detail-270 sq. feet of tile on the floor.


All of this time, the baseboard heater covers were tucked away in a distant corner in our garage. We lightly sanded the rust off, spray primed, and spray painted the covers over one really nice weekend at the end of January (when we painted the door yellow), thinking we’d install them the next day. The next day, we realized we didn’t have all of the parts painted. So, then we waited…and waited…and waited for another warm winter day. Meanwhile, we painted our hallway, installed our pantry shelves, painted the dining room, etc.


Finally this past weekend, we got a warm enough day to spray paint the rest of the pieces, and we got everything installed! We also moved our former pantry shelf in to the kitchen and hung a piece of artwork to tie in our cheery yellow door.




!!!!!!!!!!! That’s all I can really say right now about that. I do want to find a small table and some chairs to put in here and the shelf may not last forever in this spot or may get painted or may get moved due to a table coming in, but it works for us right.this.second. and it will stay until it doesn’t.  But really, PROGRESS! 🙂 YAY!

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Also, I just want to say Thank YOU to everyone who reads along with us on this journey. I went to Mason Homecoming a few weeks ago and was completely blown away by everyone’s support of our little bloggity corner of the internet. (See what I did there? CORNER.) Ya’ll are the bomb and we love ya. 🙂

Dining Room Paint : Done!


We should have started here. The dining room is, by far, the room that needs to least done in the entire house. We love the natural wood trim and paneling on the lower half of the room. The flooring is okay for now, although eventually, we’d like to refinish or replace it to match the rest of the wood floors in the bedrooms on this floor.

The color of the room when we moved in was totally acceptable. In fact, a lot of people asked if we had already painted in there. The closest match I could find to the original color is Behr Teal Ice (although, maybe Ice Cube–it definitely had a green tint to it).

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Our only complaint about the color in there was that it is the same color used in every room that isn’t completely covered in wood paneling-AQUA/TEAL. Since we had a few a lot of mildew problems when we moved in, we wanted to get a fresh coat of paint on all walls and be diligent about using mildew killer on all wood surfaces. So, off to Home Depot we went.

We try not to agonize over paint decisions, although this room was a bit harder because we wanted to keep the wood trim/paneling in there and matching that is a doozy. Even if you google “wood trim paint colors” it is hard to find something that ISN’T an aqua/teal color. So…we went with something similar, but still fresh-Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Fresh Day.


Off we started on Tuesday night: Wiping down the walls and patching holes/cracks. I also got bored and started drawing on the walls with the sponge because the paint soaked up water like it was it’s job. It was flat paint, which is great for hiding wall imperfections, but isn’t scrubbable at ALL, so we went with Eggshell this time around.


He wasn’t impressed by my artwork:




A VERY BRIGHT dining room color of the past hidden behind our thermostat!

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On Wednesday, we did the first coat of our paint:

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Friday night, we hit it with a second coat:

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Then Saturday, I did a final coat with Josh was working:

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Here’s a little side by side action:


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Overall, we are both really happy with the color and the fact that it was a quick project to help build us back up after the verrryyy long process of doing the kitchen (which, still isn’t 100% done). I think knocking out a few more rooms like this and doing the little things to finish up the kitchen will be JUST what we need to push us through our next grueling project. It really is rewarding to see the final product of our hard work.

Now, all the room needs is some window treatments, something on the walls, and perhaps a hutch/buffet and we’ll be good to go!

Every 4 years..

THE OLYMPICS. Seriously, they are addicting. So addicting that I am REALLY glad we got the pantry done prior to the opening ceremonies, otherwise we would still be adding to our collection of canned tomatoes.

In other words, for the past two weeks, we have been absolutely useless. Unless you base usefulness on if we can answer trivia questions about “twizzles” or Julia Mancuso…in which case we would be useful again.

Watching the Olympics reminded us that having short-term and long-term goals are super important, are our 2014 House Goals:

  • Get new boiler before next winter. Ours is currently WAY old, uses oil (expensive) and is potentially unsafe to use, so we haven’t. We’ve used our heat pump included in our A/C unit -we’d love to convert to Natural Gas, but haven’t fully explored our options yet..


  • Finish installing door frame in to den (so that we can install/paint the last pieces of chair rail and baseboards)..BTW, we ripped this out a few months ago and never posted about it, but it’s not like it is breaking news or anything…
  • Hang Art
  • Install new windowsill on window above the sink and install/paint the trim and window
  • Hunt down a small table for a little breakfast nook

Dining Room:


  • Prep for paint
  • Paint walls
  • Paint baseboard heater cover
  • Choose and Install window treatments

Guest Bedroom:IMG_2497

  • Prep for paint
  • Paint walls
  • Paint baseboard heater cover
  • Choose and Install window treatments

Downstairs Bathroom:

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  • Paint vanity cabinets
  • Prep for paint
  • Paint walls
  • Paint baseboard heater cover
  • Choose and Install window treatments

Upstairs Bathroom:

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  • Prep for paint
  • Paint walls
  • Paint baseboard heater cover

Garage/Utility Room:

  • Storage Solutions/Organize
  • Paint?

“Den” and “Sunroom”


  • Gut both rooms completely (We would like to keep some of the wood paneling for possibly an accent wall and maybe keeping the wood ceiling in the den? We aren’t sure yet, but will definitely be doing drywall in both rooms primarily-the room is way too dark, but we don’t want to strip the ‘personality’ from the house completely.)
  • Insulate (No, we don’t currently have insulation in the house at all, other than the insulation in the kitchen. Yes, it has been a cold winter, and yes, we are SNOWoverit.)
  • Install/Hire out drywall in both rooms
  • Rip out faux-brick flooring in “Sun room” and replace with….something?
  • Paint existing or install new windows/window sills


That is all for now! We’ll revisit this in December and see how far we get!! Hopefully we’ll do better than this guy:



Ouch. (GIF from: )


Pantry: Done

This afternoon, our pantry shelves looked like this:


Yesterday, Tucker decided it would be an awesome idea to eat everything off of the shelf-previously-known-as-the-pantry-shelf (which was located in the dining room) while we were not home. Included in his treats were a small bag of Trader Joe’s pecans, a packet of McCormick’s Alfredo mix, and a jello box (not the jello, just the box). He also moved other items and hid them throughout the house, which we found later in the night when he was whining at where he left them. Those included a bag of pine nuts-not opened and another Alfredo mix.

We took that as a sign that he was completely OVER not having a pantry. Oh, and we know pecans are kinda poisonous to dogs-we monitored him closely, but there were probably only a total of 10 pecans left in the bag, so we decided not to be super concerned unless symptoms came about.


So, since we were worried about our sweet puppy’s health if he kept eating our food, we started building the shelves. After Josh finished installing the panel above, we realized our level was too big for the sides of the closet. Boo. So I went to my sweet little phone and downloaded a level app. WHO KNEW that existed? Not me until today. Go technology!


(And yes, I know my shirt is on backwards..don’t judge.)


When installing the fourth round of framing, we came across these awesome screws. Seriously?! I didn’t even know things like that could exist. (After the level app + this, my mind was just blown, so I sat down and watched some Olympics figure skating..just kidding, we kept on trucking!)

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All of the frames up..basically we installed those ‘frames’ around the perimeter, then the boards were cut to sit directly on top of the frames. We also nailed the boards in after to be extra secure, but it isn’t completely necessary..

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Lots of tomatoes!! See..I wasn’t lying!

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On another note:


Since we’ve been going going going on the kitchen, we neglected to install our spice rack, so we’ve been using an aluminum pan from the dollar store to hold our pile-o’-spices (Remember we started the kitchen in AUGUST?? Ugh). Since we were on an organizing streak, we decided that now is the timeeee!

I got this spice rack from an awesome little consignment store in Yorktown with the goal to paint it, but after a scrub down, I decided I actually really like the wood. Plus, my original plan was to paint it red and I think it would be too much with all of the spice labels having red on them..
IMG_2653 It’s amazing what a bit of organization can do, right?! I feel like a new person! Maybe now I can start putting my shirt on the right way…Or not.

Planning the Pantry

Doesn’t everyone have a pantry that looks like this?


Nope? What about this?:


Or my favorite:


I’m pretty sure everyone at some point in their life has had a pantry that looks like mine and we all wish we had ones that look like above:

image scrawny little shelf, with a bunch of crap on it. That is…embarrassing.

Funny story: Every time a recipe we wanted to make had canned tomatoes, we bought canned tomatoes. If we didn’t end up making said recipe that week, the canned tomatoes stayed in the pantry and the next time a recipe called for canned tomatoes, it was added to the grocery list and bought again. Since we couldn’t see what we had in the pantry…we accumulated like 12 cans of tomatoes.


While looking for pantry inspiration that is actually ATTAINABLE for real life people who don’t have 100s of matching glass jars, I found this gem:


Holy yes. You can see everything, I am always looking for excuses to buy baskets, and it is totally doable for any real-life person without dropping a huge chunk of $$$ into it. We had a plan.

The next day, we measured our space and went to Home Depot to get the materials we needed for the project, which included:

  • Wood for shelves (We bought 1x4s which will hold the boards up, and 10 foot boards, which we will cut in half to create the shelves. Unlike the above picture, the two shelves on the bottom will be deeper so that we can fit some small appliances like our waffle maker, rice cooker, etc.
  • Stain and sealer for shelves (We bought Minwax Weathered Oak, decided we didn’t like that shade next to the normal oak doors, then bought Minwax Ipswich Pine)mwf_ipswichpine
  • Paint for walls (We ended up buying Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Pale Cucumber and painting the hallway + pantry walls before I took a before picture)


And now we are in the process of staining and sealing all of the boards which will become shelves here in the next couple of days! I am so excited to get our pantry items OFF of our dining room table and organized! Hoping to have a post on that by this weekend (crossing fingers!).

Are you going to put doors on these?

That question was the bane of Josh’s existence. I think he died a little inside every time we invited a new person into our house. He knew it was coming. The question. Dun dun dunnnnn. “Are you going to put doors on these or leave them open?” This post is about our upper cabinets.


Now, our dishes are adorbs. Our aqua countertops match our aqua fiesta ware. I mean, it works. So I can understand why everyone asked us that question (most people actually wanted us to leave them open as shelving rather than add the doors). After the question, we went in to how we installed the lower cabinet doors because of the dirt/dust that got all over everything and how we just hadn’t gotten to the top ones yet.

But really, the reasoning behind the delay in doing our upper cabinet doors was that Josh remembered how crappy/annoying/terrible/torturous it was to notch out portions of the door and door frame in order to use our awesome hidden hardware and he wanted to delay the reoccurrence of that pain/torture as long as possible. That was, until I cracked the whip. (Just kidding- I think the excitement of almost being done with the darn kitchen outweighed the fact that he just really didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to do it either because..well…he’sjustbetterthanme. and I didn’t want to mess it up.)

After he had a few doors installed, I marked for where the hardware holes needed to go, he drilled (because again, I was afraid to mess it up), and I installed the pulls.

Now, we are the owners of some brand new, freshly painted cabinets WITH DOORS! 🙂


Now, for our next project…stay tuned (OMG, this picture is so embarrassing):


Mail time!


For the past month, we have had our mailbox leaning up against a tree. Our mail man probably thinks we are so lazy and/or hates us. The bottom was almost completely rusted out and the door barely opened, so we bought a replacement in mid – November.  Then came Thanksgiving, and we forgot about the mailbox project. Then came December and it stayed on the back burner behind all of the holiday decorating, shopping, wrapping, etc. Now that the holidays are over and since Joshua’s company shuts down for the week between Christmas and New Year, we finally got the gorgeous replacement mailbox installed!! (I say we, but Josh did all of the work.)


I got home from work last night and was jumping up and down in the driveway. I have officially become a lame homeowner who gets excited about a mailbox! But can’t you just see a sweet little flower bed or plants surrounding it? And can’t you imagine our mail man starting to love us, even though Tucker sometimes barks at him? I can, yall. I can.