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Tag: brick ranch fixer upper

Let There Be Light – Cellular Shade Experience

A few weeks back I shared my revamped blue bohemian bedroom – thank you for all the kind thoughts on how colorful, but classic it looks!

One major aesthetic and functional update was the upgrade to the two windows in the room. As you may have noticed, the previous owner had curtains mounted on the window trim (which hid all the natural light from filtering in) and had heavy faux wood blinds which made the room feel dark and closed in.

As soon as we closed on the house, every window treatment was ripped off so the light could shine in.  Even though I love light, I also like privacy.

After making and mounting straight valances at the two windows of the bedroom, I installed beautiful + functional top-down, bottom-up black out cellular shades for privacy.

These  shades are a dream!

They offer so many options for how much light or privacy that’s needed. And to mount them was a breeze too.

Upon placing my cellular shade order at Payless Decor, the shades were cut to the exact width and length that I requested, and in about two week they were delivered.  There are several ways to mount the cellular shades so many hardware items are included, but all will not be used.

I first layed everything out and then read through the instructions.

I chose for my cellular shades to be inside mounted, which means mounted inside the window frame. Using a screw driver (or drill), I installed the mounting brackets to the window header.

Following the installation of the brackets, the shades simply click in.  It was a little tough to push them into place, but once they were snug in the brackets, they were extremely secure.

When I placed my order for the cellular shades, I chose a continuous cord (which is exactly that, one loop of continuous cord, so no need to deal with dangling cords), which makes the operability of the shade super easy. Using a drill, I secured the cord to the inside of the window and called this project complete!

Now I have every option under the sun (ha, no pun intended) for how much light comes in…

or not…

The shade can be positioned at the top and half way down.

Or it can be positioned in the middle of the window to allow light in from the top and bottom.

Or it can be positioned from the window sill to half way up the window (this is my favorite to provide privacy but still allow light in)

And, of course, the cellular shades can be completely closed, but then the room would be entirely dark and I wouldn’t be able to take a picture.  Actually, I’ll tell you, the black out part of the shade is a delight, especially on the weekends when we get to catch a few extra zzz’s.

To have the windows in all rooms of our home feel cohesive, we installed these cellular shades at every window.

They are the perfect solution for privacy and to block the sun!


Creating a Cohesive Color Palette

Creating a cohesive color palette throughout a room, or even a whole house, can be challenging.

Yes, certain colors work well together while others don’t, but the most important factor that makes – or breaks – a room / a whole home is balance.

With drama, needs calm.

With color, needs quiet.

With dark, needs light.

With a statement piece, needs minimal elements.

I’m a true believer to go all the way with unexpected + bold elements, but I also believe a balance needs to be achieved so a room feels inviting + comfortable.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Last week, I shared the reveal of our newly renovated Pajama Lounge.  Yes, you heard right… we ditched the traditional family room and created a fun, relaxing, vibrant space where we lounge in our PJs.

When we first stepped foot in the dark + dreary room during the open house, the sun was filtering through the large glass windows. Unfortunately we were quickly distracting by all the dark paneling, but I just had the feeling that when the space was transformed it would be flooded with sunshine.

As the space took shape during the renovation, I envisioned introducing color but at the same time I kept coming back to my vision of wanting the room to feel light and bright. I knew the furniture for the space would be most of what was in our previous living room and since those elements were colorful and dynamic, I landed on a neutral backdrop that color could be layered on to.

This is how I knew balance would be brought to the space >>> Light colors for the backdrop with bold layers

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

As the space started to take shape, I’ll be honest, the room looked boring. It didn’t have the depth and vibrancy that reflects my style. I stuck with it and as I began to introduce the furniture and the layers of accessories, pillows, the rug, and all the elements, what I was envisioning started to result.

Then to really make the space pop, I decided to paint the existing wood door a vibrant, eye-popping yellow. Well that took the space to the next notch. That element alone took the room from interesting to unexpected and unique.

After priming the door with Kilz stainblocking primer…

… I chose Valspar Lemon Curd for a splash of yellow.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

To make this dramatic color work, I brought in this bold yellow hue throughout the room in understated ways.

Aside from the door, there are a half-dozen other elements in the space that are the same yellow hue – 1. door / 2. pillow / 3. storage boxes on shelves / 4. tray / 5. side chairs (at desk, not shown)

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Introducing this eye-popping color in other elements creates cohesiveness throughout the space versus it being a ‘one-off’.  Yet, the yellow doesn’t dominate too much and take over.  In small doses is best.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Another way our pajama lounge space works well is the balance of light and dark.

As I mentioned, at first this room seemed boring to me with the walls painted a light color – Valspar Snowy Dusk – but when the furniture + accessory layers were added, the room started to come alive.  With the light colored walls as a backdrop, the opportunity was provided to add contrasting darker elements, like the dark navy barn doors.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

The color on the barn doors is the same as the newly painted kitchen cabinets.  Having the same color on multiple elements in different rooms, creates for a cohesive thread throughout the house.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Balance is key to creating a cohesive color palette.  Once I determined that I wanted to introduce a dramatic color, I knew the other colors in the space needed to compliment the bold yellow hue.  Choosing a light backdrop (the walls) with darker layers (the navy barn doors) + pops of color here & there throughout the room created a space that is light + bright & a space we love to lounge!

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home




DIY: Rolling Barn Door

I am putting the final touches on the kitchen cabinets, but in the meantime I’ve been working on a slew of other projects for the brick ranch fixer upper.  It’s been a busy couple months with moving, the holidays, and client projects, but thankfully with the recent freezing temps, we’ve been homebound most weekends which has allowed me to tackle my growing list of big and small projects around the new homestead.

One of my recent endeavours, which I am crazy in love with, are adding rolling barn doors to the family room which got the most TLC during the renovation.  If you remember back, this is how the space looked when we moved in…

The door opening, seen in the picture below, used to have a hinged door to access the room. Our plan when renovating the space, was to add a rolling barn door at this opening and the other opening from the kitchen so the spaces flowed better…

This is how the door opening with the new rolling barn door looks now…

Quite the transformation!

The rolling barn door, which was a complete kit – door + hardware – that we found at Lowe’s, has been a wonderful addition to the space.  Functionally + aesthetically, the door has added height, privacy, and a pop of color.  The deep navy color, Valspar Mystified 4011-8, on the door is the same as the kitchen cabinets that I painted.  I wanted to use this darker hue throughout the house to tie the spaces together + to give contrast to the lighter wall tone.

And check out the amazing wallpaper in the distance.  That’s the foyer…  More on that coming soon.


This is the rolling door kit we chose to use.  The design of the door was simple and not overly rustic + it was unfinished so any paint (or stain) color could be used.

The mister and I were a bit nervous to tackle installing the barn door hardware, but the directions were easy to navigate and the process for installation wasn’t as challenging as anticipated. Phew…

Since we had planned for the barn doors during the construction process, we had blocking added in the stud wall above the doors – yes there are two openings into the family room.  By adding blocking (extra framing) in the wall we knew there was no need to use anchors; the screws could go straight into the sheetrock with the blocking behind.

If you decide to tackle a similar project, you may need to use anchors which would add a few additional steps.

To start off, we painted the side of the door that would be facing the wall.  This was important because otherwise we wouldn’t have access to the whole side to paint once installed.

Using a combination of a brush for the corners and a roller for the flat surfaces, I painted the one side.

Once the paint was dry, we laid out all the hardware on a flat surface.

We then followed the directions to add the long track to the unfinished piece of wood which would be used to hang the door.

Then we added the 2 rolling brackets to the door.  The door had predrilled holes, which made the process effortless + easy.

There were a few additional steps to hang the door onto the track, but it was fairly straight forward.  The directions gave us multiple installation options, which took some time to review + anaylze.  The first door took about an hour from start to finish, but the second door was a breeze since we knew the steps to take.

Once the door was hung, I finished painting the exposed side.

Once the paint dried, I added the handle, and it was complete.

I was really impressed with the ease of installation + the beautiful look that the doors bring to the space.  Having the door included with the hardware also made the process so much easier.

Door open…

Door closed…

As I mentioned, there are two doors in this space.  Here’s the other…

I can’t wait to share the completed room and another fun color I brought into this space!

Shop the space…


KITCHEN: Prime + Paint

Happy 2018! It’s been a few weeks since I shared about the progress of the DIY Kitchen Remodel in the Brick Ranch Fixer Upper.  Last I left off, I finished prepping the existing wood stained cabinets and I shared the design vision for the space.  Now that the cabinets are prepped, it’s time to get them painted so we can call this kitchen FINISHED!

Before sharing the progress of the cabinets, lets walk down memory lane with a preview of how the kitchen looked before and where it started…


After the cabinets were removed from the face frame and sanded, they were ready for primer.  With most furniture projects that I’ve painted, I always start with using a high-quality stainblocking primer and sealer to give a solid base to the paint color. For this project, I used KILZ 2 Latex (so it’s waterbased for easy cleanup) Multi-Surface Stainblocker.

On a clean, flat, protected surface, I started off by using a paint brush to apply the paint in all the grooves and crevices.  After smoothing it out, I followed with using a brush on all the flat areas.  See the 2 pictures below for more visual detail…



Cabinet primer complete.  22 more doors to go…

As I was priming the doors (on late nights + early mornings), I also painted the face frames of the kitchen.

Eek, this is a disastrous picture.  Much of our furniture was stored in the kitchen during the renovation, so it was a challenging area to work! You gotta do, what you gotta do, right?!?

Using similar steps as with the doors, I used a small foam roller brush to apply the primer to the face frames of the cabinets.  At the edges and in difficult spots, I used an angled brush.

A few hours later, here was the result.

Thankfully, with the primer coat, it does not have to be applied thick and only one coat is needed.  As long as the surface it covered, it’s good to move forward with PAINT!

Continuing with the face frames, I applied the semi-gloss paint in the same way… Roller brush for flat surfaces and an angled brush at edges and corners. To get a brushless look, it’s important to have a continuous stroke instead of starting and stopping partially on the surface.  Start at one end and continue the brush or roller to the other end.

I decided that two of the cabinets – the space above the hood and above the refrigerator – would be open cabinets that I wouldn’t install the doors back on to.  I chose to make these cabinets open display with cookbooks and baskets to bring some color and depth to the space.

This is the open cabinet that I painted inside.  For the cabinets with doors, I did not paint the interiors, I left them the clear maple.

Once the face frames were complete, this was the result…

It’s starting to look like something – I think. I hope.

Check out this quick 13 seconds video I created of me painting one of the cabinet door fronts.  This will give you a thorough look into how and when I use the brush and the roller on the face of the door.

And this is the completed cabinet.  Again, 22 more to go…

Aside from the cabinet doors and face frames, the soffit above the cabinets also needed major attention.  I removed the wallpaper border above the cabinets and found that the soffit was made using wood instead of sheetrock, which is typical.  Repair to the damaged areas wouldn’t be as easy as just adding spackle. Ugh.

After sanding and trying to create a smooth surface (as much as possible), I first primed the soffit bulkhead.

Then I painted the soffit using a semi-gloss white. In hindsight, I should have used a flat sheen since the semi-gloss finish shows every imperfection, but it’s fine and I’ve learned to live with it.

I also chose to reuse the exposed door hinges instead of buying new.  Using spray paint in a brushed chrome finish, I layed out the hinges on a protective surface (outside before the snow) and gave them a few coats.  Voila, new hinges and only a few dollars spent!

Once the face frames and doors were complete, they were ready to go back into place.  In many of the images above, the paint color looked so dark, but in natural light the deep blue hue can really be appreciated.

The paint color of the cabinets is: Valspar Mystified 4011-8

After many hours of love + attention, the cabinets were finished and ready to be hung with new hardware and repurposed hinges.

This is the result…

That’s a wrap for now…  I have a few more details for the DIY Kitchen Remodel coming up.  Stay tuned for the reveal of the overall space!



Kitchen: Creative Vision Board

Before posting about the next steps of the DIY kitchen remodel for our brick ranch fixer upper, I want to share the design direction for the space. Much of the kitchen is staying the same (the floors, wall wainscotting and the layout), but with some budget-friendly upgrades like paint, hardware, and lighting, I hope to make this space feel fresh, updated, and our own.

As I shared last week, the cabinets were a deep stained cherry finish when we bought the fixer upper.  When I first set foot into the space during the open house, I had a strong feeling for what color I wanted to paint the cabinets…  Navy was screaming to me.

Yes, a deep blue hue is dark, but the space is large and the existing floor (which is remaining) is white ceramic with a light gray veining.  The space also has white wainscotting half way up the walls, which will remain.  With all these light / white colors, I felt a darker hue would work to give balance.  Another reason why navy seemed perfect is that my beloved raspberry-colored china cabinet that I found on Craiglslist was also planned for the space.  Raspberry and navy work so well together.

Once the doors + drawers were removed from the face frames to prep them for paint, I created this vision board to make sure I was on the right design path.

Yellow – Sherwin Williams White Citrus
Navy – Valspar Rouge Blue
Raspberry – Valspar Berry Blush
White – Valspar Ultra White

LIGHTING: Chandelier (similar), Semi-Flush light, Pendant

CABINET HARDWARE: Brushed square knob

ROMAN SHADE: Cordless woven driftwood shade

DINING TABLE: Trestle table

CHAIRS: Yellow Kartell Chairs, Wicker Chairs

JUTE RUG: Natural Jute Rug

Many of the elements in the vision board were pieces we already owned and came with us from our previous home.  Those items include the dining table, the yellow Kartel chairs, the bench with ikat fabric, the wicker dining chairs, the Caitlin Wilson pillows, and the chandelier.  New items that will be layered into the space are the cabinetry hardware, a semi-flush fixture, roman shades, a jute rug for under the dining table, and of course the beautiful new navy hue on the cabinets.

Painting the cabinets is coming up next…


Kitchen: Prepping for Paint

It’s kinda crazy, but it’s been 10 weeks since we closed on our new-to-us home and just over a month since we moved in.  Due to budget and timing, we had no plans to remodel the kitchen.  The space is very large and duals as our kitchen + dining room.  From the day we stepped foot into the house, the kitchen space really through me for a loop and I was unsure of how it would function and how we would use it best.  I want to live in the space for a while to know what works and what doesn’t.  That being said, I couldn’t leave it as is.  A makeover was a must.

In our last house, it was a year before we took the plunge to tackle a DIY kitchen remodel with paint on the cabinets, new hardware, appliances, etc.  The result was pretty awesome and within a few years, it ended up being featured in Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen + Bath Makeovers magazine – how cool?!?

For our new home, I didn’t want to wait.  While we had a month of construction, I took on the task of making over the kitchen on my own.  It was quite the endeavour (since we weren’t living in the house AND there were boxes everywhere), but it was SO worth the crazy, hectic moments to get the beautiful, updated result for little cost.

Let’s take a step back and look at what the kitchen looked like before we moved in…


When we closed on the house, most of our boxes were stored in the garage and in the kitchen since it was the only space not being renovated.  From our mattresses, to sofas, to chairs, to our dining room set, the kitchen was packed from floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall.  Thankfully there was a 3-foot path in front of the cabinets for me to work and makeover our kitchen…

I started out by removing all the dated, ornate brass hardware from the stained cabinets. I ditched the pulls, but kept the hinges to possibly reuse (after spray paint).

Removing the hardware made a huge difference on how the cabinets looked.

The cabinets are made by Woodmode, which is a good cabinetry company and I have used before for Client projects.  They were stained a deep cherry hue, which I didn’t love, but they are made well and are actual wood cabinets (versus a cheap composite).

Once the hardware was removed, I labeled each cabinet using a sticker on the inside of the door, then detached the cabinet doors from the face frames.

I was blessed with a work space to use to paint the cabinets.  This was key to successfully painting 20+ cabinet doors and 6 large drawers.  I was able to spread out and work at my leisure to transform each piece.

Once the cabinets were in the shop, I started off by filling the holes from the hardware.  The hole separation from the previous hardware was an odd measurement and I couldn’t find any new hardware with the same center-to-center measurement.  I also wanted the updated, remodeled kitchen to be more modern and reflective of my style.  That being said, a simpler knob would be best.

I used this wood filler to fill the holes.

The doors were really dirty with layers of grease, grime, and gunk.  Once the wood filler dried, I sanded the overall face of the cabinets with my favorite orbital sander.  An orbital sander like this will save your countless hours and really sore arms – its a life changer and hands down, my most used tool!

Sanding the wood eliminated the top layer of finish (the sheen) and in some areas around the cabinet edges, the raw wood was exposed.  Once the holes were filled and smooth and the face of the cabinet doors + drawers felt clean, they were complete.

All ready for paint!

Before painting could begin, I had a lot of particle / dust build-up in the corners.  I first thought about using a wet rag, but I didn’t think it would get all the dust out.  The mister suggested using Flarp. Flarp? What the heck is that?!? I put him on the mission to find it and he did.  I think he got it at Walgreens.  Anyway, it was the answer to my prayers.

Flarp... the best trick to remove dust from cabinet corners

It’s sticky, but not messy.  It was perfect.  I clumped the Flarp into a ball, stuck it into the corner of the cabinets, then removed it.  Voila, the corner was dust-free.  Magic!

Check it out…

Prep is complete.  Next steps… Prime & Paint.


Living Room Progress

It’s been several weeks since I shared an update on our brick ranch fixer upper which started with a preview of the progress on the large living room.  Since then, we officially moved into our new home after 6 weeks of renovations, which included a lot of sheetrock work, a new bathroom, and a new laundry space.

The second room reveal, well I should say more progress reveal, is another living / family space. This room has much of the furniture from the blue room in our previous home + a few exciting additions.

Let’s dive in…


This is a sizable room about 15′ x 18′ with a brick fireplace, hardwood floors, a large window, and interesting architectural details like the rounded doorways.

The room still isn’t painted (despite my hanging pictures) and there is still work to be done like the fireplace (more on that in a bit), but here is what the space looks like now…


The bones of the space are still here, but it’s been updated to reflect our style and personality.

I chose to position the sofa (the Cameron sofa from Crate and Barrel that we purchased 15 years ago + still love) in front of the window, which has a straight on view of the TV and an equal easy view of the fireplace.  I paired it with a metal coffee table that I actually changed a few years back with wood planks, but decided to change back with the original glass.  It feels so fresh and new in this setting.

The velvet navy chair + graphic diamond rug are new purchases – both of which I am obsessed with.  I adored the navy colored room in our last house and it worked well because so much light filtered into the space.  This current home is different and I know the walls will have to be a lighter hue (color still to be determined), so I decided to bring in the deep navy color in a different way through layers and accessories.

This chair is a dream.  It is SO luxurious.  I found it on Wayfair, but it was out of stock – bummer.  Then with some sourcing, I found it at bed, bath, and beyond, which I used a 20% coupon to purchase it with – score!

On the other side of the room is a large open wall so to add height + drama, I chose these new bookcases in white metal + light wood and paired it with a contrasting media cabinet in a black lacquer finish with hints of brown stained wood on the base.

In this new home, we were desperate for shelving as we left behind two built-ins that flanked the fireplace + the two large bookcases in another room. We have many books + accessories, a.k.a “stuff”, and need space for them ALL!


> Just a couple of days ago the TV stand arrived, yet I had already hung the picture above (a line drawing of the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright), which now needs to be moved up slightly so it’s not overlapping.

> Pictures need to be added to either side of the bookcases.

> I feel the rug needs to be pulled out more from the sofa so there isn’t as much wood floor exposure in front of the media cabinet.

> Paint the walls of the room a light color

> Paint / stain the brick fireplace a black / deep charcoal hue.  With the light paint on the walls (soon to be), a deep contrasting color like the black wall in our previous home will really bring beautiful depth to this room.  >>> Check our my favorite black paint colors


Photo Credit: Allison Bloom of Dehn Bloom

Wouldn’t the fireplace come alive in a dark hue?

Before I wrap up this progress tour, we have to talk about the new lucite light fixture.

It’s another new addition to the room and it’s amazing.  This lovely lucite light was love at first sight, but it took me a while to make the plunge and buy it.  I absolutely was stopped in my tracks when I initially saw it, but I thought it would be too ‘glam’ or over the top for the room.  After some thought and then seeing a similar fixture for 4x the cost, I had to get it.  Once it was installed, I just about died!


Another room almost complete.

From this…

To this…

From this…

To this…

More room updates on our brick ranch fixer upper coming soon.



Brick Ranch Fixer Upper: Living Room Transformation

It’s hard to fathom that a month & a day ago we bought a new home and moved.  The month has been the longest, yet shortest ever.  It’s been filled with joy, excitement, and moments of sheer nervousness.  I’ve never slept so little or asked myself so many times, ‘did we make the right decision’?!?  In the next beat, I just carry forward because there’s no looking back now… Right???

As I mentioned in the last posts when I shared the background story of the house + before pictures, extensive renovation was needed before we officially moved in.  There was no major demo planned, but almost every room in the house needed something, and I don’t mean just spackling walls and paint.  Most of the rooms needed sheetrock and wall repair, some more than others.

The room that needed the most attention was the living room.  It wasn’t original to the house as we were told it was once an outdoor patio.  At some point, the 20′ x 25′ space was enclosed, but whether it was an inexperienced contractor or to save money, the construction of it was poor.  When we first saw the house, we knew this room was going to need the most attention and the most love, and we wanted to do it once AND right!

Let’s dive in to the transformation process…




Through pictures, this is how the room has evolved in 4 weeks. Later in the post, I’ll share more details on the process…

So there it is… The transformation in one month from dark + drear to light + bright.


The first days of construction started with removing the paneling.  The thin vertical paneling was adhered only with glue to the existing brick facade (remember this space was originally a patio, so the exterior walls were brick with windows that were closed in).

The yellow in the picture below is painted brick, the square holes were original windows, and the random black markings was the glue.

Along with the vertical paneling, the acoustic ceiling tiles and the track were also removed.

Once the demo was complete, the space was ready to be created into a room.  We didn’t know the paneling was directly adhered to the brick.  We assumed there was a stud wall, which the new sheetrock could then be attached to.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, so walls had to be constructed around the room, along with new ceiling rafters.

Once the framing was complete on the walls and the ceiling, it was time to enclose the space with sheetrock.

Because of the new wall build out, the windows and exterior door now have deeper jambs, which is quite nice and unexpected.  I like that the window sills are so deep!

Between week 2-3 of construction, the sheetrock + taping + sanding was complete, and the wood floor could be installed.  When the carpet was removed, we found the floor was a laminate material, which was left in place.  A plywood backer was first installed on the floor, then the prefinished hardwood (which is a clear pine) was installed.

There were multiple floor materials throughout the original home, which we wanted to eliminate so it feels more cohesive.  We chose to run the new hardwood into the small hallway which leads to a bedroom, bathroom, and the kitchen (which is tiled).

The hardwoods cast an orange hue in the pictures above because the artificial lights are typically on for the workers.  But the floors actually aren’t as orange.  This picture is truer to their actual coloring and depth.  Aren’t they pretty? I adore the wood grain and multi-colors of lights and darks.


Many hours of thinking + analyzation went in to the flooring choice.  From carpet to tile to white washed floors, we considered many different materials.  We first negated carpet because this will be a high traffic area that leads to the back yard, which is the pathway from the kitchen.  Carpet would get damaged.  We knew it had to be a hard material that can easily be cleaned.  We considered tile and different toned hardwoods, but with the kitchen being tiled, there would then be three flooring materials throughout.  In the end to make the new space feel cohesive with the rest of the house, we chose a clear pine hardwood. It was a good decision!

The space now is ready for paint + the finishing touches.  And check out one of two light fixtures that will be beautifully hanging from the ceiling…

EEK, I’m getting excited!

I can not wait to add the finishing layers to this room.

The space will be getting most of the furniture from our previous living room.

One room almost complete!

From this…

To this…

More room updates on our brick ranch fixer upper coming soon.

Our Brick Ranch Fixer Upper

A few days ago I shared that a little less than a month ago we sold and bought a new home. The move was local, within 10 minutes of our previous home, but it has still be a challenging transition.

The new house is a fixer upper, as I’m calling it the Brick Ranch Fixer Upper, and the areas of focus need to be tackled before we moved in. The scope started out as mostly Sheetrock work – ceilings and some walls – but in the recent days it’s expanded a bit. Before getting ahead of myself too much, let me give you a tour.

Brace yourself and use your imagination for it’s potential, because it ain’t too pretty (YET)…

Welcome to our Brick Ranch Fixer Upper…


I adore a home with a true foyer / entry space versus walking right into the living space.  I like to have a distinct area to enter into the home before proceeding into the adjacent rooms.  Having an actual foyer really appealed to me about this home and I’m excited to use some of the furniture from the foyer in our previous home, along with new lighting and wallpaper or paint.

And the floors – hardwood – yes!!!


Off the foyer is a living room space which we plan to update by removing the wallpaper and ceiling fan, sheetrocking the ceiling, and incorporate our style with new furniture, a gorgeous new light fixture, painting the brick, and window treatments.


The kitchen has SO MUCH POTENTIAL.  It’s huge and will dual as a kitchen and dining room.  I have big plans for the future with a new layout, new cabinets, and new floors, but in the immediate I’m going to work with what I have.  My plan is to paint the existing cabinets, change the cabinet hardware, remove the scalloped valance above the sink, remove the wallpaper, and change out the tiffany-style chandelier.

Most of the furniture for this space will be similar to our dining room from our previous home, including my beloved coral china cabinet.

Can you see the potential?  No?  Stand by…


Now is the moment when you may ask, ‘why did they buy this house???’…

This room will get the most attention and love.  It’s not original to the house and used to be an outdoor courtyard.  At some point, the room was enclosed but not properly insulated and was poorly executed with vertical siding and an acoustic ceiling.

It’s a little shocking so just focus on the windows and the size of the room.  This room gets flooded with natural light all day long and I can’t wait to soak up the sun in this space.

Cleared from furniture, this is the space…  It’s DATED with a capital D right now, but this 20′ x 25′ room is incredible and going to be our main hang-out-area!   Most of the furniture for this room will be similar to the family room in our previous home.


The other big difference between this house and our last, is that it has 4 bedrooms instead of 3. This is going to be a huge change for us because my daughters previously shared a room, but will now have their own space.

I always dreamt they’d happily, willingly, and excitedly share a room until they moved out for college, but their sharing a space is very difficult. Maybe it’s the age, but their schedules are so different (i.e.: sleeping, waking, school) and many frustrating moments (i.e.: tantrums) occur because of it. So now everyone will have their own space and they’re very excited.

All the bedrooms are of a decent size and need similar work: new sheetrock ceilings, wallpaper removed, paint, new decor & window treatments.

Wood walls, wood floor, wood mouldings…  Just too much wood.  This will be my sons room and he wasn’t happy about all the dated wood (as he says, ‘it looks old’) + the fact that it’s smaller than his previous room.  The plan was to paint the paneling, but instead we’ll be sheetrocking the room.


The original plan was to leave the dated bathrooms as is (due to budget) and simply remove the wallpaper and paint. Welllll, for the main bathroom, one issue led to another and it ended up being a full gut.  Every material was removed down to the studs.  Much more on this bathroom transformation will be coming soon.

This is another bathroom which for the immediate will be getting a DIY makeover – paint the existing cabinet (as I painted the cabinets in our previous home), add luxury vinyl tile (like this installation of LVT), remove the wallpaper, paint, and new mirror.  I feel confident that we can transform this space for little cost (I hope).


The exterior is getting a lot of attention… again more than we originally intended, but for good reason.

This is the back of the house.  The yard has a lot of overgrowth… trees and shrubs will be cut back and trimmed.

So that wraps up the tour.

The house needs a new kitchen and new bathrooms, but that will come in time.

> Sheetrock most ceilings to cover the existing tiles that are ugly and not properly installed.
> Sheetrock walls and ceiling, plus add insulation, in the large paneled room (it used to be an outdoor courtyard so this space isn’t original to the house)
> Move the washer and dryer to the first floor and create a laundry closet. It’s currently in the basement.
> Move some ceiling light locations; Install all new light fixtures (24 to be exact)
> Remove wallpaper in the bedrooms

Due to some unforeseen issues and / or changing-one-thing-which-leads-to-the-next,
> Renovating one of thean entire bathroom
> Sheetrocking the 4th bedroom which has vertical wood paneling
> Exterior work including a new concrete slab at the front porch, new vented ceiling, new column configuration, adding vinyl board and batten to cover part of the existing brick
> And a slew of other little, costly, unforeseen issues.

It’s been an extremely exciting, nervewracking, and fun process. Walls are torn apart, ceilings have been removed, and it’s definitely at the point of being worse before it gets better. Each day though, I see the light in which this house is becoming a home.

Next post coming soon will be more insight and progress pictures of the transformation.