Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I come from a long line of DIYers. Most of my childhood was spent helping (helping being a very loose term) my parents renovate the house they bought when I was 10. The house is a monstrosity built in the 1970s and when they bought it it still had the original brown and orange shag carpeting and lots of dark wood. The house has since been drastically updated and transformed though it seems like it's constantly being altered by my parents.

Because of this upbringing, it's no surprise that when looking for houses, we chose an outdated "fixer-upper". We had planned on bringing in a contractor to do the big stuff, like put in our new kitchen, but our renovation loan will take too long and the more we thought about it, and the more estimates we received, we couldn't figure out what we were paying 50,000 for when we're more than capable of doing the lion's share of the work ourselves.

Also, 50,000? Are you kidding me. For the work we wanted done, 50,000 is an outrageous amount.

Here's what we're working with (these are the aforementioned pictures)

Here's the "babbling brook" across the street. It's actually very calming, we just happened to be taking pictures at the house on the day most of Baltimore flooded. Thank goodness this is at the bottom of a long hill!

Ceiling tiles! As excited as we were to see these, these will be ripped down within about a week of moving in.

My husband keeps threatening to leave this up. I can't tell if he's joking or not. Unfortunately for him, the eagle (we'll call him Roger), is attached to paneling. Bye, bye Roger.

The bathroom. I know some people go ga-ga over basket-weave flooring and subway tiles, but ours will be ripped out at some point. I'm just not a fan.

The absurdly large (and wonderful) master bedroom. The inlaid floors are in all of the rooms in the house except the kitchen and bathroom.

Hallway. I love the little jut out of that room. It breaks up the straight and narrow hallway look and gives us more of a separated entry way into our bedroom.

Stairway. Somewhere under the paint and carpet is a beautiful old wooden staircase. I'm hoping to restore it. We looked at four houses on this block, and this is the only one with a painted/carpeted stairway.

The awful, awful, awful kitchen. This is the only thing I hate about the house. That little tiny kitchen is shoved into 7ft of the available 18 feet of the entire room. Despite the fact that there's a 16x16 dining room, the previous owners needed an absurdly large kitchen nook. It also has ceiling tiles (like low-budget office, drop-ceiling tiles). We're going to move the kitchen into the kitchen nook, add a half bath and call it a day. Sounds so easy, huh.

Sunroom in the front. It's not all that sunny, given that there's a large tree in the front and trees across the street and it faces the north, but I'll take what I can get. It will become a pseudo office.

You can kind of see the aforementioned dining room in this picture. View from the sunroom.

Plain and simple front door that's going to be painted when we move in. I'm going for cheery yellow or a light orange. Steven and I both kind of like Red. I guess we'll see what wins out.

As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. Luckily, I've got tons of ideas. I'm just excited to get in and start pulling down ceiling tile, paneling and that uggggggggly carpet. Luckily, the bulk of the work is cosmetic, and what's not will hopefully be taken care of by the sellers.

If I can bring myself to actually sit down and draw them out, I'll post my renovation plans. Now I have to stop procrastinating and finish a mid-term. Have I mentioned hubby and I are both in school/working while doing all of this? Sometimes we have the best timing...

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