DIY Series: Bathroom Remodel

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DIY Series: Bathroom Remodel

When I first started this post, we were starting our bathroom renovation the next week, then life happened and managing a renovation the week of the Women's Retreat I have been planning for 9 months just made things crazier so I never actually published! Anyways - back again to give all the details.

It was a process to get 4-5 quotes over the last few months with all of our travel and hosting family in March, work out the details with the contractor we chose, and ultimately decide we were going to move forward with the project from a financial perspective (renos ain't cheap, let me tell ya!). We ended up using a contractor that came highly recommended to us through a friend of a friend. I always love using someone that someone we personally have a connection to used because it just gives an extra level of comfort that the project will be done well and that they won't do something shady like take your money and run. There are some crazy contractor stories in Denver due to the current housing market and large number of old homes. We decided to do a full gut of the bathroom and despite the title of DIY Series, we are not doing anything ourselves. We only have one bathroom in our house so time is of the essence in this case. Our contractor promised that the entire bathroom would be done in one week and I am pleased to report it took 8 week days and that is pretty amazing. We also host people in our home at least twice a week so we just really wanted this done quickly and all put back together as soon as possible. My mom also came to visit Mother's Day weekend so that was pretty much our deadline.

Our inspiration for this bathroom is fresh and clean. Our bathroom is pretty small (about 10 by 7 feet in total including the bathtub) so we just wanted it to be functional and clean. The previous owner(s) renovated this bathroom several years ago and there are so many weird things about it. The beat board is damaged and drips of paint are visible. There were areas with caulking covering up holes in the wall. Also the light fixture is rusting. Again it is just a MESS. There was even some mold peaking through the corner of the bathtub that they previously tried to cover up with more caulking before we moved in.

We are going with a grey and white color palette. Surprise, surprise! After selecting your contractor the next hardest part of this process is picking all of the materials and staying within your budget. We originally really wanted carrara marble in the shower and on the floor but after calculating the price and learning more about the upkeep of a natural stone we decided to go with more affordable options that require no maintenance. I would describe the look of this bathroom in more of the mid-century modern classic style. Below are the materials we decided to go with:

We absolutely love the feel and look of the Moen faucet we purchased for our kitchen so we decided to go with all Moen brushed nickel fixtures in the bathroom. They are just so smooth and a really good quality. We were also confident that all of the fixtures would match if we stuck with one brand.

I am excited to show you the before and after in the next post! :)

So fresh and so clean -

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Home Projects for 2017

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DIY Series: Home Projects for 2017

This year I am doing Lara Casey's Power Sheets, which I LOVE by the way! I intended to do a whole post on my goals for the year but you know work and 10-Ks and coordinating a move with our church to a new building and ski season have just really taken over... Maybe I will do one later this month though. Anyways, one of my goals is of course home projects for the year. In Denver, everyone goes dormant in the winter then as April starts to come around the whole city kicks it into over drive and does a TON of home improvement projects. The rush is real. Contractors just stop caring and are so over booked there is a wait list of like 6 weeks just to get a bid, it is really something else. Each year I try to start getting bids in March so I can get on the schedule for renovations.

Ben and I had our annual meeting to discuss our house to dos so we can stay focused this spring and summer and accomplish our goals! Here is what we have narrowed down the list to:

  • Bathroom
    • Full gut and renovation (I am so excited... I already have two contractors scheduled to come out this Friday to give us quotes)
    • See my inspiration here!
  • Basement
    • Replace the carpet with vinyl wood-esque flooring
    • Do something with our exposed brick wall (yes, yes I know everyone loves it in theory but its not sanitary, it is crumbling, and just not really practical... We are probably going to put up dry wall.)
    • Fix the windows
    • Paint all of the doors, trim, and ceiling with fresh white paint
    • Paint the rest of the walls grey
  • Paint the front door & fix a piece of glass that has been broken since we bought our home
  • Paint front porch ceiling with a fresh coat of white paint and switch out our old light fixture
  • Backyard
    • Re-seed & re-vitalize our grass (unfortunately it died and dried up last year after we sodded)
    • Expand our garden by building some raised garden beds (SO excited about this!!)
    • Refinish deck (the Colorado sun is so intense!)
    • Organize storage under our deck
    • Setup our outdoor fire pit
    • Purchase an electric smoker (Ben is beside himself he is so excited about this... he at one point was telling me we could smoke 100 lbs of meat... Good LORD.. what are we gonna do with 100 lbs of meat!!)
  • Front yard
    • Re-fresh our front yard flower bed areas by pulling up our old rose bushes
    • Re-vitalize our grass and mud patch (we finally killed all the weeds but now its just dirt)
    • Pull up and replace a ginormous prickle bush by our porch
  • Miscellaneous
    • Patch some wall areas around our new Nest and light switch plates then touch up the paint
    • Replace our old smoke detector with the Nest CO2 and smoke alarm
    • Replace the light fixture in the entry way
    • Replace the light fixture in the hallway to our bedroom
    • Poly the handrail & post
      • This is leftover from last summer and really we have just been procrastinating like its nobody's business and could easily do this before the spring/summer arrives.

I will keep you updated with our progress this year. Our next plan is to finalize our timeline and budget for each of these projects!

Planning is my middle name -

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Backdoor & Storm Door

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DIY Series: Backdoor & Storm Door

Since we have moved into this house we have had heating and air condition problems. It is a 1910 home and we are lucky to even have HVAC in Denver. Most friends do not have this luxury. We have no insulation in our house. Like zero. Behind this plaster is brick.. well hopefully (wink wink). In one instance, we removed the baseboard to the left of the door and we were able to see straight outside. This was also the case next to the pantry. (No wonder there was once a mouse problem...) Our food would be COLD, like icicle cold, in the winter in our old pantry. We wanted to get this door and door jam repaired since it is original to our home but unfortunately the door was just too warped. Look at the top left corner of the door. It was bowing out significantly and we were able to literally see outside at all times. This created a bug problem and also our house was losing air quickly. Throughout the last 100 years or so, this door faced the elements and the storm door was offering little to no protection at this point. So it was concluded we needed to replace the original back door (cue Nicole Curtis yelling at me...) and my dad graciously gifted us a new storm door & installation for a house warming present.

Funny story: When we first bought our house my step mom came in town to help us with a few projects. When she first got here we went to Home Depot to purchase supplies for the weekend projects and I was asking Ben for a new storm door because the one originally at the house would slam shut so loud and it actually ripped several pieces of clothing because it was broken. This was week 2 of owning our first home and Ben was like "No! We can't spend all our money right now!" haha soo my step mom told my dad this story when she got home because real adult life set in for us. Since that day my dad has been set on gifting us a storm door!

This sound so silly but I have been absolutely so excited about this! You will see why below but the full glass allows for this mini indoor/outdoor feel that I just love when having guests over to sit on the back porch under the twinkle lights! Also I like to leave it open when I am cooking to look outside and get all the natural light possible! It even has a self closing mechanism so NO MORE SLAMMING! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this the most about the new storm door. Anyways back to the back door...

Here is a before shot from inside our kitchen. Looking back on it, the door was rough.

I really wanted to keep the integrity of the home and this meant ordering a custom wood door. We went to The Door Store in Denver and their prices were really reasonable (actually WAY cheaper than Home Depot) and they had a style that was really close to our original door. The only detail we lost was the look of the 4 windows. I truly like the all glass because again it lets in more light and I can look outside unobstructed.

This is the day our contractor installed the new door!

I will get into a few other problems we had with the door that are common with old homes and shows you just how much craftsmanship went into this from our contractor. You can see above that the concrete slab under the door was crumbling. Also the deck is right up against the doorway so this causes water to pool up against the house. In addition, the wood around the transom was rotted. Basically we needed help. Our contractor suggested that he could add concrete to stabilize the door below the new threshold, he could add another picture window in front of the original transom to increase energy efficiency and he could install some decking to redirect water away from our house. No sooner than he discussed this with us, we had a major rain and hail storm in Denver. The water came pouring in our kitchen on the newly finished hardwood floors. We had cardboard all over the floors to protect them and the water soaked underneath and to top it all off our floors are of course uneven so we were in a scramble to clean up all the water in the kitchen. Thankfully we were home and heard the water gushing in so we were able to act fast. Once we thought that we had averted this crisis, we went to the basement and there was water everywhere in our office. Oh joy. So we decided we should proceed with making some additional repairs to this back door area to reduce the risk of future water issues. We absolutely do not regret this add on to our project.

Next it was time to pick a door color. We decided that we wanted something bright and fresh for the door. Because why not? On Snapchat I asked friends to weigh on what color to pick. Ultimately we decided to go with the far left color. My signature turquoise... Ben keeps calling it green. I highly disagree. (wink, wink)

After we painted the door, our contractor installed our new storm door! Isn't it beautiful? It has a feature where you can pull down the glass halfway and it turns into a screen. This is so nice to have in Denver. I pretty much leave the back door open all the time now! You can also see the new grey decking that diverts water and snow from the doorway.

After installation of the door, this is what the inside looked like. I was insistent that we keep the original molding around the door so it looked quite rough right after installation. We caulked and painted all the molding and it changed the look of this door dramatically. I was also insistent that we keep the original door handle. However, the latch was very old and a weird shape so we found an online shop that sells antique hardware parts that would allow us to still use our doorknob but were smaller in overall size so wouldn't threaten the integrity of the new door. Door knobs are so complicated! The metal stick that actually turns the door open is a 5/16" square pole. This is not the standard anymore. But luckily for about $25 we were able to order a new inside piece from House of Antique Hardware. I learned a lot about door handles and latches through this process. We specifically ordered this one. This website has tons of great info and I went to the glossary often to determine exactly what we needed and called their customer service #. They were great to work with!

Below is an in progress shot of the finishing details. Again it is so amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for your space! Cheapest way to freshen it up!

After:

Some of my favorite elements about the backdoor project are:

  • Buying a traditional wood back door from the Door Store and painting it a fun color! We didn't lose the charm of the old house.
  • Keeping the original doorknob (We just replaced the inner latch hardware through House of Antique Hardware, which has parts for old door knobs and sells antique hardware.)
  • Replacing the light switch plates with fresh, clean ones from Wall Plates Online. (Found lovely mouse poop when I took the old wall plate off.)
  • Putting a fresh coat of white paint on all the trim around the door and in the kitchen to really clean it up!
  • Adding a fun and eclectic rug from West Elm!

P.S. Sorry you can see me in the reflection in ALL of these pictures haha. 

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Kitchen Reveal

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DIY Series: Kitchen Reveal

Hiiii friends!! I am so excited to share the reveal of our kitchen renovation. This has been a labor of love. We hired a contractor to oversee and do the majority of the work and we finished off the kitchen ourselves with painting and some finishing details. I will post a few more detailed posts in the coming weeks about specifics, favorite features, and recommendations we have for the whole process. But for now we are just thankful the kitchen is complete and functional again! Also the sunlight in Denver is something else. It comes in from every angle in our house!

Before & After:

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Leave any questions you have below and I would be happy to help answer any of them! 

Chelsea
 

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DIY Series: Kitchen Before

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DIY Series: Kitchen Before

We are wrapping up the final details of our kitchen renovation. Before we show the big reveal, I thought it would be fun to reminisce on where we came from. 

Kitchen sink area from when we were first looking at the property. Aren't those staged decorations just so lovely? haha I dont miss that dishwasher, at all.   

The kitchen sink area right before we started the renovation. What you can't see is our new dishwasher we bought when we first purchased our home.

Okay lets get real... Who designs a kitchen where the sink is off center from the window... and to go ahead and top it off they move the light fixture over to be directly above the sink? This was easily my least favorite part of this kitchen was this whole area.  The tile went partially onto the actual window. It was dim and yellowy and this faucet spewed everywhere from the faucet head when you turned it on. This tile was a PAIN to clean and it just looked really dingy.

The weirdest nook/dead space in our kitchen has to be this corner. We love the window here but it creates limits to what you can do right here. This is where Trigger's bowl and food sat... out in the open. Not so glamorous. Also our friends kids loved to play in the dog food and maybe even taste test it themselves. haha

The stove area from when we were first looking at the property. That stove.. yuck yuck. 

Stove area before we started the renovation. Do you notice how the back of the stove is higher than the wall? 

The fridge area when we were first looking at the property. The fridge was TINY!!!

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The fridge area from before us starting the renovation. Notice some of the tile had already broken off? (Left hand corner of the photo)

Our pantry... There is nothing Texas sized about this pantry. You know how people in Texas have WALK IN PANTRIES?! Yeah that's a thing. Not in Denver but else where. I could fit approximately 1 bag of chips and 1 box of crackers in this pantry previously. LOL joke but it was small.

Below is this weird pony wall in the kitchen. To the left of the pony wall is the staircase to our basement. At one point when they made this open concept this was their solution so the stove didn't just fall into the stairase. I am thankful for an open concept in this tiny house nonetheless.

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Our house was renovated by the previous owner at some point before it became a full-time rental and he removed all the other walls upstairs except for the one into the kitchen and this little pony wall. This one wall that is sticking out totally closed off the kitchen.

The backdoor area when we were first looking at the property. 

The back door area right before we started the renovation.

Ahh... Those dingy floors. Make me cringe thinking about their unsanitary-ness. I spent hours cleaning them to no avail.

Our entire kitchen was packed up and sitting in these tubs for about 8 weeks. Looking back this renovation stretched us in so many ways but I am really, really thankful for the final product! Can't wait to share it with y'all. This home is such a blessing to us and we constantly praise the One who hand picked it out for us!

Are you ready to see our fixer upper? :)

 

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