Friday, January 13, 2012

Home Reno Updates. Finally.

A little over one year ago I posted about stripping the wallpaper in our laundry room. It's been done for about a year, too. I guess it's time for the unveiling, eh? Note the pink/purple/blue speckled wallpaper with the flowery trim border. Not exactly our style. Had to go. It does get tricky when dealing with small spaces that house large appliances, however. This project was a speedy one as we didn't want to run out of underwear.
Here's the only other photo I took and there are no other angled shots. But, this is pretty much how bare-bones our laundry room was. To the left of where I was standing to take the shot is the door to the kitchen and the rest of the house. To the right is the garage door. Straight forward is our deck (outside) and just behind where I was standing is our enormous pantry. The door was not only rotted, but did not have a weather seal! In Chicago! Note the classy duct tape to keep the cool air out. It was practically leaking money every single month. We also needed to replace it because we had no key to enter it from the outside.
And these are the after shots I took this afternoon.
A new sink needed to be added to replace a very dirty old sink that was speckled and basically looked like it was made in 1900. Though, I have to say that this one is considerably cheaper in quality and construction. There's something to say for older models and well-built items. But, we were being superficial and this would be the result.
I don't love the paper towel storage on top, but we're a bit too lazy to schlep them all the way to the basement. I dream of cute baskets to go on top, but then again... I can't even reach the paper towels half the time and they'd just be a breeding ground for lint and dust.
Note the new door and the amazing, incredible, magnetic and wood-stained (by us) whiteboard by Ghent. We wanted a place that we could keep mementos, coupons, paperwork, cute kid drawings (I dream...), etc. etc. I think it will come quite in handy when we do have little ones to plan for. Our stainless steel fridge is not magnet-friendly and we appreciate the lack of clutter in our kitchen anyway... hence the whiteboard. It's the catch-all. That, and it did a spectacular job of covering up our notsofabulous spackle job underneath. This room was particularly difficult to get smooth because 1. we were lazy, 2. we used a semi-gloss paint which highlights all imperfections in the walls in a room with lots of natural light, and 3. there were itty bitty holes (and large ones) everywhere and it felt nearly impossible to sand it seamlessly.
 We also re-stained the doors to the pantry, garage, and all the trim in the room.
 New door. With keys that really work! The rugs are pretty cheap and I think we paid about $10 for the runner and $3 for the other one at Ikea. Nothing special there.
And finally... the cabinets. We bought cabinets already pre-made from Home Depot for $108. What a difference it makes! It houses all of our laundry detergent, spot cleaners, bleach, lightbulbs, etc. It sure beats having it on the floor like I used to before they were installed! I also like that the toxic chemicals/items like the bleach and fluorescent lightbulbs no longer being under my kitchen sink. The light fixture was also relatively inexpensive at about $15 from Menards, a Midwest Home Depot equivalent.
And then there's distraction project #2 that was all about scraping popcorn from our ceiling, stripping wallpaper, and painting. The reveal is not as drastic because we chose to strip the wallpaper and replace it with paint of the same shade and color. We didn't mind the wallpaper, but it was dated and had some holes and discoloration. That, and we needed to have a wallpaper-free house... finally. After five rooms of stripping, peelings, scraping, screaming, wanting to rip our eyebrows out, priming, priming, priming, painting, painting, and finally hanging all the crap back on the walls, we were d-o-n-e. But, we love the result. Who would've thought that the wallpaper we expected to be the easiest to strip off would've been the hardest the handle with the least amount of change and wow-factor. Of course it is. We nearly decided to replace all of the drywall-- it was that bad. And did I mention that this was also the only room with popcorn ceiling that needed to be scraped? Yeah, there was that, too. Nothing too exciting here except upgrading to a real TV stand (thank you Craigslist!), a real big person television, DVR, and ditching the VHS tapes/VCR for our Wii. Yes, we still own a VCR.
 Aside from the wallpaper being stripped, we also got rid of that light and replaced it with lamps from Target on our new end tables. But don't worry. We're still keeping it real with my college couches. They are Bauhaus so I guess they aren't too terrible. Especially with our lovely Surefit slip covers. Totally recommend those, btw.
 The transformation for what it's worth...
 Popcorn ceiling be gone! Freshly painted ceiling, beams, and trim all through the room... which was another nightmare in itself because we decided to buy some fancy primer that didn't work. Turns out the cheap stuff can sometimes work better.

Our new fireplace. Try to forget that you're seeing a yellow gas line on the right. We haven't gotten around to spray painting that with fire-retardant black spray paint just yet. That is also in the category of we're really tired of this room and will probably never get around to it.
Notice the lamps on the new end tables. The end tables are from Target and surprisingly super sturdy and gorgeous.
I don't recommend the lamps, though they were really inexpensive and from Target as well. We just wanted simple lamps with a dark base.
The lamps came as a set of three-- two table lamps and one awkwardly short, floor lamp. It was less than 5" tall and just didn't fit in our room.
We took out the large piece from the center and placed it near the loveseat on the fireplace ledge. You can see it in this photo best.
 Say no to popcorn.

We're pretty wiped out now. We haven't really tackled another house project since the summer when we completed our family room/informal living room. We're constantly maintaining as every homeowner does, but no major transformations to be shown. Is it baby time yet?


Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

Good work! Your house is super cute!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Looks so good. I love your tall windows. :)

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

Your house is beautiful!!! Great improvements guys :)
I think it is definitely baby time!!!

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

You have lovely home now that you've renovated!

(I have those end tables from target too -- love them!)

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

love what you did with the laundry room. you have great taste.

Sherri said... [Reply to comment]

Great job, I don't envy you with the popcorn ceiling, you were brave to take that one on, I can't imagine it being much fun! The end result is great though... I love the laundry room too, looks so fresh!

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

Whoop Whoop!~Awesome. I really like your laundry room. It is a great makeover. Your living room is a really great space and the ceilings look really good.

Newlywed Next Door said... [Reply to comment]

Nice job on the reno! The laundry room is so cute esp. with the cabinets! PS - I have the SAME ironing board from Tar-jay. :)