Renovation Week 1

We made it through the first week of the Great Renovation. The Beard Light and his dad did a ton of work this week but it wasn’t the dramatic kind that makes you gasp when you see the difference. It was all the kind that they gloss over on those HGTV shows.

Now listen: I am not a designer. I have almost no sense of space and design and pulling a room together and all that. We just find stuff we like and we put that stuff in our house and almost nothing goes together. So if you are looking for one of those exciting design blogs, look elsewhere. Our personal style could best be described as “lazy thrift-store eclectic.” But I do want to share this new little journey with y’all because it’s kind of a big deal in our lives right now.

I showed you what our house looked like before we moved out of it and onto a tiny island in my last post. This is what it looks like now that it’s basically a construction zone.

House now

Not so pretty, eh? We are super fortunate (and so thankful!) to have the help of my father in law, who is super handy and knows how to do everything home-improvement-related. He took off from work this week to help us get started.

Week one was dedicated to ripping out carpet throughout the house, painting all the ceilings, beginning the master bath renovation, and painting some rooms. We started with the master & living room.

Here’s the master bedroom before:

After the carpet was ripped up. You can see pieces of the pad still stapled to the subfloor. Removing those staples was one of my measly contributions to the labor. It is pretty tedious work. After an hour or so you start silently cursing whoever-laid-the-carpet for using so many staples. (Probably totally necessary but I-dun-care-it’s-annoying.)

And now this is what it looks like with a fresh coat of paint (obvs, we still need to paint the trim [and get those wooden windows white]):



The paint is called Quiet Moment (by Behr).

It doesn’t really look like that much of a transformation but it took some time to get the carpet, padding, and staples up. The ceiling has also been painted. My father in law has basically been breaking his back every day to do a lot of this work for us (because he is THE BEST).

We also decided it was time to update our tiny little master bath a little bit. When we first moved in, this itsy bitsy space was fire-engine red with forest green tiles and black grout. It was awful. We painted it a buttery yellow color to try to brighten the space, but couldn’t really do anything about the tile at the time. The guys ripped all the tile out this week, and while we were at it we decided to change out the vanity, pull down the huge unframed mirror, and get rid of the very-dated wooden Hollywood lights. Our house was built in 1984 (the back of the mirror has a date stamp of 8/19/1983! I wasn’t even alive then!), and while a lot of things have been updated over the years, the bathrooms and kitchen still have that very 1980s look.

I didn’t get a good before photo of the bathroom, but you can see the awful green tiles in this in-progress shot:

Bathroom before

You can also see the red paint that was there before. Ick.

Hey, lookit these awesome guys working so hard:
Bathroom - rip it up

And here is a close-up of the new tile we got at Floor & Decor. There are several different colors in this same pattern and I kind of want to use it in every room of the house. (Ours is actually called “bamboo” but they don’t have that on the website so I’ve linked to the very similar “linen.”)

M/b tile close up

Bathroom - new tile

There’s still a whole lot left to do in the bathroom but I’m pretty happy about the progress so far.

Finally, the Beard Light took on the biggest paint job of all–our gigantic living room, hallway, entry way, and stair well.

About a year before we moved to AmSam, we painted these spaces a very warm brown that I absolutely loved and insisted on. We were both really happy with it then. But now we are so very over it (and the color brown in general; I think everything I owned for a good ten years was brown. what’s up with that?) So we decided to go with a lighter, more neutral color to bring in some more light. It’s called Gentle Rain and it is one of those wonderfully flat grays without any blue or green undertones. I love it.

Living room before:

The Beard Light being all cute and painter-y in the hallway:


Living room after (well… it still needs another coat, but you get the idea):


We still have so much to do and sometimes it’s really overwhelming. Y’all know that I obsess over things right? I have woken up in the middle of the night this past week completely flipping out over finding the right vanity for our bathroom, or whether I am making the right choice for the paint in the back bedroom (where our new roommate will live), no joke.

Really the bigger problem is that I struggle with spending money–like I have a really hard time. (Like, I feel intense guilt about buying new things when my old things work perfectly fine and some people in the world don’t have things half as nice as my old things and what kind of terrible, wasteful person am I anyway?!?! This is why I just can’t get braces no matter how many high school students comment on my crooked teeth. I feel guilty spending that kind of money on something that is purely cosmetic. Oy.) So even though we saved and planned for all of this, I get a little worked up over it from time to time. The whole experience has been much more stressful than I expected it to be. And also we never anticipated that we’d spend so much of our new American life at Home Depot. Sometimes I like to tell myself that I’m shopping local and I’m supporting the Falcons in a round about way by shopping there, but I know it’s all a lie. Whatevs. I love Home Depot. (I’d love it more if they’d send me some coupons or something, ya know?)

Next week we hope to have the master bath finished and both guest rooms painted. We may even get the new floors in! Eek!

About Cat Q.

For three years, I lived on a tiny little island in the South Pacific called Ta'u, where I taught elementary and high school English. Much of this blog is a chronicle of my time there, and of the travels we were able to do while we were on that side of the world. Now, I'm doing a different kind of travelling in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two children.
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1 Response to Renovation Week 1

  1. Holly says:

    I love the living room layout! Those are very tasteful colors, too! Best of luck with the house.

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