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March 20, 2014

Our 1970's House Makeover Part 3: Progress Report

Our 1970's House Makeover Part Three: A Progress Report

Hey ya'll! 

Our renovation is about to go into week five, but you won't be hearing any complaints from this girl. I've been waiting for this all to happen for four years now and I'll survive five tiny little weeks of dust.
But just between you and me (we're whispering right now), I could really use a brain massage, a ballpark hotdog, a fully put-back-together house, and a weeklong nap in Jamaica. 
End whisper.

Okay, so today's post.
I have lots of updates since last week.
Buckle up.

Really quick, before we get started, thank you for the emails and comments you sent me last week. Never have I ever. You make it feel way less scary to expose my disaster house to the world.

Okay, so when we last spoke...
this is where we were with the dining room. I think there were about 5 pieces of flooring installed, but roll with me.

And here's where we are today with this space. 

The majority of the wood is installed throughout the entire house, and all that's left is sanding, staining, and sealing. 
And building the stair rail, finishing the stairs, and trimming out all of the walls we knocked down.
No biggie.

After that's done, Jesse and I will spend a couple weeks painting the entire house (I'm redoing most of the rooms...thank you, Cheese and Tootie for having bear paws and shark teeth.) and installing all new trim. I should be able to function somewhat normally in my house at that point, so you'll hopefully start to see some fun projects worked into the blog, alongside renovation updates. 
At least that's what we're going to tell ourselves.

Anyways, here's what the kitchen looked like last week after we knocked down the wall.

And here's where we are today.

Extending the hardwood into the kitchen made it seem about 3 times as big as it was before. 
Which is awesome because it felt so tiny before.
Many of you have asked about my plans for the kitchen.

Short term: Painting over the chalkboard, installing a flush mount fixture, beefing up the trim on top of the cabinets.

Long term: Possibly tearing down the wall behind the fridge, extending the kitchen back about 3 feet into the existing closet in the guest bedroom, and building a small island in the kitchen.
Obviously, this will open up another wormhole of renovations like cabinetry and countertops. 

Speaking of the guest bedroom, here is where we are today with this room. You can see the closet I was referring to, which would get pushed forward. And then the bedroom door would get moved to open where the framed photos are hung.
That's Jesse's grandpa, dad, and then Jesse's senior picture. 
His mom gave that to me.

Going back into the living room, here's where we were last week....halfway under the limbo stick.

And here's where we are today. 
The mess is slowly starting to decrease, and there's a faint smell of normalcy in the distance.

I'm going to keep the paint color light and airy, but possibly choose something less be decided after the flooring is done.
If I take one more paint chip, Sherwin Williams might call the cops.

Moving's where we were with the hallway last week, after knocking down the hallway wall.

And here's where we are this week.
A tiny tear* falls down my cheek every time I walk into this hallway. 
*of joy

Here's what the office looked like last week. 
We ended up having to install new subfloors in this room. Removing that weird tile did a number on the existing ones.

And the office today. I'm getting so excited about this room.
I've got some ideas I can't wait to play around with.

And remember the haunted house master bedroom side room?
Of course you do.

Well, that room was the absolute worst. 
And not just because it's scary.
The original floors had been glued and nailed down. It's a big reason that we're currently in week 4 of renovations, heading towards week 5.
Today, the floors are finally installed. It's a joyous occasion. 

And here's that same room last week, from the opposite angle.
It's normal to want to cry.

And the view this week...

It's a total breath of fresh air.
I'm thinking about installing a window in this room on that wall straight ahead. At some point.
A little natural light would entice me to actually use this room for something other than storage and Risky Business reenactments.

As for the entryway, nothing to update you about just yet.
It's still just a gaping hole of despair.
I've learned that in real life, this area is not frightening to the normal person. 
Just me, the girl who has an unreasonable fear of heights.
This is my Mount Everest.
4 weeks without a railing = Fear Factor.

And so that's where we are today. 
All of the flooring is installed and sanded.
We're almost there.
I know I said in my last post that I would be sharing my thoughts about the floor color today, but honestly, I thought we would be much farther along than we currently are.
So, deciding on a floor stain....that process is just now beginning.
And so is my week long panic attack that will hopefully culminate in a celebration.

 I'm just going to follow my heart on this one, and see what happens. I'll update you when I know.

I would also like to follow my heart and install the mailbox I saw Jesse eyeballing last weekend while we were aimlessly wandering around Bass Pro Shop.

 Jesse has been such a trooper during all of this, and at times, the only thing keeping me sane.
And a giant fish mailbox would make his life.
You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

That's all ya'll!
I'll be back soon when I have more to share.
'Til then.
P.S. The other posts in the House Makeover series can be found here:

P.S. To read the other posts in this series, go here:
You know, to tide you over...
until I can get back to naming thrift store furniture after old men.

Our 1970's House Makeover Part Three: A Progress Report

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  1. I think you should get him the fish mailbox!

  2. Wow, the floors looks amazing and all the walls knocked down really does make a huge difference. Can't wait to see more. Hugs, Marty

  3. Oh my gosh! It looks so good! All of it. The wood really does make every room look bigger. I can't wait to see what stain you choose and what you decide on for the stair rails. And go on and rock that fish mailbox!

  4. WOW! Virginia, the floors look amazing! It really does open your house up SO much. I can't wait to see what stain color you choose. For the side (haunted) room, have you ever thought about pretending you're Oprah and doing a fabulous boutique style closet/dressing room?? I'm imagining a gorgeous velvet tufted ottoman in the middle of shelves of shoes and sweaters right now... and you wouldn't even have to add a window. ;) Can't wait for the next update. -Laura

    1. I LOVE that idea!!! DO IT, DO IT! After you recover from this reno of course :)

  5. I am really enjoying this series! Mostly because you are so honest with everything, and I think the way you write is hilarious.. can't wait to see how it progresses!

  6. Wow you guys did a great job Virginia. I love your style.
    You are very brave to do all this. Maybe it is nice to make the side room a craft/DIY room?
    Having a walk in closet is also very nice.
    x Esmée

    1. Yes, I'm definitely thinking of making it my craft room. It pretty much was already being used for that, but there was zero order to it...just junk everywhere. :)

  7. Everywhere looks wonderful, so light and airy! I'd keep the wood floors light if it was my home so am really ooking forward to seeing what you decide.

  8. Your must be BEYOND excited about your new flooring! It looks so gorgeous! I love seeing your home's progress. :)

    Brandi @ Nest of Bliss

    1. Thanks Brandi! I am SO excited. But, totally ready for it to all be over with. I miss my living room something major. :)

  9. Hi Virginia! I've been reading your blog for a few months without ever commenting. Sorry for being a lurker. I figured it was time to say something before I crossed the threshold into true creepdom. My husband and I just moved into our first house that we are painting/updating, etc. We had so many friends/family members asking daily about our progress that I started blogging about it to keep people in the loop (without having to repeat myself 13x/day). So far, I've spent more time reading other blogs (e.g. yours) than writing my own, but I've gotten so much inspiration from all these sources, I hardly know where to start working! Anyway, enough about me. All your projects make my little heart go pitter-pat. Every time I read something new, I have the urge to go thrifting, and about 37% of my Pinterest account is made up of your painting tips alone. Your floors look delicious! It'll almost be a shame when you stain them. That raw wood has such a gorgeous quality to it. But I'm excited to see what they look like once you get past the overwhelming stage of picking a stain color. (Trust me: I get it.) Putting a window in that room (eventually) would be an excellent idea. My front rooms have enormous windows in them, and after living in an apartment with 0 natural light, I'm a big fan of sunshine. Keeps the Seasonal Affective Disorder at bay here in Cleveland. =) Oh and I hope you know, after seeing your little note at the bottom about what you do when you read a new comment, I will be thoroughly disappointed if I don't hear that you are Hammer Dancing right now. (Is this the longest comment in blogging history?)

    1. Lauren, I literally just put on my special Hammer pants reserved for my favorite comments. So, thank you for coming out of the shadows and giving me a reason to scoot around in balloon pants today. I needed that. #1: I love that you are a fellow house-redoer. #2: I love that you thrift. #3: 37%?! I'm honored. #4: The raw wood is totally gorgeous. I agree. That's why I've been panicking for the better part of 2 weeks. But, I'm going to follow my heart and then cry for 48 years if my heart was a liar. #5: SAD worms its way into my brain every winter. I'm so glad it's almost April and I can wear tank tops and jorts again. #6: I just matched your longest comment in blogging history with the longest response in blogging history. xo

  10. Maybe combine your two loves: fish mailbox spray painted white? Love the new floors. Can't wait to see what's next!

    1. Here's what I'll do. I'll get the fish mailbox. And then the first time a neighbor kid graffitis it (which that will probably 100% happen if I put a fish at the end of my driveway), I'll paint it white. Or if Jesse crosses me, I can paint it pink. :)

  11. One continuous cohesive gorgeous floor makes me oh so happy ;)

  12. It looks so great! I love reading your blog posts best out of everyones I read because you seem to put so much of your personality into it!

    Keep it up! Love it! Thank you!

  13. Hardwoods make such a difference. Can't wait to see the stain color. Also, I was thinking that you should totally build in your fridge. If you covered what is now the chalkboard and the side of the fridge with wood painted to match the cabinets, it would give the whole kitchen a higher end custom feel, I think.

    Great progress!


    This is a link to our house renovations. We also have a 1970's house, when we purchased it there had been NO updates since it was made! Including the orange counter tops and light fixtures on chains! I love your flooring...but we went with a darker ceramic tile (looks like hard wood) Our house is painted different than yours...but maybe that will give you an idea of what darker will look like in the same style house.

    I love the wall being removed! Your kitchen looks much much better!

    1. WOW! Thanks Beth! That's so awesome. Sidenote: I love your accidental giant sunflower and your bottlecap table. Both are amazing. And your house looks great!! xo

    2. I felt so redneck with the sunflower!! LOL I LOVE the colors in your house...but they won't work with little boys! Just know I have bright color house envy!

  15. I actually love the fish mailbox. I say go for it!

  16. Loving the floors! Can't wait to see the color stain you choose. I've always said if/when we refinished our hardwood that I wanted super dark floors, but to be honest I'm kinda digging this light and natural wood look. It really opens the space up making all the rooms flow and not look so choppy and small, ya know? Can't wait for the next progress report.... Yes, I totally get all giddy when I see a new update. :) Btw, I agree, Jesse definitely needs that mailbox! :)

    1. I know! Me too. I've wanted dark floor from Day 1. And the natural floors threw me for a total loop because they are really pretty. But I'm leaning in favor of my original That could change 45 more times. :) Oh, and yes, he definitely does. He will be happy to know that you guys support his dream.

  17. Congrats on coming so far along! It is fantastic that you always find the energy and enthusiasm for more projects. I am the kind who feels like giving up as soon as I paint one wall :) Where do you learn how to do all these things? Did you or your husband attend any workshops on how to be a handyman or do home improvements? Just wondering.

    1. Thank you! No, no formal training...just kind of trial and error. Jesse is a really handy guy, so that helps, too. I'm more of just a hot mess who makes enough mistakes to eventually figure it out. :)

  18. I say yes to the mailbox! You'll have to do the before and after pics as well haha. Your house is looking great. Good luck on the stain color picking.

    1. Oh, if and when the day comes, there will be a mailbox post. You can bet on it. :)

  19. Better the fish mailbox than the alligator toilet paper holder from there that is at the top of my husband's decorating wishlist. Maybe that's the difference in Vols vs Gator fans? :)

    1. HAAAAAAA! Do it, do it, do it! I'm determined to build the best mancave ever for Jesse and just fill it to the brim with horrifyingly manly decor. The entire rest of the house can be beautiful. He needs a place where he can enjoy an alligator toilet paper holder in peace. Every man does. :)

  20. I seriously adore reading your posts. They always make me laugh. The floors look good. Call me crazy but I absolutely LOVE the light colored wood flooring! Keeps everything really airy.. but dark wood floors are super lovely too. Hard choices!

    1. You're not crazy at all! I've been so surprised at how much I love the natural wood. I usually don't love natural floors, so this totally puzzles me. I finally came to a decision today though...stay tuned. :)

  21. hi virginia! love your blog!
    i had an idea for the scary room...while you wait for the right time to bust through that wall and add a window, you can fake it with a light box and some window treatments. we did that in a rental that had a super dark and closed in room and we loved how much it changed the feel...we used led rope lights on a timer behind some thrift store picture frames that we build out from the wall and covered the glass with frosted contact paper. with some gauzy curtains over it, it felt like so much like a window, i swear i could feel a breeze!!!

  22. and i totally vote yes for the fish mailbox!!!!

  23. Loooooove it! Looking great!!

  24. I'm pretty sure my husband would LOVE that fish mailbox as well. I say go for it! It's quirky, but fun and will add even more character to your awesome house. The renovations are coming along great - your house and ideas are so inspiring to me when we finally bite the bullet and buy a house! (We currently rent a house). Can't wait to finally see the finished product.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Karlyn!! I just might! Enjoy your weekend, too!! xo

  25. Virginia, amazing progress. Looking forward to seeing the hallway finished. Such a smart space choice. I cannot really tell from the kitchen photo, but there might be space to put a banquet against the base cabs on the right hand side. You can easily divert the heating vent to come out below the seating area of the banquet. And, of course, Banquets always save space while still allowing for extra storage and in-kitchen seating. Besides, it would be another space to put in a glam lighting fixture.

    Cheers, Monique

  26. I vote to seal the floors and keep the natural color! -- shocking, since I normally LOVE dark flooring. I just love how light and airy the house looks. :0)

  27. AMAZING progress! I look forward to all the updates :)


  28. You are far more advertureous than I am when it comes to a major overhaul! Your home is going to be terrific! Of course it was before too :-)

  29. Sweet, sweet Virginia!
    How about I just take over your house when you're all done? :D
    No? Not cool with that? Hm...

    I am a Danish reader who has fallen IN LOVE with your blog! I love how you were a DIY novice turned AWESOME! It is so encouraging!
    I keep sending my boyfriend links to various projects I want to do on our future home, haha... Poor guy!
    Anyway, I just want to say thank you for your inspiring posts - you are bookmarked in my browser for the day when house DIY becomes a reality, so don't ever take your blog off the internet, please :D

    Best awesome flooring wishes, Siff

  30. Hi Virginia - I'm enjoying your blog since I heard about you from Christine (Pink So Foxy) on YT. When I saw the mailbox your considering to buy for your hubby I had to post something here. My friend is a Bass Pro and his wife just purchased the exact same one for him for their new house. He absolutely LOVES it. You know you love him when you get him this!!!

  31. Amazing progress Virginia - just go with your heart on the floors - and don't sweat the 48 years of crying if it's "wrong" it won't have such an amazing knack of getting things "right". I am all over Pinterest and décor blogs - but YOURS is the one I found first and the one I keep coming back to. It's inspiring, endearing and real. Just love it. here in New Zealand the Husband would want a Blue Marlin letterbox, or maybe a black and white cow (we live on a tiny farm out of town) - so he's totally not getting either of those... but the bass??? I get it! And you should so do it. Doin' the special upside down Kiwi bird hammer dance in baggy pants right along with you. You're an inspiration!

  32. I have kind of a youtube addiction and when I watched Christine, (pinksofoxy on youtube) use one of your ideas I had to check out your blog. And boy do I have a new addiction! I fell in love with the blue color she used and after that I fell in love with your DIY’s!! All of them!! I have never come across a blog like yours and fell in love with al the ideas! So thank you for that. Because besides the addictions I mentioned before I also love thrifting, I have a couple of cute places I visit regularly not only thrift shops but also flea markets. They offer so much for such a small price. (If you ever visit the Netherlands you should definitely visit the IJhallen, the biggest flea market in Europe, you would love it!)
    Thank you for the amazing blog, and making me smile every time I read it. You gave me ideas for an area in my own home that needs some TLC. Gonna be working on that project really soon!
    Good luck with deciding on the color of the floor, and all the other stuff that needs a hint of paint! It will look amazing when you guys are finished.
    And for the record, English is not my first language so if there are a lot of grammar mistakes/sentences that don’t make sense. You know where that’s coming from!

  33. Things seem to be going great with the reno, glad there's a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. Enjoying your writing and progress on the house, and yes, I think Jesse deserves the fish mailbox.

  34. I love this blog! I have all the Sherwin Williams samples at my house. Seriously, they may offer you a job but no arrests. Your place is awesome. You guys are getting so much done and make it look stress-free. Keep bloggin"

  35. Love all of your posts, I'm a newbie to your site and am feeling guilty for not having documented the overhaul we did on our 1970's nightmare... i really like what you are doing though and totally making me want to go back and paint everything again... Just from expirience since i see that you extended the wood floor into the kitchen, you will want to be REAAALLLYYY careful with water by the sink we have had some issues with rot and popping up of our floors... also if you paint the kick plates at the bottom to match the cabinets it makes it look seemless (hehe painted my cabinets from Oak, you know what im talking about to black=dungeon, then to white the kickplates opened up new worlds of beauty!)

  36. Oh, wow! Such big changes going on! How exciting!!! xo K

  37. The floors are looking GREAT!! Hardwood floors make everything seem better, don't they? :)

    aka Bailey


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