Cats + pepperoni pizza + dust = life.
If you watched last week's video of Jesse smashing his way through the wall, you probably knew what was coming.
We started by knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and then somehow ended up knocking down another wall, too.
So, let's start with the dining room wall first. You may remember that this wall has had several different looks.
It started out with ugly orange trim all over it when we first moved in.
I painted that trim as fast as I could. This little dining room was the first room I ever painted in this house, and it was so exciting to see the orange trim disappear under white paint.
This room marks the beginning of my descent into paint-everything-white-madness.
On the opposite side of that wall, in the kitchen, I painted a chalkboard surround and some thrift store stools. I also painted the outdated tile on the countertop, which was a huge improvement from the 1970's colors of yesteryear it previously sported.
Later on (seen here), I painted the trim around the look-through white and spray painted those same stools silver.
It looked much so better, but if I'm being totally honest,
I still didn't love it.
It was a cute little area, but totally not functional for our life.
Whenever we have people over, I usually end up sitting on my kitchen countertops with 10 people crammed into this little kitchen space, all probably annoyed with me that there's nowhere to sit.
Hostess with the mostest. Crowned five years and running.
That's a lie.
Awhile back, a good friend was over and we were sitting at this uncomfortable little bar area and she looked at me and said,
'You know...you should knock down this wall.'
I looked at her like she had absolutely lost her mind.
I mean, who do you think I am? A Fraggle Rock Doozer?
But, Margaret totally planted a seed in my head that never went away, and for nearly a year now I've wanted to karate chop this wall straight to the ground. When it came time to rip up the floors, I knew that if I was going to remove the wall, now was the time. Especially since we were putting the hardwood floor through the kitchen.
So, late one night, Jesse and I began to take down the wall. We started by removing the trim off of the door and the look-through.
The trim was pretty easy to remove, but the countertop removal basically turned into an archaeological dig, and Jesse had to smash a bunch of tile to get to the 800 screws someone fastened this thing with.
The #1 question I got after painting that tile countertop was about whether or not it was durable. Well, since the paint is still intact after getting sledgehammered, yes, it has proven to be very durable indeed. If you have some old 1970's tile stinking up the aesthetics of your house somewhere, I still highly recommend that epoxy paint.
So, Jesse removed the countertop with some manly force. I mostly stood there with a camera, entertaining Jesse with song, dance, and moral support.
Once the trim and countertop were gone, we left the rest of the wall for our contractor to finish.
By the next day, the wall was mostly gone. There was a big beam (not structural) and some wiring to be dealt with, so the wall stayed partially cut out like this for a little while.
Take a quick moment to notice the 1970's linoleum we found underneath the tile.
Not that I want that on my kitchen floor, but it kinda reminded me of backsplash tile.
You've come full circle, little linoleum.
So, in the below picture, I drew some arrows to show you how much farther we took the wall out. In a perfect world, I would gut the ceiling in the kitchen and vault it like the rest of the house, but that's a project for someone who isn't me. So, my next best option was to remove the electrical stuff and the beams and make the wall flush with the ceiling and side of the house.
So, eventually last week, that finally happened.
And I've basically spent my week running back and forth, leaping and celebrating.
It completely changed the way this space feels, and I will finally be able to comfortably fit a table in the dining room.
I've not had a dining room table for over 2 years, so the day that finally happens, we're going to celebrate. You and me...so get ready.
We still have to trim it out, and paint it, and all sorts of other stuff, but you get the idea.
The stair rail has also been partially removed, leaving a nice hole in the middle of my house. The new one should be getting started soon, but no updates on that just yet.
Just for perspective, here's that same area when we first moved in.
And here's the current condition, with a bit of flooring finally installed.
Sidenote: I'm pretty sure I'm going to whitewash the stone fireplace. I'm going to wait until after the floors are done, so that I can see how everything looks together, but my gut tells me that that 1970's rock has GOT to go.
I know half of you are going to freak, and half of you are going to celebrate, but I'm pushing forward. I also have no idea if it will even work, but let's gamble, shall we?
I also want to replace the last of the outdated forrest green light fixtures in the living room.
They each hold approximately 400 dead bugs at all times. You can climb a ladder, clean them out, and there will be 400 new bug corpses by Friday. Sometimes I'm pretty sure someone is putting them in there just to mess with me.
Here are a few more pics for perspective.
Here's a view from the opposite way, from when we first moved in.
And then sometime last year.
And now today, with a hint of new flooring. This is actual hardwood, rather than engineered flooring, so it's just raw wood right now and doesn't have any stain on it yet.
I am having quite the situation over picking out a stain color. It's a big commitment, and frankly, I just want to run away and never return.
I'm staining some samples this week and will share my thoughts in my next post. I've decided I don't want to go super dark anymore (thanks to all of your wise suggestions and stories of lint and dust), and part of me kinda likes the natural wood.
Totally didn't see that coming.
So, obviously, I'm kinda all over the place with my decision.
To be continued on that one.
Jesse totally doesn't understand my mania over choosing a stain color, and his usual input involves something like
'Yeah, sounds good to me. I like all of the colors.'
The below picture, taken at Señor Taco (home of the best burritos ever), probably does an accurate job of depicting how I look at him every time he tells me he likes ALL the colors.
Anyways, we'll cross that stain bridge when we get there.
For now, let's move on to the next wall that got knocked down.
See that little doorway? There used to be a very old, very dysfunctional pocket door there, and it leads into the hallway. It's insanely narrow and drives us both crazy.
Here's another view of it after we took the carpet up.
Still narrow and still annoying.
Once we took the dining room wall down, the tiny hallway door seemed even more awkward.
So, we decided to remove a big chunk of wall there, too, and open up that little doorway.
And it's awesome.
It makes the whole space feel different.
It also completely opens up the hallway and will make my laundry situation a little less cramped.
This hallway leads to the guest bedroom (at the end of the hall), the office (to the left of the guest bedroom), the laundry space, the striped guest bathroom (to my immediate left), and then behind me, the master bedroom.
Just to give you some perspective, here is a crazy picture of what this hallway looked like when we first moved in. This below picture is taken from the same angle as the picture above.
I apologize if you have nightmares about this hallway of horrors.
I know I did.
So, as you can tell, it's really come a long way since we moved in. Thank goodness.
Here are a couple more views of this area today.
Here are a couple more views of this area today.
Again, we still have to trim everything out, and paint everything, so squint your eyes.
There's still so much to be done, but I'm so excited now that I can kind of tell what it will all look like when it's all done.
It truly feels like a different house.
And my brain is going crazy with ideas.
I'm basically starting over with most of the rooms because my taste has totally changed since I decorated our rooms the first time around. A few good things will remain, but tons will change. So it's going to be really fun, and there's going to be so much to blog about.
We'll all look back fondly upon this time as 'The Great Blogging Drought of 2014'.
Before I go, since my last post, many of you have sent Tootie your love, wishing her a quick recovery from her cat depression. She thanks you, and wishes to tell you that she is kinda enjoying living in the master bedroom, napping next to me on the human bed while I blog.
She occasionally still gets depressed over her inability to freely roam the house, but she's doing her best to keep a positive attitude.
I'll be holding her tiny paw until it's all over, don't you worry.
Cheese has no comment.
That's all for today, ya'll.
I've still got another week or two of chaos ahead of me, so thank you for being patient with me. I love ya for it.
'Til next time.
P.S. The other posts in the House Makeover series can be found here: