Boy 1: Ooh she's cute too!Well, it is what it is.
Boy 2: She looks like she had a hard day at work...
Time for a story. Our renovation for our apartment was so extensive that I'm going to break it out into a few posts- one for each room. We'll start with the Master Bedroom.
Once upon a time, there was a very ugly room:
I don't wanna make you work too hard after a LONG day at work, so let me point out some highlights.
- Several generations of blinds/curtain hardware around each window.
- Lacquered metallic bedroom set with mirror that covers some of the window.
- Precariously balanced television and matching rotating CD holder with a precariously balanced lamp.
- Mysterious vertical stains on the walls in the corners and grayish-dinge ceiling.
- Is that a pants-iron-thing? With cardboard under it.
- Gray-dinge colored outlets and windowsills.
- Decorative mirrors.
- A chair with a chair on it.
Turn around for more craziness:
They say that only 10% of home buyers can see positive potential in a space that doesn't show well.
This is how the apartment looked the first day we saw it, and we must be part of the 10%, because I fell in love. And so did Andy. Two closets, two windows, looking over a park? DECORATIVE MIRRORS?? (just kidding)
Granted, this home belonged to a man who had passed away, and his daughter was trying to sell it (and lived out of state) so she wasn't really around to "style" the home for showing.
But let's acknowledge two things: This guy didn't take very good care of the place. And this guy really liked mirrors (Wait til you see the other rooms- this place was like a fun house).
Wow- I feel tired just looking at it. Hard day at work?
Very long story short: we went through a ridiculous 9-month process to finally buy this dump with a park view. Our renovation took...hmm... ten weeks of evenings and weekends? Probably more. Basically all of our free time was spent borrowing my in-laws' car for Home Depot trips, painting, scouring, flooring and slowly moving things in.
Here's a little step by step of the renovation:
1. We tore out the carpet, and patched the walls. Tore out about a hundred nails, sanded, spackled, and sanded again. Lather, rinse, repeat. No picture- because this step is mostly holes and clouds of dust. Lesson learned: spackle is fun to work with. It kind of feels like icing.
2. Andy painted the ceiling with our trusty paint sprayer (a runner-up MVP tool)
|Advisory: wear a hat when you paint a ceiling|
|This is a freshly painted one next to an ugly gray-dinge rusty one.|
Status update: the room as of step 4:
Notice the bright white radiator casing and AC holder. And the nice clean ceiling!
5. Paint all the trim: the doors, windowsills and closet doors, and inside the closets (this was mostly me). Of course we had to prime a lot of the heavily stained areas with Kilz- the most intense cover-all primer ever made.
|Mrs. Oversized T-shirt at work. Check out my nice taping job on the windowsill.|
|Bright clean windowsill|
|All done, complete with cute new pulls from... where else? Anthropologie.|
7. The biggest, nastiest job- installing the flooring. What a pain. It's a wood floor that has a tongue and groove engineered into it. I was not strong enough to shove those boards together, but I did help with a lot of the cutting. We borrowed a circular saw and a miter saw from Andy's brother and set up a sawing station in the hallway.
|Keeping a good attitude... we also went to Jimbo's Hamburger Palace for lunch |
right after this picture was taken. Yay! Lunch!
Also note the brand new white outlets and outlet covers.
The glue was so nasty and gooey, and the floorboards were so stubborn to push together... ugh. That one room took all day to install and 24 hours to dry. Andy got a lot faster as he kept flooring other rooms, but on the first day we were kind of discouraged.
|What a beauty. We were floored. haha.|
|This step included a good floor scrubbing (by me) to get any traces of that glue OFF|
|My friend Kate said, "New York City is your headboard!"|
A couple details that I love:
|The red chair.|
|My own closet! Andy, with never-ending attention to detail, put the flooring in.|
Here is the before picture again... just for good measure.
This room went from THIS:
And just for fun, how about a little animated version (less scrolling)?
|ugly, pretty, ugly, pretty...|
I think this room is romantic and cozy. The decorating works both both a male and a female. And, believe me, it was a TON of work, but we're really proud of it. Sometimes we look at each other and say, "do we live here?". It felt like home so fast that it is almost hard to remember how awful it looked along the way. Can't wait to show you the rest of the apartment.
So... it's a happy ending. What do you think?
P.S. Our super is really helpful and has taken an interest in our renovation since we moved in. Andy showed him around the other day, and he was hugely impressed, especially with Andy's flooring capabilities. He just assumed Andy had a summer job in high school putting in floors or something. Nope- this was his first time. High praise from our super, and Andy was beaming- and rightly so! Our super is so skilled and hardworking, and knows good work when he sees it. The renovation process made me respect him, and others in the construction/upkeep business so much. Remember if you have a good super to always thank him and recognize his expertise.