Monday, July 11, 2011

The house

The house we've moved into is the one I bought back in 2002. I lived in it until 2006 when I moved to England. While I was gone I rented it out and had 3 different groups of tenants. I really lucked out and even though it was a rental for 4.5 years it's actually in really good shape. Regardless, the house is showing it's wear. Some of the projects are things I wanted to do even before I moved out and some are things that just need replaced after 9 years.

When I bought the house it was totally rehabbed. I didn't have any say in what went on, which was fine. I was young, single, and working, so I didn't want a place that I was going to have to do a lot of work just to make it liveable. The builders (who I later discovered were useless and could be a whole post of their own) put all the basics into the place. Again, that's fine. I was able to buy the house and make changes over the years.

I thought I'd do some posts highlighting different parts of the house and what we'd like to do with it. Once we get jobs we hope to put the ideas into action! I'll start with the first floor since it's the largest area.

This is what the first floor of the house looked like when I bought it:

The stairs with the hideous railings.

Looking from the front door to the kitchen.

Looking toward the front door.

Kitchen with hideous blue counter tops and blue tile floor.

Here is what the first floor looked like right before I moved to England:

It's hard to tell, but I took down the hideous railings when I pulled up the carpet.  I replaced the carpet with laminate flooring.

No more blue tile! That was a total pain to get up, but 100% worth it in the end. Notice what's still there...the blue counter tops. They were on my bucket list of things to get rid of.

And, here's what things look like as of today. If you know me in real life and wonder why we haven't invited you around, now you'll see why. Before I took the pictures I thought I should clean up a bit, but really, there's no place to put this stuff.

You may notice a lack of furniture and rugs. Yeah. I sold a lot of stuff to a friend since I knew I'd want something different when I moved back That's why we have no sofa and end tables. What you can't see between the two chairs is the cardboard box we're using as a coffee table. Classy. I'd also like to come up with new railings for the bottom of the stairs.

We had to buy a TV and little TV stand. The old entertainment center weighed about 2 tons and was ugly. My last tenant didn't want it and the ones before that offered to get rid of it, so I took them up on it. Thank goodness I saved that large bookcase since a whole lot of our shipment consisted of books! It's already 90% full!

Blue counter tops?? Check! Extra security bar on the door?? Check! One day I was coming through the door and thought to myself, 'I could probably kick that door in, no problem'. If I can kick it in, anyone can! The kitchen is one of the places that I'm dreaming about a complete overhaul: new stove (one of the burners doesn't work), new dishwasher, and new cabinets/counter tops/back splash. The fridge is new, so no need for a new one. The cabinets are in fine condition, but I find that there is a lot of wasted/unusable space in the back. My parents have shelves in their cabinets that slide out, allowing you to use access the back of the cabinet much more easily. However the space that is my biggest pet peeve is this:

It's the area between the refrigerator and back window. I've considered putting a lot of things in this space, namely a big stand alone butcher block thing with drawers and what not. I can't put a hutch there because it would cover up the fuse box. With the price of those, however, I could probably get the new kitchen cabinets, so I'm thinking more built-in cabinets in this space and around the fridge. At least one cabinet will be a tall one to put brooms in and such. The hope is that this would increase resale value as well.

That's it for my first floor dreams: a couch and a new kitchen. That's not too much to ask for, right?? I suppose my dream for a job needs to come true first!


  1. You have a lovely big dishwasher! I bet you have a dryer somewhere in there too. ;-)

  2. Love your house! You have such great ideas for making it "yours" again!

  3. Thanks C!

    Yes, Moe. The dryer is in the BASEMENT! One area which will never be photographed.

  4. Look at all that space! Have fun with it. I was just reading you last few posts and you seem so happy--congrats on the move and can't wait to keep hearing all about your new life in America. xoxo (miss you!!)

  5. So spacious and gorgeous, and I bet no mold in sight! Now I can't wait until we have a house of our own too!

  6. Your blue countertops are no match for MY blue countertops!! They are straight out of the 70s!

    I love the cardboard box as end table idea.