Our DC House

Backyard Makeover

This is the final renovation that I have to share of our DC house! This was actually completed awhile ago but I never got around to posting about it. The outdoor patio space was one of the great things about our home. Even though it is in the middle of the city, somehow the backyard seemed tranquil and secluded. The large tree helped with that a lot and it was gorgeous in the spring, summer, and fall.

Casey ripped out the rotting deck (yes, that is a “pond” to the right) and built a new deck complete with stone planters. He also replaced part of the fence.

The lights (from Target) hanging from the tree gave great character to the space. This picture was taken in winter but when the tree has leaves it really gives a ton of privacy back there. Great for parties, entertaining, or having a quiet moment with a book and a glass of wine.

Aw, I really do kind of miss this place. But, I have some exciting news, we have a contract on a house in PA. We really are trading city life for country living and moving to a home with three acres, and gorgeous views of farmland and over looking the river. The house itself was built in 2007 (what a change from our 1907 row home) and doesn’t need a ton of work. However, there are many things we want to do to make it our own so renovations will still be needed. Plus, there is a basement to finish! 
I am hoping that with fewer renovations I will have even more time to work on DIY decorating and I already have some big plans for the space. Can’t wait to share them with you. And also get back in the kitchen!

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Upstairs Bathroom Renovation

This was one of our last renovation projects. I wanted to have the basement and the basement bathroom finished first so that we could use that bathroom while the upstairs one was being renovated.

The bathroom was a sight to behold, chocolate brown from top to bottom! I can’t believe we lived with it for so long. All I wanted for this was lots and lots of white. We chose marble tile which we continued up the walls. Finding a toilet and vanity small enough to fit in the small space was a feat but we finally found a super low profile toilet that fit perfectly. Even with just the vanity cabinet and mirror I feel like there was ample storage space. For additional storage we added the white shelving above the toilet. We took a chance by forgoing a tub in this bathroom and doing a shower with gorgeous sliding glass doors.

For paint we went with a super light gray color (Benjamin Moore Sterling) just to give it a little bit of depth from the white accents. It’s hard to tell from this photo since it all pretty much washes together.

I am showing the before photo first because that is the one that usually shows up in thumbnails of the post and I can’t handle seeing that heinous brown bathroom more than absolutely necessary!

And it here it is before in all it’s chocolate glory…

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Violet’s Nursery

This is probably my favorite room in our old house! It is definitely the one I miss the most as I have many memories of Violet’s first few months spent inside these walls.

The main things that we did renovation-wise were to put down Pergo flooring and new baseboards, replace the doors, and the window. My decorating goal was to have a room that was girly but not overtly pink, and stylish but not too babyish. 
Here is the before picture:
Additional views:

Detail shots:

I love this room so much, I am tempted to replicate it exactly in our new house but then another part of me says to try something new! I do really love the paint color, though, it is a beautiful robin’s egg/Tiffany blue.
Item Specifics:
Paint – Valspar Aqua Glow
Rug – rugsusa.com
Dresser – Ikea with knobs from Anthropologie
Nightstand – Ikea
Glider – Monte Luca
Lamps – Ikea and Target
Bedding – Etsy Modified Dot
Crib – Babyletto
Mirror – Ikea, spray painted pink
Shelves – Ikea
Pink storage boxes – JJ Cole
Violet and Bulldog pictures – Homegoods/TJMaxx

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Exterior Before and Afters

This post has been a long time coming. Ever since we purchased our little brown dungeon (as I so fondly liked to refer to it as) we knew we had to do something about the dismal exterior. However, an updated kitchen, finished basement, and usable living room all trumped the exterior updates. Recently, though, we started thinking about how we could make the exterior match the interior.
It took a lot of thinking. Although many people frown on painting brick, we knew that was probably going to be the route that we needed to take. The brick on the front of the house is not original. It is a facade probably put up in the 70s or 80s. The brick is…. interesting. It has little brown speckles throughout giving it a very dated (and not in a good way) look up close.
Then, we had to decide what color to paint it. We already had the windows replaced to black windows so we felt it had to be something bright/light in contrast. 10 paint samples later, we finally picked (go figure) Benjamin Moore Platinum Gray.
Here is the exterior photo from the original house listing:
And here;s how it looks today:

It’s a world of difference and we couldn’t be happier! It’s brighter, whiter, cleaner, bigger! It is like a breath of fresh air.

Before and after:

Amazing what a little paint (and some new windows) can do! A little bit more landscaping and we should be where we want!

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

House Updates

Casey got our basement shower doors installed and I love how they look! The bathroom feels so fresh and simple and clean.
  
I can’t believe that it used to look like this:
::shudders:: That is a lime green toilet by the way. Only slightly better than the dark brown fixtures in the upstairs bathroom. I never realized how much I love white until I moved into a house filled with dark brown.

Much better.

We also got the built in shelves in the basement painted which gives us some great storage space. I am going to put some baskets on the shelves to hide items along with books and games.

We’re trying to finish up little projects throughout the house before delving into the next big project which will most likely be the dark brown bathroom atrocity upstairs. We are getting closer and closer to being “done” or at least having more rooms in the done column than in the to be renovated column. It’s a nice feeling!

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Basement Bathroom Before and After

Along with our major basement renovation, the bathroom needed a serious update. We wanted to have this bathroom completely done before we tackle the upstairs bathroom. We still have to install the shower doors, but other than that it is complete. A white bathroom is the stuff of dreams (when you buy a house with lime green/chocolate brown bathrooms)!

Before:
During:
After:

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Basement Reveal

Here it is, our huge basement project completed! Here are some before, during and after pictures of the progress we have made. We still have some decorating/sprucing up to do of the space, but all in all it has been an amazing transformation and we are just so happy to have the extra space. It feels really great to have this project done!
Before/During:

After:
 
Before:
During:
After:
Before/During:
After:
Before/During:

After:

Before:
After:
Before:
After:
We also finished the back half of the basement with storage and completely re-did the bathroom, which I will post pictures of in another post. Read more about what we did here and here.
Linked to Not So Homemade Sunday Spotlight, Thrifty Decor Chick Before and After Party and Friday Remodelaholic.

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Basement Renovation: The Plan

Other than filling in the hole in the middle of the basement, we also wanted to create more storage, a separate laundry room, and use up the empty space behind the staircase. The current layout had lots of unusable space in the back half of the floor, especially to the right of the fireplace and spiral staircase that we wanted to make better use of.
Layout Before:
3D Before Layout:
We decided to build a closet to use up the space to the right of the staircase to hold all of Casey’s tools and we will build built-in shelving next to the fireplace which will be accessed from the living area. I plan to have books/games stored there.

By changing the location of the bathroom door (previously located on the wall to the right) we were able to close off the laundry room. The laundry room has a stackable washer/dryer to save space. At some point, we will have shelving/cabinets built there for laundry storage. The laundry room also has a walkout to go out to the back patio.

We kept the bathroom fixtures in the same place to save on work and money. We also created a storage closet in front of the bathroom to enclose the water heater and to allow storage for bigger items (brooms, ladder, etc).

Now the previously unusable space gives us lots of much needed storage. We also have a decent sized area to the left of the staircase which I have yet to decide how to best utilize. I am thinking perhaps a console table against the left wall. Or something similar with storage. The front half of the floors is a decent sized living area and feels somewhat separate from the storage/laundry space.

Layout After:
3D After Layout:

Layouts from floorplanner.com

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

Basement Renovation: The Before

I have finally gotten around to preparing some posts for our basement renovation to post later this week. Before I show the amazing transformation, I thought I would show everyone what we had to work with.

The first picture is how the basement looked the day we purchased it. Yikes! Obviously, there are major cosmetic issues which I have pointed out below. Hello, early 80s. The biggest issue with the space is the hole (or pool, as we liked to call it, and it did in fact fill up with water once or twice after we gutted it but I digress) in the center of the room.

At some point, the basement was probably dug out since houses around here did not have basements when they were built. When the basement was dug out, cement footers were put around the walls (which are shown in the picture covered in teal carpet). The previous owner decided to use those footers as benches and have the sunken part in the middle be a dance floor. For the time, it was probably really hip and we have heard from neighbors that our house used to be an after hours dancing/gambling club frequented by Sugar Ray Leonard (btw, no stashes of cash hidden in the walls have been found). Bur, for us, working around that hole would have proven to be extremely challenging and we ended up having enough ceiling height to work with to be able to fill in the sunken space.

The aesthetics of the basement weren’t the only concern. There was major water damage, leaks, mold, and termite damage behind the walls. We ended up gutting the entire basement to start from scratch. Here is what the basement looked since right after we moved in and Casey gutted it. Bye, bye mirrors! It was actually kind of nice to have this space to work in while we were renovating the rest of the house, but eventually we were ansy to have the extra livable space.
More to come soon!

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

2010 Renovation Recap

We have worked a lot on our house this year and although I haven’t had anything to share with you recently there will be more to come in early 2011. Currently we are tackling the basement and the two bathrooms will be the next projects after that is complete. To see all the before and after pictures of our house, check out the renovations tab at the top of my blog.

Our major progresses in 2010 were turning this:
Into this:
And this sad, sad fireplace:
Into this
As well as our Guest Bedroom renovation from this:
To this:
Casey also completed a major back patio transformation that I neglected to take pictures of before the fall. I will post those before in afters in the spring when everything is green and beautiful again!
There will be a lot to come in 2011, the basement transformation is sure to be HUGE. Can I remind you of what it looked like when we bought the house?
Yikes! Here it is in current condition:
Not sure which one is scarier! But, a total gut was necessary regardless of how the basement originally looked. We found lots of water damage, mold, and rotten wood behind the walls, all of which are being fixed and sealed so that no more water damage will occur. I hope to have more updates soon!
Photography Update:
As you may have noticed, I kinda failed to complete Project 365, but, on the bright side, I have learned a ton about photography throughout the year and hope to continue to progress throughout 2011. I am continuing to skill build and hope to do more photo shoots in the next year to practice even more!

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

%d bloggers like this: