You should probably know that I have a thing for old houses. It probably has something to do with growing up in Vermont and my mom being an avid seeker of antiques to hang in my childhood home. Or just the shapes and uniqueness that each brings. Still to this day, I love the character that older homes bring both inside and out, but when I’m honest with myself, I don’t think I’d ever buy one again. As much as I love the look of the “old” homes, you could say, our first home did me in. You’ve heard about the Frustrating Foundation Failure and just read Revealing the Living Room, and even after all of that we still wanted to marry each other!
In the end, the living room make-over was a huge success and it was an amazing room. As a matter of fact it was probably our most used room in the house.
I had forgotten that the living room project was put on hold for a while, due to outside contractors putting off beginning the job. Eventually we decided to move forward with the next project so I could move in.The next project was the master bedroom! We ripped out some carpets upstairs in three different rooms.
Again with the help of some awesome friends and family, we started the demo of the floors in the master bedroom, guest room, office, the stairs, and hallway. All of those spaces were carpeted and needed some love. No steam cleaner was going to do the trick.
I was SO happy to see the carpets being taken out, the smoke and dirt build up was unreal. My hope was that we would find some great wood underneath so that we could paint or re-finish the floors, but that was a bit too optimistic. Instead we found laminate flooring and shingles underneath the carpet in the guest room. Yes, shingles for a roof on the floor. Why? Our best guess is that the shingles were seemingly leveling out the floor. My carpenter dad just shook his head in disgust. I was less than pleased, another story to tell Mark while Mark was still on his first clinical rotation in Oregon.
With multiple layers of flooring and a side of shingles, came lots of nails. My mom and I removed many, many nails. Thanks, Mom!
The wood that I dreamed of re-finishing underneath the carpet was unable to be salvaged. In an old home you always need to be aware of potential lead paint hazards, and the floors were so distressed that in many places there were large cracks that would be unsafe for walking on without tripping. We hadn’t planned to finish the flooring in the guest room and office until later on, so in those two rooms, the work was essentially complete once we were back down to the first layer of flooring. Thankfully the guest room was the only room with layers!
After we removed the carpet in the master bedroom, I painted it brown. A bold color for a small room, but I went with it anyway! See below for details.
I used Benjamin Moore’s Carob as the main color for this room.
Once this room was complete I could move in, so I was getting very anxious for this room to be complete!
This room definitely “cleaned it’s act up” from when we purchased the home. I was so excited to be living in the house. Although it was pretty strange living in a 3 bedroom house alone, the noise of construction always kept me company…. Not to forget that I was in my 3rd year of graduate school and planning our wedding. I wasn’t ever bored, that’s for sure!
As I reflect on this, I ask myself, “wow, what were we thinking?” Then, I remember, the quaint farmhouse that caught my eye when we first saw the ad posted online. I also remember thinking, I have a vision for this home, and it was exciting to see it come to fruition, one room at a time. That’s when I learned that I can find beauty among the ashes.
Have you ever felt like you’ve been ‘in over your head’ with renovating a home? How did you get through it? What were some things that you learned through the process?