Thursday, January 2, 2014


So... we hosted Christmas this year and you know what that means. Sarah made that the deadline for upstairs bathroom renovations. Here's a partial reveal of the results. We've essentially gutted both bathrooms, new floor tiles, new subway tiles for the shower, refinished and painted bathtub, new white marble vanities, replaced hardware and fixtures, and fresh coats of paint.  Our previous toilets were very weak in the flush department, so we picked up two new Kohler toilets from HD.



Hopefully we can gather more pictures of the upstairs, and more of the bathrooms.  I would say that we are very pleased of the facelift.  Our next step is to fill the rooms with decor and, of course, family memories.

How did I do?

Happy Reno!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

On Your Mark...

Hi there!  Just found two minutes, so I thought I'd drop in and show some pictures of us getting ready.

 {control center}

We are getting carpet installed in the next two weeks, so we ripped out the carpet of the entire upstairs and made the game room our main control center, i.e. equipment and tool storage. And since were are planning on repainting all the walls upstairs, we used the game room as the painting center. All of the doors were removed and lined along the wall and sprayed. Thank goodness for the Wagner sprayer and hungry family members.


There's a lot of trust hanging out there for me to let someone else do the painting. But for the sake of getting it done, and also Simply White being on top of a previous white paint making imperfections less noticeable, I loosened the reigns a smidgen.

Sarah and I have been touching up other things upstairs like the closets, bookshelfs, and built-in desk. We've also gotten the bathrooms prepped for tiling. So, be on the look out for my 2-minute-drop-in picture updates.

Happy Remodeling.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Good Night Construction Site

Back to that subject of priorities again!  We spend so much of our time downstairs with the little one, we forget that we set our priority to be upstairs remodeling. We would find little things downstairs to work on, and they would be little knick-knaks. You've already seen that I started with the Laundry room and the half bathroom. We are very pleased with them of course, but again delays upstairs progress. Then there are things that we'd like to make more pleasing to our eyes like changing some of the AC vents to bright white and changing door knob handles to satin nickel handles.  
Another frustrating item is changing out door hinges to nickel hinges. The previous owner, maybe even the builder, decided to fill in the hinge screws with wood filler before painting them. So the process of digging out the screws then unhinging took a bit of time.
The time spent on these items were all well spent, just out of order. So re-prioritizing puts us at DEMOLITION of the J&J bathroom and the Guest bathroom. These pictures are results of bribing family with dinners for their labor.

{naked shower}
The cultured marble took a little muscle to rip off, but we're glad we did it. This shower obviously hasn't been inspected, in probably the 20 years of the previous owners' occupancy.  There was some mold on the backer boards from water leakage, so we will be replacing all of that also.

{not so vain anymore}
We demo-ed the vanities in both bathrooms. The were built-in, so we had to take hammers to it rather than a simple pull out.

Our temporary storage for all of the demolition were the rooms themselves. The carpet being pretty close to the top of the list to be ripped out was a plus for us to not worry about throwing all this trash atop.

And this is where it all ended up.  Home Depot sells these bags ($30) that you can set on your driveway for trash collection. The bag was 3 cubic yards (2 ft by 4 ft by 8 ft) and we were able to fit both showers, both vanities, and tile and mortar from both floors. You just have to go to and schedule a pick-up date. They'll come with a dumpster truck equipped with a hydraulic arm to pick it up into the truck, as simple as that.  
It didn't look like we had room in the bag for the mirrors and the shower backerboards and so we didn't take them down.  Or that may be our excuse for now.  They may end up as part of our weekly trash pick-ups.
Thanks to my family for helping out with the demolition.  Now on to the remodel part!

What have you demolished lately?
Any thoughts on what we could have done better?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Sorry, we apologize for being so absent, but remember that butcher paper of To Do's that I taped on our living room wall?  Well, we got to cross something else off the list.


Yup!  We have a happy healthy baby boy.  Obviously, this has been the reason why our postings have been slow.  Please forgive us!!  I am still trying to work about an hour a day on the house, after spending time with my son, of course.  But waking up at 5 am to work 9-hour days and spending time with the little addition will make progress on our house a little slow.  We do have deadlines (or dates we'd like to meet) in place and we will try to post our progress as much as possible.

I have been able to finish painting the Laundry room and the half-bathroom has had quite a facelift.  Also, demolition on the J&J bathroom is well under way.  Pictures coming soon!!!

Friday, August 16, 2013


{Ridiculously dusty curtains and finials down, 57 holes left to patch!}

Knowing that any minute could be go time for this baby boy taking up space in my ever growing baby bump, Huynh and I have been trying to tackle as many house projects as we can manage before our time is consumed with kisses and snuggles (Eek! Can't wait!!). This weekend will be filled with more painting - hopefully getting the laundry room done - and more unpacking all while taking it one day at a time and trying to plan for the unexpected. I'm not going to lie and say that we are not anxious but we are also crazy excited and can't wait to see what's to come! Happy Friday, y'all.

{Sneak peak at laundry room. Gearing up to paint cabinets.}

{Built-ins upstairs, ready for new shelves.}

{Pretttty gourd lamp that I should have snatched up!}

{Don't paint your hinges to your doors or Huynh will hunt you down.}

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Paint Colors

In sharp contrast to our previous abode, this house is getting much cooler toned colors thus completely ditching any remnants of tan! Instead of going crazy with the deep rich colors - at one point, in the old house, we had an entire blue bathroom, yes, ceiling included - we learned that we really do enjoy colors, only in moderation. So by having a great neutral, a consistent color throughout the trim and finishes, and an ultimate goal of having good flow throughout the entire house, throwing in some fun hidden surprises lurking behind closed doors become that much more fun.

We love Benjamin Moore Grey Owl (along with the rest of Pinterest) and have decided that it, along with Benjamin Moore's Simply White for the trim, will be our main base colors for the entire house:

I even went so far as to plan which rooms were getting which colors - makes it nice to look back and see what we thought we were going to do versus what we end up actually doing.

The main living areas and our master bedroom will be Grey Owl with the kitchen getting Grey Owl too, just lightened 50%. Our master bath will be painted Smoke with Van Courtland Blue as an accent and, as you saw, the master closet getting a good dose of Hale Navy. We continued the Hale Navy trend in the half bathroom as well and painted the laundry room Jade Garden (which I love). The study will be Guilford Green and its closet will be painted Grey Owl, 50% lightened.

The same scheme continues upstairs too with the main living areas, nursery, and guest bedroom getting Grey Owl-ified. The Jack and Jill bath will be painted Smoke, which, I think, will pair nicely with the Winding Vines accent wall in the nursery and Storm painted boy's room. The guest bath, along with all the closets, will be painted Grey Owl, 50% lightened.

So yes, I am calling this "Paint Plan A". We'll see what happens next.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Little Before/Afters

In the thick of remodeling, it is hard to remember why we bought the house to begin with... I mean, were we crazy to think that an undertaking of this sort was even remotely manageable?? But when we really step back, take a breath, and remember that we truly love this kind of stuff, we realize we are perfect for this house. Our new house.

That being said, it is still crazy to think that I am 39 weeks (and 4 days) pregnant, waddling around the house with the cordless drill taking off brass door knobs and cream outlet face plates while Huynh undertakes all of the painting, only at night and on the weekends, so we can get some sort of semblance of home before our little one makes his grand entrance. Huynh's a rockstar, putting up with my crazy antics ("paint the master closet NOW before I start throwing clothes away!!") and smiling through it all before collapsing into bed at night and knocking out before the new day starts.

Needless to say, the house did not start out our style but we saw the potential and, in addition to the big updates, are making little ones to help make it feel more like us. 

Our house was built in 1988 and, in most cases, has not been touched since. The cream and brass finishes will all be updated to white and nickel niceties which we tackled first in the master closet then followed to the half bathroom and the main parts of the house. Huynh showed you the new fixtures in the master closet yesterday which replaced those unsightly bare bulbs; below that is the half bathroom with a sneak peak of it's new face lift. Last are our brand new knobs *swoon*! Funnily enough, I ordered all of the door knobs before we closed on the house - when we officially moved in, we realized that I bought the exact same knobs that were already in the house only updated. 

Twenty-five years from now, the owners of this house are going to be wishing we kept those brass monsters when they go full circle and come back in style (ha!).