my house

The Living Room Bookcases are Almost Done

Hi! 😀 I hit 366 days straight of blogging on April 11 and then I decided to break my streak to avoid accidentally starting to aim for two years straight. I had to really break it by not posting for the last several days so I would get over it, and you have no idea how many times I almost blogged. But it’s broken for good, so I’m back now. Hello.

So, I think I’ve shared this photo here before, but this is what my living room looked like when I bought my house and the wood floor was waiting to be installed before we moved in. It was mostly original to 1960, except that inset carpet had been replaced I guess, but that didn’t make it any less horrifying.


When we first moved in, I filled the shelves with as many brightly colored and pretty things I could find around the house to bright up the very brown room and hide those mirrored backs while I waited for the chance to update the room.

Then we covered the floors and ripped everything out to get new drywall installed and bookcases built in around the fireplace.


And ta-da!


The fireplace brick is gray now and it has new all-black doors. I’m waiting for the paint on the shelves to cure so I can clean it all up and fill the bookcases up, and oooooh, I love it so much even before I get to put my books away. It’s so bright over there (and in the whole room) now.

I’ll share the room (in color!) once I can fill up the shelves. Because the other side (with my beloved teal sectional) is looking pretty fantastic now too.

life, my house

Life Update, late March

I ate another sandwich today:

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken salad made with rotisserie chicken, mayo, mustard, relish, celery, grapes, salt and pepper, with lettuce and tomato on a ciabatta roll.

And my bathroom passed the first plumbing inspection! Phew.

The window install meant for today had to be postponed due to thunderstorms, but they’ll be going in Monday, so no big deal.

Tomorrow the electrician is coming to update the wiring in the master bedroom and bathroom (and add a light over my table in our new dining room). There will be lights in better spots and more outlets! (Also, zero scary wires from 1960, so that’s a great thing too.) Once the wiring is done, it’ll be time for two more inspections: electrical and framing, for the room/walls/foundation in general, before the sheetrock can go up.

My painter stopped by today to check things out and work up a quote for installing/repairing/updating/painting the walls in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallway, and I’m working on scheduling the tiling for the shower walls and bathroom floor.

The new bed is being delivered in two weeks. Just in time for us to not have to sleep on the floor while we have houseguests who will need the guest bed we’re currently using.

So many moving parts! I will fully admit that about two days after I posted, Master Bathroom: Deadline April 19, my husband acknowledged how stressed I was trying to get this timing just right and move things along and kindly said, “If it’s not done before they get here, so what? We’ll share a bathroom with them just like we have every other time we’ve had guests since we never used this bathroom anyway.” And then I exhaled and have felt way better since then.

We might be done in time, but we might only be close to being done by then, and oh well. We’ll share. And the bathroom will still be fantastic when it is done.

Message to myself:

my house

Master Bathroom: Progress!

Last Friday:


Some plumbing progress:

bathroom plumbing progress

By the end of today, the plumbing rough-in was done and the cast iron shower pan was installed. They’ll be back to do the water test tomorrow and the City Inspector is expected sometime too. (First inspection! Eek!)

Next: windows (Wednesday) & electric (Thursday)! Scheduling walls & tiling soon. OMG, Y’ALL. THIS IS GOING TO BE A BATHROOM.

my house

Master Bathroom: Deadline April 19

You may have noticed I’m in the middle of a bathroom remodel. Well, “middle” in the sense that it’s ongoing, but not quite “middle” as in we’re halfway done… unless it being fully demolished counts as halfway, since now we just have to put it all back together. 😉

I mentioned my remodeling anxiety earlier in the month and sadly, it’s still here. It bugged me so much last night that I accidentally passed it over to the husband too. He was out of bed measuring to verify we hadn’t forgotten to leave enough space for the toilet paper holder at midnight. Oops. (Although, I’m fully willing to admit it was nice to have someone else worrying with me, instead of just me agonizing over all of the details while overseeing the appointment scheduling and estimate getting.)

2" black hex tile by MerolaSpeaking of plans and details, in a possibly surprising turn of events, we’ve decided to go with 2″ matte black hex tile for the floor. (Sort of like this, but not penny rounds.)

So, it’s happening! The demo is done as of today, the tile plan and order will be finalized this week, the rough-in on the new plumbing is scheduled for next week, the electrical will follow, and then the walls and tiling, then the finishing touches and done! (Somewhere in there a city inspector will be out a few times to check things along the way, so cross your fingers that those go well and don’t cause any big delays.)

And our deadline is April 19 because we’ve got four family members arriving from The Netherlands on April 20 to stay with us for a few weeks and we are not going to be stuck all sharing the hallway bathroom!

life, my house

Remodeling Anxiety

TinaBelcher-Ugh-onfloor gif

I’ve woken up shortly after 3am the past two nights, unable to get back into a comfortable sleep, because my mind is racing with worries about our bathroom remodel. It sounds pretty dumb when I mention it, and I’m glad the rest of my life is mostly anxiety-free now, but I’m tired and my jaw hurts from clenching my teeth and I hope I can figure out how to relax about this.

Other than general worry over the actual work and the amount of money being spent, I’m sleeping in a strange room on a different bed. The master bedroom is storing random bathroom parts and too dusty to live in, so we’re in the guest room, which gets more noise and light and from the road because it faces the corner of two streets. (Note to self: Get some blackout curtains for your future guests’ comfort!) 

I’m not sure there’s a solution for this other than the bathroom being done, but maybe it’ll start feeling better when something big is done and the first city inspection is passed. I hope so. I’m tired.

life, my house

Living Room Update Plans

Back in January, I shared some notes on planned updates to the house my husband and I bought last year and a few pictures of our white walls and lovely new floors. (See: Sarah’s House: Welcome!) It was built in 1960 and has been left mostly un-updated… UNTIL NOW! So far we’ve installed wood floors throughout the house, and spent several thousand dollars on other mostly boring updates (like garage doors, chimney repairs, and electrical upgrades).

Our next project is a full living room re-do. We’ve got our big TV, TiVo, and gaming consoles in this room, and it’s the one that can be made darkest for movie nights, so comfort is key. Right now it has 60’s den-style brown wood paneled walls, brown built-in shelves & cabinets, wood beams starting to detach from the ceiling, and a brick fireplace complete with shiny brass trim on the doors. Basically: It’s not a good look.

Here’s what I’m thinking will be going on in the new room to get us started:

We already own the TV stand, coffee table, rug, and the round table. The floors are installed and the walls will be white like in the image above (taken in our home office).

When we first moved in, I dressed up the old built-ins that flank the fireplace with a bunch of random decorative stuff I pulled out of our boxes. I mostly aimed for books + colorful things to distract from the sagging shelves and mirrored backs. There are cabinets along the bottom half with doors that attempt to stay shut, but aren’t always successful.

Here’s how they look right now:

The first image on this post shows the wall containing the built-ins and fireplace. The plan for them is to tear out the original shelves and cabinets and replace them with floor-to-ceiling bookcases. Each side of the fireplace has five feet of space to install shelves, so it’ll be a nice space for lots of books & bringing color into the room. I’m thinking we’ll paint the fireplace brick white to keep things bright and let it blend with the walls a bit.

The project is going to be a combination of DIY and hired help, so… we’ll see how it all goes. Hopefully by this fall it’ll be updated & we’ll be in the decorative finishing touches phase.

More soon! Wish us luck!