Tag Archives: redecorating

Remodeling and Redecorating: The Story Continues…

Aside from my having a serious case of spring fever, and being filled with anticipation and excitement about being able to get back out in my garden again, I also have remodeling and redecorating on my mind.

Those of you who have been “rambling” with me for a while are aware that I recently moved back home and began updating my mom’s house.  Last summer I began a series of posts entitled “Relocating, Remodeling, & Readjustments” to share about some of that.  I have them listed under “Home Improvement” in my categories section if you care to take a look at the suffering and torture I’ve endured thus far.  😉

Seriously though, it really has been quite an undertaking,  I’m a bit on the girlie side and not the handyman/handywoman type, so it’s been very challenging for me, to say the least.

Most of the focus so far has been on the upstairs of the house, as all of our bedrooms needed major updating prior to moving in (I nearly killed myself redoing the floors in mine and my mom’s rooms).  But there is still one room remaining upstairs that needs doing ~ the bathroom.  And before beginning any updates on the downstairs, I really want to get that finished first.

I found an old draft from August that I had started writing about the bathroom and thought I would publish it now since I am contemplating once again about taking care of some bathroom business…

Relocating, Remodeling, & Readjustments ~ Bathroom Business

Next up on our list of things to take care of at my mom’s house is the bathroom.

Over the course of time things tend to wear out, and one of those things was the bath/shower fixture in my mom’s main bathroom.  Some of the tile had shifted away and separated from around the faucet area, so a bit of leaking had developed which could cause serious problems down the road.  That would be bad…

With my not having a clue as how to do anything in the realm of plumbing, my mom called a local plumber and made arrangements to have this fixed.

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Well, a plumber came and while he was out attending to something in his truck, I went in there to sneak a peek and snap a quick photo of his progress. Here it is after the old fixture had been removed.  It looks pretty yucky inside there.

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In order for him to have full access to the pipes, he needed to create access from the other side of the wall, so he cut a hole in the wall inside my daughter’s closet.

This photo is the view from that side.  You can see that the wall directly behind the faucet definitely had some water damage from leaking behind the tile.  Of course the worst of it had already been cut out.

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No worries about having a gaping hole in my daughter’s closet because he put in a nice little access panel over it.

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Here is the new fixture, all bright and shiny!

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Next up was getting a handyman to come in to replace/repair the wall behind it and fix the tile.  Plumbers don’t do that part.  We found a very nice handyman guy, named Joe to do the work for us.  His fee was reasonable and he turned out being handy for a few other things as well.

We ran into a bit of a problem with the tile because the new fixture is not the same size/shape as the old one, so we were not able to reuse the tile that was removed from the area, and matching the color of tile from 36 years ago… yeah, not gonna happen.  We thought it would be nice to find a complimentary contrasting color that would pick up some of the colors in the floor tile, but that proved to be more difficult than it was worth.

So we just got white.

Blah.  Not the fanciest, but it does blend in somewhat with the white tub, and it’s 100 times better than it was.  Handyman Joe did a great job!

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While he was waiting for the grout to dry, Joe fixed my bedroom closet door that kept slipping out of its track whenever I opened or closed it, adjusted my daughter’s bedroom door that would get stuck shut whenever you closed it all the way, and fixed two other pieces of tile that were missing from another section of the wall in the bathroom.  All at no extra charge!

He also came back a different day and framed in around the inside of windows in the bathroom for us.  This was something left unfinished from when my parents remodeled last time.  There had been a problem with ordering the right sized windows or something like that, and since there were curtains that my parents kept closed the majority of the time in there, it just never got attended to.  But I want to hang blinds in there so we needed it to be finished off a little better.

Before

And after…

There is still a thin unfinished strip of space that was uneven between the piece of wood he put in and the window, but all I need to do is paint it white and I think it’ll look just fine once I put the blinds in.  🙂

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My mom’s tub also had a crack in it, so we had to get that repaired as well.  Handyman Joe didn’t do that type of work, so my mom called a placed called Surface Specialties to fix it.

Here is is before…

And after…

Nothing like posting a completely blank photo that looks like absolutely nothing, but this is the repaired area so there ya have it.  😉

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The next plans for remodeling as far as this bathroom goes will be replacing this wallpaper that is peeling.  I’ve never removed wallpaper before so I’m kinda, sorta worried about the process.

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Also, the light fixtures in the bathroom look quite outdated (as is the case in the rest of the house as well), but I like these that are hanging in there, so I don’t care if they’re outdated, they’re staying.  🙂

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So there you have it, that was the draft that I previously wrote about the bathroom.  Taking off the wallpaper is first on my agenda of what to do in there next, and I’m feeling really nervous about it.  I’ll have to read up on it, hopefully it doesn’t give me too much trouble.  Wish me luck…

Relocating, Redecorating & Readjustments ~ Mom’s Room

In our game of musical rooms, we’ve realized that it’s actually my mom’s room that needs to be attended to first.  Because in order for us to move into our rooms, she needs to move out of them first.  Yes, “them” ~ she has her things in both of them.  She has some things in the master bedroom that she originally shared with my dad (where my daughter is going), and she also has things in my old room that she’s been sleeping in (where I am going).  In actuality my mom is going from having three bedrooms to having just one.  Talk about a huge adjustment.

Initially, she was just going to go into this room “as is” since this room needs the least amount of updating and the plan has been that majority of the improvements will be done after my daughter and I are living there when more finances are freed up.  But as we’ve slowly got it emptied out to just the bare minimums, I started thinking we should at least paint it.  I’ve painted many a room in my day and really enjoy doing that.  It’s not terribly expensive or time consuming, and it’s much easier to do it while a room is empty rather than full of furniture.  Plus, how nice would it be for my mom move into her new room and feel a little more settled.  And there’s nothing quite like freshly painted walls to make things feel like new.  🙂

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The first thing we did was temporarily put up some new shades for her.  The ones she had in there were old and worn out, and also liked to pop out of the brackets whenever you tried to open or close them.  Eventually we’ll probably put some blinds up and then additional window treatments (a valance, drapes or curtains), but since the brackets for shades were already there and we have a bit of a time crunch, we just replaced the shades for now.  We picked out some pretty ones though ~ you can’t see real well from this photo, but these have a scalloped lacy bottom edge.  They are also a little bit heavier weight so hopefully they won’t curl in too much on the sides as some shades tend to do.~

After that, before we could paint, we needed to patch up any holes in the walls from previously hung pictures and various decor.  That was my daughter’s job, and her first time using spackle.  She wasn’t entirely confident that she knew what she was doing, but she did a splendid job.   Nifty stuff, spackle is.  ~

And it was my job to do the taping around all the trim work.  You can see that the person who previously painted the room got some paint on the outlet plug ~ that won’t be happening with my expert paint job.  😉~

While I was doing that taping (along the floor trim especially) I really started noticing how yucky the carpet in this room is.  It’s “newer” ~ not 36 years old like in the rest of the house, but still needing to be replaced just the same.  Originally the only bedroom we were planning on re-carpeting before we move in is my daughter’s, but after seeing a more close up view of the condition of this carpet I mentioned to my mom that it’s too bad we have to wait to re-carpet it because with the room nearly empty right now it sure would be nice to just get it done now.

Well, I shouldn’t have said that out loud because of course she jumped at that suggestion, and replacing the carpet now would be a big expense that we weren’t planning on.  Buying a can of paint is one thing, but the expense of purchasing new floor coverings is a whole other matter.  I’m not only the “foreman” as I mentioned in an earlier post, but sort of the accountant of this operation as well.  My mom would try to buy the moon if it was for sale, and I’m the one who has to make sure the earth’s gravity stays in balance.  😉

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 Then out of nowhere I  suddenly got the urge to pull back an area of the carpet and take a peek underneath it.   By golly there be hardwood floors under there!My mom had said that when she was a little girl, she remembers there being hardwood floors in the house, but when she and my dad had it remodeled in the 70’s she didn’t take note of the floors because they were just carpeting it all.

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When they come to install the new carpet in my daughter’s room, I had planned to have them tear out the carpeting in my room at the same time.  Because all I know is that I’m not moving back into my old room with that same carpet in it, so although I was hoping for hardwood floors, I would even take plywood temporarily over that old carpet and just throw down a rug if I had to until we could afford different flooring in there.  But… with finding hardwood under my mom’s carpet… that means it’s likely in my room too!  Sooo excited about that possibility!  Of course we don’t know what condition any of it is in and it will very likely need to be refinished, but for my room I had just planned on scrubbing it down real good and then refinishing it later when finances allowed.

However, in regard to my mom’s room… I have now opened the proverbial can of worms.  We have three choices here ~ put the carpet back in place and forget about doing anything with it until finances allow, tear it out and see about the condition of the wood floor, and then just live with it the way it is (like I am going to do with my room), or go ahead and bear the expense and re-carpet the room.

Well, it turns out my mom also prefers to have hardwood floors rather than carpeting for her room too, so we’ve decided to go with the middle option and rip out the carpet and then just live with the condition of it until we can manage to refinish it.  Except that we will have to do a little more than just scrub it up real good.  If you look closely at the photo above you can see that there are 2 strips of wood with writing on them and pokey things sticking up out of them.  My sis called them furring strips (she’s knows stuff about stuff ;)).  Anyway, those will have to be pried/pulled up somehow and I don’t know about my girly hands having the strength to do it.  Also there is quite a large gap right under the baseboard molding that goes along the floor of the outside wall of the room (don’t know yet about the interior walls), so that will have to be filled in with something temporarily (like a strip of wood maybe).  Can’t be having any creepy crawlies venturing about from within those cracks and crevasses.  Eek!

So much for our time crunch ~ this floor is gonna take some time.  Why oh why did I have to peek under that carpet?  I have plans within the next few days to try and get in there and rip it out, but that is for a different post.

Next up here: painting.  I maybe should have held off until the floor got figured out, but I had already done all the prep work and hey with tearing out the carpet, I didn’t have to be as careful about getting any paint on the floor.  😉

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As I said, I enjoy painting a room, but this room gave me a bit of trouble.  I didn’t think the old color and the new color were really that similar (a pale pink was what was currently on the walls and an “off white” was what I was applying), but with the lighting in the room it was sooo hard to tell where I was at while looking straight on at it.  I think it probably had to do with the pink carpeting in there reflecting off the walls.  Maybe I should have torn out the carpet first and saved myself this mild color-induced frustration.

From the side it was a little easier to tell between the two colors, but not by much.  See how you can barely tell the difference…?  It was a little frustrating.The name of the color of paint my mom chose was called “Washed Up” and that is exactly how I felt trying to paint this room.   😉

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It was fairly easy helping my mom to choose a paint color for her room because she just wanted a neutral off white tone (although you may be surprised at how many variations of off-white there actually are).  But in browsing briefly at the paint samples while we were at the store and in considering my own room ~ I think that’s going to be a bit tougher to decide on because I want color!

And there’s sooo many to choose from…~

Relocating, Redecorating & Readjustments ~ Cool Old Stuff

I’ve been working unbelievably hard over at my mom’s house getting it ready for my daughter and I to move in there after the summer.   It’s mind boggling trying to prioritize everything and decide what to do first.  And just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize that you have to do something else first.

Case in point…

We know that we’re doing my daughter’s room first, but it’s not just as simple as moving everything out of there.  Some of the furniture in that room is going into my mom’s room, but my mom’s room has stuff in it that needs to be moved out of there first, and some of that stuff will be going into my daughter’s room, but can’t go there until after her new carpet goes in, and so on.  We’re also having the carpet torn out in my room when they come to install the new carpet in my daughter’s room, but my mom is currently in that room and it is full of stuff that needs to move into my mom’s new room, but it can’t until the stuff in the other rooms gets straightened out.  So we’re playing a bit of “musical rooms’ here.   Also some of the things that we are keeping, need to be put in storage in the basement, but we’ve realized that the basement needs to be organized and cleared out first.  The stuff we “clear out” of there needs to be moved out to the garage for a garage sale later, but there is stuff currently in the garage that needs to be organized and cleared away too in order to make room for the stuff we’re bringing out there.  I know I’m rambling (that’s what I do ;)), but you get the picture…  And it’s just us three ladies doing it all so it’s a little overwhelming.  I’m our makeshift “foreman” so there’s quite a bit on my shoulders…

And it’s not just all the “moving” there is to do,  another part of this whole process is taking care of some of the other stuff in my mom’s house.  This house has been in my family for nearly three quarters of a century and not just my mom has lived there, but my grandma and my great grandma as well , so there’s a lot of history stored there.  In going through some of the closets, we’ve found some very precious keepsakes.  I’ve already mentioned in So Anyway, Moving Right Along…  that I got to look through some of my old baby clothes and how neat that was, but being a fan of antiques and seeing some of the even “older” things my mom has is really cool.  And it’s not just any ol’ old antique stuff ~ it’s my family’s old stuff, which makes it even specialer.

Like my grandma’s wedding dress…

And this cool old memorial document thing from her marriage to my grandpa…

This is my grandparents on their wedding day ~ June 5th, 1935.I can’t even tell you how neat it would be if my daughter or even a possible future granddaughter would wear this same dress on their own wedding day.  Yeah, I’m a bit of a sentimental dork and get off on things like that.

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We also came across a few old jewelry boxes filled with jewelry that belonged to my mom, her mom, her sister, and her grandma.I already LOVE vintage jewelry, but the thought that not only my mom and her sister, but my grandma and great grandma wore some of this makes me love this particular vintage jewelry even more!  My family doesn’t come from any real significant financial means, so I’m sure none of it is anything “valuable” aside from it’s age ~ which probably ranges from the early 1900’s to the 70’s.  Some of it is tarnished or broken, and some of the earrings have long lost their mates, but it’s beautiful just the same.

This pink box was my grandma’s and some of the jewelry in it was my great-grandma’s too.  My mom says that my grandpa bought the sparkly blue necklaces for my grandma because he himself liked them so much.  🙂  I tried to take some close-up photos of some of my favorite pieces, but I couldn’t really get them to turn out.  You’ll just have to take my word for it that some of this stuff is gorgeous!~

My mom says she thinks this blue box may actually be from my grandpa’s side of the family (his mother, grandmother etc.) because the jewelry doesn’t look familiar to her, but she isn’t sure.  Some of the jewelry in here is the most tarnished and broken so I’m thinking it’s really old. ~

And this gold box is my mom’s.  Again, I tried to take individual shots of my favorite pieces, but couldn’t get them to turn out.  But believe me some of this stuff is amazing!  I have at least 10 things I’m stealing out of here (with my mom’s permission of course ;)).~

The thing is… it’s sad to just keep all of this beautiful jewelry stored away only to take out and gaze at once in a while.  I’ve seen some pretty interesting ideas for using vintage jewelry (aside from wearing it), and for the things that are broken or have no mates, it would be cool to make something like this up with my mom’s, grandma’s or great grandma’s initial.  Then it could be on display and serve not only as a lovely piece of art, but also as a reminder and memorial of the lovely women in my family who once wore it…~

Of course with everything else there is to do at my mom’s house, I have no idea when I would ever get the chance to work on/make something like that, but I adore the idea and think I may have to store it in my memory banks as a future creative project.  How special and meaningful would it be to do something like this as we are merging family together into this same home again?  ♥

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I also might have to find a special way to display these beautiful old potholders too.  My great grandma crocheted these.There are dozens of handcrafted doilies and even handkerchiefs that my great grandma made, including some that were “in process,” which I particularly like. Because I’ve done a lot of handcrafting myself, it’s fun to imagine her being excited to try out new patterns and techniques and then moving on to the next one without completing it (been there, done that ;)).   It would be so cool to finish some of them for her ~ if only I knew even the first thing about crocheting or could find the matching thread.  My mom said that my great grandma had terrible arthritis in her hands, but that she was always stitching something.  I’m glad we have these wonderful mementos from the work of those precious hands.

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There is an old broken dilapidated cedar chest in my mom’s basement that belonged to my grandma and was where she stored all of her and my grandpa’s family photos along with a few other things.  In going through and trying to organize some of the other family heirlooms, my mom thought this might be a good time to take a peek inside of it (it’s been buried under boxes and other things in her basement for many years).  So the three of us girls spent some time the other day looking through it’s contents and it was super cool!  There are family photos dating way back to the 1800’s in there ~ I even saw one of my great great great grandpa!  My brother worked quite a bit on our family tree a number of years ago and had some of them arranged according to family line, but sadly there are still some of them that are unknown.  We also don’t know exactly who the pocket watches in this photo belonged to, but whoever it was must have been strong because man those things weigh a ton!  The green glass candle holders were my great grandma’s, they’re quite atrocious, but I may just have to find a place to display those at some point too…

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We’ve got a bit more to go through, but as soon as we wrap up this little trip down memory lane, we’ll be able to get onto painting and redecorating the bedrooms.

🙂