Out With the Old!

We close on our Maryville house today!  After renovating the interiors, staging each room, and having it on the market for about five months, it sold to a lovely couple who will hopefully enjoy it for years to come.  We spent about four months renovating and working on house related projects every weekend, it was a LOT of work, but we were very happy with the finished product.

Here are the before and after photos.

 Kithcen:  we refinished the cabinets with Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations in Espresso, painted the walls, replaced the light fixture, and cleared everything off of the countertops.  I love the result.

 Kitchen - Before

Kitchen - Before

 Kitchen - After

Kitchen - After

 Living/Dining Area:  We installed hand-scraped Acacia hardwood flooring throughout, charcoal slate tile in the entryway, and we resurfaced the fireplace with a rustic stacked stone.  Add a rug, a few pieces of artwork and… vouila!

 Living Room - Before

Living Room - Before

 Living Room - After (floors)

Living Room - After (floors)

 Living Room - After

Living Room - After

 Bathrooms:  In the master and spare bathrooms, we refinished the cabinets with the same color as the kitchen cabinets.  At the last minute, we also added frames to the mirrors using trim pieces painted to match the cabinets.  This was a really quick and inexpensive project, but I feel like it really makes the rooms pop.

 Master Bath - Before

Master Bath - Before

 Spare Bath - Before

Spare Bath - Before

 Spare Bath - After

Spare Bath - After

Bedrooms:  We spruced up our bedroom a bit, and Dan created a headboard out of an old door that I found.

 Master Bedroom - Before

Master Bedroom - Before

 Master Bedroom - After

Master Bedroom - After

The spare bedroom got a Texas theme! :)

This view is what I will miss most about the house.

We are super happy with the results and hope that this house will make a great home for it's new owners.

Now, I am off to finish packing our stuff and getting ready to move into our new home next week.  I've been waiting for this day for a long time.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if its real... I am getting ready to move into my dream home with my favorite person in the whole world.  I am so blessed.

© Haley McManigal 2014

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DIY Headboard

Our very last project before getting our house ready to put on the market was making a headboard out of this old door that I found at the Knox Heritage Architectural Salvage Room.

I chose this particular door because it had six equal panels and would look more or less symmetrical when I hung it sideways on the wall.  I saw several awesome doors, but none of them had the right symmetry except this little jewel.  And apparently a six panel door is kind of rare... I've seen tons of five panels, but no other six panels in all of my salvaged door experience (which is not really saying much, but still).

The first thing we had to do was clean the door.  It was pretty dirty, so we had to wash off all of those years of dust and dirt...  I scrubbed extra hard, trust me.  This door was the front door to an apartment, which I know because it had a door number on the front.  I like the fact that this door has a story.  It makes it so much more interesting to me than if we had just gone to the furniture store and picked out some mdf headboard with no soul. 

After the door was clean, we set up shop in the garage and started to frame it in with 1x4s.  We wanted a nice finished edge on the headboard, so we decided to frame it out and then paint the frame white.  Dan also engineered a support system of 4x4 wood posts and metal brackets and screwed connections. 

After we felt confident that the headboard was structurally sound, we finished it off with some molding on the top, and white paint on all of the trim.  Then we set it in place in the bedroom and admired our handiwork!

This is a BIG headboard.  If you have a full or queen, you could easily trim the door to fit your needs, but this size works well with our king size bed and makes just the statement that we wanted.  This was a simple and fun project that I would recommend to anyone!

Fireplace and Entry Tile Fun

We have officially finished another major project at our Maryville house... two actually: the Fireplace and the Entry tile floor!  We treated both of these as the same project because we used the same tile on the hearth and in the entry way to tie the room together.

I love the natural look and feel of slate and stacked stone, so that is what we chose to use on the fireplace.  The face of the fireplace is natural stacked stone, and the hearth and entry tile is a charcoal gray slate.  The fireplace is the focal point of the room, so I wanted it to be bold and dramatic.  We felt that the existing white marble tile kind of blended into the wall and also dated the house. 

Here is the fireplace before:

 Fireplace Before

Fireplace Before

And after removing the white marble...

We tried to salvage the drywall beneath the tile, but there was no way.  It was way too much to patch so we just took it all out and started fresh with a backer board.

IMG_20140705_180135_293.jpg

We unboxed all of our tiles and mixed and matched them to make sure that the various colors and tones were evenly distributed.  Then we cut all of the pieces and laid them out how we wanted them.

IMG_20140708_190234_030.jpg

Here it is with all of the tile in place. 

IMG_20140711_190445_846.jpg

And the finished product after a coat of sealant.  The sealant really added a lot of shine and gave the tile a rich dark color that I love.

 Finished Product

Finished Product

Next, we got to work on removing the white marble tile in the entry way. 

It was a lot of hard work so we had to break for a selfie (and probably a milkshake too).

Almost finished laying the tile...  I chose to do a running bond pattern because it has a little more interest than a simple stacked pattern but is still easy to install.  And it coordinated well with what we did on the hearth.

All Done!  Well, except for the quarter round, but that can wait a few more weeks. 

 Finished Entry way slate tile

Finished Entry way slate tile

Now onto staging the house and meeting with realtors!

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets = A Lesson in Patience

The cabinet refinishing portion of our home renovation is finally complete!  While it was a MAJOR undertaking, I must say that I am thrilled with the results.  And perhaps, even more importantly, I am intrigued with what I learned about myself in the process of the transformation. 

I am not a very patient person sometimes.  I am often in a rush, striving to get finished with this or that so that I can move on to the next thing, or so that I can just rest without the pressure in the back of my mind of all the things that I need to get done.  Needless to say, the slow and laborious process of refinishing the cabinets was kind of painful for me.  It was fun at first, but by the second weekend of coat after coat after coat, I was getting burnt out.  The kit requires a liquid sandpaper treatment, two coats of the bond coat (or paint), a stain coat, and finally a clear protective finish. 

I breezed right through the cleaning and liquid sandpaper and actually enjoyed applying the bond coats.   All of that was fine and dandy because I was actually making progress.  Then I did the stain coat, which went pretty smoothly as well.  It was tedious and I was getting bored, but at least I was still moving forward.  The trouble came when I applied the protective finish coat to the backs of the doors, then waited 24 hours only to come back and find that it had dripped and oozed onto the fronts of the doors.  This was especially annoying because I had taken EXTRA care to ensure that this very thing did not happen.  Apparently it was not enough.  At this point I had two options:  move ahead despite the drips and let the cabinets look like crap or sand off the drips and start over.  Or just go home and deal with it later, which is what I did.  And then the next day, I called Rustoleum to see what I should do and they recommended that I sand the drips off and then go back over the area with more protective coat.  Of course, when I sanded the drips, I sanded clear through to the wood, and had to go back over them with more bond coat, stain and protective coat.  This whole thing set me back several days, but I finally managed to get everything finished and installed only to find that one of the doors was missing!  I was baffled.  Had someone stolen it?  Had Dan accidentally taken it off with the other trash?  Finally it dawned on me that I had put several boxes over my work surface to create a makeshift table, and when I lifted up the box, sure enough it was there.  So then, I had to go through the entire process again on that last door.

There were several times throughout the process that I felt very frustrated and impatient because I wanted to get finished as soon as possible.  I had to stop myself and ask why I felt the need to rush.  I had plenty of time, no pressing deadline, but it was so thoroughly ingrained in my brain that I should get finished as soon as possible so that I could move on to something else that it was an automatic response. 

 As I became aware of this, I started to notice it in other things that I do as well… I rush through getting ready in the mornings, I rush through doing the dishes and walking the dog, I rush through taking a shower like some kind of mad woman, shaving my legs at dangerous speeds and sudsing my body in fast forward.  Why do I do this?  What is so important that I am speeding through my life trying to achieve?  Down time?  Relaxation?  If I’m so desperate for these things that extra minutes or seconds off of my daily activities are required, then I have a much larger issue at hand.  I may be gaining a few minutes of “free” time each day by rushing this way, but what am I losing in the process?  What am I giving up?  My life, that’s what.  The real issue here is that I am not being mindful and present in my life.  I am rushing through, discounting what is happening now for something better that I imagine will happen in the future.  But it’s not gonna be any different when I get there.  I’ll still be rushing for the next thing, and on and on in an endless cycle.    

 So I have spent the last several weeks trying to sloooooow down.  Trying to really enter into what I am doing, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.  Like painting cabinets.  Or cooking dinner, or shaving my legs.  It all matters and it is all important, because “How we do anything is how we do everything.”  And I want to be someone who does life with care and passion. 

Here is the final transformation.   It is quite a drastic change, and I absolutely love it! 

 Before

Before

 After

After

 Before

Before

 After

After

 The final transformation

The final transformation

All of this took about 3 weekends and cost only $75.  We used Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations in Espresso.

Let the Renovations Begin!

I have been a little preoccupied for the last couple of weeks with getting settled into my new job.  I am loving it so far, but it is very different from what I am accustomed to and much more demanding, so I have allowed myself to let go of everything else for a while and just focus on work.   But after two weeks of not blogging, I feel like I have so much to catch up on!

So here is the big news (and the topic of many future blog posts):  

Dan and I started renovating our house in Maryville this weekend!  We are so excited to finally be doing this project that we’ve been talking about for years.  The renters were officially out as of Friday, so we didn’t waste any time getting started! 

We are not making any structural changes to the house, just modernizing the kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, and paint.  Our plan is to do the major items (hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets) before we move in by May 1.  After that, we will do smaller projects as we have time and can fit them into our budget.  I also plan to experiment with staging each area of the house.  I’ll use furniture and décor that we already have, and hopefully maximize the potential of each room.  We hope to have the house in tip-top condition by summer so that we can put it on the market and hightail it back to Knoxville.

            Renovating a house is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time.  I always thought that it would be an old house (think historic district) that I would restore, but I will take what I can get!  I am super excited to finally have the chance to express some of my design ideas and preferences into our house.  I have been in material sample and color swatch heaven for the last few weekends.  I gain a deep satisfaction from looking at color samples, it is my Zen place – weird, I know.  I could peruse the paint and flooring sections at Home Depot for hours searching for the perfect color, pattern or texture.  Needless to say, I am loving our project so far.  Dan is a little less thrilled about the pretty colors, but he is totally on-board with fixing things up, and he's getting to use his power tools, which keeps him pretty happy.   

 Our first project is the kitchen cabinets.  We went back and forth on what to do here.  Should we replace the cabinets, refinish the existing ones, or do nothing?  Since our intent is to sell the house, we really didn’t want to invest thousands of dollars into new cabinets with no guarantee that we could recover that investment when we sell.  But leaving them as they are was not an option either as they date the house significantly.  So we decided to refinish them using Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations.  This is a three part refinishing system that does not require extensive sanding or removal of the cabinets.  It seems very user friendly, just very time-consuming.  But we are enjoying the process so far.  Here are the before photos of the kitchen:

cabinets2_before.jpg

 I’ll do a full post on the cabinet refinishing process when we are finished, as well as updates on the other projects.  Wish us luck!