Big Tour after the Big Move

We have had a couple posts about the moving process, but not many pictures of the house.   As promised, this blog post will have more pictures of the current state of our house.  Be warned:  It is not pretty.  It is still cluttered with boxes and we still don’t have things like fixtures, trim, paint, or anything decorative.  Our current plan of attack is to proceed one room at a time.  It’s way too overwhelming at this point to try to do one major task that encompasses the whole house.  We need to be able to clear out a room, install trim, paint, light fixtures, furniture, artwork, and then put it all back together.

For now, even though we haven’t even unpacked, here is a room-by-room breakdown…


The original kitchen
The original kitchen

As we mentioned in the last post, the kitchen is fully functional.  We do have some short term plans to gain a little more counter top space and wall storage, but that will be a project for fall break.  In the meantime here is what we have:


The six recessed lights have been our only light source, but it has turned out to be just the right amount of light.  We still need to add four pendant lights.

The kitchen table fits perfectly between the two windows and there is plenty of space on either side for chairs.  Also, those windows allow for beautiful morning light and a huge, open feel in the kitchen.

Kitchen table and back door
Kitchen table and back door

As you can see above, I finally got around to adding the trim around the back door.  It really helps add a lot of the original character back to the room.

Yes, the “island” is currently a folding table, but we  are on the lookout for something a little more permanent.

The oven has been awesome!

Our oven, and temporary storage
Our oven, and temporary storage

Cooking with gas is so much faster and we have both been surprised at how much more evenly everything cooks on the stove top.  Plus, no waiting for the temperature to heat up or cool down.

Amy did a great job of organizing our dishes, silverware, and cooking supplies on storage shelves.

Storage for cooking supplies and dishes
Storage for cooking supplies and dishes

Our dishwasher is meant to be installed under the counter.  We don’t have a counter, but in the meantime we have discovered that a small box of books and a little veggie/fruit power is all that is needed to weigh down the dishwasher so that it doesn’t fall over when you open the door (see photo above).

We enjoy having the pantry fully exposed.  No more looking around for anything.  It’s all right there!

Our "pantry"
Our “pantry”

Our Craigslist find of this IKEA sink worked out perfectly.  It’s big enough to allow for at least a little counter surface for dishes and also has a  good amount of storage underneath.

Lucy is a "big grill" and is perfectly capable of washing her own hands
Lucy is a “big grill” and enjoys washing her own hands

As we have mentioned many times before, one of the coolest aspects of this house is that everything original to the house still here.  This includes doors, trim, floors, windows, plaster, hardware, and even the screen doors!


Most of the window hardware has been refurbished and re-installed…

Original hardware
Original hardware

Another cool furniture piece that remained with the house is this kitchen storage and counter top unit.


It fits perfectly between the two doorways and underneath the pass through.  The pass through still needs to be refurbished and trimmed and this kitchen furniture piece needs to be cleaned up and painted, but it should look pretty nice when we are done.

Downstairs bathroom

Original bathroom
Original bathroom

The downstairs bathroom will hopefully be functional soon.  The big holdup is because we need to find faucets for our vintage sink.

The tub has been rehabbed (more from Amy later), the tile is done, and everything else is ready to be installed.




The vestibule has been upgraded from it’s previous condition by fixing the doorjamb, adding a deadbolt, and refinishing the front door.  I still need to add one piece of casing and we will eventually tile the floor.



Our first view of the space that we would eventually turn into a playroom
Our first view of the space that we would eventually turn into a playroom

The playroom has seen lots of action as a computer space for Aiden and play space for Lucy, but we haven’t had time to really get it set up.


The finish work on the new staircase is the next big item on our agenda.  Hopefully we can get going on this in the next couple weeks.


Dining Room

First view of the dining room
First view of the dining room

There haven’t been many changes to the dining room, other than massive plaster repair, added lighting, and new outlets.  Realistically, it’s probably going to be a while before we get a dining room table and eat in this room.  For now, it’s a great storage area.


Living Room

Living room and entry to dining room

The living room also needed a lot of plaster repair.  We also removed a poorly constructed drywall closet and temporary wall.  Really, I can’t believe we even briefly considered keeping that drywall up to separate the living room from a possible downstairs bedroom.

Living room and entry to dining room
Living room and entry to dining room



We moved all the boxes out of the parlor and attempted to achieve some type of setup that would make it feel just a little bit homey.  Still a long way to go, but at least it is a place to relax at the end of the day.


We do love staring at that fireplace.


Upstairs Bathroom

Our first view of the eventual bathroom space
Our first view of the eventual bathroom space

The upstairs bathroom is high on our list of rooms to finish first.  We will add trim, a rail at the top of the beadboard, wood for the bench top, light fixtures, a storage cabinet, and other small accessories.

Remember how excited we were just to have something new in the house?

Our very first new item for the house
Our first new item for the house

Things have changed…



Our splurge item
Our splurge item
A view from inside the shower
A view from inside the shower

We currently just have a curtain for the bathroom door until I have time to install a pocket door.

Just a little more privacy than nothing
Just a little more privacy than nothing

Master Bedroom

First view of master bedroom
First view of master bedroom

We were able to fit two of our three wardrobe closets along the wall on either side of our bed.  Originally we would have been able to fit all of it from our old house, but we had to move one wall in 16″ to fit the stairs and bathroom.  We will still be okay on clothes storage because of the existing small closet.


Eventually this dormer area will be set up as a small reading area or possibly include a built-in window seat.


One great thing about the layout of the house is that we get beautiful light in our bedroom in the morning and also have a perfect view of this epic tree…


Aiden’s Room

The area that would eventually become Aiden's room
The area that would eventually become Aiden’s room

Aiden’s room is crowded right now.  This is because he has a ton of books (the kid really likes to read) and because his lego collection hasn’t made the move to the loft.  He enjoys his sleeping nook as it is, but we do have plans to make it look built-in and also add shelving.  Also on the to-do list is track lighting.



You might wonder why none of our pictures have Aiden in them.  Well, this is because he is 11, generally annoyed by his parents, and prefers to hideout in his cave.  Like this…



The Loft

The original loft space
The original loft space

The loft still needs to be trimmed and carpeted, but it will eventually house Aiden’s legos and some of Lucy’s toys and books.  We also need to get going on a library ladder and rail.

It still looks like this…



Laundry Area

The original view of the laundry area
The original view of the laundry area

We have thoroughly loved having our laundry upstairs and so close to the bedrooms.  It makes doing laundry so much less of a chore.  In our old house the laundry machines were located in a dark, cold basement with a dirty floor and spiders.  Now we can just pull the clothes right out, set them on the floor, and sort them, all while keeping an eye on Lucy in her room.  We will eventually add things like shelves, counter top, and door or curtains.


The area opposite the laundry is still up for grabs.  Our very original plan was to make this a desk area for homework, then it was going to be an open play area for Lucy, now it is a storage area for some of Lucy’s clothes and might eventually just become a closet for her.  The nice thing is that it is a versatile and convenient space.


Lucy’s Room

This room has always been one of our favorite places in the house and it’s fun to sit in this space and remember how it used to look.

Our very first view
Our very first view

…and compare that to the warm, fun, and cozy room it is becoming…


Lucy’s room still needs window trim and baseboards.  We have been thinking about different ways to create a built-in bed and clothes storage.

Her room gets amazing light at dusk and provides a great view of the sunset.

Lucy, checking out the neighborhood at dusk
Lucy, checking out the neighborhood at dusk

The Bottom Line

One of our initial reasons for rehabbing this house was to gain a little more financial freedom.  More than a few people laughed at us when we suggested our estimated budget, but in the end we were actually able to do it by doing as much of the work ourselves as possible.  This means that after we sold our other house we were able to emerge without any home renovation debt, plus a nice little nest to continue work.  Our only debt is to our family “investor” and this will be paid off through a traditional bank mortgage.  After comparing our new mortgage, which has the same interest rate and term length as our previous mortgage, here are the numbers:

Our new mortgage is 77% less!  It is now only 8% of our monthly income compared to 31%.  If we continued to pay the same payments as our previous mortgage, this house would be paid off in less than 5 years.  I think we can safely say that we met our financial goal.

There is still much more to do, which means, of course, more blog entries!  We will keep updating as we make progress on each room and the exterior of the house.  There are many exciting transformations yet to come!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Have a home in nearby Brookside. Would love to take some of these ideas for us.

    Liked by 1 person

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