Our House

We officially closed on our first home on April 30, 2010 and couldn’t be happier!   Technically it’s my house, since Colby and I had only dated for a couple of years at the time of purchase, but these days we’re happily married and renovating our home together.  And so, on closing day, began my photographic and blogging journey that’s come to be Angie’s Roost.

So let’s take you on a little journey through our home and our transformations thus far.  And our home seems to change daily so we’re going to do our best to update these pics as often as possible so check back often.

Before we started any renovations, the entry was one of the ugliest spaces in the house.  When you walked into the door you were blindsided by a whole lotta ugly.  Wha-bam!

The space included water damaged sheet rock, an ugly drop ceiling, bad light fixture, and nasty carpeting laid over plywood.  It was bad.  It took us a few phases to get to where we are now, but we’re loving our functional and pretty entryway.


So much better right?!  Some of the projects in this space included installing board and batten, painting the entry navybuilding a rustic bench out of scrap wood then staining it, making an entry shelf,  and even adding a little succulent in a sea shell on the shelf…a plant that is sure to die considering my track record with house plants.  (UPDATE:  The plant is dead…I repeat…the plant is dead.)

And the ugly tour continued from the entryway into our kitchen.  It was sporting a green-ish linoleum floor with some brown carpeting, fluorescent lights, and a textured ceiling.

Oh and isn’t the paneling with a non-working, olive colored dishwasher and range hood just fabulous?!

You can kind of tell in the pic below that the floor wasn’t quite level either.  See the fridge kind of crooked like?  Yeah…my man fixed that…he’s handy!

What we loved about this house was the size of the kitchen, which included a dining area just off the entryway.  Even though the layout and style of the kitchen wasn’t our jam, we knew we could fix it.  We saw it’s potential under that old, yellow plaid wallpaper.

We even inherited a little hutch from the old owners, which sadly lives in our basement right now but we hope to bring it up someday when we find space for it.

So the kitchen is still a giant work in progress.  We have big plans for it in the future (we’re talking a gut job), but we’re just trying to brighten it up and make it work for now.  It all started back in June of 2010 when some of Colby’s family came to visit and we unexpectedly started peeling wallpaper and taking down paneling.  It was a slippery slope from there which included painting the kitchen a mint color (Valspar’s Hint of Mint), spray painting the hood a hammered metal color, painting the cabinets round one and then painting the cabinets round two a year later, opening up the space above the sink and installing new lights, and purchasing and installing a dishwasher.  And I can’t forget the new, “temporary” laminate floor.  We’ve even managed to score a $400 stainless steel refrigerator to replace the old white one.

But I think my favorite part of the kitchen has been the cheap furniture finds including the $5 flea market chairs, $25 yard sale table, and the $50 yard sale Pottery Barn style buffet table.  Swoon!

Also part of kitchen is the laundry room, which is just to the right of the cabinetry.  Here’s the before:

Nothing much has changed in here except the addition of these guys:

These bad boys, a high efficiency washer and dryer, make my heart flutter.  They’re like peanut butter to my jam.  And I can’t wait to makeover the laundry room for real.  I’m envisioning a sliding barn door, open shelving, new flooring, paneling removal and a serious paint job.  I sense a project looming.

Just off the kitchen is the dining room, which used to sport the coolest (yet nastiest) light fixture I had ever met (you could pull it down to table level so it can hover over your dinner like a space ship).

The room used to have brown paneling, one of those accordion closet doors, and dark brown shag carpeting.  And the door on the right goes right down to the basement.

The room’s big transformation began while I was gallivanting around Russia when Colby gutted it out and put it back together again.  He’s awesome!  Upon my return we spent a lot of time painting and installing trim.  My favorite part of this room is the stained sub-floor with the hand painted design.  I adore how that turned out and to this day is still one of my favorite projects.  We’ve also added some great touches to the room including a round sisal rug, chandelier, hand-made curtains, sash pulls, framed up a chalkboard using an antique frame, installed a ceiling medallion to cover up some ceiling wonkiness, and refinished the basement door and hardware then reinstalled it.

Dining Room Progress Take 4

Okay…I lied.  My REAL favorite part of this room is the china hutch in the corner.  It’s actually a secret closet door…shhhh don’t tell.  It could also multi-task as a panic room.  When we bought the house it came with a few pieces of furniture including this corner hutch.  We put the hutch on casters then painted it up for a unique piece.

Dining Room Progress Take 5

There are still projects left on the dining room to-do list including refinishing our antique table and chairs, making chair cushions, installing a new wide pine floor (which will happen throughout the entire first floor when we re-do the kitchen), and maybe adding some art.  We’ll see.

As you walk through the dining room you can’t miss what we affectionately call the parlor, since the two rooms are very open to each other.  And why do we call our second living room the parlor?  Well…because Colby and I both believe that every house needs a parlor.  Here’s a view of the parlor on closing day as you look from the living room, the dining room to the left.

Again…lots of ugly paneling.  And it’s hard to see in these pictures but the walls are covered in this creamy colored, textured wallpaper.  Here’s the other side of the parlor, looking into the living room.

We wasted no time tearing up the carpet, stripping the wallpaper, skim coating the damaged plaster walls, and painting…all within the first month of ownership.  The room pretty much remained unchanged for the next year and a half until we recently decided to give purpose to the unused room and turned it into a his/hers home office.  We refinished the old oak floors (there may or may not have been a round of stapling the old, damaged floor back together), painted the room a cool gray, primed and painted the trim, designed and built a his/hers desk, installed shelving, installed a new light, and curated our own little art gallery.

The transformation has been amazing!  We still have projects left for this space, like making curtains and building a more low profile bookcase, but until then we’re digging our groovy space.

The parlor easily transitions into our living room, since the first floor of our home is very open.  Even before we started remodeling, we loved our living room.  It’s the room in the house that really sold us.  Both Colby and I really dig old architectural details and those old world style touches.  So the original tin ceiling in this room was a huge selling point.

There may have been some noticeable water damage between the window and the hall doorway, but so what…tin ceiling!

Like the parlor, we spent a month stripping wallpaper, removing carpet, skim coating the plaster walls, and painting the walls, initially a cream color.  Then living room makeover phase two started last summer and we painted the walls gray, the trim white and purchased a new couch.  We love the couch and all…but since it’s arrival there’s been a distinct house project slow down going on….hmmmmm.

Living Room Progress Take 5

But my favorite part of the living room is the Maine Cottage style media cabinet that Colby built and I painted.  And the lobster art I made.  The Maine-ah in me couldn’t resist a little crustacean art.  And who could resist a little hula girl postcard art installation complete with DIY postcard ledges.

Living Room Progress Take 6

There is still so much work to do in this space.  Eventually we want to refinish the floors in this room like in the parlor and the hallway, bringing cohesiveness to the space.  Maybe even reupholster the chairs, build a sofa table, create a real coffee table, and make some different curtains.

The living room may have been the tipping point to convince us to make an offer and eventually close on the house, but the porch was a close second.  Just off the living room is our front porch.

It needed some obvious work.  Not only cosmetically but structurally.  Some of the windows needed to be fixed since they didn’t open anymore, it lacked real flooring and only had a sub floor, the roof leaked, and it needed paint…lots and lots of paint.

Well….we started painting and we ripped up the sub floor to reveal some old, in decent condition wood flooring, but that’s about it.  Sadly…our porch is that space in the house where things that don’t belong end up.  Fixing up the porch, and making it more useful, is currently high on the priority list so stay tuned for a porch remodel this spring/summer.

Porch Progress Take 2

I know…it’s bad…really bad.

Like so many other spaces in our home on closing day, the staircase and hallways also had that awesome seventies feel (note the sarcasm).

Oh the carpeting and paneling insanity!

The carpet disappeared no more than three days after closing and we’ve slowly but surely tackled some major hallway projects.  It’s looking MUCH better these days.

Staircase Progress Take 5

I love the character in this space with a DIY wood shim ceiling medallion, roped light shade, ombre balusters, ski map art gallery, and a refinished old skeleton key door.  I’m almost certain the hall/staircase area is my favorite space in our home.  But I say that about every pseudo finished space.

The most difficult and frustrating part of this whole makeover was the floor, which we refinished ourselves.  The first time we refinished it the poly ended up peeling up.  So I took a moment, had a minor freak out (okay…a MAJOR freak out), and attacked that floor with a vengeance…again.  After floor refinishing round two, we’re much happier with our dark stained floors.

Staircase Progress Take 3

The upstairs hallway also scored about a 10.5 (out of 10.0) on the ugly meter.

And these days, it’s looking soooooo much better!  That’s one HUGE step in the right direction!  We’ve installed new wide pine plank flooring, stained and installed trim, added a little map heart art, and even DIYed a full length mirror frame inspired by a Nate Berkus for Target picture frame.  What’s left to do?  Oh…maybe, finally, add a light fixture.  Let there be light!

Hall Progress Take 3

As for layout, when you’re looking down the hall, you have the guest room turned Etsy office (bottom left), master bedroom (upper left), craft room/guest room (upper right), and the bathroom (lower right).

The room we determined the guest room was hands down the best looking room on closing day.  It was bright and airy and actually kind of cute (note…that’s in comparison to the other rooms of the house…it really didn’t take much).

Well, I guess we still call it a guest room, but technically it’s the “Etsy Office”.  Shortly after a week long spring time demolition project, we deemed the space a guest room but have since opened an Etsy shop and found the space to much more valuable as Etsy workspace.  It’s still a work in progress, but the space is starting to come together (check back soon for office space updates).

Etsy Office Progress Take 1

When it comes to this room, we’ve done it all.  We’re talking drywalling, sub floor removal, priming, painting, installing pull down attic stairs, installing wide pine flooring and finishing it ourselves, installing trim and finishing it, painting a bookcase green, prepping and installing a door slab, and building a beefy work desk and finishing it with a lightened stain.  We’ve only just begun making this space an efficient and useful office space so stay tuned for more progress shots.  It’s our project du jour.

The day after we closed on our home, back in April of 2010, we started the bathroom makeover.  Could you blame us?!  It looked like this:

We had about a month left on our apartment lease leaving us about a month to tackle a total bathroom renovation.  This is the only bathroom in the house and living through a total bathroom gut job/reno did not sound like fun.  Now let me remind you, we were brand new, first time homeowners taking on their first DIY project.  And we thought we could do this project in a month while we were both holding down demanding careers and I was amidst finals in my grad school program (I was working on my MBA at the time).  Crazy…that we are!  But there was no way I was EVER going to use this shower:

Especially with a window in the middle of it.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love pink just as much as the next girl but this pink bathroom was taking it a bit too far.  The pink cast iron tub had to go!

So we threw the tub out the window (seriously…there’s picture proof back here and even a video of the deed back here) and went to town on our renovations.  After a couple days of demolition and three years later, the bathroom is looking much improved.

Bathroom Progress Take 8

The best part of this makeover is that we tackled the whole thing ourselves, learning along the way.  We moved a wall over, re-plumbed, sheet rocked, painted the room bright yellow before coming to our senses and re-painting it mint, tiled the floor and then later tiled the shower (both in early blogging days…man I’ve learned alot about blogging since then!), installed bead board on the slanty part of the ceiling above the toilet, added trim, found a Craigslist buffet and turned it into a vanity (read about that here, here and here) and showed the bathroom some serious love.

Bathroom Progress Take 6

Some of my favorite projects in the space aren’t necessarily the big to-dos but the small touches that really give the space some character.  Like the rope pulley shelf we built and installed beside the vanity, or the $6 antique store box that we turned into a first aid cabinet (although we use it more to store Colby’s vitamin collection), and even the spray painted towel hooks really make the space homey and special to us.

Bathroom Progress Take 7

But my all time favorite project in this space, the West Elm inspired wood tiled mirror sitting pretty above the vanity.

Bathroom Progress Take 5

I absolutely adore the upgrade that we gave to our $10 yard sale find, builder grade boring mirror.  Such a huge improvement thanks to some scrap wood, stain and poly.  And can you imagine all the wood tiling project possibilities.  Living room bookcase?  Absolutely!  Kitchen cabinets?  Possibly!  Goose?  Maybe if he would just sit still for three seconds!

But enough about the bathroom, let’s get back to another work-in-rogress-room…our master bedroom.

Like every other room in the house (do I sound like a broken record yet?!) the room we claimed as the master bedroom was covered in paneling and ugly carpeting.  We chose the room as our master mostly because it was the only room upstairs with a decently large, although awkward, closet.

We didn’t start working on this room until last spring, when we not only demoed our guest room but also our master bedroom.  Since then we’ve done it all in this room….sheet rocked it, mudded it, primed it, painted it, added bead board to the ceiling, installed window trim, and painted the floor.

Painting the nightstand red and using drop cloths as curtains to conceal our closet clutter have been my favorite master bedroom projects to date.

I’m also mad in love with the wedding art gallery (which you can read about here, here, and here…oh…and just for the record…I’m madly in love with Colby too….cue up the “awwwww”).  And also the little dresser vignette going on.

Master Bedroom Progress Take 6

We still have lots to do in this space including a more built-in closet, and oh yeah…a light fixture.  I’m thinking of DIYing a faux-antler chandelier but I still have a bit more research to do for that one!  (UPDATE:  We’ve recently added a $6 light fixture to the room and gilded it which you can read about here.  It’s not our dream light fixture but it’s much better than no light fixture and will get us by until we can find/DIY the perfect one).

And one final room of paneling for you before we move to the exterior.  This room, is the third bedroom which started off as an office space and then later morphed into a craft room.

This room also had a closet but when we remodeled the bathroom, to keep from having a window in the bathtub/shower area, we expanded into this room.  Essentially, our bathtub is in the closet above.  This room, honestly, is the most finished and nicest room in the house.  It’s a shame we don’t use it more often.

Craft Room Progress Take 5

We’ve sheet rocked, painted (you can kind of read about it back here…early blogging days before I knew what I was doing…my apologies), Colby built the ladder shelf, laid the wide pine floor, and decorated it all within the first year of ownership.  And my favorite part…the five dollar thrift store chair makeover (read about it here and here).

Craft Room Progress Take 4

We’ve only recently added the door and trim and finished them up with stain and poly.  Colby’s favorite part of the room is that wall of beer coaster art.  This space was supposed to be his manly office space but we’ve since moved that space down into the parlor and it’s become a crafting space.  Every girl’s dream!

And last but not least, we give you the exterior of our home.  Just like the inside, on closing day, our home was looking just a tad bit sad.  It was in dire need of a paint job (although it’s kind of hard to tell in these pictures) and the shrubs were a little overgrown.

Here’s a great before shot from our backyard.  The flat roofed area of the house is our kitchen.  Although the house was built in 1910, the kitchen was an addition in the 70s.  And the plastic covered door to the basement goes down into Colby’s workshop.

This is a view from our driveway looking into the backyard.  Note the strange clothes line contraption which lasted no more than five days in that yard before it headed to the dump.

The shed was also in ill repair and needed a paint job.  Although we did find a nice surprise on closing day.  The old owners left us all sorts of lawn and garden tools int he shed including a lawn mower, rakes/shovels, and a roto tiller.  Score!  Considering we’ve both been long time apartment dwellers these tools saved us a boat load of money since we didn’t to to purchase those yard necessities.

Our yard is a little crazy since it’s extra long and spans the distance between two streets.  This is the back backyard which was incredibly overgrown.  But turns out most of those shrubs in the background were raspberry plants.  We found that out after mowing down half of them…oops!

We’ve made a number of improvements to the exterior of our home over the last couple years.  Here is what it’s looking like this days.

Exterior Progress Take 6

The biggest improvement being the addition of the deck (read all about our deck saga here, here, here, here, and here…..I told you it was a saga).  We also painted the door red for some extra pop.

In the front yard we’ve made some minor improvements.  After Colby hacked down the old shrubbery, seeded the lawn, and installed some lattice under our front porch, I planted some hydrangeas.  Here’s hoping they come back each year!

The shed has also gotten a nice little face lift.  We installed a cheap, old display window in it for some light, painted it, and even did some hosta planting.  And those yellow lounge chairs…those are one of my all time favorite flea market scores.  They cost me only $15 for the pair.  They need a little fixing and a fresh coat of paint, but for $15, even if they only lasted one summer, they were worth it.

Exterior Progress Take 7

Although my favorite part of our yard is the back backyard.  We’ve managed to tame the mess back there, corral the raspberries, and plant a massive veggie garden all contained by a DIY, built it on a whim garden fence and gate.  We have grand intentions of someday fencing in our entire yard but for now we’ll settle with just keeping the Goose out of the garden (his favorite napping spot is literally in the pepper plants).

Exterior Progress Take 8

Now that you’ve seen our house, you’ve seen our fridge, you’ve seen our yard…..now get outta my house!  (Anyone catch the MTV cribs reference?!  I used to LOVE that show!)