Blogiversary 1: The Living Quarters

Next up on the great blogiversary tour…the living quarters, minus the kitchen.  The kitchen is slightly more spectacular, ever so slightly, so we’ll save that one for its own blog post.  Here’s what composes our living quarters tour: the dining room, the living room, the grand staircase, and the parlor.  The parlor is actually an extension of our living room but we just like to call it the parlor and make us sound fancy.

Let’s start today’s tour with the staircase.  Here’s the before:

And here’s the progress:

It’s no longer a paradise of paneling and ugly brown carpet, but it’s still pretty much a disaster.  We’re in the middle of a massive mudding/sanding adventure.  And by “in the middle”, I mean, we absolutely hate sanding and we put it off for as long as possible.  I believe the sheet rock went up around October, maybe November, so we’re going on eight months here.  Here’s to month number nine being the magic month!  The game plan for the staircase: finish mudding/sanding (sigh….), paint (tan walls, white ceiling), and then it’s staircase overhaul time.  We love the box newel posts on the staircase but hate the rest of it.  The balusters snap like twigs if you even look at them the wrong way (I believe we’ve broken six of them since moving in), and the treads/risers are in horrible condition so out they must come.  The posts will get refinished and the rest of the staircase will be redone, we’re just not sure what we want to do yet.  So if you have suggestions, please let us know!!!

Here’s a before shot looking down the hall from the staircase, through the dining room to the kitchen:

And a progress shot:

Sigh…more sanding.  Sanding wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the dust boogers.  If you’ve done it before, you know what I mean.  They just make for an uncomfortable situation hours after you’ve showered and cleaned yourself up. Oh…and small tip…avoid mirrors after drywall sanding.  Looking at “future self” with white hair is just a little too scary.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse at our dining room, here is the before:

Another paneling/brown carpeting disaster.  The old owners really loved brown.  And here is the progress shot:

This was Colby’s pet project while I was away in Russia.  I give the man serious kudos for his speed and skill with renovations.  I was only gone two weeks and he managed to gut an entire room, rewire it, fix the wiring in the kitchen, widen the doorway, sheet rock, mud, rip up the old floor, and trim out all the doorways (there are four in this room) while taking care of the dog (believe me…he is a HANDFUL).  Mini wave in celebration of Colby….Wooooooo!  So what’s up for the dining room?  We still need to find a replacement window, something slightly larger to help brighten the otherwise dark room.  Then there’s sanding (sigh…), painting, etc.  We’ve also got a few tricks up our sleeve for this room including building a rustic dining room table, turning found chairs into something pretty amazing, and even creating a super secret storage compartment (so James Bond style) in the old closet.  Stay tuned for many more details of these projects to come!

Our next before is the parlor/living room:

And here’s the after (these are from the parlor looking into the living room):

This was my dedicated project back in the day (can you say back in the day if it’s only been a year?).  The first month before we moved in, it was my mission to make one room in the house livable and comfortable and also cute.  This was that room.  I spent a month removing wallpaper, skim coating the plaster walls (I think I went through about five 15-gallon buckets of mud), sanding (sigh…), and painting.  We even removed the old carpeting and were very surprised to find gorgeous hard wood floors underneath.  They need some sprucing but they’re still great!  The only thing we’ve done since has been the building of our Maine Cottage knock off media cabinet.  Oh…and we also replaced the old not so well wired 70s style light fixture with a boob light…you know…the cheap $10 lights from Home Depot that are flush to the ceiling, dome like, and look like they have a nipple?  Yeah, not one of my finest light fixture choices but it inexpensively gets the job done until I can find “the one”.

And here is the before of the parlor:

And the progress picture:

This room is slightly disastrous in it’s serving-many-functions state.  It’s anchored by Colby’s makeshift desk/office which used to be in the dining room but has since been relocated.  After I finish my last MBA class this summer (woohoo) I’m moving out of the upstairs office and Colby will be moving in, freeing up this space.  While we have no plans in the near future for either of these rooms, they will be gutted and redone like the rest of the house.  Especially since we’re trying to rewire all the old knob and tube wiring and re-insulate.  I’m thinking where Colby’s desk is above that some gorgeous, hand crafted built-in shelves can go, replacing all the smaller, hodge-podge shelving in the space.  Maybe even something with hidden guitar amp/cord storage.  Bonus points for me as I’m gunning for that girlfriend of the year award!

This concludes today’s tour.  We’re left with one more tour, the kitchen.  Technically we still need to show you the porch, but it’s undergoing a mini, impromptu makeover due to an awesome stumble upon we had today while amidst a house project A-D-D moment.  Thus, the porch will star in a few blog posts as we make some headway.  Besides, nothing much had changed on the porch…until today.

Blog post done.  Y’all come back now y’hear!


  1. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for novice blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    1. Honestly, even though I’ve been at it a year, I still consider myself a novice blogger…hmmmm…a nogger…haha. In all honestly, my key to blogging success has been keeping the blog true to myself. I focus on what I’m passionate about, I make sure it ooozes with my personality, and I make it fun. If it’s not fun and enjoyable why do it? Also, don’t focus on the numbers (hits, readers, # of comments). They’re not what’s important. Then content and writing for yourself is important. It will catch on eventually, just have patience my friend. Email me if you have more questions at [email protected] and good luck with your blogging! What’s your blog site?

    1. Thanks! Colby and I were just talking about how you’ve been MIA from blog comments and were getting worried about you. We always enjoy your comments. Thanks again and can’t wait to see you all this weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *