This Old Colonial Home

Filling our house with love and a lot of DIY


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Bathroom Reveal

I’ve been talking about it for months, and now the day is finally here! Our renovated bathroom is done! Are you ready to see it?! (Drum roll, please!)Bathroom pocket door peekCome on in!

It’s such a rewarding feeling seeing the classic black and white bathroom that we had envisioned for our 1930s house actually come to fruition.Black and white bathroom renovationThis is the first major renovation that we took on. And while yes, we had contractors do the work, the design was all us. That is something I am extremely proud of!

Let’s take a look around.

For the shower, we chose white subway tile and charcoal grout. To me, this is a look you can never go wrong with. It’s timeless and affordable.Subway tile in the shower Rain shower head Tub faucetsThe same goes for our black and white floor!Black and white pinwheel tileEven though our window and door trim is wood (which still needs to be stained or polyed), we chose black bull nose tile to go around the floor base for something a little different and I love it!Black bullnose tile trim The vanity was definitely a splurge. We needed one with a narrow depth, which is hard to find right off the shelf, so we ended up ordering a custom one.Black and white vanityWe chose white shaker style cabinets and a black granite counter top. I think it adds such beauty to the room. And talk about an upgrade from the pedestal sink that used to be in here! I don’t know about you, but I hate pedestal sinks. There’s no storage and no counter space. Now we have both!Shaker style bathroom vanityWhere did we get the extra room from to put in a real sink? That’s where the new pocket door comes in super handy. What a space saver! Before, the door used to swing in leaving an unusable, dead area behind it. Pocket door space saver in small bathroom We used the same door that was there before. Jamie had the awful, tedious task of stripping the paint that had been on the one side, and then our contractor cut it to fit the narrower doorway.

Of course, we also have new lighting, a new medicine cabinet, and finally an electrical outlet! (It’s the little things.)Medicine cabinet and sconce lighting To save some money, we kept the same toilet since it was in perfectly fine working condition. And believe it or not, pretty much everything in here — from the vanity, to the tub, to all the tiling and faucets — came from either Home Depot or Lowes! Not bad, right?!

We still have a few minor things to add — like wall decor and accessories. But look how far it’s come from the time we bought the house to now:Bathroom updates and changesSo I may or may not have been freaking out a bit about the timing and duration of this renovation, but like anything else, it eventually came together. And it was definitely worth the wait!

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Bathroom Renovation Progress

Living through a renovation can be tough. It’s even tougher when you’re 9 months pregnant! I had mentioned in previous posts that our upstairs bathroom was getting a makeover.Upstairs bathroom beforeWork started nearly two months ago and has been painstakingly slow. But we might (fingers crossed) actually be turning a corner. So I thought I’d share some of the progress.

Gutting the bathroom was done fairly quickly. I think it took less than 2 days.Bathroom renovation partial gut jobBathroom being guttedBathroom gutted down to the studsThen came the extremely slow part — patiently waiting for the plumbing and electric work. Since we’re changing the layout of the room, the pipes and wiring all had to be re-routed. (Upside: we’re finally getting an outlet!!) Once that was done, the subfloor could then be put down, and the closet re-framed. We had decided to take some space from the closet of the adjoining bedroom — and still soon-to-be nursery — to make a little more room in the tight bathroom.Bathroom subfloor and closet reframedThe plumber had a little more work to do and even had a new apprentice one day! 🙂 Luca the apprenticeSo now the tub has been installed, the window moved, and the pocket door framed in. Pocket door framed in for bathroom renovationA few different inspections were needed before the contractor could move forward. So again we waited.

But luckily it all passed inspection and drywall is finally up! The room is starting to take shape once more!Drywall installationBathroom renovation drywallBathroom renovation takes shapeThere’s still a lot left to do, like painting and tiling, but it should start moving more quickly at this point.

I’ve been a nervous wreck this whole time because things haven’t been going the way I had hoped. (Honestly, I think I watch too many edited reno shows on HGTV and expected everything to go just as quickly. Hah!) It also caused work on the nursery to get delayed. The house is a mess from the construction and there’s baby stuff sitting in the dining room waiting to be put away. So my vision of everything being perfect for baby’s arrival has pretty much been thrown out the window. It’s certainly frustrating, but it’s also out of my control. I guess we’ll see which comes first: the baby or the bathroom!

 

 

 


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New Year, New Projects

So far the new year is off to a slow start in our house. I keep reading about other bloggers’ projects and re-organization tactics. And while inspired (and somewhat jealous), I’m having a hard time getting myself motivated after the holidays. We only just took down all of our Christmas decorations a week and a half ago!

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have some plans lined up.

One of my goals for the new year is to finally finish decorating the master bedroom.Master bedroom nightstandOur furniture is all mix matched, but not in a good way. We don’t have window treatments other than blinds and there’s still nothing hung on the walls yet. It’s time.

So far we have managed to get two new dressers.Master bedroom dresser from Ikea Master bedroom chest of drawers from Ikea I think just about everyone has these Hemnes pieces from Ikea, but they’re so affordable and look great! I think they have definitely helped improve the room.

On the to-do list is replacing the headboard. Even though I like our current one, I think with the new dressers and the wood floors and trim in the room it’s too many different stain colors. I’m hoping to switch it up with a tufted headboard. I think having fabric will help break up all the wood. I love this one!

Martinique headboard

From Amazon

We also hope to eventually make two nightstands. I love our yellow one, but I think we plan to move that into another room. Once we have the nightstands, then I can add new lamps and artwork. I’m also working on styling the long dresser and the big blank wall behind it.

The other major goal for the new year is having our upstairs bathroom completely renovated. We’re talking a gut job!Narrow upstairs bathroom But why you may be asking. Because it’s an incredibly small bathroom that has had (original 1937) plumbing issues, surface mold, and peeling paint in the tub. So we figured let’s start fresh — give it a new layout, take a little space from a bedroom closet and hopefully incorporate a pocket door to give us more elbow room and to make it more functional. This is a job for the professionals. We’ve already got our contractor and will hopefully see work begin in the next few weeks. Think classic subway tile and black and white floors. Something like this perhaps.

Classic black and white bathroom

From Houzz

We are super excited about this! Aside from having our hardwood floors redone and our driveway widened, this is the first major renovation we’re undertaking. I can’t wait to share the progress and end results with all of you!

Here’s to improvements in the new year!

 


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Double Driveway

We’ve never really understood the design of our driveway. It goes up to our one-car garage at an angle instead of straight in.single lane driveway I suppose the previous owners just wanted to have a nice flower bed alongside it. But for Jamie and I who don’t have green thumbs — hence the overgrowth in the above picture — we wanted something that was more functional. So we decided to have the flower bed dug up and then widen the driveway to fit two cars across.marking line for concrete pourWhen we bought the house we pretty much knew this was something we wanted to do. During the fall and winter months our town doesn’t allow overnight street parking so they can do leaf and snow removal. And since I get home first and need to be out first in the morning, the swapping of cars got old pretty quickly. So finally last week, the company we hired came in and took care of the job!driveway renovation to fit 2 cars across Unfortunately, borough codes restricted us from taking the driveway all the way to the edge of our property (stupid), but we just filled the remainder in with decorative stone from Home Depot.new wider driveway with decorative stone The important thing is it’s now more functional and better fits our needs. And it doesn’t look too shabby either.colonial house with wider drivewayWhat projects have you done to make things more practical and useful?


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We’re Floored

Our hardwood floors are finally finished, and wow what a difference! We brought professionals in to do the job. For the past week they worked hard to bring them back to life. They spent a few days just sanding them down. Then they stained them Minwax Golden Oak and added a feature strip in the entryway per our request. They added several coats of water-based poly and finished it off with shoe molding (that’s the molding that fills the gap between the baseboard and the floor). I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, with a reminder of where we started just a short time ago.Colonial house living room with fireplace beforeCarpet ripped up in living room hardwood floors refinished minwax golden oak Colonial house dining room with carpet before Dining room with carpet removedDining room hardwood floors refinished minwax golden oak Center hall colonial stairs with carpet before Carpet removed from stairs Entryway floors refinished Minwax golden oakEntryway landing with unfinished floors Entryway floor feature strip in progress Refinished entryway landing with feature accenting herribone pattern


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Uncovering the Past

I will never understand why people cover up hardwood floors. Obviously styles change throughout the years, but I just feel hardwoods are timeless. So after years of being hidden under carpets, our 75-year-old floors are once more revealed! My husband and I, with some help from my father-in-law, pulled up the carpets ourselves. None of us had ever done it before, but it was a fairly easy – and FREE – project.

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The carpet, padding and staples all came up with little effort. The tack strips, however, were the hardest part. The guys eventually got it down to a science. But needless to say, I wasn’t much help in that department. My job was to make sure our dog didn’t step on the nails!

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All that’s left to unearth are the stairs. That’ll be for another day in the near future.

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The condition of the floors aren’t too bad, but they will need to be refinished. And for that, we’re calling in the pros. I realize we could save some money if we rented a sander and did it ourselves, but for something like this we don’t want to run the risk of screwing it up! Plus, did you notice the awesome herringbone edging?! I’d hate to mess that up.IMG_1249We’re still debating whether we want to do a darker stain trim around the edge to accentuate it. We definitely plan on doing something in the entryway, but I’m torn on doing it in all three rooms. Any thoughts? Either way, I can’t wait to see these babies shine! Be sure to check back to see the final product!