Pinch me. I was interviewed by telephone for the Huffington Post’s Stylist Home section last week! Click here to read the story but, before you do, I just wanted to clarify a thing or two. Michelle Manetti wrote a fabulously flattering piece that totally made me blush! But I think I might not have been clear explaining a couple of things.
Our two week timeline:
I think I made it sound like our whole townhouse went from ugly to pretty in two weeks. What I meant was, we made it livable it two weeks.
When we bought the townhouse, it was hideous (you can see the before pics in the townhouse tour). Hubby had two weeks off from work and, with the help of my parents, grandpa and Hubby’s dad, we set about making the townhouse livable. It’s in this two week period that we did the biggest projects: ripping up carpet and installing hardwood floors, painting the main floor and upstairs, re-doing the main bath, etc. BUT, after two weeks the space still looked pretty dismal:
Our bedroom had nothing but new hardwoord floors, fresh paint and our bed and nightstands.
The guest bedroom had no furniture yet (we bought that later), except an armoire and pieces of the guest half bath.
Our main bathroom had a lovely new tub, tiling, vinyl floors and vanity but no marble counter-top, sink, mirror, etc., yet.
The guest bath had nothing yet. Sorry for the blurry pic!
The office had curtains, new flooring and paint. My desk (with a crappy desk chair) and expedit were set up so I could get to work.
The dining room was a storage room. You can kind of see me (by the stove) unpacking and my dad installing a light fixture in the kitchen.
Why the kitchen wasn’t gutted:
I don’t think I was clear in the article that two weeks was just for the bare bones issues. So we could move in and, you know, flush the main bath toilet (old owners couldn’t) and take a bath without barfing. We didn’t tackle the kitchen until the following year and it was money, not time, that prevented a full gut. There’s only so much money you can put into a small townhouse and see a good return on the investment when it comes time to sell. And we only had so much money to funnel into this home. A realtor agreed that a full gut wouldn’t raise the price enough to make it worth it – we would have out priced the market and not gotten our investment back. So our patented spit and polish (re-finished cupboards, new counters, sink and herringbone backsplash) was on the menu.
Here’s what we lived with for a while (I used stick-on tiles to hide the ugliest ones):
When we called in the pros:
We did almost all of the the work ourselves, with our families lending a hand. But the bath tub we left to pros. We imagined sending the bathtub crashing down the stairs during removal or accidentally building a new tub on a weak sub floor. Because I splurged on a deep, soaker tub, getting the pros was especially important to make sure the floor could hold the added weight of the water (the thing is deep).
You can see in the photos just how much more work came after that initial renovation. And, as Michelle says, we’re still tweaking, framing walls and dry-walling (in the laundry room), and decorating. So, check out the article here and, please, please, please, take a look at the “after” photos here so these images aren’t burned in your brain. I hate sharing ugly pics!