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House #1 Revamp: Kitchen May 30, 2012

Filed under: Room Revamps — bellsandthistle @ 8:39 pm
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Our first house was a little townhouse (not very wide, but long), and a major fixer upper.  The kitchen was a very small room with a bedroom* next to it on the ground floor.  So we knocked down that wall and combined the two to make a larger kitchen.

Here was the kitchen initially.  Blue walls, a sink unit and fridge on one wall and an oven and a couple of cupboards from the 1950’s on the other.  Dirty linoleum floors.

Here’s a pic of it during demolition. You can see the wall where the sink unit is, and how small the kitchen was.  We have support posts up here until we could put in a proper support beam.  There’s a side shot, and then a face-on shot where you can see the remainder of the dividing wall on the floor!


So we used the ‘bedroom’ to house a U-shaped kitchen with breakfast bar.  Had a mosaic tiled backsplash on top of the countertops, and a stainless steel backsplash behind the stove.  The opposite wall had the same layout as before:  refrigerator and a double cabinet for extra storage (but I can’t seem to to find a pic of that wall!).  The wall with the window also had a frosted glass door to the backyard.


For our first home renovation, I’m pretty happy with how it came out!

*technically it was a bedroom but I think it would only have fit a single mattress and not much else! Called a boxroom in the UK.


House #3 Revamp: Nursery

Filed under: Kid Stuff,Room Revamps — bellsandthistle @ 8:14 pm
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I knew I was having a girl but didn’t want to go down the pink route. I was inspired by the bright green and white colors and floral imagery of a certain bubbly wine, so I used that as my base and added brown to dampen the effect.

Here are the before photos:


And here are the after photos. I want to mention that I worked for this company at the time, so I had access to some branded materials. But I didn’t want bottles of Champagne all over the nursery either!

I painted most of the room green and one wall brown to balance it out. There was an existing closet so I used 2 patterened banners and had my mom sew fabric to the bottom to achieve the correct length. I ordered green valances and crib bedding from Carousel Designs.  And put up floating IKEA shelves for books and toys.

I just loved the Tord Boontje lamp and thought it fit well with the floral theme.

I took some creative liberties with the floral motif and had a vinyl sticker printed with the baby’s name.

Continuing around the room…

And finally the crib furniture and brown feature wall with floral motif. I used an “avocado”-type lampshade for the ceiling fan.

Yes, lime green is a bold choice for any room but I think it made this room more cheery and exciting for the baby!


House #2 Revamp: Hallway April 14, 2012

Filed under: Room Revamps — bellsandthistle @ 5:33 am
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The hallway was painted a really dark wine color which was…unfortunate. This is a composite picture which is why it looks a bit wonky.

It was painted-on wallpaper so we had to strip it all off back to the bare walls to start with.

Painted it a nice cheery yellow color. Hung some chandeliers which were gold with orange bead accents. Sanded and stained the floors, and warmed it up with a soft rug.


House #2 Revamp: Bathroom 2

Filed under: Room Revamps — bellsandthistle @ 5:17 am
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So this is a basic bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower stall. Wasn’t as bad as avocado hell but pink isn’t really my color either. Shower stall/curtain was behind the door (pink of course). Wall tiles had a floral motif, but it wasn’t much to talk about. Flooring? Why, carpet, of course! yuk

So, we gutted it. Put in tongue and groove paneling and Victorian ceramic units and taps.  Slate floors. Tiled the shower stall with a shimmery aqua mosaic tile and put in a glass shower door.  Put in a ladder radiator for warmth and towel warming purposes. Painted the walls white for a crisp, clean look in such a small space.


House #2 Revamp: Master Bedroom

Filed under: Room Revamps — bellsandthistle @ 4:34 am
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So let’s just say that this room had a lot of…potential. It was pink, and a weird textured pattern at that. The floors were, well, gross. They had started to sand them and just stopped.  There was a nice, but HUGE bed in the middle of all this.

Where to start? Well, we put down a soft, modern shag carpet. We painted the walls in what I like to call “Latte” and “Chocolate Pudding” colors. Kept the furniture to a minimum, but we got an Extra Large King Bed which was fun!


House #2 Revamp: Bathroom 1 April 12, 2012

And on to the bathroom…by FAR the worst room of the lot.


YUK!!! Avocado green everywhere.  We all know avocado is good for you, but the old adage of “everything within reason” is a keeper.  Dirty CARPET in the bathroom! Dark room and grungy tiling.  Talk about Fugly!  I took one look – the room looked big – shut the door and ran away.


So, we got to work immediately. I wanted this GONE, cuz I wasn’t about to use it!  It’s a very old house so there aren’t any windows in this room, and therefore I wanted to make it as light & bright as possible.  Green isn’t a bad color for the bathroom, so we used a less avocado-y tone.  We put in a rolltop bath and shower, and bought an antique dresser which I had retrofitted for sinks.

I (literally) mirrored the beveled mirror inset of the dresser and had a custom mirror made to sit on top of the dresser – although I think it’s hard to see the bevel in the picture.  I just called up a mirror & glass store and got a quote, easy peasy.  We put tongue and groove paneling around the rest of the bathroom to finish off the Modern/Victorian feel.

Although I did love the look of them, the square sinks are difficult to use and clean…lots of toothpaste bits that didn’t go down the drain properly. Ewwww.




House #2 Revamp: Kitchen April 11, 2012

Filed under: Room Revamps — bellsandthistle @ 6:48 am
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The kitchen was a cacaphony of checks, and was so old we easily tore it apart ourselves one afternoon.

So we installed a new kitchen, tiled the floor and painted. When I say “we” I mean we paid professionals to do it! (except painting). Solid oak cabinetry, double oven with glass cooktop, and black granite worktop. We had a custom stainless steel backsplash put in.

(It’s painted red, I don’t know why it looks orange in this picture.)

And of course the pastoral view from the window stayed the same. Whatcha think?


House #2 Revamp: Living Room

So, we moved into this great castle-y thing with a wonderful facade but needed major updating inside. Here are some Before & Afters…


Living Room – was neutral and a bit blah, so we painted it blue and stained the floors a dark brown.  I loved the turret feature in the corner of the room. We left the door frame /woodwork alone…NEVER attempt to strip it yourself. We did with House #1 and it took forever!

AFTER! So whaddya think?