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Update on the Rental

15 Jul

There has been lots of progress on the rental property over the past three weeks and one major setback. I’ll get to that.

Starting out front, we ripped out all of the overgrown bushes, planted boxwoods and day lilies and laid mulch. The plants are still small but should grow in nicely to cover the foundation.


The back looks totally different with the bushes ripped out. The yard almost doubled in size. We laid grass seed so it will just be all lawn back here. The neighbor is going to continue his fence so that will be nice too. The garage roof is new as well. It had huge holes in it.


Moving inside is where our big setback occurred. It broke our hearts (and pocketbook), but we had to replace all of the hardwood floors due to pet odor/stains from the previous owner. We learned from neighbors that the previous owner had 30 cats! We had to replace all of the baseboards throughout the house as well. But it had to be done, and now no smell!

Here are the new red oak floors in the living room and dining room. Ben is finishing up the baseboards in here and then the walls and trim will get painted and floors stained.


Here is one of the bedrooms with the new baseboards installed. We went with a chunky baseboard to keep with the style of the home.


In the bathroom we ran the plumbing to add an overhead shower (it was only a bathtub before), installed new chrome fixtures, and tiled the shower with white subway tile, a black rope pencil tile and dark gray grout.


Upstairs looks totally different! We added new electrical and HVAC, framing, drywall and a primer coat of paint. It’s going to be a really nice space up there.



This week kitchen cabinets are going in and painting continues. With having to replace the floors and baseboards, our Aug 1 deadline is shot. But we’ve had more than a dozen calls and stop bys from people interested, so we shouldn’t have a problem renting regardless of the school year.

In case you missed the before tour, you can see all the before photos here.

Home Goals: How We Did & 2014 Goals

8 Jan

2013 was a year of pretty big changes at 12 Oaks. I posted our goals for the year here and I’m happy to report we got most of what we set out to do done! Here’s the checklist on how much we accomplished.

1) Put in Upstairs Hall Bathroom. Check! We completely gutted and re-did the bathroom. It is one of my favorite spaces in the house and has turned out to be quite the Pinterest sensation, lol. Full tour here.


2) Re-locate laundry and renovate first floor powder room. Check! Sort of. What was once the laundry and powder room is now our pantry and part of our kitchen. The new first floor powder room isn’t done, but it is functional (sink and toilet working), and we have a new laundry room.



3) Take down a wall to create open floor plan. Oh yeah! It feels like a whole new house since we did this.

Here was the before:

living room wall removed

And here is a similar view now.


4) Renovating the kitchen. Check! Just a few minor tweaks left, but this was the biggest transformation yet.



And now:


5) New windows. We’re on a roll, another check.


6) Renovate Master Bathroom. Ok, this didn’t happen. BUT, our master is now moving and the addition is built so a new master bathroom is started.


7)  Get the pool up and running. It took until the end of summer but we got another check!


8) Build a deck and/or patio around pool along with landscaping around it and the rest of the property. No check. We designed the deck, poured the footings and bought the materials but it got too cold to build. We did landscape the front of the house though.


9) Add french doors off of the dining room. Check! Love these.


12 Oaks Before 137



10) Paint the house and install new front door. No paint, but we did get a new front door.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 11.32.36 AM

11) Update fireplace in the den. No progress. This is going on the list for 2014.

12) Add shadowbox molding in dining room and stairs. Not yet. Though our stairs did get a nice makeover.


13) Put in can lights in living room. Check! We put in dimmable can lights in the barn wood beams we installed.


14) Add hardwood floors in the entry way. Check! Our floors are all one material and color- love them so much.


12 Oaks Before 156



Phew! We were busy. It was a lot of work, but the house totally feels like ours now. I doubt we can keep up this pace in 2014, especially with our little one arriving in a few weeks, but there is still lots to accomplish.

Our 2014 home goals are to:

1) Build deck out back

2) Install retaining wall and landscape back yard

3) Replace rotten trim and paint the house

4) Finish addition upstairs (master bathroom and closet)

5) Finish addition downstairs (powder room and laundry room)

6) Makeover the office/playroom, including a fireplace re-do

7) Blacktop driveway

8) Relocate master bedroom

9) Update living room built-ins

10) Build a dining room table from native New Zealand wood

11) Build out basement storage

All with an infant. Think it can be done?

Stairs/Entryway Makeover & Addition Update

6 Jan

Now that the makeover of our stairs and entryway is complete, it’s time to show some before and afters.

entry cropped

It looked like this when we moved in:

12 Oaks Before 156

And now:

entry cropped 2

The new front door has been in and the stair treads have been stained and painted for a while, but most recently we:

  • Ripped out the front hall closet
  • Removed the slate tile and installed and stained new hardwood floors
  • Installed and stained a new chunky newel post, railing and balustrades
  • Skim-coated the walls to remove a weird texture
  • Opened up the doorway to den/office and installed french doors
  • Re-worked a bunch of electrical
  • Painted the walls Sherwin Williams’ Analytical Gray to match the rest of the first floor

Another before:


Look at those old floors:

12 Oaks Before 210

Here’s a progress shot after we stained the stairs and painted:

IMG_2996And now:


The chunky new newel post makes a world of difference. We stained it and the railing DuraSeal’s Spice Brown to match the floors.IMG_4201

The french doors also make a huge difference.

Here’s a progress shot:


And now:IMG_4183

The walls are now all a nice, smooth coat. They looked like this before:


Here’s a before from the top of the stairs.

12 Oaks Before 218And now:


Now to share the latest on the addition. The new powder room has drywall, tile underlayment, electrical/HVAC/plumbing, a door, and a working toilet and sink.

IMG_4191Next up will be tile (we already purchased some from Lowes), and mudding and priming the walls.

The laundry room is also taking shape.

IMG_4193Next to the washer will eventually be our dog, Doc’s bed so he can stay in here while we are gone and doesn’t get on the furniture or eat anything. His dog door is closed in this picture because it is currently -12 degrees outside (-40 with windchill), a record-breaking low!

Moving to the upstairs addition, the master bathroom is framed out, insulated and has electrical/plumbing/HVAC. Now ready for drywall.

IMG_4197Check out this gigantic icicle outside that window. It goes from the roof and almost touches the ground.


Here’s a look at where the shower will be. It will have a seat and a half wall as you can see.


And lastly the walk-in master closet. A double rod for hanging clothes will go on the right, shoes on the back wall and probably hooks on the left.

IMG_4198Our plan up here is to drywall, mud and prime and then leave it for a while and finish later in the year.

Stay warm, people!

Toasty Toes, More Paint, New Lights & A Furry Rug

2 Feb

While I was in Las Vegas for work this past week, my darling husband installed the underfloor heat in the bathroom and finished painting the 2nd spare bedroom.

He said the underfloor heating was really easy to install. First, he laid down the cables in a “S” pattern. You can see in the photo there are little steel straps that you weave the cables through.


Next, he applied a coat of thinset over everything to keep it in place and prep for tile.

IMG_2288I’m traveling for work again this coming week so maybe I’ll come home this time and see some tile down (hint, hint Ben ;)).

And here is the 2nd spare bedroom with its final coat of paint. I ended up tweaking it a bit from the first coat, toning it down a little by adding about 15% of some grayish paint we had to the original color.


As you can see, we are using it as a staging area/workshop for the bathroom right now, but I can’t wait to get it all set up!

See that wood in the picture above? We are going to use that to plank the walls in the bathroom. I’ve always loved this look and am so excited to get to do it in here. Here is one of my inspiration images:

Found here:

Found here.

We also had a bunch of items show up in the mail this week, including a new light fixture for the office.

It’s a 3-bulb semi-flush light from Wayfair for $99. Simple and clean. IMG_2334

But my favorite is our new bedroom lamps! They are from Pottery Barn and are more than I would have liked to pay except we had a leftover gift card from our wedding, so they weren’t too bad.

IMG_2355They are nice and big and make a major impact in the room. The base is mercury glass and the shade is burlap. I wouldn’t have thought those two things would go well together, but they totally do.


Here’s the room before so you can see what I mean about the big impact.

MasterThe final tweak this week (I’m a poet) is a faux sheepskin rug that was intended to go in front of the fire but it didn’t look right with our other area rug so ended up in our bedroom.


I think it works great in here and helps balance out the dark wood furniture and floors. Plus it’s soooo comfy. Doc loves it.

That’s it for now. Tomorrow we are having some friends over to watch the Super Bowl and I am attempting to make chili for the first time. And make these cute little strawberry footballs. Wish me luck…I’ll need it.

Strawberry footballs

Found here.

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