2012 brought some changes! i was accepted into the american film institute conservatory to study and practice production design for film! so that means i was going to move to los angeles, and we would have to finish the major renovations to the house as quickly and budget-minded as possible!

we decided to rent the house instead of sell it, because the market was down and we'd recently refinanced again to get a 3.99% fixed rate. it's hard to turn it over to renters after we've put so much blood, sweat and tears into it, but we have hope they'll take care of our baby... and anthony is still in charleston to keep an eye on it!

the big things that were left to finish were the loft and stair railings...

... and the master bathroom.  we got an ikea vanity and mirror, and selected white subway tile that we laid ourselves - which was extremely challenging and time-consuming and i will never DIY again. promise! 

sorry, i don't have any finished pics - we were in that much of a hurry to finish and move out! it was a whirlwind of final baseboards installed and last door hung, painting, tiling, grouting, caulking, plumbing hookup, cleanup and move out!

wish me luck in l.a.!



welcome to my house blog!
to see some before & after pics, go here.
for our DIY tile process, go here or here.
to read about the rat/squirrel skeleton incident, go here.
or just scroll down for a reverse chronology of our house projects.



A couple weeks ago we tiled the master bath with some Vermont black slate that we ordered through Dal-Tile.

First we dry-fit and laid a mortar bed for the cement backerboard.

And then screwed it down with cement screws -

Then we used a wet saw to cut and dry-fit the tile using tile spacers -

Then mixed some more mortar and laid the tile...
(This is Anthony putting mesh tape over the joints in the backerboard.)

Next up was grouting the joints, after the tile had set up for a couple of days...

And sponging off the excess grout -

I'll post a final picture later - we still need to add another application of grout to the joints, since the slate isn't as smooth and flat as other tile.

And then a hand-me-down light fixture turned into a bigger project...

Some friends gave us a pretty capiz shell chandelier, which we thought would be perfect for our living room, which has had an empty junction box since we moved in. But before we could hang the fixture, we had to paint the ceiling in the living room, so we moved all the furniture out of the room and into the dining room...

But then, since we had all the furniture out of the room, we decided we might as well finish the rest of the room, so we finished caulking all the baseboards and then painted all the windows, trim and fireplace...

So now we've decided to take one room at a time, and finish everything in the room. It's less daunting to have smaller milestones...



we've been busy! to get the guest rooms ready for upcoming guests and potential future roommates, we reused the french doors that were formerly in the dining room, and added some privacy film to the glass -

i like that it still allows light into the hallway from the two guest bedrooms.

we've also been very productive on trim work. nearly every room is complete with window & door trim, baseboards, shoe mould and quarter round! a few pics -

we have some caulking and lots of painting left to complete on the trim and windows...so we'll continue to be productive, though without drastically noticeable results. i'll update again as soon as i can!



i love books! love reading them, love being surrounded by them, love libraries, love bookstores. so, we decided to get these billy bookcases from ikea to make our den look and feel more homey, lived in, and loved. :)

this room still needs work, but this goes a long way towards the feel of the space. now i just love this room! one day these shelves will be completely full of books. :)

as you'll see, we left precisely enough room to the left of the unit to add one more of the single-wide bookcases at a later date to fill the entire wall.

window caulking & painting remains in progress.

happy thanksgiving!



trim work continues -

we have the perimeter of all 3 doubles plus the triple window trimmed out, and just need to cut new pieces for the spaces between the windows.

and we've made a couple of furniture purchases via craigslist...
1. a pair of chairs for $100:

i bought some fabric to recover them for $28 and voila:

one day i may paint this chair a fun color, and i was hoping to find a more punchy or funky pattern to make these chairs less formal looking, but didn't find anything just right, so this will do for now. charleston is sadly deficient in fabric resources. does anybody recommend any online sources for modern fabrics?

2. a pair of MCM dressers for $100 that just need a little TLC...

just another project to add to the list! this will be my first experience refinishing furniture. wish me luck!



hello again!

the in-laws are coming down for thanksgiving, so we have a new deadline fast approaching, and little by little we're making big progress on trim work!

we made a door for the storage area under the stairs..


after (with primer coat, before finish paint):

so, opinions: should the panel areas be painted the gray of our walls, with the trim/baseboards to be white, or should this entire area be painted white as it is now with the primer coat?

we've also been working on baseboards and trimming out the windows!

all of the single windows are now trimmed out and in various stages of needing to be puttied/sanded/primed/caulked and painted. that's 17 windows + the small kitchen double window down, and just the 3 double windows + 1 triple window to go.

sanding casings (my least favorite part):

we also filled in the gaps in the corners of the upper kitchen cabinets, and just need to match the paint of our cabinet faces to finish these out:



and last month we scored this old salvaged door from the Historic Charleston Foundation warehouse sale for $10:

it's actually made with real beadboard, and we're going to have to add a couple boards to make it as wide as we need, so then we'll probably paint and distress it to hang on some barn door hardware at our pantry, inspired by this (from cottage living):

and we're currently contemplating ordering the doors for our bedrooms. the problem is, it'll cost us a little over $800 to get the 3 doors within the next couple days - to get them installed before Thanksgiving, or we can save a little and spend about $550 to get them in 6-8 weeks (not in time for the in-laws visit) - so therefore no point in ordering them now. anthony doesn't want to spend the extra $250 - that's the cost of another door!

see, we're very deadline-oriented people. which reminds me, i should just schedule my first ARE exam so i'll actually start studying. breaking work-related news coming soon, hopefully...