Condo Project – Week 4

Happy Halloween! I can’t decide whether I’m more excited to give candy out tonight {I haven’t lived in a neighborhood with Trick-or-Treaters for years!} or just because it’s Friday and I’m exhausted.

This condo is kicking my butt. Add working full time, graduate school, and also being sick, and I’m just over this week. Things are moving along slowly, but I have lots of pictures this week, and lots of proof that things are wrapping up little by little. I still don’t have a move-in day, but I’ve been gradually moving my stuff over in hopes that it will speed things up.

The painting of the doors is wrapping up. All doors with the exception of two louvered doors have been painted.


We actually ran out of room in the master bedroom to paint the doors, so we started painting them in the dining room too.IMG_3528IMG_3538 Also on the list of things to paint was the oak light cover in the kitchen. I’m not a big fan of fluorescent lights in kitchens, but given that I’m on a limited budget, this one had to stay for the time being. Thankfully the stained glass panels were a more generic design rather than the flowers I normally see them with. Eventually it will be swapped out for recessed lighting. White spray paint did it wonders.IMG_3531 The fun touches started including the stripes in both the back wall of the master as well as the entry way. After years of doing stripes in many rooms, knocking these out is now a piece of cake.IMG_3537

IMG_3542 IMG_3543This picture without the tape shows how fantastic the satin paint looks against the flat paint I used.

And my next ambitious paint project was the “painted wallpaper” project. My plan is to do this on the back wall of the dining room, but with the weather getting cold fast, priorities have shifted to moving ASAP. I did a test run on the back wall of the pantry instead. First step was stenciling the wall.
IMG_3550 Then came the tedious process of hand painting inside each line. I have to be honest, I almost gave up at this point because up close it just didn’t look good.IMG_3551 The finished project makes me smile though and I’m glad I pressed on and continued.


I also purchased door knobs for the closet doors. Getting rid of the various door knobs that had geese and Native Americans {I didn’t know these even existed…} on them was something I was super excited about, and seeing something else completed makes me smile.


Another discovery this week was that my windows and doors are actually white. They were so dirty everyone thought they were silver… GROSS
IMG_3573 And some finishing touches started going in. The shower rod was replaced in the master bath.IMG_3577A toilet paper holder has been installed in the guest bathroom.
IMG_3579And sadly, I came to terms with the fact that it’d be cheaper to just buy a new light for the foyer than to find a new globe and salvage the old one.

Other things notably missing in the picture:

  • Both mirrors have been rehung in the bathrooms.
  • The fridge arrived.
  • The plumber fixed the broken shut off valves in the laundry closet.
  • Light switch plates are going up.
  • The chandelier in the dining room has been taken down in preparation for paint.
  • I’m in the process of getting the broken blind in the guest bedroom replaced.
  • My Nest Protect smoke detector had to be sent back due to a wonderful defect that caused the smoke alarm to go off anytime it was left on for more than 10 seconds. {Sorry to any neighbors reading this.}

Thanks for stopping by. Until next week…

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 3

You know that point in every HGTV remodeling show where the couple is just DONE… I’m there. I can’t wait to just be done and moved in, and it seems like every time I turn around something else needs to be fixed whether it be mice chewing through electrical wires in the walls, my new Wemo light switch controlling everything BUT the light it should control, or even just realizing the shower curtain rod in the master was about to fall off the wall. Also adding to my frustration, in August, when I anticipated getting ready to move, I packed up everything but the necessities. Fast forward 2 months later and I’ve run out of necessities and have had to start unpacking again. I also packed up all my cold weather clothes which isn’t so enjoyable when the weather has been cold and rainy.

So what has gotten done other than the depletion of my energy?

Floors have been taped and painting has resumed. That sheet unfortunately is here to stay a bit longer. The shade I received from JCPenney was damaged. It’s also backordered, so I’m looking at November when I might actually get the remaining 3 blinds installed.IMG_3498 Again, I apologize for the awful lighting. With the Wemo switch not working properly, the living room no longer has any light except for the light in the hallway. If you look closely to the left of the fireplace, however, you’ll see the glow of a modem and router. Thanks to a surprisingly wonderful rep that came out from Comcast to fix the waste of time I spent on the phone (Comcast, if you’re listening your phone support absolutely sucks, and it was ME who actually discovered the problem after an hour of your reps putting me on hold, transferring me, and hanging up on me). The problem –  the line to my unit was disconnected out back. (8 units, 8 lines coming into the building, mine was the only one not connected, and not one the jacks coming in was free which means someone is using up more than they should). In any event, every things resolved and I’ve officially stepped back into the 21st century and have high speed internet at home. Hooray!IMG_3500 Doors and trim started getting painted or touched up.IMG_3501

This wonderful array of doors is 3 out of my 4 closet doors for the master.IMG_3510 And the last big project has also started. cabinet doors came off in the kitchen and bathrooms to be prepped for paint.IMG_3515You might also notice that my stove made it back into the kitchen, which means things are coming back in from the balcony finally.

Last but not least, we have a plumber/family-friend coming tonight! He’s going to do the work a little at a time, but the plan is to get the kitchen sink working again, get a line to the fridge run for the ice maker, see what needs to be done with the dishwasher, replace the hoses and valves in the laundry closet, check what’s going on with the master bath tub, and also pull the toilets so that we can lay new vinyl in the two bathrooms.

By the weekend, hopefully I will have a semi-functioning kitchen that includes a working sink, stove, microwave, and fridge that holds more than 6 cans of soda.

It’s coming along slowly but surely.

Check back in for more updates soon.

Signature Update

Condo Project – New Floors

I was planning to include the pictures of the floors in my Week 3 post, but I just can’t wait any longer. The suspense is just killing me.

I bought this condo knowing it was a huge project, and I will admit, there was a huge part of me that doubted I could even do it. While I was getting everything started with the purchasing process, I avoided showing anyone the place. I mean I buy overly priced Apple products because they look nice, and then I turned around and bought this condo which was the furthest thing from being simple and well designed. I had a vision – a vision that scared me to no end because I felt it was completely unrealistic. I kept asking people, “I’m not crazy for doing this, right?” I was scared that too many episodes of Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, and other HGTV shows convinced me I could do something I really couldn’t.

Every place I looked at had carpet that I planned to replace, so the pink carpet didn’t really deter me that much. I really didn’t care what I put down as long as it looked like wood and wasn’t carpet. I started looking at wood-look sheet vinyl, but I couldn’t find any samples that weren’t so obviously vinyl. In the end connections paid off, and I happened to find enough of a discontinued laminate at the right price. Truthfully I wasn’t sold though. For the price, I couldn’t beat it, so I went for it because the pink carpet had to go. The color and pattern on the sample weren’t something I absolutely loved though.

And then the sample arrived, and I started warming up to them.IMG_3420

On the day the floors went in, I had this crazy moment of “Wow! This is really happening. I own this place!” I still can’t get over it, and the floors are absolutely perfect. The difference floors make is so incredible.

IMG_3431I’m thrilled that they could be run straight down the unit lengthwise. It makes views like this fantastic.
IMG_3433 IMG_3434 IMG_3439 IMG_3442 And just for comparison, I’ve included a before and after pic. IMG_3443

As I mentioned earlier in the post, I’ve doubted myself throughout this project. The timeline seems like it keeps getting longer and longer, and it feels as though I might never move in, but seeing this transformation is so gratifying.

The rest of Week 3’s updates are coming soon.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 2

Ready for Week 2’s progress? It’s pretty dramatic!

We hit a major milestone in Week 2 – removing the last of the wallpaper. Sadly, I did not document the momentous occasion. There were many jokes of how I had changed my mind on paint and opted to go with wallpaper over every wall again, but I think the wallpaper is gone for good.

With the wallpaper down, we could start patching walls. {For those of you that are curious, we’ve been working our through the rooms starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathrooms with each stage of the process.}


Hopefully my HOA understands I’m in mid renovation; because my balcony looks like this… Right now I’m sure I’m that neighbor everyone hates, and I hate it.
IMG_3395We painted and primed the shoe molding in preparation of the floors going in.
IMG_3400 And then the first coats of paint started going up.

10712893_10202897038326880_4161795704258519326_nIn this picture, the ceiling looks grey as well, BUT I assure you it is white.IMG_3405IMG_3425I bought a 5 gallon container of Behr’s Light French Gray to paint the entire place. I didn’t expect the color to look so drastically different on each of the walls. Thankfully the shades all go together and add a bit of dimension to the place.

IMG_3411Of course there was a hitch in my plan. The cabinets now look atrocious next to the grey walls and white trim, so the painting of the cabinets has been moved up in the timeline.IMG_3406 I also scored this beauty of a dresser for $16. Yes, $16! The drawers are behind it. It was just too heavy to move with them. The plan is to refinish the top to match the farm table we’re building, and paint the base white.IMG_3416 We also got the first boxes of flooring. Here’s a sneak peak.IMG_3420I can’t wait to show you the floors installed.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Week 1

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m hoping with these weekly posts, I can start to catch up on all the progress we’re making. After this post, I’ll be 1 post behind where we’re actually at.

I was lucky enough to take off Monday-Wednesday, and it was definitely necessary given all the wallpaper.

We got the border off in the kitchen and dining room, and started working our way into the living room.

IMG_3369 IMG_3370

The wallpaper on the back wall of the living room, entry, and hallway started coming down too.IMG_3371 IMG_3372

Then, I figured out we’d been using the wall paper steamer all wrong. Things would have gone much more quickly had I left the steamer on the wall slightly longer. With the technique down, I got to work in the hallway, and managed to do the majority of it in about an hour.IMG_3376 IMG_3377 We also got the multi layers of border out of the master.IMG_3382 The border in the guest bedroom was by far my favorite to remove. It was basically a sticker so I knocked this out in twenty minutes, no steamer required.IMG_3384

By Friday evening, I was pooped. I came home and flopped on the sofa for some cuddles with the dogs, and wrestled with Remington a bit, and then came the fun part. He knocked me off the sofa onto Zoey. Apparently 100+lbs of Andrea is too much for her bad back, and in a moment of panic, she managed to do this to my forehead. I’m fairly certain she was more scared than I was, and as you can see in the picture, she was more than apologetic and insisted on lying on top of me and giving me kisses until my mom came back home to patch my head up.

IMG_3388Coming up next, week 2’s progress. Once I’m caught back up, I’ll be back to a weekly schedule simply because my days are literally “Go to work, go to condo (or class), go home to eat, sleep, and repeat.”

Thanks for reading,

Signature Update

Condo Project – Day 2

Are you ready for Day 2? I am. Things have been so hectic, it’s hard to believe Day 2 actually happened 10 days ago.

Day 1 was focused on junk. Day 2 can be summarized by wallpaper and staples.

Day 2 kicked off with a dozen Fractured Prune donuts, because why not. {They were gone by 1PM}.

The floor to ceiling mirror in the living room came down {in pieces…}.



And for once I was glad there was wallpaper behind it because the excessive adhesive would have destroyed the drywall even more than it did.


This is the part in the project where my ADD really shows – a lot of walls with partially removed wallpaper. I kept jumping from wall to wall in various rooms which in hindsight wasn’t the most efficient way, but there really isn’t any efficient way to remove an entire condo full of wallpaper.
IMG_3344IMG_3347The ceiling fan in the master bathroom came down. {By the way check out the awful cat border!}

We busted through the access panel for the master bath. During the home inspection,  we actually took this panel off to see the plumbing only to discover that there was actually just a piece of drywall behind it. That had to go.IMG_3354We started patching walls.

The washer and dryer were moved to the living room for cleaning and preparation for the new floors.IMG_3358

It’s areas in the condo like these I’m disgusted by. This was bad enough, but the kitchen was BY FAR the grossest room of the house. I’m still amazed anyone cooked food for consumption in there.IMG_3359


Not pictured, my best friend, who played a big part in the networking to make me buying this condo possible stopped by for a few hours, and we started removing wallpaper in Master Bedroom. That’s when we discovered that there was not 1 but 2 layers of wallpaper in the Master. Thankfully, the wallpaper only existed in the closet, and they seemed to have removed first layer from the harder areas like the skinny sections around the bathroom door for us. Both the master bedroom and bathroom still had 2 layers of borders on most of the walls.

I stayed late and tackled the closet before heading back home for bed.

From here on out, pictures trickle down. As much as I’d like to spend every waking hour on this project with several helpers, most people, including myself have other commitments like work, so work has slowed down considerably. I’ll be doing weekly updates from here on out.

Signature Update

Condo Project – Day 1

I’m admittedly a bit behind on these updates. I’m going to give myself a break though because I’ve been working essentially around the clock and juggling class, work, and the condo for the past 10 days. I’ve been home long enough to go to sleep for a few hours, grab some coffee, and start over again.

So what happened on Day 1 – A LOT.

The focus for Saturday was getting rid of all the junk. If I haven’t mentioned it before, the lady who lived here had a love for wallpaper, ceiling fans, window clings, cats, and lots of pink.

{Sidenote: as we started to remove wallpaper, we found that many of the walls were never actually painted underneath. I have a suspicion that this unit may have been a model unit given all its “upgrades” and convenient location in the building –  at least I can think so.}

I also want to apologize for the horrendous lighting in the pictures. We only had light from windows at either end and hallways to work with.

First order of business was to start removing the carpet.

IMG_3339 IMG_3340 IMG_3342

Work is definitely made nicer by the trees and pond behind my balcony provided you ignore the ugly fence. I have already enjoyed a few mornings with coffee out there even though there’s no chairs at the moment.


By the end of the day, the carpet and padding were entirely gone, and the dining room was holding my kitchen appliances. I believe we filled at least 2 box trucks worth of junk from the place in just this day alone.IMG_3345


And here’s the living room. We did manage to save the massive mirror which was actually glued to the wall, and we were also able to start on wallpaper removal.IMG_3346All in all, we got a lot more accomplished on Day 1 than I ever imagined.

Day 2 coming soon.Signature Update


I Bought a Condo

Well, folks, it finally happened. I’m officially a homeowner, and I’m embarking on a journey of renovating a fixer upper at 24!

I settled last Friday evening after work, but to be honest, I don’t know whether I was more excited to get my new iPhone 6 waiting at home or getting the key to the condo.

That night, after stopping at work to utilize decent internet to restore my phone, I headed to the condo armed and ready, or so I thought. Turns out one person with a box of microfiber cloths and 1 bottle of cleaning spray don’t do much at 8PM. The night was a bust, but I did manage to get some things accomplished

I started removing the botched DirecTV install. They actually ran the coaxial cable from the dish balcony over the fireplace, and back down, and it was the first thing to go. It was unsightly to say the least, but it was nothing compared to the way they ran the rest of the place. Every where you looked was coaxial cable (running through the kitchen, in front of the water heater, sticking out of the coat closet, running through the entry way, in the linen closet, peaking out in the guest room,and finally culminating in the master bedroom

My next task was removing all the homemade window clings from every glass surface imagineable. This lady had bugs, birds, and lighthouses EVERYWHERE. I thought I got rid of them all, but they keep turning up, including a ladybug that appeared in my purse somehow.

My last task for the night was removing the faded blue lamp shades from the light fixture in the dining room. I had originally planned to replace this light, but in an effort to save money, I’ve decided I’m going to spray paint it instead.

Now are you ready for the before pictures?! (Images courtesy of MRIS)


Living Room


Living Room


Dining Room




Master Bedroom


Master Bedroom

Notably missing are decent pictures of either bathroom or the guest room.

Check back for Day 1’s progress coming shortly.

Signature Update

Quick Update on Life

I’m back for a quick update on many fronts, but mainly the condo.

August 27th came and went with no settlement. There was an issue with the deed that my title company offered to fix, but no one could get ahold of the person to give the “okay” from the seller.

After a lot of waiting, I have a new settlement date AND TIME, so it seems as though it’ll be official on Friday afternoon. Friday also happens to be the day for not one but two birthdays in my house, AND new iPhone day, so Friday is going to be crazy.

After settlement on Friday, I’m going to head over to the condo and get started on demo. There’s a lot that needs to come out: excessive amounts of ceiling fans including one in the master bathroom, pink carpet, wallpaper, awkward shelving, broken blinds, a nasty fridge etc.

The plan is to get as much out as possible on Friday and Saturday. I took off on Monday and Tuesday, so Sunday and Monday will be primarily wallpaper removal, repairs, and cleaning. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to start painting on Tuesday, but I’m not counting on it.

Adding to the complications is my class which meets Thursdays from 7:10-9:40. {Seriously who ever thought classes at that time of night were a good idea is crazy.} I also meet with some of my classmates on Mondays nights so there’s two nights out of the mix plus the times I’m at work.

In other news, however, I did discover the shuttle for campus runs right past my house at least 6 days a week, so if I ever break down or get stuck in snow, I can just take the bus to work which is pretty cool.

Anyway that’s that. Get ready for some Before pictures coming soon.

Signature Update

The Countdown is On!

My date for settlement is officially less than 10 days away!

Last week, my mom finally got to see the place for the first time although without any electricity. The electricity unfortunately didn’t get turned on until the day after she got to see it. I have no clue whether she actually liked the place or just thinks I’m insane.

Thankfully, finally having electricity meant I could schedule the inspection, which was done on Saturday morning. No major surprises. Everything worked, despite being old and likely original or needing minor repairs. Given that this place is a fixer upper, it was exactly what I expected. Either way, not so cheap upgrades are in my future. I’m just glad they aren’t necessary right away.

Once the inspection was over, I signed my life away, acknowledging that I’m purchasing the property “As-Is.”

The rest of my weekend was spent packing things up little by little. My plan is to get out of my current home ASAP before chaos ensues, so knowing that settlement is happening on the first day of the semester, I’m planning for my time to be limited thanks to being busy at work, as well as classes, and renovations.

Current {Ambitious} Timeline:

August 27 – Settlement

Remove Any Unwanted Leftovers (e.g. mirrors, nasty fridge, window decals, ceiling fans in bathrooms –seriously why?)

Replace Carpet

Remove Wallpaper + Borders and other nonsense on walls



September 12-13 – Move In

*The painting is negotiable. I really want to have the place painted before I move in, but I also want to get in as soon as possible so I may move and then paint as I go.

Fingers crossed nothing else goes wrong.

Signature Update