Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#thomashouse2014: three choices and the house is a home.

A house is a huge space with so many parts. The yard, the garage, the bedrooms, the office, the entry, the staircase. Oh the house. 

When you are in the buying process you're seeing the good. You're wearing rosy glasses that highlight potential and beautiful. Then you own it. And you walk through your new home and wonder how the hell you loved it so much when the walls are yellow, the carpet matted, the kitchen floor linoleum masquerading as wood. You end up with a list of all the things that you hate about the house and goodness do you hate them. And how do you make them yours when there's just so much hate? 

Start with the paint. 
Change it to what you love because it'll reinvent the entire space (especially if there are five different paint colors that you can see from standing in a single spot). 
Some painting tips: 
-Use Frog Painter's tape. It's a bit more expensive than the blue stuff, but it has this special sealing stick to the back of it that keeps lines tight. Trust me when I say: it's a line-saver. 
-Test the paint color in a couple of spots. The light hits our house different in each room downstairs. One room has vaulted ceilings and a banister, the other a brick fireplace and more shade. So paint sample squares around the house. (This actually changed our choice from one color to another) 
-Rollers and the little attach-y stick. They save your life and your arms and your time on a ladder. 
-Don't be afraid to tackle it yourself. We were on a budget with the renovations and painting it ourselves was a major way to stay at our price point. It was exhausting and I swore off anything with bristles for weeks, but now I'm proud of us. 

Switch up the floors. 
Yeah, matted, dog-smelling carpet ain't going to make you feel at home. It won't welcome you with a happy little smile and a fresh whiff of homey air. Nor will it provide that soft, lovely padding under your bare feet. 
Some flooring tips: 
-Tile is cold. Like temperature cold. Our master bath has tile floors and our feet freeze on it in the mornings. Thank goodness downstairs is wood. 
-Click together engineered hardwood is beautiful and half the price of floating hard wood. We win. 
-Ask what's on sale. Our flooring girl was so awesome and when she brought out the samples she told us what was on sale. Happens to be our carpet was 50% off. Sold. 
-Carpet that is speckled hides stains. We haven't spilled anything on it yet but that was the advice we received from so many of our young family friends. Plus, it just feels more fun. 

Open the space. 
Now, this isn't "easy" or something people will all feel comfortable tackling without some professional help. However, we're insane in the slightest of ways and Jason and his dad conquered that mess. Oh how they did. But, it opened up our kitchen and dining room which has allowed for easy hosting. 

Some wall-tearing out tips: 
-If you're changing a major wall (not like tearing out three feet like us), make sure it isn't load-bearing or that you need to have permits to do so. This stuff can affect safety, structure and resale. 
-Know what's in the wall. We were surprised with a sealed off pocket door. It was like winning the lotto, but not quite so rich and positive. There was really no way for us to know before Jason went to work with the hammer, but if you have the chance to ask the sellers, do it. 
-Buy texture. Our walls have a texture to them that is bumpy, yet smooth (so fancy). I swear it's called orange peel. And you can buy the stuff in a can at Home Depot. You just spray it on like paint, but it's bumpy. Then paint over it to match the rest of the wall. This ensures patching will be smooth and unnoticeable.
-When the patch doesn't turn out well, decorate. Jason doesn't love one spot he patched, so I painted a canvas and covered it. Now you can't tell it's less than perfect.  

Be prepared for dramatic tears and moments of pure fear. I mean really, I suddenly freaked out and thought what the hell are we doing knocking the drywall with hammers?!? It all turned out okay, actually, great. The house turned into a home as soon as the paint and flooring were changed even without furniture! 


  1. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvApril 8, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    You've done so much work in such a short time, I'm impressed! It looks amazing and so warm and welcoming and like the perfect home to seek salvation in after a long day.

  2. i honestly can't believe how much you got done before you even moved in. it's insane.

  3. Holy crap Amber these before and afters are amazing!! You guys have done such a great job. Making me wish we would have remodeled before we moved in :-)

  4. Girl- your floors look beautiful!! And The clicky together engineered hardwood sounds a whole heck of a lot easier than actually refinishing hardwood floors (nightmarrrre).

  5. This all turned out SOOOO beautiful! You give me hope as I sit at my house surrounded by empty boxes and plain walls! You go girl!!!


  6. Wow these renovations look amazing! Y'all have done a fantastic job and it shows :)

  7. This is so exciting! It makes me look forward to when I can have this type of adventure! Until then, I will be envying your wonderful updates from my rented studio!

  8. it's COMPLETELY insane. and yet, i'm thankful... never did i ever thought i'd say that. NEVER.

  9. We've done SO MUCH. And the fun part is I got really good at working through the dramatic crying! :) Thankfully Jason is a very patient man... And yes, seeking salvation. And peace. Oh how much I need that at the end of the day.

  10. Thank you dear... I'm thankful we'd done it before we moved in, but it's still SO MUCH a process. And there's still some major painting to be done in the rooms upstairs, so I just stay out of them! :)

  11. Thank you! I'm glad to hear the refinishing is hard... We had an offer in on a house before this one where the floors were going to need refinishing and I can't even imagine how that would have gone. Feels like another bullet dodged! :) (Though i'm so sad it was hard for you guys...)

  12. Thank you! We've been working our tushes off... And going to bed EXHAUSTED at night! :) I'm thankful to have finished so much of the hard stuff and to get to enjoy doing the (sort of) easier little things!

  13. Oh girl I had a studio for three years and LOVED it... :) I can't believe how much cleaning I'm doing with more space! It's such a fun adventure that is exhausting yet so rewarding!

  14. Your house makes me so giddy. I just love it. I can't wait to sit at that table and drink a coffee with you.

  15. Love this!!! You guys have done an awesome job!!! And I love the pops of color, especially the turquoise!!! You guys are awesome!


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