Home renovation and love story are two phrases you don’t typically find in the same sentence. However, renovating or remodeling a home can often be a labor of love. So, you could say our home story is a love story of sorts – a home renovation love story!
I often think that “home” is a state of mind. It’s my sanctuary. It’s that place that makes you feel all warm and safe. It’s a place where the cares of the world are replaced with familiar faces, warm hugs and fond memories. I think I just might agree with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sentiments, “Home is the nicest word there is.”
But, it takes a little work sometimes to turn a house into a home. We’re still working on making our house a home. Our house happens to be a brick ranch that was built in 1957 and is a little over 1,300 sq ft. My husband and I have embarked on a little journey to remodel our house that I like to think of as “our home story.”
Our Home Renovation Story
You see, our house used to be my husband’s childhood home. We bought the house almost four years ago after the passing of his mom. His parents bought the house back in the late 60’s after it had been involved in a house fire. There wasn’t any structural damage from the fire, but as we’ve since discovered, there was plenty of smoke damage.
His parents renovated the interior rooms of the house and remodeled the kitchen. Let me translate this for you though as their idea of renovating was a little different from my idea. The soot covered and charred plaster walls were covered with wallpaper and/or paneling. A drop ceiling was erected in the whole house, except the bathroom. And through the years, there was more renovating which involved more layers of wallpaper.
The floors were covered with carpet, linoleum or parquet flooring. At some point, new windows were installed in most of the house and an enclosed three-season room was added to the front of the house. There was normal house maintenance like landscaping, driveway resurfacing and shingling the roof that was completed.
The house was a little dated and I longed for hardwood floors. We got a glimpse of the beautiful hardwood floors in the master bedroom. At some point, the carpet was removed and the floor was refinished in the master bedroom. It wasn’t just any ol’ hardwood floor, mind you. Nope. These floors were constructed of beautiful hardwood maple.
Nanny took great pride in her home and it was decorated just the way she liked. Dark floral wallpaper. Warm carpet beneath her feet. Drop ceiling with fluorescent lights. Big dark walnut cabinetry. Beautiful in its own way, I suppose, but very dark.
Since my husband was just a little boy when his parents bought and renovated the house, he really didn’t remember what condition the walls or floors were in or why his parents decided to put in a drop ceiling. I mean, what six year old little boy would? So, we had no idea what was lurking behind the wallpaper, underneath the carpet or above the ceiling panels.
Our Home Renovation Love Story – Part 1
We started our home renovation in our son’s bedroom. After our youngest daughter graduated from high school and enlisted in the Navy, we still had one child left at home and decided to start our renovation journey anyway. His bedroom had layers of wallpaper, covered with paneling, covered with paint and a nice wallpaper border. (Did I say “nice” and wallpaper in the same sentence?) And, as you can see from the below picture, nice dark walnut everything and a drop ceiling. Nice.
When I look at his room now, I barely remember how it looked before. His bedroom closet also housed the stackable washer and dryer. Having the laundry upstairs was certainly convenient, but we needed the space, so we (uhm, my husband) moved the laundry back down to the basement. This bedroom also used to be my husband’s bedroom when he was a little boy.
My husband hung all new drywall on the walls and ceiling. The walls were then painted with Behr Sculptor Clay and the trim is Behr’s Ultra Pure White. The floors were sanded and refinished. We actually saved all the door hardware, but bought and installed new closet and bedroom doors. After cleaning all the door hardware, I spray painted them with Rust-Oleum’s Satin Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint and Primer. We hung a ceiling fan and put up new wood slat blinds.
Aren’t these floors amazing? You can’t even tell they were covered in soot and buried beneath carpet. This room was a learning experience for us, full of trial and error ideas. We learned a lot about what not to do in the next room.
I’ll be sharing more about our home renovation journey over the next few months or maybe even years (just kidding – I hope it doesn’t take that long). Maybe it will inspire you to look beyond the ugly.
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Home Renovation Source List
Here’s a listing of the paint and decor used in this bedroom renovation. Most items were purchased at our local Home Depot. We ordered the ceiling fan online from Amazon.
- Wall Color: Behr Sculptor Clay Paint
- Trim Color: Behr Ultra Pure White Semi-Gloss Paint
- Ceiling Fan
- Faux Wood Blinds
- Interior Door
- Drum Lamp Shade
We also sanded, stripped and refinished the wood floors. We rented a floor sander from Broadway Tool Rental here in our hometown. You can probably also rent the sander from Home Depot. Once sanded, we applied polycrylic to the floor. Since then, we cleaned and touched up the floor using a product called Rejuvenate, which we also purchased at Home Depot. This stuff works amazingly well! We’ve used both the Wood Floor Restorer and the Floor Cleaner. I can’t say enough good things about these products. If you have wood floors that have been well loved and are looking a little dull and scratched, you’ve just got to give this product a try. It’s easy to apply and the results will amaze you!
Til next time…