Category Archives: Home “Renovation”

Nursery Pictures

Since little man came 2 weeks early, I didn’t have time to completely finish the nursery. Here it is, in its incomplete form!

Rug & Chair from BRU

Crib & changing table/dresser from an Amish Furniture store in Lancaster, OH.

Love the white shelving from Lowes πŸ™‚ it’s super practical!! Great for storing bibs, onesies, and burp cloths.

Books courtesy of my lovely mom who used to be a pre-school teacher (as well as some awesome friends!)Β  Note the picture on the left… it is of bears wearing cheeseheads. Yep. We are from Wisco. We’re training him early.

Swing is from BRU ~ courtesy of Steve’s dad & Tia πŸ™‚ He loves it! We plan to put his name up on the wall just above the swing. I just haven’t found the time …yet!

The lovely quilt on the wall was something my mom found for us~ it is just perfect for the room. The tub to the right of the bed is absolutely necessary for storing our sweet little man’s multitude of blankets!

That’s it!


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Main Bathroom B&A

So it’s been over a month since I last blogged about the house. Sorry y’all, time just totally slipped away from me! This post features my favorite update in the house, the bathroom! I really think we (ehm ehm, Stevo) did a fantastic job making this bathroom new! As you can see, it started out with this Bobcat green counter top. I mean… seriously, who puts a green counter top in a house!?! Oh, and gorgeous brass & shiny silver hardware/fixtures…

Flower wall paper. This WHOLE room was wallpapered. I’ve never ever understood WHY people wall paper bathrooms. It’s just confusing to me. B/c STEAM removes wallpaper from walls … and what do showers do? STEAM up the room.

Oh so pretty… um… yeah.

Check out the two-tone faucet.

And lovely brassy light fixture.Β  Can you see the wall paper starting to peel?

Just lovely

So Steve went to work with the steamer in hand.

It was quite a process, but he eventually got all of the wall paper off of the walls!

And the results were amazing….

Steve replaced the counter top (new granite from Lowes in stock), fixtures, hardware (and even the plumbing below the sink!)

This whole motif was inspired by that toilet paper roll holder you see in this pic. The old owners left it … and we liked it! So we decided to purchase all of the hardware to match πŸ™‚

Pretty handy work on Stevo’s part! Isn’t the hardware SOO much better than the old “two-toned” gold & silver πŸ™‚

We even got new light & outlet plates πŸ˜‰ and new towel holders.

This room was by far my favorite remake… followed closely by the master bedroom of course!

So that’s it! We’re definitely done with the home “renos” for right now!!! Hope you enjoyed the slew of photos. Sorry it took so long to put up the last two room!


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Exterior of the home B&A

Update 5?? I think it’s five now!

We’ve drastically altered the outside of our home since we first purchased it.

The picture below was clearly taken in the winter… February probably.

Brown garage door… ugh. This is now white πŸ™‚ but I don’t have a pic of it just yet!I kind of liked these privacy screens…but Steve (and the in laws) were not big fans. AND…I have to admit, I started to paint them & it was quite a pain in the tush. So I gave up and we’ve since pulled them out.

The shutters used to be this brown color~ and the base of the house (the cement block) used to be white as you see below.Β  Oh… we also painted the redish/brown deck a brown color but I don’t have pictures of that just yet!

Here is a picture of the cement block with the new cream/tan color (instead of the stark white that it was previously).We LOVE it… (still need to put the shutters back up on the side of the house though :)) The new color goes all the way around the back.

Outside of the house before…. It was quaint, but a bit 1970s looking. Which makes sense since that’s what is.

Steve’s mom and Don came down to visit (and they brought us a uhaul full of stuff!!!) We did most of the work on the outside while they were here πŸ™‚ but before they arrived we took down the shutters and ran into some unfortunate guests.

WASPS. ugh. Not so fun. When I first started to take the shutters down I had about 15 wasps fly out at me. It was not a pleasant experience for myself or Steve. I screamed (probably VERY Shrilly!!!) and went running across the yard away from the wasps. Yes, I am a chicken. Anyway, after that we proceeded to drive to the local walmart & pick up FOUR cans of wasp spray. Yep, 4 and we used them all.

Dead wasp as evidence. Black, creepy, scary wasps.

We knocked out TONS of wasps nests (both live and abandoned) from the shutters. Steve and I got a system down. He would hit the shutter with the back of the drill. Then I would spray the wasps like mad as they came flying out. They would drop dead on the ground. Then we would take all of the screws (except one) out of the shutters… then as he removed the last one, he would toss the shutter and we would both RUN. Sometimes bees would come flying out… sometimes they wouldn’t. But we didn’t want to stick around to find out!!

After all was said and done, we had at least 100 wasps nests that we shoveled into the garbage can. After they had been SOAKED in wasp killer, mind you πŸ™‚

After we had escaped the wrath of the wasps… we were able to successfully paint all of the shutters WHITE! (with the help of the in laws of course).

We also painted the brick the gray/slate color you see below. This step was SUPPOSE to be step one of many…

The original plan was to seal the brick by painting it all one color. But I was insistent that I wanted to maintain the “brick look & feel” so I made Steve promise to help me paint individual bricks later.

He promised.

So we started out painting the brick this solid color below.

And… this is what it looked like! Steve really liked it this way, but I was dead set that I wanted the bricks to look… well, brick-ish! So we went to work.

We started painting the bricks multiple colors… trying to get the same effect as the neighbors (newer) houses across the street.

I think it would have worked, IF the roof was a gray color… unfortunately, it’s red~ which pretty much made the brick look old again! It was exactly the look we were trying to avoid. So… we took a quick snap shot to document our SEVEN hours of detail work…

And painted back over the brick with the solid color. You can see on the right hand side of this picture that we also tried a solid cream…. too much cream!

All of this work = a Bleh feeling!!! But I suppose that we needed to do the work in order to know what wasn’t going to work!!

But I felt like I earned the right to make a quick pouty face anyway πŸ™‚

So in the end, we’re back to the solid color again πŸ™‚ It was the best compromise that seemed to work with the red-ish roof. I like it A LOT better with the white garage door. I’ll take a pic of that soon & post it too!


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Living Room B&A

Home Renovation post #4

We didn’t do a whole lot to the living room space itself other than just furnishing it. When we first bought the house, we planned to paint this burgundy wall a different color. But to be honest, it’s grown on us and we’re totally going to keep it!

Here’s what the living room looked like with the previous owners’ furniture in it.

HUGE entertainment center that took up (in my opinion) way too much space in the room.

Flowery rug πŸ™‚ Go figure right?

Oh, by the way, we’re pretty sure this room was pink at one point b/c we found pink paint around the door frames in the hallway….

This piano was positioned directly across from the window. It narrowed the walking space pretty significantly. The wall behind the piano is the one we’re thinking of knocking out if we open up the kitchen space (at some point in the future :))

Here’s what it looked like empty. I just can’t get over these floors. So pretty!!!

….and with all of our crap in it!! Yep, that’s my sweet honey crashing in the middle of the living room πŸ™‚

We had to purchase some kind of a piece to use as an entertainment/type center… we found this super cool floating island thing. I LOVE it. It’s a really great piece and really ties the space together. It took FOREVER to put together..but the time and effort were definitely worth it πŸ™‚

See all of the pieces…ugh. Also, note the temporary drapes.

NEW drapes πŸ™‚ and drapery bar.Β  This picture really highlights the various different colors in the drapes. They have the exact same shade of red that’s in the carpet & the same shade of burgundy that’s on the wall. Really awesome (and super lucky) find. thanks to Big Lots & Walmart πŸ™‚

Our sweet friend Amy made these gorgeous coasters for us. We love them & think of them all the time when we use them!

New rug that we bought in Austin at Sam’s Club. I LOVE it. We bought this after having seen the house for about 15 min total…I thought it would look good & fit in the space well. It was a super awesome purchase.

Not sure why this pic is kind of fuzzy…but it shows how darn cool that black piece of furniture is in the room. It’s got great storage as well. Fantastico!

And… Ta DA… the completed product. It’s very cozy. We are definitely starting to feel like Athens is Home.

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Office B&A

Home improvement update #3: The office!!

Again, sorry for the quality of these shots…. but you get the idea. Like the rest of the house, the room was PINK. Bubble gum pink. Go figure right? Oh, and note the lovely blue & pink plaid curtains.

The room did have the pretty wood floors though! At least they didn’t carpet over this floor like they did in the other two rooms πŸ™‚

Yep. Not really my cup of tea. I don’t think I would be able to focus/work in this room… SO, we decided to paint. I was really set on painting it yellow. Luckily, I have an awesome husband who said “okay” to the whole crazy idea.

He wanted to go with the very soft, almost tan colored yellow… I on the other hand… was looking for somthing more like THIS….

So cheery& fun!! AND it looked great up against the freshly painted white base boards.

And… after being painted, this room became our “storage room” for a solid week. Boxes & boxes & boxes oh my! I was so glad when we finally bought some book shelves to put a lot of this stuff in πŸ™‚

And here’s what it looks like now:

This is the closet. We decided to keep the doors off of the closet & make the space feel bigger. It is also much more functional for an office space. The boxes on the top shelf were from Walmart πŸ™‚ The filing cabinets are full of paper articles… crazy what 4 years of a phd program can do you to!

I spent a lot of time “staging” the book shelves. Notice the lovely HP books in the top corner πŸ™‚ I need to get 1-3 in hard cover to complete the set. πŸ™‚

Book shelf number 2. These were both from Walmart. We put them together all by ourselves πŸ™‚ Whew!! Let’s just say the second one went up a heck of a lot quicker than shelf number 1!!!

I just love this wall!!!Β  Functional & beautiful.

Wall with Norway pics. I don’t love that end table.. but it’s hiding some cords. Ideally, there will eventually be a small squishy chair in front of the lamp in the corner & then a plant in front of the cords (instead of the table). Oh, and I am in LOVE with the beautiful wood desk. It’s a wood top & metal frame. Like classic meets modern.

Diplomas (minus the texas one) πŸ™‚ This picture shows the actual color of the room better than the others. It’s a rich yellow.

The shelf & the chair came as a set with the desk. We bought from a local furniture store and were so pleased with the results!

The curtains are more teal than they appear in this pictures… (and theΒ  “shower rod” is a temporary curtain bar it will eventually be replaced). I love how the teal in the rug matches the teal in the blanket (a gift from my folks for an anniversary) matches the teal in the curtains. Fun accent color. This room just makes me want to get to blogging… er I mean work. It makes me want to go to work! πŸ™‚

So that’s pretty much it! I hope you like it as much as we do πŸ™‚

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Kitchen B&A

Round two in the “renovation” home improvement posts focuses on the KITCHEN! Yay!! My favorite room in the house… well, maybe my second favorite πŸ™‚

Steve & I have a vision for remodeling this room…but then life happened. Or rather, “homeownership” happened and two appliances died.

In a nutshell:

The very first time I turned on the dishwasher the motor did not work. The dishwasher was kind enough to fill itself up with water, but then the spin/drain cycle would not work. Yeah… not so fun to “mop” water out of that thing!

The very first time I used the gas oven, it smelled like gas. I noticed it when I turned the oven on, but I just though that was normal to smell a certain odor from gas appliances… Well, Steve came home after being gone for an hour or so and told me emphatically that the gas smell was NOT normal and that we really should get out of the house. We ended up calling the gas company and they confirmed the oven was leaking gas. Not so cool.

That said, we needed 2 new appliances. So the kitchen “dream” renovation had to be put on the back burner so that we could replace the dish washer and oven. I do have to say, I LOVE my new appliances. They are really pretty and actually work!

Oven/Stove Before:

Dishwasher & Sink Before:


In addition to replacing the stove/oven & dishwasher, Steve put in a BRAND NEW stainless steal sink. Oh, and he re-did the ENTIRE plumbing system under the sink. The previous owners had some water damage from a leak in the sink?? or dishwasher area?? The leak left a rotted floor board in one cabinet and plumbing in need of repair (or replacement). Luckily my hubby had Dave to call on for all of his plumbing Q&As!

BIG shout out to Dave. We truly could NOT have done this with you!!!

Here are some shots of the replacement process:

Nasty bottom of the cabinet under the sink. Yuck.

Plumbing before

Buh-bye yucky sink. Oh, I probably failed to mention earlier that the sink itself was pretty disgusting. It had these yellow stains that would just NOT come off no matter what cleaner I tried…and the drain area was all rusty. Gross.

Steve knocking out that nasty “floor” of the cabinet.

Steve cleaned the sub-floor with bleach & water and then sealed the floor/cabinet walls with an oil based paint. The Square you see is the new “floor” and the white paint is actually on the sides of the cabinet. He also installed the new water line to the refrigerator that you see here. Oh, and the valves (hot & cold) are both new as well. Needless to say, we were with out water for several hours a day for a week πŸ™‚

New garbage disposal! The house didn’t have one before~ I was SO pumped when Steve said he could install one. I have one handy honey! Can you see the sneak peak of the new sink??!!

Almost done!!! The only things left to do were to install the dishwasher & put in the new electrical outlet. Both were done by professionals.

Some of you maybe wondering what I was doing while Steve was rebuilding our kitchen, well… I was putting together these shelving units for our bedroom, amongst other things. I used the power drill all by myself πŸ™‚ Steve was proud.

Oh, and I took pictures of Steve while he worked. πŸ™‚ Come on, some one had to document the process!!

It took some time to complete all of this work, but it was totally worth the effort! I’m totally loving the new kitchen πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy it too! Here are the awesome results!

This is the Table that is suppose to go with these chairs. We’ve been using a different table for the last 4 years in Austin. Steve’s mom & Don were nice enough to drive this one (and a bunch of other STUFF) down to us this past weekend. It fits well in the space.

This pic was taken while I was standing with my back to the table. I ❀ the new appliances!

You can see all three new items in this pic… the dishwasher, sink, and stove! On a side note, I’m itching to get rid of that wavy piece of wood above the sink… so country. Not really my style.

Love this sink! The facet has a regular stream function & a spray function. It also is one of those pull down faucets.

This is the most unique part about the kitchen. If we do remodel, this part will go. I have to admit, I’ll be sad if that happens. These open shelves have kind of grown on me. The two beautiful bowls on the lowest shelves are gifts from our awesome neighbors. Some how they just had a sixth sense about what color to get to match our dishes! Also, notice the beautiful tea box from my sweet aunt & uncle who lived in London for a few years. I love displaying fun gifts!

We still have some things to change… e.g., replace the GOLD hardware with some brushed silver… but we’ll get there…eventually!
I’ve already started to break the kitchen in by making these yummy roasted veggies & chicken with a brown butter sage sauce.

And I couldn’t help by wear something I bought in San Antonio the week before we left….


God Bless Texas!


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Bedroom B&A

Happy 5th of July! It’s been a crazy busy month filled with lots of work and some play πŸ™‚ This weekend we spent our days outside working on painting the exterior of the house (brick, shutters, trim, block, etc.) with the inlaws. They were amazing. It’s still a work in progress. So for now, I’ll treat you to the first shots of the inside of our new home.My very favorite room, the bedroom, is the first one up! It also is the room that probably experienced the greatest transformation. I hope you enjoy!


These before shots are courtesy of our neighbor’s iphone, so they’re not the best quality πŸ™‚ but they definitely show the “true beauty” of the room before we moved in!!!

East wall of the house before…. pink walls, flowery curtains, bed in the middle of the room… (this is the wall our headboard is now on).

South wall of the house facing the back yard.

Three layers of flowery wallpaper. THREE. Yep, it took a lot of steam to get that down (and a lot of sweat on our neighbor’s part). Did I mention we have fantastic neighbors. TheyΒ  must really love us to take down three layers of wallpaper!!!

Don’t forget to take a peak at the ugly brown carpeting…

So to sum up, before: PINK, FLOWERS, BROWN CARPET.

The transformation process was very time consuming. As I mentioned in a previous post, we had to tear up carpeting & scrap up the clay… then sand, stain, and polyurethane. It was a project (but SO worth the effort).

This picture shows three of the four layers…

  • 1st layer (not shown) the gorgeous hard wood.
  • 2nd layer heavy yucky clay
  • 3rd layer black carpet padding
  • 4th layer brown carpet

Our sweet neighbor’s daughter, working HARD. This girl was a trooper and we were lucky to have her help. You can start to see a bit of the floor emerging beneath the nasty clay…

Wallpaper had been removed from the wall to your right in this shot… You can see the beautiful pink hue of the other wall… yeah. Fun stuff.

We got a bit dirty in the process. Well, let’s be honest, I got dirty. Everyone else had the ability to keep the paint & clay OFF of them!!!

So I wouldn’t normally voluntarily include a butt shot on the blog… but I had to show you how “awesome” (sense the sarcasm) this clay stuff was.

Getting there!!!

I think we took this shot just after the first round of sanding… but I can’t remember for sure. Notice the walls are green now πŸ™‚ They kind of change color depending on the light. In the AM they are an avocado type color and at night they look a bit olive/pickle.

Steve in his sanding mask.

After we sanded, we had to clean it & polyurethane it… 2 coats. The waiting process was the worst!! It rained for like a week between coat 1 & 2. We had to wait for the humidity to go away before we could put on the 2nd coat. Patience is a virtue. πŸ™‚

The finished product was SO worth the 2.5 weeks worth of work. Drum roll please…. Da Da Da DA!!!!! Ta Dah!!

I have to say that I LOVE this space. It’s my absolute favorite. The white shelves on the side of the bed are new(Lowe’s $60?? a piece?? $8 for each container). The curtains and hamper are new too (big lots, $8 curtains; hamper $15ish Lowe’s). Everything else is stuff we already owned.

It was so fun to pull out this comforter again! We haven’t used it since we left WI. It sat in a bag on the shelf for 4 years in ATX. πŸ™‚

I love love love this piece of art work. Our friend Ben gave it to us for our wedding. It says “Two shall become one” right side up & upside down. The artwork could be flipped upside down & it reads the same. It’s pretty cool.

And you can’t help but marvel at that gorgeous hard wood. SO worth every ounce of blood, sweat & tears that were poured into it.

Whew, that was a L.O.N.G. post … written to match the time it took to complete the room. I hope you like it! We just adore it. When I can find more time, I’ll post the bathroom remodel πŸ™‚ Have a great week!


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