ALL POSTS TAGGED "renovation"

  • Tell Your Friends

Oh man, I love a good excuse to make a list. What better time to write down our renovation goals than January of this fresh new year? Ken and I have an insane amount of work to do, but we’re also pretty proud of how far we’ve come. Take a look at what’s on our to-do list this year, and be sure to check back every Wednesday as we mark things off.

The dining room, oddly enough, is one of our most finished rooms. Just a few things left to do before we can call it officially done!

Renovation Photos- Erin Loechner

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It’s still sinking in: In 2011, I bought a house.  My first house. A beautiful, 1957 tri-level home with lots of windows, an open floor plan and an amazing walk-in closet. But, it’s also a dated home with contact paper-covered cabinets and faded orange carpeting, not to mention a room full of paneling. In other words: In 2012, I’m going to be busy.

Liz Gray House From Road

Luckily, I have help. My boyfriend Josh shares my DIY spirit and love of all things mod. (We’re still figuring out how to get our hybrid corgie-bulldog-mystery puppy, Miles, to help us peel off wallpaper. Bacon grease? )

Josh and Liz at 60s Themed Party

Josh and I at a 1960s-themed party. Guest starring: my bouffant 'do. Photo by Jennifer Harper

Miles With Stick

Miles at play. Sticks > wallpaper.

Each week, I’ll share our progress, from room-by-room moodboards to finished projects to dramatic before-and-afters. I hope you’ll follow along! To keep it all in perspective, I’m making a few more promises, resolution-style. I pledge to…

Make Progress Every Week… I’ll do something to better my house every week, big or small.

But Don’t Expect It to Happen Overnight. As any homeowner probably knows and I’m about to find out…it’s a marathon, not a track meet. ‘Nuff said.

Appreciate the Good… I’ll remember every day, even when I’m covered in bits of popcorn ceiling and shreds of tiny floral wallpaper, what made me want this place. Things like waking up to this every morning:

New House Sunrise

Sunrise from master bedroom

And Tolerate the Bad. There’s plenty of design wrongs to be righted in this house (more on that later) but I can live with all of them…for now.  It will build character, right?

Get Input From You. Yes, you! I’ll need your help along the way to tell me if my color palettes look totally crazy and help me choose which lamp is the right one.  Right off the bat: Any tips on getting rid of those last few boxes?

‘Till next week…

  • Tell Your Friends

Our sunroom deadline has come and gone (clearly we have increasingly poor time management skills), but I still wanted to check in to share our progress. After all, it’s not every day you see a transformation from bare studs to framing, windows, doors and siding – in just under a month! Indeed, a lot has changed since our last video tour!

And with that, we’re off to prepare for some insulation magic! We’ll check in with another video update next month – complete with finished drywall and insulation. In other words, it will almost look liveable! My estimate? We’ll be completely finished by February. But you all know exactly how my estimates work….

  • Tell Your Friends

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend a few minutes showing gratitude for this crazy renovation that has been trying, rewarding, surprising and endlessly satisfying. And after a quick walk down memory lane (including my Thanksgiving post from last year!), I realized I owe an enormous thank you to you, readers, for experiencing this adventure with us.

Renovation Photos- Erin Loechner

It's been a long road since these days...

So, in an effort to share my endless appreciation for the support, comments, encouragement and more that you have all shared in our quest for renovation finish line, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite renovating moments – and a few I’m thankful are behind us!

Renovation Photos- Erin Loechner

I still get butterflies when I see this table!

1. Building A Dining Room Table
I’ve dreamed of a massive farmhouse table for years and years, so to own one (that was handmade by Ken!) is such a treat. I love that we can host our entire families – and then some – for family functions, impromptu dinners and random game nights. Isn’t that what makes a house a home?

Renovation Photos- Erin Loechner

Still a work in progress, but such an improvement!

2. Nearly Finishing Our Laundry Room
Yes, you haven’t seen an update in a bit because we haven’t progressed on our finishing touches, but I can’t begin to explain how grateful we are for a working washer/dryer. Earlier in our renovation days (remember this?!), we dreamed of the moment we could wash our rags, sweatshirts and rugs in a machine on-site. And to have our laundry machines in a room we paneled ourselves? Icing on the cake.

Renovation Photos- Erin Loechner

My bright and sunny office.

3. A Working Office
I spend so, so much time behind the computer, so having a working, inspiring office has been such a blessing this year. Long gone are the days when I’d work at coffee shops while Ken power drilled his way through studs and drywall!

4. Our Kitchen Makeover
I’m so proud of the space planning, lighting and architectural changes we made in this kitchen. Plus? Our wallets (and waistlines!) are loving that we don’t have to order take-out and delivery during huge remodeling projects. Bonus all around!

And, of course… a few memories I’m grateful to bid adieu to – forever!

1. Mold Remediation in the Basement
This one needs no further explanation, right? Ugh.

Renovation Photos- Erin Loechner

I am sooooo thankful this is over!

2. Siding our Exterior
Oh my goodness. The heat! The math! The torturous 12-day project! I am so, so grateful that we never, ever have to side our house again. (Knock on fiber cement!)

3. Living in Two Places
I’ll be honest – as blessed as we were to live offsite during part of our renovation, it was really, really difficult. I’m so happy to be living in our own home – even amidst renovation dust and chaos. Nothing beats the joy of being in a space that you’ve built for yourself!

As for future gratitude, I’ll be endlessly thankful when our sunroom project is done, our basement makeover is underway and all of the finishing touches throughout the rest of the home are in place.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! What are you thankful for this year?

  • Tell Your Friends

We’ve had some crazy beautiful weather in our neck of the woods, which makes our sunroom renovation that much more enjoyable! Of course, there have been some kinks along the way (one of which we’ll share in the below video), but things are looking up. Care to see our progress — including a rendering of what we’re hoping for?

We’re still finalizing our furniture decisions – what do you guys think? Husband is leaning toward bench seating under each window, but I’d rather have a sectional seating arrangement (with ottomans) and a bistro table by the fireplace. Help! (And when I say help, I really mean convince Husband that I’m right. Right?)

  • Tell Your Friends

OK, friends, I’m going to get real with you today. Because the fact of the matter is that during a renovation, your home becomes a war zone. And because my dear husband and I can’t handle living among shambles, we’ve designated one area to unload all miscellaneous tools, paraphernalia, and… well, junk. That area, friends, is our garage. Exhibit A:

Garage Organization- Erin Loechner

The dreaded before.

Oh dear. I cannot believe I just shared that image with you. All of you. Goodness gracious. Please be kind to me, Internet. Because for the past year, we’ve treated our garage like a landfill. I’m just as horrified as you are. Trust me.

And although I dream of a glistening, organized garage someday, I know that, realistically, we’ve still got a long way to go before that day arrives. After all, we still have a full sunroom and basement renovation ahead of us, and I’m quite sure our garage will become the holding zone for drywall, beams and plywood.

Garage Organization- Erin Loechner

Yep, still embarrassed.

Still, there is no excuse to live in such utter chaos. So a few days ago, Ken and I tackled a serious clean-out extravaganza. I won’t tell you everything we unearthed, but I will say the list included an abandoned art project, half-used bottles of hand sanitizer and much, much more.

Luckily, we also stumbled upon the previous homeowners’ kitchen cabinets that we knew we’d saved for a reason. With zero investment and a few nails, Ken and I now have a fully functioning closed storage solution for paint, tools and renovation supplies. Wanna see it?
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Ken and I must really like you guys, because today we’re showing you our home’s greatest embarrassment: the sunroom. Promise you won’t judge us, OK?


We can’t wait to transform this space into an extension of our existing living room and an additional seating area for entertaining. Be sure to check back as we make progress in the next few months!

Tell me, friends, what would you do with this space? Are we on the right track?

  • Tell Your Friends

You remember our laundry room, right? The second scariest room in our entire home? (Don’t worry, you’ll see the first – our sunroom – next month!)

Laundry Room Makeover- Erin Loechner

Still in progress, but a vast improvement.

Well. I’m pleased to announce that our laundry room is no longer scary. Not even a bit. And in case you need a visual reminder, here’s the before, photographed last winter:

Laundry Room Makeover- Erin Loechner

The frightening before...

…and a progress shot, photographed today:

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“Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.”
-Author Unknown

I had a bit of a nervous breakdown this weekend. With the impending move (the first weekend in April—yes!) and out-of-state guests coming for an extended stay in mid-April, I furiously took stock of each item on our ever-growing to-do list.

Our in-progress guest bedroom, complete with missing door handle, unfinished trim and an uncovered switch plate.

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Look at our beautiful cabinets!

A few days ago, our cabinet guy (the proper term, I’m sure) finished installing our lower cabinetry and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Cabinets were one of the few jobs we chose to hire out, mostly because dear Ken is a massive perfectionist (if you didn’t realize from our flooring debacle!) and we’re both aware that building precise kitchen cabinets ourselves would call for an estimated move-in date of July. In 2018.

I should tell you up front that these cabinets are not what they seem. They’re insanely special, fully equipped with slow-close hinges. Fancy, yes? I’ve been repeatedly slamming them since they were installed last week, completely in awe of how magically slow they close (even when faced with full force bashing from me)!

We chose all-white kitchen cabinets (surprised?) to flow seamlessly with our Pure White Caesarstone countertops. In fact, the countertops are being fabricated as I type this and I am bubbling over with excitement. Until they’re ready, of course, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of the kitchen layout and design as it is today:

Ready, Set, Peek!

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