Thursday, November 3, 2011

Moving on Up: Part One

Sorry for the silence – I was in the UP for a week for my Dad’s Military Rites as well as to help my Mom. My parents’ home is large – two stories (plus the basement) with three bedrooms, two baths, dining room, large kitchen, living room and a bonus room attached to the master bedroom. With the large home comes a very large yard…a yard that is too large for my Mom to take care of by herself. With much consideration, she has decided to move to the apartment above her store. While I’m sad that my cousin will be living in my childhood home rather than us, I’m happy that she won’t have a yard to take care of, a short commute in the winter (she just walks downstairs) and less upkeep. 

creativespirits_001Most people didn’t realize that her store has an apartment above it and I was surprised at how large it really is – it has three bedrooms, a huge entry/mudroom space, a nice sized bathroom, TONS of storage in the form of a wall of hall closets and a storage room, laundry room, kitchen and large living/dining room.  We worked for a week so the pics below are in-progress shots that kind of suck since I took them at night after painting all day so I was rushed and they are a little blurry. Sorry. I’ll be back with better pics in December!

Let’s start the house tour with the hallway and the rooms along the left side of the hallway. The first room you come to is the bathroom, which is more than double the main bathroom in my Mom’s current home so we’re thrilled with the space. It has a wall heater, cedar behind the toilet and along part of the ceiling, a light in the shower, ugly wallpaper, terrible linoleum, a big window and a ton of storage in the cabinets.

bathroom_before_newapartment bath_floor_before_newapartment bathroom_light_before_newapartment bathroom_heater_before_newapartment

In one week we: stripped the wallpaper, painted the walls a pretty purple that Mom chose, applied water sealer to the wood, ripped up the linoleum and installed ceramic tile (I forgot a pic – sorry), painted the baseboards and trim around the doors and window white, installed new towel bars, painted the ceiling white and removed the old mirror and sconces. We’re still on the lookout for new lights and a nice, big mirror. Unfortunately choices up north are VERY limited so maybe I’ll bring some things back with me.


bath1_after_newapartment  bath2_after_newapartmentEventually Mom will swap out the outlets for white ones, replace the tile around the sink, get a new sink, paint the vanity and add new knobs (already purchased) in addition to decorate with a curtain, towels, rug, etc.

A door in the bathroom leads back out to the hall but the other door leads into the laundry room.

laundry_before_newapartment We didn’t do anything in here other than make a huge mess since this is where we mixed the mortar and grout for the kitchen and bathroom floors.  She has a ton of storage in here with the shelves (there are even more along the wall with the door, not shown). The only changes I’d make in here in the short term are to remove the shutters from the window by the dryer to let natural light in and throw down a rug to warm up that cool cement floor.  Eventually it might be fun to paint the walls and even stain the cement floor but those certainly aren’t things that need to be done anytime soon.

When you exit the bathroom, you’re back out in the LONG hallway. The hallway leads to every room in the apartment and has a ton of storage in the form of a linen closet outside of the bathroom and this wall of closets outside of the bedrooms.


closets_before_newapartment All we did to the hallway for now is to lightly sand the line between the painted portion and the unpainted portion of the walls so there isn’t ridge anymore and then prime the walls with oil-based primer so they are ready for two coats of beige paint once Mom is all moved in. We didn’t want to bang up the paint job with the furniture so we decided to hold off on painting for now.

hall_after_newapartmentThe picture above is taken from the end of the closets shown above – it doesn’t even begin to show how long that hallway is since there are two bedrooms to the right that aren’t shown here.  The next room you come to on the left is the storage room. When we first toured the apartment it had ugly 70s linoleum, a wall of rickety shelves and another wall of awesome built-in cabinets.

storage_before_newapartmentThe freezer had a TON of old food so we cleaned out the freezer, removed the wall of rickety shelves (on the right), and repositioned the freezer so that it was along the back wall since the cabinets prevented the top from opening and staying open properly. Mom then installed peel and stick linoleum floor squares over the old linoleum after we washed the floor.  Adam also installed a cat door in the door to this room since this is where Callie the Cat’s litter box and food will be. I forgot to take any after pictures – sorry. We have other plans for this room in terms of hiding those pipes and extra storage so stay tuned!

The last door on the left leads to the kitchen. Again, this room is all paneling so we have plans to paint it with oil-based primer and then go over that with two coats of latex paint once Mom picks a color. We just ran out of time. We will also be painting the existing cabinets and installing baseboards, a new backsplash, counters and appliances (I think Mom is ordering them this week). Oh and those terrible curtains have been removed! I think Mom plans on reusing the ones from the living room here – we’ll see.

kitchen_before_newapartment kitchen2_before_newapartmentIn one week we: removed the old appliances, tore out the linoleum, installed new ceramic tile with a slightly darker grout, removed the door that leads to the dining room to make the rooms flow a little better and started swapping out the outlets with white ones vs. the dark brown ones that were already in the kitchen.  Apparently I only took a picture after the grout was applied but before we cleaned the tiles so I don’t have a better picture – again, sorry.

kitchen_tiles_after_newapartment My brothers and nephew did an amazing job with the floors and in less than three days they ripped out the old floor and installed new tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.  The kitchen has one of those wall heaters like the bathroom did (you can kind of see the edge of it on the right side of the picture above). Mom will likely be putting some free-standing storage in here along the wall to the right like her baker’s rack and the antique bar.

That ends the house tour for today. I’ll be back with pictures of the living/dining room as well as the three bedrooms.

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