Tearing down wallpaper and starting on the kitchen

Mr. Geek and I started off easy and started tearing down wallpaper and traded out some outdated light fixtures. Thankfully at least some of the wallpaper was strippable, so that part of the wallpaper removing process is done! The part that was strippable was the entryway and back hallway to the bedrooms. In the eat-in kitchen and ’70s/’90s era bathroom, we were not so lucky.

Wallpaper and bare wall comparison shots
Wallpaper and bare wall comparison! This hallway had the strippable wallpaper and it didn’t take long at all to tear it all down.
Old brass light fixture and new nickel light fixture
Old brass light fixture and new nickel light fixture. Still need new high efficiency daylight bulbs for the new fixture, but glad to have the old gaudy fixture gone.

 We’ve also started in on the kitchen. We definitely saw at our last place what a huge difference a coat of paint makes to a kitchen (again sorry about lack of photos), so we’re painting the kitchen cabinets and replacing all the hardware. I think I’m going to try painting the bottom cabinets a darker color than the top. It’s seems sort of faddy to me, but we plan to tear out and replace the kitchen in the next 5 or so years anyway, so I’m going to see if I like it.

The kitchen before we got started.
The kitchen before we got started.


Image of kitchen with the cabinet doors off.
Kitchen with the doors off. We’ll also probably do something with the counter tops. Since we won’t be replacing them right away, we’ll probably just use one of those Rustoleum kits to redo the surface. Still pondering this one.

Tomorrow I take a break for laundry and homework. Did I mention I’m working on a graduate certificate? But I plan to get some more wallpaper removal done. We REALLY need new toilets (and yes, those two thoughts are related). The ’70s era toilet is a 7 gallon flush. We’ve pulled the toilet out, but I need to get the ’90s wallpaper removed before we put in the new toilet.

Image of mint colored 7 gallon flush toilet and '90s wallpaper.
Mint colored 7 gallon flush toilet and ’90s wallpaper.



Getting it Together: New Blog and New House

I’d been planning to start a blog for awhile. I recently moved to a new state with my husband so he could take his first job after finishing up his graduate degree. I’ve been dipping my toe into finding a job, but I’m in a field that’s still got a pretty tight job market after the Great Recession. This blog is an effort to keep myself busy, find new connections, share things I’m learning and doing with my family, and stretch myself by making a go at this whole blogging thing.

I’m starting it today because my husband and I close on a house tomorrow and I want to document our journey updating our new home. This isn’t an interior design blog and the house isn’t the only thing I’ll be blogging about, but it is a reason to start now.

This house has been taken care of meticulously. These were wonderful home owners who clearly loved their home. They also appear to have decorated it when it was finished being built in 1971 and then not done a thing to update it since. There’s lots of wallpaper and wood paneling. I’ve been combing Pinterest trying to find full room painted paneling that I like. I am not taking all of that down. No, sir. The basement is very…retro. Just wait until I get good photos of the bar. All I have to say about it now is “carpet.”

My husband and I updated and fixed up the last house we bought, so we’ve had some practice. It had been a rental and I’m fairly certain a dog with anxiety did a lot of damage we had to fix. There was one doorknob that had been crunched and had teeth marks. We had to replace more than one doorway because it had been clawed up so badly. We don’t really have photos of everything we did to that house. Here are a few just to give you a small taste, though. But I don’t appear to have any photos of after.

Ugly brass light fixture.
A lovely light fixture. You can see the sort of yellow walls in the background. The local sports team’s colors are red and yellow. We think they were trying to paint their apartment with team spirit. It didn’t work well.
Outdated, ugly light fixture
I think this light fixture is from the 1970s, but I’m not really sure. You can see the counterpart red wall for the yellow wall in the previous photo.












Corroded main water shutoff valve.
I don’t have any photos to share of the chewed up doorknob or ruined doorways, but I do have this photo of the main water shutoff for the house. Gives you an idea of what we were dealing with fixing the place up.
Purple bedroom
College students who lived here previously apparently really loved purple.












My goal this time is to take some much better before and after photos. I’ve learned a few things from our experience last time, so I have some lessons learned to share. And now to create a plan of attack for tomorrow.