Monday, March 29, 2010

Mark's House: Before and After Projects

I guess my son bought the house, but he's more than happy to have mom do a "makeover".

This is the kitchen in Mark's house can't tell from this picture, but the walls are pink sponge paint, with a pearly over-glaze. Pretty, perhaps for some, but not for my burly boy.

It was for sure one of the things he said HAD TO GO. Oh, as well as the nice pink trim on the counter top edges. No way was that sticking around! Other than that, there wasn't a terrible amount of work to do in this room to get it livable again.

The basics were good. Although I'd never seen a kitchen refaced with ALL Formica over the counters, cabinet doors and drawers, vent hood and back splashes, at least it was in very good condition and looked like it would be easy to clean up. And it was, with a lot of elbow grease, my friend Mr. Clean and his sidekick, that fellow they call "Magic Eraser", we had the kitchen looking good in NO TIME.

The thing about this white Formica is that it's super easy to clean up and even the inside of the cupboard doors are covered with it! Inside, though is still the old dark wood from the original seventies kitchen, but that was made lighter and better with a nice tan plaid kitchen cupboard liner.

To solve the problem of the pink counter top edge, we called the local counter top shop, which is less than a mile away and for $150, we could replace just the edges with these clean looking Formica mottled tan edges--it was all done in a couple of hours.

I think it looks GREAT and matches the floor, which was one of our goals to tie things together. We knew if we tried to match the white, it would make the rest of the Formica look yellowed because of age.

And this is the kitchen AFTER! Much better!

I'm sorry I had to use flash in these photos, but the kitchen paint color is a very light tan...or a sand color, best to match the floor. It's going to eventually have accent colors of light blue and robins' egg blue and brown.

The clock I bought is way too big...will remedy that later. All appliances came with the house including washer and dryer. There was even a gas grill on the deck that needs a little work, but hey, Mark works at a hardware store and can get all the parts there! There were nice updated brushed nickel knobs and pulls on the kitchen cupboards, and the new fixture over the table is also brushed nickel.

I will enjoy getting the curtains made for the kitchen....and won't miss these gaudy things you see in the picture below. We will for sure have more understated window dressings and it will more than likely be simple stripes and NO swags and NO sponge-painted wooden curtain rods and brackets.

This is BEFORE...and below...after.

We still have to trim the chain on the fixture over the table. I am watching at TJ Maxx for a rug for under the table. (The stripes on the wall on the left is a reflection of light off the french doors.) I also got my barn prints back the other day and the sepia prints will look great in here.

This kitchen is huge and connects to the living room through those cute french doors (with vintage glass doorknobs!). We were told that the original owners had a sitting area here where the table sits and their kitchen table was directly to our right.

This is our old table, we removed the leaves and set it up...this thing looked HUGE in our kitchen, Mark's kitchen is so big, it looks tiny! (This cape cod is 1780 sq. ft.)

This is the "before" picture of the scarlet living room. Mark hates the shelving surrounding the fireplace but right now, we've left it, and are deciding whether to paint it or remove it. It's great storage for electronics and audio and dvd's and video games, but it's all seventies faux wood grain FORMICA! Inside the lower doors, are also wonderful storage areas with pull-out drawers and more.

We matched the walls to the carpet, it's a darker tan than the kitchen but in the same family--a safe choice. The leather furniture seems to overpower, he may have overbought. At first he had just the recliner and the couch, but then he reconsidered and bought the love seat too. The seller at the store he bought was in a really good discounting mood and so he got almost a thousand off the set, I was impressed.

BUT, it is a guy's place and movies and video games are a big deal to these young guys, so they don't care if the furniture seems too big for the room; they just all want a comfy place to sit! (And this furniture IS comfy!) The carpet cleaned up really well, I don't think it's very old at all.

There's his TJ Maxx rug I got him and we went back together so I could show him this ottoman and he liked it. Inside, there were two matching footstools, and the top of the ottoman flips over for a dual purpose, the one side is for a footstool, the other has a deep tray for drinks (seen here holding his throw pillows).

Since I took this shot, I dug around in our little stash of goodies in the garage and found a temporary solution for an end table here. It's a two tier and works well for now, it was free from someone's trash! I can paint it in the spring when it gets nicer outside. I did the same thing for his nightstand, just looked through some pieces I had waiting for paint and they work for now!

We still have to bring Mark's deer heads down and his mounted turkeys...that will give his living room a little more personality. There are shelves to put back into the overhead storage areas that we had taken down for painting.
I still have to hang the curtains I bought (with the big grommets).

Here is the upstairs bathroom. It's sponge painted too, but very subtly and it's tan and cleaned up very well. It matches the vanity well and so we left it. Most of what I did in here was CLEAN. There was hairspray stuck to everything! The ceiling was bad, too and I scrubbed that twice.

As I was cleaning this house, I found that the original owner of the house dated everything he did with his Dymo label maker, and this vanity is dated 1999.

ALL the white trim in the house was painted very poorly and that will be an ongoing project because there are MILES of white trim. All the doors in the house are six-panel wood doors and looked to have been stained dark originally. Whoever switched over to white primed them all, but never finished painting them.

This vanity is a great quality piece and looks very nice, it has aged well. I was pleased with how the things I bought for his bathroom looked very nice in this space.

I've discovered I don't much like cleaning glass-enclosed shower stalls. This one needs some caulking...that's on our to-do list. The gold trim and fixtures are outdated but are all very good quality name-brand pieces in excellent shape and so there is no reason to get rid of them.

The before picture of one of the bedrooms upstairs. It was yellow and Mark switched to a silly-putty color of tan.

His room is not finished, but clean, freshly painted and quiet and restful with tans and robin's egg blue accents. I still have to make the curtains. I hope to find a king sized headboard at a garage sale to paint and put on the bed. Like Mark said, "Your favorite season is coming and you'll find something, you always do!"

There was an entertainment center (a small-ish one) left in the basement that we plan to clean up and move in here for his smaller television. He needs no dresser because of his walk-in it's a spacious room now compared to the before picture.

Amazingly, most of this work was done by Mark, Me, Lem and Luke in a four day period of time. Mark had four days off in a row, Lem had two, I helped with them all and we worked nights, too.

Littler amounts of time since then have been taken doing the little odd jobs, but we did most all of the painting and cleaning in four days. We just worked our little bums off and it was fun.

I still have more to show, but this will do for now. We've got one biggie still going on that we've had to take a break on: the downstairs bathroom was still bathed in eighties wallpaper and border in teal, pink and blue.

It's been a fun time getting all that off around all the fixtures and built-ins. But, it's a second bathroom so no big hurry! I can't wait to show you the "before" on that and the difference the paint is going to make!

Mark's house is a piece of cake.


And the following story just may be why.

Did I ever tell you that in addition to the small nursery business my dad had "on the side", he also had a rental home clean up crew? Oh yes. We were they. The nursery business of planting trees and the like was mostly a fall and spring occupation.

And while I and some of my siblings were enjoying our pimply pre-teen and teen-years, and while other kids our age might have been playing sports like baseball or attending summer camp, water skiing and camping--some of us kids were enlisted in this strange army of my dad's. This army was called

"Clean out inner city rental homes after (very) disgruntled renters (or squatters) have left the premises".

HUP, two, three FOUR!

This "army of some" was required to:
A. shovel dog feces out of the living room, kitchen, bathroom or any room. (The smells. The SMELLS!) If the landlord had turned the water and power off to further "evict" as a last resort, there were even worse scenarios to greet us in the bathroom.

B. Scrape and paint inside and out.

C. Clean and scrub anything and everything and this included every. possible. thing.
Oh. My. Don't even get me started on that one.

D. Clean up the yard, this was a PIECE OF CAKE compared to the house. You just couldn't leave your rake or the mower in plain sight.

E. Make inner city house livable again, to quite possibly revisit in just a year or so. (You know: just so the new renter could move in, live there six months, stop paying rent, and then live there free as long as it took for the eviction process to take its course.)

This could be why big projects don't daunt me/us. It could also possibly be why I've never thought owning rental property would be a great way to make income.

It could also be why I've never had a crappier job since. Literally. NOTHING can compare. Maybe my dad did us a favor?! Yes, I think he did.

Our mom used to make us hose each other off in the yard before we could come back in the house once we got home from our pleasant day working in the city.

(She was afraid we'd bring cockroaches back home, and let me tell you, for cockroaches to survive Michigan winters, they had to feel quite welcome and at home in their environments.)

So....Mark's house was NOT a big project by any means. It was a piece of cake.

There was NO dog feces involved. There were no scary neighbors dropping over to tell you the stories of the house you were literally
shoveling out.

You will be happy to know that I am officially de-enlisted from the little "Army of some" that my dad had going.

But the stories, the STORIES I could tell you!
I'll leave it there.
(You should thank me.)

In other news....

I guess today's makeover story makes me a participant in something wonderful called "Metamorphosis Monday", hosted by "Between Naps on the Porch".

If you like looking at makeovers, you'll love all the redo photos and stories hosted here.

One of my favorites is this one from our gal Shannan at "Flower Patch Farm Girl". She and her husband recently traveled to Korea to adopt their sweet son named Silas and she's also got lots of good posts from their trip, but in this reveal, we see Silas cute farm boy bedroom and a shot or two of the little man himself (he's aDoRaBLE!). So when you're done here, skip on over!

HGTV ain't got nothin' on us bloggin' neighbors!

There's going to be a
(Stay tuned!)

Happy Monday to you!


Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

Very nice, I like the changes you've made. Sounds like you are having loads of fun helping your son! Can't wait to see more pictures!

Angela said...

What an amazing transformation on your son's new home. Just beautiful.

Thanks for sharing the links to visit others...

sherry said...

His home is much larger than I had expected - and the transformation, like Angela said in her comment, is beautiful!

Inner-city rental clean up crew. wow. I an only imagine the stories you could tell, and I thank you for not sharing. :o)

jAne * tickleberry farm

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

LOVE IT ALL!!! My Dad was into the same biz ...I FEEL YOUR PAIN! I love the lilacs on the homepage header ...I can almost smell them they are so alive with color!! Hope my bathroom can be as good of an "after" soon! Love that vanity! Looking forward to more pix and I bet your son is in hs glory!Sue

Angie Holden said...

Love those pics...lookin so much better! You are a great mom!

Lacey said...

Like your childhood, I spent many summers working for my dad's "army"!

Small world -- I spent all of spring break cleaning out one of his houses so that my fiance and I can move in this summer.

Shoveling, scrubbing, painting, cleaning, all the while trying not to breathe!

No rental homes for extra income for me either!

Great blog!

I linked you here:

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

Awesome transformation! I love reinventing places :) Mark is going to be very proud living here!

Oh, Joni..just the word cockroach gives me the willys!!

xo, misha

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

I don't really see what the problem was with pink formica and sponge paint, I happen to be quite partial to faux wood and scarlet walls too!


I wish we lived closer... you should hear little Amélie... she is learning aside Aidan of course at Whole Heart School... anyways, you should hear her when you ask her about the 1st president... it's so cute, " George Washington" she whispers!

You going to Tally next month???

Angela, Parisienne Farmgirl

mary your sis said...

What a nice sized kitchen and bath! And it's plain to see that the home has been well cared for in the past, as it will be now. The re-do's are beautiful, in a good masculine way, even more so when you move the deer and turkey mounts in. Bless you for not sissy-ing up the place. Would there be room in the bedroom for the leather loveseat?

Ah yes; the inner city rental HUD clean-up army. I swear: that particular training could have given us a jump on Army Ranger Boot Camp. We earned our stripes there, didn't we?? Speaking of stripes: do you recall the strange vertical stripes that were under the upper floor windows of the lovely homes in these neighborhoods? We didn't know what in the world they could be until one day as we were painting, we looked out the window, and lo and behold, there was an adult male bare butt sticking out the top window. Yup. We learned quickly what the brown stains were on the aluminum siding in homes all over that neighborhood. Oh, well, at least the neighbors used their WINDOWS as toilets and not the BATH TUBS! (The bath tubs in these houses were not full of bath water when we got there to clean!) Nice!

Yes, these were the days when welfare rent checks were given to the welfare recipient, instead of to the landlord and eviction was a 6-9 month process. I guess Jimmy Carter and Congress thought that behaving like animals and destroying someone else's home while living there for free was a "right" that hard working people of all ages had to pay for. Don't get me started. I'd like to take Obama and Pelosi on a tour of Knickerbocker Avenue in Flint, MI!