Demolition and Painting!

Initially, our priorities for projects before moving (which will happen in about 2 and a half weeks!!) were painting and new floors. We bought all our paint, got our floors ordered, and obtained a bunch of extra stuff that would be needed for projects from Lowes:

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Then Nik’s curiosity got the better of him and he HAD to find out what was inside this little shelf that sits right in our front door entryway, butted up against the stairwell wall:

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Was it empty space? Were there pipes under it? He used the dremel tool to cut a small hole in the top so we could peer in, figuring we could just patch it if something important was under there.

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But it was empty (this pic is inside the hole)!

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Thus began the whole “When you give a mouse a cookie, he asks for milk…” process. Now that we knew it was useless space, and we had dreamed about opening up the stairwell wall behind it, a simple trip over to the house to begin painting resulted in a wall being ripped down to the studs:

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We didn’t just do this project unadvised, we did get an engineer consultation in which he explained how to safely construct a load bearing header since this is a support wall, even though we were just opening up a few feet. Nik and I graduated last week with our Ph.D.s (finally living up to our blog name, which is spelled rePHurbisheD for a reason =)  ), so both of our parents were in town ready to help on the house. Nik finished ripping out the frame for the shelf, and Nik and his dad, Mike, spent most of Saturday building the temporary support to hold up the ceiling while the studs were removed.

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They also built the header beam out of 2 2×8’s.

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Then most of Sunday they worked on installing the header and support column. My dad, Greg, also chipped in for the header installation, but for the most part just offered sage advice from his lawn chair stationed in the living room sipping a beer. They finally got it in and it looks great!

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My mom and dad worked on many other projects around the house that I’ll write about once we get to the yard post (hint: we gained about 15 feet of usable yard after all the work they did on some unruly shrubbery!). On Monday and Tuesday, Nik and his dad worked on building a stud frame for the new drywall that will be hung:

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I can’t believe how much more open the space feels – before it was crowded, especially with that space-consuming built in shelf, and now you can see through to the dining room from all parts of the living room. It looks amazing! And it will look even better once we figure out how we want to design our small section of stairs, and how to decorate the column at the end of the stairs. But that will be for a later post!

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So you’ve probably gotten a glimpse at the colors we chose for downstairs walls. The living room is a light gray-blue color called Rising Tide and we’re thinking this color will extend up the stairs and be used in the upstairs hallway eventually.

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For the dining room we selected a dark blue-green color called Prussian Cadet. The bottom half of the dining room will be painted in our white trim color (Ultra White), and we’ll be adding a chair rail and decorative wainscoting panels (design to be decided). The kitchen will be a later project for this house, so we haven’t selected a color for in there yet.

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We also repainted ALL the ceilings in both floors of this house (except for the upstairs hallway since parts of that are unreachable, and we might need to hire help to get to all parts of that). What a difference a fresh coat of white ceiling paint looks…I thought we’d have trouble seeing where we’d painted, but it was always very obvious! We went through 5 gallons of ceiling paint, and I have to say my back and I are very glad that project is behind us.

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As for upstairs, we picked a muted yellow color for our master bedroom, and a second bedroom if we have enough left over. It’s called Lemon Sorbet. And then we picked a blue-lavender color for 2 other bedrooms called Cool Mist or something like that. It’s a little bluer than I had wanted but it works for bedrooms. Besides the ceilings, only 1 bedroom upstairs has gotten paint so far which Nik’s mom Karen worked on tirelessly…so this is still in progress!

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The rest of the weekend Nik’s parents helped with other projects around the house, and we got the carpets ripped up downstairs in preparation for our floors which finally came in.

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The floors are sitting in the living room acclimating to the air as we speak, so once we get all our baseboards painted with a fresh coat we can get started on those. I love the wood, and I can’t wait to walk on the new floors! I’ll write about them in a later post.

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Ok…I’ve written about enough for today! Next time I’ll write about all the yard/garage/deck work that our parents did while they were in town. I don’t think any hired contractor would work as hard as the 4 of them did while they were here!

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