Tag Archives: remodel

Eat-In Kitchen Floor

I’m super excited about the potential of the eat-in kitchen since discovering that under the old floors (laminate wood, padding, linoleum, plywood, linoleum layer #2, and more plywood) there was real wood floors!

The final eat-in area will include built-in bench seating with table and a rebuilt wall with full-lite door (maybe another sliding glass door? or simple pocket door?) into sun porch.

Eat-In Kitchen Mockup - WRKDesigns

I won’t know for sure exactly what to do with the floor until after I get it patched up and sanded, but here are some ideas:

Eat-In Painted Floor Ideas - WRKDesigns

  1. Painted design over raw wood in similar color scheme. Source
  2. Fully painted floor with design in reverse color scheme (yellow on white). Source
  3. Stain on stain checkerboard in more subtle stain shades. Source
  4. White washed fully painted floor with hand painted simple design in similar color scheme. Source
  5. White painted design with full stain finish – This is my ideal direction, but if the floor looks too choppy after being patched up I’ll have to go another route. Source
  6. Simple white and grey (or similar color to final cabinet choice) checkerboard full painted floor. Source

So, I’ve got lots of options and I won’t actually make any progress on it for at least a few months (everything else needs to be finished/framed/drywalled before I can start on the floors). But I like to plan and play with ideas. =)


Sun Porch Progress

We removed the windows and doors that opened into the sun porch. The living room / sun porch area will now be connected with a sliding glass door. The eat-in kitchen / sun porch area will have a new wall built with a single door entry. This will allow full access all around and still keep an open and light filled feel.

Sun Porch Progress - WRKDesigns

When removing the old flooring in the eat-in kitchen area we discovered hardwood flooring! This was the highlight of my day. =) It’s in kindof rough shape, so we probably won’t be able to just sand and stain like the rest of the house. I think I’m going to just repair and paint it (more details to come), which should bring a nice cozy / rustic feel to the area.

Main House Remodel: Framing

The kitchen is gutted. Drywall has been removed. Floors ripped out. Doorways moved and opened up. New kitchen framework started.

It’s amazing what a huge difference just a few days makes!

Kitchen Remodel - WRKDesigns

In-Law Before & After

We finally finished the in-law suite to the point where we could move in. Here’s what we did.

Bathroom Before/After

BATHROOM: What We Did:

  • Complete Demo
  • New tub, tile, toilet, vanity, floor, fixtures, paint
  • Refinished door
  • STILL TO DO: Paint and hang cabinet about toilet; hang hand towel rod and towel hooks; hang artwork/decor

Bedroom Before/After

BEDROOM: What We Did

  • Removed carpet
  • New closet shelves
  • Rebuilt linen cabinet
  • Painted walls and window trim
  • Refinished doors

Dining Room Before/After


  • Rebuilt recessed shelves
  • Widened and re-trimmed doorway
  • Rebuilt floor transition
  • Painted

Living Room Before/After


  • Replaced exterior door
  • New closet shelves
  • 1 new window
  • Refinished door
  • Painted
  • New curtain and rod

KITCHEN: What We Did (Don’t have good “after” pictures yet, so here’s just the list)

  • Replaced sink
  • Refinished alcove under stairs
  • Closed off wall were old stove hood was
  • New stove
  • Painted

It’s Really Coming Together

Things are really starting to come together. We should be able to set up an official MOVING DAY within the next 3 weeks. Woo Hoo!

Here’s what we’ve been up to…


coming together

Closet shelves and rods installed. Our closets are much narrower than standard closets, so we had to come up with our own custom set up.

I installed the rods myself…using the screw gun and everything! I’m on my way to being a power tool queen. =)

We also hung the refinished doors with the “new” vintage knobs.

Still To Do:

  • Install the door closure magnetic hardware
  • Hang door on living room closet
  • Clean


Dining Room Built-In:

coming together 2

Finally figured out how to put together the framework for the built-in shelf in the dining room. Now I just need to figure out where I want the shelves. I figure it will mostly be used for knickknacks and some artwork, so I’ll probably just need a few shelves…uneven placement might be nice.

Still To Do:

  • Install Shelves
  • Paint / Prime



coming together 3

The bathroom is functional! We swapped out the valves, hooked up the toilet and vanity, and hooked up the tub. This project has been going on for so long I was afraid to be able to actually use it. But, it’s really coming along and looks great.

Still To Do:

  • Hang the mirror, towel rod, toilet paper roll, and accessories
  • Put up the curtain rod and curtain
  • Hang artwork
  • Find bath mat
  • Hang door
  • Eventually: find cabinet and/or floating shelves for above the toilet
  • Clean

Baseboards and Vanities

I’m still totally in love with the Jalapeno Jelly color of the bathroom. The photos make it look a bit more lime than it is in person, but I would highly recommend checking it out at Lowes.

Right before I started painting I came across an amazing painting tip on Pinterest. It was so “duh” that I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it or thought of it before. But, here’s the general idea:

Painting Tip: How to get perfect lines where colors meet

  1. Paint the light colored walls (in my case the white ceiling)
  2. Tape off the edges in prep for the colored walls.
  3. Paint the taped edge 1st with the color of the wall it touches (the white of the ceiling), this seals the seam of the tape and any paint that seeps under the tape will be the same color as the area you’re taping off…genius!
  4. Then, paint the colored wall as usual (green in my case).
  5. Peel off tape and enjoy your crisp edges!

Check out the tip in full detail here.

Okay. Back to our bathroom progress:

baseboard and vanity

1) Now that the walls were painted, it was time to install the baseboards. We dry fit the vanity in place, so we could cut the baseboards around it, in order to ensure that the vanity sat flush against the wall. Don’t want a gap between the sink back and wall that water can get down!

I picked out 5.25″ baseboards. I wanted to use this throughout the entire house, but it’s a bit more expensive so Neil told me I could use it for select areas and everywhere else would be the standard 3.25″. I like the look of the taller baseboards, not only because it’s more elegant, but because we have floor vents. The taller baseboards make the vents seem less protruding.

If we had just been repainting the bathroom, I would have painted the baseboards first and then the walls, but since it’s new construction it was better to paint the green, install the baseboards, then come back and paint them. So, I caulked the seams, painted the baseboards (2 coats), then taped off the baseboards (using the painting tip above), and touched up the green wall to get nice crisp finished edges.

2) The next step is hooking up all the plumping. I hooked up the new faucet to the sink and attached the supply lines underneath (whenever replacing a sink, it’s much easier to do this part before the sink is placed). I found the faucet on sale at Home Depot for $20. It was in our price range and has a high neck, so a win-win in my book.

3) Then it was time to figure out the toilet. Turns out (I think since we have an older home), our toilet area in not standard…typical. Standard toilets are 12″ from the wall. Ours was about 10.5″. Instead of getting a new toilet for $100 it would cost us over $300 to order one.

Toilet Tip: If you are replacing your toilet, measure it to make sure you get the proper size. Measure from the wall to the center of the drain (or to the bolts that secure the toilet down if it’s still in place). If you don’t have a standard size (about 12″ from wall), be prepared to pay the big bucks…or see if you can repair it instead. 😉

Luckily (or not), the other bathroom had the same sized toilet. So, to save some money now, we pulled that toilet out, scrubbed the piss out of it (literally) and are going to reuse it. It’s a newer toilet and looked great once Neil was done with it. We just need to buy a new seat and it will be good as new.

When we get around to redoing the other bathroom we will have to figure out the toilet situation there, by either moving the wall back a few inches or rearranging the plumbing in order to be able to fit a standard sized toilet. But, we’ll come up with something when the time comes.

Painting the Bathroom

Now that the tile and floor is finally done, it’s time to move forward with the remodel. Before I could do any painting I touched up the seams and edges of the walls with joint compound and sanded everything down to a smooth finish.

Then the fun began:

Bathroom Paint

I primed the walls and ceiling with Kilz primer. I think I ended up doing 3 coats to get full coverage on the drywall…if it wasn’t new drywall I probably could have had it done in a coat or 2 max.

Neil and Dan installed the door trim and I painted that with a semi-gloss white paint (which I will do to all the trim and baseboards in the house).

I painted the ceiling with a semi-gloss white paint. You always want paint with some sort of gloss finish in a bathroom for easy cleaning and because of all the moisture it will be exposed to. I’m not a fan of high-gloss anything, so I tend to go with a semi-gloss when it’s required.

Then there was color!

Bathroom Paint 1

We chose Valspar Jalapeno Jelly 6005-6A in a semi-gloss finish. It was the perfect color not only because I thought it was the perfect green color for the bathroom and goes great with the brown/tan and white colors of the accessories, but also because of its name. Neil is a huge fan of anything spicy, so since the inlaw suite will eventually be his man cave/office, I thought it was very fitting for him to have a bathroom painted in a “jalapeno” color.

And with the espresso colored vanity, espresso bean colored doors, and eventual habanero red colored accent wall in the main house living room, we are starting to get a nice little food theme going. I wonder how many other food colors I’ll be able to pick out for the rest of the house…Challenge accepted! =) (maybe some of you HIMYM fans will get that reference)


It’s definitely an adventure painting in color. Since working on this house, it occurred to me that I’ve never actually painted anything in color before. Everywhere I’ve lived the walls were already painted or I didn’t really have much of a say in the color selection. Typically, at my apartment, I paint decor accent pieces in white and everything so far at the house has only been primed.

So, I was super nervous when I opened the can of bright yellow paint when I did the exterior doors. Hopeful that everything would be okay, when I painted the interior doors brown. And second guessed myself for a split second before putting my first stroke of green on the bathroom wall.

It’s an adventure every time, but I think I’m 3-for-3 so far on picking out colors. We constantly get compliments on our yellow front door, the interior doors will provide nice contrast and will look great against the eventual dark stain of the wood floors, and I am totally in love with the green of the bathroom. So far I think I did good. =)

The Bathroom Debacle: Part 4: The Final Frontier

First: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Neil if you’re reading this…I hope you remember to get some delicious cupcakes from the cupcake lady today! =)


Okay, back to “The Bathroom Debacle: Part 4”

When Neil first called the Tile Professional, he told him all the background info and the problems we had been concerned about. The Tile Professional had come to look over the damage and said that everything was so much worse than he had expected and probably the worst tile job he had ever seen. Coming from someone who’s job it is to lay tile…that’s bad.

We should have hired him to start with, but you live and learn. At least he was able to help us out now.

So, here is how the final bathroom tile was born:

bathroom debacle 4

1) New walls installed: The tub was re-installed, leveled, and secured properly. New boards were hung for the walls. And, finally, the wall on the left side of the tub was built out to eliminate the weird spacing.

2) New floor installed: The proper board was used as a base for the floor and new tiles were installed. We changed the tile because: 1) we didn’t really have enough left over to redo the floor and 2) the original tiles were natural stone, which I guess is not great to use in a bathroom because it requires constant resealing to keep it from discoloring and retaining water…which the tile store neglected to inform us when we specifically asked whether or not they were good to use in a bathroom when we bought them.

3) New tile walls installed: The new wall boards were actually sealed before the tile was installed! It’s a miracle! We went with a subway tile with a thin strip of tan tile. We had to change it up from the original because we didn’t have any of the square tan tiles leftover and the subway style tiles were a cheaper and more classic look. I love how it turned out and it matched the floor nicely.

For once all the tile was straight with even spacing…it’s amazing how excited I was about something as seemingly simple as straight tile.

The shelves were reused. I was able to clean of the still wet mortar and just about get them back to their original out of the box state. They were properly secured to the wall and since the tiles was cut properly the shelves actually layed flush on the wall with no weird gaps around the edges.

4) No more side gaps: Since the left side wall was built out (finally, like I wanted) and the right side wall board was properly installed up to the tub, there were no more huge gaps on the edges! What a difference it makes.

5) Grout: The grout was applied properly, in 1 go, leaving everything looking very professional. The tub to floor seam was covered with a rubber strip, providing a clean, crisp seal.

FINALLY our bathroom is really coming together…and all within days, rather than 2 months! Which is when we began the project to begin with. We’re so happy that we took the time to redo it properly. It’s made a huge difference and has alleviated all the stress and anxiety we both felt about the project.

If anyone needs a tile guy let me know, this one comes very highly recommend!

Now it’s our turn to prime, paint, and install the vanity, mirror, toilet, light, and finishing touches.

The Bathroom Debacle: Part 2

After all the issues so far with the bathroom remodel (See: The Bathroom Debacle: Part 1) we were starting to realize that we weren’t going to have a perfect looking bathroom, it would be a little wonky, but hopefully when the project was done all the gaps and weird areas would be filled. Then we could do little touch-ups here and there as needed.

We weren’t thrilled, but at least we would have a bathroom.

And then the tile was grouted…

bathroom debacle part 2

1) Before the grout, the shelves installed: Because Guy (made up name) was a sloppy SOB, the areas he left for the shelves were not cut properly and there was already dried goop in the hole. So, when he installed the shelves they did not lay flat against the wall like they should have.

2) And then there was grout: All of the sudden he grouted the walls. I saw it the very next day and already it was cracked, not applied thick enough, had bubbles and holes all over the place, wasn’t applied to all necessary areas, and just looked like crap.

3) No two grout lines the same: None of the tiles were placed straight or with even spacing, so when the grout was applied, those imperfections stuck out like a sore thumb. And (again, since the wall was never built out) there was still a gap between the wall and the tub…

4) I still see a stud: He grouted BEFORE filling the gaps on the sides of the tub. How the hell are you going to fill those spaces now?

5) Slipped tile? No Problem: The tile that slipped out of place because it wasn’t applied with enough adhesive…left as is and grouted.

6) Drainage bubbles: A freshly grouted tile wall should not already have bubbles, cracks, and holes in it…I’m sure if I had asked him about it he would have said they were for drainage…like every other gap that showed up in this bathroom…because ever good bathroom needs drainage…right?

7) No one likes straight lines: Since none of the tiles were cut or installed straight all the grout lines were uneven, leaving ridiculous looking areas around the entire tub.


I freaked out…again: At this point I had my second meltdown about the bathroom remodel. I called Neil and bitched about the incredibly awful job Guy had done on the grout. How the holes on either side of the tub had still not been filled and how the new grout already had cracks and bubbles and voids all over the place.

He called Guy and asked what’s up. Guy informed him that you never get the right amount of grout on the first go, that it needs a few applications…WTF!?

We called a professional:

Neil called an old friend that was a professional tile layer for a second opinion. Originally we hadn’t called him because we weren’t aware that he could put up drywall and hook up the toilet and blah blah blah (running into the original hiring multiple people dilemma). But, at this point we had to figure out what the hell was going on with our bathroom.

And it was a disaster…A complete and utter disaster.

The tile professional informed us that everything had been installed wrong. EVERYTHING. That we could let Guy finish the job, but our ‘new’ bathroom would start to have serious water issues within 5-6 months!

That was it! GUY HAD TO GO!

Neil called Guy, explained the situation (how we weren’t happy, we had a professional look at it and they said it was going to fail, blah blah blah) and we would no longer be in need of his services. To this day he still doesn’t understand why we fired him and thinks that he did everything right.

And now we have to start over again to make things right….

Up Next: The story of our (second) bathroom remodel

More Little Progress Projects

more little project progress

A few more little projects that we’ve made progress on:

1) Putting the stove in place. I picked this beauty up from Restore for about $175. Yes, it’s a used stove and I had to scrub the crap out of the inside, but buying a new stove for the inlaw suite was not in the budget, so it worked out perfectly. And once I give it a few more rounds of wipe downs it will be like new!

2) Started the knob swap. The existing knobs in the inlaw suite kitchen where gold (I hate gold) and white and covered in dirt and grime from the previous owners. I knew I had to change them. I gave myself a budget of $2 or less per knob and started my search. Not finding anything that really “fit” and was in my price range, I suddenly realized what I wanted. Vintage Glass Knobs! I’ve been on the hunt ever since and managed to get 12 of the 24 needed knobs paying $1 or less each! We might have to keep a few of the gold ones to start off with until I find all the glass ones I need, but I just love how they look and am very glad I went this route.

If you have any glass knobs you’d like to donate to my cause I’d be more than happy to take them off your hands!

3) Put in the framework for the built-in linen closet (first step of progress here). Unfortunately, we’ve reached the point where we need a table saw…which we don’t currently have. So, this project is on hold until we figure out how to move forward in a cost effective way. But, basically we need to put in the support bars that the shelves will sit on; cut/install the shelves and trim from 1/2″ board; paint everything white; then install the refinished cabinet doors (with new glass knobs here too).

More exciting updates coming soon!