Saturday, 26 March 2016

New Floors and a BIG Surprise

After one long weekend of forbidden entry into our house we finally stepped foot on to our newly sanded, stained, and sealed floors. If you've forgotten what the original floors looked like, take a peek back at this post. It has been quite the transformation. I quickly pulled out my phone, as I knew the space would probably never look this clean again, and started taking pictures. I loved the stain color we chose. It feels just right, not too orangey, and beautifully picks up the wood grain and the many imperfections throughout the house. I was determined to not have a high gloss floor, so we went with a more matte stain, which we are very happy with.

Casey had been working on installing the (compromised) marble-like bathroom tile during the day with his brother. I was eager to see the bathroom tile we had picked out, but too focused on the new floors. 
Casey walked into the bathroom and I hear...

"Oh No! Katie, come look at this. The tile is completely messed up..."
When I walked around the corner, I saw this...

I gasped, and then embarrassingly burst into tears. I don't know if it was the surprise, or the fact that I was getting married in 13 days. Casey knew how much I wanted the hexagon tile, and even after telling me flat out we weren't getting it, he always knows how to surprise me. He's a little too good at it. That or I'm completely oblivious. Either way he's really good at tricking me.

Thank you Casey. You're always keeping me on my toes and I love that about you.

There were a few more squares of tile be laid down so we stayed for a few hours and finished up the edges. It was all ready for grout in the morning. I definitely have some very happy memories of this night.

 Things were moving fast at the house as we watching our first coat of indoor paint go up in the living room. I chose a grayish-blue color. We left the fireplace wall white to bring out the shiplap. I was definitely happier with the indoor paint decisions than the exterior paint. I'll save that for another post. We left the kitchen completely white with the white cabinets, but painted the bedrooms and living room in the blue/gray color. The rooms still needed their foot added back to the wall and a few touch-ups of trim paint. 

We were so close to being done with the house at this point, I could really see myself living here and I couldn't wait. Next up, exterior paint, bathroom paint and fixtures. Stay tuned!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Refinished Floors

Casey sent me this ^^ during school one day and I couldn't concentrate on anything else for the rest of the day. I wanted to race home and see them in person. They looked better than I ever thought they could. The wood grain was beautiful and the dark stained areas that remained only added so much character and history. Casey tells me that whoever built these floors didn't put them down very well because they aren't spaced properly and there's obvious lines running through the floor. I don't even care. I was just so happy that it worked, I didn't care about anything else.
I got home just at the end of the sanding job so I caught a little glimpse of how it worked. I imagine that this job would be a really rewarding type of work. To see something look so ugly and beaten down, and revive it to its natural state within seconds, must've been fun. Sparks were flying every time he hit a nail in the floor, which was a bit unnerving to me, although unphased by him.
The kitchen floor was my favorite. Over time, something had left huge black horizontal lines in the wood and so when he sanded them, they didn't sand out. And there's also some type of water leak that's left a stain. To me, that's the beautiful parts of the house, that show a little lived-in history.

Tile on the bathroom floor was a hot topic for Casey and I. Of course I had these grand ideas of what it could look like and what style it should represent. Then I looked at the price tag. We quickly dwindled down all of our first options to finding something a little more affordable.
Casey wanted a clean, modern tile, and we found a lovely high-gloss faux marble tile that really was an expensive looking tile for a low cost. He was also drawn to the stone looking tiles too, more of his Texas western upbringing coming into effect. 
I on the other hand, fell on the complete opposite of Casey's taste. I'm used to a more traditional, vintage style. I grew up in a house in London that was over one hundred years old, so I am pretty familiar with old. I think my parents did such a great job keeping the integrity of the house by decorating it in a way that would have been done in its prime. I really didn't want to make this house too modern looking. Every time we walked through either one of the home improvement stores (which was daily, right up until the wedding) I would stand and stare at these hexagon tiles. Something about the geometric shapes and the black and white pattern. I just loved it and I knew it would be a timeless look for an older house. Casey was 100% against them. He would just look at them and say "no". 
So we compromised, as every engaged couple does, and we went with the large square marble. 
Here is the hardie  board down over the wood for the beginning stages of tiling.
Staining the wood floors and tiling the bathroom happened on the same day, and then we were kicked out of the house for two days so the stain could dry. (TORTURE)

During the sanding process, the outside of the house was pressure washed and prepped for its first coat of paint. Definitely the most nervous I'd been about any stage of this renovation. Most of the old paint remained, which was annoying, but sanding down every piece of siding just wasn't in our time frame.

Stained floors and tile next!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Trim and Cabinets

Bathroom texture had dried and we were now ready for wall paint and trim paint. They painted everything a bright white, including door and all baseboards and trim. It was such a refreshing sight to see everything looking so fresh and so clean.

In our bedroom we had a weird metal grate in the floor, which we discovered was a floor furnace. It hadn't been turned on in a while and was full of dust. We didn't want the grate in the floor since it was right when you walked in so Casey took it out and they put new floor boards over the area.

The painters gave our kitchen cabinets and hardware a coat of white. This made all the difference to me. After seeing the big brass hardware it was just too overwhelming in the kitchen. I tried polishing the hardware, to restore it to a nice gold brass color, but it wasn't working like I wanted it to. So now its painted all white, its much easier on the eyes.

The brothers worked on the broken and rotting fascia on the roof and replaced a few random pieces of siding that needed some love. The exterior of the house was really coming together and just needed some pressure washing/sanding, and a new paint job.

Here's some more of the new white trim. Everything was looking very bright. I was so happy to be rid of the brown walls. 

And the most exciting part of this post, to me, is the newly sanded patch of flooring for our sample stains. We decided to hire the one man who told us he was able to sand down our floors and restore them. He works old, turn of the century, houses in Dallas and told us he's seen floors in much worse condition and brought them back to life. Casey and I were thinking about doing it ourselves, but I am so glad we hired this man. He definitely knew what he was doing. After seeing just this small rectangle sanded down, I was doing the heart-eyes emoji. I can't even remember, now, what stain I chose. I think it was the darker of the two. I didn't really care, I was just so happy that it was going to work and we would be able to see the beautiful wood grain. Now our flooring is not perfect. There is still a huge lump running through the two bedrooms and some pretty major cracks between the boards, but to me, it's as close as we were gonna get to perfection in a house built in the 50's.

Next post is one you don't want to miss. 
The big reveal of our newly sanded floors and bathroom tile!