Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This room is so far from being an "after" because one wall is still lined with boxes and we haven't put up the baseboards or door molding. However, this room took THE MOST work of all of the rooms in the house because of it's fabulous wallpaper and oil based paint and paneling. YIKES!

This is the basement living room. I don't know the difference between a living and family room, but this is the place that houses the television. So, which one is it?

That bookcase hides the water main shut off for the the house. We needed to keep it open, but didn't want that shelf there. The carpet was a nice purplish colored Berber that had been loved by dogs. Are you jealous? Are you wondering why we thought this house was the one?

The white is the 1970's finest paneling. The creamish color is a really rubbery natural patterned wallpaper (that was falling off) and the border well...

... it was just lovely. AND - they left three whole rolls in case we needed to do some touch ups.

We enlisted the help of my sister and her husband (there may or may not have been a baby in the blanket) and got to work. I hope all of you have a sister like Lyndsey with a husband like Darin. They are hard workers! (side note: they do it all with their little son strapped in a backpack on their back. They are teaching him young!)

Mike worked on this section in the hallway for 2 days. He was determined to get it smoothed out. After all of this hard work, he just knocked the wall down and started over. We have cement lip through out the entire basement and the previous owners tried to hide it with lopsided walls and poor taping. Mike raised the drywall up above it and we're hiding it with wide baseboards.
The paneling came off and the bookshelf came down. As we removed the wallpaper, we started noticing some yellow shining through the white primer. We started washing the wallpaper paste and more yellow was showing up. UGH. The yellow was an oil based paint that they didn't cover correctly so we had to wash all of the old primer off and then do some perfect primering (not a word). Mike framed out where the water main is and made it look much cleaner.


A nice smooth wall with no bulges and bows in the sheet rock.

This is where the bookshelf used to be. Mike is going to build a door that will hide the water main, but I think he did a stellar job on this room. We've got a few more things to finish (after we're done concentrating on the outside) but over all it is a billion times better than it was.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


We looked at several (at least 50) houses before we decided on this one. I could tell the previous owners were cluttery, but their house didn't seem dirty. HOLY SMOKES! When they moved out and we were finally allowed to go in I could not believe the amount of junk they left. I would expect it from a short sale or foreclosure... but we bought the house from them and paid the full asking price. Seems pretty jerky to me. We have about 2 more garbage days to finally be rid of what they left behind; shoes, pillows, a sweet dream catcher, tools, dog poop, dishes, but no treasures. Here are some things I took pictures of.

A closet before:

The same closet all cleaned and painted:

The scary laundry room (that is still scary):

The carpet remnants on the top shelf were so dusty and filled with spider webs. I actually took this photo after I threw a lot of the stuff away. I can't wait to get our tax return because we are turning this dungeon into a functional and bright laundry/storage.

More junk and a black market operation table. YIKES! It is now gone. That white blur on the right of this picture was a giant dream catcher. It had that weird fluffy dream catcher stuff on it, pheasant feathers, and SO MANY COBWEBS! I carried it very carefully out to the dumpster along with those pillows and random shoes.

This is what it looks like now (only it has our washer and dryer in there) and really this is as good as it will be for awhile. No more moldy carpet and scary dream catchers. The "after" pics will come after Uncle Sam writes us a check.

They also left us this sweet totally broken dog kennel, complete with a giant pile of petrified poop and some shredded tarps that are not pictured. This dog kennel is gone - I gave it to some scrap metal pickers along with a bottle of water. It was the least I could do. The grass is dead on purpose... we're killing it and all of the weeds that come along with it and starting over next spring. OH I CAN'T WAIT!

But on a brighter note, we have a great back deck (that I have powerwashed 1/2 of the paint off of) that is bigger than most of the rooms in the house and a fantastic view of the Wasatch Front. I look at this picture and wonder why I killed the lawn, but then I remember that more than 1/2 of the lovely green color in this picture are weeds.

I wish I had more to brag about on these spaces, but they really are the worst part of the house.

Monday, September 13, 2010


As per request, here are some pics of before and after painting and carpet. We painted EVERY surface of this house (minus 3 ceilings) and a few cabinets. So here we go. (I'll do this in a few installments)

Living Room Upstairs:


Notice the lovely mauve curtains. They are replaced with the curtains I wrote about here.

Notice here the wall mounts for the television. Every room in this house had a cable running to it and wall mounts for the flat screens. If you want to mount your television to the wall, be sure you know where to put it. These were AWFUL to mud, tape and repair.


We painted the walls a grayish color called Stormy Weather. The carpet is DELUXE and called Heather. I wanted strait gray, but Mike convinced me it needed to be a warmer gray (towards the brown side) and I am so glad I did. It is such a great neutral.

Our home is a split entry, so this is the 1/2 wall between the living room and the entry way. I love the white ledge. The entire house was a yellowy color and the previous owners did a very sloppy job and it was all over the baseboards and trims.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yesterday I enlisted the help of my neighbor to help me hang some stuff. For the most part it turned out, but then I got cocky and put some extra holes in the walls. Woops! Mike spent all summer making sure this house had no more holes in the walls... mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding... so he is hesitant about hanging anything. I am just sick of of everything leaning up against the walls and being on the floor. I want to feel like a I live here.

I tackled the easy stuff first. Cohen is a creative little guy. He loves drawing maps and anything related to Mario Bros. He was dead set on decorating his room with all things Mario. He wanted a mural (NOOOOOOOOOOO!) but we settled on posters instead. They are on the way. I digress... I wanted to give him his own little working corner. So here is what I did:

I grabbed this cork board from a friend's donate pile. I bought this little rod and 3 bucket thing at IKEA for a grand total of $5. He can keep his scissors, some markers and chalk/eraser in them. I have found that he keeps his creations for about 3 weeks. That is what the cork board is for. Usually he just tapes them wherever he wants them to be. The blue dresser houses his paper, crayons, stickers, beads, etc...

I bought a scrap piece of plywood from Home Depot for $4.01. I used some leftover chalkboard paint and there you have it. I just screwed it right into the wall (Mike was stoked!) because I didn't have any picture hangers handy.

The important thing is that Cohen loves it. LOVES IT! He couldn't wait for Mike to get home so he could show him. He spent a good part of the evening in there. I hope he doesn't grow much more in the next few months because his knees are barely fitting under that table.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I wouldn't say that have OCD in most parts of my life, but there is something about adorning Piper's head with flowers and bows that sends my serotonin into shock. MUST.HAVE.DIFFERENT.BOW.FOR.EVERY.OUTFIT. It is a strange thing considering the lack of bows/flowers I've had in my hair during my lifetime (she has me beat... hands down) and how un-girly I've also been. The mess that was becoming every surface in her room and bathroom was driving me bonkers, so I organized her bows in a fancy manner.

I took this frame from IKEA:

I spray painted it white and covered the back with batting, fabric, and ribbon.

(If I could make this again, I would do a better job measuring.)

Hide the imperfections with a whole lotta flowers/bows.

Admire your work and then hang the first of many P's on the wall. I want the whole wall covered in Ps of all fonts and sizes (If you see any goodies, let me know).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I figured that after living here for almost 2 months, and a comment from the neighbor about seeing us through our big front window, I should probably get some curtains up. I've been so wishy-washy about what I wanted. We have bright purple couches and they are definitely the elephant in the room. It is hard to decide what goes and what doesn't.

When Mike suggested orange I instantly knew that this IKEA fabric was the right stuff. I really wanted to find premade curtains because they are a pain(!) to make, but I bought all of this and then had second thoughts.

I made one and then let it sit there for 2-3 weeks. Today I finally hemmed it and finished up the other one during Piper's nap. I don't ever want to make curtains again. Lining and measuring and hemming and UGH... not my favorite project. But they are done, and our neighbor won't be able to see us anymore.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Literally... my SIL in labor with her first boy as I type. Another little Van Wagoner boy. This brings the total VW boy count to 10 with one lonely Piper girl.

I've decided that since we're finally moved in our house and school has started I should probably start posting again. We've been working our butts off all summer to get this place ready and still feel like there is so much to do. I have a lot of projects to share if I get around to it. I've decided that Saturdays as a homeowner are not as fun as Saturdays as a renter. SO MUCH TO DO! I almost feel guilty just sitting down to relax sometimes. But I must remind myself, I am paying for the cable now so I better watch it. Plus... college football just started. Wahoo!

We like our new area a lot. I say if you live in Salt Lake County and can't afford to live in Sugarhouse or the Avenues, Taylorsville is the place to be. Every thing is so convenient. I don't have to drive very far to find things and I love that. Cohen loves his teacher and school and has met many new friends. Piper loves throwing shoes down the stairs to the front door. I love mowing the lawn. Ahhh - about 95% of the time, home ownership is the BOMB-diggity.

I really need to sort through all of my photos so I can show you all some "before/after". I've been a little slow because while I have plenty of 'befores', I don't feel most 'afters' are as 'after' as they should be. We've still got boxes lying around (the above photo has nothing to do with anything - Piper was stealing Cohen's sucker and I thought it was funny).

Good luck to Missy and Andy as they have this baby au natural! Good luck to me to keep this bloggity-blog alive. Good luck to Mother Nature to keep this weather at a constant 75 degrees. I love it.

I need to go see the outcome of the BSU game. Adios!

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