Hickory Brick House Update

When my last semester started I sort of left this blog hanging on the subject of our home renovation. Because, well, we left our home renovation hanging. But here’s the final update on the kitchen and master bedroom.

We painted the kitchen walls Behr Yellow Wax Pepper – PPU9-13. The faux brick wall at the end is the same Perfect Taupe as the bathroom and Caleb’s work room.

The dining nook.


The inside of the white cabinets are that same Taupe color, too.


Finished kitchen – with cabinet doors! And new hardware! They didn’t get hung until just before Halloween. We spray painted the old hinges black, but the knobs and pulls are new from Home Depot.


Our bedroom upstairs has been the longer process. When we pulled off the plastic we’d covered the vents with to refinish the floor, the tape pulled some paint with it. (Which was fine.) But under the paint was the homeowners mortal enemy: wallpaper.

You read that right.

Luckily, some friends of ours own a steamer, which made the job go so much faster. (Which was still excruciatingly slow.) We had to steam every part of the wall twice, once to get the latex paint to peel off, and once to soak the wallpaper.


Once steamed, the paper came off like a dream – but the upper half of our bedroom walls are slanted. (Not fun.) Finally, I scrubbed all the walls twice – once with glue remover solution, once to clean them off. They looked so much better already!

We painted the long walls which slant up into the roof in Crepe – PPU7-19, and the short walls in Mushroom Bisque – UL140-10. (Both colors are Behr.) Whala – the last finished room!

Thus ends the largest, most time consuming portions of our Southwest Michigan home renovation.

Here’s how the other rooms look now that we’ve moved in and cluttered them up. The living room is one of my favorites. I’m so happy with the colors.

living room

You can see a few photos of my finished library here.

Thanks for following our journey! To see lots of before, during, and after pictures for these and other rooms, check out this post, this post, or this one.


Sand is a Verb

A week ago today Caleb and I became homeowners! Since then, every spare second of our time has been spent working to get the house move-in ready. The last owners were unfortunately not very up on maintaining things, and they owned three cats. (We’ve probably vacuumed up about eight.)

The first thing we did was rip out the carpets so our vacuum would survive to live a good long life. Underneath are original hardwood floors that I am in love with – it’s been too long since I walked on wood every day! After this the weekend was spent tearing up tack strips, ripping out nails and staples from the floor, and taking every screw, anchor, nail, staple, and piece of scotch tape off the walls. The fun part came Tuesday when I spent twelve hours sanding every surface in the house – except the floors. Walls, baseboards, quarter-round, doors, trim, and window sills are now all covered with a fine dust that means after a little vacuuming they will be prepped to paint!

So here’s some photos of the worst it gets, folks. From here on out, our busy hours will be spent filling, priming, painting, and improving!

Living Room

Guest Room



Upstairs hallway

Master bedrom


The one surface we haven’t sanded yet – the floors – will be waiting for us and a rented drum sander this weekend. That’s right, we’re refinishing all of these floors. And the end results will be be-a-u-tiful.

P.S. – Since this post was written, we’ve done a lot more sanding (this post title is so true) that got us some floors that are even prettier than we hoped!

Lost Dogs

I have never walked past a lost dog. Usually, I return them. Grab them, play with them, call the phone number on their tags. If there is no number, I look up the address online and take them home, finding some way to box them in on the porch or closing the back yard gate that let them out in the first place. If there is no collar I pat them and tell them to go home, then go inside and plot the many creative ways in which I would like to read their irresponsible owners the riot act. Especially when they are sweet, like the yellow lab who played hide and seek with me and my boyfriend in a dark street last summer. When he took the lead, we darted behind cars and watched until he came back for us, giggling as we watched him circle around the vehicles until he found us. A bulldog was once so thirsty that I gave her all the rest of my water bottle before I tied her to the porch of the address on her tag. The next day I got a text from the number I had called to leave a message telling them where their dog was.

FROM: 606-539-XXXX

thank you so much for returning my dog!! she

is sick and if she doesn’t get her medicine

every day, she could die! thank you!!

I consider this text a note of gratitude from all of the dogs I have returned without thanks, but I try not to think about it in regards to the dogs who I pat and say “Go home!” We’ve always found my dog when she gets out, but if someday we hadn’t, the person who returned her to me would have won Most Valued Person of the year with ease. My dog might be my favorite relative, and losing her would be like being kicked out of school or dropping my engagement ring down a sewer drain. After today she will be lost, and no one – not us not strangers not God will find her and bring her home.