Archives for February 2011

New Beginings

There is something magical about a fresh start. New Year’s Day, Sundays, and mornings. Love them all.  There’s a reason why I get chills when Annie belts out “Tomorrow.”

Hope may be part of my infatuation with Before & After pictures. They remind me that it doesn’t matter where I am right now. I can always give myself a new beginning.



Angled Wall Storage

Here’s more Before & After pictures of one of the previously unheated bedrooms:

North Bedroom Before

Built-in cabinets in North Bedroom

Note: Can you believe how beautiful those floors are? Just sanded them and put on three coats of polyurethane. I love uncovering beauty.
Transformation Thursday

I Can See My Breath

When I saw this bedroom for the first time…

I pictured Laura and Mary Ingalls… nightcaps on and snuggled under heavy quilts.

This is Minnesota. It gets cold here in the winter, and this rehab project house had no heat in the upper level. Really. The kids who slept in these bedrooms (Hi, Flo & Arlyne!) were hearty souls.

Venting went through the dining room to reach upstairs

The furnace in this home needed to be replaced anyway, so we asked the HVAC guys to add vents to the upstairs.

Dining room after HVAC addition

North Bedroom during HVAC

There are so many angles to the upstairs bedrooms that the new venting additions are barely noticeable.

North Bedroom After

Now it’s nice and toasty. Even after yesterday’s foot of snow.

UPDATE: If you’d like some insight into what life was like in this home, you should read comments from previous posts about this house. Some kids, grandkids, and even a great-grandchild of the original owners of this home have left some fun comments.

Bath, Beadboard & Brian

Bath, Beadboard & Brian

A bathroom is one of my favorite rooms to rehab. The goal is to create a cheerful, relaxing space, often on a strict budget. Julia, at Hooked On, has a post today correlating the “happiness” of a home to how light-filled it is. We did just that on our latest project.


The bathroom window brings in soft light, but the room still felt dim. Much of the light was sucked up by the dark linoleum on the floor. Also, the cabinets overhead were great for storage but made the small room a bit claustrophobic.

Mauve, textured tile

The tile is still in great shape but not as up-to-date as buyers prefer.

Beadboad trim is composed of three different pieces

Instead of re-tiling or re-coating the existing tile, our budget required us to put up a tub surround. It is a nice, clean look. Brian Toutge, our carpenter, created a beautiful beadboard wall for waaaay less money than buying new tile.

Brian Toutge Carpentry & Remodeling

Painted beadboard and trim


Add a few touches here and there, and we have a peaceful, light-filled retreat.

Transformation Thursday

Closet Switcheroo

Inexpensive tweaks here and there can improve the use of space in a house. This upstairs hallway had a closet.

Closet door before rehab

The bedroom next to the hall closet did not have its own closet. While you can use a wardrobe for clothing in a closet-less room, this attic bedroom is fairly small (made even smaller by angled ceilings). We decided to give the room more potential space by switching access to the closet from the hall to the bedroom.

Entrance to closet changed from hall to bedroom.

We took out the old door and replaced the baseboard with what was inside the closet.

Hall without closet door.

To save money we could have reused the old door in the bedroom, but it was really just thin, painted plywood. Instead we spent $60 on a new, solid wood door (thank you, Menard’s) and replaced the interior closet baseboard.

New closet access for bedroom

Inexpensive, quick, and easy. Now the new occupant of the bedroom will have a place to hang their clothes without dodging a wardrobe and the angled ceilings.

Just for fun, here are Before/After pictures of the rest of this attic bedroom:



Joined this post in the Frugal Friday linky party at The Shabby Nest.