Renovation Story

The Thrill of Smooth White Walls

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Hello friends, today it’s the weekly update on the remodel, and I have some absolutely thrilling pictures for you, images of a lot of white walls!! Okay not always so exciting but wait! These are not just your ordinary repainted white walls, instead these are completely retextured walls. So long vinyl wallpaper and orange peel texture medley, cue the famous Santana + Rob Thomas hit.

We’re not fans of the orange peel or knockdown textured walls, we love smooth (or even imperfect smooth) troweled walls. We decided as long as we were removing all the popcorn ceilings and vinyl wallpaper that we would go all the way and have the walls retextured so they would be so smooooooth and we hired a crew to help us achieve it.

In the breakfast nook we’ve removed the popcorn ceiling, the funky window treatments, the faded vinyl wallpaper on that back wall and also the ceiling fan.

breakfast nook before

That window on the right leads to a good size side yard with a covered lanai – we have plans to change the window to double doors to blur the line between indoors and out and allow for access to the patio. More on that later, as for now beautiful smooth white walls exist in the space and better baseboards are on their way. Blank canvas! 

breakfast nook after

In the dining room, the popcorn ceilings are gone, so is the light fixture and the window treatments, and the space has been retextured in a smooth Level 5 finish. The carpet leaves tomorrow.

dining room before

dining room after

This was the family room when we began a month ago, since then we’ve removed the vinyl wallpaper on the left wall (hard to see but trust me, it’s there), the Golden Girls valance + vertical blinds, and the brown tile surround on the fireplace. I mentioned in last week’s update our plans to fill the niche above the fireplace and demolish the sheetrock mantel. 

two kinds of flooring

Today, it’s like a breath of fresh air….

family room new texture

We disliked the niche, tile, and position and dimensions of the sheetrock mantel on the old fireplace so we got rid of it.

fireplace 2

   smooth fireplace wall

I was researching contemporary fireplace ideas and a few days ago finally found the perfect inspiration photo. I love the look of this simple mantel and sophisticated tile inset. I have my eye on a few different patterns to achieve a similar look.

tile fireplace


This week we gathered a few bids on replacing the old aluminum windows and the existing slider … gulp. So expensive! We think we will have to wait until the budget will permit their replacement, but the plan is to upgrade the windows and sliding doors in the winter or spring to add value and energy efficiency. 

aluminum slider and window

A few of you have inquired what the kids are up to while we’re working on the house and you can see they spend several hours in the pool, we consider ourselves truly lucky to have one. 

Their books and a few board games are also keeping them entertained, they’ve been so great about all of this. They like to hang out at my parents’ house down the street in the afternoons for a dose of Disney channel and a daily trip for frozen yogurt… swimming, games, TV, and sweets, isn’t that what summer is all about? 

games outside

I found that wood veneer table with a leaf at a local Goodwill store for $40 and have plans to paint it and use it either in the dining room or breakfast nook. Thank you so much to a few local readers who have given me the inside scoop on thrift stores and their discount days, you are awesome! I can’t wait to go hunting for more great finds!

The rest of the house is in various states of construction debris, to be expected…

construction debris

Tomorrow the floor demo crew arrives so the old tile and dingy carpet and tack strips will soon be gone. We will be pulling baseboards and scraping floors to remove the underlying thinset. Out with the old, in with the new… perfect timing, several crates of Daltile’s porcelain wood Forest Park Sugar Maple tile arrived today. 

sugar maple porcelain tile

I cannot wait to see it installed up against all of those white walls…  I’ll share another update on the renovation next week! 


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House Progress + Flooring Decisions

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

It’s a busy week for us with our Las Vegas renovation project, we’re in Official Demo Mode and much is changing! The good kind of change…

We decided to hire two handyman helpers that came highly recommended to assist us this week to speed up the demo process. We have high pitched ceilings in three spaces, the dining room, living room, and master bedroom so yesterday our handyman helpers brought their scaffolding and scraped that popcorn ceilings. Today they will be patched and they await priming and painting. Even though we’ve scraped popcorn ourselves, we dreaded the idea of scraping those high ceilings so it was money well spent!

entry and living room


master bedroom popcorn removed


We are moving a few electrical boxes for better lighting placement and spent the morning moving a HVAC duct (I mentioned here how I hated the location of it). Just those 3 feet make a difference and now it won’t be right up next to the new fixture.

moving hvac duct

We have one more to move and then I’ll share the steps on how we accomplished it, it wasn’t too difficult!

Also the improvements to the fireplace I mentioned last week have begun…. attacking it with a hammer and crowbar is quite therapeutic… we’re saying goodbye to the sheetrock mantel and filling the niche, yes! That brown tile is next….

fireplace reno

We debated what kind of flooring upstairs, more carpet, hardwood, vinyl plank ? We decided on carpet for the hallway and in the bedrooms upstairs, it’s more affordable and easier to install quickly. Something light with a subtle geometric print is what I’m thinking of.

carpet samples

This house has three yes three different kinds of carpet inside, all of them are pretty cruddy, stained, torn in places, and none of them match so we will be removing it all and replacing the baseboards too. 

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