Posts Tagged ‘renovation story’

Home Remodel: Six Month Progress Report

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Last week marked the six month date of when we started remodeling the house we bought in Las Vegas, looking back we’ve accomplished a lot given it’s been a ‘back and forth across state lines’ process but we’ve loved every minute! From the beginning, we’ve approached this renovation as a full overhaul since the home had been neglected for years. Over the past six months we’ve made a lot of progress and done much to improve the interior to add value to the property. Everything needed fixed or updated and since we’re in town for limited periods of time, we’ve hired help to speed the process along.

The house is 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and what we liked about it was situated in a desirable planned community (Summerlin for those familiar with Las Vegas). Our whole goal has been to modernize the home so that it’s fresh and contemporary and make timeless choices. While I’m injecting my personal taste I still want the home to appeal to a large market someday. We furnished it so that we can enjoy it while were there, saving us the expense of staying at a hotel or imposing on our family in the area. 

Let’s start in the entry… in the beginning there was old tile and dingy carpet on the stairs. We replaced the mismatched flooring and upgraded the lighting. The hardware and light fixtures were upgraded to ones with an oil rubbed bronze finish, a nice contrast with the white smooth textured walls. (Find the entry and hallway light fixtures from Lamps Plus here and here.)

entry before


entry after

We debated whether to carpet the stairs or refinish with wood treads, I prefer the latter but Matt pointed out that many families prefer carpet since wood and tile can be a slipping hazard with little kids. I had to agree, as much as I’m dying to add wood treads it made sense to carpet for now, if we had plans to keep the house for 5+ years I’d definitely add wood treads and white risers like we did years ago in our California home but for now it’s staying carpeted. The handrails is also acceptable so no plans to change that either.

In the living room (opposite the entry) we hired help to remove the second story popcorn ceilings and also hired help to retexture the walls. We removed the balloon window treatments, replaced the 25 year old windows, and replaced the flooring.

living room before


porcelain tile floors

In November we added plantation shutters, and I furnished with a sofa paired with thrift store chairs and also gave the coffee table a makeover to create a gathering space

gray sofa in living room


Here is the space we consider a bonus room when we bought the house, just off the living room and kitchen. It was originally considered a formal dining room but in my opinion better used as a home office. For now we refer to it as the “sunroom” since it’s a sunny space with a nice view of the backyard.

sunroom before

It serves no purpose other than storage for now, but I may stage it with a desk in the future. It has new tile floors which replaced the old carpet and also no longer has popcorn ceilings. We removed the old light fixture and replaced the windows, the walls were textured and repainted. Right now its only purpose is home to the kitchen’s upper cabinets.

sunroom storage space


Speaking of, here is the kitchen in July when we started.

kitchen before range wall

Since we took ownership we’ve removed the wallpaper, replaced the florescent box lighting with recessed cans (and pendants over the peninsula), removed all the cabinets and countertops, and updated the flooring with porcelain wood tile.

Here’s a peek at kitchen in progress, last week the cabinets arrived from Cliq Studios,  the lower cabinets are a gorgeous gray blue, the upper cabinets are white. (See the full kitchen plan with links to products in this post).

kitchen in progress


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Builder Grade to Floating Vanity

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Welcome back to a new year and a brand new week! First I must say "Yay for the return of Downton Abbey!" I’ve ignored all spoilers and enjoyed the beginning of Season 5 last night with a cup of tea as a Sunday evening January tradition!

I thought I’d kick off the year with one of the projects we completed during our holiday stay at the fixer house in Las Vegas. A few months ago I posted about plans for the master bathroom vanity and went back and forth between stain and paint but opted for gray paint for two reasons. 1) I’ve had mixed success staining oak, often it enhances the grain and always requires stripping varnish which is more work. 2) Since natural light comes only from adjacent rooms it made sense to go with a pale paint instead of dark stain in this vanity space.

We began this remodel by repurposing instead of replacing the existing vanity to save money. After removing the old mirror and countertop, we updated by transforming the builder grade cabinet into a floating vanity raised to a 33" height.

builder grade turned floating vanity

To achieve the look and new height, first we extended the floor tile so that it would continue all the way to the back wall. My Dad helped Matt modify and install the cabinet. They cut off the old base with a jigsaw so only the vanity cabinet remained.

cut off base

Next they hoisted up the vanity so that it sat at a new height of 33" (with countertop and plywood base it will be 34 ½") instead of the old 29" height which felt too low.

hoisted vanity

The guys secured it to the wall with the help of 2x4s. They added "legs" in the corners and 2×4 boards along the back to support the base, making sure there was enough space for the plumbing to clear the bottom of the cabinet base at its raised height. Additional 2x4s helped secure the sides of the vanity cabinet to the wall to the studs.

rear support

2x4 in wall

I had an idea to swap the doors around, as nice as the raised panel cabinet doors were, I thought I’d experiment and swap the door fronts, flipping around the back to expose the Shaker style instead.

reverse doors

I filled in any cracks and the holes from where the old hinges were attached with spackling then sanded it before priming.

spackling primer

I also beveled the edges of the drawer fronts, removing the curved ogee edge with an orbital sander so they were refinished as curved and smooth.

beveled edges

Primer and paint assisted with the disguised reversed doors and sanded drawer fronts, I’m so pleased with the outcome !

shaker style bathroom cabinet door


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