an Adorable Little House sat at the top of a slight hill on the corner of a small neighborhood. It watched for years as families moved in and out of the neighborhood, enjoyed babies being born to some of the families, watched children playing in the quiet streets, pets running free, saw Charlie’s Chips and possibly even milk being delivered to homes, witnessed children growing up, turning into adults, getting married, and neighbors growing old. This Adorable Little House, so involved with the lives in the neighborhood and not so much with their properties, had not noticed how the number of houses around it had gradually increased and the square footage of these homes, over the past 50 plus years, had increased tremendously.
Then one day, this Adorable Little House, still sitting proudly on top of a slight hill on the corner of the now, not so small neighborhood, heard someone say, “This is the worst house in the best neighborhood…” and right then and there the little house made a wish. “They may think I am the worst house in the best neighborhood, but my wish is that a special person with a lot of guts and energy will come along and make me their Adorable Little House Reno. Then I will grant their wish to be a cozy, dreamy home and they will live happily ever after!”
Just like we had no idea how long the actual Adorable Little House Reno was going to take, I really have no idea how many posts the tale of this Adorable Little House Reno is going to take. My daughter purchased the house in March, but being a CPA and in the middle of tax season until mid-April, nothing could really get started until May. She was able to move into the newly renovated Adorable Little House in August. Sometimes it seems like it took forever, but thinking back on all the renovations, shopping, DIY projects, 70 hour tax season work weeks, labors of love and unexpected events that were tackled and overcome and with the end result being a lovely, cozy, farmhouse home, it truly was not very long and certainly worth all of the effort.
I’m going to start by sharing the renovation of the only bathroom, located in the hall. Although a bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, as in this case, it is usually the most expensive to renovate, other than a kitchen, which also rings true in this case.
Gold wallpaper, bead board paneling, ceramic tile floor, old potty, rickety sink cabinet & low budget, lol. Here goes…
Even though fancy gold wallpaper may have been the style back in 1960’s, it certainly isn’t at the top of the list these days. Using a spray bottle of water, a scoring tool, putty knife, razor scraper, whatever we had, we removed the wallpaper, little piece by little piece. If you’ve ever done this, you can relate. It’s rarely big piece by big piece.
And finally, we could start some of the more exciting improvements.
Luckily, the lower half of the wall was bead board and in pretty good shape. Since it did add character to the room, she left it alone except for adding a nice coat of white semi-gloss paint and a light gray semi-gloss for the upper walls. All of the trim and the door was freshly painted with white semi-gloss.
The bathtub was in pretty good shape, so keeping with the plan to minimize expenses whenever possible, the tub just got a good hard scrubbing and she only replaced the tub fixtures. The potty, well, they aren’t that expensive and it was worth the money to know you had a nice, unused, clean place to sit. Did I say “sit”? I meant, s**t. Sorry!
The sink cabinet, shaky and now covered in paint with renovations underway, was trashed and a new, in-stock sink/cabinet combo was purchased from Lowe’s. She needed as much counter space as possible so we were pretty picky, but this unit worked very well and actually looks like a nice piece of furniture.
She uninstalled the bathroom sink, making sure that the water was turned off. A suggestion from her grandfather that we may, or may not have, thought about. Lol. Then ripped out the sink cabinet. I noted earlier that it wasn’t very sturdy. It literally fell apart on the way to the trash pile.
We left the new plumbing of the bathroom sink, the toilet and the new fixtures for the tub/shower to the professional plumber. You know what they say, “CALL THE MAN” for things you have no idea how to do and could cause a bigger mess for trying!
There was a tile missing from the wall over the bathtub. Being the savvy salvage junkers that we are, we found a tile that was very similar at the Habitat store and she cleaned out the space where the old tile had been, glued in the new tile and grouted. You can barely tell a difference and you’ve got a shower curtain that potty guests shouldn’t be peeking behind anyway. For the rest of the tile wall, she used a Dremel tool with a grout remover head to grind out some of the old grout. That was a pretty tough little project, but it allowed enough depth in the cracks to re-grout the tile in the bathtub area with new, clean white grout. It actually made an amazing difference.
The floor was a neutral color with 12×12 ceramic tiles, but had a few cracks and was totally boring. We cleaned it thoroughly, filled some of the larger cracked floor tiles with grout and sanded until they were smooth. Then, we painted on two coats of flat white wall paint. At this point, the floor already looked better than it did when we started, however, we really wanted to make this little bathroom “pop” so we got creative, with the help of Pinterest.
Using a stencil we designed and cut using our Cricut and gray chalk paint, we stenciled the tiles, one by one. It was not a hard process, but a little labor intensive and time consuming.
May not have been quite as intense if “Mom” aka Me, had not spilled the gray paint on the white floor & on top of some of the freshly painted gray tiles. Yes, this is being imperfect, for sure! I was working in the bathroom by myself, so I was frantically trying to clean it up, paint over it, whatever, when she appeared at the bathroom door. I thought, “oh no, this is it, I’ve done it now”. But, for some reason, maybe how shocked and silly I looked, she started laughing and called her Dad over, where of course, he started laughing as well. Somehow, I’ll never figure out exactly how it happened, I went to pick up the paint bucket to move it, but my arm got hung on something. When I jerked it free, the bucket soared above my head and paint spilled into my hair, my mouth, all over my face, then onto the floor. I was literally spitting paint out of my mouth! When I asked her if I could share her Adorable Little White House home renovations, she said, “Only if you include the picture of you and the paint spill.” So here, have your little chuckle and let’s just move on…
The walls were light gray, bead board, trim and door, fresh coat of white, floors repaired, painted, stenciled, some of the floor painted and stenciled again after spilled paint damage, and sink with cabinet, toilet, tub fixtures, all installed. Now, she just had to add her pretty farmhouse decor and the bathroom project was a big success.
If I didn’t get fired from this one, guess they were going to keep me for the long haul. Free labor is really hard to come by!
Stay tuned for the next Adorable Little House project