Sunday, July 18, 2010

Master Bathroom

So #1 on our list for "The Year of the House" is our Master Bathroom. (1. Update Master Bathroom - new paint, flooring, fixtures, sink, vanity, mirror, medicine cabinet, lighting, vent colvers, toilet, and ceiling fan.) We actually did this back in February, but since our list started this blog off, we should probably post about everything related to that list.

When we bought the house, the master bathroom was just awful. Stick down linoleum tiles that didn't line up properly, green rag-painted walls, a sink that looks like it belongs in a gas station bathroom, green vents in both the ceiling and floor, really ugly towel racks, and clearance rack medicine cabinets and lighting.

The only thing in this bathroom that we really liked was the faucet. We actually kept that. The shower was also fine. We replaced the showerhead and showercurtain, but that was it. Here are some more pictures of what the bathroom used to look like:

We took care of most of the demolition and all of the painting ourselves to save some money and hired contractors that we've used before and whose bathroom work came highly recommended and over the course of 3 days, our bathroom became this:

We love our bathroom and we know we've added a good amount of value to our house simply by doing this somewhat minor renovation. There's much more to come over the course of the year and this blog though, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Year of the House

Welcome to "Houdini Lives Here"...

A little bit about us - we're Katie & Joe and we're newlyweds who live in suburban Maryland. Both of us have lived in Maryland our entire lives, we went to Catholic school for 1st-12th grades, we both went to college in the Baltimore area, and we both have jobs related to the federal government. A match made in heaven, right? We thought so which is why we got married September 19, 2009. A few months before getting married, we bought a house. And a few months after getting married, we adopted a cat named Houdini. He's pretty awesome so when we decided to start a blog, we knew he would be talked about a lot and so would our house so we decided on the name "Houdini Lives Here".

We closed on our house almost a year ago and it was pretty much move-in ready. Sure, there were things we wanted to change about it, but the only thing that was so offensive we had to change it before we moved in was the wallpaper in the master bedroom. You can see why below.

So, over the course of 2 weekends, we removed wallpaper, cleaned the walls, spackled, sanded, primed, and painted the bedroom. Many thanks to Jake, Liz, Justin, Bernadette, and Katie's parents and brother Jonathan who helped us out those 2 weekends. We should really take some pictures of what it looks like now. We'll do that and post a side by side compairison sometime soon.

So after we got settled in and got Houdini settled in, we decided to come up with a list of the things we want to do to our house and we decided that 2010 was going to be "The Year of the House" so that we could enjoy as many of the changes we wanted to make for as long as possible. A lot of what we'll blog about will probably revolve around this list so here it is:

1. Update Master Bathroom - new paint, flooring, fixtures, sink, vanity, mirror, medicine cabinet, lighting, vent colvers, toilet, and ceiling fan.

2. New windows and sliding door.

3. Update Office (3rd bedroom) - new paint and carpeting, organize closet, put artwork up on walls.

4. Finish Master Bedroom - new blinds and maybe some valances, put up pictures and/or artwork.

5. Finish off Main Floor - valances for kitchen & possibly porch door, put together DVD shelf for living room, find a side table for living room, put artwork/pictures up in living room, dining room, kitchen, powder room, replace TP holder in power room, get new towels, rugs, soap dispenser, etc. for powder room, replace brass light domes, fix living room couch.

6. New appliances - dishwasher, dryer, range hood, washer (?), back-up power source for sump pump.

7. Finish off Guest Bedroom - go through boxes in closet and get it organized (totally Katie's job since all of those boxes came from her apartment or her parents' house), put up curtains and put some things up on the walls.

8. Basement storage - organize crawl space & storage area, get some additional shelving.

9. Update basement - new carpeting, paint paneling, put stuff up on walls, get new blinds or curtains, big TV & stand, possibly surround sound, get CD on shelf, organize Katie's office/craft area, electric fireplace (?)

10. Outside - new pots for front porch, power wash concrete in front and back, get a lawnmower, fix up planter areas.

Yeah, we know, "The Year of the House" might end up taking more than 1 year. So we'll be posting blogs & pictures of what we've already done in between blogs about what we're doing, blogs about Houdini, and blogs about life in general. We hope you enjoy!