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Updating an old house

Nothing will make as big of an impact as painting your trim. I couldn't afford to knock it out and just get rid of it (which we eventually did during the renovation), so in the meantime this was the perfect solution.All you need is paint and a decent amount of patience. I found a special type of paint made just for sinks, tubs, and tile, and it totally lived up to the hype...super durable.

This is the stage that couples probably fight the most in.Twenty-two rooms, and we’re in the middle of restoring just room FIVE. For me, having lists and timelines makes me feel like I have control, even if I know every timeline we make goes out the window by week two.To be fair, the exterior restoration was a beast, and it was completely done during the first two years. I like saying deconstruction instead of demolition. There will be a few rooms of this house that will need gutting, no doubt, but ironically, they are the rooms that were reconfigured in the 1950s and 60s and 90s.Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on new bathroom fixtures, I just used this silver spray paint and this metallic paint pen (affiliate links) to completely update our outdated two-toned fixtures. I used a quart of this chalkboard paint (affiliate link) to completely update the insides of my kitchen cabinets.They were really disgusting before, and it's made a bigger impact on our little kitchen than anything else we've done.Since our budget was basically nonexistent, I knew I would have to work with what I already had.

We'll start off with the one thing that will give you the most bang for your buck. I painted my trim, and it completely transformed my entire house. I had the ugliest tile countertop in our kitchen when we first moved in and it drove me crazy until I finally broke down and painted it.

The overall effect is a calm, serene, cohesive looking house!

We were blessed with a 1970's gem of a fireplace in our living room, so to make the most of it, we built our own diy mantel for less than $30!

It totally upgraded the fireplace and ended up being a super easy project!

My husband Doug and I are beginning year three of bringing our 1902 Queen Anne Victorian back to life. Restoring a house can definitely make you feel like your life is spiraling out of control.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to restore a house with someone else doing all the work, and having it all done BEFORE we moved it. It just happened that way.) This is the first step – going into the room, sitting in it for a bit, and knowing EXACTLY what it’s going to look like when it’s done. I do this myself, but other people hire out by hiring a designer or an architect. This is when I get REALLY excited because all I can see at this point is the finished product. This can be a really fun puzzle, or it can completely derail or deflate you. Many times the solutions to the problems make the room SO much better in the end.