Big Changes

Seven weeks ago on the day we moved in, we had a contractor waiting when we arrived, scraping our popcorn ceilings. That was an absolute must for us (well, for me at least, Brad didn’t want to spend the 3k) but can I just express what an improvement it was? Our home would be forever stuck in 1992 if we left those ceilings as is. I would show you a before picture but texture doesn’t photograph well, so trust me when I tell you they were in-your-face overwhelmingly tacky.

Luckily, those days are over and the dust has finally settled (although I still get the occasional popcorn ball in our freezer’s icemaker … that stuff finds its way into everything!)

Here’s the sparkly clean ceilings today:

I’ll spare you shots of every other ceiling surface, but rest assured they are equally as lovely.

Before the paint was dry on the ceiling, we had our flooring installer ripping up the carpet to transform our ground into a sea of espresso yumminess (in the form of hardwood floors).

Behold: Vanier Cosmopolitan Birch engineered hardwood flooring in “Truffle”

We searched far and wide for a nice distressed wide-planked hardwood with deep brown coloring, that would hold up to wear and tear and was within our budget. After no luck in local stores, we went online and were immediately smitten with this one, along with its price tag of $2.19/sq ft. The kind folks over at Build Direct overnighted us samples and a $100/off coupon, which totally sealed the deal.

Here’s how they’re look installed:

They bear a striking resemblance to our floors in our LA home, but they are actually hand-scraped (not just distressed like our old floors). Plus, they were cheaper!

Check out this texture:

You couldn’t find flooring like this in any of the stores we looked at for under $10/sq ft. And it does a much better job of hiding our accidents (we’ve already created two gashes in the bedroom from moving our bed around, but it blends in so much better with the pre-installed imperfections).

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with these floors and the price we paid.

Another fun project we did was replacing the flourescent lights in the kitchen with recessed lighting.

Here’s the cheap-o builder grade light panels before:

Yeah, no thanks.

This was a fairly quick and easy job. We had the ceiling contractor remove the light boxes, fill in the holes with drywall, and cut the new light holes to size. Once they were all sanded and painted, we used the existing wiring and ran extensions to each light, and plopped them in. Huge, huge improvement for a relatively low cost. They’re on dimmers too for all kinds of ambience.

Here’s the afters:

Now all we need is cabinet refinishing, new floors, countertops, appliances, backsplash, shelving, window treatments… sigh. It never ends.

And finally… I debated posting this because it’s such a mess and so NOT my “after shot”, but here is our temporary living room setup as it stands today, with just the sparse furnishings from our old home. Soon we’ll be trekking down to Ikea to fix this (the poor TV is sitting on our patio coffee table for god’s sake…) but keep checking back cause I’ve got high hopes for this transformation 😉

4 thoughts on “Big Changes

  1. I found your blog through YHL yesterday 🙂 Just wondering if you installed your flooring yourselves or had it installed?

  2. Found you yesterday from a Pinterest post. I love what you have done with the house! I have been looking for some hardwood flooring for my house and what you got really looks like what I have been looking for without the $6/sq ft price. Do you think it holds up well? I have 3 kids and a dog and am just worried about it getting ruined 🙁 Thanks!

  3. I found your blog on pinterest today and I am filling my work day with browsing through it lol. I love the flooring above “Behold: Vanier Cosmopolitan Birch engineered hardwood flooring in “Truffle”. Last June my boyfriend and I moved into our first house and the 1st thing that we fell in love with was the flooring. The same color as above. We have an Olde English Bulldog and the very first night we realized we would be replacing the floors in the future. As soon as our dog tried to take the corner into the hallway he left huge scratch marks. The flooring is engineered floor as well. Any time I walk in heels it leaves impressions and the scratches look like the top coat is being removed. I was wondering if you have any problems like this with your flooring.

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