house stuff

house renovation – 2nd floor before

April 6, 2015

Happy Monday! I finally had some time to work on this blog and catch you up on our big renovation project. I suppose before getting into where this whole renovation is going we need to fill you in on what the house was. Because aside from a few photos of the living room and bedroom, there has never been an official house tour. So get cozy and ready for the somewhat embarrassing, but oh-so-necessary, official “before” tour. I didn’t make a huge effort to “stage” the house to make look better than it really does. Actually, I didn’t do anything other than close the closet doors. I’m showing you every day “standard house” so you can see how it really looked to us and how it’s really going to change. We’re starting with the second floor because I think everyone is always more interested in seeing the kitchen and those parts of a house, so I’m holding out and building a bit of suspension before showing everything.

The house is 1,084 SF spread out on 2 floors. The second floor holds a full bath and 2 bedrooms, however the smaller bedroom is used as B’s office so we’ll refer to Bedroom 2 as “Office.” Here’s the floor plan. Nothing too fancy.

So unfortunately I did not take a picture looking up the steps from the first floor. Hopefully, given your own life experiences of being in standard houses, you will be able to imagine walking up some super steep, carpeted steps then turning around and looking back to where you just walked up. That’s this photo. I’m standing in our bedroom doorway.

That sconce in the stairway is the only light for the upstairs hallway. It’s technically on a 3-way switch with a switch at the top of the steps and one at the bottom (makes sense) however it’s not wired correctly, so one switch is not flipped the right way, the other switch won’t work. Even after 4 years of living there, we never quite figured out the magic combination of switch flippage. Here was a common conversation in our house:

“Hey, B can you flip the switch up there?”

(flip) (flip)

“Nope, that’s not right”



(flip) (flip) (flip)

Light finally comes on.

Otherwise we would just walk around in the dark or use the bedroom/bathroom lights to see. It was definitely more of a quirk rather than an unlivable trait of the house, but still, since we’re going to be fixing things, this is definitely on the list.

Look at that hallway! Takes you from room to room like a champ. That little door on the left is a very awkward closet over the stairs. The floor slopes up so it makes for any sort of efficient storage practically impossible.

Alright. Moving on.

Here’s our bedroom. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ve seen most of this room before. However I’ve never shown the wall opposite the bed because its always been really messy and full of stuff that we never really found a place for. But today’s your lucky day because I’m not holding back on the official before tour. The pile of stuff next to the dresser are wedding gifts that we are waiting to use until the house is renovated. Since we knew we were going to fix it up, we didn’t want to open up all this fun new stuff only to pack it away in a month.

Here’s the opposite corner looking back at the door and closet:

And the infamous “other side” that’s never been exposed to the online world before. Get ready to break the internet.

Ugh. All that stuff. Granted, everything on the floor will have a place in the “new” house. But we need to do something about that row of random shelving.

Ok. Onto the office.

That pile of “fur” blankets on the floor is where Lucy hangs out while B is working during the day. Up until recently that space was filled up with a giant, heavy, metal drafting table that we couldn’t use because the room was so small. So it was actually just a really inefficient bulky shelf. We sold it on Craigslist a few weeks ago.We got the tables at an OSU surplus sale for 10 bucks when we first moved in. The laminate is peeling off, and it has a railing under the table top that keeps us from putting the file cabinets under the desks or else you can’t open the top drawer.

That light up there doesn’t work. I don’t think it ever has.

Our “Office Chairs” are our kitchen chairs. All of the chairs but B’s are broken. Since he sits in it the most, he gets the legitimate chair. My chair technically only has 3 legs. The fourth leg is really just balanced under the seat so I won’t fall over. Although it has happened. Trust me, we’ve tried gluing them back together. Basically we just never put any effort in this room at all. It bugs both of us, but we never wanted to put any money into it when it was just a rental. Now that it’s ours, it’s definitely going to change.

And finally, the bathroom.

There’s so many things I love about this bathroom: The cracked tile floors, the sink that’s falling off the wall, the tiles in the shower that are so loose that there’s obviously mold in the walls…

Oh, you can tell I’m kidding?

Everything in the bathroom was brought over from my old apartment in grad school. The over-the-toilet shelf was too low so the toilet seat wouldn’t stay open so we propped it up with some plywood. Everything is also just out in the open and never really put away, so it just makes the small space feel more cluttered. Big changes are in store for the bathroom for sure.

So that’s the upstairs! I still a little vulnerable posting such an “exposed” post of our living space, but how else will you fully grasp the changes if I didn’t show you where we started?

Downstairs is coming up next!

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