Basement Reveal

Yeah it’s September and I haven’t been around since mid-July. Whatev.  We’re finishin’ a house here.

Greg’s 30th birthday went by August 17th, my 32nd birthday is Friday, we have guests coming this weekend-Greg’s parents and youngest brother. We’re looking forward to a visit and doing something other than working on the house (although there will be some of that).

First, the afters….

Entertainment rec room

Bedroom #1

Bedroom #2 (storage for now)

We are 97% finished with the basement. Drywall, mudding, sanding, more mudding, etc.etc.etc..  I painted every day for 3 weeks then we had to level the floor and ta-da it all came together.  It was A LOT of work.  We had 4 days for Labor Day weekend (last weekend) and put in about 700 sq ft of vinyl plank flooring (some of you might have seen it on Instagram). I want to sit down for about a week and not move. Things are really rolling though, so it’s only going to get worse. Things have been non-stop goooooo since the last post (even more than normal).  Here’s the link for the basement bathroom renovation post since I included its after photo even though we finished it in December.

Now for the befores….

This is now the entertainment rec room.  We opened it up in place of a third bedroom (for a total of 5).

Bedroom #2 before

Bedroom #1 before

Our agent came through over a month ago and told us a few things to do to help buyers qualify with certain loans…which meant lucky us got to scrape the chipping paint from the exterior of the house and garage and paint a few exterior doors that had chips. He’s going to come in to do a second comparison and we’re going to finalize the listing price.


We’ve been talking with an agent and lender in Washington for a few months now. Let’s just say a lot of numbers and scenarios have been played out. S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D. There is a story behind that making this transition from Minnesota seller to Washington buyer even more difficult. Go figure. We thought there were problems when we bought this place. I can’t bring myself to talk about it today. Just know it seems much better and we have a good team helping us now.

Greg and I came across 3 antique dressers in town for $50 a few weeks ago. They are sooo cool and were called “firewood” by the owner’s son…so challenges, or as we call it, business as usual.

By the way, the house is mostly finished. And until I typed that it didn’t dawn on me and now I’m having a moment. (A very long pause on my side.) It will be listed in the next week or two. (Another long pause.)  I’m going to need more moments to myself with this emotion. Talk to you again when things are less hectic.

3 Years Old

The Wits turned 3 years old today!

It’s hard to believe that this whole thing started 3 years ago in a rental garage after finding a few old dressers on craigslist to update.

I knew just what I wanted for them.  We set out to do the repairs and finished them without electricity or running water in that workspace.  Some people in the apartment complex stopped by to see what we were up to because they noticed two crazies working on something in their garage every evening and weekend.

The first dressers made their way to New York with a couple who told us that we are really going to be something in this field one day.  That message was a constant to us and very encouraging each time.

From there, we did a lot of customer jobs, delivered things out of state and shipped a few pieces on etsy to various persons around the U.S.

We wanted more space to live and work, to stop renting and also craved a big project.  In December of 2011 we moved into this house and never looked back.  After reaching one goal, we’d move on to the next and never stopped setting more goals.  We expanded our family to include two pups who don’t even blink when we start to make noise.

Our dream was to move to the Pacific Northwest.  The opportunity came up a little over a year ago with Greg’s job and we jumped on it.  We set out to overhaul almost every room in the place before moving.

The house is nearly finished today and I can’t wait to get back to refurbishing furniture regularly once we get to Seattle.   Greg and I love designing/improving furniture and homes so much that we believe it is our calling and intend to continue doing both.

3 little years.  I wonder where we’ll be in 3 more.

Featured on House*Tweaking!

I don’t say OMG very often but this has been an amazing OMG week with two features on some awesome, inspiring sites.  Today’s spotlight is over at House*Tweaking where Dana interviewed me about our Ikea kitchen reno.  It was an honor to be chosen by her since she is one of my absolute favorite bloggers.  Take a look!


Befores and Afters: Renovations of Each Room (with Sources and Totals)

I thought I’d show you around our place.  Well, some of the photos are from some time ago, but not much has changed.  The rooms have a new shade of paint, new doors, new trim, and new lighting.  Both bathrooms, the kitchen, outside and basement were/are a bigger task than just that, but also include all of those new fixings as well.

We’re now working on the 3 rooms and a few closets in the basement for the final lap of this race.  Having very little to put towards it has made some of the decisions for us.  We’re going to lay the groundwork, but much like the landscape, the next owners will have to put some work into it.

Throughout these 2 1/2 years we’ve lived in often ridiculous circumstances with a lot of adjusting and “making do.”  We’ve learned to just roll with it over our 10+ years together, so it wasn’t too far of a stretch for us.  Keep in mind I bring you these shots while we’re only a few months away from listing this southern Minnesota house and (hopefully soon after) finally moving to Seattle.  We have a hodpodge of belongings and are preparing for house guests.  Annie’s parents and sis are coming to help out and see the place snazzed up.  Things are a bit awkward and un-staged.

It dawned on me that I haven’t really shown the multitude of updates and renovations we’ve done to the place in one post and our page dedicated to the topic has not been updated in some time (working on it).  I wanted to make this one photo-centric so here are the befores and afters.

Living room before

Excuse the blur

After in Sherwin Williams Passive gray and Benjamin Moore Decorator’s white on the trim

I said it was a hodgepodge of belongings…

New Pottery Barn rods and French gray curtains in the living room


There’s always a dog toy in the photos around here

After with solid doors from a builder’s outlet store (8 for about $300) and front door free on craigslist (with a little work done to it) 

Or a dog

Hutch before (between the living and dining room)

After with help from family, heavy duty hinge and all 

Now secret attic entrance/bookcase 

Dining room before

After with solid hardwood maple flooring (rugs covering that beauty)

Work in progress

Door blind and pendant light from, table/chairs/bench from craigslist, rug from Ikea, kilim rug from ebay and table light from Target clearance

Hallway before

After (most inside of closets painted in Benjamin Moore paper white paint which is between light gray and white)

Master bedroom before

After in Benjamin Moore gray owl

Set up for guests (yes, that is a new-to-us bed and dresser from craigslist)-blinds from Lowes-comforter from Target clearance years ago

Schlage satin nickel doorknobs in andover and addison with contemporary nickel pulls on the closet

Second bedroom before

After in Benjamin Moore Chelsea gray

Before trim and the door was painted

Our lighting picks

This is one hard room to capture with our queen bed in it for the time being-notice no closet (put that space in the bathroom)

Main bathroom before

After with matte subway tile, hexagon marble floor tile, paint is Benjamin Moore gray wisp, and the sources are here (picked these lights instead) 

We opened the door from 24″ to 30″

DIY refinished tub

Added a closet for a stackable washer/dryer and storage-shelves from Target-basket from HomeGoods-Turkish towels from here-rug from Restoration Hardware (my sis made the artwork)

This bathroom finished for about $1600 

Basement bathroom before

After with glossy white subway tile, mosaic floor tile from Lowes, shower rod from here - Benjamin Moore gray owl (again but looks a different shade in this room)

Sources here (rug from West Elm and basket from HomeGoods)

Ikea mirror-Target towels-sink and faucet from Wayfair

Shower system from Amazon-shower caddy from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Basement bathroom was finished for about $1500

Kitchen before

After with original plans and project like these, this, this, this, this and finally this 

Paint is Benjamin Moore Rockport gray (missing a few cover panels)-knobs from here and pulls here-lights from Home Depot - rug from Target clearance and temporary (dishwasher was $60 craigslist score, faucets and sink were from discount online stores like the Amazon “used like new” section)

We already had the stove and refrigerator – great range hood for $199.99 from Rakuten

Ikea kitchen with some custom details (like molding from Menards, painted using Benjamin Moore color match technology to the Ikea Adel off-white color)- no more pocket door (we opened the doorway)

Butcher block counter from builder’s outlet store and flooring is Mohawk Rockingham solid coffee maple (when we bought it it was called Rockford…yeah both the paint and flooring were called Rockford)-blinds from JCPenney.  

The kitchen was finished for about $4500 (Ikea cbinets were $2600 for our 9′ x 10′ galley kitchen)

Outside before 


DIY slat fence 

New exterior lights and mailbox from Amazon 

New breezeway patio

Stairs before

During (not finished)

Basement bedroom 1 before (working on the reveal now)

During its “studio” phase (it was this for 2 years)

Basement bedroom 3 (or 2…now it’s open and going to be an entertainment room…reveal later)

Same room

Still the same room…they are big rooms downstairs 

Potential basement bedroom 2 (or 3)

We used this as the furniture refurbishing room when we couldn’t use the garage.

Not shown or mentioned is the utility room which has had some updates, replacements (water heater and repaired water softener)

You’ll have to wait for the rest of the updates-hope to see you here then!