Ready, Set, Move In – Living & Dining Room Update
A little background on That 70s House. Like I mention in my bio, we are originally from St. Louis and moved to Colorado kind of on a whim. When we made the decision to move here I did some preliminary research on the cost of living, but until you live somewhere you don’t really know where the less desirable parts of town are. So lets just say my research was a little flawed……Anyway this meant we were a bit sticker shocked. Homes were twice as expensive here. So we rented a small town house month to month (a DEAL of a lifetime thanks to Barry for finding that on Craig’s list!) for about 8 months while we house hunted. I should probably mention that rents out here were also a lot more and a lot more than a mortgage, so buying something just made the most financial sense. So the house hunt began and it was a slow go. We didn’t really like anything we saw…….until one day! The day I found That 70s House! That 70s House was exactly that, a tri-level from the late 70s with 2700 sqft, 4 bedrooms, & 2 1/2 baths. The house needed work but I saw the potential! One of the big selling points to me on this house was the layout, which is very important to me. This house was also in the part of town we really wanted to be in, YAY!!! Except for one painful part…….it was a short sale. What is a short sale you ask? It’s when the owner of the property is facing default and they owe more on the property than what they can sell it for and can’t afford to pay the difference. Since they owe the bank more than it will sell for, this type of sale requires bank approval to “forgive” the difference. This means after we submitted our offer we had to wait, and wait, and wait……..for 45 days to be exact to find out if they excepted our offer or not. Let me just say this, I am NOT a patient person! That was the most excruciating 45 days. Okay, I am being a bit dramatic, but still, it was not fun. But we got it and that was AWESOME!
Now the fun began……When we bought That 70s House, we structured the closing so that we could have a few weeks to do some work before we moved in. And OH, did it need some work! We did get a great deal since it was a short sale, but it was a bit rough around the edges to say the least. No one had lived in it for 9 months. We had two weeks to get a lot done and since this was not our first rodeo (we had another house in STL prior to this one) we knew some things are much easier to do before you move in if you can swing it. Our initial to do list included painting the entire interior, removing the carpet from the living room and dining room and removing the dated linoleum from the kitchen and replacing all of it with hardwood, and pretty much replacing every light fixture in the house. Too much for two weeks? Nah, who needs sleep! Just kidding, sort of. We had some help. We flew my Dad out to help us paint (he lives in Chicago) and we paid to have the floors put in. We are definitely DIYers but we had limited time on this one so we brought in the pros. Did I mention we were also working at our full time jobs during those two weeks? Yep. Thank goodness my Dad is AWESOME and came to help, he even painted while we were at work! Here are the before pictures.
Can you see that avocado green and yellow 70s vinyl in the entry? What were they thinking?
Since the flooring was getting re-done in the living room, dining room, and kitchen, we had to paint those rooms first. I definitely didn’t want any paint getting on our brand new hard wood floors! I wanted something relatively neutral for the majority of it, but I also really wanted an accent wall. So I decided on these colors by Valspar.
Once the walls were all painted the flooring guys got to work. Since we were on a budget, we opted for solid unfinished #1 white oak that would be sanded and stained on site. I was over the moon for these pre-finished solid dark oak floors at Lowes, but they were about $6 a sqft before installation, which was not in the budget. And they were the skinny planks and we really wanted wider planks. So we chose the unfinished floors and mixed a custom stain that was one part red mahogany to two parts Jacobean. It was a little lighter than the dark floors I picked at the store but I also didn’t want to see EVERY speck of dust on them……which is also why we didn’t have them finished with a high gloss sheen. This it what it looked like before the floors went in.
When I came by the house after day three, this is what I saw. Wow, I have new floors! And that 70s vinyl that was in front of the door is GONE! They still needed to be stained but we were almost there.
By the end of day four, this is what the floors look like. I was so excited!
The floors were awesome! They looked so good I was afraid to walk on them! I swear, I think I tip-toed around for the first two weeks! And these are the finished spaces now!