Looking back at some of my choices now- I do cringe a little- it is a bit to bright, has a bit too many patterns and a bit too many colours- but it was a fun place. Most of my choices were purely because I had to work around items that we already had and couldn't easily change out without 'sea-lifting' new stuff. A lot of it was hand me downs and second hand furniture left over from our student days. It was fun to work within those constraints though- repainting and repurposing.
The first thing we did when we moved in was put up wallpaper in the living room. I tend to use the word 'we' liberally around here. When what I really mean is "it was my idea and I made Chad do it while I pretended to assist while mostly just getting in the way and asking when it would be done". So thanks Chad. Turns out he is actually handy and all those years of helping his Dad build weird machines like some pneumatic wood chopping thing was helpful.
The wallpaper was from Walmart, found after many hours of scouring the internet for the infamous Cole & Sons Woods paper that costs a fortune. In the end while not really an exact match (haha!) it was seriously a fraction of the cost.
The couches were old Ikea ones we'd had forever with newer Bemz covers on them. I chose them mainly for their ability to hide cat hair (and they did a fabulous job at that). The table was something Chad's parents found at a garage sale which I painted over to cover up all the stains, scratches and gouges. The chairs were Goodwill finds we'd also had forever. The two red chairs I salvaged from my old office, left behind after a previous accounting office moved out. The coffee table was also Chad's old Ikea one. The flokati rug I purchased online and while I loved the look of it- it's ability to hide all matter of dirt and pet hair was both good and bad. I also had a heart attack anytime anyone ate or drank near it, so I don't know if I would ever get another one. The arc lamp was given to us when Chad's cousin left town. Most people called it the interrogation lamp as it broke during the move and always hung dangerously low in the middle of the room.
We also changed out every single one of the light fixtures- starting with the kitchen's fluorescent lighting. The kitchen pass-through was also ridiculous but it we found out it would have required moving plumbing to open it up so it had to stay.
Another one of my favourite things was the blown up pictures in Ikea frames I made. I used old family photos and sent them to be printed in large sizes- it was a cheap and easy way to make large artwork.
After Chad's near perfect execution of the wallpaper we moved onto redoing the floors. Well, I think we tiled the backsplash in the kitchen first but let's talk about the floors. It was laminate flooring and while it looked good from a distance it really did show every speak of dirt. I would probably go with a lighter colour flooring and would pay more to get real wood. It was definitely one of the biggest improvements going from the 'vomit camo' to fake wood.
Here was the kitchen in it's intermediate stage. I thought there was no way to redo the countertops. I went to the hardware store only to find out they sold a few colours of laminate countertops- green, puke and pink puke. Sending a solid surface stone countertop up on the yearly sealift ship would not only be expensive but also likely to break. So I embraced the green and went with a green backsplash and green walls. (We also changed out the faucet and installed a dishwasher).
|Just a reminder about how beautiful the floor use to be|
With the green already going on in the kitchen I decided to paint the hall and use up the leftover wallpaper in the entryway.
So that's it for the lower level. I got tired pretty fast of the green and Chad also decided that he had found a way to solve the countertop problem. We also love a good project so it wasn't long before I was painting upstairs.
A few things I'm reminded of as I look these pictures over. I now need a break from red and lime green. I still love a good black & white pattern. Gray is still my go to colour. You'll see how I went from this intermediate let's call it my 'lime green stage' to my 'gray stage' later.