Matt and Bobbie's House

What an adventure the last 3 months have been. We now inhabit our very own home! It's an amazing feeling and I can't believe everything we've done to get to this point... The house hunt began early this spring and after looking at numerous foreclosures with crumbling foundations in questionable neighborhoods, we found our gem. She met every point on our wishlist: 3 bedrooms, charm & character, small yard, basement & garage, hardwood floors with lots of windows in a great area of town. We quickly put an offer in and soon after it was accepted. Then the hard part came. We spent weeks and weeks dealing with our lender getting through the rigmarole and red tape of a renovation loan on top of a first-time home buyer's mortgage. So, after pushing the closing date back about 3 times (and having the seller threaten to pull out of the deal), we finally got the keys. 

The house has great solid bones, but needed a lot of updating and TLC. Let's start with the kitchen, shall we? 

BEFORE: Lots and lots of very badly applied yellow paint. 

 The cabinets are Harrison metal cabinets, most likely original to the house c. 1950. What ever will I do with these....? Stay tuned. 

 One thing we quite liked was the faux brick back-splash behind the sink. 

 But it needed some help. 

More yellow in the dining area.The windows were also very decrepit and barely opened. Note the cute milk door which we will keep as a nod to the era the house was built. 

I originally wanted to take down all the cabinets and put up some simple open shelves. Matt talked me out of it, and so began the long arduous task of making over the lovely rusted, filthy metal cupboards and doors. 

Choosing the paint colors early on gave me the motivation to see this project through.

 Like I said, these babies were disgusting. That is indeed rust you see beneath the sink, and I was even lucky enough to find some mouse poop in one of the drawers. 

Dinner party, anyone?

 I spent hours and hours scrubbing, priming and painting the cabinets. We did take down one section to make room for the stove and fridge (not pictured) which saved me a good bit of work. 

Once clean and after a light sanding, I primed the drawers, doors and cabinets with KILZ spray primer, putting an extra coat on the super-nasty parts. I decided to paint just the very front of the drawers and doors with my funky colors of enamel matte-finish paint, to give them a more modern look. 

We love this utilitarian metal shelving (I used a lot of it in my art studio at the apartment) easily purchased at Home Depot or Target. This will serve as some extra storage & counter space and will eventually sport butcher block once we venture to Ikea. I am also looking forward to hanging open shelving above to display our coffee cup collection and other attractive kitchen kitchery. 

Wow! All that sweat and elbow grease was so worth it! The colors are so lively and cheerful, yet modern and Dwell-worthy. I still have DIY cabinet pulls to install (you can get a glimpse of them on the drawers to the right in the photo above). 
To rehab the back-splash, we simply replaced the broken and missing bricks (there was a whole box of them in the attic), painted the same white as the walls, and caulked the gaps and cracks to give it a finished look. 

The little eat-in area in the kitchen is the perfect size for our table. I like that it butts up to the window, as my plants get great morning light here. 

Still to do in the kitchen: 
* Get new counter tops (butcher block from Ikea)
* New faucet
* New flooring (possibly the new peel-n-stick tiles that can be grouted) 
* Window treatments (natural woven bamboo blinds)
* Garbage disposal 
* Hang open shelves

...And that's just the kitchen! Luckily, the rest of the house wasn't in such bad shape, so we'll cover that in the next post. That's all for now, I'm off to enjoy my house!

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