Monthly Archives: July 2010


So, we’ve decided what rooms we need to work on (all of them). We’ve decided what we want done (popcorn removal, ceiling paint, trim paint, window paint, wall paint!!). We’ve decided who we want to do it (professionals).


This is the part where our house turned into a construction zone.

For about 7 painful evenings John and I would come home from work, quickly eat dinner and then rush over to our house from the apartment. This is what we saw. A mess!

They covered what they could.

And scraped the ceiling…

And scraped the ceiling…

And puttied the holes from scraping the ceiling…

Then they started spraying the ceiling and the trim. This, thank goodness, was the part where we stopped panicking – finally some of the demo had stopped and we were seeing some results.

It was also at this point where I had about 76 hours to pick paint colors! Fortunately I have about 8 million pictures of rooms that I like, house inspiration, etc., saved to my computer and I had a good idea what color scheme I wanted to use. John and I rushed out to Sherwin Williams, the supplier used by our pro’s, to pick up a paint deck because I was going to need all of the weekend daylight hours that I had to settle on the right color.

I’ll share pictures of the paint with you soon – but just to tease a little, here are a few of the colors we picked!

Tony Taupe

Bitter Chocolate



Stay tuned for some scary pictures of how they painted our windows and the paint colors we picked!

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Popcorn and plaid? No thank you!

You probably couldn’t tell from any of the pictures I posted at this point, but our house came with a surplus of popcorn.

No. Not the delicious buttery stuff that makes for a tasty snack.

The horrible, outdated stuff that sits on your ceiling.


Unfortunately in our price range and the type of neighborhood we were looking in – popcorn ceilings were something we couldn’t get away from. And the good news, like I mentioned in my last post, was that we had plenty of time to take care of some renovations pre move-in!

We spent a lot (a lot, a lot) of time trying to figure out how to tackle this project. It’s relatively simple to do, so technically – we could do it, but it’s time consuming and messy. And on top of that it was winter, which means shorter days, and we were both working full time. So we would have been trying this our first time, in a two story house, at night…

We decided that sounded like a bad idea.

We thought about waiting a while to remove the popcorn. But ultimately decided the time to get rid of the popcorn was before we moved in (so that every thing we own didn’t get covered in ceiling grime/dust) and that the people who remove the popcorn should be professionals.

So we started researching what it would take to have someone remove the popcorn ceilings for us. Once we started talking about this we also decided that maybe we should do something about the wallpaper in the house. After trying several methods to remove the wallpaper (which we now know was professionally installed) we decided maybe we would add that to our list of things to ‘let a professional handle.’

We brought in two guys to quote the job, which was now whole house popcorn ceiling removal, whole house painting and wallpaper fixing, and settled on our guy.

Goodbye exotic tiger themed bathroom...

Goodbye strangely colored and textured laundry area...

Goodbye (kind of adorable) orange and gold striped upstairs hallway bathroom...

Goodbye not so bad, but not so good, striped master bathroom...

GOODBYE plaid eating area...

And again, goodbye popcorn ceilings...

Stay tuned for details on our house-turned-construction-zone!

Are there any projects you completed before you moved into your place (house, condo, apartment…home)? Were there any you wish you had done before moving?

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After we closed on the house we still had several months left on our lease at the apartment which gave us plenty of time to figure out if there were any big projects we wanted to complete on the house before we moved in….the kind of projects that would have been a big hassle to complete once we were living in the house.

You may have noticed in my previous post that there were some really beautiful ‘built-ins’ in the family room – photo below for your viewing pleasure. By really beautiful I mean not beautiful at all. And by ‘built-ins’ I mean…pseudo built-ins.

John and I agreed that if we wanted to do some of our other projects (more on those soon), and wanted to do them correctly, we needed to take out these built ins! John owned a construction business in Chicago for two years, so he was very comfortable with this project – and, in general, he just loves demo work! So – out went the built-ins!

Behind the built-ins we found even brighter yellow paint, stained molding and brown shag carpet! We had quite a few laughs imagining what the room looked like in its previous life… Especially after we realized that under the brown molding was teal paint!!! Teal molding! Yikes!

Here is the family room after we cleaned up the demo mess. We will eventually be carpeting this space, so the fact that the (faux) wood floors don’t extend to where the built-ins were isn’t really an issue – although I will say, as I sit here staring at the ugly spots on the floor, that it would be nice to have that done already! And this is why one of the things on our to do list today is carpet shopping!

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House Tour!

When John and I decided it was time to buy a house we weren’t really sure what we wanted. Closet space, counter space, garage, decent sized yard with a few established trees (none of that “every house looks the same, right next to each other in a field” type of stuff). Like lots of first time home buyers we had lots of things we wanted!

We also had our differences in where we wanted to buy. I wanted to be closer to the city and John wanted to be a bit further out…

So, after tons of online looking we decided it was time to find a real-estate agent and get pre-approved.

After looking at lots of houses (maybe 20) with our oh-so-patient real-estate agent we went back to see a house we had already looked at – one that John really liked and, while I had my concerns, I thought was good enough to look at again. When we went and saw the house a second time I felt that my concerns about the house were really valid and I knew that I did not want to put in an offer (much to John’s dismay.)

As we were making our way back towards the front door our real estate agent had an ‘ah-ha’ moment and told us about a house that was for sale that was just across the street. We figured it was out of our price range, because 1) we hadn’t already looked at it and 2) we hadn’t seen it online when browsing in the area – but she assured us that this was not the case.

We went across the street to a very cute colonial. As we walked through the inside we were impressed and I think we both even said “this could work!” After going outside and walking around the outside of the house we were sold.¬† While it wasn’t the most up to date house, and certainly needed some work, it had good bones to work with and pretty much everything we were looking for as far as size.

(Actually, before we were sold, we went back across the street to the house we had just been at and then came back across the street to the colonial).

Anyway, after all of the back and forth we decided to put in an offer on the house. We went back and forth with the sellers twice, maybe, before settling on a price and voila – the house was ours!

Here are pictures of it in all its previous ownership glory  Рcourtesy of the internet listing.

So cute!

Formal dining area

Formal dining area - again.

Formal living area

Eating area near the kitchen

Kitchen, sort of - with a view of the PLAID eating area

(this is not a website picture - but I just wanted to show the plaid in all its glory)

Family room

Screened in patio

Half bathroom on the main level

(what this picture of the half bath doesn’t show is the AWESOME lion/tiger/wildlife wallpaper border that is near the ceiling… Oh yeah.)

Upstairs hallway bathroom

Guest bedroom #1

Master bathroom

Master bedroom

Not pictured are Guest bedrooms #2 and #3 as well as a few other places, but you’ll see pictures of them eventually!

So anyway, this is our first house as it was when we looked at it and decided to buy it! I want to know – what things did you have on your ‘first home wish list’ and what things did you have to compromise on?

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“I can write a blog. I have thoughts.”

Thoughts and a serious case of writers block!

I’ve been wanting to start “A life more southern” for quite some time now, but I’ve been intimidated because I felt like I had nothing to say. Tonight I’ve decided to just sit down and start, so please forgive me if I ramble!

Back in September 2009 I got married, changed jobs and moved to Charlotte. My husband and I, after searching and searching, bought our first home. It’s by no means a new home – built in ’74 in a well established neighborhood and definitely in need of some updating!

I’ll be writing about lots of topics. Attempts at updating and upgrading our house, DIY, food and recipes, some decor inspiration, fun finds and, more than likely, lots of other tidbits of information and inspiration that I’m currently obsessing with.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy!

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