Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


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Awash in Color

If you’ve been keeping up and read my last post you know that we bought all new paint colors for the house. While picking out the colors and bringing them home hand me jumping up and down like an excited school girl ready to jump right in and start painting – my more practical counterpart ensured we did the proper prep.

We collected all of the painting supplies we had leftover from when we painted the condo (see here, here, and here) and laid them out on the dining room table to see what we had and what we needed.  Then Ken went around the room with a flash flight (the lighting in there is currently a single bulb in the center of the room – thus very very bad) to find any imperfections (paint drips, globs, popped nails) in the wall so that we could mark them to be sanded down.

Inspector at work

Inspector at work

Then we covered the dining room table in a tarp which I think made it look like a Dexter Kill Room

paint prep dining room 1

paint prep dining room 2

Perhaps it is.. Afterall this is the Room the Builder Grade White Paint Came to Die dun dun dun… Thanks to the Master Hide (seriously that is the name of it) paint the builder used there were actually quite a lot of imperfections; some we had noticed previously, some we had not. They were all sanded down and the ones that needed it were compounded then sanded down again.

Thankfully the builder was nice enough too lazy to move the paint out and we used it to go over the sanded spots bringing it back to a nice smooth even colored surface. Had we been priming this step might have been unnecessary however we are using the builder white paint as a primer level and didn’t want any discolored spots showing through.

After the “primer” dried I worked my way around the room with a ladder cutting our chosen color (Coventry Gray by Benjamin Moore) in while Ken taped off around the doors and windows. Including this nice teeny tiny area between the window and the door. Seriously what were they thinking when they put these things so close together?

tiny space between door and window

tiny space between door and window

Not only does it complicate the painting (I had to use a tiny craft brush) but it creates a conundrum on how exactly we are going to hang a curtain rod here. We have some ideas but are definitely open to suggestions as well 🙂

Once the taping was done and I was about 3/4 through the room with the cutting in process Ken rolled the walls. This is a decent sized room and we really wanted to try to get it done in one coat and with one gallon. (paint for an entire house is expensive) Lucky for us we had decided to go entirely with Benjamin Moore paints for our house – a brand we had never used before – and learned you definitely do get what you pay for with paint. The Benjamin Moore paint covered much thicker, didn’t come off the wall if you rolled over a still wet painted area and had a much more even coating we couldn’t see the roller or brush marks after the one coat which is something that always bothered us with the “bargain paint” when painting the condo.

We made it by the skin of our teeth, there was merely a drop left in the bucket once the first coat was done. I wasn’t able to get very good pictures due to the crappy lighting single bulb and the fact that the kill room will be set up until all the rooms are complete; but you can get the general idea for now.

dining room

dining room

that pesky spot

that pesky spot (still wet thats why the shiny spot)

So there we go, 1 room down 9 more and the hallways to go!

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Condo Before and After Shots

Since the condo is officially on the rental market and after all the talk the last few weeks of all the work that we’ve been doing to the condo I thought it was about time to show you some before and afters.  Since I’m new to this blog thing and didn’t get before shots (in my defense most of the work started pre-blog) I tracked down the original MLS photos from when Ken bought the condo back in late 2009.

Some rooms are more drastically changed than others, personally I think it looks much more updated in person than the pictures convey… but maybe I’m biased.

I actually like the original exterior shot better...

I actually like the original exterior shot better…

So maybe not the best photo to start with since the previous agent took a better exterior shot… but it’s a condo there is only so much we can do to the outside… Moving the agents car before taking the photo so it’s not in the lower corner should have been one of the things done.

I'm not sure you can tell in this picture but there used to be nasty wallpaper

I’m not sure you can tell in this picture but there used to be nasty wallpaper

In addition to removing the wallpaper and painting the walls, the weird wood window valance was also removed (Ken literally just grabbed on and pulled it off), as was that old corner TV. We stopped short of de-almondizing the kitchen.  We completely realize this badly needs to be done.  But we’re renting and that’s a huge expense… so almond EVERYTHING is.

Another room from the kitchen facing the living room

Another room from the kitchen facing the living room

It’s easier to see the nasty 80’s fabulous wallpaper that used to be in there from this angle.  Also, is that a corded phone?!  We don’t even own one of those.

dining room

Right off the kitchen is the dining room which got a fresh coat of paint, more modern curtains, white trim and a brushed nickel chandelier in place of that old brass one.  (extra points if you can spot Chloe’s photo bomb)

living room

living room

This room’s biggest problem was the furniture layout, it didn’t make any sense, we also removed those wall mirrors, replaced the carpet painted the walls, and the trim (that wood piece didn’t get done before the photo shoot… the TV was too heavy)

master bedroom

In addition to saying adios to the toothpaste green color in favor of a dark cool grey, we also painted the trim white and replaced the carpeting.

second bedroom

second bedroom

One of the bigger projects, in addition to patching all the walls (we mainly used this as a gym and some weights may have collided with the wall), painting the walls a more neutral color, and painting all the trim; Ken also made this awesome built in desk in one of the two closets.

upstairs bathroom

upstairs bathroom

Another de-wallpapering project.  The previous owner LOVED their wallpaper! This room got a coat of a cool light gray, white trim new doors and just to the left of this shot used to be a brass shower sliding door.  (Eww it even had frosted glass)  That was removed in favor of a bowed out shower curtain rod and modern white, and gray curtain.  I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of the new shower but I have an old one just to give you nightmares…

AHHHHHH!!!!

AHHHHHH!!!!

Here’s some bonus photos I don’t have before’s of:

upstairs hall.  Hello pretty white trim!

upstairs hall. Hello pretty white trim!

downstairs hall, the white trim and new doors look fabulous if you ask me

downstairs hall, the white trim and new doors look fabulous if you ask me

another de-wallpapering project

another de-wallpapering project

I have mixed feelings about the half bath. Granted this is a terrible photo.  We picked this paint color out two years ago and just got around to putting it up.  Now neither of us like it… it may be safe to say we hate it (which is odd because as you know orange is my favorite color).  I’m pretty sure if it went up when we first bought it I may have liked it.  Hopefully whoever rents it likes it better than we do.

So what do you think?  Two months of hard work, better before or after?


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The Blog-spiration

I know some of you have looked through my “dream home” pin and are hoping to see a lot of those ideas incorporated into this house as we get going with making it our own.  Unfortunately, this is the real world and we do not come from infinite amounts of money… I keep waiting to look in my bank account some day and see a huge amount of cash I just forgot about, but so far that hasn’t happened.

What you hopefully will see is a lot of rooms inspired by this blog House of Hepworths

I’m completely obsessed with this blog, I feel like she’s my design soul sister, we even share the same favorite color ORANGE.  Although I am completely in love with the color for pretty much everything I can find it in (I’ve been carrying an orange purse for the last few months and Ken had to talk me out of buying an orange skillet pan I had to have from Big Lots) I do not want my house overwhelmed with the color.  

Imagine my glee when I saw what Allison from House of Hepworths did to her living room:

shim_mirror_hoh_12

I’m completely and utterly in love with everything about this room.  From the wood shim mirror, the chandelier, and most important of all… the orange curtains.  In my future attempt to re-create this room there will be several references to House of Hepworths because she’s the bomb.

really don’t think I could get Ken on board with bird fabric though as awesome as it is.  He thinks my pattern obsession is crazy.  Maybe one of these prints will be toned down enough to sway him:

a cool Morocan theme

a cool Morocan theme
awesome damask
awesome damask

What do you think?  I think it would help blend in the half bath on the first floor we want to pant a burnt orange color (mostly because we bought a whole gallon for the half bath at the condo and don’t want to waste it).  This way the bathroom will be less of a OMG when you open the door because its not the first time you’ve seen the color… or I’m just crazy and trying to rationalize adding orange to my house.

Either way it’s going to be a hard sell, the beautiful orange curtains I already owned and wanted to hang in the condo living room were unceremoniously vetoed 3 years ago 😦

Fingers crossed!