The Connecticut Colonial – Reno Story UPDATES

So much has happened! But still so much to do!

It’s been 8 days since we closed on our beautiful colonial in Connecticut and things have been quite hectic! In the last 8 days we have:

  • Removed all the carpet from the upstairs and the family room
  • Pulled up the engineered hardwood in the sun-room
  • Removed wallpaper from every nook and cranny of the dining room
  • Pulled down the wallpaper border in the office
  • Had hardwoods installed in all the areas we pulled up flooring
  • Had the existing hardwoods refinished to match all new hardwoods
  • Painted all 4 bedrooms upstairs
  • Painted the formal living room & the formal dining room!

Sheesh. I’m tired just THINKING about all the work that we’ve done to the house.  But we’re not even close to being finished!

What we hope to accomplish this week:

  • Paint the office & hallway downstairs
  • Paint the upstairs hallway
  • Paint the foyer, kitchen, and breakfast area
  • Take down the backsplash in the kitchen
  • Prep the kitchen cabinets for paint (sand and de-greaser)
  • Prep the office built ins for paint
  • Tape down plastic on the floors and walls to prepare for the paint sprayer in kitchen and office

And the moving company is coming on WEDNESDAY!! Yikes. Trying not to stress… I know it will get finished. Just hoping it’s done on MY schedule. HAHA!

Here are some pictures of the progress so far:

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And I know you REALLY want to see my design picks!

Tile & Countertop from Floor & Decor, Paint samples are Behr from Home Depot

My favorite part of every project is choosing the new finishes! It’s when I get to truly envision what I want the space to look like. It takes a lot of thought (and shopping) and browsing sites like Pinterest and Houzz before I decide on what I want to implement. One of my favorite stores to shop at is Floor & Decor, they have an amazing selection of tile, marble, granite, hardwood, and countertops! If they have a store near you, I totally recommend checking them out, their prices can’t be beat! (Seriously… and they aren’t paying me to say that!)

I have also found it’s cheapest to buy many home improvement supplies online. For example, I buy all of our lighting through stores like Amazon and Houzz. I also purchased all the new hardware for the cabinets and door handles online. The bottom line is… shop around, find the best price before you fall in love with a design choice!

Here are some of my lighting choices:

Foyer Light:

I bought this gorgeous semi-flush mount light for the entry foyer because the ceilings aren’t vaulted, they are just standard 8 foot ceilings, and I knew that I couldn’t go with something with a chain that hung too low. My brothers are all over 6 feet tall and I didn’t want people hitting their heads! BUT, at the same time I wanted to bring some elegance into the entryway, it’s the first room you see when you walk into the house and I want it to make a statement! I found this great light over on Amazon.

Kitchen Island:

I also picked these beautiful (and economical) pendant lights for over the kitchen island over on Amazon! They are 2 for $60!! Pretty excited to see how they look when they get hung up! Honestly, I was between these and some pendant lights with chrome shades…. but those were more of a farmhouse look. I like to blend styles, but using too much of one style can make your house style feel completely different than what you were going for, and I’m not going for farmhouse, I’m shooting for transitional, so those we’re out.

Office Light:Crystal Chandelier, White

For the office, I knew I wanted something romantic that would evoke a relaxing feeling and pair well with the transitional vibe I’m going for. I will have sheer curtains and a lovely built in window bench in that room, so I thought going with a little crystal couldn’t hurt. Haha!

Dining Light:Effimero 5-Light Chandelier, Brushed Nickel

Originally, I was looking for a linear light that would hang symmetrically with the dining table. I knew I wanted a modern look to balance the traditional light I’m doing in the breakfast area, but I couldn’t find a linear light that wasn’t $700 or $800. So I opted for this beauty and only paid $190 for it over on Houzz!! I can’t believe I got such a steal! I can’t wait to see it up in the dining room!

Round Contemporary 12-Light LED Chrome Finish Clear Crystal ChandelierMaster Bedroom Light:

I may have cheated a little bit on this one… this is the same master bed light I put in the Plano house. But, I loved it so much I had to buy it again! And luckily, this time it was on sale!! YAY! So I actually saved $150 over what I paid last year.


Breakfast Room Light:Safavieh Sharon 5 Light Chrome 21-Inch Dia Adjustable Chandelier
The light I’m putting in the breakfast room is evocative of the traditional style of the house, with a modern twist (the chrome color). Also, super affordable, I found it for $100 on Houzz.

Hallway Lights:Savoy House Penrose 3-Light Semi-Flush Mount, Polished Nickel

In the hallway upstairs I am again going with a light I loved from the Plano house. (Why fix something that’s not broken, right?) I think what I love the most about this light is the glass surrounding the bulbs, and that it’s a flushmount. It is SO hard to find a pretty flush mount light! They all look like they belong in my grandparent’s house.

Garrett 4 Light Flush Mount, Polished NickelIn the hallway downstairs, I wanted to do something a little different, but still tie into the open glass and bulbs of the upstairs light. So I found a similar light that was square! I’m not sure which one I love more!! AHH!

Looking Ahead!

Looking at all of our lighting selections in one place has me really excited to get this renovation finished! I was looking at the calendar today and we have about 2 more weeks of solid work left before this house starts feeling like a home again! We have family coming in about 2 weeks so it’s really crunch time! HAHA.

I’m definitely looking forward to being in a house that we intend to stay in for a while. I was talking to Brandon about this the other night, but we have moved 3 times in the last 4 1/2 years. And that is WAY too many moves. Ready to focus on staying in one place, and just buying rental properties when we need another project!

I hope this post gives you some great ideas on where to shop for great prices! Let me know your thoughts on how you think the reno is coming along!!

~Happy Renovating~




Making a 90’s Colonial New Again!

Out With The 90’s, In With The New!

So we have officially closed on our new home in Newtown, CT! I am SO excited to get started on the reno of this beautiful property. It’s a Colonial style home in Connecticut. There are so any things that I love about this house…. but I’m sure you’re just here to read about how we’re changing it! So without further ado…

Change #1 – Kitchen 

What’s great about this house, is that ALL of the bathrooms are updated! BUT… The kitchen feels outdated to me. It doesn’t match the bathrooms, and being the heart of the home it needs some TLC. This is what we’re doing to the kitchen:

  • Refinishing wood floors (medium walnut)
  • Painting Kitchen cabinets (white)
  • New Quartz Counters
  • New Backsplash (marble)
  • Adding Crown Moulding to the Cabinets (see that chair rail on the top of the cabinets on the right? Blah.
  • Lighting
  • Paint

Change #2 – Family Room 

The family room has great vaulted ceilings and natural light. I love the space, but to make it feel more connected to the rest of the home we are:

  • Replacing the carpet with hardwoods (carrying them through from the kitchen/breakfast area)
  • Taking down the old mantle and putting shiplap up the fireplace wall (Just adding a fun “farmhouse” touch)
  • Lime wash the brick fireplace
  • Paint
  • Light fixture

Change #3 – Dining Room

This dining room is straight out of the 90’s – wallpaper and all. This room will be the most work for us (because we will do it most of it ourselves):

  • Remove wall paper (They even have it inside the trim of the wainscoting)
  • Refinish hardwood floors
  • New lighting
  • Paint
  • Window treatments

Change #4 – Master Bedroom

This room doesn’t have much to do, but I couldn’t leave it untouched:

  • New paint
  • Replacing the carpet with hardwoods
  • Lighting
  • New Barn Door over the bath entrance (more farmhouse feel)


I can’t wait to get started… and more importantly to get finished! With fall and winter quickly approaching, we’re hoping the reno doesn’t take longer than 3 to 4 weeks. For us this seems like a minor renovation (after going through a total re-do on the Plano house.) But it will still be stressful keeping it on budget and getting done in time. Reno is never easy, but it is SOOO worth it in the end! I can’t wait to show off the “After” pictures in a few months.

~Happy Renovating~




Landscaping to Sell – How to Maximize Curb Appeal

Maximizing Curb Appeal

If you are contemplating putting your home on the market, one of the MOST important things you can do is to update your curb appeal! The outside of your home is the first thing that potential buyers see. It sets the stage for the inside of your home. If your bushes and and flower beds look shabby, and you have peeling paint buyers are going to be turned off right when they pull up. But putting a small amount to effort into the front of your home can reap major returns and increase your equity.

So, how should you approach a big job? – Well if you have the cash, hire a professional to come in and manicure your lawn and garden. But if you are low on cash, or just don’t like the idea of hiring someone to do something you could do yourself – keep reading.

Here are some tips to up your curb appeal:

  • Walk your property through the eyes of a buyer (Is there siding that needs repaired? Do you have peeling paint? Maybe the paint is faded? Does your home look bland? What was the first thing you noticed about your home when YOU purchased it? – Highlight that.)
  • Add pops of color – Inexpensive plants and flowers can add some much needed color to the front of your home. (You can also add color through paint, maybe on the shutters or door)
  • Make sure bushes and trees are trimmed, and the grass is cut neatly (buyers don’t want to have to think about all the work it will require to make the front of the house pretty)
  • Cut down or cut back trees that are too close to the house (these are things that will be flagged during the inspection).
  • Water your grass! (Green grass is so pretty!)

Here’s what we did to our house in Plano to get it sold FAST!

~Happy Renovating~