You’ve heard about breaking the glass ceiling but what do you know about a glassdoor, barn door and sliding doors is the real question? Renovating an old house sounds like an adventure to some ears. Not mine. I like new. I don’t like old, especially in houses. Put it this way, I’d love to visit your old renovated and updated house but I prefer mine to be brand spanking new. I know, I sound like the biggest ageist alive but I promise I have good reasons. Just bear with me.
Firstly, I grew up in an over 100-year-old house. It was small, of course, they sold it as “cozy”. I never had a “shower” until I was in college because the house I grew up in had 1 bathroom (with 6 kids) and 1 claw foot tub. Sounds so quaint, right? Try 1 bathroom with 6 kids when the stomach flu hits. Not as “quaint” as it might sound.
The entire house was very sectioned off. Every room had a door. Of course, every room felt like a closet so “old houses” are not for claustrophobics, which my mom happens to be. On the plus side, there were plenty of spaces to hide and seek, especially when you were in trouble as a kid. However, you spent a lot of time with the people you loved developing your personality. My kids go to my mom’s house and are always in awe how we all lived there together and everyone survived.
Aside from everything needing to be “updated” in old houses and them being oddly laid out, chances are there are some residual remnants of the previous owners and I’m not just talking about those creepy baby portraits we found in my parents crawl space right next to a first edition copy of “The Joy of Sex”. No, that’s not creepy at all. I’m talking about the things you don’t see, like the whispers in the middle of the night with no people attached to them. Of course, apparently, that can happen in new houses too.
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Still, after buying two brand spanking new houses, in a moment of relocation desperation, we bought an “old house” with “good bones”. FTW, “good bones” is code for you’re going to spend a lot of money to get this house to look and feel the way you want it. Now, our house is not 100’s of years old. It was built in 1977.
It’s a beautiful 2-story John Hughes special in the suburbs. In a coveted neighborhood that’s lush with green rolling heels and miles of biking paths, parks, tennis courts, a clubhouse with not 1 but 3 swimming pools. On paper, it is everything we wanted. Well, mostly. I wanted new. I wanted a basement and a loft. Apparently, lofts weren’t a thing in the 70’s.
Still, desperation to relocate out of our temporary housing at our in-laws had me wearing my DIY goggles. I thought I could do all the things. Feral cats as past tenants, no problem. Complete kitchen renovation; we’ve got this. 1990’s textured walls; I can fix that. Desperate times tricks the brain into believing it can when it can’t. Well, it can because I’m a Mexican, not a Mexicant. But boy was it a lot of work.
We’ve lived in the house for almost 6 years and it’s been a labor of love (and hate on some days) but slowly but surely, it is becoming the house we always wanted. It’s amazing how knocking out a few walls and opening up the floor plan can bring an old house into the future. It’s shaping up nicely. Of course, if I ever see country blue wallpaper ever again, it will be too soon. Thank God for a mother in law who knows about all these things and doesn’t mind helping out her high maintenance daughter-in-law (apparently, they were as ready for us to be gone as we were to go).
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We’ve replaced all the flooring in the house, renovated the entire kitchen, movie room, dining room, eat-in and over the past few weeks, the Big Guy put his back into giving me a new half-bath and laundry room area. You can’t imagine what a difference removing wallpaper, adding some paint, new flooring, sink, lighting and a sliding door can make. It looks like a new house. Chip and Joanna Gaines ain’t got nothing on us. * That was a joke. They make that stuff look easy. It’s not but it is definitely worth it.
I would have never thought that a door would have any bearing on the way a room came together. When I think of doors, it’s an afterthought purely for function. I was wrong. It’s the first thing someone sees when they enter a room. The door creates the vibe, especially if it’s an amazing statement piece door.
I don’t know about you but I have been cuckoo for sliding barn doors for the past couple of years. I’ve seen them in all the new builds and in all the Interior design magazines. I was super jealous because I thought they just weren’t to be a part of my story and then, I partnered with Wayfair on a sliding door project and the heaven’s parted and angels sang and I knew these “good bones” were about to get better.
We removed the old brown, hollowed door which paired perfectly with the circa 1970’s wallpaper that led from our hallway to the laundry room and replaced it with a brand new modern frosted glass, interior barn door. It changed the whole look of the space.
I am not an interior decorator but I have been living in this old house for 6 years (and it’s still very much a work in process as you can tell from the missing baseboards) and trying really hard to get these old bones to support the facelift we’ve been giving our home. If you’re thinking of buying an old house with “good bones” and testing your DIY skills don’t be afraid. It can be amazing.
Just know that it will take some sweat equity on your part but in the end, it will totally be worth it. There is something very satisfying about building your dream house with your own two hands. Of course, there is nothing wrong with outsourcing if you need to. But don’t call me. I only remove wall texture as a labor of love, you couldn’t afford my rates.
It’s easier than ever to renovate your home with Youtube tutorials, the DIY channel and places like Wayfair to get affordable options to update your home. Now, about those creepy baby portraits and any residual energy from the previous owners, you’re all on your own.