The dining room

Ok, let’s keep the embarrassment, erm, motivation going.

The dining room has changed dramatically in the past couple of months as a result from the work done to the kitchen.

Where we started:

Dining room looking into the living room
Dining room looking into the living room


Looking into the dining room from the loving room
Looking into the dining room from the living room

After moving in:001

I quite like the pink! And I’m so thankful for a husband who is cool with a pink dining room. And I’ll miss it, but, it’s time for a change in here.

You can see that the kitchen and the dining room were separated by a full wall, with only a standard door opening.

One day, I decided to take a day off of work and demo’ed most of the wall. Just to see if I liked it more open. I knew the wall was load bearing, so I knew that the studs would remain in place. We lived with the wall like this for months:

Industrial chic, no?
Industrial chic, no?

Also, ain’t no dust party, like a plaster dust party, ’cause the dust party don’t stopppppp.

No. For realz.  That stuff GETS EVERYWHERE. I’m pretty sure that our house hasn’t actually been clean in almost a year.

When we were getting our bid for our cabinet installation, our contractor threw in an estimate to remove the studs and put in the posts and beam. It was too good of a price to pass up, although we were not expecting to do it at the moment.

It has made a HUGE difference. But has also bumped the dining room up on the to do list, since part of the drywall was removed and random plaster chunks are falling from the ceiling.

To do list:

  • Drywall new framed wall
  • Remove drywall from other walls/ceiling
  • Patch hundreds of screw holes
  • Crown molding
  • Chair rail
  • Silicone/patch nail holes in trim
  • Prime walls/trim
  • Paint everything


  • Millwork frame for new wall opening to match other doorways in house
  • Replace broken baseboards on new wall (hopefully that’s sooner, rather than later) – our contractor demolished them, despite my efforts to carefully salvage them
  • Switch this radiator with the one in the entry (I think this one is too large for the room)

It’s almost as glamorous as a dinner party.


The Entry

I have a problem.

You know how sometimes when people drink, they make bad decisions? Maybe they angrily text their ex, maybe they cut their own bangs… well, I demo. I get so curious! What’s behind there? Then before I know it, I am peeling the drywall off in huge sheets. To expose:entrybefore2entrybefore (excuse the iphone pictures)

Maaaaaaaaan. You guys. Someone did this house so wrong. 4 different shades of green/aqua (Including on the ceiling) AND 3 different kinds of wall paper. And badly patched holes from blown in insulation.

Maybe I should back up some. You see, that’s how the house looked like BEFORE the house flippers covered all the walls and ceilings with drywall – to look like this:

From the house listing - looks nice, huh?
From the house listing – looks nice, huh?

So, why would I remove the drywall when it looks so nice? I’m not sure, how much time is there for me to explain the crazy that is me? The drywall was 1/2 inch, and it went OVER the baseboard. This insignificant detail drove me irrationally mad.

I started to work on the walls. We unscrewed the hundreds of screws in the walls, removed the wallpaper (distilled vinegar/hot water in a spray bottle and putty knife), cleaned the walls with TSP, and started to skim coat with Durabond 90. Then I decided that skim coating is just plain boring, and abandoned it. To peel the walls in the rest of the house. I got problems, yo.

I also started to paint the trim white. I know. I knowwwwwwwww. I’m going to burn in the inner most rings of hell for painting original wood. Accept me as the sinner that I am. But, let me explain. All the wood trim has been painted with this hideous opaque stain/varnish that was atrocious. It was essentially brown paint. Hideous.

Here is a few current pictures of the room (the mess! le sigh. Such is the life of a house in remodel): As of 8/2/148/2/14

Finally! THE TO DO LIST! I love lists:

  • clean walls again (demo dust from the kitchen is everywhere)
  • finish 1st skim coat on remaining wall (patch large hole with drywall)
  • 2 more skim coats on all walls
  • sand
  • prime walls
  • paint walls
  • silicone/patch holes in remaining trim
  • prime remaining trim
  • several coats of paint
  • strip/stain wood columns and doors

That’s hardly anything. Right?



Where to start, really

I guess I should start with my motivations for creating a blog. Although, I think of it more as a diary.

The thing is, I am an obsesser. An agonizer. A waffler. A wallower.

And my family

When you’re in the midst of never ending tiny projects that drag on and never seem to end, it lacks excitement. You lose a sense of any visual progress. My hope is that if I keep track of all those tiny little projects, I will be able to look back and see my very own amazing before/after.

Maybe, if I post the terrible state of my home on the interwebs, it will shame me into GETTING things finished.

Here’s hoping.


My name is Madeline. In November 2012, my now husband and I purchased a modest 106 year old home in Minneapolis MN. It was flipped by the previous owners and “move in ready”. We moved in with our then 2 year old daughter.

We painted, we decorated, we furnished.

Then, I broke it.

Now, I have to fix it.

This was our house on the listing
This was our house on the listing