DIY Ikea Kitchen
1970s Shore Home, DIY and Decor

My DIY Ikea Kitchen 1 Year Later

It’s been a year since our “kitchenwarming” down the shore, and it’s finally starting to feel like a functional place to cook and not just a showroom. It took a while to stock it; to collect all the spices we use regularly, to amass odds and ends like cupcake liners and cutting boards. We’ve gotten used to how it functions, and started agreeing on where we keep things. I’ve had some time to think about what I’d change if I were to do it all again (I’m not).

DIY Ikea Kitchen

The custom-made cabinet doors

I didn’t like the available Ikea doors so we got custom made doors and I painted them myself. They look great, and didn’t cost much more than the Ikea doors, but it was a ton of work and honestly not worth it for a kitchen I only see on weekends and the occasional vacation week. Even with a sprayer, priming and painting the doors was a pain. I still think the custom doors are a good way to get a high end look in an otherwise budget kitchen, but I think I could have skipped it for this particular project.

The only really frustrating thing about the custom doors is that you’ve got no room to change your mind later. On our sink cabinet I had originally planned for a pull out trash drawer. Once everything was in it was very obvious that wouldn’t fit under the garbage disposal. I needed to switch from a drawer front to hinged doors, and ended up going with some that don’t quite match (and I still haven’t gotten around to painting). Granted I could have ordered more doors from the cabinetry company, but that would have taken another few weeks and I wanted to be done.

Custom doors on Ikea cabinet


The island

Our kitchen is about 10 foot square and I really didn’t think we had room for an island. I taped it out on the floor and took a while to pace around the room trying to get a feel for it. I’m really glad we put it in, the island makes it much easier for two people to work in the kitchen at once.

I think if I did it again though I’d get a freestanding island rather than a built in one. It would be nice to be able to move it out of the way for parties, and we really don’t need the massive amount of storage space it provides. Half the drawers in it are still empty.

Ikea kitchen island

The flooring

We went with luxury vinyl tile and it looks great. It’s waterproof, durable, and most people haven’t noticed it isn’t wood. To be fair, most people are also not looking because they are busy being on vacation. We’ve gotten many compliments on it. The transition molding I picked up from Lowes isn’t a perfect match, but it’s enough to make the room feel finished and put together.

Carpet to Vinyl transition

The drawers within drawers

Ikea has this feature where you can put drawers inside of doors or other drawers. We actually have this in our non-Ikea kitchen at home, and inside cabinets with doors it’s pretty great. It functions kind of like a pull out shelf for your pot lids or other doodads.

Ikea cabinets function on the idea of elements being a certain number of “units” high. Drawers can take up 1, 2, or 3 units. Our configuration has 2-high exterior drawers with a smaller 1-high drawer inside it.

Ikea drawer-within-a-drawer

It sounds great in theory but in practice the smaller drawer is practically invisible if it’s closed. We’ve started calling them the ‘secret drawers’ because guests can’t find them.

Hidden Ikea drawer

Additionally there are two small spots where the paint has worn away due to the hardware we used to mount the handles. I’m not sure if we were supposed to countersink the screw holes on the back, but we didn’t so they stick out a bit and rub against the smaller drawer.

Screws sticking out back

The lighting

For the most part I am very happy with the lighting choices we made in the kitchen, especially having the recessed lighting put in over the counter area. Having a well lit work area is essential. The only thing I don’t love is the Ikea ANSULT undercabinet lighting, which is pretty poorly made. If I were to do it again I’d get my cabinet lighting from someone else.

Overall we’re still really happy with the kitchen, and I’d use Ikea again. In fact I am using Ikea again in our rental remodel.

The glass subway tile backsplash looks amazing, but it was a huge pain to install and they were expensive. I’m not sure whether I’d do it again, I’d have to really love the project.

I still absolutely love the quartz countertops and while they were out of budget for the rental, I would use them again in a heartbeat.


Ikea lamp
1970s Shore Home, DIY and Decor

A Tour de Light at the Shore House

Shopping for fixtures in the 100 year old house I’m renovating got me thinking about the lighting we chose for the shore house. When we started working on the house I hadn’t put any thought into lighting. It was only when I had an electrician over to disconnect the old lighting that I realized we were going to want more than just a flushmount fixture in the middle of the room.

I mean, it's not the worst.

The first thing we did was put in recessed lighting. Retrofitting can lights into the ceiling makes a mess of the drywall, and if I was going to do it again I would just rip out all the drywall and put up fresh sheetrock. It would have saved both the electrician and the painter a ton of time and been cheaper in the long run.

Ikea kitchen with recessed lighting

For the island I went with simple mini pendant lights from Lowes.

Pendant lights for island

I also installed Ikea ANSULTA undercabinet lighting, which honestly I can’t recommend. We’ve have problems with the transformers humming very loudly, and every time the power goes out they get de-sync’d from the wireless power switch and I have to climb up on a ladder to re-sync them  (the transformers are in the cabinet above the microwave). It’s a pain in the ass and we’ve really just stopped using them.

Finished kitchen with lights on

In the living room we have 4 more recessed lights and this table lamp. This lamp is special because it has an LIFX wifi multicolor bulb in it. The bulb is set up to change colors when my in-laws next door press a button to let us know they’re awake.

Table lamp from Target

Moving on to the bathroom, the vanity has both recessed lights and side lights. I may have gone a little nuts on lighting in there. The side lights, Livex Lighting Aero 2 vanity lights, each take two bulbs.

Vanity Lighting

There are actually TWO OTHER light fixtures in the bathroom: a recessed light in the shower and this combination light and exhaust fan in the middle of the room. You could do surgery in this bathroom it’s so well lit.

Bathroom fan and light

The last light I have to show off is a fun Ikea lamp we got for my daughter’s room. The white thing next to it is a noise machine, which I consider an absolutely essential item in a house that sleeps up to 14 people.

Ikea lamp

There are still a bunch of flushmount fixtures I’d like to replace some day, but right now I’m sort of OD’d on looking at lights so it will have to wait. I’m having trouble finding anything I really like; the ceilings upstairs are only 7 feet high and most of the low profile flush mount fixtures are no less ugly than what we’ve got in there now.

If you come across any nice looking low-profile flush mount lights be sure to let me know!

1970s Shore Home

We has a bathroom!

At long last, the bathroom remodel is complete! Ok, it was actually done a while ago, but we’ve been too busy enjoying it to do a full writeup.


Gone is the pink tile, the awkward (and dangerous!) shower, the useless closet.


Yes, our bathroom has come a long way from the pink leaky horror show we started with. New flooring, new shower, new toilet, new vanity… pretty much the only thing that stayed the same was the towels and the window.


There is now a ton of LIGHT in the bathroom! From all angles! And the sun! It’s a downright cheery place now. And the sad awkward medicine cabinet has been replaced with a mirror (we didn’t really use it for storage anyway). The vanity has tons of storage space for any doodads left behind.


See that light? That light is a bathroom fan. Before we had no bathroom fan and friends, let me tell you, it is LIFE CHANGING. Now this room is all GO FORTH AND POOP. DO NOT BE ASHAMED, THE FAN WILL TAKE THE ODORS AWAY.

Seriously I did not understand how critically necessary bathroom fans were until we had to survive without one. It also does a great job of whisking the damp shower air out of the house, preventing mold and other nastiness.


The open shelf on the vanity makes a great place to store surplus toilet paper. And the open-ended toilet paper holder leaves NO EXCUSES for not changing out a fresh roll. It’s so easy! The trash can is right there!


What was once an awkward closet is now a cabinet and open shelves. Guests no longer have to guess which closet has the towels, they’re right out in plain sight. Along with the first aid kit.


We totally removed closet #2 in favor of a spacious walk-in shower with a seat. Perfect for hosing off the kids after a day at the beach.


The seat is opposite a detachable shower head. It’s supported by a hidden iron bracket that gives it a neat floating effect. Two niches in the shower mean no collection of random bath items on the floor.


We still need to get some artwork to go over the toilet, it’s looking a little bare. But mostly we are very excited to have a shower that does not dump water onto the room below.

Furniture and Finishes:

Vanity – Vinnova Florence 48″ vanity in grey
oilet – Kohler Cimarron Round Bowl
Shower head –  Delta In2ition 2-in-1 H2Okinetic Shower Head
Toilet paper holder – Moen Madison single post
Faucet – Kohler Kelston wide spread
Fan/Light – Broan 761
Floor tile – 3″ Hexagonal Carerra Marble
Wall sconces – Livex Aero

1970s Shore Home

Quick Bathroom Update

I snuck down to check out the bathroom progress yesterday, newborn baby and 3 year old in tow. The walls are back up, there’s a floor again, the plumbing is all roughed in, and hopefully this week they’ll start tiling.

The downstairs bedroom, which had to be cut into to access the joists, is also all buttoned up and repainted. You’d never know it was disrupted.

The landing before the bathroom, now about 8″ wider. Previously the wall was right up against the window. There’s a small scar on the floor where the wall-to-wall carpet doesn’t cover but we’ll just put some furniture over it.
Looking into the bathroom from the doorway. The shower is now where the closet used to be, and that alcove behind the shower is where a new closet is going. The bathroom will actually feel a little smaller than it did before due to the fact that the shower is an entire foot wider than it was before. Best of all, my dad can now stand in it without hitting his head. There is also a light in the shower and an exhaust vent right in front of the shower.
Another view of the shower.
1970s Shore Home

Clean Slate in the Bathroom

We’re about a week and a half into the bathroom project and demolition was, in a word, enlightening. Other words one might use include “complete horror show” and “dear god what were they thinking?” I’ll dive into the details in a second, but first let’s skip to the end and see where we’re at now:

Once upon a time there was a bathroom here

You may notice something is missing. Something like… a wall. Or maybe you’ve forgotten, in which case let me jog your memory…

Hm something is different...
Hm something is different…

So yes, we removed a wall. Actually all the walls. And the floor. The whole room was gutted down to the studs and joists, and then we removed most of those as well.

You’ll notice in the ‘before’ photo that the wall between the landing and the bathroom is about a foot thick. Why? We weren’t sure. Maybe there was ducting running through it. Maybe it was full of treasure. Or bees. So we opened it up and found…


…Basically nothing. Well, we found a lot of questionable plumbing and electrical work. And the wall was framed with 2x3s. Badly. So it’s being torn out and replaced with a wall of more reasonable construction. We’ll gain about 8″ of space on the landing, which is nice. Downside is there will be a scar where the wall-to-wall carpet doesn’t cover, but that’s what area rugs are for.

Where the shower used to be
Where the shower used to be

In a rare bit of good news it turns out the reason the shower was 8″ off the ground is that the person who installed it merely had no idea what they were doing. The new shower will have no problem being installed at floor level.

The electrical situation in the bathroom (and in fact the entire top floor) was rough. Random wires were taped together inside walls, everything was running on one giant overloaded circuit, improperly terminated junction boxes… it made me really glad we’re doing this now, and also amazed that the entire house hasn’t gone up in flames sometime in the last 30 years.

Oh yeah that looks super legit.
Oh yeah that looks super legit.

All the electrical in (and really anywhere near) the bathroom is being completely removed and redone. On the plus side we’re getting some new outlets in the rooms adjacent to the bathroom.

With the walls out of the way it was time to open up the floor and find out why it was so saggy / bouncy / otherwise shitty. It turns out the answer was very simple… giant chunks were missing from every. single. joist.

Rather than cut holes through the joists, which would have required some basic skills, the original owner just notched them to make room for the drain lines. Which was especially impresive in the case of the toilet drain (far right), which was left with barely 2″ of material. It is amazing no one ever fell through.

We also found out why the pipes were leaking (which is what started this whole process). They weren’t glued together at all. Just dry fit and then covered in silicone at some point when they started to leak. A cookie sheet was found underneath the shower drain, presumably to catch water. Because that is how you solve problems!

To fix the issues every single joist was sistered with new lumber. Unfortunately due to how the HVAC closet cuts into the room this meant having to cut into the freshly painted sheet rock in the room below. Unsurprisingly, it was super moldy and gross on the inside.


You can see the new lumber (lighter) running along next to every joist
You can see the new lumber (lighter) running along next to every joist, and an HVAC vent popping out.

Moisture damage was a huge problem everywhere. The tile for the floor and for the shower were just installed over the plywood/drywall. The rotting subfloor has now been replaced but you can see the dark stains on the exterior wall studs from 30 years of water damage.

Where the shower will go
Where the shower and new closet will go.

We made a decision to deviate from the original plan. Rather than put the shower on the outside corner next to the window we’re swapping it with the old closet. The shower will now butt up against the HVAC closet (which opens into the adjacent bedroom) and a combination cabinet / open shelving unit will be built between the shower and the exterior wall. The front of the shower will have a half-height wall to allow more light in. The main reason for doing this is to make the pipes easier to run, but it also allows us to make the shower whatever width we want without having to worry about running into the window.

Here's a super rough sketch of the new layout
Here’s a super rough sketch of the new layout

Hopefully by the end of this week we’ll have walls and floors again. Not that I’m likely to see it, at this point I’m too pregnant to stray very far from Philly. I only went down today because my husband was able to come with me and I was sort of daring the baby to come. I am only mostly disappointed it didn’t.

1970s Shore Home

Bathroom Remodel Ahoy!

Between being super pregnant and … being super pregnant… I haven’t had much time to blog what’s going on with the house. Mostly I wander around in an 8-months-pregnant zombie state due to lack of sleep. But there are things happening!

You may remember that our waste stack started leaking. Due to a number of factors, the biggest of which being that the bathroom is completely ridiculous and was done incorrectly, the only sensible solution is to strip it down to the studs/joists and remodel it completely. This is not a surprise, but it wasn’t something I was planning on doing this year. Or really any time in the near future. But not having a working bathroom upstairs blows, so we found a contractor who seems good and thinks he can have it done by the end of the calendar year (ha).

Please note the fact that the shower starts 6" off the ground.
Closet, totally fucked up shower, mirror door.

Aside from the leaking waste stack our bathroom has a number of exciting “features” including:

  • A shower pan that is 8″ off the ground
  • A closet with a non-gfci outlet
  • Another closet that is totally stupid
  • A floor that slopes towards the shower and flexes as you walk on it
  • Water damage in the closet due to the fact that the shower walls are drywall instead of cement board
  • An interior wall that is a foot thick for no apparent reason
  • No bathroom fan

This week is the demolition and investigation phase, where we hope to find answers to questions like “why is the shower not on the ground?” and “how many new joists will have to be installed if we want the floor to stop jiggling?”

This time around we’re bringing in a contractor. I’m 8 months pregnant and sick of home improvement. The contractor is doing all of this, I’m really too pregnant to even go down there much after this week (the thought of sitting in traffic on the expressway while in labor is not appealing).

Initial sketch of the new shower

The basic idea is to remove the closet to the left of the shower in order to make it a more reasonable size (the current one is less than 3′ x 3′). Our contractor convinced us that in the long run we’d be happier with a swinging door rather than a sliding one, and he’s going to build a half height wall on the left side which he’ll put a little accessory nook in.

The rest of the bathroom layout will stay the same, but the mirror door closet will be replaced with something like this:


I’m not usually a fan of open shelves but I think they make sense in a guest bathroom. Folks can easily see where towels and stuff live without having to rummage through my closets. The cabinet doors will be made to match the vanity, which is this 4′ long monster:


I still need to figure out what we’re doing for vanity lighting. The ceilings are only 7′ so there’s not really room for a light bar above the mirror. I’m trying to find some wall sconces I like to put on either side of the mirror but not finding any I’m in love with.

Fingers crossed that we don’t find anything horrible lurking in the walls/floors. At least not anything worse than what we already know about. If we’re very lucky the bathroom will be done before the baby shows up, but since this is not my first home improvement rodeo I’m expecting delays. I’ll be happy if it’s done by the end of January.

1970s Shore Home

Kitchen, Bathroom, Doom

The kitchen is very near completion! I haven’t had a chance to take photos with a real camera, or write up a recap of the many things I learned in the process, but here’s a quick phone snapshot:

2015-09-24 20.39.27

There are still a bunch of finishing touches to do, but the hard stuff is all done! We had our first weekend of using the kitchen and it worked very well, with two people able to cook without driving each other insane.

When I stepped into the house earlier this week I had a bit of a panic moment: I was immediately greeted by a very musty smell. After all this work on the house, damp musty grossness is absolutely NOT what I want. We had a really dry summer so we haven’t had a chance to see how the house holds up in a storm. After some poking around I found a window that had been left open, and thankfully after a few days the house has returned to its usual neutral scent.

In boring-but-important news, we had our structural contractor install a new beam under the house. Now the bathroom no longer jiggles around when you step! The end of the house is no longer sinking into the sand! It’s still not level, but it’s been raised a few inches. The drywall cracked in a few spots around the door frames but other than that it was a pretty painless process.

Over Pope Weekend we had 10 people total staying in the house, and no one came to blows! So I consider that a ringing endorsement for the house. Unfortunately, over the course of the weekend we also discovered that the upstairs bathroom has sprung a leak. Wamp womp. It’s a really weird leak. There’s a water stain on the ceiling below the shower, but even if the shower is off there is fresh water trickling down the waste stack (which is behind the toilet). The toilet has a tendency to run because it’s an old toilet with an old flapper I haven’t gotten around to replacing.

My totally unscientific theory is that the toilet is leaking, and since the bathroom has a distinct slant towards the shower the shower drain is no longer appropriately sloped, letting water run from the toilet to the shower where it then drips onto the ceiling below.

Please note the fact that the shower starts 6" off the ground.
Please note the fact that the shower starts 8″ off the ground.

There is no easy way to access any of the waste line to see what’s going on. At the very least it will require cutting into the (freshly painted!) bedroom ceiling below it. Due to the bizarre way the shower is built, there’s also a chance we’d have to open up the shower tile. This bathroom is kind of a nightmare and we knew going into it that a full remodel was on the short list of things we wanted to do. But I wasn’t intending to tackle that until next spring at the earliest.

Now I’m trying to decide whether I rip up the bathroom just to fix the drain line, or just pull the trigger on the remodel now. I’ve met with two contractors so far and am waiting on estimates.

If we end up doing the bathroom now it will be a total gut remodel, and I’m contracting out 100% of it. At 6 months pregnant I have neither the energy nor time to do another major renovation.

Layout for new shower
Potential layout for new shower

The last item on the agenda this week was preparing for the potential doom of Hurricane Joaquin. Thankfully the storm went out to sea, but we still had a really nasty nor’easter come through. My dad and I took care of some lingering to-dos, like removing the old HVAC condensation line (which was just sort of flapping around outside the house). Both of our storm doors don’t latch shut, so somewhat counter-intuitively we removed them before the storm so they didn’t fly open and rip off the door frame in the process. Getting replacement storm doors is on the short term to-do list once the storm passes.

So far almost every issue we’ve had with the house is something we’d budgeted to fix when we bought it. What we didn’t anticipate was cramming so much stuff into the first year. Many of the stuff on the “eventually” list became “now” either because they were more urgent than we thought, or because it didn’t make sense to do certain tasks separately. For example, the immediate project of “replace the broken heat pump” became “convert to gas heat” when we found out they cost about the same, and then that morphed into “convert and replace the hot water heater” since we were having gas lines run anyway. Silly me, I thought the electrical panel upgrade was gonna be next on the to-do list, but it’s actually the bathroom. Surprise!

1970s Shore Home, DIY and Decor

Downstairs Bedrooms Before and After

Now that summer is over and I have to bunker down and focus on other things, there won’t be as many dramatic progress photos of the house. When it’s all done I want to go back in with a nice wide angle lens and take good photos, but for now here are some quick before and after shots of the downstairs bedrooms so you can see how far the house has come.

The Small Bedroom aka “Playroom”

This room was being used for storage when we toured the house. We replaced the flooring, added a big rug, removed the chair rail, and painted the walls. Toys and games will be stored in here, and the daybed pulls out into a double in the event we have so many guests that our 3 year old gets demoted to an airbed.

Playroom Before
Playroom Before – Used for Storage
Playroom After
Playroom After – Sleeping and playing. Bed is from Ikea, rug is from Wayfair, curtains are from Lowes, dinosaur sheets are from Target, lamp is from Target, and the walls are SW6700 “Daybreak”


Master Bedroom

We replaced the floor, changed the curtains, and moved the bed to another wall so that the “sitting area” is now right when you walk in.

Before the bed was the first thing you ran into when you entered the room
Before the bed was the first thing you ran into when you entered the room
Now the bed is against another wall and there is a chair (not visible) in the entryway
Now the bed is against another wall and there is a chair (not visible) in the entryway. Curtains are from Ikea, rug and bed are both from Wayfair, lamp, bedbpread, sheets, and nightstand are all from Target. Walls are Sherwin Williams “Watery”

I’m really hoping that I can get the backsplash finished sometime over the next few weeks, since the kitchen has the most dramatic change, but we’ll see if that’s realistic now that our weekends are booked solid with other obligations.

1970s Shore Home, DIY and Decor

A million last-minute to-dos for Labor Day

We’re having our first guests stay at the beach house… just in time for the end of summer! This meant my husband and I spent a lot of yesterday running around desperately trying to get the house clean and ready for people to stay over.

In the morning, Chris took an entire Honda Fit’s worth of cardboard to the recycling center. Around 3pm we ran out for a Massive Emergency Trip to Target and Home Depot. This was an emergency because we desperately wanted to buy everything and get home before the Friday night shore traffic set in. We ran around like madmen getting all the last minute odds and ends we needed. Somehow despite going in with a list and a strict “get what we need and get out of there” attitude we came home with two additional chairs. My husband had been eyeing them up for about a month and they were on clearance.

2015-09-05 08.00.17

My daughter needed to give up “her” room for guests, so we let her pick out some linens so the little room she was staying in would still feel like hers. She went with dinosaurs (I was pulling for the truck sheets but got overruled).

Camping out on the floor
Camping out on the floor

The biggest task was tackling some plumbing issues in the bathrooms. The upstairs shower didn’t have enough water pressure to trigger the tankless hot water heater when it was in use, leading to unpleasant cold showers, but the sink worked fine. The culprit was a gunked up cartridge in the handle. We were too busy to take any photos of the process but this YouTube video explains it pretty well if you’re curious:

Once we got the cartridge out we brought it with us to the store and picked up a replacement for about $15. Installing the new cartridge was pretty straightforward. We went from getting ~0.4 GPM of flow through the shower head to 1.6 GPM (as reported by the hot water heater).

The downstairs bathroom was supposed to be a straightforward replacement of the shower head. Unfortunately when I pulled the old head off I found it had a ball stem instead of the threaded stem the new head attaches to. So what was supposed to be a 10 minute project ended up with another trip to the hardware store to get a new shower stem. It took a little bit of force to get the old stem out but other than that it was simple to replace.

Of course when I opened up the box to the new shower head and it was broken. Since we had just returned from the store I had absolutely no interest in going back. By some odd coincidence my in-laws next door had a spare shower head they weren’t using (???) so we grabbed that and now we have two working showers!

With all the construction a bunch of the outlet faceplate screws have gone missing (yes, I know you’re supposed to keep them with the outlet so that doesn’t happen, no I did not do that) so I got a box of those, as well as a box of longer screws for the outlets in the kitchen need now that the backsplash bumps them out another 1/4″. The kitchen isn’t done, but we do have the essentials ready now. Oven, dishwasher, fridge, and most importantly: coffee maker.

2015-09-05 08.10.13

We don’t have a TV in the living room but Chris aimed a projector at the wall and brought his Wii U down. The couch in there is one Chris has had since before we got together, but it’s still in good shape despite many years of abuse from cats. So there’s somewhere comfortable to plop down and watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (or kids shows, I guess).

2015-09-05 08.27.20

We hung curtains in the bedrooms, did a ridiculous amount of laundry, scrubbed both bathrooms, vacuumed the hell out of everything, and managed to get the house to a place where we don’t have to apologize for its appearance. We’re in the home stretch now. I still have one major project (finishing the backsplash) and a lot of little fit and finish things (caulking the tile to the countertop, installing toekicks in the kitchen, etc). But I’m done with contractors (!!!) and after today’s Ikea delivery we’ll have beds in every bedroom. On Sunday I’m hoping to take a bunch of pictures of the house now that it’s free of construction debris.

We’re so close! It’s finally happening! Just in time for summer to be over!

1970s Shore Home, DIY and Decor

Starting to look like a house

We’re filling the shore house with family for Labor Day weekend and it’s finally starting to look like a house! We still have to do a massive cleaning, and a huge trip to the recycling center, but things are starting to come together. I know I say that a lot but it’s really true this time!

Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is looking good. I’m not keeping the mirrored closet doors forever, but there’s a bed! And a carpet! I still need to get curtains, and I’m running into some decision fatigue. There’s so much blue in the room (both the rug and bed have a slight blue tint to them) that I’m thinking beige. Boring old beige.

Shower is ready to use!
Shower is ready to use!

The bathroom still needs a thorough cleaning, but the shower has been re-coated and re-caulked and we got a festive new shower curtain from Target. The last step in here is to replace the shower head with the hand shower we got, but it’s totally a usable shower right now!

Kitchen, with half the backsplash and a working stove!
Kitchen, with half the backsplash and a working stove!

We did one wall of backsplash tile. I would have loved to do both but it took two of us a solid 7 hours to do just the one wall! It looks OK but not perfect. I learned a lot in the process, and I still need to caulk where it meets the counter top. The oven is also hooked up and working, as is the dishwasher, so aside from needing to clean up all the construction debris we have a working kitchen!