Talkin’ ‘Bout My Renovations: Part III

Reno Collage 1

I’ve already dealt with the agony of the renovations we had carried out to our condominium apartment this past spring.  You can find those panic-inducing jaunts down Unpleasant Memory Way here and here.

But now, months later, it’s time to revel in the glorious ecstasy of our very-nearly-all-the-way-completed renovations!  Revel, I tell you!  Because we have friggin’ EARNED THIS.  There’s really just some patching and painting in the bathroom that remains.  Otherwise, this place has been updated and improved in every way possible – new tiles, new carpet, updated plumbing, new fixtures, new furniture, intensive cleaning, fresh paint throughout, and a much-needed toss and re-org of our storage areas.  And with the move away from our old, raspberry red walls to this fresh new turquoise hue, it sort of feels like an entirely new apartment.  Which was kind of the entire point of the thing, was it not?

So now that we’re firmly on the other side of stupid here, I feel comfortable sharing the after photos of these renos that yes, I have griped about virtually non-stop (spend two months without a bathroom and tell me how chipper you’d be!) but that I am also so, so pleased to finally have completed.  Pretty well from the very first day we moved into this unit, we’ve had a major project (or projects, plural) going on in a state of half-completeness – it was time to just tackle this stuff head on and get. it. done. already.


Below you’ll find some photos I snapped of our apartment in its current state of post-renovation spic-and-spanness.  All joking and frustrations with the process aside, we’re really pleased with how our home looks, and even more pleased that it’s once again just that – a home.  Not a work site and not a gigantic stressor.  I hope you enjoy this little peek into our newly updated surroundings as much as we are enjoying living in them.

First, the bathroom, and arguably the reason why we undertook this entire crazy endeavor in the first place.  Our bathroom was old and falling apart and to flush the toilet you had to take the top off the tank and plunge your hand all the way to the very bottom in order to jostle the little flushy flange up and into place.  Seriously.  So it was continue on with that, or just fix the damn thing already.  I think it says a lot about how the renos ultimately went that there were a lot of days where I really missed the old ice-cold-plunge-up-to-the-elbow routine.  At least it was a (semi) functioning toilet.

Bathroom Reno Collage

Our new toilet is much nicer, wall-mounted and all that condo-required jazz, and something called “comfort height.”  This means you’re kind of sitting way high up off the ground – a matter of inches, maybe two at best, but it’s been months, and I’m still unable to shake the feeling I’m perched on an honest to goodness throne.  But it flushes, so I freakin’ love it, no matter its size!  We also took down the gungy old celery green tiles on the bath surround and replaced them with clean, glossy white subway tiles.  We also had a new, blissfully deep tub installed, and all new fixtures, including this dope Victorian faucet and tap.


We really didn’t reinvent the wheel with our bathroom reno; it was simply a matter of updating the old, broken elements.  So our vanity stayed the same, although we replaced the countertop, sink and fixtures.  We also had the rabbit warren of gently rusted pipes and other outdated plumbing components under the sink dealt with – untangled and updated, freshened and cleaned.  And you can’t see it in these photos, but the scarred-up cement floor (loved stepping out of the tub onto that) has been replaced with the same porcelain tiles we installed in our hallways and kitchen.

Sink Reno Collage

Speaking of our kitchen, I painted the entire thing (ceiling, too, and man, was it a shoulder-destroying dink.)  I repainted all of the cabinets, including the lowers, which we took from a darker version of the turquoise now on our walls, to a rich, charcoal black.

Kitchen Construction Collage

We also added the above-mentioned porcelain floor, as well as actual doors on our pantry!  It’s really so weird walking into the kitchen and NOT seeing three boxes of Cap’n Crunch and a wall of Kraft Dinner just sitting there (what, we kind of eat like toddlers!)

Kitchen Collage

In the diningroom off the kitchen, we took the walls from a faded raspberry pink to a lovely, soothing turquoise.  I actually painted everything in our apartment – including what felt like miles of wainscotting and molding – but for our bedroom.

Diningroom Collage

We also binned our old, sagging diningroom chairs and replaced them with these smart, tweedy-type seats.  We also had all of the flooring not covered in porcelain tile carpeted in a plush, grey-brown wool, including the diningroom, the livingroom and the two bedrooms.

Livingroom 22

Looks pretty nice in the warm, pink glow of an August sunset, does it not?  Now I just need some twee little lampshades for our Game of Thrones-esque chandelier.  My father hates the thing, aesthetically, and also because every time my parents come over for dinner, he somehow manages to drive his head straight into it, even if we’re nowhere near the table!  I love it.  It looks like it could kill a man.  It certainly has eyes on my dad.

Livingroom 20

Nice to see you back on the wall and alight with fresh battery power, Nightmare Before Christmas cuckoo clock.  This guy hangs on the wall opposite our diningroom table, and in this instance, it’s my mom who hates the thing.  My parents are lovely people, but maybe not totally sympatico with my whimsiquirkalicious approach to home decorating.

Livingroom 9

Down two steps into our sunken livingroom, I repainted six bookcases, as well as the walls, the trim and two full walls of VERY GRUNGY baseboard heaters, the 2,000 or so individual vents of which first needed to be cleaned out with two 500-count boxes of Q-Tips, a bottle of bleach cleaner and about six hours of my time.  We also took this opportunity to cast a critical eye over a lot of our possessions, repurposing a number of things, while outright tossing others.  We then tried to organize whatever was left into a more intuitive, easier-to-use fashion – like things with like things, for instance.  Like all of the books you can’t see in this photo, because they’re hidden behind the lower shelf doors (bless you, IKEA Billy bookcases, you hide all manner of bookish sins, such as my raggedy, grease-splattered cookbooks, and three solid shelves of RPG manuals.)

Livingroom 21

And these are indeed your standard IKEA Billys, simply sexed up with a crisp white paint job and a strip of molding so they look like built-ins.  Bit of an IKEA hack for you there.  I love these shelves because they hold so many of my favourite things, starting with the Shelf of Stephens.  Somebody (mebody) might have a King problem, no?

Livingroom 8

These shelves also hold precious mementos from our lives – a glass candy jar filled with Disney Magic Bands, The Greatest Picture Ever Snapped – and dear gifts from even dearer friends, including Funko Jack and Sally, a darling gift from one of Mr. Finger Candy’s gamer buddies; a trio of Sally’s little grey potion pots, a Christmas present from my brother-in-law and his wife; and our beloved Nightmare Before Christmas snow globe, a wedding present from lifelong friends.  Yeah, we’ve got a lot of NBC stuff.

Livingroom 12

Livingroom 3

Livingroom 5

Over in the actual seating/TV-watchin’ part of the livingroom, precious little has changed, save two new chairs, some new lighting and, of course, a whole crap ton of painting.  SO. MUCH. PAINTING!

Livingroom 13

Livingroom 15

But this area also benefited from a bit of organizational tidying, if only to free up space for a couple of very important items, arguably the only two “possessions” we give a shit about in this world – the little wooden boxes containing our cats’ ashes.  We miss our girls so much, and we like having this discreet reminder that they’re still here with us, even if only in spirit (thank goodness only in spirit; they would have been SO PISSY about the renos.)

Shelf Collage

Walking back down the hall to the second bedroom, I – yup, you guessed it – painted the walls and trim, and my husband took apart and then, once the carpet was installed, put back together again that heavy-as-crap daybed, which actually has three very large and useful drawers beneath it that we have stuffed with our Disney mementos, and enough static bag-encased computer components to open a Best Buy.

Livingroom 18


Speaking of computer components, the second bedroom closet is now pretty well devoted to those things you play ON computers, video games!  PS3 games, PS4 games, Vita games (a what now?), Wii games, DS games, and a whole metric crap ton of The Sims for PC.  Those are mine, and I just can’t part with the boxes – it was those tantalizingly detailed boxes that drew me to the game in the first place, back when I used to haunt the aisles of EB Games while my then-fiance pre-ordered the eleventy millionth sequel to, I dunno, Call of Duty. 🙂  This closet also houses, as you can see, old Rock Band peripherals, even more computer parts, and two honkin’ huge concert amps.

Livingroom 17

Next door in our bedroom, not much changed, save a major reorg on our closet, as well as the items in our under-the-bed drawers (mostly a lot of unframed, unhung artwork and other decorative items.)  This room is due for a painting, and I really ought to have tackled that before the carpet went down, but I just ran out of time.  And energy.  And motivation.  So a project for another day.

Livingroom 19

And that’s pretty much it!  Wow, that felt sort of anti-climactic after nearly 1,700 words and a dozen and a half photos.  Also the three months and change it actually took to carry out all these renovations.  And you may be saying to yourself, “None of that looks like it should have taken three months,” an assessment I agree with wholeheartedly!  But there were other considerations at work here, chiefly the fact that we live in a condo, and that complicates things greatly.  So greatly, I wrote those two other posts about it, Part I and Part II of this three-part series about our quarter year in full reno hell. 🙂  If you’d like to check out those posts and don’t feel like going all the way back up to the top of this post to do so, please click here for Part I and here for Part II.

Thanks so much for following along on this crazy arse journey.  Glad it’s done, even gladder that we can now enjoy it a bit. 🙂