Some House Project Before and Afters

by - Thursday, October 15, 2020

After I finished the big bathroom project in the spring, I took a step back from house projects for a while. 

But over the last couple of weeks, we've knocked out a few of the projects that have been on our list since we moved in back in March. So I thought I'd pull together a little round-up of before and afters.

Installing Kitchen Hardware

This is the project I was the most excited about getting finished. The previous owners of our home did a really nice job remodeling the kitchen. New flooring, backsplash and counters, plus refinished cabinets made the kitchen super bright and airy. 

But the cabinets didn't have any knobs or drawer pulls, and this drove me nuts every time I tried to open them.


I figured installing the hardware was going to be a pretty easy process. Drill some holes, screw in the knobs, call it a day. 

But silly me, nothing is that easy, and this project basically turned into a giant comedy of errors. 

First, I couldn't get the drill bit to go through our cabinets. (Turns out I was using the dry wall drill bit, not the one made for wood. Insert face palm emoji).

Then the screws that came with the knobs weren't long enough to actually fit through the width of our cabinets. So I ran off to the hardware store to buy new screws. But the width of the drawers was bigger than the width of the cabinets so it was back to the hardware store for even more screws.

And then when I finally had all the right parts, I still couldn't drill through the cabinets because I kept hitting the metal joint in the corner holding the wooden pieces together. My husband got home from work one night to find me in the kitchen cursing at our drill. Clearly a very proud moment for me. Luckily he was able to figure out the issue with the metal joint and managed to get all the holes drilled so that I could finish installing the knobs. 

And it was definitely worth it. I love the look of the cabinets with the knobs installed, and I really love how much easier it is to get the cabinets to open. 



Bedroom Window Treatments

When we moved in, two of the bedrooms in our house had those old gross metal blinds, and the third bedroom didn't have any window covering at all. So updating the window treatments was pretty high on my list of things to tackle. 

Blinds in the master bedroom

After spending months analyzing the pros and cons of different options and the various price points, I finally settled on a reasonably priced set of cordless blinds from Home Depot.

I tried them out first in the master bedroom because the old blinds in that room were not in the best shape -- lots of bent and broken pieces and very badly discolored. 

The new white blinds look so fresh and clean. I loved them right away, and quickly ordered the necessary blinds for the office and the guest bedroom. 



The window in the office is pretty small, and those blinds were easy to install.


The guest bedroom has a massive window, which is great for letting in lots of light, but makes it a lot harder to install new blinds. I actually opted to install two sets of blinds in this room to make it easier to adjust the amount of light in the room. Plus I thought it did something nicer visually than the previous super long blinds. 



Living Room Window Treatments

We are lucky that we have so many big windows in our house. We get so much natural light during the day. But there were some funky window treatments leftover when we moved in. 

Our living room for example had this really ancient-looking track for blinds to cover our sliding glass door. It was suspended from the ceiling and then anchored down into the wall by the fireplace. 



It obviously had to go. 

So we ripped it out and installed a regular curtain rod and some curtains. 


Hat tip to my mom for hemming the curtains for us. I had planned to use the no-sew hem tape, but my mom came to the rescue with her actual sewing machine. 

New Closet Shelves

We have a fairly large closet (by DC standards) that is home to our hot water heater. This space quickly became our bike storage room, and we realized by adding some shelves on the walls, we could maximize our storage space.

Now this closet stores our bikes and all the many tools and home improvement supplies we've acquired in six short months of home ownership.


Finally Getting a Headboard

I've never been in a rush to get a headboard because it always just seemed like one more annoying thing to take apart whenever I moved. But now that I'm a homeowner (and hopefully not moving again for a while), I suddenly felt a very strong desire to feel like a real grown-up and get a headboard. 

I initially planned to DIY it, but then I got lazy and I just ordered one online to install. 

My husband's lamp looks like the little Pixar lamp.

I think that's just about all the smaller projects we've tackled over the last couple of weeks. We're also in the middle of one big project that we called in the professionals for! I'll share more on that when it's finished. It's about 95% there, we are just waiting for one last part that's on super backorder because of the pandemic. 

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