Myrtle Estates Makeover: Kitchen Edition – The Reveal

It’s been 3 weeks since the kitchen project was completed and I finally made time to select a few photos to show off the final product. 6 weeks of work, a couple unexpected delays, and a lot of eating out and leftovers (thanks Mom!) and I have a space that I hope to one day cook more than ramen and plain rice in. I invite those who like to cook or just want to hang out to come over!

I present you with the final Myrtle Estates Makeover photos! It’s hard to believe just a couple months ago it was so dated and 60’s. Today the space is far more inviting and handles more than two people far better. The photos were taken before I put everything back on the countertops. I had to show off the granite in these pics. There is a list of items purchased, colors, etc. at the end of the post for those interested in the details.


Before (view from living room):

Kitchen before

After (view from living room):

Kitchen - view from living room

Before (view from back door):

Kitchen before - back door

After (view from back door):

Kitchen - view from back door

Before: cluttered open storage

Kitchen - view towards back

After: clean! Everything is put away and has its place (read: hidden)

Kitchen - fridge/pantry view

The new sink and faucet!

Sink and faucet view

Granite, white subway tiles, and LED under cabinet lighting make a great team.

Bianco Romano

For those interested, here is a list of my sources for everything that went into this kitchen:







Myrtle Estates Makeover: Kitchen Edition (Part 2 – Sneak Peeks)

The first week of the kitchen renovation process has already come and gone. While there isn’t much to really see in terms of progress as much of the electrical work was done. You can see a picture below of the emptied room with the original floor being the only original thing remaining.

Since there won’t be much else to show for another week at least, this post will be a showcase of some of the individual elements going into the space. One remaining TBD to decide in the next couple days is the wall color. Check back soon for more updates by next weekend.

kitchen week 1 progress

If you look real close, you will notice the new electrical and recessed lights are in! The update pic isn’t flashy and I’d be concerned if it was since I didn’t want a strobe light in the kitchen. #wordplay
cabinet and tile together

Shown above is what the floor tile will look like against the cabinets (sample is of color only, door style will be shaker.) The tile is called “Clasico Ivory” in a matte finish. It’s the same tile in my bathrooms. I was such a big fan I figured why not use it again!

bianco romano granite

And a shot of the granite slab I picked out (right at the warehouse). It’s called Bianco Romano. I was looking for something with lots of white and some gray. This was the perfect fit.

kohler stainless steel sink

I decided that I wanted to go for a deep single basin stainless steel sink. It will be deep enough to wash huge pots, whole turkeys, and infants (in a pinch). After a misstep in ordering a new sink that was too big for the sink cabinet, I landed on the one pictured above from Kohler.

kitchen faucet

And the kitchen faucet. Satin nickel with a pull down faucet/head. Should be nice.

Frigidaire microwave This is the microwave. Very exciting, right? At least it will be over the stove and not taking up counter space.
whirlpool dishwasher

Perhaps the most exciting part of this  renovation! That new sink should rarely see a plate or utensil.  There’s nothing like not having to hand wash stuff to make my day that much better.


Myrtle Estates Makeover: Kitchen Edition (Part 1 – The Before)

Another year, another round of improvements to be made to the Myrtle Estates. This one was a couple years in the making since it’s 1) complicated and 2) expensive. I decided it was time to take the plunge and do a complete renovation. Everything else upstairs has joined the 21st century. So long 1960’s kitchen! I’ll miss you, sort of. Monday, April 28th officially kicks off the project!

Over the next 2-3 weeks I will be posting photos of the project and transformation. Be sure to follow the blog for updates. I’ll also aim to have a final post listing color choices, tile selection, appliances, etc. The windows were just replaced this past week as already posted on Facebook.

In the meantime, take a peek at what it looks like now and understand why it’s time to update. Kitchen - view towards back

You’ll see in this picture the current butcher block and spice shelf. Most of these items will be stored in the new pantry or cabinets.


A more complete view of the kitchen from the dining/living room. I will not miss the yellow countertops matched with the brown cabinets. The floor, while full of character, is … just that.

I will, however, miss that light fixture currently over the table. I may hold onto it for posterity’s sake.


Soffits over the cabinets will be going away, as will the attached wallpaper. The old school vent hood over the range will say goodbye as well. In fact, the range is moving to the outer wall left of the sink. The peninsula is also being removed in lieu of cabinets and countertop along the wall.


Final view from the back door. You can see a much better view of the floor. Some would call it “classic.”


Home Ownership – Two Years In

Just over a year ago I shared initial thoughts on being a homeowner. I realized how quickly this 2nd year has come and gone. It’s been another year of changes for me and for the house. Since last summer, I had the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime and enjoy time away from work – and America. I also have seen roommates come and go, including one who had his own challenges in buying his own 1st home. Others came into town and stayed for a time before moving on – or moving back – to other adventures.  Currently, I’m flying solo and am considering whether I should seek out a new roommate or continue to live here by myself. As both have their pros and cons, the internal debate continues.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a year at the Myrtle Estates without a little TLC and updating to my 60’s style ranch. Some of you have seen these photos on Facebook or Google+, but what follows is a recap of what’s been changed since last year.

Winter/Spring 2012

Bedroom 1

Since this year’s “winter” wasn’t much of one, this season is almost the same. The first room to see a change was the “non-guest” bedroom. It mainly just saw a facelift with paint. If a roommate makes their way into the house, this room would be theirs. It’s a good size too.



Hall Bathroom

The most dramatic of the updates. This project took 2 weeks for the crew to fully demo the pinkish hued room and turn it into something that didn’t scream 1960’s. See a few more pics in this post.



Hardwood floor refinishing

Since I had the house to myself starting in March and there wasn’t anyone else to bother, I decided I also wanted to get the floors refinished. I briefly considered looking into replacing, but quickly learned from flooring guys I have floors that are in good shape and is a style of cut called quartersawn oak (more info here via Wikipedia). I was glad I did just refinish because what was hiding underneath the amber colored coating was some beautiful oak floors.



Summer 2012

The most recent facelift came to the “guest” bedroom. I quote that because a friend called it home for almost a year and a half! The room had that cabin charm from being fully paneled. But I decided it was time to brighten it up. I decided this room would be as Scandinavian as possible and I went all white for the paint. (The closet doors are the last project for this room.) This project started about a month ago and was just finished this weekend after painting the ceiling and installing new bookshelves and a bed frame. It’s just begging to have a visitor stay for a day or two!



A new home to my physical media.


What’s next?

My handy neighbor has offered to help me install new interior solid core doors for all the bedrooms. That should be happening this fall.  Then perhaps finally getting a battery backup for the sump pump. Then saving some money! The last big inside project is the kitchen, but I think that will probably be a 2014 or later project unless I win the lotto or otherwise come across a significant sum of cash.

There’s plenty more about life I’ve learned while in this house. Check out the rest of the blog for what else I’m writing about.


Bathroom Renovation Part Deux

It’s a new year in Myrtle Estates and that means more renovations! This year’s primary project was the main house bathroom. It was mostly functional, but the florescent light fixture was beginning to show its age, a few tiles in the  tub area were starting to come away from the walls, and the lack of a vent was beginning to be a bigger problem. I left it to the same team who renovated/upgraded the master bathroom at RNP Construction to help me out again. Again, they did not disappoint!

This year I decided not to post incessantly about the progress and limited it to one post with before and after photos. Enjoy!


A view from the hallway. Feels like stepping back into time, doesn’t it?

A better view of the old 3-piece mirror setup, bad lighting and bulkhead above the shower taking up space for no reason.

Goodbye, bathroom! The pink tub makes its final stand before the sledgehammer came in. (Those photos were not safe for the web.)

That’s better! Deep tub, new tile, paint color, sink, mirror, lighting, vent. Does it get any better? The “floating” vanity may be one of my favorite things in here.

A view from night time.

This year’s project funded in (large) part by the IRS. Thank you for returning some money to me after holding it in 2011.


Bathroom v2.0 is here!

The bathroom upgrade is complete! The original 1/2 bath with orange, pink, and wall paneling is gone; version 2.0 has made its grand entrance into the world. The update is pretty incredible and to see what the contractors were able to do with the space available is awesome. (I highly recommend these guys if you need a project done, BTW.)

Below are pictures of the finished product. As a bonus, the crew also painted my bedroom, which has transformed that space as well. Thanks for following along on the blog during this project. Now it’s time to enjoy the space and save some money again.

The left wall was originally home to the orange countertop sink. Now home to a new toilet and storage unit. The walls were painted with Benjamin Moore’s San Antonio Grey in an eggshell finish.

The new vanity. I picked this model out for its modern look, wide basin, and narrow depth to give the relatively small space that much more floor space and perceived larger size. The large flat mirror helps reflect more light and makes the room feel big.

Another view of the sink with the shower.

I love the new shower! What was mostly the second closet in my bedroom was masterfully converted into a 48″ x 32″ tiled shower with glass doors. I can’t express the openness the doors help give the room; you don’t feel cramped in here at all.

The bedroom received a facelift during the process as well. The baseboard and window trim received a new coat of decorator white. The walls were painted with Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal in a flat finish. The space suddenly has a much more modern and calm atmosphere now!


Bathroom Renovation – In the Home Stretch!

It’s been a bit longer than I anticipated to get a new post up about the bathroom progress, but the week slipped past me. Suffice to say a lot of work was completed! The week prior, walls were ripped down, and this week, new ones were built. New floor and walls were put in, new plumbing, new electrical, and the tile work is more than 75% complete! I’ll stop boring you with words and show progress with some pictures.

The project (I’m hoping) will be complete by end of this week. I look forward to sharing the final transformation!

New bathroom window day it was installed. Should let in more light!

The shower stall is coming together!

Next to the shower: home to the new sink.

A view from the bedroom. Imagine a new toilet (non-pink even!) and a nice gray color on those walls in a couple days…

I debated showing tile shots, but the grout isn’t in yet, so I’ll hold off until later this week when that is done and the paint is on the walls.

And this is my currently very messy bedroom. Take a look, because soon the walls will be a new charcoal gray. I’m pretty excited for this change, since it should feel very calming and modern in here.



Bathroom Renovations, 3 Days In

It’s only been three days since the project has started but there’s already a lot of progress made! The whole half-bath has been gutted, save for a small amount of paneling to be removed Monday. All the flooring has been removed and new plywood sub-flooring has been installed. The orange countertop did not fare well in demo, as it was very well connected to the wall. Whoever installed it didn’t want it to go anywhere. Ever. The pink toilet has also said farewell.

This week, the plan is for the plumber to come in, run new drain lines for the toilet and shower, and put in new lines for the vanity (in its new location) and the shower. The tile guy will also be making an appearance to work his magic. It’s very possible that by the end of this week the project will be more than 75% complete, which is amazing to me. Kudos to the contractor and his team for moving along! And separate from that group, I will be having 3 small windows (one in each bathroom, and another small one in my bedroom) along with the back door, replaced. Pictures of those will come in a separate post.

For now, check out the pictures after 3 days. You can really see the project taking shape. And many thanks to my friend who’s letting me borrow his wide-angle lens so I can properly capture the work in this small space.

This is at the end of Day 2. The back of the hall closet has been removed so we can “borrow” a few inches for the shower. This is the last time I saw the orange countertop and pink sink basin in one piece. Same goes for that toilet.

Now you can see that everything has been removed, save for that small bit of paneling and the orange curtains (which I’m saving for something).  You can also see the original aluminum frame window that is being replaced this week. So long to no-efficiency windows!

What was the 2nd closet in this bedroom. Most of it is being used for the shower stall, but what’s nice is that I’ll still have a small closet for some items, like towels or folded clothes (space on right side of original closet space.)

Day 3. View of the bathroom from the bedroom. If you look at the original post, you’ll notice some things missing.