A belated house renovation update

Marling driveway

My computer has been in the shop five times in the last three weeks so it's been...frustrating, and hard to do updates.

In any event, I think we're headed into the home stretch of the house renovation. 

Our counters are going in on the 29th, which is a bit later than I'd hoped, so to work around that I've decided to go ahead and schedule the completion of the HVAC system & the floors next week. We'll just have to be careful on the new floors for a few days longer than I thought!

Marling mailbox

I walked through with my real estate agent yesterday and we came up with a price (!) and she pointed out that we need a range hood in the kitchen. So. Just an FYI to anyone out there doing the same thing and note to self for next house. That'll push me a little over budget, but so far I've managed to stay very close to my original amount, so I feel good about that :) Being a budget stickler is so helpful for surprise fixes and then, obviously, the eventual bottom line.

Cabinet pull + knob

Last week I put in the new gravel driveway, mulch & pine straw. The cabinets are in and painted & I got drawer pulls + knobs. They also finished the kitchen floors and even though I wasn't super excited about vinyl tile to begin with, I LOVE the way it looks. 

Marling floors

Oh! And those gorgeous mailbox numbers are custom made by my sister, who just started her own company, Wynn Designs.

The house still needs some interior paint (kitchen, hallway) which, to be honest, feels endless some days, and we'll add a railing to the small porch off the kitchen. But we're close! (I keep telling myself ;)

Hope you're enjoying your last bit of summer. xo

More renovation updates? Ok.

Numbers taped Marling

Remember this little project? It looked so pretty in that bottom picture that made it look like I'd just plunk those numbers on a pretty white plank and mount it next to the front door. How cute few-days-ago-Hope you were.

I tried using the hardware it came with but it was huge, unwieldy, cracked the wood, & plus was complicated for my non-detail oriented brain. 

Wood putty Marling numbers

So I used wood putty to fix it, sanded it down, re-painted it and went to the hardware store for better screws. 

Now I need to try & mount the numbers by drilling the screws in the back. Which only requires I get the holes perfectly lined up with the front. NBD. 

On an up note, the kitchen cabinets are installed & they are priming them today! Wahoo!

Kitchen cabinets Marling

House numbers on our renovation


I'm in a bit of a hurry-up-and wait stage with the renovation right now. My contractor is busy building cabinets :) and so I'm working on little inside projects, mostly, tediously, painting and more painting. It's a small house, but by the time you add in the scraping and painting of doors, windows & molding, it seems endless. 

In the meantime, Bud is working on a railing for the front porch & we've been discussing what to do with an old door that leads to the kitchen. 

Next week I'll meet with a friend who has a landscaping company and she's agreed to help me with a plan for the front yard.

The only fun thing I can show you right now is this little house number project. I took two pieces of shiplap, used finishing nails to connect them, painted the board and got these cool looking numbers from Home Depot. Although similar in so many ways, Lowes and Home Depot differ enough that I've found I do have to ping pong between the two. Turns out Home Depot had much more attractive house numbers. If this board works out - I haven't attached the numbers yet and am traveling this week - I'll put the finished product next to the front door. I'm stoked, I think so far it looks pretty. 

Hope you're having a good week so far. xo


Renovation front door picture

Marling front door San Jose Blue

For those of you not on instagram, here's a picture of the freshly painted front door + the Soot (Benjamin Moore see previous post) field color :)

I spent Saturday morning repainting the porch ceiling & will post a picture to that soon.

Happy Monday. 


Updates on the renovation

Marling exterior paint

The most exciting thing that happened at the Marling renovation this week was the exterior paint. I don't have a picture including the front door(s) - they were painted yesterday - but I can show you one exterior wall (above) and the paint colors.

I decided to go with Soot by Benjamin Moore for the outside. I don't love the tiles that comprise the outside of the house, so I went with something dark and something that will look crisp and clean next to the white trim.

Marling front door paint

I went with my gut on the front door(s) and ended up doing San Jose Blue, also by Benjamin Moore. I asked my painter to use the blue and cut it with white to paint the porch ceiling, but it is still way too bright, so I'm going to cut a gallon of white with just a bit of the blue and roll it again myself. The doors though, look so great :) (And if you're interested, the history of light blue porch ceilings).

Marling bedroom paint

I'm also almost done with the interior paint - mostly a creamy white with bright white for trim.

Marling sink on road

Proudest moment, and I totally put my arms in the air and yelled when I dropped this thing on the curb. Good thing you weren't there or I probably would've embarrassed you (looking at you, Georgia).

Marling backsplash removal

Plus, a picture of tearing out the original backsplash.

Happy Friday 

Marling renovation - kitchen

Emily Henderson kitchen inspiration

This picture, of this stunning kitchen by Emily Henderson, is all over the internet. So, no originality points there. But it is a lovely jumping off point & is helping inform my decisions with the - differently shaped - kitchen at our Marling (street name) renovation. 

In the end, I've had to make lots of compromises, mainly and most painfully, a farmhouse sink just wouldn't work in this kitchen. Because I'm trying to keep the renovation as cost-effective as possible - which also helps me to splurge here and there - I just couldn't risk having to remake the cabinets below. I'm doing a mixture of keeping the existing cabinetry, & adding new cabinetry on the other side of the kitchen.


This is the sink I bought


This faucet.

Vinyl tile picture

I'm not sure about the floor yet, but I think I'll use luxury vinyl tile in a light, ash color (the photo came from polyflor).

Wolf Gray paint Benjamin Moore

I will use this gorgeous paint color for the cabinets, it's called Wolf Gray and it's by Benjamin Moore. I'll make the cabinets look aesthetically similar by doing all new doors. 

Because this is a small house, the water heater & the washer/dryer all have to go into the kitchen. Luckily it's quite large and we'll be using the entire second side of the kitchen for cabinets that close in the washer/dryer, water heater, and even add a little storage & counter space.

Example of white quartz countertop

My biggest splurge will be white quartz counter top. Although I love butcher block, it's specific to taste and I think quartz will set the kitchen above a bit. Image here and is, obviously, just an example. 

I'm going to use simple & classic subway tile for the backsplash, I'm just deciding between light or dark grout. All the appliances will be stainless.

I'm excited & will keep trying to post updates :)


Professional before photos


I completely forgot to do the pro-pre-reno pictures! This will hopefully make the end result even more fun to look through. Here they are:













Next up I'll post some of the inspiration + materials I'm buying. xo

PS - I used Chuck Holden photography.


A renovation update

Shiplap Marling 2

I'm SO excited, the renovation is ticking along - the demo is mostly over so my role is smaller - buying supplies, making design decisions.

  Tile shower Marling

The shiplap in the bathroom is almost up, and my contractor has started the tile.

Shiplap next to tile

Here's the shiplap next to the tile.

And if you like the visuals, here's what it looked like before & during demo.

Bathroom shower

Shower down to studs Marling

Happy Tuesday! I'm off to meet the HVAC guys. So not sexy, so necessary.

This is what happened yesterday

Hole in floor Marling

Remember this hallway with the huge hole in the floor and burned out furnace? 

Furnace out Marling

Yesterday I got it fixed!

My hardwood guy - who was the nicest - ripped out that old furnace like it was no thing. Bam! Then he capped the gas line and began work.

Installing hardwood over hole

Almost done...

Finished hardwood:hole

I was so excited with the result.

Hardwoods next to each other

Floors next to each other. The seam is tight which is great & I think once the old floors are sanded & all the floors are stained the same dark color it will look pretty natural. We shall see.

And then...best part. I was pulling nails out of the ceiling in the kitchen, using a step ladder, when the floor contractor asked if I didn't want to use contractor stilts. Did I? DID I?

Hope contractor stilts

Funnest way to rip out ceiling nails ever. 



A non-sexy before and after

Shower before demo

These pictures of the stripping of the shower aren't exactly sexy but they do make me proud. Enjoy :)

Shower Hope about to demo

Shower halfway finished Marling

Hauling that stuff out of the bathub was some of the hardest work I've ever done. 

Shower down to studs Marling

Shower down to studs Marling 2


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.