Quirky Old Home Projects

The end of May we bought a new “old” home in the historic district of a small city.

Houston Home (1)

As you might expect, there are a number of projects to be completed to make this home our own.  Some of the projects are necessary to bring the home up to current standards.  Like moving the electrical panel from over the bathtub in the main floor bathroom to a safer spot.  I talked about that project here.

DSH is in the process of repairing the hole left in the bathroom where the electrical panel was removed.

After that project was completed, I went to Minnesota to help my sister while her husband was in hospice care until his death in mid-July.  By the time I came home I had spent more nights away from our new home than I had spent in it.

I’m playing catch up now.

Catch up on getting the place cleaned and organized.  Catch up on selling off furniture that doesn’t fit. Catch up on buying stuff to make the new space fit our needs.

Our To Do List is 8 pages long.  8 pages.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve met with a guy from the company that designed and built the original kitchen cabinets.  We need to do some re-configuration to make it more functional. There is limited counter space.  The cabinet over the refrigerator does not open due to poor design.  The lighting is TERRIBLE.  And I have to replace the outdated electric range and oven and the ancient refrigerator and dishwasher.  Every house we have ever bought has resulted in work on the kitchen.

I’ve met with a carpenter, skilled in working on older homes, to get a door installed on our bedroom.  You heard that correctly.  There is no door on our bedroom.  This is seriously impacting my love life.

I’ve met with a glass and window repair company repairman who is going to replace the windows with broken seals and rework the mechanisms on the windows that are not working.

We had some furniture that did not fit up the narrow stairwell so I sold it.  In its place, I purchased a universal bed frame from Amazon to hold the two twin beds making it an oversized “almost” king bed. I found an iron frame on Craigslist and a black and white toile bedspread from JC Penney.

New bed

I love how this looks, don’t you?


I found a re-finished antique dresser on Craigslist to add to the charm of the room.

The room is still messy and needs organization, but I’m thinking of painting it a pale lavender.  It will go with my daughter’s sorority colors, and I think it will make the space feminine and go with the historic character of the space.

If you would have told me a few months ago that I would be considering painting a room any shade of purple, I would have said, “Never!”  When will I ever learn to never say never?

One of the hardest things on my to do list is to pick new color schemes for the various rooms throughout the house.  I feel that this takes time and getting used to the space.  Fortunately, my friend, Laura, who is a designer, has agreed to help me with this.

I see lots of painting in my future.

The place where we spend most of our time is the sunroom which is a space that was added onto the rear of the home.  It is just off the kitchen and it is where we have our dining table and our family room.

It is a bright and airy room that is surrounded on three sides with windows overlooking the backyard.

In the corner there is a fireplace unit with a cubby space above that appears to have been originally built to house an old tube style TV.  The former homeowners had installed their flat screen TV over the mantle, and that is what we intend to do, too.

However, I just did not like the look of this spot.  It was not continuous with the rest of the room.  The mantle disappeared with the wood surrounding it and the old cubby hole was unattractive.  I talked to my friend, Laura, about it, and she agreed – paint the cubby a satin black so that it will disappear behind the TV once it is installed, paint the wall space the same color as the surrounding walls and paint the mantle to match the trim since there is no other wood trim exposed in the space.

Fireplace project collage

I think it looks much better, don’t you?

Front door

Here is our front door.  It is white.  I do not like white front doors.  How boring.  Every house we have owned, I have painted the front door a shade of red.

Here is what having red front door might mean (according to a study) – Red is regarded as a powerful “punch” color, red is the color of passion. By painting the front door red, the homeowner is saying that the home within is a vibrant place, full of life, energy, and excitement.

Yep.  That’s about right.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid using red with a yellow house will always make me think of ketchup and mustard.  Ketchup and mustard.  Nope.  Don’t like that look for a house.

I also don’t like the green porch.  That particular shade of green just looks dated to me.

And our roof is dark brown.

So, I’m struggling with what color to paint my front door.  Painting my front door is important to me.  It is usually one of the first things I have done in every house we have owned.

Painting the front door, where you welcome guests, is the one small, personal thing that you change that says this is now our home.

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10 Responses to Quirky Old Home Projects

  1. Hillary says:

    Hooray! Every day I check to see if you’ve posted something new. I’m excited that you’re in your new home but an eight page to do list? That makes me feel light headed. We’re considering where we’ll go next, whether the preferred school district (in St. Charles) is worth the drive, or if we go with our second choice of a school district (too big for my taste!) but means a very small commute. Build a new home? Buy an older fixer upper with loads of character? So many choices. I love reading your posts, it inspired me to start my own blog. I always look forward to finding out what you and DH are up to next.

    • Mama says:

      And I have two more scheduled! So I’m writing and working on homeowner projects! Oh and move near me! I wanna play with the girls.

  2. Karen says:

    Sounds like you are gonna be busy for quite a while. I love picking out colors for the house, and I am working on getting rid of all of our builders white rooms one at a time. I have 2 and 1/2 to go.

  3. joan says:

    Blue. Paint the front door a medium shade of blue.

  4. Mary says:

    Looks nice Mama. I love to paint but I too take a good deal of time to pick the color out. I love the bedroom and the fireplace looks great. nice job.
    I think on this house the first door would be the bedroom then the front door. Just a thought. Have fun with your new home.

    • Mama says:

      I agree that the first door should be the bedroom door! Unfortunately, I am at the mercy of the contractor and this is a small job. Think I’ll get the front door painted before the bedroom door gets installed . . .


  5. chris runge says:

    A red door will make a wonderful statement and look great! The yellow house color is too pale to look like mustard. Love what you are doing and can’t wait to drop by sometime with my “kids”. They will love to see you!!

    • Mama says:

      I am leaning to red – just have to find one that doesn’t remind me of ketchup and mustard. When I told my niece that I was considering a color other than red she replied, “But you’ve always had a red door on your house!” Funny what kids notice and associate with us.

      Would love to see you and the kids, too!


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