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Before and After Reveal #1

FRIENDS!  Did you miss me???  It’s like I had a baby or something since my last post.

(Okay, okay, no excuses.)

This past weekend I hosted a baby shower for a dear friend of mine and I realized that this was a good time to get some nice pictures of the house.  Because, A. it’s come sooo far.  B. it’s come sooooooo far.  and C. it’s come sooooooooooooooooo far.  But really, Mr. Fixer and I worked hard to get things host-worthy and it was the first time where I felt like, hey, our house looks DANG good, I should take some pictures.

So here is the moment I have been waiting for for two years — the beginning of the before/after reveal!  I have been treasuring and saving these yucky old photos for a long time now, and I am thrilled to finally be sharing them with you.  You have seen a ton of photos of our remodeling process, and surely there are a lot you haven’t seen from the last several months, but we are going to just skip over those for a bit.  Because who doesn’t love a good DIY before/after reveal… or should I say, a good DIY “fixer to fab” reveal.

*Disclaimer — these photos were taken while we were in negotiations to buy the house.  Please respect, ahem, the previous owners’ unique design aesthetic.  I think you’ll figure out which ones are before and which ones are after! ;-P

Stay tuned for more before/after pictures of the bedrooms, bathrooms, master suite/rental apartment, and exterior.

Also, to remind yourself of the previous layout of the home, click here.


Mrs. Fab

P.S.  I realize that I should have some fancy collage of side-by-side before/after pics, but I don’t know how to do that, so if you’ve got tips, let me know!


Looking in from the front door.


To the right of the front door as you walk in. Removing this fireplace was one of our very first projects.


Looking towards the front of the house as you stand in the living room.


The kitchen looking towards the back of the house.


The kitchen looking towards the front of the house.


Through this archway is what we call “the addition.” It lies beyond the kitchen toward the back of the house.


The original laundry room — part of the addition.



Looking in from the front door.  We’d love to make a built-in entertainment center down the road.  For now we have a DIY tv stand made out of cinder blocks and fake reclaimed barnyard, ha!


Looking towards the front of the house.


Looking towards the front door. The mirror is approximately where the original fireplace/chimney was. We hope to have a built-in banquette for our dining room someday.


…and standing back a little bit.


Standing in the living room looking towards the kitchen.


Lovely new kitchen. We removed a wall to create the bar area, took out the window facing the back, and reconfigured the layout.


In the kitchen looking towards the front of the house.



We reconfigured the original laundry room to create a pantry, laundry, and bathroom for the master suite (beyond the far wall).


Standing in front of the new laundry/pantry looking out towards the backyard. Someday we will rebuild the deck that is supposed to be there (remember our giant sewer project?!), as well as add in a built-in bench and mudroom type organization. For now it’s sort of a catch-all area for pending projects.



Looking back towards the new master suite/rental apartment — what we call the “addition.” More reveal pics on that later!









































New Windows!

Wow — I cannot believe it is the Friday before Christmas already!  Where did the week go?! Well, if you are anything like me, you spent the week running all over the city getting gifts, crafting, wrapping, standing in line at the post office…  Goodness, I am ready for a N.A.P.

BUT, before all that Christmas madness, Mr. Fixer and I had the wonderful weather opportunity to install our new windows!  Even with the building wrap exposed and the trim/siding torn off, the house has gone through an amazing curb appeal transformation.  This especially feels good because we are no longer just tearing down the old, we are actually putting in some new!  With such a huge undertaking like this fixer, let me tell ya, this feels goooooood.

Our wonderful friends Samantha and Guillaume were incredibly helpful for this project — thank you, thank you!  Even during the downtime where Mr. Fixer was the only one capable of doing anything, they helped with yard work and clean up.  AND, that’s not even the best part — Samantha made homemade pizza for us later that night!  Boy, how did we ever get so spoiled?! 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful pre-Christmas week!  Enjoy your time with family and friends, count your blessings, and try to take at least a few minutes to remember the true spirit of this great holiday.  Now about that nap…


Mrs. Fab

before windows




windows out

Getting started



Mr. Fixer and Samantha

I think Samantha might be saying something like, “I’m so cold!” 🙂







Guillaume is getting out some much needed post-finals aggression.



Samantha helping Guillaume

Bracing the window



Samantha and Guillaume doing yardwork

They do yardwork too!



Trimming the rhododendron bush

Goodness, that’s quite the rhododendron!


Post yardwork

What a difference all that yardwork makes!



Reframing large window

We decided to raise up this window in lieu of ordering a custom, tempered glass replacement.

after windows

Mr. Fixer came back throughout the week to finish up the other windows. Looking good!

Homemade pizza

Yummy homemade pizza. Thanks, Samantha!




The Building Permit Process

Happy December, friends!  Thanksgiving is now behind us (though I am still eating leftovers!), and the Advent season is upon us!  This is a time for anticipation and preparation, something Mr. Fixer and I have certainly been learning a lot about in the last several months!  I think we all have moments in our lives where we can relate to this, whether you are getting engaged or married, buying a first home (shoot me now!), waiting for a precious baby to arrive, praying for resolution in difficult situations, or simply standing in line for your favorite Black Friday sale (shoot me twice!).

For Mr. Fixer and I, we are currently experiencing the anticipation and preparation of our building permit being approved.  As I mentioned on the page Our Design Plan, permits are crucial for remodel projects because they ensure that a third, objective party (the building inspector) has reviewed your plans for safety and feasibility.  Sure, they cost time and money, and you may think you don’t need one, but friends — just bite the bullet, do your due diligence, and get the permit.  Your peace of mind will thank you!

Our peace of mind (and house progress!), however, is currently on hold as we wait to hear back from our plans examiner.  This is round two of submitting documents, so I am hoping that what we’ve provided will now be sufficient to get things finalized.  We are replacing and slightly altering a couple beam/header locations, so we need to show what the current structure of our house consists of (load paths, structural member sizing, etc.) and what it will consist of after the changes.  The changes are very slight, so the process is slightly annoying, but it is good practice nevertheless.

Here are some examples of the construction documents that I have been creating for the permit submission:

Site Plan

Our site plan. This is usually a more crucial document when you are doing an addition, as there are codes in place to protect you from entering into lot setbacks (a fire concern) or overbuilding your lot (creating too much impervious surface, which affects drainage).

As Built Roof

A snapshot of our roof plan. This details the location of hips, valleys, and ridges, in addition to identifying structural members likes joists and beams.

As Built Ceiling

A snapshot of our ceiling plan. Like the roof plan, this details the structural members that carry the roof load down to the ceiling.

As Built Foundation

A snapshot of our foundation plan. Since our house is only one story, this is the last piece of structural information. It shows the final load destinations that are carried through the roof, ceiling, and floor.

In the meantime, Mr. Fixer has been working at ungodly hours (ask him what time he woke up to work on the house this morning!) to finish odds and ends around the house — clearing out the insulation in the attic, de-nailing flooring, and tearing down what we’ve affectionately termed the “kill shed” (a sad and decrepit little playhouse in the backyard).


Creepy, right?!

And that’s it, friends!  Think happy permit thoughts for us this week!  Once that gets underway, the fun stuff begins!  🙂


Mrs. Fab



Pumpkin Porch Envy

Because my new porch is so far beyond presentable, I have been especially green with envy over the last couple weeks as I have seen my neighbors’ Halloween decorations come out. Some of the pumpkins are so cute, I couldn’t help but creep around and take photos of my favorites.  I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do, and hopefully next year they will give me great inspiration for my own house!

Happy Halloween. and be safe!

Mrs. Fab

A great way to re-purpose a fun flower planter.

A great way to re-purpose a fun flower planter.

Another super cute idea. And they really do look pretty creepy!

Another super cute idea. And they really do look pretty creepy!

I LOVE these checkered pumpkins.  I want to steal them! :-)

I LOVE these checkered pumpkins. Do you think the homeowners would notice if they disappeared? 😉

Simple and sweet.  Love this.

Simple and sweet. Love this.

One of my favorites.  I love the skull peeking out from behind the plant leaves!

One of my favorites. I love the skull peeking out from behind the plant leaves!

This house has a great yard year round.  I love the pumpkins scattered all around.

This house has a great yard year round. I love the pumpkins scattered all around.

I love the different colors of these pumpkins and the sparkle from the glitter.

I love the different colors of these pumpkins and the sparkle from the glitter.

Such a cute idea to use Mr. Potato Head as your pumpkin's face!

Such a cute idea to use Mr. Potato Head as your pumpkin’s face!