We Put in Recessed Lighting!!

Living room update – recessed lighting is done!!  Thanks to Ben and his dad, they are working and installed.  Lots of crawling around like Spider Man in the attic.  I picked out a dimmer switch so it can be set really low or really bright.  We placed four total around the corners of the living room.

The bookshelves are from Ikea and they were $40 each, and I wanted them to look like built-ins so I bought the extension which makes up the top shelf, and they came just an inch or two below the ceiling.  Ben put crown along the front of the shelves and around it along the wall.

The empty space in between the shelves is for future use as either a spot for a tv in the wall or a fireplace or both.  I think if a fire place, it will be much easier to buy one of those 200 dollar ones that are portable and not actually get masonry done to build one into the house.  Any ideas?  For this weekend it is a great spot to put the dessert table for the bachelorette party.




Four Months Later…

Four months have passed since we started renovating the house.  The winter was really mild so I only had to shovel snow once.  I was concerned that it would really suck without a garage or portico in the winter but I didn’t end up having a problem this year.

Progress So Far:

  • Kitchen renovation is done (photos coming soon)
  • Bathroom renovation is done
  • Dining area shelves are done
  • Bedrooms are painted
  • Baseboard and crown is basically everywhere except parts of the living room
  • New doors
  • New door handles

Still Left To Do:

  • Finish the laundry room
  • Electrical
  • Blinds (I will order them from http://www.blinds.com)
  • Programmable Thermostat
  • Dishwasher hookup
  • Crown molding in living room
  • Caulk
  • Paint moldings and doors with a finish (they came primed white)
  • Outside landscaping/gardening/weed killing (the yard needs some major TLC)

I totaled all my Plastic Jungle home depot and lowe’s card purchases, my appliance purchases, and my transactions directly at Home Depot and the total cost of all the renovation so far is $8,800.  I feel super broke right now.  Luckily $4,600 of that is on credit at 0% interest through this summer for some of it and through next summer for the others (floors, baseboards, quarter rounds, and appliances), so $4,200 is the cash that actually was spent.

Needless to say, living a double life is tiring!  I am so behind on other things like cleaning and cooking.  I’m tired because every weekend is spent hard at work and we haven’t had a rest in a long time.  I should also be getting my CPA license in the mail really soon because I got a message that my transcript was mailed out today.  I’m hoping for a great summer!

Door & Handles: Before and After




Bathroom door:

Bedroom closet:


Kwikset Bed and Bath Door (Tustin Venetian), Antique Bronze

Here are the links to the products if you are interested:



This is not the exact door I bought, which is hollow and was more like $30 :


How to Update Your Doors

I’m pretty excited to share some photos of the new doors and door handles I bought.  First, I was going with a brushed nickel theme in the house, but after seeing the white doors go up without the door knobs in, the hole that was there looked dark and gave me the idea that some dark knobs might look great.  So I ended up going to the store to find something dark brown/black in the push down lever style.  We installed them yesterday and it looks great against the white.

How to change your doors:

1. Measure your old door (not the frame) height and width.

2. Home Depot only sells doors by the rounded inch so if you measure your door to anything other than a whole number, you will have to custom order or cut the door you buy.

3. If cutting the door, Home Depot’s hollow JW doors have 3 inches of solid wood on either side, allowing you to cut the door if you need to.

4.  You will need a table saw; set the saw to the width you need to cut off and push the door through.  You will need some help doing this!!

5. Remove the old hinges and trace them to the new door and cut out a pocket for the hinge so that the hinge surface lines up with the door surface instead of protruding beyond the door.

6.  Screw the hinges and the door back in.  You could use an extra hand during this step!

7. Line up the bore hole that the door handle goes into with the latch on the door frame and if it doesn’t line up, you need to make a new groove in the frame.

8. Pick door knobs/levers of your liking and follow its own instruction sheet (you really just need a screw driver or electrical one)