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House Update: The Power of Paint

Dear Renovation Diary,

We purchased our tri-level split when the housing market in the Twin Cities was at its rock bottom.

With the idea this home would be for the short term in order to cash in on the equity when the market rebounded (a 5-year flip, if you will), we've been slowly tackling the cosmetic updates we felt would maximize our return.

We didn't change the footprint of the house, and not a single room was gutted to the studs. (Edit: our downstairs 3/4 bath may require a full demo now.) Despite its weird split layout, the home has really good bones!

Split levels are seemingly a suburban staple here, and ours was built in 1992. Two families have lived here previously to us, so as we put our own personal touch to it, we couldn't deny the sense of "community" that wove the tapestry of our common ground. It feels like our projects left a stamp that speaks to our tenure here - "we're a part of this story too!"

... Even if it means outsourcing the painting because the idea of picking up a roller made us nauseous.

And as you can see from the above panorama, our house was in quite the state of disarray. This was done on Halloween, on which we also hosted an informal party, so we were a little tense and cranky.

Still, a fresh, cool gray is now up on the walls throughout the main living areas of the house. It will offset the white trim nicely, creating a neutral backdrop for our current furnishings and for when we sell. It's easily the best money we've spent on the place.

It amazes me how something so simple (albeit time-consuming) and relatively budget-friendly can leave such a lasting impression on a space.

Never underestimate the power of simplicity, and an even paint job.

In other news, Nick installed a new storm door *with* a retractable screen. Now when people ring the bell, I no longer have to open my house up to them.

And the 3 windows in the lowest level got some new jewelry - nothing too fancy, and pretty basic but classic nonetheless. The bedroom down there has a pair of coral curtain panels to offset a navy comforter, and I'm pretty excited about it.

I didn't anticipate loving this color combination as much as I do - cool gray walls and sleek white trim really make my turquoise (IKEA!) curtains and sheers pop. 

The Ever-Evolving To-Do List:
Do necessary touch-ups
Paint the window trim in kitchen
Paint and install baseboards and remaining trim
Install hardwood on the support beam in the great room
Finalize cabinet stain for kitchen, upstairs bathroom and linen closet
Install flooring in upstairs bathroom
Figure out what the hell to do with the yellow 3/4 bath downstairs
(yes, it really is yellow ...)
Attend happy hour at the closest bar to ease tensions
Install white 6-panel doors
Discuss the idea of keeping dark wood pantry door as an accent
PURGE/ORGANIZE and donate the castoffs to Goodwill
(how do 4 people accumulate so much crap?!)
Finish decorating/staging

... Because when you cross off one thing, four more things arise to take its place!

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