Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our New House!

  Wow, what an amazing day today has been. Yes, today was our closing date which means we are now homeowners! I still can't believe it, I just keep repeating "We bought a house" out loud to anyone who will listen, and yes that includes our two dogs. We signed all the papers this morning and went out for a nice lunch at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate while we waited for our funding to go through so we could get the keys. After lunch we stopped by Lowe's to get a head start on buying supplies for the house. We're tearing up the carpet ourselves because we want it gone ASAP since it's most likely a health hazard to be breathing in whatever creatures have been living in it for the past 30 or 40 years. We bought suits, gloves, goggles and breathing masks in preparation of getting seriously down and dirty in our new house. I also chose Lowe's because Retro Renovation recently featured a story on their retro inspired lighting and I had to check it out for myself. I did say I was lighting obsessed in my last post, did I not? I particularly had my eye on this baby for our foyer:

   I think it will look great in our new house, so I went ahead and picked it up. It is now anxiously awaiting to be installed in our entryway. While we were at Lowe's we got the call that we could come and get our keys!

  We picked up our dogs so they could enjoy our new backyard then headed to the house. We initially planned just to drop in for a bit to take some measurements and to take a closer look around so we could start brainstorming our plans. But "brainstorming" quickly turned into taking down wall paper and pulling up the carpet. There were several things in the house we wanted to get rid of right away, the first and foremost being the dingy shag carpeting which I'm guessing is left over from the 70's. The second was this strange wall paper in our family room that looks like it was made of burlap and has a matching upholstered cornice board with lighting behind it. Funky idea but just not what we are looking for in our home, luckily it was only on one wall.

  We were curious what was hiding behind the burlap so we starting picking at it and it came off pretty easily. The only problem was the adhesive they used to attach it to the wall left a film over the wood paneling. I have no idea how we will be able to get it off without damaging the wood, so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. I already was thinking this wall would look great painted as an accent wall to break up the darkness of the wood paneling, so we can always paint over it if the wood can't be salvaged, but I would like to try to restore the wood first.

The burlap wallpaper is gone!

   While Mike tackled ripping up the carpet in this room I started in one of the bedrooms. Much to our surprise there are VCT floors under the carpet! Unfortunately they used glue to secure the carpet pads directly onto the floor, so I'm not sure if we will be able to remove the glue without destroying the tile. I was expecting concrete underneath and was very happy to see the tile hiding below. I hope we can salvage the tile since it will definitely be a lot cheaper than the wood flooring we had been planning on installing.

The larger of the 2 guest bedrooms, this one will be Mike's office

   My favorite part of the day (which could also potentially turn into the most devastating in the long run if we can't find a way to save it) was my discovery in our guest bathroom. It appears the whole house was renovated in the 70's which is a whole lot better than it being renovated post 1980 but still not the 60's charm that I love. The wallpaper in the bathroom had to go, so I picked a corner to start pulling it off. What I found is probably the single most amazing wallpaper I have ever seen. And it is in MY house!
The 70's paper that was in the bathroom when we bought it

What I found underneath, there was a 2nd layer of pink flowered paper


Then under it all was this 60's diamond and snowflake paper, isn't it just jaw dropping? Why someone in their right mind would ever, ever, ever consider covering this up?! I haven't mentioned it yet, but I love snowflakes.. Mike actually bought me a snowflake necklace for Valentine's Day this year and I was just saying the other day how I would like to get a snowflake tattoo. Spending my entire life living in the south has left me with an affinity for snow that I realize I probably would not have if I lived somewhere that receives regular snowfall. The paper is pink, blue and green which ties it in with the mint green tile. I am crazy for this wall paper! Problem is there has been wallpaper sitting on top of it for the past 40+ years which left glue residue all over it. I will do anything I can to save this paper and it may very well be the reason I was put on this earth. What can you do to get glue off the front of wallpaper without completely destroying it in the process?

   Seriously folks, this is what my dreams are made of. I've been dreaming of owning my own home for the past 5 years and the day I finally do I was rewarded with hidden gems left and right. Yes, we have a few glue problems, but I can not wait to get in there tomorrow and be one step closer to us moving in.


  1. I would try denatured alcohol. Everyone seems to use that to remove adhesives. Read the directions carefully.

  2. Your optimism and enthusiasm are so charming. I'm excited to follow along on the adventure ahead!

  3. I've always been able to remove old wallpaper adhesive just with water, but I'm sure some won't come off that way.

    Regarding the adhesive on your VCT: we took glue off ours with a remover called Orange Peel. In fact, our front concrete porch and back patio had astro-turf glued onto them, and we had the adhesive cleaned off by a guy who used Orange Peel and a high-pressure water rinse.

  4. How about getting some "Undo"'s used by scrapbookers to remove adhesive. Or, look into paper restorers to find out what they use?

  5. LOVING your house! that wallpaper is sooo cool! Would be neat if you could get a sample off and print it!

  6. We have such similar wallpaper! It has to be from the same line. It's worn in places and needs to be replaced, but I love it so much that I can't stand to change it.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.