before: motel-style shower insert that was peeling away from the walls
after: handmade Mexican Talavera tile niche, subway tile to ceiling, new shower pan, shower head, and glass door
before: windowless dark room
after: added window and recessed lighting
before: 4 different flooring types showing and rubber baseboards like a hospital
particleboard shelves with painted-over brackets
after: butcher block countertops and floating shelves, painted vanity recycled from upstairs, cabinets for additional storage, and white subway tile with consistent flooring throughout the room.
Shower niche offers space for soap and shampoo, while ceramic knobs are hooks for loofah
*Special thanks to my dad who flew up from California to help with the massive amount of tile work involved in this project and the kitchen!
Shelves and drawers were heavily scratched and stained
Removed top hat light from kitchen
Removed dining room Tiffany-style light
replaced top hat with 4 recessed lights and glass pendant over sink
New pendant light for dining room
stick-on fake floor tile was peeling. The paint used on the countertops was flaking off so it was hard to cook without ending up with paint flakes in your food.
Had to level lower cabinets and build sturdier structure around dishwasher to support granite countertops before installation
Wallpapered damaged cabinet backs with constellations (similar to state flag)
Sanded many layers of caked-on red paint, repaired split cabinets, filled grain with AquaCoat, primed and painted white, sanding between each step
Tiled backsplash and one wall. Painted upper accent wall on the other 2 sides of kitchen.
Stripped white and red paint from wood trim, refinished with danish oil and polyurethane, and added trim to to elevate molding beyond tile
Added drawer pulls to previously bare cabinets. Replaced hinges with Blum soft-close concealed hinges.
Replaced flaky painted laminate counters with granite.
Built wine rack in previously unused space
Wine rack has trap door on lower shelf to maintain easy access to dishwasher hoses in case of leak. Beadboard framed with combo of MDF and wood so the peninsula sides don’t extend beyond the countertop. Installed same vinyl plank flooring we’re using throughout the house.
before: Pre-fab plastic shower surround. Tub base was covered in cracks so dirt couldn’t be cleaned out of standing surface. Same peeling stick-on fake tile floor as the kitchen. Rubber baseboards they use in hospitals and clinics, which were peeling away from wall.
after: Navy blue penny tile wainscotting with wood trim and baseboards.
Same vinyl plank flooring as throughout house.
Added glass shower door so light from new window isn’t blocked by a curtain.
before: Limited storage; no medicine cabinet. Only light source was vanity light. Oversized toilet blocked shower access.
replaced peeling plastic door trim with new wood trim and baseboards
after: Recycled mirrored doors from damaged ReStore medicine cabinet with new recessed box built from leftover butcher block and bead board with wood shelves to replace original particle board ones. Granite countertop and vanity bought used from a contractor who removed it from a client’s house but saved it from the dump because it’s solid wood.
Miles showing his rope and climbing harness to prove it’s perfectly safe for him to drink a beer while outside the second story in the rain balancing on two wet ladders.
New window to bring in natural light, framed with tile and sill to match three shower niches. Added recessed light above shower and new fan/heater with light.
Before (photo looks way better than it did in real life)
Before: brown carpet on stairs didn’t match rest of house and was really, really dirty. Damaged walls. Baseboards not lined up at corners. Staircase stringer had been chewed by a dog.
I didn’t get a before picture, but the existing intake vent looked like it had been attacked by a steel-toed boot. I recessed keyhole hangers on the back of the frame so there aren’t screws showing but it can be removed as needed for cleaning.
After: added track lighting in living room which previously had no light.
Painted stair stringer white, which helped hide the many repairs needed. Cut risers out of MDF and painted white to match stringer. Cut vinyl plank treads and finished with matching stair nose.

I didn’t get a before pic, but this closet was really weird. It’s inches above the surrounding floor due to the staircase below, which is not fixable, but they had 4 layers of vinyl with a square of brown carpet stapled on top. The walls were so badly damaged that after initially trying to match the drywall texture, we gave up and I decided to instead cover the damage with bead board to match the kitchen peninsula. The blue penny tile is leftover from the upstairs bath and white tile is from the kitchen backsplash.

before: The photographer from the real estate company did a remarkably good job hiding the horrible, irregularly blobby texture on all the downstairs walls
during: Months of skim coating
Before: existing wood window trim was badly damaged with holes for 4 sets of curtain rods.
Bulky curtains blocked the windows and took up space in the room.
Bedroom light before
Cut and stained new wood window trim, cut new baseboards and painted white,
replaced vent covers throughout the house, installed same flooring as whole house
Master bedroom closet had no lighting, so we added 2 recessed can lights with a switch to the left of the door. Replaced beige brackets for shelf with modern steel design that uses less space. Added belt/tie organizer. Refinished all wood shelving, trim, and bi-fold closet doors to match stained wood throughout the house.