I BHATTA HOUSE + Before pictures

Hard to believe but almost a year ago, this house purchase went down. Going back to the beginning and playing ketchup because I’ve done A LOT in one year! Here we go:

It was always a dream to buy a house and flip it - even before I realized that would be the only way I could do it. It was a weird road that sometimes I thought it wasn’t going to happen -- and neither did a couple other people, mostly because a one girl budget only goes SO far in America, let alone Boulder, Colorado. I was pre-approved for a loan and started looking for places. Then chatted with a lender - which i didnt know was someone I even needed in my life! and she brought the reality of what a monthly payment was like for said loan and I dropped my max budget by $50k. 

But I looked and looked and looked and said no and no and no, put in my first offer and was #2 of 17!? in a race that 2nd place gets ya nothing. It was a lower priced fixer upper that needed some LOVE. like hole in almost every wall and it looked like someone ran fresh stepped asphalt shoes over all the carpet. I went in$50K over asking! Anyway... 2 other offers later it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen because apparently I wasn’t the only one without a skys the limit budget of 1 million dollars in Boulder proper. 

Until it did! In-between two trips to the East coast to visit some good friends and family, I found myself the a homeowner of a slightly less intimidating fixer upper that I got to call my own on November 16th. And by homeowner, I really means homeOWER.  

It’s about 1500 square foot townhouse, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths with a walkout basement (3rd room). The HOA repainted the exteriors last year and this green is definitely one of my favorite in the palette!

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The walls were olive green, yellow, dirty white, teal, etc. So here’s the before! 

RIGHT after I closed, I did a couple things before I moved in:

The sewer line had to be cleaned. Which was bizarre that it was blocked but obviously had to happen. I had the electrical panel swapped because of a safety concern. And let me tell ya, safety costs a lot but is worth every penny. Had the carpets and duct work cleaned. Basically I learned a LONG time ago that my level of clean and others are VERY different.

I took a couple cabinets down and the kitchen felt way less dungeon-like immeaaaadiately. Also its insane to me that cabinets that hold ALL your dishes and glasses and really heavy stuff were only screwed in a couple times. Like I got a couple down on my own. Only needed extra hands for the one over the bar. because it was floating in mid air.

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And i painted it allllllll white so i could start with a blank slate. And by i painted it all white, i mean i hired someone because im a little ocd and didnt think I’d be able to cover some of the colors well (ahem, teal wall. I love that color…not on a wall) and All. The. Popcorn. Ceilings. 

And then I moved in December 1st! Within 48 hours of a work trip. I definitely don’t recommend moving between major holidays and/or right before Christmas if you can avoid it but thank goodness it wasnt freeezing cold or snowing.

This is me driving a uhaul taken by my life-saving friends that responded to my desperate text of ‘I’m losing steam. can i borrow you?’ <3. And they helped my get my bed together so I could get in it. I slightly unpacked the next day and then left for about a week for work.

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STARTED WITH A FRIDGE LEAK, NOW I'M HERE.

The brief backstory: I bought my first fixer-upper townhouse in November of 2018. It has always been a dream of mine to bring homes to the modern world, way before Chip and Joanna had their show. Also I live in Colorado so #budget. More on that part of the story later - the buying part and the renovating part, etc, etc.  

The kitchen was on one of those down the road projects. And then on March 20th, 2019 I discovered a kitchen leak - turned out to be from the fridge and next thing you know, there was an insurance claim for the floor and restoration team in my house. My parents visited a couple weeks later and my dad asked about the soffits in my kitchen. A couple ‘I just want to see if those boxes are empty or functional’ holes later and we were taking the double drop ceiling down. Faaaast forward to August 19th (ironically my dad’s birthday!) and my kitchen is once again functioning and 100% new. 

It was far from a 30 minute HGTV episode — there were a couple weeks worth of ‘commercial breaks’ and things went wrong, thats for sure. But all in all, I designed and coordinated this whole renovation so while it was kind of terrifying as pieces came together sloowwwly but it turned out even better than imagined.

I’m going to document this renovation after the fact to help me celebrate and remember all the things I’ve learned because I tried. That and to never take a fully functioning home for granted ever again. There were times when the end didn’t seem like it was in sight so I was hesitant to document this from literally ground zero BUT now that it’s done, its a little more exciting to share the process. More process posts, coming, promise.

Before I moved in, the walls were olive green, there was double drop ceiling - one level lighting, one level because #1980s. 

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A kitchen reno was a far and distant project when I moved in. I knew I could adjust a couple things and live with it for a bit. I took out a couple cabinets - the ones over the bar and one between the window and door to make it less cave like and help with lighting on the main living level. And painted everything white — because there was quite the palette throughout the house. Olive green, beige, brown, teal, yellow, dirty white, etc

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and drumroll….. the new and improved, drop-ceiling-less, de-textured walls, light filled and seemingly muuuch bigger brand new kitchen + dining space of mine. While the footprint didn’t change, it feels like a much bigger space and I have a ton more storage - even without upper cabinets.

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If you are wondering how the all white thing is working in week one of my return to cooking: I somehow accidentally turned on the blender with no lid and blueberries yesterday. I found a blueberry in my living room and evvvvverywhere in between. Sooo yeah. Things have wiped down pretty well, minus the ceiling splatters but after-all is said and done, this is a place I LIVE and it was a welcome reminder that messes mean memories and I can’t wait to share more meals and more more memories in this kitchen.

Sideby sides because I still can’t believe it:

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

THINGS I'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE & DID THEM ANYWAY

I did 4 things this weekend that I’ve never done before — all because I wasn’t afraid to try. All 4 turned out in the success category and I totally surprised myself.

And then I realized this has kind of been my unofficial life motto the past 7 years.

…Make that 5 things I’ve never done before. #5 is starting the blog I’ve been scheming for years. It finally makes sense so all this thinking time has [hopefully] paid off. I actually have a reminder every week to blog and proud to say this week I happily checked that box!

Welcome to chaos & boom - the [endless] list of things I wasn’t afraid to try and what I’ve learned by trying em— sometimes i wanted to, sometimes i didn’t have a choice. I’m a huge believer in the little things and don’t want to forget these things. And hopefully you’ll learn something, too — without having to learn/teach yourself.