If you are newer to this blog, you may not know that in 2015 we sold our perfectly finished French inspired home and bought a neglected fixer located just a few miles from it. Hello Lovely became sort of a diary of ongoing projects (um…we renovated the whole thing ourselves) where I shared the joys and pitfalls honestly. So just in case there are any readers wondering if we just sort of slapped some paint on the while and styled the home, let’s glance back and be clear that Yep, I’m a Real Life Renovator For Realz!
This project aged us like no other! We addressed every single room in the four-bedroom home. That meant we gutted the kitchen and bathrooms, tore up floors, replaced the furnace/CA, and upgraded every fixture and finish to make this a new house.
Our bedroom furniture was antique white, and I did a light glaze of Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter + water over it to keep it light with an aged look. Here’s another nightstand which could easily be tweaked with paint as desired:
Are You a Real Life Renovator For Realz?
My husband and I are half crazy renovators who choose to do the majority of home improvement ourselves.
Initially, we were DIYers because we were so doggone poor and drowning in student loan debt. But after we paid off the debt, we found it gratifying to see projects through together.
We have learned to do the work by reading, observing, and mostly doing it! Below you’ll find some before/after peeks as well as learn about renovation tools we rely upon.
Tools of the trade for the real life renovators
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Here’s one power tool I simply cannot live without.
HP Elitebook Folio. For years, I have been relying upon my HP Elitebook to shop, glean inspiration, find video tutorials, and Google things like ‘how to remove stains from carrara marble.’
Renovation Tools We Rely Upon
1. The usual suspects
In my own box, you’ll find: a handsome vintage hammer with patina worthy of a devoted blog post, finishing nails, paint color decks, trowels and paint brushes as well as tape measures. But my #1 favorite tool costs about $6 and helps to transform everything…
I LOVE THIS WOOSTER PAINT BRUSH and have used them for years. They are inexpensive enough to use for projects that wreck the bristles by the end. (Like old crusty wood shutters where you have to work the paint into the louvers.)
2. Serious Muscle Power
Heavy lifting and the bulk of physical labor is executed by my better half, whose imagination was ignited by our fixer upper which we began tackling in 2015. (He had to convince me!) I helped with some demo, sanding, plastering, all of the painting, planting, and lighter projects.
3. This DeWalt DIY Home Essential
It is portable, powerful for ripping and roaring into home improvement, projects, and what we turn to.
With a whole house DIY renovation, we have required more clean up on aisle three than I can say. So we cannot get by without a Dyson posse.
5. This Timesaver
The most important tool my husband has turned to for our whole house DIY renovation? This NAIL GUN was key.
More Essentials for DIY
A paint sprayer saved us so much time when we painted ceilings, garage doors, and a slew of outdoor furniture.
Canvas dropcloths have saved my floors from my clumsy DIY adventuring more times than I can count!
Renovation Before & Afters
Have a look at what determination, labor, and smart tools can bring back to life!
Find the French Tolix style metal bistro chair RIGHT HERE.
Here is a garden bench similar to ours: RIGHT HERE.
Here’s a gorgeous cabinet in the same spirit of our old sideboard from Belgium. This one’s new but made from reclaimed Elm.
I’m also crushing on Wisteria’s vintage Chinese bench!
It’s so fun to look back at the befores and realize all we have accomplished around here!
A Famous Renovator I Admire!
Peace to you right where you are.
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