Waxing Nostalgic About Our Formerly Decrepit Second Floor {Part 1: Nursery & Master Bedroom and Closet}

We started the projects discussed in this post in February 2011.

I started writing this post in September 2013.

It is now February 2014.

And you are now thinking: That’s great, Erin. What exactly is your point.

My point is that I have no point other than that there’s a good chance a triceratops still roamed the earth when we looked at each other and said “Why don’t we send the upstairs of our house to rehab?” But the time spent paid off, because we seriously have a brand new upstairs. Like almost as brand new as Cher’s face. However, this post will likely go down in history as The One Erin and Rick Will Revisit From Time to Time and Wonder Why They Didn’t Just Buy an RV and Live in a Field.

First up: the master bedroom.

Completed on the to-do list: Remove carpet. Demo closet. (Let me rephrase. DEMO CLOSET. Hmm. Still not accurately reflecting the enormity of the task. DEMO CLOSET. Okay that’s marginally better.) Scrape off textured ceiling. Skimcoat ceiling. Sand ceiling. Spray paint registers. Skimcoat junky plaster walls. Sand walls. Paint walls. Patch parts of junky plaster ceiling where we did a bad job the first time. Sand ceiling. Paint ceiling. Tear down old knot-bleeding trim. Replace with new MDF trim. Wood fill new trim. Sand new trim. Paint new trim. Remove boob light. Install chandelier. Have carpet installed!!

bedroom carpet makeover

It’s sort of a tragedy to encompass all of these rooms’ work in just one teensy little post. Oh well. I shall console myself by gazing upon footage of this “before” angle.


And here’s a gratuitous “in-progress” shot as further proof of our insanity. I mean seriously, what kind of pregnant lady is okay with this sort of disaster happening in her nest.

bedroom carpet makeover 2 

You’ll notice that “after” picture contains no bed. Or other furniture. This is because we are going minimalist and have slept on the floor for the past six months. Actually, that’s a lie. The truth is that this photo was taken just minutes after the carpet was installed. Bedroom updates—helpfully complete with bed—coming soon.

Next stop on the tour: master closet and back stairs.

Completed on the to-do list: Remove carpet. Build up around the attic stairs and drywall over weird holes. Build new closet system. Paint walls. Spray paint and install new lights. Rebuild squeaky, caving stair treds. Finish installing baseboard. Wood fill trim. Sand trim. Paint trim. Take down railing. Paint railing. Install railing. Have carpet installed!!

closet makeover

stairs carpet makeover

A bonus not included here is “Console your hysterical wife after she trips on the stairs when the railing is gone and doesn’t even remember how she ended up at the bottom of the stairs because she was working so hard to not land on her baby belly.” Truly, I was in Mama Bear mode. Unsteady, balance-challenged Mama Bear mode. Bears in the wild don’t seem to have that problem. Perhaps it’s the four legs, or the general lack of stairs.

closet carpet makeover

Final stop on today’s Part 1 tour: the nursery. Hey, look who’s here!


Completed on the to-do list: Skimcoat junky plaster walls. Sand walls. Paint walls. Skimcoat junky plaster ceiling. Sand ceiling. Paint ceiling. Frame new closet. Drywall new closet. Mud drywall. Paint closet. Sand trim. Paint trim. Rip out old carpet. Laugh at hideous red painted floor. Have carpet installed. Fill the room with cute things. Have baby installed!!




For more nursery details go here!

The details of our brand new upstairs started out being all cozy in one post but it was ridiculously long. So today you got Part 1 and next week you’ll get Part 2.

Before I sign off, I should add that that the majority of this work came to be in the seven months before Kenley was born. This was because we like to be ridiculous and obviously pregnancy is the best time to do renovation wanted to have the entire upstairs carpeted before she arrived, and in order for that to happen, a TON of messy work—as evidenced by the lists above—needed to be done first. With the October deadline looming over us, the carpet made its grand entrance just a month and a half before Kenley did. I’ll share more specifics about the carpet in an upcoming post. Spoiler alert: we are very happy with it.

Did your house need some resurfacing or did it come as a new blank slate? Should we have skipped all the labor and instead purchased an RV? According to Clark Griswold, they look nice parked in driveways.


  1. Love seeing the before and afters! It's crazy how much you guys did! Especially pregnant! Haha!

  2. Wow I wish I got that much done while pregnant! I didn't even get the nursery finished in time haha

    1. haha to be fair Rick did most of the work...I just told him what to do. And now that I think about it, it isn't that different when I'm NOT pregnant. ;)

  3. It must feel great to have this all done! Everything looks lovely. We haven't done anything major, but we need to. Maybe if I get pregnant again we can do it a month before I am due ;)

    1. A pregnant belly is an excellent taskmaster. ;)

  4. you, my friend, are brave and brilliant. ps - I can't wait to hear about the carpet. that texture is driving me batty with carpet lust. ...that is strange. I need to eat lunch.

  5. WOW! Everything looks amazing with the new carpet and fresh paint! Love it!

  6. i love the carpet you chose, and that chandy i see peeking at me!

  7. It is so beautiful! Fun to see the transformation! That would be so hard to handle while pregnant!

  8. Totally worth it - the entire space is so beautiful! Really does look brand new. (Like Cher's face.)

  9. "...Rip out old carpet. Laugh at hideous red painted floor. Have carpet installed. Fill the room with cute things. Have baby installed!!"

    ~ I die! You make it all sound so easy. :D
    Love, love, love her sweet nursery. And I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your bedroom after the bed is installed...

  10. Wow! Total transformations!

    And I fell down our 15 wood stairs on my back when I was in my first trimester. I've never been so scared in all my life. There hadn't been a railing. Needless to say, the raining went up the next day.

  11. Yay! You guys have been busy...

    ...over the last several years. :)

  12. So happy to have discovered your blog. we are in the process of restoring a 200 yr old adobe home in New Mexico...what a job! Looking forward to watching the progress of your renovations.

    red or green?

    Dropping by from SITS girls today.

  13. Your baby is absolutely adorable and so is the nursery! I'm so impressed by the raindrop wall. Totally gorgeous! P.S. I'm in your SITS Girls Tribe:)


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