Archive for April, 2011


Home Renovations on my mind….

For the past several weeks, I’ve had home renovations on my mind. It’s been a very intense time with my PhD course work, the National Art Education Association National Convention (NAEA) , and the pressure/stress of renovating a 100 year old house in tandem. However, the spring semester is almost finished and I’m reaching the end of the tunnel with the overwhelming reality of do-it-yourself renovations. The refinished floors are beautiful and the baseboards, windowsills, and door frames have been restored. Having done the project 100% on my own it means a lot to me.

The refinished floors. When staining I did not wipe off the stain from the doors, baseboards, or windowsills, which appear darker and provide a nice contrast to the rich English Chestnut color by Minwax.

Next up is tiling the kitchen floors and I’ve purchased the Abriola Beige floor tile from Surface Source at Lowe’s which should be laid in the next week or so.

The painted over kitchen wallpaper has also been removed using the Wagner Power Steamer and Cleaner. A great small appliance that is very useful and convenient to have around the house.

Two layers of wallpaper came off very easily and there was no need to use any harsh chemicals which was nice.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about paint stripping and I’m finally going to finish stripping the kitchen baseboards, back door, door frames, and windowsills this weekend. Stripping paint is the worst job. You have to strip with harsh chemicals and sand at least five times to get all the paint off.

Paint stripping in progress……

The stripped door frame and baseboards with a new Jeld-Wen door. The kitchen is beginning to look better.

Stripping paint is incredibly labor intensive but also very transformative and cost effective. My 100 year old baseboards are restored.

We’ve also purchased a new LG washing machine and top up/bottom down cellular shades from but will have to wait until the walls have been painted before installation.

Before painting the walls and tiling the floors, the kitchen cabinets have to be stripped, stained, and re-varnished.

New hardware is being put on the cupboard doors and the old ugly copper hinges are being replaced with more modern hidden ones. At the moment our contractor Richard Rhoads is installing the new hinges and the doors have been removed.

Painting the walls is the one job I can’t wait to do but it is last on the list as the kitchen flooring/ceiling have priority. Here are the boxes of floor tile on the back deck.

After tiling the kitchen floors, the ceiling will be drywalled with an electrician installing a new light switch and fixture.

It kills me that for over 100 years! 100 years! All past owners of this duplex have been too cheap to bring in an electrician and have the kitchen light fixed. It’s currently used with a chain and a shoe lace instead of a switch. Who lives like that? This is what happens when you take on a fix-er-upper close to campustown.

However, at the end of the day renovations are a labor of love and an opportunity to actualize your own vision of modern living. It takes a certain type of person to take on DIY renovations and I’ll miss this process once it’s finished which thankfully should be soon.


Jo’s tweets


RSS rss feed

  • Grow With HubSpot New York February 23, 2016
    The marketing software company HubSpot sponsored an event at Irving Plaza in New York, NY on Thursday February 18th to provide an overview of their services to potential clients and marketers. HubSpot markets through Web 2.0, social media, email marketing, CRM, and blogs. The event began at 2pm and began with a session on how […]
    Jo Rees
  • TCS NYC Marathon Long Training Run #1: Race review July 26th, 2014 August 14, 2014
    Pacers from the New York Flyers running club 20.9 miles 8’37” pace/mile time This was a very meaningful race that I’d trained hard for. I knew that running 20 miles along the rolling hills of Central Park was going to be a challenge. I wanted to finish and finish strong. The race began at 7am and […]
    Jo Rees
  • Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Race Review: 1:49:40, June 22nd 2014 August 14, 2014
    This was a special race as it took place in my hometown of Vancouver, BC. I had wanted to run a Vancouver race for a while and it was an absolute pleasure to run through UBC, West Van, and Stanley Park for 13.10 miles. The course began at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena and ran along SW […]
    Jo Rees
  • Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon: Race Review 3:58:18 August 14, 2014
    It was a great experience to run my first marathon at home in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois on April 26th. I decided to run with the 3:50 pace group and met a lot of interesting people on the course. Our pacer Steve had run 13 marathons in one year and I connected with others who traveled across […]
    Jo Rees
  • February 2014 April 12, 2014
    Here are some images from New York and Urbana, Il from February 2014 Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • PicFrame Collages March 17, 2014
    Here are photographs from our trip to Washington DC last weekend that are framed using the PicFrame app. Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from January 2014 February 10, 2014
    Here are some images from Urbana, IL and New York, NY from January 2014 Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from December 2013 February 9, 2014
    Images from the holidays in Urbana, IL and New York, NY   Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from November 2013 February 9, 2014
    Here are some images from last November in Urbana, IL and New York, NY Filed under: General
    Jo Rees
  • Photographs from October 2013 February 9, 2014
    Here are some images from Urbana, IL from last October and early November Filed under: General
    Jo Rees

RSS rss comment feed

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS rss photography

  • Sticky feelings January 17, 2018
    I took this photo in October 2015 and never looked at it closely (I recommend clicking on the image
    Tracy Abell
  • Adventure seeking #4 January 17, 2018
    Kia ora,  After a week of excitement I have some time for myself right now. The Ultimate week h
  • Chapter 1: Your Photographic Style January 17, 2018
    The Visual Toolbox series: Consider Your Vision Lynx – Montreal EcoMuseum Though I’ve ta
  • Snow Day Fashion Picks January 17, 2018
    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! ❄️☃️ I’m sure by the end of winter I’ll be beyond
  • Black & White Still life January 17, 2018
    One of the things I have resolved to do this year is eat healthily.    I have been learning about th