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4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover

Happy Hump Day! Today I want to share a little backstory on the window makeover in our kitchen. Since we didn’t have the budget to replace the windows with historic-quality glazing (that the house really should have), we decided to keep the existing ones and give them a facelift.

To be honest though, I feel torn about replacing original windows in the first place. In our scenario, the windows are 90 years old, and we’d be lucky to have new windows last half as long. New windows would definitely be more energy efficient, but if their lifespan is shorter, are they really more environmentally friendly? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have an opinion on the topic because I keep going back and forth!

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

Alright, so here was a before shot of the windows (and kitchen). Caramel goodness galore with aged brass hardware on the windows. One thing that was interesting is the kitchen’s woodwork was completely different than the rest of the home’s dark cocoa wood stain. (Before photo courtesy of Zillow.)

Francois Renovates: Kitchen Window Makeover | Francois et Moi

The window update consisted of fresh paint, refinishing the original window hardware to match the cabinet hardware, and adding window treatments.

With the kitchen’s wood tone being different from the rest of the home, it didn’t matter if we kept the window’s caramel wood tone for consistency’s sake, so we decided to bring on the paint. The window color is Behr Poppy Seed and the trim color is Behr Whisper White. Both paints were satin finish to help with durability and cleanability without being too shiny.

Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi

The hardware makeover just required a bit of elbow grease and some Brasso. (This is not sponsored, I’m just sharing what worked for me.) I unscrewed the handles and window locks from the windows, washed them with soap and water, and scrubbed everything with Brasso to remove the aged look. As long as the hardware is unlacquered the aged metal will clean up in a snap. Seriously like 10 minutes a pop. I picked up pretty brass screws from the hardware store to attach everything back to the windows and dressed the windows with natural woven shades…which were also from the hardware store!

Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi) Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi

Giving Our Windows a Fresh Look on a Budget

PIN-IT-later4 Francois Renovates: Window Makeover on a Budget | Francois et Moi Tips for giving your old windows a new look!

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

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2 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Upstairs Apartment

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

As you guys are probably well aware by now, our home is a duplex. We own the whole thing, live on the main floor, and rent out the upstairs apartment. Here are the BEFORE shots of the kitchen from the seller’s listing last summer (courtesy of Zillow). That vintage metal wash basin was awesome, but it was standing alone with so much wasted space around it in this big room. Storage space in the rest of the apartment was also lacking, so we knew it was important to capitalize on the potential here, especially if we wanted to attract a good tenant.

Oh, and remember the plastic faux hammered tin backsplash that kept falling down in the first floor kitchen? Same beauties were taped to the wall up here too!

upstairs-kitchen1

upstairs-kitchen2

 

 

And now for the AFTER!

kitchen9

Needless to say our upstairs renovation budget was quite a bit smaller than that of the first floor’s. (Remember we had just purchased our first home and were renovating the entire first floor as well.) The goal here wasn’t to completely redesign the space, but simply to enhance and modernize what was already here, all the while preserving as much charm as possible.

Some of the major kitchen line items included:

  • Additional plumbing and electrical outlets (There was only one outlet in the entire room!)
  • Dishwasher
  • Washer/dryer combination
  • Stone worktops
  • Backsplash, shelving, lighting, moveable cart

When we renovated our kitchen on the main floor, we tore out the original cabinets because they didn’t quite work with the layout of the new design, and I’m sure tons of preservationists rolled over in their graves (I’m so sorry!). Luckily, they didn’t go to waste because the upstairs apartment was in desperate need of additional storage, and the first floor cabinets matched the ones upstairs. Total score on so many levels!

We removed the freestanding wash basin, and replaced it with the completely restored 1st floor cabinets. We positioned them in a way that created a large, continuous L-shape worksurface, tons more storage, and provided a home for the new dishwasher and washer/dryer combo. We reused the kitchen faucet from the first floor, added a backsplash for under $100, and installed open shelving for $50. The paint color, stove and refrigerator were all brand new when we purchased the home so we were able to keep these elements.

Wondering what became of the old wash basin? It’s hanging out in the garage with the old radiator from the downstairs kitchen–it will NOT end up in the landfill. We plan to fix ‘er up and sell her.

  kitchen2 kitchen8

kitchen3 kitchen7    kitchen6 living room bath2 bedroom

I’d say 80% of the apartment’s renovation took place in the kitchen, but we also re-enameled the porcelain bathtub, added additional outlets and lighting in the bathroom, updated light fixtures throughout, insulated the eaves, painted window sills, and cleaned up the radiators. Lots of little things that don’t have a big aesthetic impact, but must be done!

We put the apartment up for rent at the end of October and had our first tenant move in on December 1st! I hope to share our process for marketing, showing and ultimately closing the deal soon, so stay tuned!

PIN-IT-later4 den

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series here.

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4 In Interiors

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

Good Monday Morning! Today I’ve got the bed & bath areas of our home to share. The bulk of our updates took place in the Kitchen, Living Room & Dining Rooms, & the Upstairs Apartment, so not a ton of work has been done in these areas, shy of setting them up functionally. But, I think it’s fun seeing how other people live (because I’m nosy!), so I’m sharing the bed & bath areas of the home in case you’re anything like me!

Next on my to-do list is to paint (or maybe wallpaper?!) our bedroom. It’s the same color as when we purchased the place, so I’m not sure of the color name, but I call it builder beige. While it’s innocuous, this room faces North, so I’d like to brighten the walls up in here a bit. I think Ken is enjoying the fact that it’s one of the only rooms in the house that’s not white. I, of course, feel the opposite. When in doubt, paint it white I say!

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath   Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath   Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

The Bed & Bath Areas of Our New Home

The personality of the original bathroom floor tile was one of the things I fell in love over when we bought this house. It’s just not something that’s easy to find these days. Someday, I’d love to replace the vanity with a console similar to this bad boy, switch out the sconces to something more modern, and update the faucet/hardware to unpolished brass. All in due time though. Due time.

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

My studio is another spot in the house that hasn’t gotten a ton of love yet, other than getting a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore “White” on the walls. Now that I’m looking at this photo, I’m realizing just how badly this space is in need of a big rug. But for right now the brightly lit space is purely functional, and I’m choosing to be okay with that.

If I’m really telling the whole story, we also have a 3rd bedroom that functions as a guest room and storage room equally. Nothing to see there, as of yet. We’ll get there though!

Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath PIN-IT-later4 Francois Renovates: Bed & Bath

SOURCES:

Duvet | Striped Pillow Cases | Mini Medallion Pillow Cases | White Dresser | Sheepskin | Murano Mirror: Discontinued–Here’s a Similar One | Studio Dresser | Gold Stapler | Stool | Palm Tree

DIY PROJECTS: Brass Sconces | Gratitude Banner | Concrete Trays | Pink Floor Mirror | Work Table

This post is part of an ongoing series, Francois Renovates. Find the other posts in this series Here, Here, Here, Here & Here.

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