DAY 27 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Doors

Many flippers will go in and do a mandatory replacement of all the doors in the house. I’ve never liked that. Not all old doors are bad! I’m always salvaging them. There’s nothing wrong with flat slab style doors in my opinion. Yeah they might be 70’s. They might be oak-y. They might have brass knobs. But, they can all be painted!

Throw on a modern knob or lever and BAM you have a modern look. In fact I kind of prefer it over 6 panel or any panel door for that matter. See the door in the master bath at my Rattan Ranch Airbnb below. It was once not so pretty before a coat of paint and a new lever. Now it’s modern AF.

Here are some ways you can update your doors to feel modern and fresh….and working:

  • Fix a door that swings wonky

  • Change the hardware on all the doors in a hallway or home.

  • Paint the inside of a door or a closet door to be an accent inside the room.

  • Seal a drafty door

  • Paint the doors and trim the same color as the wall to have it feel more cohesive and blend-y.

  • Throw some washi tape on a door for some fun

  • Rekey the exterior doors so they all match

  • Replace a knob that is dumb AF and won’t work right

  • Remove a door that is in the way and is unnecessary

  • Remove doors in a room where you want to incorporate the the closet, like to make it a place to have a desk or special storage

  • Replace wonky closet doors

  • Decorate or replace mirrored closet doors

  • Replace a door that would be much better with a window in it

  • Remove an unnecessary storm or security door

That should be enough for today. Have fun with that.

DAY 26 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Shower & Tub Revival

I hate the shower. I mean when it comes to keeping it clean and in good condition. Can’t it just take care of itself already!? I want nothing more than to rip our shower out and replace all of the tile and the glass block half wall that is the “door". But, alas, I have no monies for that. I imagine many of you are in the same boat. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t update our shower a little until that magical day comes.

Here are some little updates you can do to feel a little better about your shower/tub situation:

  • New shower curtain: Be VERY selective of the pattern and craziness you go with here. Remember that most of the times, depending on your habits, your shower curtain will be closed and creating a wall across your bathroom. That’s why I tend to go with plain white if you can even believe that. Target has a nice fringe-y one I am using in the Rattan Ranch that gives a little cute texture without a bold pattern. Here is another one that is even fringe-ier.

  • Shower curtain rod - - is yours annoying AF? Replace it already!

  • Reglaze your tub and/or tile: This is like magic. No demo or anything, just sparkling like new tiles in a matter of a day! I’ve done this in many, MANY homes and it held up well for years. I usually found someone to do it in those coupon magazines that came in the mail when I was in Cincinnati. They come and tape things off and just spray that mofo until it is gleaming white (or whatever color you want it to be.) This can be done on your tile throughout the bath, too. A tub normally ran me around $300 and the whole small bathroom around $1,000. Consider that ripping it all out, buying new a new tub, tile, shower faucet and having it all installed will cost you quite a bit more in cost and time without your bathroom. You can also DIY this by getting a kit at Home Depot and doing it yourself. Just be aware that you will have brush marks, so decide if you can deal with that.

  • Clear It Out: Throw out half bits of soap, bottles of product you’ll never finish, old razors, etc. Also, clean the damn thing.

  • Dress It Up: Get a new shower mat if you didn’t in the towel challenge. Add a teak bench in your walk in shower.

  • Clean Up The Grout: Clean the grout with a grout pen . Gotta be honest, I’ve never done this. Gotta be better than nothing I’m guessing.

  • Re-caulk the shower. This will make it feel so new!

Show me your “new” and improved shower with #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

DAY 25 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Closet Makeover

For most of us updating our closet is going through our clothes and cutting back. Once that is done, and many of you just couldn’t help yourself during the great purge of DAY 1, it’s time to organize and beautify.

If you came into my closet, you’d think that no one lives in my house. We have very few clothes. We maybe have 20 hangers and not all of them are used. We have two high-boy dressers in our closet and that is where we keep our clothes. My husband and I both work from home and pretty much live in athletic gear. We each have a few pairs of shoes and that’s it. The rest of our closet stores pillows, blankets and towels. This is what works for us. Purging is not necessary in our case. However, you have to walk through the closet to get to our bathroom, so I’d like to make it a little more beautiful. With very few clothes taking up the space, I have room to get creative. So, that’s what my makeover will look like.

For you, you may not be in my situation because you have more than 5 things to wear. So, your closet makeover might look like any of the following:

  • Adding a closet by installing some wardrobes or pantry style cabinets somewhere

  • Organizing a little (after your purge).

  • Hanging more shelves

  • Adding hooks for hats, scarves or jewelry

  • Creating shoe organization

  • Painting the walls or doors

  • If after your purge you have some empty space, you can move your dresser into your closet and free up floor space in your bedroom

  • Hanging some artwork

  • Changing out the light for something more fun, but only if it makes you happy. Don’t waste money because you think this is what you “should” do.

  • Putting in a closet organization system

  • Moving something out and put it somewhere where it makes more sense

This project is something I would tackle if I my closet was a disaster, if I loved my closet (or wanted to) or if I just needed a creative outlet. So, if you have bigger fish to fry, then skip this one. If your closet is creating such a cluster that life sucks (like what is happening in my coat closet), then put it at the top of your list. Sometimes these things have a trickling effect which needs to stop.

DAY 24 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Light It Up

If you think I’m going say for you to go buy all new light fixtures, well you are only a smidgen correct. Maybe 5% on point because there is so much more to be done with lighting than just switching out a light fixture. Today we will work on lighting as a complete package.

DAY 24 Lighting.png

There’s a lot to be done in the lighting department. Below are the many ways you can make an impact in your home by adjusting your lighting needs.

Replace Your Bulbs With The Right Bulb, Even If It’s Not Burnt Out

Edison Bulbs

Early on in the Edison bulb craze, I realized it wasn’t for me. That’s right. No. Here’s why: many of the light fixtures that feature Edison bulbs look great in the fixture, but work horribly in the room. I once put a light fixture in a bathroom with Edison bulbs and my newly renovated bathroom felt like a haunted house. Edison bulbs are horrible for actually seeing anything as they don’t put off enough light, especially in a lighting situation where you want to see what you are doing. They also tend to be a little too orange-y/amber in color for my taste. Maybe this has changed over the years, but still, I haven’t gotten over the let down of a cool looking bulb not working the way I wished it would. I have a hard time going back to things after I have already shunned them, like capri pants and Costco.

Bright White and Blue Hued Bulbs

On the flip side, nothing feels more clinical than a bulb that shines just as annoyingly as fluorescent bulbs. The ones that come to mind are new LED can lights. I tend to stay away from LED lights in general because of this. They typically are so blue in hue that they feel like you’re getting prepped for surgery. If your room feels horrible, try switching out the bulbs for something a little warmer. It seems counter intuitive, yet you’ll thank me later.

Globe Bulbs

Instead of using Edison bulbs I like to grab round incandescent bulbs. They put out great light and have a nice shape as well. They work well in those situations where an Edison bulb would look good, but won’t work well for lighting purposes. They also work well in situations where you’ll be looking up at the bulb from below, such as in the bathroom where you don’t want look up and see the swirly CFL bulbs hanging down.

Appliance Bulbs

How annoying is it to open your freezer or dryer and not be able to see inside? Fix that shit already.

Update Your Light Fixture

Paint It

We’ve hit this in several challenges already so you know full well by now that you can paint a light fixture. Shut off the power to that fixture, flip the switch on and off to test that it is in fact off, then take that puppy down for it’s spray paint treatment. Put it back up the same way you took it down.

Decorate or Un-decorate It

If your bathroom vanity light or dining room chandelier are dumb AF, you have a few options.

  1. Replace the shades with something different. Home Depot sells shades by themselves.

  2. Remove the shades completely. Do you even need shades? Maybe, maybe not.

  3. Replace the bulbs for something a little more shapely and call it a day. Sometimes it’s just that flame bulb that is bringing the wrong vibe. Try a globe bulb to modernize it.

  4. Add something to your light fixture like beads, crystals, what have you.

Replace Your Fixture

Sometimes you just have to jump ship and try something new. I like to buy light fixtures from Amazon, Etsy, Shades of Light , West Elm, World Market, CB2 and Pottery Barn. There is always a sale going on at those box stores so keep an eye out. Here are some of my favorite fixtures I’ve used over the years.

Remove A Light Fixture

This is something I’m doing regularly now, as in I’m not putting fixtures where I would have normally. I may even remove some. For instance, for a long while pendant lights were the norm in any kitchen I would design. Now, I decide if that kitchen would benefit from them or if it would detract. My newest remodel, The Rattan Ranch, was one such case. I have rattan basket style pendants hanging above the table in the adjoining dining room. I couldn’t think of a light fixture that would compliment those lights and not compete with them. I also didn’t like the idea of more lights hanging down in my face. So, I just did without. I do still have can lights, but no pendant lights over the peninsula.

Dim It

Maybe you’re not suffering from a light fixture problem at all. Maybe you just need to be able to tone it down a little. Add some dimmers to some lights, especially the can lights. This will make your nights and early mornings much more enjoyable. See the DAY 22 pleasure post about other ways to make your home feel more pleasurable.

If you shop for a new light fixture or light bulb and if you put this plan into action, we want to see! It’s so motivating to see things getting done! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge!

DAY 23 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Filter It

How often are you changing your filters? The answer is NOT ENOUGH. “They” suggest once a month and I can tell you there’s not one person on this planet doing that. You have to change them or else your furnace/AC will lock up and then that shit breaks.

And if you, dear renter, think it’s not your responsibility, STAWP. When your furnace locks up because it can’t get any air flowing through that 2 year old clogged up filter, your landlord is going to be pissed. And then you’ll be pissed because your house will be way hot or way cold depending on the season. It’s a lose/lose situation.

To help you remember to change your HVAC filter, join Your Filter Club and get them delivered to you! You can set it to deliver monthly, every other month or quarterly. It’s not even expensive! You may be paying a few dollars more than buying them at the store, but the value is in REMEMBERING, but also not having to drive to the store. Let Mr./Ms. Delivery Person remind you it’s time when they hand your filter over every month or so. Get your first filter FREE with code Flippin Wendy.

While you’re at it, change out your fridge filter because clean water tastes fantastic.