Having decided that the best way to get enough money to buy a motel, we started making some improvements to our house. We spoke to our Realtor, and he suggested a few things, but said that overall, we were on the right track. In a way, at this point I feel we made a mistake. Rather than doing what we could, we started charging some of the improvements to our credit card, justifying it by planning to pay it off completely upon selling. We also talked to Jared, concerned about the timing of placing the house for sale, as it was early summer when we started, and typically the time houses are placed up for sale. We still had a lot of work we wanted to get done before putting it on the market, and we were worried about the time of year it would be put on during. He told us not to worry, that there was a second boom of house buying, typically around Aug-Nov, when people are done with summer vacations, and are ready to start thinking about where they'll live for the coming winter and new year.
We thought that sounded about perfect, and started in on the improvements. Our first step was pulling up the old linoleum in the Laundry Room, something that Ludo had helpfully started as a puppy with his teeth, and replacing it with industrial strength garage paint, in a nice gunmetal grey, and painting the walls. At the same time, we started re-painting the Craft Room, and trying to find paint matches for the other rooms in the house that we didn't plan to re-paint completely. The Library and Theatre Room were easy, we'd saved the color codes and names for each, and merely had to grab a couple of quarts, but the other rooms in the house were tricky. We hadn't repainted them, as the owners had clearly just re-painted before we bought the house, and we liked the colors a lot. Of course, the few paint cans they left laying around when we bought the house belonged to other parts of the house, so we had to resort to carefully picking away at a section of paint to get enough for a sample, and even then, they didn't match quite right. Next time, we'll just re-paint the whole bloody thing.
We also refinished the bedroom floor, painted the porch, filled the holes where once hung my collection of masks, and started thinking about the two bigger projects, the bloody bathroom and the ugly kitchen.
After fiddling with the bathroom colors a bit in Photoshop, we decided that the best thing would be to re-paint the white trim, choose a nice almond color to match the gold fixtures and sink, and use a light pink color for the top, that would also go with the rose flooring we chose. While it wasn't a large project, we did learn a few valuable tips about painting trim, and working in tiny rooms.... Laying flooring in a small room like that was especially time consuming compared to what I'd thought it would be.
The kitchen was a lot more fun. We pulled up all of the ugly old linoleum, and carefully cleaned the floors, replacing it with higher quality vinyl tiles (We thought about real tile, but decided we wouldn't get enough out of them for the expense) and while my mom scoured the dollar shops looking for some decent "Fat Chef" decor to match the curtains that had been hanging since we moved in, we also repainted some of the room, added some trim and baseboard and put drawer pulls on. The difference was pretty dramatic!