Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

One month progress update at the Stanley Tudor - Revived!

Back when we were first working on the Stanley 90s Reno, I shared weekly progress updates recapping the random but significant things we did. We were working every evening and weekends for months! We lived with my parents a full 4 weeks till we made it livable over there and moved in. 

Well, we’re going about this house reno completely differently. It needed way less work before we moved in, but will need way MORE work over the long term (so no point trying to do it now). Plus, we are able to hire out more of the work.

Nonetheless we have been working about as hard as we can with a new baby around, and we have made noticeable progress/changes already that are worth mentioning! I look at our “before” pictures and photo tour and think WOW, go us.

I have shared a few highlights and vignettes on my Instagram, but here are a few more real life photos!! We are surrounded by boxes and partially painted rooms, and are still dealing with things like a bathroom sink that doesn't drain. But to be more positive, the progress and what we've done...:

Respectful demo

Day 1, we took down curtain rods, etc. to prep the walls for painting. We made trash and donation piles and got rid of a bunch of random things that the sellers left in the house.

Once that was done we got things clean enough for painting, like dusting corner cobwebs, and I had the kitchen and parts of the house professionally cleaned.

I also got paint samples and tried them out in several places around the house! We went with Sherwin Williams Alabaster, which we have been so happy with. It reads like a soft pure white but not cool at all (or yellow).


We tried to hire out the painting, since it is a big job and we just don't have the energy or time. But, despite talking to 4 painters and contacting several more, I wasn't able to find an affordable one that was available. So, Jason worked his butt off and he and my parents did a lot of painting. I helped where I could while Otto was napping.

We also did some prep like caulk the trim in the kitchen. (This is not original trim; we are keeping all the original stuff that is still wood unpainted, but this was done in the 90s or 2000s and doesn't match the painted wood trim on the windows in the kitchen so we will be painting all of it white.)

You can tell in this photo we started painting the ceiling. Ha. Jason was using up a ceiling paint roller and never finished! Also that is one coat of primer and one coat of paint on the walls below (just primer above).

Unfortunately we have only finished painting a few rooms - we had to do it piecemeal since we can't hire it out all at once. We got the living room, dining room, bedroom, and spare room/nursery painted, and are almost done with the hall and entry. We also got some closets done, and are about halfway done with the kitchen. Then we will be able to work on painting the upstairs rooms--sometime. Right now we're not living up there at all, have almost no stuff up there! But soon we'd like to set up my sewing room/our office in one of the bedrooms up there, so need to get the train track around the ceiling demoed and patch and paint.

After finishing painting each room, we did a good cleaning of the windows and floors so we could move in!

Moving in

About 2 weeks after getting the keys, we moved in our big stuff (and moved boxes and stuff we're not ready for to the garage). Getting the bed, TV, sofa, coffee table, and rugs set up made us feel at home even though the kitchen was full of tools and paint and we still didn't know where most of our stuff was.

So messy.

Also had to unpack the curtains, and hang them! I ordered more of these rods that I love plus this big one for the big window.


We sold so much of our stuff when we sold our last house. So much. And we hadn't had everything (like our books) even set up at the last house since it was never really "done" before we moved. We didn't have bookshelves anymore, though!

After months and months of hoping this house would work and thinking about furniture and rugs, I am finally able to start buying stuff. Which feels very weird, buying a bunch of new stuff at once. I'm shopping Craigslist and Goodwill as well as Amazon and Target, but still buying a lot of new stuff and getting a lot of heavily packaged furniture in big boxes showing up. I feel a little guilty. But we do still need a few things to get settled--like a dining table!

Just ordered a rocking chair for the nursery, finally!


We have a few things we need to take care of ASAP, mostly expensive, not exciting things. New garage door, new electrical panel, etc. I'm working on quotes for some of those, and we already got our locks changed (had to call the locksmith to work on our old doors that don't fit standard locks). We knew this house would need some more expensive, less pretty updates... so we are going down the list! There's a lot of this stuff on my mind right now.

What next?

We still have SO, so much to do, but we are planning to take it slow once we get the downstairs and office painted, and try to just enjoy having a normal, non-project-filled house. This will be especially important when Jason starts school end of this month.

However there are still some exciting things on my mind... I plan to order some Roman shades soon for some of the other windows--some still have the old blinds, some have overgrown grapes growing outside them so are private, and the dining room windows literally have tissue paper that I taped up to them blocking visibility and some light. Ha!

I also am talking to a few potential sources about new kitchen cabinets!! The kitchen will take a lot of planning but cabinets will be the biggest item so I'm starting my research now.

Follow along on Instagram for quicker updates, and of course subscribe to my posts to read the more detailed stuff! (Black box in the right sidebar under my profile pic and social icons.) Lots more to do!!

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