Wrapping Up the Reno

So where did we leave off?… Right, we had a brand new wood floor, a single warped board and a cement-bare entryway.


Jefe and I came home on Friday to find that miraculously, they managed to fix the wooden floor.  I don’t know if they had to rip it all up (which was what was initially mentioned when I pointed out the lone survivor of the Great Warpage) or if they found a way to jimmy it in, but all I knew is that it was gone and our wood floors looked great.
The tile was down with spacers, but still needed to be grouted.  Fine.  One more day of reno wasn’t going to hurt us.  Famous last words.  Jefe and I spent Saturday watching men come in and out of our apartment, finishing some things and leaving others behind.
In the end, once all the workmen were gone, we were left with dirty walls that required 3 hours of scrubbing with Clorox wipes and Magic Erasers (thank god for Mr. Clean), and baseboards that our own handyman said “looked like hell.”  There was also tile cement left in all sorts of nefarious places: clumps all over our kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as on the counters in the kitchen, marks at eye level on the walls (how on Earth did cement from the floor get that high?!) as well as a 5 inch smudge of cement on our exterior door frame which I still have yet to clean.  Needless to say, I was a bit more than frustrated at this point so I didn’t take pictures.  Bad blogger, I know.  Lesson learned.  I did manage to grab this one today of the spot still to be dealt with:
Now I get that renos involve dirt.  All kinds of dirt.  Especially when you’re talking about floors.  But to say that we were less than thrilled with the state of our apartment after they left is quite the understatement.  And we don’t even own the place.  If I were the landlord, I’d be pissed at the finished product.  The main floors look great, but any details (ie-the baseboards), look like the flooring guys did the bare minimum.  Case in point:
Exhibit A
Well, after a Saturday filled with this fun, Jefe woke up on Sunday and said “let’s buy some furniture.”  I don’t know if it was all the dust in the air he may have inhaled the day before, but I certainly wasn’t going to argue with him.  So we packed ourselves in the car and headed out.
To his credit, when we had to push all of our furniture to accommodate the repairs, we noticed that our 3 Ikea Lack bookshelves had seen better days.  Namely, they stood at a severe angle.  My poor hunchbacked bookcases 😦
Before: lack-wall-shelf-unit__0099184_PE240834_S4
After 2 years of books stacked on them:
This is not an optical illusion.  These are, in fact, that crooked.
We looked and there was no way to tighten/fix them and we didn’t trust them to withstand much more, particularly if “the big one” hit (for you non-Californians, that’s referring to the big earthquake everyone says that we are “due” to get any day now).  And when we looked around the room, particularly at the lovely new Crate & Barrel TV stand we got (that I have somehow failed to share with you until now), we really felt we could switch up our style a bit.
Now, Jefe and I are both at the point that we’d love to stop handing over the Benjamins to the big blue & yellow Swedish man in Burbank.  But we’re also not rolling in it (yet) either.  So off to Ikea we went.
Thanks to Operation Homify, we decided we had the following criteria for new bookshelves:
1) Had to coordinate with our current furniture and the more traditional style we’re aiming for
2) Had to fit the space
3) Wouldn’t break within a year or two
4) Did not cost an arm and a leg.
Enter the Hemnes.  She’s a beaut, isn’t she?  I’m in love with her.  I want to make little book babies with her.  I’m THRILLED to finally have a space in our home where I can “style” our books.  The Lack versions clearly didn’t allow for that, so I’ve been playing with this guy pretty much non stop since we got it.  It’s definitely still a work in progress, but here you go:
As it didn’t fit all of our books, we needed to get a second, smaller shelf.  I would have loved to have just brought home a pint-sized Hemnes, but they don’t make one yet. (Why Ikea hasn’t thought to make a solid wood, short bookcase yet is completely beyond me).  So we resorted to the old standby – the Billy.
After assembling quite a few for his parents’ reno, I’m pretty sure Jefe could assemble one of these in his sleep at this point.  So he took the Billy assembly while I tackled the behemoth Hemnes (mind you, it’s nearly 7 feet tall).  Once built in the open space on our floor, we finally could clean up the place and make it feel like home again.  An hour of cleaning and rearranging later, we had a great little living room update.
And a little surprise: I’ve been working to make our desk space more appealing (in hopes I’ll get to blogging a bit more often), so you get to see some of those upgrades too!  We’ve got new art, which is an ode to my lovely little hometown.  It’s a picture of the front of Lancaster’s Central Market, the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in the country.  It’s been around for HUNDREDS of years.  Has anything in LA been around that long?!
DSCN1127 We added the desk lamp awhile ago, but switched it to my side of the desk when we added the new bookcase and relocated our standing lamp.  I finally went through the mountain of stray papers I had strewn across my side and added these little guys on top of my organizer, a recent find on my first trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market (more on that in the coming week):
And there you have it.  Although we’re still fighting to get our washer in working order (it had to be removed to re-tile the space where it was in the hallway and has yet to work since attempting to hook it up again), Jefe and I are pretty happy that we were able to turn a trying situation into an opportunity for some updating.

2 thoughts on “Wrapping Up the Reno

  1. how people stay in business when the quality of their work is so terrible, i cannot understand. at least it’s over now! we have a love-hate relationship with hemnes, though we are thinking of getting the sofa table to use as a TV stand.

    question–where did you get your dining/desk chairs? are they the HENRIKSDAL from ikea? if so, would you recommend?


    • You’re right on the chairs. We like them and they’ve been pretty sturdy with no issues for the last 2 years. Our two extras we use as desk chairs and pull them up to the table when needed. Covers are washable which is great with white chairs. I’d love to actually do something else with them (like a pattern) but just haven’t found the right thing yet. That would also take some Jefe convincing :-D. I’d say they’re definitely worth the money and look similar to more expensive options for the same quality.


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