Our sweet little guest room renovation

This room is one of the reasons I wanted to buy this house. It was so charming with those neat windows overlooking the cute Victorian homes on the street. The direct sunlight was also a bonus, and look at the pretty floors.

The guest room the day we looked at the house for the first time.

The guest room the day we looked at the house for the first time.

Pretty windows with a view of Pikes Peak

Pretty windows with a view of Pikes Peak

We had hoped this room would be the “master bedroom” but the king-size bed just barely fit in the space and it really wasn’t going to work. We did end up spending more time sleeping in this room than the real master bedroom during our time here, for various reasons, tho.

One day I started picking at a spot on the wall and uncovered this cool old wallpaper.

One day I started picking at a spot on the wall and uncovered this cool old wallpaper. The beige wallpaper was the first layer and the one with the blue was on top of it. We think the blue was from the 30s or 40s.

This is really old- it's actual paper. I googled the pattern and think it is from when the house was built in 1911.

This is really old- it's actual paper. I googled the pattern and think it is from when the house was built in 1911.

I loved the old wallpaper and we planned on stripping it all off this one wall and doing something kind of artsy with it. But when we decided we needed to sell the house, we just decided to cover it back over and be more generic.

I loved the old wallpaper and we planned on stripping it all off this one wall and doing something kind of artsy with it. But when we decided we needed to sell the house, we just decided to cover it back over and be more generic.

It made a cute guest room. These twon beds could be pushed together to make a king bed, but there isn't much room that way.

It made a cute guest room. These twin beds could be pushed together to make a king bed, but there isn't much room that way.

A little sitting area for guests.

A little sitting area for guests.

This was the last room we painted so we just mixed together all the leftover paint. Since they were all shades of grey and beige, it worked out fine. The trim is Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls.

This was the last room we painted so we just mixed together all the leftover paint. Since they were all shades of grey and beige, it worked out fine. The trim is Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls.

We actually had several guests in the year we spent there, so it was nice to have a place for them.

Spare bedroom: office and dressing room swap and renovation

When we first moved into our 1911 Colorado Springs Craftsman, we used one of the upstairs bedrooms as a dressing room. I have a glamour photography business and like having a dedicated room for the girls to get dressed and their hair and makeup done. But since we were going to sell the house we wanted to have a more mainstream floor plan and that meant using the bedroom we used for a dressing room to be an office instead. Luckily there was a small covered porch off the bedroom that would work perfectly as a little dressing room.

The smallest bedroom was pretty cute as a dressing room.

The smallest bedroom was pretty cute as a dressing room.

But when I didn't have any photo shoots, it became a messy place for random items.

But when I didn't have any photo shoots, it became a messy place for random items.

So we took everything out, patched, painted, stripped the hardware, and changed the outlet covers from off white to white.

So we took everything out, patched, painted, stripped the hardware, and changed the outlet covers from off white to white.

We used Benjamin Moore Old Prairie for the walls and Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls on the trim.

We used Benjamin Moore Old Prairie for the walls and Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls on the trim.

The view from the new office room.

The view from the new office room.

The office "after".

The office "after".

Lots of houses in Colorado Springs have small covered porches off the largest bedroom. They were for TB patients who came to Colorado Springs seeking “the cure” which consisted of, among other things, lots of fresh air. Some of the porches were open at first and covered later. Some were always covered but with lots of windows, which we think was the case with ours.

The small covered porch off the bedroom would make a nice dressing room.

The small covered porch off the bedroom would make a nice dressing room.

The small covered porch needed a lot of work before it could be used as a dressing room.

The small covered porch needed a lot of work before it could be used as a dressing room.

We nicknamed this the "door to nowhere" and had some trouble getting financing because of it. It originally went out to an uncovered porch- our neighbor's is still intact.

We nicknamed this the "door to nowhere" and had some trouble getting financing because of it. It originally went out to an uncovered porch- our neighbor's is still intact. Some drywall solved the problem.

It was also really cold in there in the winter, so we did our best to close up all the gaps and holes. Mike got to use his favorite thing, spray foam, for this task.

It was also really cold in there in the winter, so we did our best to close up all the gaps and holes. Mike got to use his favorite thing, spray foam, for this task.

This was the only light in the room, and it had no electrical outlets, so we got an adapter for the fixture that had a couple of outlets on it. You have to have the light turned on to use the outlets, but since I only really needed the outlet for a hair dryer, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

And paint. It needed a LOT of paint.

And paint. It needed a LOT of paint.

It took days to prep, prime, patch, paint and caulk this room.

It took days to prep, prime, patch, paint and caulk this room.

I loved the original red floor, but it needed to be repainted and we didn't want to spend any more money, so we just did it in the white (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls). I was planning to use a rug anyway, which covered most of the floor.

I loved the original red floor, but it needed to be repainted and we didn't want to spend any more money, so we just did it in the white (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls). I was planning to use a rug anyway, which covered most of the floor.

I cut up the pink curtains from the other room and used them in here.

Covered porch dressing room "after".

Covered porch dressing room "after".

Dressing room "after".

Dressing room "after".

Simple dining room renovation

When we first moved in to our 1911 house in Colorado Springs, we used the dining room as the office. I like having my computer downstairs near the kitchen and laundry room. Plus our living room was big enough to have our dining table in it. But when we decided to sell the house we thought we should have a more conventional floor plan, so we moved the office upstairs and used the dining room as a real dining room.

This room just needed patching, painting, and hardware stripping.

Before and after. Looks like the former owners started to strip the trim but gave up. Stripping paint is a huge undertaking and this wood just wasn't that nice, so not worth it.

Before and after. Looks like the former owners started to strip the trim but gave up. Stripping paint is a huge undertaking and this wood just wasn't that nice, so not worth it. Plus the white trim (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls) looks really nice against the Benjamin Moore Grey Owl on the walls.

Another view of the dining room "after".

Another view of the dining room "after".

There was no overhead light so we finally got this fun lamp at Habitat For Humanity ReStore for six bucks!

There was no overhead light so we finally got this fun lamp at Habitat For Humanity ReStore for six bucks! It had a gold chain so we spray painted it black.

We were really happy with how this room came out. Much better as a dining room than an office!

Edit: I just saw this lamp for sale online. LOL.

Our simple bedroom renovation

Our 1911 Craftsman house in Colorado Springs needed some fixing-up when we bought it. When we discovered we needed to sell it shortly after we bought it, we started on a four month renovation.

The bathroom and the kitchen were the rooms that required the most work. The rest of the place just needed some sprucing up.

The bedroom needed some patching, some sanding down of wood trim, and some paint. We also stripped all the old paint off the hardware  as we did in every other room.

Painting the bedroom

Painting the bedroom in neutral Benjamin Moore Horizon, with Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls on the trim.

Lots of cracks in the plaster that needed to be fixed.

Lots of cracks in the plaster that needed to be fixed.

Sanding down the wood doors for repainting. If we were going to live there we would have spent the time and money and had them professionally stripped.

Sanding down the wood doors for repainting. If we were going to live there we would have spent the time and money and had them professionally stripped.

Sometimes it's the little things. We changed out the light switch to a dimmer. Also, we replaced all the off white outlet covers with white ones.

Sometimes it's the little things. We changed out the light switch to a dimmer. Also, we replaced all the off white outlet covers with white ones.

We like to paint the trim before the walls

Once we were done painting, we noticed it needed some caulk. Oops, that was backwards. But it looked fine because the caulk and the trim colors were pretty much identical.

The bedroom before and after

The bedroom before and after

Renovated bedroom

Renovated bedroom

Renovated bedroom

Renovated bedroom

The floors didn’t need anything but a good scrubbing. We were pretty happy with the results!

Downtown Colorado Springs Wrap-up Round-up

We love living in Chicago now. We appreciate all the things that big cities have to offer, including the progressive attitudes of the citizens and the people in charge. But Colorado Springs has its charms, and it was really hard to leave. The downtown area is very pretty with lots of trees and flowers (when the city can find it in the budget to water them) and beautiful historic homes and buildings (for now anyway). There are lots of little shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, a couple of cute parks, a public library, some art galleries, and two museums. It’s flat so it’s easy to walk or bike around, and the views of the mountains are stunning.  Here are some of the things we loved about living in downtown Colorado Springs (along with some of our gripes, as usual).

You can walk or bike all over the place. It's flat and the drivers are cautious.

You can walk or bike all over the place. It's flat and the drivers are usually pretty cautious.

Smiley's was just a couple blocks from our house, and we went there many weekends for breakfast.

Smiley's was just a couple blocks from our house, and we went there many weekends for breakfast. Click this pic for their website.

Homespun handwritten menu at Smiley's

Homespun handwritten menu at Smiley's

Breakfast at Smiley's is delicious!

Breakfast at Smiley's is delicious! Probably the best bacon in the COS.

Tejon St. Music has been around a long time. Great place for all your guitar needs. Click this pic for their website.

Tejon Street Music has been around a long time. Great place for all your guitar needs. Click this pic for their website.

Pretty residential street in downtown Colorado Springs

Pretty residential street in downtown Colorado Springs

Our old apartment downtown. It's since been sold and the new owners "remodeled" it, basically ruining all its old history. Still, it's got pretty neighbors.

Our old apartment downtown. It's since been sold and the new owners "remodeled" it, basically ruining all its old history. Still, it's got pretty neighbors.

Lunch on the patio at Poor Richards. Best pizza in town! Click this pic for their website.

Lunch on the patio at Poor Richard's. Best pizza in town! Click this pic for their website.

Cocktails and coffee at Poor Richards.

Cocktails and coffee at Poor Richard's.

Paris Crepe- one of our all-time faves. Click this pic for their website.

Paris Crepe -- one of our all-time faves. Click this pic for their website.

The best crepes are at Paris Crepe. Don't they look delish?

The best crepes are at Paris Crepe. Don't they look delish?

Paris Crepe is across the street from Acacia Park and it's nice to spend a summer evening eating crepes on their sidewalk cafe.

Paris Crepe is across the street from Acacia Park and it's nice to spend a summer evening eating crepes on their sidewalk cafe.

The weather is gorgeous and the views are stunning from downtown.

The weather is gorgeous and the views are stunning from downtown.

In the summer there are free concerts in Acacia Park on Saturday evenings.

In the summer there are free concerts in Acacia Park on Saturday evenings.

There's also a farmers market there on Mondays.

There's also a farmers market there on Mondays.

Acacia Park and Monument Valley Park are fun places to sit and have a picnic.

Acacia Park and Monument Valley Park are relaxing places to sit and have a picnic.

You can walk everywhere downtown.

You can walk everywhere downtown.

 

Terra Verde and Sparrowhawk Cookware are little locally owned shops with neat items for sale. Click this pic for Terra Verde's website.

Terra Verde and Sparrowhawk Cookware are great locally owned shops with neat items for sale. Click this pic for Terra Verde's website.

The Rodeo Days parade takes place every July down Tejon St. There's also  St. Patrick's Day parade, and a Christmas parade.

The Rodeo Days parade takes place every July down Tejon St. There's also St. Patrick's Day parade, and a Christmas parade.

Tony's Bar. The bar we love to hate. Click the pic for Tony's website.

Tony's Bar. The bar we love to hate. Click the pic for Tony's website.

Zeezo's is the place for all things magic and costume. Click this pic for their website.

Zeezo's is the place for all things magic and costume. Click this pic for their website.

If you're young and preferably in the military, you'll love weekends at downtown's pseudo honkeytonk, Cowboys. They also have bowling upstairs.

If you're young and preferably in the military, you'll love weekends at downtown's faux honkeytonk, Cowboys. They also have bowling upstairs.

The sidewalk cafes at Il Vicino, The Ritz, and Jack Quinns are nice places to have a meal.

The sidewalk cafes at Il Vicino, The Ritz, The Olive Branch, and Jack Quinns are nice places to have a meal.

Catch a movie at The Peak (but be aware they don't take credit or debit cards). They also have a small bar where you can grab a cocktail, glass of wine, or a beer to take into the theatre.

Catch a movie at The Peak (but be aware that they don't take credit or debit cards). They also have a small bar where you can grab a cocktail, glass of wine, or a beer to take into the theatre.

Then go over to the nightclub compound on Tejon St. and have a drink at the bar with the fire on the roof.

Then go over to the nightclub compound on Tejon St. and have a drink at the bar with the fire on the roof.

La Baguette has delicious french fare. Click this pic for their website.

La Baguette has delicious french fare. Click this pic for their website.

A brewpub whose building was saved from the wrecking ball by Governor Hickenlooper (way before he was governor), Phantom Canyon.

A brewpub whose building was saved from the wrecking ball by Governor Hickenlooper (way before he was governor), Phantom Canyon.

The Pioneers Museum is a neat place to spend an afternoon.

The Pioneers Museum is a neat place to spend an afternoon.

Labor Day weekend is the Balloon Festival, we could see them from our bedroom.

Labor Day weekend is the Balloon Festival, we could see them from our bedroom.

Slightly north of downtown is the well-stocked nursery, The Good Earth Garden Center. Click this pic for their website.

Slightly north of downtown is the well-stocked nursery, The Good Earth Garden Center. Click this pic for their website.

The Good Earth Garden Center is a nice place to walk around or pick something out from their vast selection of plants and garden art.

The Good Earth Garden Center is a nice place to walk around or pick something out from their vast selection of plants and garden art.

Slightly south of downtown is Bristol Brewing. They make their own beer and have a tasting room. Click this pic for their website.

Slightly south of downtown is Bristol Brewing. They make their own beer and have a tasting room. Click this pic for their website.

Beer flight at Bristol Brewing.

Beer flight at Bristol Brewing.

 

We’ve devoted a lot of space on this blog to downtown, and this post is not at all comprehensive (we didn’t even mention Shuga’s!). So please check out our other posts for tons more things to do. And be sure to let us know what your favorite downtown things are and when new shops and restaurants open up! We might not live there anymore, but we still care. And of course we’ll be back at some point. Hell, maybe we’ll even come back and get that coffee truck we’ve been dreaming about rolling.