Guest Room 1 Renovation (Phase 1)

(Insert Wayne's World flashback squiggly lines....)

The year is 2006 and I, 25 year old Courtney, am looking through the lens of life with wide, bright-eyes.

I'm single, living on my own in an adorable garden apartment, solo traveling quite a bit and though happy, confused and eagerly searching for some higher meaning and purpose.

I visit Barnes and Nobles once a week, wander through the "Self Help" section, searching for a book that will lay it all out for me.

"Excuse me, sir, can you tell me where I can find a road map for the next {insert number 1-20 depending on current level if anxiety} years?"

I spend A LOT of money on self-help books...

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want To Be by Jack Canfield was one of those many, many books. In it, Mr. Canfield suggests making a "101 Lifetime Goals" list, which I dutifully pen in a flowery journal, along with all my other, not that notable, 25 year old secrets.

If you've ever attempted this exercise, you'll agree - IT'S HARD!

It's hard to dig deep into your psyche and allow yourself to dream. And not just shallow dreams (like: eat better), but really allow yourself to dream in a way that's seemingly unattainable. Suddenly "go big or go home" ideas are absolutely necessary.

Around #47 you start to question, "Do I really not know what I want to do with my life...Why is this so hard... Don't I know myself well enough to make a stupid list that no one else will ever read..."

(Squiggly lines fade back to now)

Recently, while cleaning out a back room, which was ironically as messy as my 25 year old brain, I found this flowery journal and subsequently, my "101" list.


So much for no one ever reading it...

#6 - Buy a big, old house to renovate with lots of room for family and friends.

As we begin to renovate the west side of Content for family and friends, the realization that #6 is coming true is absolutely insane to me!

First of all, did that "101" list really work? And second, how on earth has 10 years passed?

Don't get me wrong. I know where it went. It was spent working really hard, at jobs that fulfilled other peoples ideals. It was spent on a budding relationship that grew into my future, with a man I can't live without. It was spent living with my parents to scrimp and save every extra penny we made. It was spent being frugal, beyond necessity, and then creating a lifestyle out of it.

And for the record, I'm not the only one who wrote down my aspirations. John had to do so for his Eagle Scout project. We found those gems as well!


So, as we continue with this journey, specifically the west side renovation, might I simply reiterate that this dream has been a long time in the making!

Guest Room #1 (Before):

Already damaged.

 My father, Dave, is amazing. Not only did he know exactly how to remove the wallpaper, but he did the entire room in less than 3 hours.

Yes, 3 hours is still quit a bit of time, but he used a Paper Tiger (available on Amazon for $15) which made the process very manageable. The Paper Tiger scores the existing wallpaper, and then you mist the scored area with water. He also told me an invaluable tip, "Let the water do the work!"

Basically, the more you let the water adsorb behind the paper, the easier it is to remove as the glue will naturally lift from the surface.

Nice try, John. Where do you think you're going? The beach?

Since removing all the wallpaper, John has done a little demo, and we are thrilled to have found original shiplap behind the existing, green drywall.

Though we were planning on adding a wood accent wall, the house has changed our minds and we will repeat the shiplap up the rest of the wall as well.

So excited to see this evolution!