Jou Fixer Upper – Recap Part 2

Another Jou Fixer Upper Update

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There’s a lot to catch up with our Jou Fixer Upper and it’s hard to keep up. Our previous recap post focused on the repairs and installation behind the walls. This installment will touch upon our design style, inspiration, and a couple project repairs.

More Of What We’ve Been Up To Since…


Wayne and I share the same aesthetics and design style. I guess you can best describe it as mid-century modern meets Scandinavian with a laid-back vibe. The architecture of our house doesn’t naturally lend itself to mid-century, so we have show our style through furniture and design elements by incorporating clean lines and minimalistic details. Our color palette falls within white, grey, a pop of color, and natural wood elements.

We’re definitely channeling our fave fixer upper couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines!

We’ve been eyeing these Evan Dining Chairs from Room & Board and Wayne wants to make a similar dining table. We’re also currently installing a similar modern base trim throughout the house.

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Jou Fixer Upper – Recap Part 1

Fixer Upper Update

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It’s been a hot minute since we’ve last updated on our fixer upper. We’ve been spending our weekends and weeknights giving it much more than a facelift. In the beginning process, the majority of our time was spent in demo-mode. We had some #demofail, but made some progress with removing the carpet, kitchen appliances, and countertop.

So this is what we’ve been up to since…

We hired licensed professionals to do big projects: asbestos removal, all new repipe/plumbing, all new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), all new windows, installing drywall, and all new main floor tiles and bathroom tiles. It was nice to hire professionals to do these projects because they would finish in a few days to a few weeks. Since the majority of our budget went to those big projects, it leads us to DIY the rest of the projects. And DIY = takes time.

Removing kitchen Soffit

We guess back then it was the style to have a dropped kitchen ceiling for the soffit lighting. We wanted a more open feel, so we raised up the soffit lighting area to be flush with the ceiling.

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Before // The kitchen ceiling soffit is lowered compared to the rest of the kitchen/dining area.

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Jou Fixer Upper Recap via It's Jou Life blog -

After // The kitchen ceiling is now flush with the rest of the room.

Removing Drywall

We call this OCD drywall demo. It took months for us to remove all the drywall from the exterior walls of the house. Removing the drywall from the exterior walls enables us to install insulation and keep our home energy efficient. We also discovered an unexpected surprise: termite damage on some of the wood studs.

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Living Room // OCD drywall removal

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Demo day part 3 // Kitchen edition & challenges we faced

Out with the old – Kitchen demo days

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BEFORE // The original kitchen cabinets, appliances, and tile counter. Who remembers those automatic can openers attached under the cabinets?

Demo day part 3 - Kitchen edition via It's Jou Life Blog -

AFTER // What kitchen? Removed almost everything. It was hilarious rolling the old school kitchen stove, microwave, and dishwasher to our sidewalk for bulk pick-up.

After taking a break to handle the landscaping, it was time to get back to demo. Up next was to completely gut the kitchen. This includes removing all of the cabinets, lighting, sink, and appliances.

We didn’t have a full-size sledgehammer so we weren’t able to just smash everything like they do on TV. That probably worked for the better since we were forced to take things apart piece by piece, therefore minimizing the amount of debris flying around the house. Even with our small 3-lb sledge, we were a little timid about swinging it. It was definitely a ‘gentle’ demo at first, but soon after making very slow progress, we started swinging the hammer with more gusto and it sped up the demo process.

Our biggest kitchen demo challenge

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Demo day part 2 & unpleasant surprise

Demo Day Ready!

Demo Day, Part 2 via It's Jou Life

After our first failed demo day, we were itching to start working on the house. We decided our first demo project would be to remove the old carpet since it would be fairly simple and would also make it easier to work on other projects in the house. However we came to find a not-so-pleasant surprise and it set us back a few weeks. More details below.

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It wasn’t difficult but since there was carpet throughout the entire house, it took us several days to cut, remove, and roll up the carpet.

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Demo Day FAIL!

Where’s The TV Magic?

Demo day #FAIL //

According to HGTV, the first thing that happens after getting the keys to a older house is always demo day. After having watched countless hours of home improvement shows, we planned to have demo day the first weekend after we got the keys to our new home. Saturday morning rolls around and we excitedly head to our storage unit to gather our tools to begin our big project. But by the time we finished moving everything around to get to the tools that we packed in the very back of the storage unit, we were both sore, exhausted and ready for a break. After we finally packed everything in to the car, half the day was already over and we hadn’t even seen the house yet. Where’s the TV magic?? Continue reading