The Thrill of Rehab

<center>The Thrill of Rehab</center>

The thrill of rehab can be particularly fetching.  Why? Some of you may know by now that when I use the word “rehab” I do not mean a twenty-one day stint at Passages in Malibu, but rather the time-consuming, gut wrenching, nail-splitting {but often exhilarating} process of taking a previously run-down, neglected sorry old building and bringing it back to life.  Yep, we’re in “rehab” again – this time with a worn out, broken down little Spanish casita from the 1920’s in the Vallejo Historic district.  I have a lot of hope for Vallejo.  Currently, it is like a fine old rhinestone necklace that has lost it’s sheen, but I just know that with enough jewelry cleaner, some elbow grease and an influx of like-minded folks who appreciate historic architecture, bay views, a downtown with oodles of potential and a convenient state-of-the-art ferry terminal that it may (will?) one day return to its former once-the-state-capitol glory.  And, I happen to be one of the ones who is investing time and money to “rehab” it to make sure that happens – one historic house at a time.

Here’s a peek at what she looks like today.


Our Latest Rehab Project
Our Latest Rehab Project

As you an see, she needs a little polishing up, but we are confident that one day she will be cute and cozy.  A few weeks ago, we had to make the tough decision on what to do with the bathroom tile.  It was an ugly peach color probably from the 1980’s.  It was a tough call because it was certainly functional, but it really was ugly.  We decided to take the plunge and see what was under the layers upon layers of tile.  And, guess what we found?

Original 1920's Pennyroyal tile
Original 1920’s Pennyroyal tile
Pennyroyal Tile
Pennyroyal Tile

The nice man at the Hardware store explained that the easiest way to get up the old linoleum without harming the original tile underneath was to paint on a solvent like this one. Although it says low VOC, he recommended keeping a window open and using a face mask.

Solvent for removing old linoleum
Solvent for removing old linoleum

You’re probably wondering what we are going to do with that lovely blue wallpaper, aren’t you? It’s going to be replaced with some fresh new white wainscoating.  We’ve removed the vintage 1960’s bathroom vanity (hat we are selling on Craigslist) and are replacing it with a pedestal sink that we got from Urban Ore in Berkeley.

Feeling somewhat inspired by our find in the bathroom flooring department, we decided to take our chances with the kitchen floor and try to rehab it.  We had a hunch that there may be wood flooring underneath those ugly layers.  And voila!  Here’s what we discovered…

What's underneath that ugly kitchen linoleum?
What’s underneath that ugly kitchen linoleum?

Yep, it’s just as we suspected.  We found the old wood flooring.  We will most likely whitewash the floor since the kitchen is so small – we are thinking of redoing everything all in white to make it look bigger.

Well, just wanted to give you a little peek into what I’ve been up to.  Here’s what it looks like in the bathroom now with the new Kohler sink and the lovingly replaced pennyroyal tile. We left the blue vintage tile in the shower area, added wainscoating to the walls, gave the room a fresh coat of paint and Restoration Hardware faucets and added a vintage toothbrush holder and soap dish to the all above the sink.

It all turned out beautifully.  Oh, and by the way, Vallejo has some really great thrift stores!

Until next time.

Happy Thrifting,


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    1. Thanks, Rudy. I love it when my readers actually write to me. Happy Thrifting! Mimi

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