Tour Our Current Haus

Welcome to St. Paul Haus. Step into my life.

Exterior Before: A 1915 Craftsman style stucco and shingle up & down duplex in St. Paul, MN.  The front yard could use a bit of taming to increase the curb appeal. Those bushes look like they have seen better days. I am imagining some creeping plants cascading over the edge of driveway retaining wall to soften all the concrete. A new brick paver driveway would be glorious. A new roof would be nice.

front yard

Backyard Before:  The back yard is a decent sized for a home in the heart of Midway. We got really lucky with all the mature plantings left by the previous renter. It has been a true joy to watch all the flower come up.  Adrian likes the large turf area, while I am enjoying the “secret garden” in the back corner.  We are both looking forward to a new paver driveway/patio with a garage at the end of it.

back yard backyard aerial view

Front Porch Before:

coming soon!

Living Room Before: Original woodwork, oak floors, wood burning Rumsford fireplace, leaded glass built-ins. Only minor cosmetic work for this room!


Dining Room Before: Original leaded glass built-ins, brass light fixture, 2 panel doors, window seat. Near perfection–this room only needs some paint and perhaps some new wallpaper. I have my eye on something pretty from Bradbury & Bradbury.


Kitchen Before: Yiiiiiikes.  The original kitchen was long gone when we took ownership. Sadly it had been replaced with this awkward 1950ish kitchen complete with dropped ceiling, slanted cabinets, vinyl flooring, painted woodwork, 1970s range, and 2 layers of wallpaper.


Kitchen Progress (2/7/17):  After a total gut down to the studs we have been slowly building it back up. Lighting is in, cabinets have been installed, floor has been refinishedcountertops have been installed, custom doors have been ordered, painted and stained. The original trim was stripped of its many layers of paint and reinstalled. A subway tile backsplash was put in.

Check out the latest here.


Back Entry Before: A lot of wallpaper and potential! This is going to be a badass mudroom/pantry when I am done with it. Floor to ceiling storage anyone?


Back Entry Progress: It always gets worse before it gets better. Behind the wallpaper was a particularly putrid shade of blue. Plans of this space can be found here.


Guest Bedroom Before: Bare bones. The awkward closet will get reconfigured after removing the spare staircase. A bit of paint and new window treatments will make this a nice room for guests/cat playroom.


Office Before: Mostly cosmetic changes but it does need a new ceiling.


Main Floor Bathroom Before: Just awful. Wallpaper, strange mirrored shower doors, dated vanity and medicine cabinet. Needs lots of work.


Main Floor Bathroom Progress (6/9/2014): New pedestal sink and medicine cabinet go in. Shower doors are removed and replaced with a shower curtain. Fresh paint highlights the original faux subway tile etched into the walls. New trim will make the casement window match this 1915 bath. New plumbing helps make this small bath become a more functional one.

Check out the latest progress here.

bathroom progress

Basement Before: Future MANCAVE in the making! Not a fan of the dropped ceiling and faux wood paneling. Expect some posts from Adrian on this one.


Basement Progress: (1/21/17) Removing a couple walls and putting in some furniture and a TV makes for a good PART 1 of the mancave. A full, less panely, renovation to come in the future.

Basement Bathroom Before: Complete with padded toilet seat–luxury. Adrian is in-charge of this. There has been speak of a urinal. I myself would like a sauna.


South Bedroom Before: Complete gut. Not feeling the lack of insulation, fiberboard walls, and check upside down baseboard as crown molding???. The staircase from the dining room on the first floor leads up to this room. It had been covered up and floored over when the house was turned into the duplex in the 1940s. The column in the middle of the room is actually an old unused plumbing vent. This room will eventually become a home gym/spare bedroom with large closet.


South Bedroom/Gym Progress (12/1/15):  Framing and rough electrical is completed. Insulation is donerock has been hung, walls have been painted and floors have been patched. The floors were refinished. Trim was hung.


Upstairs Living Room Before: nice woodwork, but more fiberboard walls without insulation. This room will eventually become the master bedroom. Some minor wall reconfiguration is needed, but don’t worry the moldings are all being saved and reused. A large walk-in closet will take the place of the current stairwell which will no longer be needed.


Upstairs Living Room (now Master Bedroom) Progress (4/16/16): Framing and rough electrical as well as insulation is done in this room too along with drywall and paint (Benjamin Moore Healing Aloe). The floors were refinished. Salvaged trim and doors were rehung. The new walk-in closet will be a treat.

master bedroom bed

Upstairs Dining Room Before:  Gut. Same as the other rooms up here, this room needed insulation, new drywall, paint to make this a nice space.  I will use this room as my office/spare bedroom.


Upstairs Dining Room (now Middle Bedroom/my office) Progress (12/1/15): 

Rock is up. Paint/Paneling to follow and this will be a real room again, but it isn’t a big priority right now. We did get the floors patched and refinished .


office salvaged hardwood floors

Upstairs Bathroom Before: GUT! Seems to be the theme up here. I will be happy to see the huge 1-piece toilet and tiny sink go.


Upstairs Bathroom Progress: (5/22/16) Rough plumbing is completed, in-floor heating has been run, bath fan is installed, insulation is done, drywall is hung.

bathroom drywall


Upstairs Kitchen Before: This room will completely go away to make room for a new huge bathroom/laundry room combo.


Upstairs Kitchen (now bathroom) Progress: (5/22/16) Slowly, ever so slowly, turning into a bathroom. Soaking tub, fireplace, and tv await.

bathroom drywall


Stairwell and Hallway Progress: (12/1/15) The stairwell, once covered over with hardwood, has been opened up and new hallway has been framed up. Framing for new french doors to the sleeping porch is in place. The laundry area is framed and plumbed. Drywall makes it look like an official passageway where there was none. A new white oak floor was installed and hallway painted.

hardwood oak flooring

Sleeping Porch Before: This little porch resides at the back of the house. Could you imagine the naps in there!! A murphy bed would be so amazing. The footings were really bad and needed to be replaced as the porch has sagged several inches and is pulling away from the house. Lucky for us we have a great contractor that was able to jack this baby back up and pour new footings. While we haven’t starting in on the sleeping porch just yet, we did get a great start on the porch below.


Back Porch Before: The staircase will be removed. New siding, new gutters, new lower porch with a pergola-covered deck is in the plans.

St. Paul Haus Exterior Rear

Lower Back Porch Progress: (Winter 2014) Framing and footings are done. We will tackle laying the decking and trim next spring.

Back porch


SO that is my little project. Anyone else exhausted just reading this?

This is our second haus. If you are interested, check out our first haus reno here.






7 thoughts on “Tour Our Current Haus

  1. diane burch says:

    I love your blog! We are taking on a similar project for our kitchen using Ikea cabinet boxes and custom doors for Scherrs. Could you tell me how you covered the exposed sides of the cabinets.

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you Diane. We ordered additional panels that look like doors to cover the sides of the base cabinets. Scherrs has the measurements for the sides already. They also offer flat panels for this. The upper cabinets i attached small latice strips with nails and painted them to match-it wasnt necessary but it makes it look a little more finished and covers the space between the levels of cabinets. The side panels were attached from the inside of the cabinet with screws. Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Aunty says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…you guys (and your house… in which I’ve had the pleasure of staying) are awesome! It’s really cool to see the progress you’ve made.

  3. Twila says:

    Looks great Sarah and Adrian! Amazing actually. BTW, the rose, which I now realize I never got back to you on, I was told is called a “Seven Sister’s Rose.” All I can say is enjoy the flowers, clip it back once a month if you don’t want 20 foot trailing branches, and wear leather! Twila

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you so much Twila! Oh I have learned my lesson about the gloves! She has a mind of her own but is so lovely. I can’t wait until we are far enough along on the house that we can give more attention to the gardens.

  4. Paul says:

    Hi! My girlfriend and I are currently following this amazing guide to stain and finish a dining room table . I also live in st. Paul, at Dayton and Avon. Is there any way I could take a look at how your cabinets have held up? Your finish looks PERFECT!!!! I am so grateful you posted your cabinet project in 2014!
    Paul Olson

    • Sarah says:

      Paul, Hi! I am so sorry on the late response, this somehow ended up in my spam folder. Glad you like the cabinets. They are holding up extremely well. I can scrub them down and they look the same as the day I installed them. I don’t know if you are still working on this, but I would be happy to have you over to take a look. I will shoot you an e-mail. Thanks.

Comment or I'll hate you forever.

Sarah&Adrian @ StPaulHaus

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