Fast-forward to April 2017

Well, I must admit, 2012 turned into a real crap show. After that, all I ended up doing for the rest of the year was live a depressed existence. There was a lot of funeral attendance that year and several other sad things going on at the same time. So, I had to retreat from everything for a while. As some of you might know, I went into the Indie writing game under the pen name of J. Gunn in 2010. Well, in the spirit of accepting who I am, I now go by the name I was given at birth. I think coming out of that depression gave me a little more strength to be me. I didn’t need permission. And the same can be said for when I started in April of 2017 to accept this house and try to make it what I want it to be.

In April, I did something fairly simple. I painted my bedroom. Then, I started looking around at all the damage from moisture from almost seven years of living here. It started with the laundry room. And so did some crazy rash. (No idea what it is yet, but I’ll let you know.) I began peeling away layers of ceiling that were falling off from the moisture and this involved messing with lead paint a bit. Which is what I believe began the rash train wreck that this year consumes my life.

After the laundry room, when I decided to stop messing with possible lead content, I moved on to the ceiling in the kitchen which had plaster coming off because of the moisture issues. I think I should remind you, this place has low ceilings in all of it and poor ventilation so things are naturally going to happen when you have a young family living in and old house built by old people.

One room I was able to finish to a degree through fighting bouts of rash and money for things, was the bathroom. This was important to me because I hate carpeting in the bathroom especially with children living in the home. I understand why they did it, but really, young families don’t need such a disgusting thing in their baths.

I started with the floor and went the opposite of what you’re supposed to, but I think the end result so far is an improvement over the scariness and smelliness of that room.

The before:


It may not look like a lot has changed in that room. It has. I’m not longer scared of my shower and having even the cheap stick down tiles on the floor has helped with cleaning up messes in there a lot. It’s already paid for itself a few times over. And the shower! Oh, man. Even the little it looks like I’ve done there took a lot of effort on my part because I had no idea what I was doing so it was arduous to say the least. The walls had scary-looking old black grout on the edges and there wasn’t a lick of in the tub area when I started. I was and sort of still am a ceramic tile virgin LOL!

The very last thing I’m doing in this room is giving it a backsplash that matches the kitchen then I’m done with the bathroom, having succeeded in my mission of giving this room surfaces that can be cleaned and nothing falls on your head when you shower.

Next up, I talk about those doggone rashes that have plagued me since I began trying to fix this old buzzard.




Jennifer Oneal Gunn

JG3 Designs


Spring Remodel of the Living Room—2012

Well, this article is about crazy nightmare things. In a few short lines, you might think I’m crazy for living in this house. (And you might be right.)

The next big thing that was done to the two-bedroom, one bath home was we had a rotting north wall removed and a third bedroom added. That tiny bedroom broke into the living room which was actually fairly large for a small house.

Not convinced this is a nightmare yet? Just wait.

While the guys were taking out the dangerous and rotten bank of three windows on the north wall we discovered something I never knew existed. A FLOATING WALL. What the ever-loving hell? Right? I was flabbergasted by this. How is a house supposed to stay upright when the wall isn’t attached to anything?

Thank goodness the two guys we had fix it at least know to attach studs to the foundation so the house doesn’t blow over and cave in.

It took too long to complete most of the project which still isn’t finished on the outside. It needs the siding painted and the rest of it put back at the top. (By siding, I’m not talking nice maintenance free vinyl, I mean that old clapboard shit that falls apart if you don’t take care of it so it leaves holes in your house.)


And we ended up with this…


There have been many promises broken over the years about this place and I think that is where I began to hate it. I couldn’t afford to do anything to fix it up at all and now, I’m trying with a very limited budget to at least give it some cosmetic updates because structurally I still can’t afford to change things.

I was once again told that things we be fixed because the outside needs love and new windows at least, even if there isn’t insulation in the walls. I’m going to see if I can convince someone to let me buy a roll here and there, maybe that will trigger action. (One can only hope.)

It’s pretty sad when all you think of is a home that is safe and warm when you gave up one that was safer just too small.

Yeah, this is what is used to heat two bedrooms, the living room, and maybe the laundry room. I know, stop complaining because you have a heater at least. That I practically have to sit on for it to be of use to me. Someday, I want to get a more even system going throughout the house. They’re expensive so that will take some sort of miracle but maybe someone can be talked around later. Crossing my fingers.

All right, enough of the house woes ranting for now. Later in the series, I want to show you some things I have suffered over medically that I don’t regret doing because it was worth it to fix my carpeted bathroom and that scary shower. Plus, I’ve done some more remodeling to the kitchen and dining room that I think brings this place back to life vs. dark and depressing. Not all of these posts will be negative. I promise.

I hope to see you back here soon!


Jennifer Oneal Gunn

JG3 Designs

March 2012-Painting the Kitchen and Dining Room

After having lived with some traumatic events in the fall of 2011, I believed those white walls were a prison for me. I was angry at the cause of my trauma and trying hard to get over that before the depression of that past situation set in. One way I thought to help fix the situation was this thought: What if this place I spent so much of my time didn’t look or feel like a prison anymore?


So, from that moment, I decided I would get some paint and turn that white hell into something more like a home.

Spring 2012
Painted in 2012.

As you can see, I’m not afraid of a little color. I changed the scheme of the entire kitchen and dining area as far as the walls and cabinets/trim. For a while it did make me feel a lot more at home in this old house. It also gave me a chance to put a more personal stamp on the place. I hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted to do with it yet because I had only lived in this house a year and a half. Feeling the utter disappointment with no insulation and windows that were rotting away, I trekked through living here by doing the painting. At least that much I safely knew how to do at thirty-three years old, living on my own with my two kids.

I had given up a home that was too small, but only had one major problem when I left it, the air return for the heat and air system stopped working properly so we had to resort to window units. I already replaced the dishwasher and everything else was pretty much in good, but gently used shape. Now, I was living in an old house that was falling apart and wasn’t built very well to begin with. Little did I know, a few months later, we would find out just how bad some things with this house can really be.

That, however, is another article altogether. I hope you are enjoying these articles. I use them to catalog the journey I didn’t know I would begin back in the fall of 2010 with a house that in some ways I love and some ways I hate very much. I hope to see you return soon to read more about it. Thank you for reading!



Jennifer Oneal Gunn

JG3 Designs

This Old Gray House

christmas tree 2010
This is the living room before it was renovated and part of it turned into the third bedroom. There were three windows on the north side.

In the beginning, someone removed every bit of personality from the place and this old gray house was blank. White on white everywhere as far as the eye could see. It took a few years and a few gallons of paint to turn this place back into a home. This article and the ones that follow are the diatribe as to how that came about.

My two kids and I moved here in 2010. Still a small house, it was larger than the one we moved out of. Square footage: we went from 600 sq. ft. to almost 1000. The rooms are larger but we still had a two bed one bath. We also had a dedicated laundry room.


In 2012, we saw the first of the renovations to this house. In the spring, I got a few gallons of paint and finally put an end to the sea of white everywhere you looked when you entered this house.

The first major renovation took place in the summer. We got an added third bedroom we needed.

In this series of articles, I want to illustrate how important one can of paint can really be when you’re on a tight budget and you can’t stand those stark white walls any longer and a lot more.

The new trend is gray and white. Personally, I don’t like this. I want to feel warm when I enter a home. The lack of color makes me think of institutions. So, I’m here to show you how I did my little changes with little to no budget so you may also have a home that is inviting and you can rid yourself of the stark, freshly rented look most homes have when you first move in.

I’m taking cues from everywhere in design I can find, so this should be interesting. 🙂


Waving at you on the inside! 🙂

Jennifer Oneal Gunn
JG3 Designs