Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Living Room Before & After

This is the living room when the 
previous owners still lived here.

This photo was taken soon after we 
finished unpacking - pretty sparse.


This was taken a few years later, even 
though we finished painting in 2006.

Looking back through our photos from the last six years, I'm noticing that we didn't take very good before and after pictures. But at least you get the idea.

In the living room we painted the ceiling, walls and trim. We also replaced the light fixture, outlets and light switches. What you cannot see in the before pictures is that the walls had a dangerous, rough texture. Prior to painting we decided to scrape every inch of the wall, and it was worth the time and effort.

We hope to refinish the floors in both the living room and the dining room. The estimate for hiring someone to do the floors was almost $2000, and we haven't had the courage to try it ourselves yet. Maybe this is the year? 

And the front door needs an update - it's still turquoise!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kitchen Before and After



You can see in this example of before and after, that projects don't always look better after. It definitely looked better before.

The kitchen had been remodeled in 2005 just before we bought the house, so we left it as it was. After three and a half years, though, I just couldn't take the mint green walls any more. I was craving more color!* I was also pregnant, so maybe I wasn't thinking clearly? Anyway, I love the new wall color, but the blue cabinets aren't great. In hindsight, if we had just added hardware to the cabinets it probably would have been enough of a change.

* I now find it amusing that I wanted color in the kitchen. Everything I've been pinning on Pinterest is in shades of white.



We made a few other changes including the light fixture, outlets, and light switches. The wall cabinets next to the refrigerator were added, too. The extra storage was needed. We have crown moulding for the top (to match the other side of the kitchen), but it's one of those things we've just never gotten around to. We eventually painted the toe-kick blue, but it didn't help.

We would like to completely redo the kitchen: floor plan, flooring, cabinets, lighting, electrical, window, EVERYTHING! Hmmm. We shall see.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dining Room Before & After

Before 2005
This is when the previous owners were still living in the house. We didn't 
care for their style even though they had a few nice pieces of furniture.

After 2006
Once we painted and arranged the room, it felt more like home. We intended 
the red to be more of a rust tone. But, we decided to get used to the vibrant shade 
because it took three coats of paint (two rolled and one brushed) to fully cover.

Before 2005
This photo was taken once we were finished unpacking. We really disliked 
the turquoise trim and light fixture. The ceiling also needed fresh paint.

After 2006
At this point we had painted, arranged furniture, replaced the furnace control, 
replaced the light switches and outlets, and replaced the light fixture. Later 
we spray painted the heat vent black and added some more wall art.

These photos will look familiar to anyone who has read a previous post titled Painted Every Room. I just wanted to formally include the dining room in the before and after gallery. We have no pressing to-do list for the dining room except maybe changing the window coverings and switching up the art on the walls.

Once I take photos for the "House Tour" you will see that things aren't so tidy these days, either. Maybe I can get to those photos this week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bathroom Before & After

Before 2005
This is how the previous owners staged the 
bathroom. It's hard to tell, but the cabinet is purple.

After 2005
This is after we moved in. I guess at this point we had only 
changed the light switch/outlet covers and shower curtain.

Before 2006
By now we had replaced the baseboard and the toilet. 
Next up would be fresh paint and a new shower head.

After 2009
New mirror, cabinet, sink, faucet and paint.

So this is how our bathroom remains today, along with a bunch of tub toys for the kid. We hate the floor, but since it was relatively new we left it as is. Next up for the bathroom: we hope to replace the floor, tub and surround. There is also a window we can see from the outside that we may try to reincorporate depending on the budget. Unfortunately, the budget gets the last say in everything we do.

Photo from the Full Sail website.
In case you are wondering, we chose the wall 
color from the label on Full Sail's LTD 03.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

This Small House

In 2005 real estate prices seemed to increase weekly. The newspapers (yes, real paper) and analysts had us believing that if we didn't buy soon we would be priced out. That was actually true...for a while. We all know what has happened since.

We never intended to live in this house for this long. After living on one income for two years, we wanted a smaller mortgage payment so that the monthly budget wasn't so constricting. Our options were to sell this house and purchase a lower priced home or to refinance. Honestly, the homes available in our price-range are either awful or a short sale (it's practically impossible to buy a short sale property when you have to sell your current home first). We also would have to give up neighborhood and spend quite a bit out of pocket. So we will make this small house work for us.

And this old house is small - less than 900 square feet of living space. There is a porch, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, one bathroom, two small bedrooms, one closet in the entire house, a partial basement, and a garage. Everything seems cluttered, so if we can just get the clutter to a minimum the space will feel better. Organization will have to be the first step - so initially things may not look different to someone who doesn't live here. But it will feel different for us! Then we can have the luxury of focusing on the fun (and expensive) stuff.