Have you been keeping track? This is abode number eight for us since we got married in 1992. Firstborn was seven when we moved in in May 2004, and it was his sixth house. Skippy: turned 4 that July, house 5. Pinkerbelle: turned 2 in June, house 3. Nothing like a stable childhood.
Our church owned a small rental house right next to the church building, which had been sitting vacant for several months. We were given the opportunity to move in when our lease was up on the house we were currently in, at a rent of less than half. It was in pretty rough shape though. We were also given a few thousand dollars to improve it, but we had to do the work.
For a couple months before we moved in, Craig spent nearly every night over at the church house working. Often, friends would help out. This is going to be a photo heavy post, because the transformation was remarkable, and I have lots of before and after shots.
There was a house next door (to the right) that was the church office, and the church parking lot was behind that house and adjacent to our backyard, with the church building on the other side of that.
Living room before. That whole “brick” “fireplace” is fake. You had to plug in the fireplace to get a light bulb shining on red cellophane. Also, just so you know, all the before furniture etc. was stuff that was donated so the church's missionaries could live in the house for a few months (poor people!). It was all re-donated to a downtown mission.
Living room after (‘after’ photos had to be scanned in). We ripped out the carpet and exposed the hardwoods, and Craig tore out the fireplace.
Dining room before. You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it, but the left and back wall are faux brick.
Dining room after. Faux brick gone. The living and dining room are painted Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage. The door on the right leads to the room we used for the boys’ bedroom.
Boys’ bedroom before. It was kind of like a sunporch, but not really. It did have an exterior door on the left, and a door to the garage on the right. What’s with all the faux masonry in this house? Nice ‘stone’work.
Boys’ bedroom after. Fake stones and nasty indoor/outdoor carpet, gone. Since the back door was in this room and kids would be tramping in and out, we just put vinyl tile on the floor.
Standing in the dining area, you can see where there used to be a third bedroom just on the other side of the door. The church teens took the walls down at one point. We left it that way to give us an open living area, which left only two bedrooms, and is why the boys were put in the sunporch.
We had to carpet the area that used to be a bedroom because there was a big gap in the hardwood where the wall used to be.
Kitchen before. Dining room is to the right. Wallpaper and yet more faux brick.
After. I repainted the cabinets and changed the hardware. We had our own stove and were able to get rid of the harvest gold. The walls are RH’s Creamware (discontinued).
Down the hall past the kitchen were the two bedrooms and the only bathroom.
Our bedroom before. The paneling on the back wall is covering a window.
After. Walls are RH’s Latte (as is the boys' room).
Pinkerbelle’s bedroom before.
And after. I used this same color (Eddie Bauer Lavender Heather, I think) and design in her next two bedrooms.
And lastly (whew! if you made it this far, thanks!) the bathroom. I think I was most proud of this room. We covered the yellow tile with beadboard paneling using Liquid Nails. Well, my dad and Craig did the work, but it was my idea. Then put molding with shaker pegs and a ledge at the top. The opposite wall had the same treatment, and I had the kids' initials above the pegs (using the same type of letters that spell BATH), and that's where we hung towels. Took out the shower doors, too.
I painted the vanity, and we replaced the medicine cabinet and lighting. Walls are RH’s Atmosphere Blue.
This house had its issues, like the basement that flooded the week after we moved in, and the skunks that lived under the deck, but I actually really liked it. Maybe mostly because we did so much work on it, and I loved the hardwood floors and the colors we used, but also because it probably had the most Pottery Barn-ish look of all our houses.
But I was still itching to buy a house. I spent a lot of time looking at real estate on the computer. Still not content.
To be continued…