Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back when......(A Before and After Story)

We've been in our house for 6 years now and although it is still a "work in progress" we've come far in making this house our home.  I thought I would share a couple pictures of the before and afters on our house so you can see the work that has been completed so far. It's funny to look back at these pictures because it seems like a long time ago.  Then I remember the sheetrock, the dust, the texturing, the painting, more painting and all of the other inconveniences that go along with remodeling and it seems like yesterday. Wait a minute, that was yesterday....... Anyway, it's all worth it in the end and there's great satisfaction in knowing that you did it all yourself.  The drawback?  When you keep moving forward and forget to stop and look back at how far you've come and enjoy the progress.  Here's the first stop.......The Living Room.....

Let me just say that if you are into that "Tuscan" look, you would've loved this room.  For me, not so much.  I will give credit to the previous owner who actually did a great job at making those bricks look real. They even felt rough like bricks.  I have total respect for the effort that went into achieving this look, it's just not the look I want. After attempting to sand this finish off to no avail, we decided to re-sheetrock the entire room and adjacent hallway.  Major mess and a lot of work but it was the only way.  Do you see that space in the upper corner with the window and the dog bed?  Well, that is our breakfast area now (picture to come) and just past that is the kitchen.  Here's another angle of the same room..

This angle shows you a different side of the room.  In the upper left corner, there's the staircase that goes upstairs and then the door that goes to the Master Bedroom and Bathroom.  The large windows look out over the backyard and when you come in the front door, you can see right through those windows to the backyard.  I've been thinking of putting in french doors there but there are several doors that already go to the backyard so I don't know if it would be overkill or if I'd even go outside from there.  So basically, I'm still thinking about it. Now, let's take a look at the stairs.

Isn't she cute?  This is my daughter Gabriella. How time flies, she's 11 now!  Ahhh! Anyway, back to the stairs.  Nothing special here except that there's carpet on them which has to go.  The wall color and the light are going and we did a little something with the wall (see after picture).  If you look past the stairs, you will see the entryway and front door (which is also fauxed) and then the formal living room with windows that look out to the front yard.  I know it's hard to picture the front room, but basically it's the same finish everywhere with two large windows.  There's also an opening that goes into the Dining Room from there that we made some changes to as well (see after picture).    I think you get the idea of what we were dealing with here.  Ready to see it now?

A different angle than the before pictures but I wanted to show you the formal living room which is now the library.  Where there was once just wall, my HH (Handy Husband) built wonderful bookcases that frame the front windows.  This also anchors the room and gives it a purpose instead of it just being a space with furnishings.  The French Doors we installed (before there was just a really big opening to the Dining Room).  The French Doors came out of an old house that was being demolished so they were free.  Although this did require a lot of work to get the doors prepped for paint, it is so worth it to me.  It adds that touch of character that I love.  We also put in recessed lights.  Let's see more.........

This picture is in a previous post of mine but it shows this side of the room well.  The entry way is the same as before with the exception of the new sheetrock and front door being painted.  There is crown molding and baseboards with corner blocks along every wall in this room as well.  The color on the walls is "Hot Spring Stones" by Benjamin Moore. Not pictured is the fireplace.  Obviously we kept it but we got rid of the brass screen and my husband built a mantle surround.  I'll picture that in a later post.  Now for the stairs.......

Well, no carpet.  Yeah!  The good thing is that these are wood stairs.  Problem comes in when you have kids and dogs that run up and down them all day.  This means that your pretty white stairs wind up always looking dirty and scratched.  Not the end of the world because hey it's still better than carpet.  I'm considering a runner for the stairs but to be honest, I'll probably just re-paint them until I decide. Another thing to point out.  We cut a hole in the wall and created the doorway that you see going into the office.  Before, the office seemed like it was a dark cave that was shut off from the rest of the living room. You could only get to it by going to the hallway at the front of the house, past the guest room and guest bathroom.  Now, there's a good flow to this side of the house and the office gets more natural light from the windows.  The French Door is from the same house that the Dining Room doors came from.

I will say that white floors do require maintenance, but in it's defense this is high traffic so in reality these have stood up better than the berber carpet that was there.  Plus, they're easy to clean. The color on this wall is "Pismo Dunes" by Benjamin Moore.

Just in case you missed it, I love old frames and it's clear that I am way behind on my photo taking.  Actually, I like to look at the frames whether or not anything is them and I think this is a great space to display them.  My goal is to actually fill the frames with photos so I guess I need to get snapping. 

Well, that's the Living Room before and after.  Hope you enjoyed the tour. I have some more before and afters of other rooms that I'll put together soon. What about you? What's been your biggest project?


Anonymous said...

I just came across this did an incredible job! It looks so unique, personal, cozy, elegant yet not imtimidating. Bravo!

*Tara said...

Thank you for the wonderful comment! That is exactly the look I was going for.

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