Our Digs

We bought our house in July, 2007. It was built in 1977 and is about 1,875 square feet. It is a typical mid-entry with four bedrooms and two and half baths. It has a pretty descent-sized lot for the neighborhood, at just over half an acre.

The house had great bones, but the interior didn't match our taste at all. The redecorating started pretty much immediately, as our realtor had given us a $50 Lowe's gift card and a bottle of Lambrusca, and we ran right out and bought a big garbage can and a gallon of paint. The next evening, we drank and bottle of wine and painted the dining room... a combination I would not recommend, as the next morning we noticed how many spots we'd missed. It didn't take long to figure out even simple redecorating is challenging. We don't have much know-how, but we're learning. And it's expensive. It's been a never-ending project ever since we moved in.

Here it is in April, 2008, about 10 months after we moved in (with my Mom's vehicle in front). I thought the tree was pretty.

And here it is after we tore down the pergola in front of the front door, painted the shutters and front door, and took out the English ivy around the steps.

And, now we tour the inside... Here is the living room before and after.

The border was only stenciled paint. At least it wasn't wallpaper that I had to strip off. I've had enough of that... The paint is Olympic Chalkware in satin finish. The couch and chair were given to us by our realtor for free because she wanted them out of her basement and couldn't get anyone else to take them (score!). The wicker chair, wall sconces and picture frame are from Pier 1, and the lamps and side tables are from Ikea. The bookcase, throw pillows and lampshades are from Wal-Mart, and there is a papsian chair and stool (not pictured) from Pier 1.

Here's the entryway, before and after a paintjob.

And, after a new light fixture, from Home Depot. The wall art is from Pier 1.

And the kitchen when we moved in. We haven't touched it (except to add a curtain and some wall art). A major kitchen gut-job is number three on our list of projects right now, behind an outbuilding for lawn/garden equipment, and a completely new master bathroom.

Here's a before and after of the dining room, including the drunken paint job.

The paint is Martha Stewart Signature Wild Artichoke in satin finish from Home Depot. The dinning room suite is from Ikea. The light fixture is from Crate and Barrel and the curtains are from Target. The starburst wall art is from Pier 1, and the plates are a yardsale find.

And after again.

And, the master bedroom before and after, and after a new headboard.

The paint is Olympic in Seasprite egg shell finish. The headboard, bedding, side tables, lamps, lamp shades, curtain rods and curtains are from Target's Home and Fieldcrest Luxury lines. The wall art is from West Elm. The dressers are both from Ikea.

 ... and the guest room, before and after.

The paint is Behr Golden Butter in satin finish from Home Depot. The bedding and cabinet are from Target. The bedframe is an antique. The curtains are from Ikea and the rods are from Big Lots.

Here's the second bathroom before and after. We did this makeover on the cheap, but man, it looks a helluva lot better. We I painted the walls Behr Club Soda in semi-gloss finish, after stripping off the border... Blech! I also painted the mirror and the vanity sleek shiny black. And got a new light fixture and faucet.

Some rooms we haven't done a thing to yet. Don't worry. They're on the to-do list. Here's another bedroom, second bathroom, and master bathroom.

This bedroom wasn't too hideous. I like the color of the walls, but the carpet is pretty rough.

We discovered our faucet in the master bath is leaking behind the wall and running down the inside of the wall into the closet in the office. So that moves the bathroom "reno" project up the to-do list considerably fast. For now, we're taking showers in the other bathroom, which is a huge pain. We'll probably try to fix the faucet in the short-time, and shoot for the redo next winter/spring.
So, then you go down the stairs into the family room, with a half bath and door to the garage. Pretty standard mid-entry layout. Here's some before (and more "afters" to come very soon) of the family room, half bath and office on the lower level.

The owner left behind a couch, two chairs and window treatments that matched the "red room."

For whatever reason, I went from red to orange on the walls of the family room. But it turned out nice. I was going for a swanky swingin' sixties feel. It's amazing what a little crisp white paint on the trim did, too.

The couch is from Ashley Furniture. The curtains, fireplace accessories, and white picture frame are from Target. The mirror above the mantle is Martha Stewart Living and the hurricane is from Pier 1. The coffee table and tv bench (not pictured) are from Ikea, as are the Audrey painting and throw pillows. The flower pots and curtain rods are from Big Lots.

This half-bath was our first major project. We redid it for less than $300, replacing everything except the toilet and floor. We actually learned a lot along the way. Especially, how to replace a piece of damaged drywall... It was quite a surprise when I was stripping the wallpaper and found a 5-inch hole in the drywall it was covering.

One good thing about this house is the 4th bedroom. Not many mid-entries have an extra downstairs. We use it as an office, and I hate to admit, a "junk room." Someday, hopefully, some new furniture and home organization gear will keep it from getting so cluttered. Here's the before and after:

Last spring, our big "Home Depot credit card" project was to redo the patio off the family room. It turned out great, but I didn't get before and after photos. The patio was surrounded by lattice with English Ivy and other vines growing through it. The vines were so heavy, the lattice was starting to lean in (dangerous!) and the vines had spread up to a huge poplar tree by the patio. According to my forester-husband, the vines would kill the tree by choking it off and pulling it down. So, here's a 75-foot tree 12 feet from our house that might die and will either 1) fall over or 2) need to be cut down before that happens. Jeremy says big trees close to a house like this one is can run aroun $2,000 to be cut down by professionals. Ouch. So, when we started working on the back yard, one of the first things Jeremy did was chainsaw all the vines down at the base. He said he thought he heard the tree breathe a sign of relief and say "Ahhhh," when he did it.

Since the house is constantly evolving, we'll keep you updated here on al the projects.