Our Home

We bought our current home, a 1920 colonial, on Mother's Day, 2007.   While it was totally void of color, it was totally livable in it's bought condition.  The upstairs bathroom had been redone recently, the kitchen had newer cabinets - even though they don't really match, and there was newer (but cheap) carpeting in just about every other room. 

We started by painting most of the rooms before we moved in any of our furniture.  And since then, we have been on a quest to make the home "ours".

We'll go through, room by room, and show you where things started, where they are now, and what our plans are for the future.  As we post a blog post about the house, I'll add it to this section, as we change our home, this page will be updated for all to see.

Living Room

Before: Facing Fireplace
Our Living Room was pretty much the definition of "plain jane" when we moved in.  The walls were white, the trim was white, the fireplace woodwork was white (are you getting the theme?)  There was an enormous 1950's era mirror over the fireplace and simple carpeting on the floor.  There is a large picture window in the front of the house, which of course posed it's own window treatment problem, and the previous owner had left her short beige curtains on the window for us.  Nothing wrong with the room, it just wasn't our style.  I'm not a huge fan of white rooms (not entirely against it, but it's not me...)

So we started with a brand new paint job.  We had selected a theme in the main areas of the house: Sage Green, Dark Green, Ivory & Deep Red.  For the main room we wanted it to be calm, but bright, so we went with the sage green walls and ivory trim.  We chose to do the Dining Room and Foyer in the bolder, dark green color as you can see in the next room mentioned below.

Before: Facing Dining Room
It seemed that the entire house was painted in an oil based primer, and nothing else.  So we had to "liquid sand" all of the trim so that the new latex paint would adhere well.  Because the walls were white, we decided against priming the walls. 

We removed the large mirror from the wall.  It was being held on by four rosettes in the corners (plastic of course).  If we had been smart, we would have patched the holes then, but we decided that they weren't obvious enough to patch.  This was early in our "renovation days" and we have learned better since.

After: Facing Fireplace

So we painted the trim, and then painted the walls the lovely soft green that you see here.  One thing that you will find (or I should say NOT find) in the living rooms of a lot of historic homes is a light fixture in the ceiling of the living room.  We don't have one, so we use floor lamps to illuminate the room.  We are in desperate need of a new one, but I really can't decide what look I'm going for.  Of course the ones that I fall in love with are hundreds of dollars, and well that just isn't an option.

We painted the fireplace a dark chestnut brown.  It went with the color theme, and really accentuated the creamy brick that makes up the fireplace.  We added a decorative framed mirror that I picked up at Marshall's for $50.  We got an extra long curtain rod and added ivory sheers & panels.  They are pulled pretty tightly along the front to be closed, and ideally I'd like to spring for another couple panels.  Unfortunately, I don't think that 4 years later they carry the same brand or color, but you never know!  We got our sectional sofa from Value City.  I do wish we had sprung for the model with the continuous wood framing on the bottom - as this one does have a bit of a defect on the chaise side of the sofa.  But it was $699, so hard to beat.  We are big fans of soft pillows and throws on the couch for cuddling up and watching our favorite show.  The coffee table is at least 9 years old and was purchased from Target for $75. 

We put a little computer station in corner of the living room.  It is a glass top desk, about 36"x48" that we got at Target for $40.  It holds our laptop, and on the pullout keyboard tray, holds pens, paper & notes.  The bottom shelf is metal and fits our printer perfectly.  With the shelves of the fireplace directly next to it, it's perfect for storing other miscellaneous items.  The basket that you see to the right of the workstation holds all of the misc. computer accessories: cd's, usb cards, software discs, cords, etc.

We would like to remove the carpeting, and it's really the last big project left for the room.  The hardwood floors still exist under the carpeting, but we have really no idea what their condition is.  Keep watching for an updated set of rooms when the carpet comes up!

Dining Room
Before: Looking toward the left side of the room
This is a picture from the day that we bought the house.  You can even see the paperwork on the table!  The walls, the trim, the ceiling, the cabinets.. white, white & more white.  And as anyone who has owned an old home knows, under the layers and layers (and layers) of paint - there is (drumroll please) very old wallpaper.  I made the executive decision to leave the wallpaper, as it was probably holding the 87 year old plaster together.  The only issue with the wall was a little bit of puckering in the corners - still not enough to make me want to undertake that project.

After:  This is what it looks like today
 You can see more about this project here.  We are still looking for some items in this room, and aren't quite done yet, but it's come a far way from the white room that it was when we bought the place!  Eventually our goal will be to take up all of the carpeting and refinish the hardwood floors that are all over the home - but we aren't quite ready for that project yet... but keep your eyes peeled, you knever know what we might be working on next!