House Tour: Part Two

The second half of the original or ‘before’  house tour.

Really with only 590 square feet who would think it needs two parts?

Click on through to check out the ‘before’ living room, bedrooms, bathroom and basement.

Plus a few ‘during’ shots to show that things really do get better.


The heart of my home. When I first lived in this house, 5 years ago, this room was exclusively occupied by my cat and her army of dust bunnies.  One wall is dominated with a large window and the front door. Another features a school house inspired red brick fireplace and the door way we are looking in from in this picture claims part of a third wall.

Removing that floral wallpaper border is the most satisfying thing I have done ever. Giving birth to my daughter comes in at a close second of course.

You can see the state of the floors in this picture. When we originally uncovered these floors under the carpet that had been stapled on top we were excited. But after years of less than stellar tenants occupying the house any charm they once had vanished.

For anyone wondering about the canine specimens, those would be our two favorite renovation buddies; Mason the lab mix and Roxie the shepherd mix. Occasionally we are joined by our feline friends if the renos aren’t too loud.

Back in the hallway and we can take a quick peek into the bedrooms. Not much going on in either of them. This one features yet another creative color choice.  Actually I am partial to a teal when applied in the right way. I mean that literally, take a close look at the top foot of the walls, apparently there is no need to actually paint the whole wall. Here I have been putting in all that unnecessary effort for all these years.

The second bedroom features that same painting technique and a brilliant burnt orange. Seriously the palette for this house must have been inspired by a package of life savers. The fridge and cupboards are a hint of the beginning of the redesign of the house.

You would think with that generous sized window the room would flood with light. That paint has some supernatural light sucking quality. I’ve seen all kinds of different paints, flat paint, glossy paint,but nothing I’ve seen at Home Depot has this ability to turn light into dark matter.

I know at some point I tried my best to take a picture of the bathroom before we took the sledge hammer to it. Considering it was the size of  a small closet it was hard to get any decent angles. Which didn’t turn out to matter much, because I managed to lose the pictures. This is what it looked like after we removed the tub, the toilet, the sink and the cheap vinyl coverings on the wall.

We like to renovate in a BIG way. One of the nicest things about getting your marital claws into a professional house framer; no wall is permanent (well almost).

That lovely blue-sponged-on-wall-treatment is the tenant’s attempt at establishing an ‘under the sea’ theme to the bathroom. The vinyl fish stickers imprinted on the tub were another hint.

Now that we’ve seen all there is to see of the main floor lets take a quick jog to the basement.

Coming down those awkward stairs you can see the tenants were kind enough to leave us a few pieces of furniture. This doesn’t even compare to the generosity of the mountain of trash they left for us in the backyard and the garage, but I’ll spare you those pictures.

 The basement walls are 6 foot high and the room has been divided in half to separate the utility area. The open ceiling is actually very convenient for renovations, all the wire and plumbing is exposed. Which is a great thing when you replace 100% of the plumbing and 90% of the wiring.

Who can resists lovely old wood paneling? Especially when you tear it down and notice there is mold growing behind it.

So now that I’ve shown you all the bad and the ugly I want to leave you with a little hope.

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause.

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