Hello from our temporary rental!
It's been awhile since I have been able to publish a blog post seeing as life has been just a tad crazy as of late. If you are new here, you can catch yourself up to speed on our new home journey by reading this post. We are currently living in the most adorable house in our old neighborhood as we wait to take possession of our new home next week. I shared this photo on instagram a few weeks ago, and it got so much love!
I have always admired this heritage Craftsman house and have driven or walked by it every day for the past 8 years. The front porch, the gorgeous yard and all of the character inside, it's just so good! When we were looking for a temporary rental while our new house was being completed, I was thrilled to learn that our neighbors were going to be away for the summer and agreed to rent it to us! We were supposed to be here through to September, as the original completion date for our house was September 30th. The day before we moved into this house, we got word from the builder that our house was finished ahead of schedule - by almost 2 months - and the possession date was moved up to July 26th. Have you ever heard of a house being finished early? Here she is:
Before we move in to our new home, I thought I would be fun to reflect on our previous home. This post was actually inspired by the new owner of our house, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week (Hi Brittney!) She told me that when they bought the house, they found the old listing from when we purchased it back in 2013. I didn't realize that link was still available...it's just like I tell my teens and tweens...if you post something online, expect that it will be available for all to see forever! After my conversation with Brittney, I thought it would be a fun blog post to show some before and afters, so I turned to "the Google" and looked up the listing for myself. It was so crazy to see the original pictures again...boy were they bad! A little backstory to the house, the original owner, who bought it new back in the late 80's sadly passed away around 2011and it sat empty for 2 years while his kids decided what to do with it. It was in desperate need of some TLC when we bought it, but it had such good bones I immediately knew we could make it beautiful. Let's take a look at the transformation from 2013 to 2021!
Over the 8 years we lived here, we did a lot of work on the backyard. When we first moved in, it became a total dump zone. We took down the old deck, replaced the support beams for the overhang and installed a new fence. I think we created a really functional and pretty yard, take a look at the afters!
The kitchen reno was kind of a nightmare as the cabinet guy took about 2 months longer to complete the job than he said he would. But in the end, it was worth it and we loved how the kitchen turned out! Here is the original 1987 kitchen:
Here it is mid-construction:
And here it is after we renovated it:
The white cabinets, grey accents and warm wood floors just work so well together! The tile was a bit of a risk and a deviation from my original design of subway tile, but it got so many compliments over the years that I was glad I went out of my comfort zone.
My contractor assumed I would want to tear away the brick fireplace, but I knew right away that I wanted to paint it white. It is one of my favorite features of the home.
It took me 7 years to come around to the idea of mounting a TV above the mantle, and it was one of those things I wished I had done sooner! This room was our favorite place to gather as a family and the sectional was perfect for our family of 5! The dogs kinda liked it too!
One of my favorite things I did to the family room was create a large desk area along the blank wall opposite the fireplace. I designed it to be a homework/crafting zone for the kids and it was well used over the years!
One of the hardest working yet smallest spaces of this house! This room went through 2 different renovations. You can read about the most recent makeover in this post. We started with some functional but dated cabinetry and old machines...this isn't the best picture, sorry.
Here was the first transformation, we added tons of built-in storage, a stackable washer and dryer and a cubby system.
And this is how it looked when we sold it:
This room wasn't terrible to start with, although the light fixture had seen better days!
We gave it a fresh coat of paint and a new fixture and it was the perfect foundation for our dining table and hutch (which fit perfectly into the bump-out and at the end of the room!
I'm not much of a DIY-er but I did paint a chalkboard accent wall and it was one of our favorite elements in the room. My initial intention with this wall was to entertain my girls during family dinners when they were little. My youngest would finish her dinner, I swear before I even sat down, and to keep her busy and in the same room with us, I would get her to draw on the wall. That's a mom hack for you right there! Over the years this became a place to write birthday greetings and holiday sentiments! I may have to recreate this in the new house.
The formal living room had a grand piano in it and nothing else when we came to look at it.
Here's how it looked when we sold it:
This room is the biggest in the house, and I was able to make a little office nook for myself in the corner.
The entryway had a really 80's vibe happening, but just needed a few cosmetic upgrades.
During the initial reno, we replaced the glass on either side of the front door, and then down the road I painted the front door black. We removed the dated square tile and the carpet on the stairs and installed wood floors.
A fresh coat of paint on the walls and on the banister made a big difference!
Top of the stairs
There was a gross, original 80's carpet that started at the bottom of the stairs (see above) and ran all through out the upper landing and bedrooms. I couldn't rip that out fast enough, lol!
We decided to run the wood up the stairs and on to the landing and replaced the carpets in the bedroom.
I struggled a bit with the landing area, but eventually put two IKEA bookcases side by side up there and loved the way it looked.
The upstairs main floor bathroom was another area of the home that had not been touched since it was built in the 80's. We completely gutted this room and started from scratch.
Here is what it looks like now:
We made a few structural changes to this room to increase it's functionality. There was a linen closet right outside the bathroom door, and we removed that and took that space over in the bathroom.
Unfortunately I don't have an after photo from this vantage point, but we drywalled over the space where the linen closet was and also walled off the far end of the bathroom to make a "water closet" which sounds nicer than "toilet room".
The kids bathroom was one of my favorite rooms in the house. I fell in love with the trough sink from Kohler and wished I could have repeated it somewhere in our current house.
While we are on the subject of bathrooms, the master bathroom also got a complete overhaul. We didn't need to make any structural changes, the layout was good, but we stripped EVERYTHING away and started with a blank slate. Here is what I started with... (sorry about the terrible blurry photos!)
And this is how it looked when we sold it:
I love this bathroom and because I selected classic traditional pieces, I think it still looks great 8 years latter! I love how a neutral backdrop can be styled in so many ways, I added some warmth with wood accessories and gave the room a wow factor with a colorful rug and towels.
I sure am going to miss this clawfoot tub...
We had two of these niches in our shower and I will miss them too...so functional and that marble hex tile still has my heart!
The bedrooms all got new carpet and some updated window treatments as well as several coats of paint over the years. Here is some before and afters:
The girls rooms were side by side and identical, here is what they looked like before:
Here's a peek at the Master Bedroom before:
And after it got a makeover:
I don't have any good before photos of Kallum's room, but it also got a makeover recently and I have to share a photo of how it looked when we sold.
That's a wrap!
I hope you have enjoyed this before and after summary and thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me! Our previous home was really where I grew and gained confidence as a designer. It was my design lab for 8 years and it was so fun to review how far it came and all the love we gave it.