the entry: before

Nothing about this entry screams, “Welcome!”. If anything, I’d want to put on an extra pair of shoes on because it looks so… dirty. Luckily Ryan and I can see the beauty in a project even when it’s covered in dirt, blue industrial carpeting, and 300 staples.

I didn’t get a chance to take a photo when it was carpeted, but I’m sure you get the idea. Yesterday I seriously ripped out an obscene amount of staples and hooks from the wall and it already looks different. When I head over there this afternoon I’ll be painting the walls and molding to give it a fresh little face lift. After all, this is the first thing that people see when they come over.

Once it’s painted, we’re going to get four of these IKEA mats to completely carpet the front porch. They are the perfect durability for snow boots and exterior debris. And, the price isn’t half bad either.

Oh, and we’re getting a new door this week too! There’s something about this one that makes me think it’s in a jail cell. Just enough glass to peak in to see what’s going on in there.

hallway before/during shots

I wish I was joking when I said that the houses trim was “smurf blue”. There was also mint green, yellow, and magenta in the bedroom nearby. So I’m considering myself lucky when this trim only needed 3 coats of primer.

Do you see those floors? This is why we’re having them refinished. They are basically unfinished and have absorbed any liquid that was spilled on it.

Below is the view looking down the hall to the guest bedroom and master bedroom. The hall has a lot of doors, so it just draws attention to the crazy bold color.



All of the doors are original to the house and are so beautiful. It’s a shame that the knobs have been globbed with so much paint and take away from the charming details. This weekend’s project will be stripping them of all of their paint, and possibly spray painting them black. I think it’ll add an extra detail to the hallway that it’s lacking.

Below is the view looking down the stairs. Oddly, I think my favorite thing about the house is the detailed railing on the left. (You’ll see it better in the living room photos). The white trim paint ended in an awakward spot, so I just primed the trim and painted it Benjamin Moore “white”. I’m so happy with the way they came out.



Below are photos of the oddly placed dropped ceiling in the stairway ceiling. We were scared to see what was hiding behind it, but it turned out that it was “just” wallpaper that the previous owners were probably too lazy to remove.

Ryan said at one point he was hanging from a piece of metal trying to remove it above these stairs. Just standing at the top looking down freaks me out, so I’m glad I didn’t see him do that!

After a lot of patient scraping, sanding, and spackeling Ryan did a great job repairing a very high ceiling. The paints edge needs to be touched up just a bit, but I think it looks pretty amazing.

the master bedroom: progress shots

I couldn’t leave the before shots on my blog for too long without giving updates. The before is just too bad to leave you hanging. (Again, sorry Danielle.) :)

Because the homeowners are moving to a much smaller home in Vermont, they left behind a lot of… stuff. A good portion of last week we were throwing things out, moving furniture into the (incredibly hot) attic, organizing, and prepping the walls for paint. Just clearing out the room made such a huge difference and started to make it feel more like our place, and not someone elses. I guess this is pretty obvious.

The brown rug was literally from the 70’s and smelled so bad of their (super sweet) golden retriever. Because we have a cat who may try to mark her territory, and because the rug itself was just gross, I needed to get that rug out as soon as I could. Once it was out on the curb, I felt a huge sigh of relief. It was the perfect way to start the holiday weekend.

We have amazing family and friends who helped us the entire holiday weekend allowing us to get way more done than anticipated. My parents got MVP’s (most valuable painters) for painting every surface of trim in the house. Isn’t it such a huge difference?

The colors for the house were inspired by my best friends weimaraner. I have literally brought my Benjamin Moore fan deck to their house to color match her fur because it is just so beautiful. The in this photo don’t do it justice buts it’s amazing how warm, and homey the house is starting to feel.

I can’t wait for this upcoming week – we’re having all of the floors sanded and restained! It’s going to make such a HUGE difference because all of the floors have paint drips and stains. I also kind of hate the ceiling fans, but since it’s not our house I don’t want to spend too much money. Can you believe how different it looks already?!

faux fireplace

In our new place (eek!), there is a faux fireplace with a beautiful mantle screaming to have red Christmas stockings hung from it. I was going back and forth on how I actually wanted to decorate it. Originally I was thinking I could fill it with simple white candles, but I think we’re going to buy birch logs in it like this photo below. I feel like the wood will add warmth to the room, and it’s proving that it’s not trying to be something it’s not.

(photo via younghouselove.)

studio #3

Speaking of selling our condo, I recently took some updated photos and figured I’d share them with you. The lighting in here makes it complicated to take photos, but I think these gives a good sense of our space. We’ve made a few minor changes since our apartment therapy tour years ago, and when I said we have sneaky storage solutions I wasn’t kidding.

See that floor mirror? Our ironing board, floor steamer, and a folding chair is hidden behind there. Behind the sofa? There are 3 painting canvases and wrapping paper. Under the media cabinet? Ryan’s video game collection in a CD holder, and two guitar hero guitars (which I must say, haven’t been used in years). Inside that side table? Our extensive board game collection. And that’s just the living area.

Living in a studio has been a challenge (to say the least), and it may even be more of a challenge to sell our home in such a difficult real estate market. We’re hoping that it sells pretty quickly, but we’re willing to wait it out. For now I’ll just have to daydream about how I’ll design our next dream place.