Before We Moved In, Sept. 2002

Meet the house that stole our hearts along with our wallets and free time!

Before and After, Restoration Diary

before_01Jeannie and I paint my home office

These are the very first photos of us working on the house. They were taken the week before we moved in. We were trying to get the house clean enough to live in. I have this goofy “I can’t believe I’m a home owner” grin on my face!

before_03David stripping the fireplace

Our restoration SWAT team included Jeannie, a long time family friend, who flew in from Indiana for a week. She was amazing. She cooked meals, spackled like a pro, painted, sanded, spent more time with me at Home Depot than either of us probably care to remember and she even helped peel up old linoleum from the bathroom floor!

before_02Living Room

David’s brother Chris flew in from Utah for the weekend to help us paint and whatever else we asked him to do. He said it it was “fun” but he has’t come back to visit since. We think he is waiting until the house is finished.

before_02aLooking into the den from the living room

Our friend Jeff also dropped by for a few hours to help paint. I think he went on a McDonalds run or two for us. We lived on McDonalds the first 3 weeks we had the house – especially after Jeannie left.

before_04Looking into the den from the living room

before_05Extra large register vent in the floor between the living room and dining room

before_06Dining room’s built-in china cabinet

before_07Dining room, box beam ceiling

before_08Den

before_09Den floor

before_10Kitchen

before_11Kitchen counter was built right up to the pantry cabinet door. Obviously, the door to the cabinet can’t be opened.

before_12We found a phone jack every 3-5 feet, running all around the upstairs bedrooms. Wonder what all those phones were used for?

Comments { 10 } August 1, 2003

Cherry Wood Stairway to Heaven

Well, restoration heaven anyway

Before and After,

The old stairs were made out of plywood, not original to the house and in horrible condition. At one time they must have been covered in carpet. At least I hope so!

We had a carpenter replace the old plywood stairs leading to the top floor with nice steps made from cherry wood that was generously donated by my dad.

Comments { 1 } August 8, 2003

Under 18 Layers of Paint, We Struck Douglas Fir

Restoring our beautiful Douglas Fir woodwork, built-in china cabinet, plaster walls and hardwood floors

Before and After, Removing Paint, Woodwork,


Built-in china cabinet before and after with Lulu.

The dining room was the first room completed in our house. This was before we started writing about our “adventures” in home restoration on the web. So, you don’t get to read all the gory details about how we almost killed each other selecting a paint color for the walls or how I caught the wainscoting on fire.


Dining room before restoration and after.

The woodwork was covered in about 18 layers of paint. We got to relive each decade as we stripped the paint away. There was a groovy 1970′s phase with purple woodwork and hot pink walls.


In the before photo, I had started to strip the paint from the wainscoting. You can see just how dark the original mission finish was.

I had originally intended to paint the dining room a deep burnt red color. We went through 9 different shades of red trying to find the “right” one. After the first 2 paint jobs, David “loved” everything no matter how awful it looked.


Before and After

In the end we settled on this warm golden color, Shelburne Buff from Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection. Several people have tried this color after seeing our walls and been dissatisfied because the color wasn’t gold enough.


Dining Room After

When a wall is painted a dark color like red, it will need to be primed before a new color is applied or else the dark color will bleed through. Lots of people out there probably already know this, we didn’t. The red undercoat has altered our color. Our walls are not a true Shelburne Buff. But, we are very happy with the color…whatever it is.


Dining room After. The light is from Restoration Hardware. We have since purchased an antique fixture off of eBay but have not installed it yet.


After. Our box beam ceilings and Lulu just because she is a ham.

More about the resources used in our dining room here.

Comments { 23 } October 21, 2003

Bungalow Living Room

Removing paint revealed our bungalow’s warmth

Before and After,

The front entry seems so much more inviting now.

The plaster wall has been repaired, the wood stripped and stained, and the walls painted.


Looking into the den before.


Looking into the den now.

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Comments { 1 } February 15, 2004

Kitchen Before

Our 1912 bungalow kitchen prior to restoration

Before and After, Kitchens

before_10

I have begun planning, or trying to plan, the best way to restore our kitchen. It’s a little tricky for several reasons. We have 3 doors leading into the kitchen on 3 different walls, 2 large built-in cupboards, and really no easy or inexpensive way to expand the space due to bathrooms, a stairway, plumbing and heat runs to the second story behind every wall.

kitchenbefore_01

On the south facing sink wall, a tile backsplash, counter and under the counter cupboards were added some time in our home’s past. They block part of the original built-in cupboards on the east and west walls.

before_11

I want to rip out the tile and MDF cupboards and plan on restoring the original built-in cupboards and having new doors made for them. The current doors are cheap MDF replacements of the originals.

kitchenbefore_05

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Comments { 19 } February 18, 2004

Calling All Kitchen Designers!

Desperately seeking a kitchen plan

Before and After, Kitchens

The problem is that this is our current kitchen…and this is what we want.

unfittedkitchen_01

Comments { 9 } January 10, 2005

Before: Upstairs Bathroom

Our bungalow bathroom needs lots of work

Bathrooms, Before and After

Taken from the second bedroom/office looking into the bathroom. The door on the opposite side of the room leads to the back hallway. The smaller door is for a built-in linen closet.

The floor was covered in vinyl tiles and old linoleum. The linoleum appeared to date around 1920-1930s and must have been glued down with some old fashioned version of superglue because it was horrible to get up. The floor was black around the toilet and tub due to some serious water damage, so I stained the floor a dark walnut color for now.

Closer view of the linen closet door. It might be difficult to tell but the plaster wall to the right of the linen closet is scored to resemble subway tile. Notice the big crack in the ceiling above the linen closet. There are huge cracks all along the ceiling.

The walls were painted none too carefully before we purchased the house. The paint has peeled off in the past few years. It appears that the plaster color was originally left natural, the woodwork was painted a muted gold color (I often see it referred to as ‘wheat’ in modern paint samples), and the ceiling was a vibrant green color. The second bedroom/office walls were painted the same green color as the bathroom ceiling.

The bathtub and wall tiles appear to date from the late 1940s – early 1950s. We assume there was originally a clawfoot tub. The daughter of our home’s second owner told us that the house did not originally have a shower. Her family added a shower downstairs off the back porch. That area had been gutted when we bought the house. We now use it for our washer and dryer.

Our idea was to add a clawfoot tub with a shower attachement, but It has been pointed out that it might be difficult to get a clawfoot tub shower enclosure/curtain rod to fit into the available space because of the slanted ceiling. I’m not sure what we will end up doing?

Our duplex apartment from the 1930′s had a bath tub and a seperate shower stall which I loved, but no room for something like that in our 6ft x 12ft space.

We are fairly certain the bathroom originally had a high-tank toilet based on the holes in the floor. I found the outline of a wall hung sink. The pedestal sink in the photo is from our old duplex apartment and dates from the 1930s. The property manager was throwing the sink out so we grabbed it.

The strange thing is how high the medicine cabinet is placed. When I look in the mirror I can only see my eyes and I’m average height. I wonder how tall the original owners were?


Photo taken looking into the second bedroom/office.

One of my favorite things about the bathroom is the woodwork. The mint green register grate matches the others in the house, and was salvaged from Liz’s Antique Hardware located on Le Brea Ave. It needs to be stripped.

Comments { 12 } August 18, 2006

Tiny Space, Huge Project

All the stages of our Craftsman bungalow back porch restoration

Before and After, Exteriors,

bp_beforeafterEnclosed back porch, Before and After

When we purchased our bungalow it was covered in asbestos siding.

bp_01Our enclosed back porch covered in asbestos siding. 2003

The asbestos siding was in such poor condition that we decided to take our chances and remove it.

bp_02What we found underneath was a poorly constructed porch enclosure. 2004

Underneath the asbestos we found a poorly constructed, rotting enclosure. The enclosure was built with scrap wood and odds and ends.

bp_11Siding made from found odds and ends. The window juts out 10″ from the wall.

We were unsure what to do and didn’t want to put a lot of money into this little back porch. I considered covering over the whole mess with siding and dealing with it at a later date. I was lucky enough to receive some sage advice from a more experienced house restorer, “Covering over this would be like trying to fix a skull fracture with a band aid!”

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Comments { 10 } December 18, 2008

Bungalow Bathroom Remodel

It’s Finished!

Bathrooms, Before and After

Bungalow Bathroom Remodel, Before & After

The bathroom project is finally complete. Whew! We are thrilled with the results.

Starting with an inspiration photo, to picking out all the fixtures, to taking the room down to the studs and slowly putting it back together again; this has been the most difficult project completed in our house. So many decisions…

The updated bathroom is the project that has increased our enjoyment of the house the most. It is hard to believe that such a little room can have a big impact.

Our contractor built a door to match the original closet door and framed out a larger storage space.

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Comments { 46 } September 15, 2010

Home Office

Turning an unused bedroom into a workspace

Before and After,

We have moved into our newly renovated home office and are loving it! We were able to work a lot of our inspirational ideas into the room. We ended up using an IKEA table that we already owned as a desk. The white leather office chairs are from West Elm.

The original closet was very long and narrow…and had no light! This is a far cry from the large his and hers walk-in closets of today. We added double doors for easier access, as well as lighting. A salvaged door was modified to match the original.

The room prior to the renovation wasn’t in the best shape, especially after removing wallpaper from the plaster walls. We had the walls patched and re-plastered. Where the wallpaper has been completely removed, you can see the blue-grey color of the walls from 1912. We painted the room a darker shade of the original paint color.

Ah, the newly built-in window seat is one of my favorite parts of the room. The space was just crying out for it!

I really love our new work space. It is such a comfortable room to spend time in.

Bookshelf – IKEA; Grey Pop Tartan carpet tiles – Flor; Nelson Pear Pendant Lamp – Design Within Reach; red leather lounge chair – CB2; white leather office chairs – West Elm; desk – IKEA; and wall color – Benjamin Moore, Secret AF-710.

Comments { 11 } July 26, 2011