Monday, February 18, 2013

making a house a home: before & after - upstairs

The picture above is mainly because I just couldn't stand having the picture below be what greets you to this post. But I suppose it also tells you that, yes, we moved! We are here, living in our very own home and it only took me 5 weeks to sit down and write that sentence out.

Does anyone want to join me in pretending January didn't exist? We moved in and promptly got sick... and then sick again. Somehow the boxes were unpacked (I give Husband most of the credit), but I feel like I went into hibernation mode with the freezing weather and inversion keeping us holed up inside along with at least one family member feeling unwell at all times. February has been much nicer to us. Thank you February.

Before we moved all of our boxes into the house I snapped a bunch of 'after' pictures. After spending time searching for 'before' pictures to go with them and being reminded of just how disgusting this house was I think we must have been a little insane... I mean, good grief that was A LOT OF WORK.

Here is a little 'before and after' tour of most of the upstairs of the house...

(I didn't put many photos of the bedrooms since that was pretty well documented in this post.)

The kitchen. Needless to say it had to go. We gutted it entirely and started from scratch. I wanted it to be bright, clean, functional, and pretty and I am very happy with how it turned out. Since we are missing a formal dining room and the space for a table in the kitchen is quite small we decided to add a built-in bench to maximize our seating. I think benches are so great for kids, and a bonus for us is the girls love standing where it overlooks the counter to help me in the kitchen. I plan to make a cushion for the bottom seat, and eventually we will also get a table custom-made to fit the space better. Our tulip table is a temporary classified's find that works fine for now.

Once we add a tile back splash we can officially call the kitchen done!

You can notice in these pictures that we removed the big cast iron casing around the fireplace to bring it back to it's original three-way open style. We converted it into a gas log which pleased the city inspectors and it is a wonderful central focal point of the house, making things nice and cozy when it's lit (the children are carefully supervised whenever it is on and are well aware they aren't allowed to touch it, lit or not). We also cut a hole in the wall between the kitchen and living room to open up the space and create an eating bar. Here is the before and after from the living room side:

The metal railing around the stair opening wobbled terribly so we removed it and built a sturdy half-wall in its place. We also refinished and stained all of the original hardwood floors. This room was especially bad because at some point it was painted black and the paint was peeling. The floor is still a bit dusty in this after photo but it is nice and shiny now.

One of the most time consuming projects we did was convert every door frame to match the original bull-nosed bedroom door frames, and we replaced every single door (or missing door, more likely). You can see in the picture above the edges of the wall 'roll' into the frame - that is a bull nose. It is one of those small details you may not notice, but it looks really nice and now all of the doors in the house are uniform.

My father-in-law did an excellent job building new shelving units in all of the closets to best utilize the space. Our master closet above we jokingly call our 'step-in' closet is not that big but we easily fit all of our clothes with room to spare. 

The girls are thrilled with their pink closet and our guests will have a nice surprise with an aqua closet. I think I told you in a past post the room with the aqua closet was the play room, but we were able to finish the basement earlier than we expected so things were shuffled around a bit and for now it is the guest room.

So that is some of what we have been up to the last six months! I'll give you a peek into the basement soon, I still need to take some 'after' pictures down there. 

It's good to be back :)


  1. wow!!! it looks wonderful! i still can't believe some of the choices that the previous owners made but good job to you guys for having a vision :)

  2. my jaw was seriously on the floor as i read this. i cannot believe this transformation! it is gorgeous and suits you perfectly. i want to come stay in that guest room! seriously, bravo. can't wait to see more! miss you!

  3. ahhh it's looking so great! awesome work, guys. keep the peeks coming! :)

  4. It looks amazing! You must be very proud. And those closet are just genius!