the BEFORE pictures…

as i upload each of these pictures, i keep wondering: “what on earth were we thinking? this house was horrible!” i can say “was” because we are getting closer to our move in date & the house looks DRASTICALLY different than these pictures. but i’m so glad i have these as a reminder of where we began. as i get overwhelmed with all the details of fixing & finishing our house, i can look at this & remember that we’ve come a LONG way.
while matt & i enjoy getting our hands dirty & working on our home ourselves, we knew before we began that this project was beyond our abilities. we’re not the most picky people in the world, but we do like straight lines, plumb walls, and functioning electric & plumbing! plus, we started this little “project” about the same time matt was beginning chemotherapy. good times. so our friend & contractor, Mark Maness of M & M Construction here in St. Louis, took on our home renovation. i can’t say enough good things about him- he has worked with us so patiently to help us make decisions & save money. he has even worked with matt on multiple weekends to teach him how to do smaller projects… we’re really thankful for him & all of his guys! they do great work.
but you’re not going to see that in THESE pictures! these are the befores… enjoy!
Let’s start outside… Here is the front of the house:
i’m not sure what we’re going to do with the color of the house… i like white & green as much as the next girl, but it’s kind of dull. and it’s SO much white. and a green roof? really?
(and i can’t change the font color to save my life… crazy)


and then there’s the other problem… they didn’t finish painting the addition. so not only is there too much white, there’s the whole unpainted part, too! i’m thinking white brick with creamy yellow shutters & trim, but there are too many interior projects to do before we can consider the outside.
this is the front door & foyer… the walls are mold green. probably was pretty 10 years ago, but it’s dirty & faded now. paint needed! but i love that there is a real entryway- a place for a bench & a spot for coats & shoes. it’s the little things…
the front stair case… nothing fancy, but i like it! it looks welcoming to me. see the ugly light fixture? i don’t like that.
this pink room is the formal living room. yup. pink. it also has pink fleur-de-lis stamped on the ceiling. those will not be surviving. none of the pink will survive.
this is the bay window in the pink living room. it looks out onto the front porch, and i think i want to put a piano here…
the view from the pink living room into the dining room. i love the pocket doors, and i wish i had a better picture of them. we do not know if the fireplaces work. i really hope they do!

bay window in the dining room… see the plaster falling off the wall? see the sponge paint on the floor? nice, huh?! who sponge paints the floor?

this is the ceiling & light fixture in the dining room. where do i begin? i hate the chandelier, but i don’t think i can afford anything better right now (remember the peeling plaster & sponge painted floors). i’m consdering spray paint to cover the shiny brass… either black or oil-rubbed bronze. not sure yet. but the ceiling- look at it! i don’t absolutely hate it. but i don’t think it’s my style. time will tell!
this is what was left of the kitchen. we think it was being used as a breakfast room (hence the chandelier), but the sink was kind of puzzling. that door went to a 3rd bathroom that we decided to make a 1/2 bath. i hate removing a full bath, but a shower just off the kitchen seemed a bit icky.
the other side of the former kitchen… that was the basement door. we moved it to the foyer & closed this wall because we needed some wall space for cabinetry & shelving. there were 5 doorways in this room before; this creates a very small kitchen! now there are only 3 doorways, so the kitchen has lots of storage space. yay! oh, and that flooring? gone. not that it was bad, but we wanted something that matched the original flooring in the living & dining room more closely.
this was a cute little pantry between the kitchen & family room. cute but not useful enough to keep. i think matt & his friends enjoyed bashing it with a sledgehammer! (we are re-purposing all the wood & trim that we possibly can, in case you were wondering. many hours spent gently removing nails from boards & flooring & trim!)
so i know this picture is apparently of nothing… but that’s what this room looked like. it was the kitchen (with no appliances & strange, loose cabinets). now it has become our mudroom & laundry. i’ve never had a mudroom or main floor laundry, so i’m pretty excited! i have BIG plans for this being the most efficient & attractive little room ever- it may take some time, but i think it’s important. this is where we will enter the house from the driveway, so it needs to be a welcoming place for my family. it also needs to encourage neatness & storing things in their proper place! too ambitious for a mudroom? never!
this is the family room where our couches & television will go- the hang out room. i like the window into the dining room! this used to be the exterior, hence the brick & the window.
the second floor- literally. this is what the floors on most of the second story look like. i believe the previous owners took the carpeting with them… did i mention that this was a foreclosure? that may put things in perspective. we can’t refinish every floor in the house- way too expensive! so i am painting the floor in our daughter’s bedrooms & this third bedroom/bonus room a creamy white. i’ve gotten mixed reviews on whether or not that was a great idea, but it’s too late now!
(by the way, this is that 3rd bedroom- i tried to take pictures of it, but it is so small & there is nothing in it. my photos looked like pictures of walls).
kind of like this! doesn’t look like much, but this is julia’s room. somehow i didn’t get any pictures of the other walls, which is where the 2 windows are. this room gets lots of pretty sunlight & will make a lovely little girl’s room!
this is caroline’s room, which is right across from julia’s. it’s basically the same size, but slightly longer. it only has one window because this one (in the picture) goes into the master bedroom addition. this was the previous owner’s solution- mirror, beadboard, shelves & molding. not horrible, but not my first choice, either. we have removed this & are planning to back it with fabric & make it a little focal point. oh, and the dark green is gone, too. caroline is 3, so she chose PINK. i’m coming to terms with it.
this is the floor in caroline’s room. yes, they liked stencils. i don’t like them as much. i think they have their place, but not on hardwood floors.
this is the girl’s bathroom, completely covered in white tile. the sink, floors, walls & tub/shower are all the same white tile. and it’s so tiny that i couldn’t get a good picture of the space. let’s just say i’ll have to close the door to kneel on the floor for their bathtime! although it is ugly, it is not a priority for renovation. we’ll do this in a year or so when we have saved enough money to expand it!
i had to include this picture- this is matt standing in the tub/shower with the ENORMOUS showerhead. the tub is so shallow that there is NO way you could use this hand held sprayer without soaking the entire second story. i believe he is saying, “who in their right mind spends money on this kind of shower head in a bathroom that needs this much work?”

this is the space that was intended for a 2nd floor laundry, and i would LOVE a second floor laundry. but i would love a real master bathroom & a decent bath for my kids even more! this space has been cut in two: half to expand the master bath & half for a closet that will become the expanded girls bath at a later date. (besides, i don’t think our washer & dryer would fit up the stairs, so that would have been disappointing!)

the master bathroom- note how the door blocks the cabinets? great design, huh? it gets even better.


the master bathroom shower. see the tub spout? no bathtub. ????????
and i don’t know why this is underlined & i can’t make it stop. maybe i’ll get better at this soon!
anyway, the master bath has been completely gutted & i can’t wait to take the after pictures!!


i had to include this picture. this is the window in the master bath.
see it? look closer:

yes. it’s bird poo. there was a nest above almost every window in the addition because the exterior framing wasn’t complete. awesome.
master bedroom… it’s plain, but a pretty large room by my standards! lots of finishing touches to be done, and then it’s a blank slate. i LOVE blank slates!
master closet! YAY!!!!
the third floor is a partially finished attic. we’re going to use this space as a playroom, which i’m really excited about! and as cute as this diamond pattern is, it’s just painted sub-flooring. rough & uneven at best, we decided to cover it with a laminate floor. and i’m painting over the dark red- i’m thinking really bright green & blue, very energizing colors!

last but not least, matt’s office! a really good size room for him to spread out his books & papers, organize however he likes, preach sermons to himself… and it’s climate controlled, unlike his basement “office” at our current house. carpet is gone- it was pretty gross, and it only covered half the floor. i’m a little jealous of this big room, but he really deserves it! and the girls would never let me sneak away to a room like this & shut the door, so it would be wasted on me anyway…
i realized that i don’t have any photos of the garage or backyard… picture a forest with a shack in it. : )
so that’s the BEFORE! i have DURING pictures, but those will be revealed with the AFTER pics. coming soon! well, the “post-construction” pictures are coming… it will be a slow process to thoroughly decorate this house. i’m really looking forward to living in it & figuring out what it needs to become our home!

6 thoughts on “the BEFORE pictures…

  1. I know there are a lot of things you don't like about it right now, but I can see why you purchased it. So much character and a lot of potential. Can't wait to see your progress!

    Like

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