Before and After. . . Renovations so far

Dining room, before we began
Dining room, complete with lemon trees

Here are a few images to give you an idea of how far we’ve come in 2 and a half years.  We still have a ways to go, but our house has become “ours”.  I’ll move through the images based on the order in which we completed the work.

We moved in during July of 2009, but since we were only renting (waiting on our loan to go through), we didn’t want to start any major work.  We spent the summer cleaning out the house, pruning back vines and readying for our paint crew.

When the outdoor work was underway, we began by cleaning up the kitchen and sealing the pantry.  We pulled carpet out of the laundry room, which I still haven’t show you.

And then we started the big work.  Since the dining room looked as though it would be one of the easier rooms, we started there.

Library with window still boarded
Library finished

Next we worked on the library, though we still have yet to put in shelves.

Bathroom before demolition
Completed bath

Then we started upstairs with the full bath and alongside we painted the kitchen.  It took us a LOOONG time to do the bath because we had to remove crappy wallpaper, which was adhered with caulk and a soldering gun.  Just kidding, but it was put on eerily strong.

Kitchen, fall 2009
Kitchen, freshly painted

We stayed upstairs to work on the master bedroom and redid the ceiling in the dining room, not even a year later.  Then we began the nursery and finished up with the living room, where we are still putting final details in place.

Pantry in progress
Pantry, painted

We’ve yet to redo anymore floors except for the master bedroom, though we did consider having someone else come in and do them for us.  We are still debating what to do there.  Such a big job for us.

We still have yet to put up the chandelier in the living room and attach the mantle, though Bill has completed it.

Master Bedroom, with windows covered
Master Bedroom completed, except for ceiling fan and stencil
Nursery first used as our bedroom
Nursery with mural begun

Once those pieces are in place, he will begin our bookshelves!  I cannot wait to get all my books in place.  I feel as though we still haven’t moved in because my books are waiting patiently in boxes all over the house.  I’m not a hoarder by any stretch, nor a collector of anything in particular, but I do love books.  And, thankfully, Bill loves building and working with wood, so this will be a great project for us both.

While Bill is working on the shelves, I have yet to finish painting and stenciling several areas in the house.  I am also going to draft up plans for our garden.  I’d like to get some flowerbeds in place this spring, for once.

Living room, first week moved in
Living Room complete!
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the Pantry

Have you ever just done some serious decorating while your husband was at work, as in . . . painted a whole room orange?  Well, that is what I was up to a few weeks ago.  Okay, it wasn’t really a whole room, rather a whole space, like a closet size, and it wasn’t a bright orange. . but rather a deep rust.

Since it is going to be a while before we actually get to redo the kitchen and pantry with new cabinets and touch up the plaster (we painted it last summer), I decided to finish the painting job and complete the pantry.  I just did a quickie with one coat of paint and touch-ups, not even bothering with the ceiling.  However, it looks a ton better and matches the kitchen.

The early days of pantry life

To complete the project, I sanded and scraped the counter between the kitchen and dining room under the window and repainted it to match the woodwork.  To be precise, this is a butler’s pantry, and the “counter” is under the sliding door that divides the two. See the picture at right.  Originally it had a hideous linoleum cover on it which we pulled off last year.  I was living with a grungy top for the longest time, but could deal just because it was where I had my plants.  However, sanding and repainting it completes the room.

The pantry was the first thing we worked on when we moved in.  When we decided to buy the house, we actually rented it for a few months while we were waiting for the mortgage to go through, and we didn’t touch major repairs.

Ready for serving guests

Instead, we pruned the overgrown garden and painted the inside of the pantry to prepare for our goods.  We felt that painting the inside of cabinets would be a renters preference anyway, so we moved ahead.  The woodwork was initially that 70s avocado green and the plaster was raw.  I bought a neutral white and painted all of it, leaving the shelves bare wood so that Bill could coat them with a polyurethane.  And now with the painted walls, which are a deep saffron color rather than “orange” really, it looks rather homey and Tuscan.