Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why Renovate the House I Live In. . .

. . . when I can renovate the house someone else gets to live in?

My biggest complaint about our house renovation is the very   s l  o o o o w   progress. No room ever gets done all in one shot, let alone the entire house.  I have a hard time finishing even small projects, like the slip covers for my dining room chairs I started LAST November. I got one done.  Now I have a whole new table and set of chairs! Luckily they need slipcovers so we will try again.  I also have a half done laundry room, a living room with no furniture and a list of things to do a mile long.

But I have been steadily checking things off another list I made a while back.  And I can sort of check #15 off that list: Own and restore a historic home.  It isn't what I had in mind, and I don't even get to live in it.  And even though it was built in 1941, it isn't on the historic registry, and it doesn't have a name.    But it has come a long way and I am rather proud of it.

So with that stellar introduction, meet our first little rental house:

It was dark when I took the after pictures so I will have to go back in the daylight for the exterior "after" picture. But here is a "during picture". The exterior had been painted, but the trim wasn't finished and the fence hadn't been fixed and the shutters  and house numbers aren't up, but it's still cuter:

UPDATE: Finished exterior

When we purchased the home two months ago, we were fairly enthusiastic, and my husband ripped right into the place before I had a chance to even take before pictures, so I nabbed the pictures from the listing.  Let me take you on a little tour, room by room.

Welcome to the living room I walked into that first day back in May (it was a VERY long process):

And welcome in today:

Let's look around the living room:

Let us enter the Kitchen, shall we?  Here is the before:

And the after. . .

Let's pivot around the room:

Moving on to the dining room--prepare yourself:

Ahhhh,  much better. . .

Laundry room/mudroom--a short step down from the dining room. . . before:

After.  What else can I say? Except, that at some point it will probably be sporting bead board and a shelf in the future.

The master bedroom (which used to be a one car garage--complete with maroon painted cement floor):

After.  This was the one room where all the things on the list didn't happen due to time restraints--our renter wanted to move in, little things like that. . . Plus it wouldn't really be OUR project if we actually finished everything!

Let's walk back through the laundry room. . .

and up through the dining room. . .

and back through the kitchen--do you see the peek of the bathroom?  Wait for it. . . .

The crown jewel of the remodel: the bathroom (the one and only).  But first, the before:

This picture doesn't begin to convey the gross, dirty, leaky, ewwy, smelling mess that was this bathroom.

Annnnnd. . .  AFTER:

I spent hours and days and days and hours and massive amounts of arm strength on tiling very nearly every inch of this bathroom. . .

Subway tile. . .

How I love thee. . .

despite the pain you caused me. . .

This faucet was actually very inexpensive, but I want to put it in my girls' bathroom when we renovate it (with hundreds of subway tiles).

I seriously love the way it turned out--can you tell. . . by the sheer number of pictures of it.

It was hard to get it all in a picture with such little space to work with. . .

Okay, I am leaving the bathroom.

With only a couple backward glances. . .

And on to the two bedrooms. Bedroom one before (there wasn't a before picture I could steal from the listing--perhaps because they didn't think we could handle that much design style--and the day I took this I had only a 50mm prime lens.  But I assure you, this flag covered one entire wall, and the rest was worse):

Loads of primer later. . .

The second bedroom was all girl before:

But now it's all soothing, crispy clean:

I love the old door hardware and those old doors (even though I had to sand and plane EVERY door to get them to close).

Then back to the living room and glancing back down the hall:

I might just have to put some of the trim paint in my house.  The walls, on the other hand are darn close to the color on my own house.  Together they are perfection.

What do you think--would you rent this little blue bungalow?