Saturday, November 21, 2009

The "Before" Tour

A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.
*This post was updated to participate in Funky Junk Interiors Greatest Hits*

Y'all remember this picture?

My dream home...the way it appeared in May 2005 when I fell in love....In love with all it's potential.
With one glance at the overgrown yard, it was pretty clear that this house had been neglected. I was curious...was the inside just as neglected? AWW, I had to know what the inside looked like.
A call to the listing agent's office and I finally got the rundown on this brokedown. It was a foreclosure and sat vacant for two years. Previously listed and practically sold, the house was unable to close due to a lien on the property. The listing was in the process of being transferred to another realtor. However, the agent did not share the name of the new realtor...all he said was "With this much interest, I should have kept it". UGH!!!!!!!!!
So I waited....a few hours....and called back to speak to the receptionist. YES!!!!!!!! She told me the name of the new realtor. A few days later with the new listing agent, who was also our new realtor and new BFF, we saw this.
We entered through the kitchen door.

Initial impressions
Liked the galley style kitchen, original cabinetry, and well-lit space.
Disliked the carpet on the floor, chotchkie shelves, stenciling and inadequate lighting.

Bedroom/bonus room above the garage

Initial impressions
Liked the idea of a bonus area
Disliked the worn green carpet, walls made of fiberboard (no drywall), low ceiling height, inadequate heating/cooling. Yep, you know where this is going. A total redo still waiting to be done! Until then, it makes a great storage room.


Initial impressions
Liked the space (huge space), amount of light in this room and "petite" walk in closet.
Disliked the Barney inpired paint color

Main Bathroom

Initial Impression
Liked that it gave me a good direction for the remodel...GUT IT. We did leave the cast iron tub.


Initial impressions
Liked the size of the room and plenty of storage with two closets.
Living Room

Initial impression
Liked the size of the room, coat closet, and fireplace.
Disliked the dirty, bug-riden carpet and in-wall chotzkie shelf.

Overall, we loved that the house was in it's ORIGINAL still had the crystal door handles. After talking to a few neighbors, we believe we're only the third owners of this home. The last tenet was just here for a couple years. Our vision is simple, update the house while preserving the 1940's character.
So, what do you think? Love at first sight for you too? Be sure to check back for the "After" and "In Progress" pictures.

Sincerely, Lisa

P.S. What do you think of the wood trim? I like it but I'm considering having it painted white...I feel limited with wall colors and wonder if painting it white will lighten up the rooms.
*We decided to keep the wood trim as-is because of it's fine condition. Please check out these links for updated pics of our living room, exterior and pergola.*

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


The Shabby Chic Cottage


  1. Hi Lisa! Your house looks cute. :) I love the wood trim (but then again I stripped the woodwork in my old house, so I know how hard it is to reverse that decision to paint the trim). When was your house built? I love old houses.

  2. Hi. My home is probably as old if not a tad bit older. It has some of the same features as yours: woodwork and crystal door knobs. We just recently painted our living room. And, we painted the trim white. My husband is a big believer in not painting woodwork. And if ours had any intricate carvings and was in good condition, I would agree. But the woodwork in there needed to be either refinished or painted. Hubby opted for painting. I love it! I mean, my house is far from being perfect and shiny new, but it's a huge improvement. Good luck with whatever you decide!


  3. Lisa,

    stumbled upon your blog through anne's. Love the house. I've always been into re models and decorating. Get rid of the brown base board for a higher white one and perhaps a taupe or fawn color for the living-room. Love the kitchen , but your right, the shelving needs to go. Perfect if you like retro. I will become a follower because I'm hooked regarding seeing the outcome. Come and visit me when you can...but you've been warned...I'm openly have a wonderful weekend.


  4. I loved taking a tour of your home. I can see why you were drawn to it.
    I'm curious where in Ohio you live. I lived in Cleveland for 4 years (right out of college) and then lived in N. Canton for 7 years. My husband was born and raised in Massillon.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  5. Hi Lisa,
    Me again!
    Thanks for giving me the scoop on where you've lived in Ohio. My husband's mother still lives in Massillon so we get back there on a semi-regular basis.
    I grew up in Atchison, KS where the original Nell Hill's is. It's only a 45 minute drive from where I live now and my parents still live in Atchison so I get there quite a bit. Her new store in Kansas City is only about a 10 minute drive but believe it or not I get to the Atchison store more than the Kansas City store. She does have some expensive items but there are also always lots and lots of very affordable home decor items too. I think that is one reason why she is so successful...she has nice merchandise for a reasonable price.
    If you ever come this direction I'll take you shopping!!

  6. This looks like a big, fun project. As we were touring, I was picking out paint colors in my head.

  7. Cute house..I live in an older one, too..mine was built in the '50's and NO glass door knobs!! :O)
    If it were mine, I would paint the trim so quick it would make your head swim...but, then again...I love ANYthing painted!

  8. Hi, I live in a Craftsman cottage house that is similar to yours and all my trim, baseboards, window/door trim, everything, is painted white and I LOVE it. It allowed me to do a burgandy in my living room and a luscious chocolate in my bedroom without making the rooms feel closed in or too dark. Love the charming!!

  9. Oh, I'm so excited to see what you have instore for this place! I love the solid bones of the home. I will be following you!... Dee Dee

  10. Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by!! I found the Varathane stain at my local True Value. They seem to carry the whole line of Varathane. I also used their wood conditioner too and was very pleased with it...if I wouldn't have wanted to go with a dark color to my wood it would have been fine to just stop with the conditioner. Happy staining!!

  11. OMG! Did it smell?

    I would paint the trim white...I would paint everything white :)


  12. Your gonna love your new home more and more each day....I would also paint the window frame, I love the blog I will return again

  13. It looks like a great fun project for the next few years. Can't wait to see where it goes. How many rooms? I may have missed that. The over garage bonus would great.

  14. I'm such a house addict. I can find love in just about any property. That said, hardwood floors, original glass door knobs, AND all those 40s-50s shelves...I love it. Can't wait to see.

  15. Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm sold on painting the trim white, I think Hubby's gonna take some convincing:(
    Thanks Valeree...I'll have to check out True Value. make me laugh! Once we removed the carpet, it just smelled like old house.
    Jeannine, the house is around 1650 sq ft. We have two very large bedrooms, with bonus room (we'll use it as 3rd BR), kitchen, breakfast nook, living room and full bath. No formal dining room. Full basement includes family room (with another fireplace), 3/4 bath, laundry, utility room and future play/guest room.

  16. how exciting! i'd wait to paint the trim. the house will let you know what's right after you live there for a little while (seriously). and i agree with another commenter who mentioned how difficult it is to strip them once they've been painted.


  17. This looks to me like a diamond in the rough! You have a potentially beautiful home there - and a lot of great rooms just needing a fresh coat of paint. I would lean towards painting the woodwork myself. The dark color sucks the light out of the room - painting it all white will make a huge difference. Can't wait to see the progress pics! :)

  18. I love working on projects like this. how fun.

    I clicked to follow-


  19. This is my kind of project. We have an old farmhouse and it has been a labor of love. I look forward to watching your progress.

  20. This has dream house written all over it! I can't wait to see how you transform it.
    Best wishes, Natasha.

  21. Hi Lisa, great house with great bones.... You will have so much fun redoing it...

  22. OH what a fun project. Love the older look to the house. If you are not keeping the glass door knobs...send them my way! :)

  23. Wow! I can't wait to see what you have in store. There is tons of potential and I can see why you fell in love with it. I would paint the trim white. I had the same issue with the 1940's era home I moved to a few years ago. I thought I had to leave it, because it was original wood trim, but it was just pine, nothing special. What it came down to was - it was my house and I like white trim, so I painted it. Someone years from now might be stripping the paint and cursing the home owner who painted it, but that's their problem! :) It made such a difference with the room feeling brighter. Good luck!

  24. How awesome to find your dream home to redo! My hubby and I have been talking about that a lot lately. It has so much potential! Good luck!

  25. I love your house!!! I definitely see the potential. This is the type of house my husband and I would scoop up.
    We've had three houses that had dark wood trim and we painted all of them white. That's just the look I like. I like a brighter, fresher look. But I have been in homes with dark trim that I LOVE too. I am so excited to find your blog and see what you do with things!
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  26. It definitely would have been love at first sight for me! That house has tons of potential. What fun to be able to preserve such a treasure, while adding your own personal touches.

  27. Can see so much potential. We too have a fixer upper 1940s home. Have already redone several rooms...lotta work, but fun, too. Good luck.

  28. What a lovely blog you have. Our houses have a similar look. Mine had the same trim, floors and window placements. We ended up painting all the trim--paint is one of my passions but I like the light, freshness of it so much better now. But you will come to your down decision. Meanwhile, thanks so much for stopping by to see us and we all wish you a happy and healthy holiday.

    Jane F from Atticmag

  29. I love your sweet little dream house! I have faith that you will turn it into something special.
    Thank you so much for your comments on my post the other day and for sharing your life with us!
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  30. I am very excited to see what you do with this!

  31. posted those photos! I can honestly say I thought this was the ugliest house but being part dreamer, I could sense you and Andy's excitement. is the cutest with YET great works to come!! I hope you will load the Christmas trimmings photos to share. Luv ya!

  32. I can see why you love it, and it's going to be so much fun to see the transformation! I think you could go either way with the trim, but my preference would be painted. Have a good week!

    pk @ Room Remix

  33. I'm so glad you commented and asked me to come over for a visit! I so look forward to seeing all that you have planned for this diamond in the rough. My opinion won't be the popular one but I happen to love dark wood trim. But yes, it limits the paint colors. I also like trim that gives you the unexpected and isn't white (says the girl who has nothing but white trim in her completely remodeled house :). Seriously though, I would fall in love with a color scheme first and base your trim decision around that. Blessings!

  34. Looks like you have some big projects! This house looks like it has great bones!! You asked about hanging the bow on the wreath, I think either way is fine, bottom or top. For some reason I'm leaning towards the bottom. Thanks for checking out my post!! Kristen

  35. Thanks for visiting the other day. I can see why you're in love with this house. It has such great potential. I love old homes. Thay have such history and character. Good luck with everything.

  36. Thanks for stopping by my little blog. I LOVE this home- so cozy!
    From one 1940's home owner to another!