I couldn't help but post just what I was dealing with when I purchased this house. Being able to envision what the end result can look like definitely comes in handy when buying an old home at a good price. I know I have shown you photos of my house on other areas of this website but here you can get a good understanding of just what I saw when first touring this house as well as the amount of work that it took me to get it where it is today.

The kitchen before....... 

 

As you can see in the 'before' kitchen photo, there were many issues that needed to be tackled.  There was hardly any storage space, the original woodwork was dark and covered in five layers of high gloss polyurethane, the walls were covered in orange solid textured wallpaper, the hardwood floors were covered in 1980's linoleum tile, there was hardly counter space, and the list goes on....... 

 

The kitchen after........

 

We decided that in order to gain cabinets, counter space and proper organization, we would have to lose our closet. At first, the thought of covering up our old closet to gain room seemed crazy but the more time I spent thinking about the new organized well lit cabinets that would soon take it's place the quicker I realized it had to be done. In the end the only loss was that of a poorly lit, unorganized, dirty old closet that housed plastic bags and a few cleaning products. What was gained was what you see here, a long continuous prep space that was desperately needed!

 

The pantry before..... 

 

Aside from being really hacked up carpentry-wise, the pantry was just bizarre.  It didn't go with anything else in the house, I mean, the woodwork was dark grey and it had a black drop ceiling with track lighting? Although we haven't fully invested in a final overhaul, below you can see how we gave it a much needed face lift.

Drop ceilings are never a good sign, there's always something wrong going on above them. Sure enough, the last home owner had skimped on the upstairs plumbing updates and ran new pipes through the pantry below. We removed the drop ceiling and as a compromise had to put up a new ceiling about 6" below the appropriate ceiling height of the house. This compromise was worth every sacrifice. We ripped off the old  haphazardly placed shelving and covered the damaged wall with wainscoting to match the kitchen, hand painted a fun stripe to mask the remaining wall imperfections, painted all cabinetry white and updated the hardware with some classic restoration hardware pulls. The dreaded Formica counter-top and underwhelming stainless steel sink are unfortunately here to stay for awhile...

The front hallway..... 

The front hallway is really the first impression you get when you walk into a house, right? Well, this is what I first saw when entering my soon to be first home.  Bright orange walls and lots of small decorations oddly placed. This challenge was an easy one, de-clutter and paint!

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You can't go wrong with grey. This Valspar 'Modest Grey' is the most perfect shade, it's super soft and tranquil, a great color to set the tone for rest of the house.  I'm a huge fan of animal prints, they are classic and go with everything........and because of the pattern, work great for a high traffic carpet runner. I have always wanted a wall of pictures, this stairway was a perfect canvas. People always walk in and comment, most say that they too have always wanted the same but don't know how to begin such a collection. My advice - just start!

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