Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nowhere to go but up.

A before-and-after is only truly satisfying if you have a good "before".  And kids, do we have a doozy of a before.  So here are pictures of our house in its current state.  I hope to see lots of improvements very soon.

First: the front door.  Not too bad, although the steps could use some help and this photo camouflages the fact that the porch is covered in <gulp> carpet.  Charming.

Wait, there's a second front door!  Yes, this project involves unifying two sides of an old duplex.  This will be the non-front door, although removing it is kinda low on the priority list.  (The first window in the bay window has been broken for a couple years.  Fixing that is high on the priority list.)  That hydrangea in the front there is really adding to the Grey Gardens effect.  That may have to go too.

The living room!  OK, it will soon become the dining room.  Here you can see the front door (sorry about the mess, we're in the middle of a renovation!)

And here you can see the dining room's bay window.  Cute, huh?

Kitchen!  Pros: nice windows onto the backyard, fun vintage light fixture.  Cons: bad linoleum, laminate countertop, and formerly wallpapered walls.  (These are all fixable!  Yay!)  Smallish and odd layout which is trickier to fix.  Appliances are slightly past their prime but hey, there is a dishwasher!  Can't complain too much.

Ah, the natural wood beadboard.  It makes my eyes bleed, but Fred says it is gift from nature which is now rare and precious.  I hope it will be leaving our kitchen to go be precious somewhere else.  We shall see.  (Note Hello Kitty toaster which actually toasts Hello Kitty's face onto your toast.  Yes, it was a birthday gift from my husband who is clearly awesome, despite the kind attitude towards the paneling.)

The chair from library surplus has to go.  As soon as we find a better one from a much classier source.  Like, for instance, Goodwill.

Upstairs we go!  This is the view down the hall towards our new bedroom.  There used to be a wall separating this room, dividing it into two small rooms.  We 86'd that sucker early in the process, and now we're working on putting in four tall windows. 

There used to be two square-ish windows, one in each bedroom.  We are replacing those with four talllllll windows going across the back of the house.  Yay light!   

 This is looking towards the east.  There is a cute dormer at either end of the bedroom.  These rooms were mostly covered in lath and plaster, which all came down so we can put up insulation and then drywall.  (Framing windows goes first, then drywall, then windows.)

Looking into the west dormer.  Fred replaced the drywall here a year or two ago, so we were able to save it.  Check out the closet door here.  That one will be mine.  Yes Virginia, there is such a thing as two closets!  (The lucky thing about combining two bedrooms.)

The upstairs bathroom.  Its a cute yellow color, and has cute hexagonal tile.  The tub is a little short, the sink is very old and chipped, and the toilet slopes strongly to port.  Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...

 The other upstairs bedroom.  I quite like the color and the cute dormers.  The iron burn on the carpet is sexy too.

 This will be my craft room.  (Squeeeeeeeeeee!)  It is SUPER cute and has a super cute window and built-ins.  (Which are not visible in this picture because with the wedding madness it is impossible to even step inside this room without getting eaten.)  But trust me, this will be one of the cutest rooms in the house.

Downstairs we go, through the other front door onto the other side of the house.  This is currently Fred's apartment, so its slightly more lived in.  Living room (second front door can be seen on the far right, behind the bike.)

Other half of the living room.  What are we doing with that gigantic fig tree (that doesn't make figs)?  Good question...(Side note: Fred's parents made that couch in 1972 from a pattern in Sunset magazine.  So enterprising and such an awesome use of vintage Marimekko.)

The other kitchen.  This is going to become our wet bar/library.  I swear it looks neater in person than it does in this photo.

Ah, Fred's bathroom.  Lovely sand-colored fixtures.  The walls are made of some sort of rough wood, perhaps in an attempt to be sauna-esque?  Then some later owner decided that saunas were out and painting the whole thing white was a good idea.  Interesting.

Fred's bedroom.  Lots of light and tall windows that we are emulating upstairs.  (I'm not even going to show you Fred's desk because it is a shameful paper hill.  Lots of trees died to go lay on Fred's desk.  Maybe we'll photograph that in a second round of "before" pics.)

The back porch off of Fred's bedroom.  One major upside of this house is three different porches.  This porch is currently housing some car parts and an old keg, and not housing a whole lot of paint left on it.  But this is all a lower priority than things like walls in the bedroom.

So this is the door from the kitchen and the space where the kitchen porch would be...if we hadn't torn it down to re-level the house.  The foundation on this corner of the kitchen consisted of a cantaloupe-sized rock and not much else.  So we fixed that, but in the process nixed the porch.  That's ok, it was also covered in carpet so at least we're starting fresh here.  And Fred made some sweet temporary stairs out of left-over bowling alley lane so that's cool.  (Also notice the cute diamond gingerbreading around the dormer above the porch.  We recently uncovered some more of this cuteness underneath heinous shingles on the back of the house.  We're going to have to try to preserve that.)

The side yard.  Charming, if a little overgrown.  (Those pieces of wood are about to go hold up our future windows.)

So that's the house.  It's a work in progress and a labor of love.  But if you start somewhere like this, there's nowhere to go but up!  When we're done we'll have a lot of space, an awesome yard, and a lot of porches.  Exactly what we're looking for.  We're aiming to host Thanksgiving dinner in our new shiny dining room. Cross your fingers, wish us luck, and if you have an extra nail gun handy, we'd take it off your hands for a month or two...

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