home renovation · interior decorating

Adventures in home renovation: the before

We bought our sweet 1930s Tudor the year we were married with high hopes of DIY renovations. “How hard can it be?” We asked ourselves? How hard indeed— we have had our house for 2 1/2 years and only now is the downstairs in sight of being done. It’s something I’ve wanted to share and blog about because it’s been an adventure and I think people should know about the adventure.

We searched for a house for two years before finding this one. Two years, 111 houses total. I’m picky and I admit it, but I had a few basic needs I wanted to have in our home: we wanted brick exterior, something built pre 1950, something with character, something in a decent enough neighborhood. 3 bedrooms at least, a garage for my husband.

When we first saw our house, I knew. I’m a big intuition person, and I just knew it was “the one.” We walked in and it was well worn and well used and needed a lot of work. After deliberating we put in our offer on Valentines Day 2011. I’m a florist and at the time ran a flower shop so you can imagine that madness.

Here’s our house:


A sweet couple had bought our house in the 1950s and probably planted those huge trees then that were once bushes. They grew when no one trimmed them. Ever.

Anyway, so they didn’t accept our offer. They wanted a lot more than we were willing to pay (and we were not going to go higher because we knew it needed loads and loads of work). I was pretty devastated.


We kept looking but I’ll admit it, my heart wasn’t in it. At that point, I checked the MLS daily and about two weeks later our House was back on the market. The first couple had backed out.


The living room and fireplace. Everything was white (they painted it in 1950 and then did nothing else with it).

We put in our new offer (a little
Higher this time) did some back and forth negotiations, and then we got it!

The original kitchen with original
Cabinets and dining room.



As you can see, it needed lots of
Love and work, but we were determined. The bathroom was tiny:


And the master had a weird closet:


But there was so much potential. This is the upstairs landing:


And we were off. We closed on April 5 and started working the very next day. I will share the projects with you in future posts!

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