before and after, home edition

If there are two things I’m a sucker for they are before and after photos (doesn’t matter whether it’s of people or places) and home tours.  There’s nothing quite like peeking into how others live and particularly how they design their living spaces.  This post is a little of both.  It’s intensely personal since it’s my home, but since most of you reading this are family and the rest of you friends and I’m not personally on the Facebook, this is how the photos are getting disseminated.  For the two of you reading this who I do not know personally, well, I hope you enjoy before and afters and home tours as much as I do.

I’m renting an old house which has a lot of character like I like, but also had some paint choices that I didn’t so much like so I’ve spent a month of weekends re-painting it.  Below is the entryway and stairs leading to the second floor with carpet that as my friend Mary would say is “special.”  Since I’m renting and not wanting to invest too much, the special carpet stays.

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The living room has a working fireplace and some great wood trim details but I wasn’t too fond of the almost army green walls and floral window treatments…

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…so I painted the walls gray and put up some store-bought curtains and took down the dirty blinds.  Those things are impossible to keep clean!

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A little goth vignette over the fireplace.  The fake crow was a prop used in some Halloween store windows I helped put together years ago and I’ve always loved the way vintage silhouettes looked so it went from there.  Found the crow print at an estate sale in Wisconsin for like $1.  Gotta love that kind of art.

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Since the walls and woodwork are fairly dark I made throw pillows in vibrant colors and put up a bright vintage travel print I picked up on the MoMA website for like $3 years ago.  It cost a heck of a lot more to get it framed, but I digress.

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Yes, I color code my media.  It pleases me.

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The dining room was the least offensive room, color-wise, but the two-tone yellow paint accented the fact that there are two different shades of trim (chair rail is white and crown moulding is cream) and so it had to be painted over…

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…to a nice shade of taupe.

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The other side of the entryway, which fortunately I did not have to paint as the walls transition nicely with what’s going on in the dining and living rooms on either side of it.  Love the old light fixture.

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The solarium was my least favorite room of the house at first because it was dingy and the windows drafty and oh those floral window treatments…

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But it’s amazing what a little white paint, curtains, and some plants will do to change a room.  Now it may very well be my favorite room in the house.  Still would like to get a large area rug to cover up the grungy berber carpet but it somehow looks cleaner now that the walls have been painted.

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The family that lived here clearly had a daughter as one of the bedrooms was painted a pale pink that I actually could have lived with were it not for the butterfly and American Girl motifs painted on a few of the walls.  (Oh, and notice that both the crown moulding and the ceiling are also painted pink.  Yeah.  That was fun to paint over.)

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Now it is a light tan and serves as a guest bedroom.

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Clearly the family also had a son as the other small bedroom was painted blue and the son appears to have carved his name into the bedroom door.  Awesome.

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I chose a nicer, Robin’s egg blue and turned the room into my office/studio/extra guest bedroom.

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The master bedroom was painted coral and not just coral, but CORAL in ALL CAPS.  The photo below doesn’t do it justice but I swear to you it was almost neon.  It was hard to relax at night and fall asleep in a room that color.

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I sleep much better now that it is a soothing gray.

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Since the kitchen is where the magic happens I wanted to include it, even though there’s not much to it.  I’ve had larger kitchens, but I’ve definitely had smaller too.  All of the kitchens I’ve lived in have been pretty kitschy and this is no exception.  The wallpaper is interesting as are the window treatments but I left them up as I figured it would be nearly impossible to find another fabric that would match remotely to the paper.  I did a little painting in here but neglected to take a before photo.  Just imagine the lower half of the wall painted in a celery green.  Special.

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