Say that three times fast.
We added some new after pictures from a few different angles to our house tour page… along with some never before seen befores! We often get email requests to see the other side of our living room and our den, so we waited for a sunny day and snapped some pics from unseen angles. And since we love a good before and after, of course we’ll show you what each room looked like before.
Take our living room for instance. Here it is on the night that we moved in:
And here it is from almost the same angle now (I took that hideous divider out myself while John was at work and tore back the weird linoleum square to reveal hardwood floors beneath!):
And we musn’t forget our dark and dated den. Here it is from another angle during our first walk-through (that’s our cute realtor in the doorway):
And here it is now (after widening the doorway to the sunroom and the kitchen, replacing the faux-parquet linoleum with hardwood floors, removing that crazy archaic wall sconce, and adding about six gallons of paint):
So feel free to check out our updated and expanded house tour whenever the mood strikes. Of course we also updated our room by room source list (so if you have any where’d-you-get-that questions, we hopefully have an answer for you there). Come on in and make yourself at home!
Do you think all wall scones are archaic?
Nope, just that clunker in the before picture! We actually like sconces on either side of a mirror or in a dining room above a buffet. In fact we recommend a lot of candle sconces (so they’re super easy to hang without wiring ’em) from zgallerie when we whip up mood board makeovers!
SSM- Here’s an old post all about our kitchen right after the granite was installed (after 113 days of waiting!) and there are a bunch of views of the room (including two of the microwave). It was built into the new wall of cabinetry that we gained by closing off the doorway that led to a formal dining room which we converted into a third bedroom. Hope that makes sense! The pics are worth a thousand words!
Ok I have to ask, where is your microwave in the kitchen? I don’t know why, but I noticed that I haven’t seen it in any of the photos.
do you by chance remember the paint colors you used for the rooms in your house???
For a paint color breakdown you can always check out our room by room source guide (which we link to on our house tour page) or this post which even has a little floor plan for ya.
Denise T. says
It appears you kept the original front door in the living room. I really like the funky little window. Painting it white and dressing it with new hardware was a great choice. Not viewing it through the old room divider is the biggest improvement!
Good to know! I was about to go home and rip all the scones off my walls tonight:) We have 8 in the living room/foyer in our bungalow!
No we love sconces Ele! So sorry to confuse ya, it was just that terrible iron one with a frayed old cord that scared us (fire hazard, anyone?). Oh and Denise T, we did replace all the windows in our house last year and it was the best decision we ever made. We use far less heat since we’ve upgraded to not-50-year-old-windows (with Low-E!) and I’m hoping allergy season will be better too…
Denise T. says
Did you replace the windows in your house?
Wow! Your home is so fresh and light – I just love it :)
Just wanted to say “Thank you!!!” for showing the world that it is entirely possible to live comfortably in a “small” home.
Our new house (that we haven’t moved into yet) is 1,700 sq. ft. of 60’s awesomeness. Not very small (unless you put it next to the behemoths people are building today), but we do have 2 growing boys. The lady that lives behind us has lived in her home since her youngest was 18 months old– and their house was new then, so for about 40 odd years–and was tickled pink to know that there were “young folks” with children who were so willing to work with what already exists. She’s tougher than we are, as she raised 4 children in a 3 bedroom/1.75 bath home, but if she could do that, we can definitely do it with 2 kids and a “living little” mentality.
No problem Sherry! I just could not stand the thought of having something in my house that you think is archaic!!! You style and taste mean too much to me:)
Aw thanks guys for all the kind words. It makes all the weekends of peeling and scraping and sanding painting and searching for affordable furnishings well worth it!
Sherry, the transformation is breathtaking! Beautiful, to say the least. I can’t believe how dark and dreary your house used to be… How did the previous owners live there??? LOL
I keep watching your home tour video on theNest over and over, to pick up the little details I may have missed during the first dozen views or so… Love your decorating tips in that video, thanks for sharing!
I love the combinations of yellow and off-white that you have in both of these rooms – the combo is somewhat unexpected, and the result is so serene and refreshing!!
sherry, john- i can’t believe you got rid of the divider! it would have been the perfect place to sport sherry’s ceramic animals. the white lacy valance would have softened their hard lines!
Christina Vasquez says
I noticed your sofas in your living room and den. If I remember correctly one is Pottery Barn and one is Rowe. How would you compare the two? I am looking for a supper comfy sofa for our family room and am currently looking at the PB square and was curious of your thoughts.
We definitely love the Rowe one much much much more and it was actually a lot cheaper ($400 less!) so we feel cheated by the PB one. The PB Square is definitely more our taste now (we’re kind of bummed we got the more country looking Basic and not the Square) but beyond that we’re thrilled with the extra fabric choices, quality and price point of the Rowe sofa in comparison. Here’s a post all about it. And it’s easy to find a Rowe retailer in your town, just google your city and Rowe and you should find a bunch. Wish we knew that before we got the PB one….
Hope it helps!
I was wondering if you just painted over the wood paneling at your place. I have an 1890’s Queen Anne Victorian(see our blog for pics of the wood paneling in all its glory) and am thinking I can just paint over all the paneling (most is fake wood…ick). Was yours fake wood or real? How good does it look now?
Jenny- We used a coat of oil based primer to go over our wood laminate paneling (ick!) and followed that with two coats of latex paint (flat) which really seemed to do the trick. It still looks as fresh as the day we painted it three years ago so I think the primer helped to create that scratch proof bond that stands the test of time! Good luck & happy painting!
Denise T- We went five feet wide for the opening from the kitchen to the dining area of the living room. We also went five feet wide for the doorway on the left wall of the kitchen which leads to the den so the whole house feels much more open and light travels easily from room to room. Now standing at the front door in the living room you can see into the kitchen and even beyond the kitchen into the den. That depth really makes things feel much bigger and brighter. Hope it helps!
Denise T. says
We are thinking about widening the opening between our living room and kitchen to open up those rooms and make the space more multipurpose. How wide did you go with the opening between your kitchen and living room?
Love your “roman shade-esque” wooden blinds that you have everywhere… that is what they actually look and operate like, right? More of a roman shade roll up/down mechanism instead of just piling up like normal blinds? I’m curious, do you put them up and down very often or are they pretty much just for “looks”? I’m wondering about the durability of the hardware, from Walmart.
PS: We have began the kitchen cabinet (and eventual “entire kitchen”) remodel at my boyfriend Brian’s house. We had asked you about your “in-between-stage” cabinet color and didn’t end up going with it, but we’re doing a creamy color and then brown glaze… thanks for providing the inspiration that we can get do it ourselves!
Yup, the bamboo blinds that appear throughout our house are roman blinds, so they don’t roll like roller shades, they fold like roman ones. We actually don’t use them very much on the windows (they stay in place most of the time because we like light and don’t really need much privacy since we’re set pretty far away from other houses and the road). BUT we do use them around three times a day in our laundry nook (we used the same roman blinds to create cabinet “doors” to hide clutter above the washer and dryer) and even though they’re mounted directly to the ceiling and get tons of heavy use they’ve held up great over the last year. Hope it helps!
Denise T. says
Yes, very helpful. Thank you so much! These decisions are not the fun part – but they really pay off when it comes to how a home flows from one room to another. Glad you and John paved the way for the rest of us!
Melissa P. says
Sherry & John,
I’ve been lurking on your site for awhile now, but after today’s post, finally decided to comment on how beautiful your home looks. The “after” pictures are absolutely stunning. You’ve done such a fantastic job on your home, and I love the fact that it looks livable and “real” as well as stylish. Thanks so much for sharing all of your knowledge, hard work, and impeccable style!
Everything looks fabulous – of course. I have come to expect nothing less! Love how you layer on the accessories – simple and stunning.
Just wanted to say I love your house. You have such an eye!
Kelly S says
I love your house guys! Where did you get the picture hanging by the door in your living room?
Keep up the good work!
It’s actually an Ikea print (super cheap) hanging in an Ikea frame next to the door in the living room. Happy shopping!
just beautiful – my hubby & i are in the market for a new couch, what is the name of yours from rowe? i was visiting there website & didn’t really see one that looked similar to yours…thx!
We don’t know the make or the model or anything since we just dropped in on a local showroom and picked the silhouette that we liked and the fabric that we liked right there in the store. A few weeks later and our custom couch was at our door. Hope it’s that easy for you! If you’re looking for something similar it helps to remember that ours has two seat cushions (many have three) and two back cushions along with square arms that are low and clean looking with a pretty sleek slipcover silhouette. Happy hunting…
Thanks for these new views! I really like before and after shots from all angles, so I’m enjoying these.
Hi Sherry and John (and readers!)
I LOVE the before and after pics of your house, but since I’ve not entered house hunting world (aside from HGTV’s House Hunters!), how did you fall in love with your house and see past all of the dated decor and work you would have to do? I like to think that I have a fairly decent “designer eye”, but might have run from the sight of that divider and the wood paneling!
We honestly knew about as much as you do when we were house hunting! We had just moved to Virginia from NYC and had absolutely no house buying or home improvement experience. We’re true learn-as-we-go people and we knew enough to pay attention to the location, so it helped that our house had that going for it (close to work & downtown, safe area, great schools). And we obviously cared about the price (it turns out that houses with bad paneling and room dividers are cheaper!).
So after looking at more than a few fixer-uppers, this one just had an unexplainable magic to it. The giant green backyard won us over and we liked that everything was on one floor and there was a lot of living space (a living room, a den, and a sunroom). It also had a double garage (a rarity in our area) and heck it even had two fireplaces! So even though there were definite issues like 50 year old kitchen cabinets and giant ceiling fans everywhere, there were little bonuses that we latched on to and before we knew it we were head over heels. We made an offer the day we set foot in the house (in the pouring rain, no less).
It really is a gut decision and I think people who make a house-purchasing decision with their heads may have buyer’s remorse but when you go with your heart (as corny as it sounds) you just can’t wait to put some love into the house you adore. We loved the crazy dark and dingy house that we bought three years ago and we reaaallly reaaaally love it now after all of our hard work. Honestly, it can do no wrong in our eyes!
We never expected to get married in the backyard and start a blog about our adventures in home improvement and here we are! The lesson? Just follow your instincts and after you see a bunch of houses that just don’t do it for you, you’ll definitely know when you step foot in THE ONE. Just be sure to pay attention to the things you can’t change (neighborhood, school district, lot size) and not get too hung up on the things that you can (paneling, gross carpets, grandma furniture, even the exterior color of the house). Happy hunting…
Mary Anne Carroll says
I have to say; I read a TON of design blogs, and this is hands down the best!You guys are relatable and not trying to be kitschy and hip. You make good design seem attainable for everyone!
I showed my husband the before and after of your den, and he said “Thats not the same room!” I’m still not sure he believes me. The transformation is just that good.
Annie, bossy color says
Really, is there anything better than before ‘n after pics? You should be very proud! Look how far you’ve come! Very inspiring.
Thanks Sherry! I was at Walmart tonight and they didn’t have any. BUT, they DID have DIY magazine Spring 2009 which features your humble abode! Congrats and I love the article. You two are an inspiration!
Your home is truly lovely.
I’m curious about your white slip covered sofa in the living room. I would love to purchase a white sofa but I’m concerned even though the Rowe slip cover is washable it would be impossible to keep clean. What’s been your experience?
We have a pooch who loves to go on bug hunts outside and then run in excitedly with muddy paws, but both slipcovers have held up extremely well. We wash them from time to time, but they’re really pretty great even when we go for long spans without washing. We don’t have children with peanut butter and jelly hands, so we don’t know how they’ll do during that stage of our life… but for two adults and a tiny pooch they’re perfect!
Oh and one mom actually weighed in on her white Ikea slipcovers when people asked if they worked with children back in the comment section of this post. Here’s what she said:
For all you Moms and Moms-to-be, we actually LOVE our slip covered chairs from IKEA. They are machine washable. We bought them in 2001 and they are still going strong. After 5 moves (two of those being cross-country), they are still in great shape. The design – a little overstuffed and frumpy. The wear and care – outstanding.
Hope it helps!
Somehow, I am just now stumbling upon your site! Love it!
I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed the “snowball” on your living room table.
I have seen a similar one before…
But now those frames have pictures in them!
I love that we call that thing a “shell ball” and you call it a “snowball.” I don’t really know what the real term for it is- but I love “snowball” so much that I might have to start using it too. I really like the one you have in that picture in front of those frames, and I’m happy to hear the frames now have pictures in them. It’s all coming together!
Wow wow wow! I LOVE your before and after pics!! Your house looks great now! Good natural light too!
Denise T. says
I can personally vouch for slipcovers when it comes to keeping them clean. We have 2 leather chairs that flank a fireplace in our living room. The seat cushions were slipcovered in a natural cotton twill fabric 10 years ago. My husband builds a roaring wood fire almost nightly during the winter. So he is always carting wood indoors and that can get messy. Plus, we spilled a glass of red wine on one the chairs. The leather didn’t miss a beat, but I just knew the slipcover was ruined. Not to worry – it laundered beautifully and there isn’t a trace of any stain.
I so want to slipcover these chairs in white for the summer. They are long overdue for a new wardrobe!
Wow, what a diff! So light and airy!
Everything looks awesome, Sherry. The new pictures are great, and your home is airy and fresh. I love it!
Mary S. says
I LOVE your site!!! It’s abosolutely wonderful!! Your before and afters are amazing + inspirational.
East End says
I actually kind of liked that divider in the living room. Was it original to the house?
Hey East End,
We actually believe the divider was added in the 70’s since the faux-stone linoleum in front of it by the door was most likely added around that time (right over hardwood- the nerve!). It was really flimsy (not made of thick wood), and I don’t know if you can tell, but there was a big pane of crazy stained glass in one of the squares in the middle of the divider. It also kind of cut off the area by the door and you know out mantra: open, open, open. So down it came…