So, scattered throughout various other projects and random bits of thought on this blog, I figured I would share various redos from our house. It's an ongoing project, but we have most of the upstairs finished and part of the downstairs finished. I have lots of before and after pictures and lots of craziness from the original owners (only one family owned the house prior to us--they actually had it built).
I'm going to start today with the kitchen/living room. This is how the living room looked when we first bought the house:
You may be asking yourself, "Why are those walls so shiny and reflective?" The answer is that the walls weren't covered by ordinary wallpaper--at least not on the surface. Oh, no. That would be way too normal for the people who owned this house. Instead, they went to the store and bought contact paper. You know, that peel-and-stick stuff that you always line your drawers with in a new apartment because it seems to somehow create an impenetrable barrier between the previous tenants' germs and your silverware. Yes, that was all over the walls throughout the living room, entry, and down the hallway.
We also had this lovely blue carpet that was absolutely infested with fleas. As soon as you walked into the house, you immediately had at least 5 of them on your pants. But remember in the book The Hiding Place when Corrie Ten Boom shows that they could thank God for the fleas because it kept the guards out of their bunks while they were holding Bible studies? I also thanked God for the fleas. This house was the right size for the right price, but it somehow sat empty for 6 months before we bought it, and it was on the market for even longer than that. I believe that God may have used the fleas to keep other people from buying it so that we could. Not sure which helped more--the fleas or the contact paper.
Or these wooden spindles:
Don't they just scream out SEVENTIES!?!?!?!? And that leads us into the kitchen. It was part wall paper (the real stuff this time), part paint.
And yes, those are geese on the cabinets. No offense if you love all things geese. I have nothing against the real animals. But I do have something against fake awful-looking ones residing on my cabinets.
So, here's what we did. Once we took posession of the house, we had less than a month until our apartment lease ran out. The first thing I did was to grab that contact paper and start ripping it down. Amazingly, it peels off of walls really easily! The next thing we did was bomb the fleas. My hubby's wonderful aunt and cousins came out to help and his cousin Emily scrubbed those horrid geese off of my cabinets.
Over time came other changes. We ripped out the wall between the living room and kitchen, making them into one bigger room. We also pulled out the carpet and redid the floors with a hardwood laminate. We painted everything a pretty and mellow khaki-green color, removed the counter along the south wall (you'll see it again later, in a different location in the house) and built in pantries.
Here are the living room and kitchen now--no more contact paper glare! However, it appears that we still need sunglasses in the house.
Here are inside the pantries. My hubby and his dad put a counter into the one on the right, with outlets. That way we're able to keep small appliances in there instead of out on the counters. Brilliant idea, isn't it?
This is the end of part 1 of our house redo. We got rid of some interesting things the original owners did. What interesting details and quirks have you found in your house as a result of the prior owners?