Our Old, Old House

I really loved our very old, old house.

Our old, old house the beige and brown Tudor house with lots of green trees surrounding it.

My first house purchase was a 90-year-old Tudor house. I really loved this old house!

It had all the old world character and charm you would expect to see in any 90-year-old home.

The best part was that it was owned by only one family before us.

The owner was a builder and this was his custom house. There were beautiful hardwood inlays in the flooring and in some of the trim work.

Coved ceilings and lead glass windows were some of my favourites.

Let’s take a tour and check out some horrifically awful before photos.

The house with little shrubs in front of it.

The house hadn’t been maintained for years. The yard was literally a tangled jungle. You could not see it from the road.

Overgrown garden in front of the very old house with a brown roof.

After a fresh new roof, new exterior paint job and hacksawing of old plants, it looked brand new.

That old roof had so many layers on it they removed it down to the rafters.

Let me tell how you unnerving it is to sleep in your bed at night with a tarp over your head!

A brand new gray roof on the house.
Back yard of the house with a path leading to the garage.

The lady selling the house had tagged everything hence all the post-it notes and yes that is a bear by the fireplace.

Just a large stuffy. There were quite a few oddities about this place.

An old brick and wood fireplace with antique looking couches and table.

The trim work of the living room and dining room were spared paint from all those years.

It gleamed just as bright as the newly refinished floors.

Updated wooden floor in living room with comfy looking couches and leather chairs.
A green velvet couch in living room and wooden French doors.

I really miss those gorgeous French doors.

French doors that are open off the living room into the hallway.
A cluttered old style dining room.

My style hadn’t really come together at that point but mostly it was a matter of funds.

More gorgeous French doors to the dining room.

Simple dining room with wooden floors, a small table and updated light fixture above the table.

This kitchen, unfortunately, was renovated in the 80s.

Wooden brown cabinets in the kitchen with white counters.

Nothing a lot of paint couldn’t fix.

Most of the fix-ups in the house were just sweat equity. No major changes, no walls taken down, just tons and tons of paint.

Ripping our the cabinets in kitchen and painting it white.

This was Paint Cabinet Central. I think it took 7 coats of paint. All done by moi. My hands still remember.

After I was finished, a friend offered to lend me his sprayer. Thanks!

The cabinet doors laid down in the living room on plastic for painting white.

New laminate countertop, new backsplash, faucet, sink, microwave and hardware completed the renovated kitchen.

White cabinets in kitchen and wooden beams added.


Wood panelling in kitchen before the renovation.

Double yikes.

(I mean, did I really have to put ‘before’ on this photo??)

Wood panelling in the dining room before the renovation.

The best thing about really ugly before photos is that they make the best after photos.

With kitchen with wood beams and a small table in front of kitchen window.

The family room off the foyer was technically a bedroom but we made it into our family room.

Wallpaper in family room.

We took down all of the wallpaper with this rented steamer.

Most of the wallpaper came off no problem in the foyer and dining room but this room was horrible.

Stripping the wallpaper in the family room.

It was shocking to discover kelly green paint color underneath the wallpaper!

The plaster came off in chunks with the wallpaper. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

Green paint under the wallpaper in the family room.

So we had to bring someone in to skim coat this room.

They said leaving the wallpaper on was what we should have done as it was keeping the walls together.

I wish I knew that before we started.

Priming the walls for painting.

The room looked great after so it was well worth the work.

Recall this Craigslist couch?

The family room with a desk and couch.

There was carpet throughout the upper floor.

This room was relatively easy to update other than taking out 1000s of staples from the hardwoord floors by hand.

Carpet in the master bedroom.

Totally worth it.

The master bedroom with wood floors, brown curtains and a wooden bed.
Sunlight beaming into the bedroom from the window.

The upstairs only had two bedrooms but were equally large, like two master bedrooms.

So we learned our lesson from the family room and decided to keep the wallpaper in the nursery intact.

Blue carpet in the guest bedroom.

I spackled the wallpaper edges. Even the ceiling was wallpapered!

Taking down the wallpaper in the nursery.

There was hideous blue carpet that was probably original and it had clay underlay. One side came off like dust but the other side looked melted on.

Let me tell you how fun THAT was to remove!

Ripping up the carpet in the nursery.

And the finished nursery!

The size of this room was great because I spent the first few months of my son’s life with him in this room.

He was so colicky and rarely slept so it was convenient just to sleep in here with him.

The nursery with a crib, bed and chandelier.

We sold the house before we ever redid the bathrooms. I tried to do some basic updates and spent endless hours painting the bathroom and spackling.

Spackling in the bathroom.
Painting the cupboards with a small roller.

Remember the living room and dining room had untouched trim work?

Well the rest of the house did not. I put three coats of white paint around every window and door and on every door, closet and baseboard in that house.

I remember doing it when we were fully moved in for weeks afterwards.

To everyone who has done it, you know the pain that’s involved. Give me a wall to paint any day!

Painting the den.

When we sold our house, we were worried that the new owners would tear it down to build a new one because that was what was happening to so many in that area.

Tracey Ayton documents and shares photos of many houses in the area that are being torn down for new builds.

It’s so sad. But good news! The house is still standing and I’m hoping the homeowners are loving it as much as we did.

I am so happy that I got to live in and appreciate a truly old house and restore it as best we could.

It truly makes you appreciate all the handiwork, sweat and love that went into building these gorgeous houses.

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  1. This is a beautiful transformation. Every young person buying their first home should see these pictures! Beautiful job.

  2. What wonderful old house! Such character and charm that you just don’t see in a modern build. You put in so much hard work into that home, the pictures probably don’t even do it justice but from someone who’s done a lot of home renovating, I can tell you worked VERY hard.

    Great post Jamie! Thanks.

  3. That house is beautiful! I’m so glad it is still standing and someone lives in it. It makes me sad to see homes torn down and re-built into McMansions. There is a lot of that here in Florida as well. By the way, you sure are a hard worker. I admire you and your skills. Love your blog!

  4. Just amazing! Beautiful renovation. I admire your passion, vision and hard work. I love all of your articles and this is one of my favorites. Somehow it reminds me of my favorite book “The Little House”. Thank you Jamie!

  5. I’m exhausted just reading this post. Haha! You did some awesome work in this place! I cannot believe how much y’all did. It’s so cute! There are days I wish I could trade my brand new white builder box house for an old one with loads of character. Those old ones are way more work, but I love the stories they can tell. Love it all, Jamie!

  6. It certainly was/is a lovely house! Here in the U.K. old houses are not allowed to be pulled down although my house was built in 1830 so they are very old in comparison! What a shame that these lovely historic houses are not protected. You have a stunning blog btw and I have been ‘stuck’ over here for quite some time! I popped over from Pinterest. X

    1. Awww, thanks for your sweet comment, Sophie. It’s so sad that old houses get torn down. How wonderful to live amongst so many old houses. So glad you’re here!
      Hugs, Jamie

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