Our Old, Old House
I really loved our very old, old house.
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 hadn’t been maintained for years. The yard was literally a tangled jungle. You could not see it from the road.
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!
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.
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.
I really miss those gorgeous French doors.
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.
This kitchen, unfortunately, was renovated in the 80s.
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.
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!
New laminate countertop, new backsplash, faucet, sink, microwave and hardware completed the renovated kitchen.
(I mean, did I really have to put ‘before’ on this photo??)
The best thing about really ugly before photos is that they make the best after photos.
The family room off the foyer was technically a bedroom but we made it into our 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.
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.
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.
The room looked great after so it was well worth the work.
Recall this Craigslist 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.
Totally worth it.
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.
I spackled the wallpaper edges. Even the ceiling was wallpapered!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Nice job! Great reminder that a coat of paint can make anything look better!!
Thanks Anne. It’s so true!
This is a beautiful transformation. Every young person buying their first home should see these pictures! Beautiful job.
Thanks Becky 😉
Jamie love seeing all the transformations. I can only imagine the hours of labor that went into everything. Thank goodness you documented it all to share.
Thanks so much, Jaime!
I loved fixing this house up with you boo. So many Great memories!
So many great memories we’ll always cherish 😉
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.
Thanks April! It was a lot of hard work but totally worth it. I’m so glad it’s still standing 😉
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!
Thank you so much, Sally! Such a sweet comment.
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!
Thank you so much, Michiko! You’re too kind 😉
I love this house! So adorable!
Thanks girl 😉
So wonderful all the re love you did to this home. Love these old homes with character. Glad it is still there. Enjoyed this post.
Thanks so much, Kris
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!
haha, me too! So tired 😉 I know, tons of character but tons of work. Totally worth it though.
Wow you have been busy. You’ve done an amazing job! We’re in the middle of a remodel and I just want it to be done. I know we’ll get there just keep moving forward.
Thanks for sharing, very inspiring.
Thanks so much, Carole!
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
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!