Before this current house, we lived in a 90-year-old tiny tudor house. This was about 10 years ago.
It was our first house purchase together. I loved this house.
It had all the 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 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 French doors.
My style hadn’t really come together at that point but mostly it was a matter of funds.
More gorgeous French doors.
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 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 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 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.