Archive for the ‘before and after’ Category

We finally broke out the paint brushes again, over the 4th of July weekend, and got busy giving Clare’s blah room a bit more oomph.

Remember what it looked like before?

Very beige, like every other room here in Beigeland, save the downstairs powder room and Xander’s bedroom. This is the third room we’ve painted since moving in almost three years ago; we could really do with upping the painting pace.

Here’s what Clare’s room looks like now:

I’m not sure it has the same before-and-after punch that Xander’s room had, but it’s still a wonderful change and, like always, I’m so glad we did it — and wondering why it took us so long.

I was going for something similar to Clare’s nursery, in our old house. But I like the slightly softer shade we ended up with even better.

Now it’s time to get serious about painting our master bedroom, the guest room, and the living/dining/kitchen/family room spaces. We need to hire a professional to handle the living room, because of its vaulted ceilings, but the other rooms are totally do-it-yourselfable. (Yes, I made that word up.)

At the lethargic rate we’ve been going, all painting will be complete just before we’re ready to move out.


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We waited until the last minute to fix one thing that drove us nuts the entire time we lived in the West Connecticut Street house.

Can you spot the difference? (Aside from the dying back flowers and brown end-of-summer lawn, that is.) That was done just one day before our house went on the market.

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Looking back at these old before-and-after pictures of our West Connecticut Street living room (though a lot more work was still to come: curtains on all the windows, crown molding, rug, new leather chair…), I’m amazed all over again by the difference a couple of hours and a can of paint can make.

When we bought the house, the living room was the color of orange sherbet, the trim was a slight salmon color, and the “crown molding” was actually some sort of narrow, plastic, brown baseboard that had no business being up there.

Sometimes I wonder how we saw beyond the house’s flaws, to what it could be.

Trust me, that’s no exaggeration: You haven’t seen the before-and-after kitchen photos yet.

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Okay, I lied before about there being no color on the walls in our Beigeland house. A few weeks ago, Michael painted the tiny powder room on our main floor. It’s Valspar’s “Green Jalapeno” and I love it. A ridiculous amount of love. Now, if I could just do some actual accessorizing (and replace that light fixture), we’d have one room completed.

Please disregard my disdain-in-hindsight for the avocado-hued appliances I grew up with. What can I say? I’m a complicated woman full of contradictions.

(Also please disregard the potty training seat visible on the floor of the “before” photo; this is the only picture I could fish out of my photo archives. “Before” shots are supposed to be horrendous anyway, right?)

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My first job out of college was at Better Homes & Gardens. I was an editorial assistant in their Special Interest Publications building and remodeling department. This was in the days before everyone had internet at their desks, so whenever I had downtime, I flipped through back issues of remodeling projects and building ideas. Before and after photos became my obsession.

It would be years before we owned our first home, but once it was ours I finally had the blank slate I began dreaming about back in that cubical. And I finally had my very own before and after photos.

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