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Monday, February 14, 2011

Metamorphosis Monday: How Things Changed....Thank Goodness!

While I was browsing through old photos on my computer, I came to realize that our house looks VERY different than it did 4 years ago when we bought it, even though it seems like we've accomplished nothing and it seems like our project list is endless................

But that's not really true at all and I was astonished at how easy it is to forget that! I thought I might share some of the changes we've made and I'll be linking up with  Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.


This was the way our house was pictured on the realtor's website when I first saw it listed in July 2006. At the time, Erik and I were engaged and planning an April 2007 wedding. He was living in a 2 bedroom apartment in Menomonee Falls and I was living in a one-bedroom upper duplex in Milwaukee. We had started looking at houses sort of casually.....we certainly didn't think we'd be buying a house just then. We were almost certain that we wouldn't find something we liked and could afford before the wedding, which we paid for ourselves. But, as it turned out, we found this house and suddenly we found ourselves not only planning a wedding, but taking on the added burden of buying our very first house!
 I have no idea what year this picture was taken, but the yard looked NOTHING like this when we drove up with our realtor to take our first look. I didn't even recognize the house at first; I was sitting in the car and looking around for a house in a yard full of trees and flower gardens.  I was quite shocked, to tell the truth, that they would have used a picture that was not at all an accurate representation.
There were no trees in the yard---not a single one--- and none of those flowers and bushes that can be seen all along the front in the picture were there. None. I still have no idea to this day who would have tore all those plantings out and why. Who would have done such a crazy thing? And for what reason? It's a mystery. We do know that the previous owners were the ones who cut down all the trees......because they didn't want to rake leaves. They told us that. Perhaps they were also the ones who ripped out all the landscaping too. If they did, they never admitted to it.

                         So here is a picture of the house on the day we first saw it and what it looked like in reality. That's my best friend, Julane, sitting on the front steps next to my purse! Julane is a realtor, so of course, she was our realtor. I wish I had taken a picture standing further back so that you could see just how barren the yard was. A really weedy flower bed with a few straggling Sweet William plants was the only "landscaping" in evidence.

In this one I'm standing just a little further back and looking up at the house; it still doesn't show much of the yard, but you can still sort of tell that there are no trees.


Here's one from the side when our inspector was looking at the roof. Not only did the previous owners cut down all the trees, they left all the stumps. And where all the bushes and flowers had been torn out, they had never filled in the holes with dirt, so our yard now has a sort of 'lumpy' and 'hilly' appearance in places where the holes were. We had to have someone come and grind out the stumps.


Our first major project was having the house painted. The house has it's original wood siding but it had been clearly many years since it had been painted. We weren't overly thrilled with the paint colors either. We noticed that there were three different shades of green paint on the house, as if they had run out of one color and just started painting with another green color in the same area. It was peeling everywhere, although you can't really see how bad it was in these photos. Once the big stress of the wedding in April 2007 was done, we started the painting project in the summer of that year.


We also needed to make some repairs to the porch. It was sagging badly because it didn't have proper supports and the skirting was rotting in many places, so we tore it off and had new skirting made also.

And here's how the house looks now with the new paint colors and new skirting. This picture was taken in the really early spring last year (2010); it was probably about mid April, so it doesn't really show all my pretty flowers and perennials. Also none of my hanging baskets and containers are out on the porch yet.



These photos, taken right around Fourth of July last year, show things a little better.



This picture was from 2008, I think. The landscaping is a work in progress!

I had also taken a few pictures of the inside of the house when we first visited it, with the previous owners furniture and things...........they clearly had a style that was not suited for this type of house.


The front entry hall  as it looked on our first visit to the house....



And how it looks now, with our stuff.....



Fall, 2010






Dining room, the way it looked then........


And the dining room as it looks now........


Christmas 2010


The room that we call the 'formal parlour' as they had it decorated.......



And the formal parlour as it looks after I painted and stenciled it, as it looks today....







The living room then..........


Our living room now........
Christmas 2010



I didn't take any photos of the bedrooms at that time, but here's a picture of the bedroom we now use as a guest room. The bed in here is mine from my apartment ( photo taken 2009), but the colors of the room was how they had painted it. They actually had nothing in this room, it was completely empty.


This is how the guest room looks now, after I painted it in 2009. The bedding is Erik's from his apartment. I just recently changed the bedding in here, which will be shown in a later post.


I used two paint colors in this room; the one wall which the bed sits against is in Behr's "Roasted Pepper" and the other walls in the room are done in Behr's "Mojave Sunset".

Here's the bathroom upstairs as it looked when we first saw the house;


And how it looks now.........






It is really amazing what a change of decor, furniture and some paint can really do to transform the way a home looks. And I have to say that the appropriate style of decor in an old house, or any house, really makes it stand out.
I'm finally getting around to deciding on window treatments for the hall and formal parlour and soon I will have gotten rid of all the previous owners' ugly old  dusty cheap blinds (they were obsessed with blinds), so hopefully soon I can show you those projects.
Thanks for taking a walk down 'memory lane' with me!

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12 comments:

Traci said...

WOW, you and your husband are doing a wonderful job on your home. Sometimes I forget how much progress we are making in our home until I see older pictures. Please come by my site and see the bathroom that we have been working on for 5 years.
Traci

The Lazy Peacock said...

you have done such an amazing job! you really have a beautiful home. i love seeing all of the before pictures.

ali said...

I never tire of looking at pics of your home...your cat leads a comfortable life :) happy VD!

Jacqueline said...

I am sooooo glad that a jewel of a home like this ended up in someone's hands like you and your husband's that really love it and want to make it gorgeous. All of your furniture, your stenciling!!!, you accessorizing, your painting, they are fantastic. You guys have a lot of talent. You have kept it with the style of the house, yet it doesn't look "old ladyish" like so many Victorians do. Congratulations! Keep up the great talent.

I used to babysit in an old "grand dame" of a Vitorian house and it saddened me that they hadn't taken better care of it. Later someone else bought it and restored it and made it lovely. That just makes me happy when someone loves one of these great houses.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!!XOXO

Marigene said...

You really have done a large amount of work to make your home truly a gem. I love the colors you chose for the exterior.

Marigene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Katie~ ~ It's nice to meet you. I adore your sweet Victorian home! The tiny tiles in the bathroom are in great shape, so pretty. The whole house is a vision! It is a project of love is it not?
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Connie said...

I 've really enjoyed reading the story of your home. You've created a masterpiece especially that formal parlour. It is elegant.

I love trees and can't imagine anyone cutting down a tree when it takes a life time to grow large ones. You're off to a grand beginning on your landscaping.

Carol said...

Katie,
Your home is lovely. You and your husband are doing a wonderful job with it. We've been in our home for about the same time as you, and have made many of the same changes - outdoors and indoors.
Ours is a 1909 Sears Kit Home.

Carol said...

Between your home, Olive and E.B....I'm a new follower!

Heather said...

Wow! What an amazing transformation! Renovating an older home is a labor of love,and you have done a beautiful job of restoring it. I look forward to seeing what's next!

Mary Ellen said...

What a lovely transformation in your home! I love finding other blogs that have older homes and get inspiration from them! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!