Home Renovation Before: Vision With Me!

We haven’t gotten anywhere near as much done on our house as we thought we would have by now. Alas, we’re still painting and are just getting ready to start acclimating our flooring to our home before installing it. Roadblocks come up when you’re on unfamiliar paths. Hell, they come up when you’re on familiar paths, too.

I can be forgiving of us, though. We’ve had to adjust to a whole new timezone, a new state, a new house. We’ve had to talk through the nuances of this with a toddler. We’ve had to explain ourselves to two dogs who don’t quite understand why they suddenly have to use their leashes again. We’ve had to figure out how to get our money work done without childcare (a problem we did finally find a solution to this week, rejoice!). We’ve hosted a guest for a couple of weeks and we’ve made time to slowly start being social.

On the physical home-fixing front, we’ve had things fall through that seemed solid. We’ve discovered that mudding walls and ceilings really sucks and takes a laughable amount of time for people who haven’t done it before. It’s made us question why we hated our textured walls and ceilings so much to begin with. Are they really that bad? No. The answer is no. Textured walls are not bad enough to justify the insanity of mudding an entire house for us. But we still have some things to mud and most of our walls will likely be left with their character in tact.

But now that we’re actually really getting fed up with feeling like we’re camping, now that friends and family members are starting to make their summer visiting plans official, now that we’re a bit more settled in and would love to actually get back into being Airbnb hosts – now we’ve found a few more ounces of dedication and willpower, so we’re chipping away at it just about each day a little more.

Curious about the “before” state of our 1976 split-level? Here, take this photo tour below. Almost all of these photos were taken in our first week here, hence the scattered/boxed/messy everything. We still have plenty of clutter around and that probably won’t be totally resolved until we are finished with our walls and floors so that we can move onto procuring furniture, but rest assured: our house is no longer in this particular state of disarray.

Would you like to vision with me? Ok. Vision this: we’re painting everything in Bisque .01 c/o Colorhouse Paint. It’s a lovely bright white that is still somehow soothing on the eyes. And it’s way less toxic and more eco-friendly than traditional paint. We’re taking all of the carpeting out upstairs and putting in beautiful floors. We’re going to replace the laminate in the kitchen, entryway, and downstairs with tile. We’ll take out the carpet downstairs and seal/varnish the concrete floors beneath and let them shine. We’re going to be replacing lighting fixtures. We’re going to replace the entire shower downstairs. Eventually, we’ll get a bath tub. Though I never imagined it could be possible, I’ve learned how to cope with temporarily living without a bath tub. The steam room and sauna at my gym have helped. I can get through this. We’ll eventually redo our kitchen countertops and get all new appliances. Once the walls and floors are finally finished, we’ll begin to assemble our furnishings and decor and feel like real humans. We can even start having friends over! We have two lovely couches from Joybird (this in yellow and this in gray) that will help make our space feel like home. Seriously, I’ve never even sat on couches this nice, let alone owned them. We’ll even refinish our deck and paint our house exterior and, hopefully sooner than later, fix/replace our back yard fence (Donnie has already escaped once). Our hands are way more than full, but (get ready for the cliche): SO ARE OUR HEARTS.


The living room.


The color all of the walls will be.


The dining area, kitchen, living room, and hallway.


The dining area, living room fireplace, and sliding doors to the deck.


The room that will eventually be my office/art room.


Ever’s room.


The master bedroom and bathroom. I’ve been using this amazing memory foam pillow c/o dreampad and it’s been helping me deal with the extended air mattress situation.


The main bathroom.


The upper stairs.


The front door/entryway.


The room that will be a music/lounge room.


Looking into the guest room from the music room, there is an aquarium. Built into the wall. We will get rid of that.


The room that will become our guest room.


The downstairs bathroom/laundry room.


The garage.


The deck.


We’ll keep the beautiful trees the way they are.


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Elizabeth Seward is a writer and songwriter, among other things. Read a full bio on the ABOUT page.

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