Thursday, September 12, 2013

We Bought A

Seven years ago we bought a dream or a nightmare depending on your perspective.  We were younger then and we both had plenty of energy.  Many said it was a foolish purchase.  Some said we should tear it down and start fresh.  They may have been right...but we did not listen.  We thought we had found a diamond in the rough... it was definitely rough!

Our dream house!  Circa 2007
I had always wanted to buy an old fixer upper and fix it up.  I had no idea what renovating involved but in my mind it was going to be a creative, fun process.  That would be the upside... watching the bank balance constantly spiral downward would be one of the downsides.  All the job would take was a good imagination, time, money, energy, patience and a few good men.  Not to mention a strong back and good knees, which we both had seven years ago....not so much these days!

One of the first things on the list was to properly insulate the house, put in new windows and put up vinyl siding  (there is no way we were ever going to paint this place!).  We have met many people who lived in this house throughout the years and their one consistent comment was that the house was always freezing.  The lack of insulation and good windows may explain.  Who insulated 150 years ago?  We are such wimps!

The same dream house, circa 2013!

We took on the project with the understanding that we would take as long as we needed in order to be able to afford to do the job right.  We figured we were somewhere between a five and ten year plan.  This is where the patience comes into play.  Imagination came into play way back in 2007 when we walked into the house for the first time.  It was nothing short of a total disaster!  The kitchen alone would have sent weaker souls running for the hills!

A stove and some firewood, that's it!  No sink, no counters or cabinets!

After completely gutting the house, the kitchen was one of the first projects along with the upstairs bathroom.  They were also two of the most dramatic changes.  We have our priorities....we wanted to be able to cook and use the bathroom!   After the kitchen, the bathroom was probably the ugliest room in the house.  It was a mish-mash of colors and textures!  I am sure every part of it was bought "on the cheap".  You be the judge.

Gotta love pink and green!
Maybe we could have kept the pink tub and toilet but instead we went with neutral colors.  The pink toilet still  lives though, next to our back porch as a flower pot!  We will never forget where we started!

The best view in the house is out of this window!
Hard to believe this is the same room!  We love our kitchen!
Renovations are such a leap of faith!  Choosing cabinet color, counter top, flooring, and paint color are somewhat daunting choices.  There are so many choices and then will they look good together?  Sometimes you just have to make your best decision and then throw it out there and take that leap of faith.  There are detail decisions too, drawer pulls, light fixtures, and molding.  They say the devil is in the details...they could be right!

Once the bathroom and kitchen were finished or at least well under way, we needed someplace to sleep!  The walls in the entire house had been torn down and we were down to the bare studs.  Turns out walls are easier than kitchens and bathrooms!  Our awesome contractor put up the walls and the ceilings all we had to do was paint them...all of them!

Wearing these clothes....
either standing on these lovely retro chairs or between them on a very long and heavy piece of wood...
my homemade scaffolding!

May 2009!  I also wore these yesterday....
 September 2013, they have served me well!

This summer I have been very motivated to "finish" the farmhouse.  The main motivator is that our family, all 12 of us, will be spending Christmas here this year.  I want the place to be as livable as it possibly can by then.  So, instead of packing and cleaning today, I am working on this post.  (I'll  do anything to avoid packing and cleaning!)  This is mostly for me to prove to myself how far we have come and that it will be very livable in December.  Looking back through the years, we have come a long way!

So....a little tour of before and after!  Finally!

Dining room and den....before
After.... still need to get those beams covered.
Master bedroom- before
Another view
Guest room-  before
Guest room-same wall-after
Retro room - before
Retro room - after

Another bedroom - before

And after

The floors....before!

And after!!!

Last, but not least.....the stairs...before

And after!!!

Yes, it was a happy day when these were finished!

And so on my last night here for the summer, I leave the farmhouse in a much better state than when we arrived back in June.  The big difference this year is that when I leave I don't expect to come back to any major changes or any massive dust producing renovations that require me to clean up after and then paint.  I finally feel like we are almost....almost....there.  The big question is, " whatever will I do next summer when I get here?".   Hahahaha!  I just crack myself up sometimes!


Linda Saucier said...

Absolutely beautiful! Such an inspiration!

Enie Dub said...

Well done on a great renovation job!

I love all your before & after pics

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