When We Bought This House (Looking Back)

Welcome back to the second installment of this week’s series, House-a-versary! If you missed yesterday’s post on how we staged our last house to sell, you can catch it here. Today we will take a look back to the listing photos of our current house from a year ago. It’s amazing how there are so many things I have already forgotten!


We’ll start with the front, which really hasn’t changed a whole lot since we moved in. We have lots of ideas for what we’d like to do in future years, but for now our focus has been on other areas.

Here was the view when opening the front door. Notice the linoleum floors, the ¬†leafy wall paper going up and down the stairs, and the sage green trim everywhere. Even the bannister is green! It’s hard to get a good look from this picture, but the foyer light fixture is so ugly it’s cute. Lots of potential, but also lots of upgrades to be done. However, we could tell from first walking in that the previous owners were very tidy.

Stepping in a little further is the living room with a big window to the backyard. More green trim and dated window coverings, but lots of natural light and a decent-sized living room. We’ll come back to the dining room in just a bit.

Walking back towards the front door and around the coat closet brings you to the kitchen at the front of the house. We shared some photos in our “Before” kitchen post, but we’ll point out the real winners again. The 50-year-old cabinets! The weirdly shaped pantry! The chandelier!

In all seriousness, we knew it was just cosmetically dated. Everything had been taken care of; it was just old. We wanted a nicer kitchen, but if we couldn’t immediately gut it, we would survive.

Looking back towards the foyer, you can see how there is lots of natural light, especially from the bay window in the little eat-in nook.

As you loop around the kitchen, we come to the aforementioned dining room. The room comes adorned with green wall paper underneath the chair rail and “Colonial Times” (as we called it) border on the top. But, the hardwoods are in great shape and the sliding glass door has been recently replaced. Cosmetics are behind a few decades, but the love has been there!

It’s hard to see clearly from these images, but all of the vents are painted over, original, and dingy. The outlets are also worn and plugs fall out of them. Switch plates and outlet covers are a hodgepodge of finishes, including decorative silver, industrial stainless steel, two-toned beige, and curvy wood.

We thought the kitchen would be our first focus, but it turned out the wall paper drove us nutty within weeks of living here!

Coming back around the loop we have a half flight of stairs up to the bedrooms or a half flight down to the den.

Going up the stairs, the first room we come to is the hall bath. Here is another example of “so ugly it’s cute” (especially the cream lid to the green toilet ūüėā).

Next we have the master bedroom. One day we’ll show a video of the ceiling fan gyrating. It looks like it could come unhinged any day and fall on the bed!

I mentioned before about how sad I was to lose the walk-in closet at our last house, but at least we have two small closets instead of one.

The master bathroom is actually a few feet bigger than our last house, although it is also in desperate need of an update. The picture could not hide the two-toned toilet, but it did shield the decaying beige floor tiles and the extremely damaged shower stall.

The second bedroom upstairs is a good size. They used it as an office and TV-watching area.

The tiny third bedroom is perfect for a nursery. Looking back at these photos is so funny. The paint colors were all absolutely offensive to us when we moved our things in, but they don’t look bad at all with their furniture.

Heading¬†downstairs, we have lots to point out. First, the brick wall is really cool and we love having a real wood fireplace. Second, the ceiling is a horrible mop-slop weird texture number with a decorative surround encompassing the lights (no, that’s not just a shadow). Someday the whole thing will have to come down and be redone. Also, they left the quilt rack above the sofa and I got tired of it one day and ripped it out, leaving some pretty big holes in the wall. And finally, you can’t get a great picture, but the little hallway to the left has original ¬†and deteriorating drop ceiling and peel-and-stick floor tiles covering some pretty groovy linoleum.

The window treatments worked for the previous owners. They are…conversation starters for us. The door to the right of the stairs leads to the basement level.

Through the little hallway is a fourth “bedroom” that we are currently using as an office. The walls are wood paneling painted over in another shade that worked for the previous owners but not us. The carpet we love-hate because it is pretty much the ugliest thing ever, but it is really, really comfortable!

The little half bath is across the hall from the fourth bedroom and includes the end of the laundry chute! Which is totally why we bought the house. We also did not notice on our first three visits to the house that not one of the three bathrooms has an outlet.

Down one more half flight of stairs is an awesome but unfinished basement. Every time we walked through, we kept saying ‘Potential, potential, potential.’ More grand plans for here, when time and money allow!

The backyard was a huge selling point. The previous owners loved spending time outdoors and designed this sweet area at the top of the hill.

They also had a darling brick patio out back. Can’t you just picture yourself having a glass of wine on a spring afternoon?

Looking back is a very helpful reminder that we actually have done a lot in the past year, even though it felt like we were just trying to stay alive some days. Many of the rooms are already completely unrecognizable from these pictures, and all of them have big plans for the future!

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