Before and After, Part 1

When I arrived solo to open the house up, I noticed things that I had not paid as much attention to before. For one, all of the walls were either cream or ecru (the latter being more like “baby poop brown” as Dan calls it or “latte” as I politely refer to it) – even the trim! For a 1947 farmhouse, it really made the whole place look like it’d been exposed to years of cigarette smoke…even though it was simply a blah paint color. Along with that, the seller decided to leave ALL of her dust-laden mauve chiffon curtains as well, so before even going upstairs I was whipping those bad boys off the rods and stuffing them in garbage bags for goodwill! (BTW: dumbest rule ever? Real estate contracts stipulate anything that is attached to the wall needs to stay, which means you get all their horrific brass curtain rods, stinky greasy dusty blinds, etc.) So I spent an entire day removing that from the walls. ANYHOO…as we know we still want to knock down some walls, our initial focus was to simply Eliminate the Ecru, and start fresh. It’s pretty amazing what a fresh coat of paint and removing window hardware will do…

Anyhow, while we’re not done yet, I thought I’d share our Before-and-After-thus-far photos of our living room and breakfast-nook-to-become-pantry…

One section of the living room. Dang, what a coat of white paint will do! We bought several gallons of Metro’s recycled paint in Mountain Snow and popped up the white curtains we’d had in our old house. Along with that, post-possession we had a chimney sweep come in and learned that our chimney was in pretty rotten shape, and so that matched with the fact that the existing non-DEQ-certified woodstove was not the most efficient or aesthetically pleasing? Means we won’t be having any fires THIS winter unless my paychecks explode in a happy way. Rather than pay the chimney company $500 to remove/dispose of it (WTF!) we put an ad on Craigslist giving it away for free to the first person who could uninstall it and haul it off…and within 48 hours it was gone. Right now it’s a plant display area as you can see, but this fall my plans are to remove 90% of the brick hearth and leave a small footprint for a super modern woodstove to take its place as soon as we have the cash to have a flue installed. And yeah, we are currently eating on the small table in the corner of the living room because the actual dining room is still being worked on and we sold our old dining table with the goal that Dan will be building our new one this fall 🙂 But it’s a start a relief not to see so much BLAH when we walk in the house…

Another corner of the living room is shown here with our “kind of front door”. It appears there used to be a normal front porch then it was walled off so you come through one door into a mini-foyer/mudroom thing, then open ANOTHER door to get into the house. Being a front porch freak, 2019 will definitely involve re-opening that so we have at least a small covered porch to enter the house on! Again, the ecru has been replaced with a crisp white and Fred Astaire takes his place of honor. More to come, but it definitely is a step in the right direction for us!!

The area off the kitchen was originally a breakfast nook, closed off with a vinyl folding curtain. And yeah, complete with butt-ugly sponge painted walls, giant galloping horse stickers and stained glass cowboy boot cabinet doors. Removed the doors, donated the curtain and light fixtures and wooden blinds to The Rebuilding Center, then painted the walls white and updated the ceiling fixture to something a bit deco-y, and VOILA – a room with real potential. Ultimately the plan is to have those shelves go floor to ceiling, becoming a pantry and canning/preserving workspace. One hell of an improvement, don’t you agree? And look – the black windows actually are a FEATURE in the room rather than an afterthought…

I’d have more but now I’m on my way to urgent care as some kind of virus or something has knocked me flat on my ass beyond any normal cold – wondering if it is something I breathed in (old insulation? pesticides from the garden we are cleaning up? mega amounts of dust? we shall see.), as my lungs are struggling. Ciao for now y’all…



7 thoughts on “Before and After, Part 1

  1. Whoa! The white paint does make a huge difference! It makes the green plants and gray furniture really pop out as well. Excellent job, EcoFeminist!


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