Home Before and Inspiration

home exterior 1 

Since about July 2013, I have been promising to share pictures of our new home and I’ve failed at it for almost half a year.  With the moving and mini renovations, plus a little thing called a wedding, I’ve been crazy busy.  I’m happy to introduce you to our new(ish) home.  She needs a lot of work, but Alan and I are up for the challenge!  I’m excited to be blogging about the whole redesign and redecorating of our place for the next century year.  Stay tuned for posts about some of the big and small projects we’ll complete around the house.

Before I jump into the before and then some inspiration, let’s talk buying a house and why we decided to buy a fixer upper.  Alan and I spent about 10 months looking at homes.  We loved some, loathed some and even put offers on a couple of places.  We were quickly outbid by foreign investors and flipper teams (jerks!).  Although flips looks gorgeous, they look the same – trust me.  We looked at about 30 flipped home and they all had the same finishes (snoozeville), plus they were priced about 20% above market value (greedy).  We didn’t feel like overspending on someone’s ugly, so we started looking at fixer uppers and started to see the potential of so many homes.

Now finding a style of house we could marry! That was the easy part.  Trained as an architect, Alan wanted a home with architectural interest and he loves mid century modern homes.  That made things very easy as buying a mid century modern home with an open floor plan was a requirement for me.  After looking at so many types of homes, the only homes I really liked were from the 50s and 60s with streamlined finishes and beautiful floor to ceiling glass doors.

We found our house thanks to our fabulous Realtor and we fell in love immediately.  Mind you, the place was a hoarder’s paradise and the wallpaper was crumbling at our feet, but we saw the potential.  Our home has amazing architecture, with and open floor plan that lets in so much light and lets you flow throughout the house with ease.  However, it had all of the original details from when it was built in 1959, including wallpaper, carpet, popcorn ceiling, and electrical.  Right before we moved in, we were able to replace the wallpaper, carpet, and remove the popcorn! Since moving in we’ve been working to clean out the front of the house: remove the wheelchair ramp and trim back the overgrown vegetation. Next steps are to update the pink and mint green bathrooms, matching pink kitchen, and the lime green vinyl tile in the entryway.  We’ll also be repainting the exterior and highlight the beautiful custom sliding entry way.

home interior 2

So when we saw the house, the dining room was used as a bedroom, and the master bedroom was stored with items to the max.  The house has a very large den that was again stuffed to the brim with items and had the original avocado green shag carpeting.  .

house interior 1

The kitchen has pink tile, but the custom cabinets are beautiful.  The cabinets just need a carpenter’s touch to bring them back to their original splendor.


Although so sweet in their dusty rose and minty green, the bathrooms need to be updated.  We want to retain the original charm of the era, but we need to give them a touch of modern chic.

bedroom living room

Just another example of how this beautiful home’s amazing details (large windows) were covered up with layers of shutters, drapes, and then stuff.

Now moving into our inspiration and what we hope to achieve in updating and redecorating our home.

dining room inspiration

We’d like to give our dining room area clean white walls and neutral tones and masculine touches in the furniture.  I’ll definitely be adding softer touches, but I want to stay true to the mid century feel of the space with the rock fireplace.

neutral room inspiration 2 neutral room inspiration 1

The dining room area allows for a small living room space right in front of the fireplace.  To keep in line with both the neutral palette and streamlined look, I’ll be looking for distinctive mid century pieces with a statement sofa and chair.

kitchen inspiration

As I mentioned above, the cabinets in the kitchen are original, custom walnut wood and just need some TLC.  We’ll be bringing on board a carpenter to strip them of a hideous finish and then restain them.  I’m loving Caesarstone countertops with a terrazzo like style flooring.  I love the simplicity and classicness of a white and wood kitchen.

mid century hollywood regency mix

On the other side of our rock fireplace is the den.  Since this is a space we use every day and I eat dinner on the sofa working away, we want the space to be an eclectic mix of both of our favorite styles.  Alan loves mid century modern and I like a mix of mid century modern and Hollywood Regency, with flea market touches.  Our den is almost done (I’ll be sharing pictures soon!) and is a great mix of every style that we love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this incredibly long post/rant about our house, the ugly duckling it was, and the beauty we hope it will soon become.  I’m hoping to add more interiors posts on the blog, including some simple DIYs that I work on throughout the house.

I’d love to know your thoughts!

Pictures via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10



  1. January 14, 2014 / 10:53 am

    I applaud you for finding a fixer upper! It is amazing to be able to put your own touch on homes that just need a little updating and love. The other week I found a website that is dedicated to preserving the “pink bathrooms”! It’s not my style, but there are a ton of people out there who are crazy for the pink! LOL. Parts of our bath tub are chipping and you can see that the old tub in our house is pink. It’s kind of funny!

    I really like the mid century modern furniture over the Victorian style that would complement my home, but I like the architecture of a Victorian or a Craftsman over a mid century home. I’m weird like that.

    I’m excited to see your new den and all of your future posts on your new home! I hope to do another one after we plant our flowers and shrubs this summer. 🙂


    • January 14, 2014 / 1:39 pm

      Thanks Toni. It was and has been a lot of work, but it’s definitely well worth it. As much as I love MCM homes, I like most homes that have a distinct architectural identity – as long as it has a point of view, then I like it. I’m excited to share more pictures as things come along. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

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