Before & After Renovations

Before & After Renovations

Play Place

Home contributor Audrey Scheck reveals a playroom before-and-after so spectacular you'll want to move into that tent immediately.

When we found our new house, we knew immediately that we would make one of the downstairs rooms into a play space for the kids. Our first house didn’t have a dedicated playroom, which meant that our living room essentially functioned as their play area. 

In other words, the toys were everrrrywhere.

Quick backstory here, because I always think it's nice to know a little about the history of a house: The previous owners were both scholars, and they each had their own office in the main house. Her office (which is now our playroom) was downstairs, with an exterior door leading out to the backyard, and his office was upstairs. They also had a library downstairs and a guest room, which became Huxley and Tilly's rooms, respectively. Despite being 100 years old, the house was in great shape - it just needed a little rethinking to make it work for our growing family.

Before & After Renovations

A Full Bathroom Renovation…For Less Than $700

One of the major things I miss about living close to my friend Erin is our little (and big) projects. We were just constantly deciding that we wanted to try things, and then doing them. All by ourselves. And they usually worked out! (I'd venture that our success rate has far more to do with Erin than with me, but I'm happy to bask in the residual glory.)

Like remember that time we just went ahead and transformed the exterior brick on my house?

Before & After Renovations

The Alexandrite Accent

alexandrite green jade wall paint

The very best thing about my house: all the lightness and brightness. It makes life as a blogger who routinely photographs herself and her surroundings much, much easier.

In other words: I love me some white walls. But I also love the idea of finding small, meaningful places to add color - at the end of a hallway; as a backdrop in the master bedroom; in a bathroom or office. And the more I lived with the office in my house, the more I realized it could use an update. A face-lift, if you will.

Before I continue: This is a rental house, so to answer your question, yes, I asked the owners for permission to paint. Before I even moved in, I talked to them about how important it is to me to be able to play around with a house and put my own unique stamp on it, and they were super down, which made me even more excited about living here. Because even with a rental, my feeling is…you know, you live there. There are reasons to put effort into a house that go beyond property value.

Before & After Renovations

How I Turned My Creepy, Claustrophobic Bathroom Into…This.

Wait until you see inside.

Awhile back, a reader wrote in to ask me an interesting question: How, she wondered, did I get past the intimidation factor of a redesign? How in the world was I confident enough in my vision to actually...you know...pull the trigger, and make it happen?

The short answer is, unfortunately, that I maintain a (possibly unfounded) belief that if something goes amiss, you can fix it. In other words: it's just a house. And it's just decor. And while obviously you should put a lot of thought into a major renovation before kicking it off, the worst thing that can happen is that you don't like it, and then you either do something else, or you live with it.

Before & After Renovations

A (Bittersweet) House Tour

You've seen most of my house at one point or another over the years, but as I do not own a wide-angle lens, it's been tough for me to get shots that really show you what the spaces look like as a whole, and how they fit together.

The photographer who came over to shoot the house for the listing did have a wide-angle lens, though, and so I now present to you: A bittersweet little house tour. The only room missing is the master bath, which I'll be photographing myself tomorrow after I put a few finishing touches on it. (As a recap, here's what the house looked like on move-in day three years ago.)

I didn't include product info because there's just so much, but you can click through to the links below for details on each room, or just ask away in the comments.


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