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Friday, September 7, 2012

The "Before" House Tour | Be kind... don't judge!

Every bone in my body resists me doing this... I'd love to keep the house all to myself until I get it exactly the way I want it.  But, as I promised, I'm taking you along for the ride.    In return for my seek peak into the progress, I ask that you be kind.  I apologize for the poor photography (I don't have the right lens to shoot interiors on my fancy camera, so I'm using my old G11... recommendations for a lens?).  The colors are off from what I'm seeing here, I assure you!

In case you've been wondering, I haven't forgotten my food blogging roots - I'm just now getting the kitchen unpacked!  I'll be making something yummy for our tailgate this weekend... Any ideas?  I'll share it on the blog (obviously...).

Exterior (you've seen this before!)  I love how our house looks from the street.

The to the right is really the true 'before' shot of the living room and dining room.  This was taken while Mike and I were repairing the walls, before the new paint. 

Now, on to the post fresh paint photos.  Keep in mind, we still have a lot of projects planned.  A lot of projects.  And a lot of decorating.  Our plan is to move in, do simple things to clean up and brighten the existing interior, then do an addition in the spring.  The new addition would include an expanded kitchen with fireplace and attached hearth room.  Upstairs that would mean another bedroom and a master bathroom.  Yay!  But for now, we wanted to just create a blank, fresh space for ourselves before we moved in.  Everything feels so much better already.  It is amazing what a little (ok, a lot...) of paint can do!

This is the view right after coming in through the small front foyer.  Welcome : )

This rug will be moving upstairs into our bedroom when our new rug arrives.  I'll be posting more about my final (finally...) decision hopefully sometime next week.  I'll give you a hint- it wasn't any of the ones I had posted about or pinned on pinterest!

Fast forward 30 minutes and Emma's home from her first day of school!   A new long ottoman upholstered in linen will be placed right about where Emma is sitting.

Wall Paint : Benjamin Moore, Manchester Tan
Trim : Benjamin Moore, Navajo White

Remember how I said I ordered two grey upholstered chairs to flank the fireplace?  Well, I think they will be too big.  My plan is to move them to the front of the room (to the right of where I'm standing while taking this photo) in front of the big window.  So much for plans, right?

Note the fireplace, it used to be a little more embellished with wooden decal, and had a pinkish stone inset.  I removed the decals and painted over where they once where and while I was at it, slapped a coat of paint on the pink stone.  I just needed to go away and the paint did the trick.  At some point we plan to replace the entire mantel piece with something a little more handsome.  

The next room is the dining room.  I love the slipcovered chairs I ordered from Restoration Hardware in Sand Belgium Linen.  My next big debate is a rug for this room (a different rug) and a lantern for above the table.  I'm considering a fixture from Cape Cod Lanterns (  I thought it would be well suited to our "Cape Cod" style home and a nod to our stay in New England.

Wall Color : Benjamin Moore, Navajo White in Flat
Trim Color : Benjamin Moore, Navajo White in Satin

Tah, Dah.  One of the best features of the house - I love french doors off of the dining room.   And behind me is...

The kitchen.  Not too hot as it stands right now, but we have a renovation planned that will really make the space much more current and functional.  Eventually the kitchen will grow out of the back of the house to make a big open space.

Here is a closer view from inside the room.  This wall to my left is shared with the dining room.  I'm wondering if we should go ahead and open it up, or wait for our phase 2 renovation...  My vote is for now!

Now upstairs.  I plan to have a runner put on the stairs to make it a little cushier for Emma.  I'm thinking just something neutral and durable.

Now into our room.  The small rug will be replaced with the large rug from the living room.  The small rug?  Not sure about that... hum...

Oh, and all of the light fixtures in the entire house will be replaced.  I'm thinking something with antique brass...??  Suggestions?

This is our bedroom from the opposite angle.  As you can see, we have the new headboard that Mike built and the dresser that I refinished.  More detail photos later!  Here is the design board for the room, for your reference.  I still have to add some wall art and accessories with pillows and blankets.

 Emma's room has taken a bit of a turn... toward pink!  I am not sure what changed my mind, but I've got a lot of cute pink ideas for her new room.  Again, the lighting is strange in the photo- I'll try to get a more accurate picture later this week.

 Here is the back porch that I love so much - the last stop on our tour.  Stay tuned for the next couple of months to see our continued progress!


  1. Absolutely gorgeous - you've already made it look so homely! The back porch is just stunning - I can see why you fell in love with it. I also adore the New England shutters (that's what we call them in England anyway) a very chic and stylish addition to any window. Anyway, if this is your 'before' version of the house tour, you're obviously going to leave us reeling when it's finished!
    Best wishes,
    Paula x
    p.s. Emma is absolutely DIVINE!

  2. Jenny, I absolutely love it! Especially that incredibly fabulous back porch. I can't wait to see how it progresses. And P.S. the rug you currently have in the dining nook is the same one I have in my kitchen :)

  3. Tracey Evans8:33 AM

    No judging here Jenny! Very, very nice. I love your colors. I'm a big fan ouf neutrals as well. The french doors off your dining room are fantastic. Looking forward to seeing more of your updates. Very charming home! :)

    1. Tracey Evans8:35 AM

      PS: I LOVE the carpet in your living room!!!!! :)

  4. The back porch would have sold me.

  5. Your home is so charming and yes, it is amazing what a can of paint can do - I feel more relaxed already. Love a home project and excited to follow along!!

  6. Lovely! It already looks like home. Very soothing and classic. And don't worry about the lack of food blogs. I love that you incorporate both decorating and food in your blog, which is why I read it!

  7. Hi Jenny... Love your new home and I can't wait to see what you do with it. So far so good and thanks for sharing!!! As for the best lens, my "go to" lens for most interior jobs is my 24-40. Also, I can't believe how similar our houses are!!! Mine was built in 1927, I have the same stairs that sit beside our dining room, I've put a runner up ours. Our dining room has a big window where your French doors are and we often think about doing the same. I just adore old homes and would love to share ours if you're interested. Let me know through email. Have a great weekend!

  8. French doors from the dining room would alone have sold me! Looks like a great house, about to be greater!

  9. Your house is adorable! Classic & charming! Can't wait to see how you add to it! I'm a new reader and just wanted to say that I absolutely love your blog. So much inspiration! :-)

  10. it is a doll house and i love it! it will be fun as you share making it your own.

  11. Love the light colors! Looks so great!

  12. Beautiful home in the making! Can I ask where your couch is from?

  13. OH my gosh! I love it! I love everything about it. We have similar tastes....I prefer neutral palettes as well. A fabulous new light fixture will really make that dining room incredible! Congrats on your house!

  14. jenny!!! adorable and cozy as can be! i especially love the porch too! can't wait to follow along and watch you make it a home. and your plans for your future kitchen...a fireplace?!?! you are talking! congratulations! so many decisions, fun and overwhelming! take your time and enjoy the process!! tessa

  15. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Lovely! Looking forward to seeing it evolove. I love the fact that it's small and cozy.

    - Sue

  16. What is there to judge? It is precious! Like Angela, that porch with the gorgeous architectural details would have sold me.
    Lights - bought my antique brass ones from Visual Comfort...had to wait 3 months because they were out of stock - but still they were exactly what I wanted. You might check there.

  17. I love it. I bet you make it great. I think that it is much more fun to have a work in progress than to have everything perfect all at once anyway. Good luck with everything.

  18. Adrienne7:32 PM

    Beautiful House Jenny! I love everything you've done and I know your ideas for the future will be great. The house is just perfect and I particularly love that porch. As my mom would say, the house has a nice "approach" and you and your guests will feel as welcome coming in from the outside as you/they do once inside. And how lucky are you that they had all of those louvered shutters on the windows? They would have cost you a small fortune to put in.

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Your new home is lovely! Thanks for sharing! Jenny, you have the cutest baby ever! Love Mr. Darcy also!

  20. It is just adorable & so much potential. Congratulations! I am looking forward to following along on your progress. We are currently going through a major renovation at our new home. I think the idea of opening up the kitchen is great. We opened up our home so that the kitchen/living area was one large space & I think it will be totally worth it. Sometimes it is crazy I have thoughts, ideas & plans then I stop by & you are choosing similar looks. It's great real inspiration. Your Restoration Hardware chairs are perfect! They are a bit larger than I expected. I'm thinking of doing two of the dining chairs in our living room. I could go on & on....can't wait to see more! Carrie

  21. I just love your new house and can see exactly why you bought it, the curb appeal is fabulous and I also love the back porch too.

    The inside has potential and I know with your eye for design it will be gorgeous when it is finished. One bit of advice from myself having had 25 years of renovating houses is, live in it a bit longer before you decide to rip out walls or change anything drastically. I have some cuboards built into my living room and was going to rip them out and use the area to put a large Korean cabinet I have. However, I still haven't done this one year later and thankful I didn't because my house lacks storage and this shelving/cuboard space I now realise I couldn't do without. I am going to have a joiner put new doors and some more shelving in it and hide the tv within it, it will be perfect then. I did manage to find a place for my Korean cabinet so I am happy.

    Your kitchen could have a "paint" makeover for now and then put the new one in when you open up the back of the house, actually I think this is what your saying your doing.

    Look forward to more photos.

    Lee :)

  22. adorable house! Can't wait to see it after all your special touches. Love your blog! all the best...

  23. Such a charming the dining room. Your paint choices are perfect, timeless and classic. Best of luck and enjoy the journey!

  24. Hi Jenny ~ In my hunt over the weekend for the perfect swing arm sconce for above our kitchen windows I came across an idea for your antique brass lighting you were looking for. Have you seen the Jefferson classic flush ceiling fixture in Old Brass from They retail for $140.00. I'm thinking of using this fixture in some of the rooms in our new house in black enamel or oil rubbed bronze. Just a thought:) Carrie

    1. Carrie - how did I not know about that site?! I knew if I asked my readers they would know exactly what I needed. Thanks... I'll be spending the next couple of hours there!


  25. The beautiful tract has shared and there are so nice and good efforts for the published in this imagination the wonderful tract has shared and do good worked also. many people are useable in this site.

  26. ...yours is my favorite kind of blog...i love seeing the transformation of a house into a home...i will be along for your journey...blessings laney

  27. Anonymous6:18 PM

    I love! Thanks for sharing.

  28. It’s very lovely! It looks so cozy :D Emma will enjoy growing up in your new home. Just a friendly tip: make sure to use a powerful carpet stain remover to treat stains immediately. The longer the stain stays in your carpet, the harder it will take to get rid of it. ;)

    Petra Forbes

  29. Love love loooove the back porch! I think it looks nice already, if not very 'lived in'. Good luck with your plans, can't wait to see the results!

  30. Absolutely love your home and overall aesthetic!! Stunning!! I love the fact that it's small and cozy.

  31. Tracey Evans5:30 PM

    Jenny your bed looks so cushy and fluffy! Where What kind of comforter and pillows do you have? Thanks! :)

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. I agree with Mrs. Sutton! Your house is absolutely gorgeous! It looks so cozy and neat. Emma will surely grow loving your house and would have great memories in it. Just be certain to never overlook your budget for the mortgage and the upkeep. ; )

    Richelle Jelsma

  34. Just like everyone else is saying, you found yourself a beautiful house! What else can I say? I really love the very inviting atmosphere of your home. I don’t know if it’s the bright colors or your lighting, but there’s just something about this house that’s very homey. I’m sure that Emma would enjoy growing up here. Congrats!

  35. Anonymous12:55 PM

    The house is lovely...what a joy to drive up to it each day. The porch really adds charm to this home. I also love the recipes from Barefoot Contessa. It was nice to look at your blog this morning! California fan.


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