Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Before And After: Hallways and Porches

This is the next installment of The Renovation Saga of Bungalow'56

If you missed the reveal of the original house we walked through when deciding to buy our new home ten years ago, you can take a quick tour and read our story HERE.  I can't believe it's been ten years since our first walk through.  The Bungalow,  while much improved, is tired.  It needs some Decor TLC.

The bulk of the work that was done in the house was completed by The Agronomist in six short weeks. He was working a full time job, we were due with our second child and had her while we were staying with my parents.  

The work was done from 5 am until work began and then after work, until the early morning hours.  The Agronomist remembers waking at midnight, with a nailer in his hand, after he had fallen asleep on the floor of one of the bedrooms.  It was the one pregnancy where everyone was concerned about how tired he looked and completely ignored the bleary eyed new mom, so convincing was his fatigue.  


(we love the light in our house which was one of the main reasons we bought it)

With my father's help, The Agronomist (while he wasn't taking naps) spent many a late night and early morning at the house, scraping off stipple from the ceilings, opening up the space, peeling off wallpaper, painting, and creating molding and trim work where there wasn't any (take a closer  look around the windows in the original picture).  We have continued to renovate Bungalow'56 over the years, but after a break, it is once again in need of some updating.  I'm hoping to give our home a new look on a very tight budget.  The magical ingredient will be paint.

This week I will show you where we've come from and will be explaining some of my challenges.  Hopefully you will feel more than comfortable giving me some of your opinions about where we should move "decoratively" from here.  

I'm looking forward to it. This is going to be a lot of fun. 

I don't know why, but for some reason The Agronomist is not feeling quite as giddy about the whole process.

He claims the nightmares from those six weeks in the trenches ten years ago have not yet subsided.
The front porch used to look like this:


Today we call this our entrance.  Substantial trim was added along with a slate, that ended up surprising me with its large orange variations.  I've since learned to love it.  But here is a word of warning for anyone choosing flooring with a 2x2 inch sample.  It was a lovely grey green with a tag that said, "with slight variations."  I want it to have some WOW factor, so that when people walk through our doors, they know that a FUN-LOVING , CREATIVE,  FRIENDLY FAMILY lives here. 

This entrance is often our main one, and the rugs are used during the winter months. I love our slate, especially in the summer when we walk on it barefoot.  It is so cool and has great texture.  We even have some fossil deposits of leaves that are clearly embedded.  

After ten years, This is the first impression visitors get of my home.  I am hoping to move away from the grey/green palette.  The pine mirror will be resurfaced or replaced.  I want to create a cleaner look.  I love our Ikea boot bins, and will be keeping them.  The style is quite streamlined.  I considered painting them, but I'm not sure yet.  With other changes in the entry I hope to give it a mid-century modern feel.



The stipple ceiling was removed and all of the doors were replaced, maple flooring was installed, trim was added around the doors and new baseboards were installed, which is a whole story on its own for another time.  Lights were added in the hallways to brighten the space and the doors were painted a dark grey khaki green.  The walls were a light grey green, with cream trim work.  This color scheme needs a complete overhaul.  But as you can see, the house is very open concept and all rooms run into each other.  

After I've shown you the whole house this week, I will be showing you some pictures of spaces I've been collecting from Apartment Therapy to show you where I hope to go with Bungalow'56's new look.


This is the back porch which is also used by the family.  It is smaller than I would like and quite dark.  I painted the doors the khaki, and also painted this color along the bottom wood jut out.  I figured this made sense as anything light would get so dirty from all the scuffs from boots, and dirt from them being flung off.  The french door is wonderful for allowing some light into the back porch and also its great for when the kids are making a racket in the basement, we can close it and the noise is gone.

In an attempt to make the space larger we hung hooks so that the back porch reaches up the stairs and stops the bottle necking that would invariably happen in front of the door.  This space is generally quite dark and I need to find a better solution with the coats, as it always looks messy and unkept.  And through the french door it can be seen from most areas of the house.

Tomorrow I will post the  main living areas, and show you our Living Room, Bathroom, and Kitchen.  I have so many ideas, and I hope you will help me in making the tough decisions.

Enough paralysis by analysis.  I own hundreds of decorating magazines, and have dutifully cut out wonderful ideas over the years, but somewhere along the way I decided it wasn't worth the time and effort anymore.  It started somewhere along with The Agronomist's coaching rec and club soccer.  It happened sometime after he built a new fence, a double garage, and spruced up a play space for the girls in the basement with laminate flooring and paint.  Plus I couldn't make up my mind.

Somewhere along the line, I lost my decorating spirit, but I'm not happy with our home and know that it could be so much more.  I have never been more ready for a change, and I have never been more ready for your comments and ideas to help me along the way.

I am looking forward to the transformation of Bungalow'56!  And I feel much more confident knowing I will have your help along the way.



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  1. Those before photos are fantastic! We bought our home 10 years ago also (spent 6 weeks with the parents too) and when I walked in for the first time after closing I cried ... it was just so ugly. I love your slate in the front entrance and those boot bins are a great idea. Can't wait to see your changes.

  2. Oh wow, Dana! The remodel is looking marvelous. I am finding inspiration to keep going with our own small but cozy house :)

  3. You home is so lovely! I can't wait to read more on your blog, thank you so much for stopping over to see me today!

    I actually love the Ikea shoe bins just the way they are, they do look very mid-century. They look built in!

  4. that is some serious work! it looks fantastic, so warm and welcoming. i like that you kept the front door - it's really groovy and retro-y and all.

  5. Great job! Love that slate floor...

  6. YOu've done an AMAZING job! That is a huge improvement and very warm and inviting.

  7. I love what you did. We moved in our house three years ago and have done some painting and door changes but the living room is still as it was. My husband gets bursts of home DIY followed by long periods of rest.
    If it was up to me I would still be doing work around the house. But with three young kids it's a bit complicated


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