Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Before and After Pictures

Since about mid-April when we discovered that our landlord was planning to put our current home up for sale, we'd been looking for another home to rent.

We aren't terribly picky people, but needed a dog-friendly home preferably with a fenced yard, one-story, a decent neighborhood, at least 1000 sq. ft. and very reasonable rent.

This may not sound like much to look for but after about a month and a half into the search, it was looking pretty bleak on the rental front. Very little was in our price range and if a house was the right price, it was in a very sketchy neighborhood and the house looked to be falling down.

At one point, we knew we'd found the right house, but several families already wanted the house and the landlord had to choose who she wanted and she ended up not choosing us. Ironically, the house we now live in is two streets over from that house!

We continued to pray, knowing that surely in our reasonably large city, a home would come available to us. And we waited, checked the listings daily, made calls, drove around and found For Rent signs on homes that might be promising, made more calls, and waited some more.

The most frustrating part about this was that we didn't hear back from many of the people we called. I'm not sure how they ever rent their houses out if they're not willing to call interested parties back, but whatever!

About the time it began to look quite bleak, as we were driving around looking at houses to rent one Saturday morning, we happened to cruise down the street on which we now live. My eyes had become just as adept at spotting For Rent signs as Yard Sale signs, so I quickly motioned for Andy to slow down so we could look at three houses that were for rent on the street. This one was the only one we were really interested in so we wrote down the contact info and drove away.

We called right away and discovered that this house had everything we were looking for and was in the right price range. We also discovered that another house for rent on the same street was owned by the same person for the same price and would we like to see both of them? Well, of course!

So we looked at both houses that were the same price, same size and ended up choosing this one.

This is a rental and an older home so it's certainly not perfect but is very cute and will serve us very well, I think!

We moved from a 2 bedroom/1 bath, barely 1000 sq. ft. home into a 3 br/ 1 bath, 1100-1200 sq. ft. home. It's funny but in some ways our new home is bigger and in other ways, it's smaller. The layout is different.

One huge drawback to this home was the wall colors. One room was pink and I do mean pink as you'll see in a minute, one was a peachy/ clay/ Carolina red dirt color, the bathroom was a peachy tan color that I think was supposed to be a neutral tone, and the living room, 3rd bedroom and hallway all different manners of wainscoting, bead board and paneling. The bright colors were blinding and the abundance of brown wood depressing.

Fortunately, our new landlord allowed us to paint whatever we wanted as long as she approved the colors so we wasted no time in selecting some more neutral shades and getting started.

This was a huge undertaking, especially the paneling. We knew it would be much easier to paint before moving in. We decided to tackle the worst and leave the rest until later. We chose to paint the living room, hallway, master bedroom, bathroom and the 2nd bedroom which will be our guest room.

The kitchen is sort of a sage green that although not my favorite, is definitely livable. The dining room is cream colored on top with wainscoting on the bottom. Again, I'd like to paint later and lighten that wood, but for now was not a priority.

I love light wall colors, especially in a small house. They really brighten and enlarge the space vs. darker colors. And they give me more flexibility in decorating, too!

Yes, we're renters so some may wonder why we were willing to paint and put so much hard work into the house. We lived at our last rental for almost six years and have signed a two-year lease on this one, so we figured that this hard work up front would be worth it in the long run, making our home more comfortable and overall leaving the home a little nicer than we found it.

I'm just showing you the before and after pictures of the rooms we painted. Later on, when boxes are unpacked and my home is in some semblance of order, I'll give you a tour of the whole thing. There are some very unique features!

Before: Living Room

After:  Living Room in a light gray color with white trim.
Before: Guest Bedroom

After: Guest Bedroom in Elegant Ivory with white trim. Much more restful now, don't you think!?!

Before: Master Bedroom

After: Master Bedroom in Elusive Blue with white trim. I love this blue and can't wait to decorate our room!

Before: Bathroom

After: Bathroom in Elusive Blue on top and white on the bottom.
This is not the best picture but hopefully you can see the difference! If you're wondering why the cabinet is taped shut: The one door wouldn't stay shut and I was tired of banging my head on it! We will be repairing that shortly!

**Pictures of our hallway did not turn out. Think dark, brown paneling before and the same light gray and white as the living room for after. The light color has really lightened it up!

We used leftover bedroom paint for the bathroom and have enough gray and white left for the kitchen and dining room when we paint later. The 3rd bedroom is also dark wood paneling but we've left it for now. It has a huge window that lets lots of light in so somehow it didn't seem quite so dreary.

Even though it was lots of work, I love what a few cans of paint have done to this house!


Denise said...

Looks great, can't wait to see more photos.

Melanie said...

You did a great job! :)

Wendi said...

Amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can do for a place. Looks great!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new home! The new paint job looks great.

It's interesting that you said you couldn't get some landlords to return your calls. My mother-in-law has the opposite problem in trying to rent her house to people---they call to make an appt. to come see the house and then they never show up and she never hears from them again.

Debbie J said...

Oh yes, I can see how hard you've both been working and it looks really good. I'm sure your new landlord realizes what gems he got with you as renters!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Looks great Mary Ann! Love the colors you chose.

Mary Ellen

Ramble with Carole said...

Mary Ann, It looks FABULOUS!! Having stood in it I can absolutely see the difference and I am sure the hallway is wonderful too. From my own home, I know how much it helps to get rid of dark paneling. I cannot wait to see what you do with it all. However I do like the color of your kitchen!! LOL> I love to settle into a new home. It can be such fun.

tea said...

You've done a great job! Your colors are loveley!! We rented for the first half of our marriage and it would have been so nice to have been able to paint and make it more homey. It's always nice to be able to make a place your own. I love the way you've brightened it up!! :)

Bevy said...

As my brother says (A former punch-out carpenter); "You can do some pretty amazing stuff with just a can of paint and a chulk gun."

Good for you...

DarcyLee said...

I'm so glad your landlord allowed you to paint. That pink really was blinding-lol. Your new colors are much more relaxing and restful to the eye. Have fun getting to know and decorating your new home.

Serenity Now said...

Looks SO much better! What was with that pink??? Pepto Bismol threw up in that room!
Amazing difference, good job both of you!

Rhonda said...

I am glad you found a new home - and really nice paint choices.

Hope you all have a very happy home sweet new home.

Lyn said...

You did a great job on the painting and love the colors. Hope you enjoy your new home!