House Tour – Before

Hey all,

A bunch of you have asked what our house looked like before we started working on it.  So here is the tour of our home before any projects began, on Day 1.  These photos were taken the day we got the keys to the front door.

The trick here is to see her good bones, because she’s not much of a looker…  yet.

In the coming weeks, we’ll show you the room-by-room improvements we’ve done to bring this 1950’s split-level house to the 21st century.

Our first house!!  Yay!

Our goals when redoing any room are:

1.  Keep costs down.  Money is tight, so sometimes we make do with an improvement that will make things better for a few years until we get to do it the way we’d really like it to be.

2.  Be as eco-friendly as possible.  Whether it’s a choice of materials (like low-to-no-VOC paint) or processes (like having our floors refinished with water-based products instead of harsh toxic chemicals) or product selection (like Energy Star machines instead of the alternative) we try to make the world a healthier place one decision at a time.

3.  Start with a vision and carry it through to the end.  This can mean lots of magazine research, and lots of discussions about what hubby and I both want before we begin a new room.  If we’re not sure yet, we don’t touch it!

Moving Day

Sheer ice outside – no fun for the movers!

Front Hall

Main Floor – Living Room

What lurks beneath this old carpeting?
View toward kitchen and entryway

Dining Room

View towards the kitchen


Guest Bathroom

Guest Bathroom

Upstairs – Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

 Baby’s Room

Baby’s Room, view 1

Baby’s Room, view 2 – no closet door, it was replaced by blinds.  Why?  Dunno.

 3rd Bedroom

Not the day we moved in, but one of the only pix I have of this small 3rd room

 To see the whole story on this room, check out Project Dream Closet:  How to Turn a Junk room into Paradise Without Spending a Bundle!

Master Bathroom

Street Level – Long Narrow Room (aka the office)

View to front

View to the back

Basement, Unfinished

That’s not mold on the walls, thank goodness, and we have the certificate to prove it…  Phew!

Future guestroom?  That will be our more elaborate redo yet!

Perhaps a Home Theater one day?


This pic is more recent, but the outside is still pretty much the same

Snowy Backyard


View to font
View to the back

Well, there she is.  We love her, and are slowly and steadily leaving our mark on this old house.

As I mentioned, in the coming weeks we’ll be posting photos of the updates and improvements we’ve done room by room, so be sure to come back and check it out.  

To see some pictures of inspiration of the look and feel we’re trying to achieve, check out Our Dream Home…  isn’t really a home.

What do you think?  Have we bitten off more than we can chew?

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Val Lonergan is the founder of, where she shares happiness hacks for purposeful people. To get the ZenShmen cheatsheet to jumpstart your joy - 10 easy things you can do right this minute to hack your way to increased happiness - join the free newsletter.
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