House Tour

I'm going to be looking back on these "before" pictures someday.  I just know it.  I'll sigh and get a wistful gleam in my eye.  

This is our house.  For now, we call it our "new" house.  It's an 1850 farmhouse, 2500 square feet, on 1.3 acres.  We closed on November 5th, 2010, and spent every weekend that first winter working away on the thing. We moved in May, 2011.

Here's a floor plan, if you'd like to get a better sense of how it all flows together.

We'll start our house tour down stairs.  Won't you come in?

Sitting Room

Those fabulous double doors and the coffered ceiling won us over right away. The fuddy beige carpeting and greenish beige trim had to go, however.


This is the room the front door opens into.  

The room is a lot brighter and more welcoming now, but, naturally, we have a long way to go. The color is Behr Parmesan. Eventually there will be, I hope, a sweet pair of wingback chairs in here-- maybe we'll get lucky and find some this summer. I swapped out the really dated ceiling fan for a reproduction fixture-- which you can't see-- but you can see the other reproduction fixture I put in the Great room...

Here's the other angle, looking back at the front door. My mom did the moth painting-- by far my favorite Christmas present of 2011.

Great Room

This room looks a lot better than it did, thanks to removing the wallpaper and taking up the carpet. 

And now:

The walls are Behr Castle Stone, one of my favorite colors in the house. The perfect pretty beige. You can read a lot more about the flower mural here.

Right before last Christmas, the perfect salvaged mantle we found on Craigslist came to live here, thanks to my sainted father-in-law. After imagining how the thing would look in the room for months, it was so exciting to see it actually installed.

My dad made the most gorgeous built-in bookcases for us over the winter. As nice as we expected they would turn out, they're even nicer in reality. Next for this room will be re-upholstering the couch, and probably getting a new cushier rug.

Front Room -- Music Room

Originally the parlor, this room got our standard treatment: trim paint, wall paint, no more carpet.

And now:

The color is Benjamin Moore Dill Pickle. I chose this room for Patrick-- in our house, we each get our own room to indulge our passions-- because it's on the ground floor (no stairs to lug gear up), it's fairly secluded from the rest of the downstairs (so I can close the door on jam sessions/dust balls/the sight of eighteen simultaneously opened guitar cases) and it has its own exit to the great outdoors. Knowing Patrick, it had to be painted green. I painted up the armoire for him as a Christmas present, and Patrick built the shelf above it out of two discarded table leaves he found in the garage.

Dining Room

Goodbye, old carpet and dated wallpaper!

We were midway through stripping the wallpaper in this pic, hence the odd white spaces.

Post wallpaper-stripping. Dig them fugly sconces!

We painted walls, trim, and ceiling, and, of course, pulled up that offensive carpet.  For the walls, we chose Valspar Cliveden Gray Morning, which is warm and comfortable. We've also changed out the ceiling fan in favor of something with a little more panache-- a handcrafted chandelier from Etsy shop Khalima.  

The dining room has already come a long way, thanks to some nice hand-me-down furniture from Patrick's family. Good taste runs in his genes. 


The stairs are right in the middle of things, in a little room between the dining room, sitting room, and music room. 

This room has seen the biggest changes. When we bought the house, it'd been closed off--turning the house into two apartments. Undoing the conversion was fun-- read about it here.  Since, we've done LOTS of drywall patching and spackle sanding, and slapped a little paint up, as well, Behr Baked Brie. My fabulous father-in-law also decided he "needed a project" so he came and installed new railing and newel posts for us. I'm not sure how many headaches he saved us, but it was a lot. Our stairs turn four times between floor and ceiling. Four times.

Zah. Such a big improvement. We painted the floor and treads as well, with Ben Moore's super heavy duty high traffic epoxy. I highly recommend it.

We haven't done anything to our back stairs and entryway yet, but here's before pictures anyway, for reference:



And now:

Pardon the moderate mess-- this room never stays clean long enough for a truly clean and sparkling shot.

We've stripped the wallpaper and painted in here, and swapped out the light fixtures, and now one of us may be spending significant portions of her time scheming up what it will look like when we have it redone...



And now:

By moving the washer and dryer upstairs (to the laundry room!), we're hoping to turn this now-empty space into a pantry.

Downstairs Bathroom


You can just make out the edge of one of the grab-bars to the left in this photo.  The downstairs was most recently inhabited by a lady in a wheelchair, and our bathroom was rehabbed to accommodate her.  

Here's our progress thus far. The color is the same as the hallway-- Behr Baked Brie. We tiled the floor, and swapped out the medicine cabinet and light fixture over the winter. This is definitely one of my most favorite rooms! The shower curtain was made from an old sheet, and the window curtain I sewed from some punchy voile. 

Back Entryway


Pretty dingy. We'll get to this someday, maybe next summer. We can't paint in the wintertime, because the paint would freeze solid!

Now, for the upstairs.

Master Bedroom

We fell in love with the sweet matched closets, but knew the colors had to go.

 And now:

The color is Behr Limelight, which isn't lime at all but more of a soft lichen blue.  As you can tell, it's a moody color. We chose a dark walnut stain for the floors in this room, and are really loving how it contrasts with the pale walls!

We got handed down a couple of stately though somewhat battered dressers. They add just the right touch of romance. 

I painted a door to hang as a headboard, which was a fun and nearly free way to dress things up. The door came from the attic of our old Binghamton house.

Ahead, a new bedspread, eventually a rug underneath, and repainting my jewelry box so it doesn't clash with the whole room.

Craft Room/Office


After painting:

Would la casa de Sweetfern be complete without a craft room?  Really now.  The color is Behr Velvet Evening.  

I'm really starting to love this room. My dad made the desk for me when I was nine, and it's so nice to have it back in my life. I bought the giant Expedit IKEA shelf for some decent-looking craft storage; the curio cabinet came from Patrick's family; the sewing desk and armchair and rug were all part of our last house.

Side Bedroom


And now: 

::Cringe:: Okay, I'll admit it, we picked a bad color.  It happens to us all.  Behr Pear would look fine in a modern house, or a chic apartment, but in this old farmhouse it's just wrong wrong wrong. All the muted browns make it bearable-- almost-- but I've bought new paint and a color change is ahead in here.

Upstairs Kitchen -- Now Laundry Room


::Shudder::  Those colors!  That lovely coffered ceiling spray-painted to simulate bamboo!  That PAINTED ceramic TILE!  Gag, gag, gag.  Here's a progress shot:

Here's what it looked like after patching that enormous hole, and painting:

... and here's after we stained and sealed the floor. 

(Spray painting in progress!)

We opted to keep the sink and some storage, since those things will likely come in handy in this room's future life as our laundry room.  Why not just convert this room into a bedroom?  Well, see that door in the top pic?  That leads to another bedroom, and in the interest of privacy we figured it'd be weird to have one bedroom that leads to another.  So, laundry room it is. As it turns out, it's also a great space for small projects (I painted an armoire in here recently!), and the couch folds out so it can also be used as slumber space when we have a whole house-full.

The wall color is FreshAir Tranquil Pond.  We've also painted the ceiling, trim, scraped the tile, and torn out some vinyl flooring.  I'm excited to paint the cabinets and swap out the hardware, maybe even trying something edgy like this.

Also, some random trim bits and maybe a swing-arm sconce to hide that wire coming out of the wall are ahead. That wire, funnily enough, was where they ran the power for the light and fan from the old stove that was in here, which we took out. Whew.

Upstairs Bathroom


No after yet!  The upstairs bath is a really good-sized room, with lots of potential.  Paint, tile, a new tub surround, and a bumped-out wall with built-in shelves to hide an ugly pipe are in order.

Back bedroom 


This was by far the most painful room of the house.  I'm glad I got to document the happenin' pumpkin-army green-turquoise color scheme BEFORE WE TORE IT THE HELL OUT.  

Here's a progress shot:

The color is Behr Warm Coccoon.   

That concludes our house tour! As you can see, we've made some progress in our short time as homeowners, but we still have a long way to go.

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