Thursday, September 20, 2012

My little house…before and after


So, guess what?  I was recently asked to have my home featured in our city's Christmas home tour this year!   Yes, my little humble home.  So, I agreed, as long as we can put a "do not enter" on the boys' bedroom door. ;)

I was asked to submit a photo of the exterior of the home for the tour, and realized I have never shown you the outside of my house, and what I did with it after we moved in.  As you well know, I only decorate and remodel on a very tight budget.  When we bought this house six years ago, we had just relocated from Michigan where we were enjoying a brand new, custom built home.  We were very sad to leave it, especially as the housing market began to tank.  So with two mortgages for an extended period of time, I knew I could do little else to update the 1980's colonial except with a little paint and elbow grease.

We pulled out some trees and bushes.  The neighbors would see me out there with the bow saw sitting down  as I sawed away at the bases of the overgrown juniper bushes.  It was me against those bushes, and I won!  (Granted it took a few days).

I took a kitchen chair outside, and with one of my small artists' paint brushes, I painstakingly and meticulously painted those red shutters black.  I didn't even take them off the house!  I was lucky I didn't spill any paint on the brick.  My husband took the upper shutters off, and I painted them in the basement.  I painted the front door black, and the moulding around it white.  Eventually, I used my birthday money to replace the two light fixtures next to the front door.  I put identical white linen curtains in all the windows (clearance from the back of a Pottery Barn outlet store before we moved. I knew I could make them work somehow because they were such a good deal!)  I dug up plants and flowers from the backyard, and moved them to the front.


You may remember this post, where I added wrought iron details above the lower windows.  For $25 a piece,  I brought them home in my suitcase from Utah (barely making the weight limit), painted them black, and displayed them above the windows.


And to add a little more character with little money, I created this monogrammed pendant that you can read all about in this post.   I even painted those light fixtures black with my little artist brush since they were brown before.  But I liked the style and shape, and they were a good deal at Home Depot.

So, now you finally see my house and how frugal , resourceful I am!  It is not my dream house, but it is definitely our home, and we know this is where are family is supposed to reside for the time being.  Looking back, although it was a lot of work, I'm actually really grateful that I had the opportunity to get creative and transform an older home.  There is great satisfaction in hard work and creativity!


  1. You have done such a beautiful job. Thanks for the inspiration. You give me hope that I can make a difference in my older home. (

  2. It's amazing what elbow grease and a little (lot) of patience can accomplish. Great job, Robin!

  3. Your home looks beautiful and I love the details you added above the windows. I added some similar to our shutters. They add do much charm.

  4. I just found your blog for the first time today. I am impressed! Can't wait to read lots more. :)


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