Some REAAALLLLY Before and After pics



I’m fed up with our desktop.

I took some “after” pics of one of the projects I’ve finished lately (About 5 more projects to shoot… Heehee!  Not sure why taking “after” pics has been such an issue lately…).

And my desktop wouldn’t load them.  Arg!  Something’s been up with it for months now and it’s driving me batty.  I need to take it somewhere to get it looked at, I’m sure.   I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Anyways, in the meantime, I’ve been trying to do some research on our house to find out what it looked like way back when.   Supposedly, our wet-bar actually had a peninsula at one point and I’m positively DYING to see it.  Unfortunately, although I’ve turned up several before-our-time “before” pics from old realty listings, that wasn’t one of ’em. (sadface)

But, here’s what I’ve got.   Are you ready for this???

I give you our house in 2004:


Whoa!!! Right???   It actually looks cottage-y with that wood shake roof.   I always imagined that our house originally had a tile roof.  It would’ve definitely explained why they chose to put an orange roof on the house upon replacing it.   Turns out, they came up with the orange on their own.  It was chosen to go with the gold and green color-scheme.  You can kind of see it in this blurry aerial shot…


Our. Poor. Neighbors.

Once the house went into foreclosure for the second time in 2012, the bank had the house sprayed beige, which is how it looked when we purchased it 2 years later…


And the last time I actually took pictures of our house’s front exterior it looked like this…

Now, keep in mind… we’ve since replaced the front door (I still have one more coat of paint to apply before I take pics) and I’ve given that green gate a nice, crisp coat of black paint (one of the projects that I’ve yet to photograph). But, in this pic, we’d painted the exterior, added landscaping and a rock border, and (in this shot) had painted our old front door.

The crazy thing is that in 2012, when the owners before us bought the house, the front courtyard had not one, but TWO metal gates…


Anybody else picturing every haunted house movie ever made??

The owners right before us removed the second gate after they moved in.  This is on the day that we closed…


And the courtyard the last time I photographed it with our old door still (new pics coming soon)…


It definitely doesn’t scare the children as much.  (Though, we still got no trick-or-treaters to my knowledge)

As a reminder, here’s the new front door (kinda… this shot is from when they’d installed the door with incorrect door-swing and I’d only partially painted it).  The correct door has since been installed.  It looks the same, just with the door knob on the other side and is currently in the process of being entirely painted that charcoal color…


I can’t wait to show it to y’all now.

In 2012, the backyard had not one, but two chain link fences…


 The first, which was next to the patio, had been removed prior to us moving in, but the posts hadn’t.  So, Joey had the fun task of extracting those guys.  I was also surprised to see in these pictures that there were park benches on top of the nasty railroad ties (which had also been removed by the time we came into the picture).  We removed the railroad ties and replaced the retaining wall with stone.   And here’s that space today…


This view of the backyard looked pretty much the same as when we bought it.  I just forgot to take “before” pics prior to Joey removing the second chain link fence seen to the left of the pic…


And the space now…


Inside, the kitchen looked pretty much the same in 2012 as it does now with the exception of the popcorn on the ceiling and paint color (which the owners before us removed/changed)…


The surprising thing here was that the slate floors were already in.  I thought that the owners right before us installed them, but apparently it was the owners prior to them.

Our kitchen now is still kind of a mess.  We haven’t gotten there yet, but we anticipate a full reno down the road.   Our next big purchase, though, will likely be new appliances since the current stove and dishwasher are constantly on the fritz (and the fridge is a total black hole visually… but at least it’s a black whole that actually works (knockonwood!))…

Remember how I mentioned a while back (in this post) that there was a flood last year that necessitated a full gut of the laundry room by the previous owners?   And how I griped about the lack of storage we currently have??  Well, there used to be some…


Too bad they didn’t reinstall those uppers, but they did replace the doors.  And I guess we now have a blank slate to work with, which could be good…

Here’s the living room in 2012…


It’s amazing how a view of a chain link fence out the window makes one feel imprisoned.  Like Morgan Freeman should be narrating your tale of woe.

The owners before us painted the walls, de-popcorned the ceilings (blessthem), and replaced the slider.   We installed the floors and painted the built-ins

Another view…


vintage modern living room

The master bathroom had pretty amazing black sinks in 2012, no?


Mighty epic commitment to the black bathroom fixture in this house (you know what I mean if you’ve seen our guest bath).

The paint looks white in the above shot, but it’s hard to tell if that’s correct since if you look in the reflection next to the coffin-shower, the wall does look peachy.  In any case, someone painted the room peach.  ON PURPOSE.  I mean, I know peach was really popular in the 80’s, but it was never really my thing.  Especially when paired with navy/purple/mauve swirled marble.  As a reminder of how it looked when we took possession (after the previous owners changed out the sinks and faucets)…



I couldn’t take it, so in a burst of unconstrained rage, I painted the room white…


A full gut will happen in this space if it’s the last thing I do!

(And yes, I’m constantly crossing my fingers that Bath Crashers magically appears at our doorstep)

The remaining rooms were basically the same in terms of upgrades.   Prior to our buying of the house, the owners before us de-popcorned the ceilings, painted the main living spaces, changed out the doors, as well as a few lighting fixtures.  The rest, we did.  Now, I know I’ve been emphasizing this throughout this post, but just keep in mind as you’re going through these pics that these “befores” are from two years before we bought the house.  Our “befores” that I took on closing day, can be found in our House Tour page.

The dining room, then….


And now…


(We added laminate flooring, shelves and curtains, I painted the table white, added some vintage-inspired art, and styled the shelves)

The master bedroom, then…


and now…


(I painted, we replaced the carpet and windows, and started decorating.  Lot’s more to go.  But I like where we’re headed.)

The guestroom/office then…


And now…


Believe it or not, those are totally different wall colors (peach vs. greige) although the photos look somewhat similar.

And finally, the hangout room, then…


And now (well, now-ish… this is another space that I need to photograph as it currently is)…

(Check out this post, which incorporates painting and decor for this room. )

The carpeting in the bedrooms was the same in 2012 as when we bought the house, so apparently the asphalt we found poured beneath the carpeting in this room was done before then.  Remember that???

I still think it’s the weirdest thing EVER.  I mean, what the heck? #stopthejimmyhoffajokes

So, anyways, I hope to find more pics somewhere along the line of the house further back.   I would LOVE to see it as it was originally, actually.   It seems like the house changed significantly just since 2012 (let alone that exterior shot from 2004) so I can’t imagine what it used to look like at the get-go.  Also, it’d be remiss of me not to mention that this house seems like a total team effort.   It’s slowly gotten it together, first with the slate floors from 2 owners back, then the improvements made by the previous owners, and now us.   Despite any differences in taste (or lack of maintenance over the years), I feel like (at least in the recent years), good intentions were had to improve the house and bring it back to life.  And hopefully, we’ll be able to continue with that mission for a time to come.  Because I love our house.  I’ve never felt so grateful or “at home” than I do now.

So, tell me is anybody else nosy like me?? Trying to snoop around in your house’s past to see what it looked like?  Any ideas on how I could get my hands on older pics??

TDC Before and After

9 thoughts on “Some REAAALLLLY Before and After pics

  1. What a fun walk down memory lane!!! I’d love to see some old pictures of our house too! SO fun! LOVE what you’ve done so far Christina – just look at how much lighter and brighter every single room looks!

  2. Wow, coffin shower – looks well made if oddly designed. Can you frame it to sort of ‘square it off’ with matching black tile to remove the coffin shape and make it look like you planned it that way? The red accent does help make it work. I also see some pretty pricey looking stonework around the tub that would be painful to remove.

    Asphalt flooring.That is novel! Was it a way of securing the floor safe? Or was there an indoor basketball room?

    • Right??! I thought it was AstroTurf when I first saw it! The floor safe is actually in another room, or that might explain it. The tub is actually made of cultured marble (not real unfortunately… Or maybe fortunately since it hopefully won’t be as heavy as marble to remove). We will definitely find a way to bid it adios, though! Haha! As for the shower, we thought about squaring it off, but the tile inside the shower (at the bottom especially) isn’t in good shape. When we moved in it was clear that nobody had kept up on the caulking or sealing of it, so it’s all wonky. When we moved in I bleached the entire shower to rid it of an insane amount of mold and sealed everything with silicone, but it’s not a forever fix (I wrote a post about it called Water, Water, Everywhere). It really just needs to be redone. I’m sure we’ll have to rip it down to the studs. I’m kind of dreading the process, but can’t wait for the result. 🙂

  3. Hmmm, are you sure the previous previous owners weren’t SA expats? The high security gate with the spikes on top, the slasto slate kitchen… I feel like I’m looking at a Joburg house from the nineties! 🙂

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