I have spent many a hour lately scouring the web for do-it-yourself stories, fixer-upper before and afters and how-to guides. Luke and I are first time HOUSE owners and we dove in the deep end. We’ve lived in an apartment, bought a condo (with about 20 sq ft of outdoor space) and have now launched into a farmhouse with 3.5 acres of land. Exciting and ufta.
Finding a home, location, land and view in our price range was going to prove a difficult task. We decided early on that if the potential was there, and the house was at least LIVE-able, we’d consider it. We found our Blueberry House on Redfin the morning we went to tour homes. It was a last minute addition to the itinerary and we almost decided to skip it.
After doing a quick walk through of the home and land, smelling the winter air, seeing the view of the Columbia, our minds swimming with possibilities and potential and entrepreneurial ideas and…I sat back in the car and started to cry. Happy tears. I felt like God had looked deep into my heart’s desires and pulled out this little plot of adventure and hard work and scary new-ness and challenges, put a bow on it and gifted to us. This was it. I tried my best to not get my hopes up (as house buying is a fickle process) but in many ways it was too late. A part of my heart had gone to dream up on the hill in Washougal, amongst the blueberry bushes.
A month later, our offer was accepted (shout out to Peter Kim!) and the keys were handed over on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to us, no!?
Since then, Luke and I have decided to tell ourselves that we are “glamping”. It helps us cope with the fact that all our earthly possessions are in a barn, we are sleeping on the floor, can’t unpack our clothes because there is asbestos in the closet and we don’t know where any of our pots and pans are. We are in a big ol’ season of limbo again…but we know it’s short-lived.
We have big plans for our little farmhouse. There are almost 100 year old hardwood floors underneath LAYERS of linoleum, vinyl and carpet. We must uncover those beauties! Walls will be painted (more on this later, but there is SHIPLAP on the walls!! Fixer Upper fans are probably doing the happy dance right now!), new countertops put in, bathrooms remodeled, windows added and a myriad of other projects will be gettin’ done in the next couple months.
Below is the “before”, the blank canvas of what we are working with.
Entering from the front door, that stove is VERY old. We love it, but it hasn’t been maintained so we can’t use it yet. One day!
Looking into the dining room area. I’m thinking bar stools underneath the counter and a new light fixture. This flooring is fake AND has asbestos underneath it soooo we shall be ripping this down to the original hardwood and refinishing throughout the house.
Looking into the kitchen and through to the office.
The kitchen is a great size and the cabinets are in great shape. Our plan is to paint them white and then add a new sink and granite countertops. Eventually, white subway tile as the backsplash.
Excited about the windowed cabinets! I shall display away in these!
Guest bathroom with a CLAWFOOT tub. Yes. Luke is going to refinish it and we are going to have hardwood floors in here too. The wallpaper is coming down and the old vanities are getting ripped out and being replaced with a pedestal sink. “After” pics to come!
Looking into the master bedroom. Hardwood floors underneath that carpet, maybe a fresh coat of paint and some lovely curtains and we’re pretty good to go in here!
This is the master bath. Not the biggest by any stretch of the imagination, but we are planning to blowout a wall and expand a bit, because LOOK at this shower—
Bahaha…world’s tiniest I think. We have plans to double its size when we remodel the bathroom.
These are the stairs to “Narnia”, as we’ve started to call our upstairs live-able attic. They are a beautiful grey/blue patina and I think we shall keep it that way!
The narrow staircase leads to our biggest “special” area in the house. A friend described this area as the “part in the murder mystery documentary where they show where the little boy was killed or something” True, true. It’s scary…but SO full of possibilities!
The pink room. We have plans to turn this into a reading nook. Picture hardwood floors, white walls, a fur rug, a couple wingback chairs, wall sconces and stacked books.
The yellow room. We intend to turn this room into an office. Picture a desk by the window, hardwood floors again, white walls, more lighting and some lovely wall art.
And finally, the green room. Someone chose to put in that carpet and paint the walls neon green. I guess, each to his own? This is a fairly big room, so we are going to start out by turning it into a music room and perhaps it will transform into a guest or kids room one day. Picture the hardwood floors, white walls, a 4 poster bed under the window, area rug and a couple bookcases.
Watch your head!
This is the current guest room…again, world’s tiniest. We plan to open up the wall (oh my goodness, I sound so much like JoJo!) and (wait for it..) add some french doors. This will open up into the “office/family room” area.
We call this the “project room” as just about every part of it is going to be demo-ed and then re-painted or re-finished. We plan to make that large window larger as it looks out over the land and river, add a few cozy seating options and perhaps a desk? We’re not quite sure what to make of this room yet.
The sliding doors open up to the front yard and a little patio. I see big landscaping plans in our warm-weather future!
My plan is to be as honest as possible on how this process is going for us. I appreciate you all indulging me in my documentation! I personally have found encouragement in the “before” pics of other people’s homes. It CAN change and look better! I’ll keep you posted, quite literally:)
My re-purposing, beautifying, possibilties heart is full. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to the idea of fixer uppers and renovation projects…it’s like finding an old dresser at an estate sale, wiping off the grime, giving it a new coat of paint and adding wheels. All of a sudden it is sought after again and holds so much value-both emotional and monetary. It’s a big-time Cinderella/gospel story!
Ok, back to wiping the grime off my dresser!