If you are anything like me, you LOVE a good “before and after” showcase. I mean, what’s House Hunters (oh, I love me some good HGTV) without a glimpse of the family all moved into their new abode? It may seem like an afterthought, a nice but perhaps unnecessary detail, but it’s important to the show. It gives us a feeling of closure and instant gratification, of knowing the family is settled and that after giving them that half hour of your time, they DID in fact buy the house (I hate the shows where they presumably buy a house but probably just agreed to be good sports and do the show…you know who you are, Hidden Potential). It also allows us to judge their decorating choices- oh we all do it, admit it. But mostly, it completes the “story” they’ve just told us. Of course there are more straight- forward “before and after” shows that are built around the big “reveal” at the end (I love you Sarah’s House…), which is probably a better example of the Before and After story line, but my point is to show the importance of following through with the Before and After, even when it may not seem obviously needed. All too many times blogs tease you with showing you the Before, the progress, and then no After… or vice versa. I don’t want to wait the 6 months for you to finish your reno- just show me the whole thing when it’s ready! Then, we get the Before and the After and all the wonderful, impatient instant gratification that comes with it.
So, after that long-winded intro to MY first B and A, here it is. These are images from the living room in our last home, the little Carriage House that Could. It was a small carriage house, built in 1900, on what is now about a .06 of an acre lot (after it was subdivided from the main house). In other words, it’s tiny with an adorably diminutive yard. But it was the perfect little starter home- first just Josh, Bodhi (our large, fuzzy dog) and I, after we moved back up from New York, then our son Bix came along, which made things a little tight. When we bought the place it was a big open living space with an outdated kitchen unit that wrapped around the wall. We gutted the kitchen, moved the door to the guest room (seen on the left in the Before picture), and removed the front door, because there were two exterior doors in this tiny living space (the door in the photo became the new “front” door, even though it’s on the side of the house). The floors were beautiful to begin with; big, thick wide-planks that just needed to be sanded. We also had wonderfully high ceilings and original wainscoting throughout, so there was plenty of original charm built in, which helped. I actually took these pictures before we moved in, so we hadn’t gotten to details like window treatments yet, but with the help of my friend Cindy Fieler, who did some staging at the end (with all of our own furniture and accessories), it was quite cozy and comfortable. We loved it.