Here’s a quick tour of the home we just sold.
You can see how much I love landscaping, can’t you? Thanks to our photographer, the grass is green in this photo even though it’s the dead of winter.
We were one of the few homeowners to have a side-entry garage in the neighborhood. It looked nicer, but it added a TON of landscaping upkeep to the front of the house. This side of the house was always hit the hardest by hail and strong winds. We replaced the siding twice on this side. I’ll be happy if I never own a vinyl sided home again.
I’m a graphic designer so, by nature, I’m always up for a good horizontal stripe. Any type of graphic treatment will do, really, but stripes seem to be the easiest to add wow-factor to almost any space. I found the vintage sunburst mirror on craigslist and used a simple Ikea Lack shelf as an entry table. To keep the shelf perfectly flush against the wall, I drilled small holes in the top back side so I could run my cords into the hollow part of the shelf and hide them, then hooked them both to an extension cord, tucked in inside and drilled another hole on the bottom for the extension cord to exit. It’s all about the details, right?
The dining room in our first house was originally intended to be a living/dining room combo. But, since we already had a great room and a bonus room we didn’t need a third living space. I always wanted to host Thanksgiving at my house and this ten-seater Ethan Allen table served us very well for that purpose. I kept both leaves in it year-round and it was so long that it reminded me of a stretch limo. Unfortunately it takes like two days to cook enough food to serve a three-course meal for ten people. As a result I could probably count the number of times we had formal dinners in this space on one hand. I hate to say it, but in the end that dining room was just wasted square footage.
It was just a few months before we decided to sell the house that I started to really decorate this room. I’ve been in love with Kelly Wearstler’s Imperial Trellis fabric and wallpaper for the longest time, but alas, had no budget for it. So I went the path of less expense and purchased an all-over stencil. I hired Molly King, a local faux finish professional, and got schooled in the art of stenciling. I painted the wall entirely in black semi-gloss, then Molly stenciled on the flat black paint. The results were amazing, and at least one-quarter of the price I would’ve paid for the real deal. Below is a photo of the buffet styled for Christmas. That wall was a conversation piece and I’m convinced it helped to sell the house. I only enjoyed it for a few months, but I still think it was money well spent.
The great room was fairly large and had an angled fireplace wall. This always made furniture placement challenging and interesting because the sofa would cut off access to the back corner of the room. This corner became known as “the dead zone.” I tried numerous ways to fill it over the years (ficus trees, tall plants, huge candles), but it never looked right to me.
Here’s another angle. You’ll notice that we had his-n-her chesterfield sofas. His was the black one and mine was the cream one, and no, it’s not because he’s the devil and I’m the angel. It’s because we ordered the black one first and then I stumbled upon the cream one at a consignment shop and couldn’t resist. Since Mr. Julian always has pens in his uniform pants pockets, it just made sense to give him the black one. That way it could get marked up and no one would be the wiser. The leather chair was going to be replaced by an upholstered piece but the house sold before we could get around to it.
Ah, my beloved kitchen. The kitchen renovation came to fruition during the last year of our ownership. I had a herringbone marble backsplash installed and I was lucky enough to score Superwhite quartzite countertops for this overhaul. I can’t tell you how pleased I was with this product! It has the look of gray and white marble with the durability of quartz (doesn’t scratch or stain easily and handles high heat). I modified the bar top to have a slight radius and I spent my money on an ogee edge for just this one piece to add a little sophistication to the room. Once again, little details!
To make the island more functional I added “wing walls” on the ends that extended up to the ceiling (you can see them in the great room photo above). This gave me a perfect opportunity to install open shelving, something we will definitely have in our next house. Unloading the dishwasher is such a breeze when you don’t have to open cabinet doors! My only regret was that we weren’t able to update the stove and microwave to stainless, but it didn’t seem to hurt the sale of the home.
My dinette area was a perfect example of what you can do with craigslist. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the house because it was neutral, yet had tons of texture and varying styles. The table, chairs and mirror were all craigslist finds and the chandelier was on sale at West Elm. The chairs got a revamp with a couple cans of spray paint and a fresh upholstery job on the seats. The table was originally a store display that someone repurposed into a desk, and I then repurposed as a dinette table. And the Restoration Hardware mirror was the ultimate score at a mere $250. God bless the woman that sold me that mirror. She knew it was worth so much more and sold it to me anyway because she knew I loved it so much.
The master bedroom was in total transition at the time we sold the house. I had just finished making the upholstered headboard out of a hollow core door, and was having drapes made for the window. I painted the walls and ceiling in Benjamin Moore’s Black Horizon because I needed it to feel cocoon-like for Michael. When he comes home from a 24-hour shift at work, he likes to retreat to a dark room and I certainly can’t blame him. What can I say? I like my bedroom like I like my men – dark and dramatic!
Well that wraps up my little home tour of the first house. Special thanks to Shannon Fontaine for these lovely MLS photos. In a few months I’ll have a whole new house tour to post, so stay tuned!