You’d think that after all of the projects Jer and I have finished in this house, I would have learned my lesson and picked up the habit of thorough “before” documentation. Well unfortunately this is not the case, and the first floor renovation causes me the most regret for skipping out on before pics because of what an incredibly dramatic change this new apartment is from the old. I’m going to do my best to give you mental before snapshots, but ohhhhh how I wish you could have seen this place pre-transformation! I mean, YOWZA.
Our friends are all moved in and getting settled, and they were gracious enough to let me sneak into their place for some after pics while they enjoyed their honeymoon out of state. I skipped the bedrooms and bathroom, as these rooms’ transformations were a lot more about making weird spaces normal instead of massive change. Also, taking pictures of the teeny tiny bedrooms in this house basically translates into a bunch of photos of corners of rooms, which I think can be a little more disorienting than helpful. HOKAY. Here we go!
So time for you to use your imagination. This apartment is set up just like ours (front to back–living room, dining room, long hallway, then kitchen, with bedrooms all along the western side of the house). The first two rooms (living and dining) are the first you’ll see. Pre-renovation these rooms were all carpeted, and both rooms were in serious need of some love to the walls, as there was a decent amount of cracked plaster throughout. The carpet was ancient, and not salvageable, so we tore it up in hopes that we’d find wood flooring somewhere underneath. The other major project which started in these two front rooms involved reconfiguring the electrical. The few outlets around the rooms had a real ghetto burnt look to them, and our electrician ended up completely replacing all the old wiring with new.
Ok. So are you picturing it? Really bad carpet, cracking walls, sketchy-looking outlets? Here’s after all of our work:
This picture also shows the sweet crown molding that isn’t in any of the other apartments in the building. All of the original wood trim and molding in these first two rooms was in incredible shape, which we were pumped about. Here’s a shot from the door to the hallway, with the dining room in the foreground:
Ok. THE KITCHEN. Ohhhhhh em gee. Alright. Time for the set up. Floors were linoleum. Not in awful shape, but seriously outdated. The walls and ceiling needed a lot of work. The walls were covered up to about four feet with some sort of plastic panels made to look like tile, sort of a high tile wainscoting knock-off with a sort of yellow and brown color scheme. Aside from being crazy looking stuff, it was all buckling off the walls so there were large spots that stuck out which you could push on, causing it to sort of crinkle into the wall and bounce back. Above this stuff there was some cracking plaster, and REAL busy wallpaper everywhere.
The ceiling was a bummer. The second and third floor apartments in our house have these sweet old tin ceilings, and when we tore up the cracking ceiling throughout the first floor kitchen and hallway, we found the same stuff, although in real bad shape. We hoped we could salvage it but, alas, we could not. So instead we had a new ceiling put in, and canned lighting while we were at it.
The cupboards and appliances were all crazy old. The stove was actually kind of neat-looking (aside from the creamy yellow finish), but the oven was probably about half the size of a normal one. No regulation-sized cookie sheets goin in there anytime soon, no ma’am. We ended up tearing all of this out and starting from scratch.
Ok. So old kitchen: weird buckling plastic fake tile all around the perimeters. Cracking walls. Cracking ceiling. Craaaazy wallpaper everywhere. Weird old cabinets and appliances. Got it? K here’s the glorious after:
Our friends built the countertop with legs over the radiator, which matches insanely well and makes so much sense functionally. Jer put in the tile backsplash behind the sink, which was totally worth the extra time, effort, money. After that piece of the project, he’s dreaming about the day he can put one of those babies in our own apartment.
So there you have it. A few shots of the place after all the crazy. Hope you enjoyed!