Friday, December 14, 2012

DIW Sarah's Paint

Today, we have an awesome guest post from Sarah in Chicago.

She did such a great job writing that I want to give you her word for word on how painting her and her new husband's town home transformed everything.

Greetings from Chicago!
Allow me to introduce myself- I am Sarah Browning, a new housewife, homeowner and mommy to two adorable little furry babies, Graydon and George!
Getting married in June was tons of fun, but also tons of stress. Add buying a new house 3 months before the wedding to it, and you have a recipe for disaster! However, my husband and I somehow made it through, AND refinished the entire house, top to bottom, before my move-in date in June! HOW did we do it folks? Well, that is what I am here to share, as well as some of the very important lessons we learned along the way!
We bought our home on Valentines day of 2012 (Yes, I know, how romantic). It had been a bank-owned home for over a year (400 days to be exact) and therefore was covered in about 100 inches of dust and grime. Before even looking at the house, only looking at pictures online, I had written it off. It had disgusting yellow walls, dingy carpet, and some of the worst paint jobs I had ever seen (see pictures below). That and the fact that I cannot handle a full-house scrub down (allergies suck), I told the hubs NO WAY.

The foyer… yes those are UNEVEN stripes. And they are on with 3 coats of paint. Nightmare.


Yellow sponged walls? Who possibly thought that was a good idea?
NOW… this was lesson 1 for me. DON’T ever write a house off because of the pictures. Yes, it is grody, and yes it needs some work, but the bare bones of the place far outweighed my expectations. The kitchen had a gorgeous island that would be perfect to scarf down some cereal before work, and the basement had so much light coming in that I couldn’t wait to turn it into an office and movie space!
Now, with the price they were asking, it was impossible to say no to the potential in this house. With 2 beds, 2.5 baths, and 1800 square feet, it was beyond my expectations for our first home. We could grow into it! This was my second (and third) lesson. DO make sure to buy a house you can grow into! And DO look past wall colors and carpet to potential! A coat of paint can do wonders my friends.
After closing on the house, and I mean RIGHT AFTER, we got to work.
First order of business? PAINT THIS MUTHA. The stripes, yellow walls, and weird sponge-y finishes had to go. This took the majority of our first day. Sanding, spackling, re-sanding, re-spackling. It seemed like an eternity.
BUT… worth every second. Now here comes the “after”.

I realize it’s a teensy bit messy… tis what happens when you live with two furry babies and a man. BUT… THIS, folks, is what happens when you paint. We choose a gorgeous slate-y gray/blue/green color (Which I lovingly call “sloon”) And yes, if you want to get technical, we also got new appliances. But, regardless, we did nothing to the counters or the cabinets. Compared to the fluorescent dehydrated pee color you see above, the cabinets look richer, and the countertops look spruced up, and like they’re meant to be there! We picked up colors of the slate in the countertops, and reflected that on the wall with sloon. It worked perfectly! The importance of a new paint color continued around the house, which turned our dingy brown striped master into an open, airy, romantic space that I could actually sleep in!
That poor house… BEFORE master.

And after!

 Once again dirty… But LOOK at that COLOR! It opened up the space, and made it liveable. All with just a few (maybe more than few…) coats of a gorgeous light blue paint!
Now… on to the last lesson. DON’T break up a space!
When we bought the house, the kitchen/living/dining area had half carpet, half hardwood that went at a weird angle around the island, breaking up any possible clean lines it could have had. It made the space look smaller, darker, and just grosser.

WTF… Couldn’t even put a stool under the island because of the weird flooring.
SO… we decided to rip up all of the floors and create one seamless room with light maple floors. The whole goal, if you didn’t notice, was to make this house feel bright, airy and more updated.


Partially furnished, yes, but this is the mistake a lot of homeowners make… they don’t take good before and afters… I am guilty of such travesty.
BUT, regardless, as you can see, the entire room is seamless with one type of flooring. Not only does this give me a more open space, but it also allows for more flexibility with decorating! I have already been able to switch around living room placement, and all of that is due to the fact that I don’t have a “stopping” point in which the flooring changes.
Here’s a couple more afters of the living/dining space.


So… there is my first of (hopefully) many guest blog entries. I have PLENTY more where that came from friends, and I look forward to sharing it all with you! Stay fresh all you pretty peeps, and I will see you SOON :)
Snaps to Sarah! We went to High School together and have bonded over our young marriages and home ownership. I love how her sense of style is...cleaner (?) than Nate and I. Her and her husband's home flows beautifully. I hope you enjoyed "talking" to Sarah, because I'd love to have her back some time!

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  1. That house had a baaad case of the nineties! Now it looks great.

    Those chairs under the chalkboards? I love them! They are so fantastic.

  2. Those yellow walls... Oh my God. When we closed on our house and I came in to give it a good cleaning, I had to scrub a dried yellow substance much like that paint color off the base of the toilet in the guest bath. It had apparently been the bathroom of the former owner's little boy. 'Nuff said.

    I really like how open and airy and light that condo looks. Any chance we can get the names of the paint colors? I love whatever it is in the master bedroom!


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