July 30, 2010

before and after

When I bought my house I knew it was going to be a lot of work. It's a typical brick Philadelphia rowhouse built in the early 1900's. The previous owner was an elderly woman that had been living there for over 60 years and probably hadn't renovated it in about 50. It was filled with paneling, peeling wallpaper, drop ceilings, dirty carpets...but it had potential! I loved the neighborhood, I loved my cute little tree lined street and most importantly - I could afford it! With the help of my family, Eric and a couple of contractors I was able to make it into the perfect home for me. Below are some photos of the transformation of my first floor.

Living/Dining Room

Besides the ceiling tiles, wood paneling, wallpaper, carpet, etc, the thing that bothered me the most about the living/dining area was how dark it was. It felt really depressing to be in that space. Here is a before:

Installing a full glass storm door (my door is always open unless its really cold out) and removing the air conditioner above the door (central air was installed) allowed so much more natural light into the room. The track lighting and table lamps also made a huge difference. Pretty much every single surface of this room is new - new ceiling, new walls, new floor (ebony stained bamboo floors). We also exposed the brick along one side - so dirty, so much work but definitely worth it! Here is a photo of the after:

Living/Dining Room - Other Side

This is a before shot of the other side of the living/dining room. The stairs was one of my least favorite elements of the room. I hated the carpet, the rounded bottom step and the awful metail railing. The room on the left was the powder room and the doorway in the center led to the kitchen.

The iron railing was removed and to keep it feeling more open, I decided to not put up a railing. Carpeted stairs were replaced with new wood treads that were stained to match the rest of the floor. I kept the powder room and also completely renovated it. I put a large mirror on the wall of the powder room to reflect more light into the space.

Living/Dining Room - Birds Eye View

I liked the idea of having a long piece of furniture along the brick wall to serve as a tv stand and dvd/book storage as well as seating for the dining table. My dad and I made that piece together in an afternoon with wood that I had cut to specific dimensions at Lowes. The only tools we used was a nail gun!

I had a cushion made for the portion of the bench that is in front of the dining table to make it more comfy to sit on:

Since I get a good amount of light in the dining area from the track lighting, I decided not to put a fixture above the dining table. Instead, I hung a grouping of candle holders that I found at CB2. Candles can create such an amazing atmosphere - I have them all over my house.

This dresser is one of the oldest pieces of furniture that I own. It's been with me since undergrad and it was a thrift store find. A few coats of paint and and change in hardware - it almost looks new!


The kitchen had a drop ceiling, cheap vinyl flooring, and really dated cabinets and countertop This is a picture of it before the renovations started:

There wasn't much I could do to the layout of the kitchen - it worked pretty well the way it was. However, almost everything was updated. After removing the drop ceiling, I was able to gain some more height to the room and was able to install taller cabinets (I keep a ladder in the kitchen to reach the upper shelves). I wanted cabinets that felt more classic, so I decided on a white finish and added large silver hardware and a stainless steel countertop to make it feel more modern. We also ripped out the flooring and just continued the bamboo into the room. To allow for more natural light, we installed a larger window and replaced the old solid door with one with more glass.

Kitchen - Other Side

The only thing that remained from the old kitchen is the stove. Although i replaced the fridge with a stainless steel one and added a stainless steel dishwasher, I didn't think it was necessary to replace the stove yet because it was fairly new and in great condition.

This little area is also in my kitchen - across from the back door. The previous owner had a dining table in this corner, but since I don't need two dining tables in my house, I opted for a large ottoman. I probably could've put more cabinets/storage space in, but I really enjoy entertaining and wanted something friends could sit on while I cooked or just extra seating in general.

Powder Room

I don't have any before pictures of the powder room but thats not neccessarily such a bad thing. It was probably the most disgusting room in the entire house. Its a really small space but I wanted it to be bold and feel special. The bamboo flooring also continued into this room and I kept all the walls white except for one. We installed a black and white floral wallpaper on the wall behind the toilet and added some red accessories to contrast. I love the wallpaper but my favorite element in this room is the mini chandelier!

The renovation ended up being much more work than I thought, but it was definitley a great learning experience. There are two more stories, but they are still a work in progress!


eric said...

beautiful floors ;)

Torrie said...

I just saw the pictures of your beautiful home via Desire to Inspire. I absolutely love the way that you utilized lighting and many splashes of color to brighten and accentuate each room.

I am very interested in the 'storage' project that you completed with your father, as this might be a perfect solution for our home. Do you have any other pictures of this area so that I can get a 'close-up view?' I'd really appreciate it!

allison said...

I, too, saw your pictures via Desire to Inspire. Your renovation is simply sensational! I'm so impressed and inspired by all of the work you've done. The pictures make me giddy! Your home is lovely - well done, and thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

Sary said...

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments!

Torrie - I will do a post soon about the storage/bench that I made with my dad. Check back either towards the end of this week or early next week for it.

carla said...

I too saw pictures of your beautiful home via Desire to Inspire. I absolutely am in love with your place. Classy, modern, simple yet beautiful details, elegant, comfortable, gorgeous! I am glad your going to share more on your project. And I hope you will update us with the renovations on the other floors. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR HOME & "Urban" style! <3

Torrie said...

Thank you very much. I look forward to it:).

rawia said...

Beautiful! Love the mirrored tables in the living room. Where are they from?

Sary said...

rawia, the mirrored tables are from west elm. i got them a couple of years ago, so i'm not sure if they're still available...

ac said...

Great work...!