In Spring of 2013 we moved into our first house. If you’re new here (and you are, this is a new blog), catch up on our home buying story here and our exterior tour here. Any additional posts on this house can be found here.
The house was about 1100 square feet, 3 bedroom and 2 full baths with an attached garage. Here’s a floorplan for all you visual folks, with the green front door and all:
Here we go: the before tour of our first house!
When you walked around the garage and found the green front door, you were greeted with…a wall 3 feet from your face! The entry hallway was tiny, which was fine if you were by yourself and weren’t carrying anything. And on the wall to the right of the door there was an adorable little octagonal window with grilles – I’ll have to dig up a pic from the interior, but for now you can see it on the intro/exterior tour.
When you walked in, you’d see this view into the dining/kitchen area. The door visible on the left led to the garage, and there was a full width closet with sliding doors on the left. Laundry hookups were in the garage, with no machines. But there was a utility sink!
Standing in that opening revealed a large living area divided by a partial-height wall between the kitchen and living room. Everything had been painted off-white for staging (thank goodness it wasn’t stark white – and they actually picked a good off-white!), and the carpet was also practically brand new.
The oak floors were not new, but in mostly good shape, save for some water damage by the dishwasher. You can see the skylights in the kitchen/dining area – the only part of the house with hardwood floors aside from the tiny entry hall. The dining area straight ahead here was a passthrough into the kitchen. The wall on the left of the dining area was blank, backing to the garage.
Walking forward and turning right, you met the kitchen, an 80s time warp with painted over melamine two tone doors without handles, and cream laminate countertops with metal trim framing the backsplash. I don’t have a true before shot of the kitchen, but here it is about a month after we moved in, after I had already replaced the kitchen sink and faucet. I think I was finally replacing the DOA garbage disposal that day – hence all the cleaning supplies out on the counter pulled out of the cabinet. Also, those appliances were not there when we moved in.
As you can see there were no handles on the cabinets, so you had to reach into the grooved edges on the doors. I appreciate the look of this more than I did then, it really could’ve been much worse. But I had grand visions of replacing the cabinet doors and counters, and creating a backsplash. That cabinet in the upper right corner never closed properly and there was facing missing from the counter to the right of the stove, just out of the frame.
Heading back out into the living room (which we really called the family room most of the time) there was pretty much a blank slate. I would have preferred hardwoods, but the carpet was that perfect level of newness where it was super soft with zero stains and had already off-gassed that overwhelming new carpet smell. There was another window in the corner of the wall on the right (see floor plan above if confused). The ceilings had been vaulted at some point, making the rooms feel airy, and allowing light to be shared since the wall between the kitchen and living room didn’t extend all the way up to the vault and it let the light from the kitchen skylights reach the living room.
Turning left to continue down the hall, door number one on the right led into spare bedroom number 1. This is after we repainted it (a better) off-white to become a nursery. The bedrooms were all basically move-in ready, blank slates like the living room. The windows were original to the house, and weird sliders – good for privacy since it was a single-story house, but the bedrooms were always dark – good for sleep, but not for office space, as we intended to use them. The closet doors had been updated.
Continuing down the hallway, the guest bath was on the left. It was a full bath that was half good. By that I mean it was partially updated with a newish vanity cabinet, that you’ll notice instead of being centered was pushed to the right, leaving an awkward gap topped off with a wall-to-wall granite counter. The towel rack was clear plastic and the shower surround and glass doors were original.
The back door on the right in the hallway led to bedroom number 2, which was bigger than the first spare bedroom. Basic stuff, original bi-fold closet doors. The window had a crack in the left sliding pane.
The last door on the left of the hallway led to the master bedroom. This was taken from the corner by the closet – you walked in through the door that’s open on the left. It was a nice sized room – not huge, big enough for our king sized bed to fit on the back wall of the bedroom but not much else. Old sliding glass doors led to the patio and let in good natural light. And the ceiling was vaulted too, making it feel much larger than it was.
Turning to face the front wall of the bedroom gives a sneak peek into la piece de resistance…
…our glorious master bathroom. Okay it was everything I never thought I would buy, let alone at Seattle-inflated real estate prices. But recall our home buying experience. After everything we had seen, a bathroom reno seemed like a necessary challenge in order to buy a house that was livable in any way.
I can’t find any full-view before photos of this bathroom, but that sneak peek above through the doorway from the master shows a glimpse of its move-in state. Here it is just after we started the DIY reno process on demo day. The toilet is unseated, hiding the laminate peeling up by the shower that revealed water damaged plywood. The glass sliding shower doors are already removed from the shower. Above the glass doors there was a tiny frosted window – another slider, of course.
Obvi this was almost a total gut job, and one we (okay, mostly Sean, because asthma) handled ourselves. The toilet and shower itself were keepers, but the rest had to go.
The vanity cabinet matched the kitchen cabinets – old, painted over two tone melamine numbers. With a medicine cabinet door to match?!?! The extremely sticky winterization sticker was just stuck to the counter because we moved it to check the plumbing and it just wouldn’t come back up. You can see the metal trim around the laminate edges around the vanity, it’s the same that was in the kitchen, and also the shower surrounds. At least the previous owners really committed to it for a consistent beige diner feel throughout the house.
And there she is, our first house in all her “before” glory. It was a really great little house, where we started our family and I started designing fabrics. I’ll be sharing details on all the rooms with after tours – and a bonus walkthrough tour created when we sold it!
Stay safe out there.