Tuesday, September 13, 2016


My first house is on the market again.  The couple who bought it from us have decided to move and the photos of all the changes they made to the house prompted this entry.

One of my first blog entries was RE-modeling: my first home  about the changes we had made to our 1st home from the time we bought it in 1997 to when we put it on the market in 2010.  I brought up there that I felt I had gotten into a rut with our first home's style.  We hadn't made any updates or changes for several years before we sold and at the time of writing that entry, I felt its style had become dated and a bit too "old lady-ish,"  Seeing the changes the new owners made only confirmed I was right.  Everything they changed has made the house seem younger and fresher.  

FACE LIFT.   The new owners didn't change the facade that much.  They took down a metal and stone fence in the front,  painted the house a grayer green color, replaced the grass with another variety, added some white flower beds, an American flag/pole, and fenced in a side yard we had abandoned to our neighbor's use. They also changed the windows from the original single pane sash windows to more modern ones.  But, I promise the changes get more dramatic.

NOTHING MAJOR YET.  In the living room, the new owner changed the paint color to a more masculine neutral color, removed the antique chandelier, added recessed lights and removed a vintage gas faux fireplace to add in white storage casework shelving.

BYE BYE WALL. Here's where the changes become more dramatic.  The new owners took down a solid wall separating the kitchen from the dining room and replaced it with a kitchen peninsula/bar.    They also replaced the French Country blue & yellow color scheme for beige, white & dark wood.
FEELING BIGGER WITHOUT ADDING ANY SQUARE FOOTAGE.   Taking down the wall had the effect of making the kitchen space look and feel bigger without adding any actual square footage.  We had considered taking down the wall ourselves, but we liked the separation between the dining and kitchen space.  Even now, it's hard for me to let that inclination for the old, more formal style of separating living spaces totally go, but looking at what the new owners did, I think it looks great & very modern.  
STEALING SPACE FROM 2 CLOSETS.  The owners got rid of the laundry nook we hid as a bar space next to the refrigerator and then took a small closet space from the guest room to have room for commercial grade appliances and more storage.   Back in 2002, we had an architect draw up addition plans for this house and he suggested taking over the closet from the guestroom & the laundry niche like this, but we were also going to add a laundry room to the house in those plans.  My husband and I love how this turned out, but we can't spot any added square footage so we're wondering where they placed their laundry machines?  We are a bit curious about it.  
ANOTHER VIEW.  The new owners added a glass door to separate the front of the house from the sunroom in the back. 

BUSY VS. SIMPLE.   I got the black & white toile I used in the bedroom back in the late 90s after we moved in and I kept it until we sold the house.  To be honest, I still like the pattern, but I also now recognize how busy it is, especially on the curtains & the bed set.  I appreciate the appeal of the simple, strong white linens and furnishings against a neutral wall that the new owners have.  It is one of the ways the house feels so much younger now.

French Country Antique vs. Clean & Modern. I never really liked this pink in our daughter's bedroom, but even taking the color out of it, our old furniture & the window treatments seem so busy.  Even with more furniture taking up space in the bedroom now, it feels cleaner because they simplified the color scheme & the furniture.  

NOT A LOT OF CHANGES HERE.  They painted the cabinet a lighter color, removed a mirrored medicine cabinet and replaced it with regular mirror & 2 scones. 

Small changes, big impact.  In my entry, RE-modeling: my first home I talked about updating the hall bathroom from the version we purchased in 1997 to the green and white version we turned over to the new owners.  For the most part, the bathroom stayed very similar to how we left it.  The main 2 changes are the new paint color on the walls and the mirrored medicine cabinet over the sink.  There is another very subtle change.  They replaced the traditional sink faucet set with hot and cold labeled handles with a modern set with a curved faucet. 

From traditional to modern, mostly achieved through a change in color palette.
GUEST ROOM.  Aside from color, the big change is the small closet that was in the corner of the room is now gone & the space has been given to the kitchen.

CEILING, FLOOR, PALETTE.    The sunroom had light beige 12x12 tile floor when we owned it however, we also had 2 very large sisal rugs on both halves so not much of the tile floor showed. Our realtor asked us to pull them up so people could see the floors, but we brought in a smaller rug on one side because the floor just seemed too cold without them to me.  The new owners have replaced the tile with wood planks painted a glossy grayish blue.   It's a really fun change.  I wish I had tried it when we had the house.  They also added white beadboard on the ceilings and took down the curtains for a cleaner look.  I always loved our sunroom, so I am crazy about the white and grayish blue color scheme they have going.
BYE BYE DECK, HELLO CONCRETE PADS & PATHWAYS. The new owners traded out a deck for a  couple concrete pads & a pathway.  They also took out several large shrubs & a small tree to put in a traditional style lampost in the backyard.

I greatly enjoyed seeing all the changes the new owners made to our old house.  It's obvious the house has been well cared for and appreciated.   Hopefully, it will make a happy home for the next owners.