29 June 2012

Red Brick and Railings: Part Two

 

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On the last blog, we had a Dear Miss Cote de Texas question from a new homeowner wanting to know if she should replace the wood and iron railings with either just new iron railings OR new iron and wood railings.  As is often the case, the question of the railings was quickly forgotten while most comments were concerned with whether the homeowner should paint the red brick or leave it as is, or lime the brick.  I’m not really familiar with liming brick – but the way it was described, it does sound like a nice alternative to just painting the brick. 

Here a homeowner describes the liming process:  “This is an ancient process where agricultural lime is mixed with water, then applied to the brick. Instead of sealing in moisture like paint will, the lime allows the brick to breathe. Eventually it does wear away, but I like that “old” look. It is also totally eco friendly and cheap! A bag of lime is around $10 and it took about 8 to do our house.”

The thing I love most about the Ask Miss Cote de Texas series is the involvement of the readers.  So many great ideas were given to this homeowner that she can take with her.  She did have a meeting with an architect this week who suggested they use just one material – preferably the wood!  He gave them a lot of ideas and she said the money spent on the meeting was well worth it. 

After I had written that story, I noticed that the owner, Jen, had a blog – a combination mommy/décor blog – and one night I settled in to read it.  What I learned from her blog is that Jen is rather young and happily married to her high school sweetheart (“The Engineer”) – they have three very young children, whom she homeschools.  Religion is a very big part of their lives and her blog is a testament to her faith.  While she writes a lot about her family, her blog also tells the story of her house’s renovation.  Except it’s not the red brick house – but their old house they have just moved from!  

 

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Here is the precious house she just very recently moved from when her husband was transferred to another city.  She told me that they lived her for 8 years and thought this was their “forever” house – they had no plans to ever move from here, but fate stepped in and her husband got an offer for his dream job in another city. 

 

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Here is what the house looked like when the bought it!  They were 21 years old at the time.   The house has 5 bedrooms and three baths – and is 3800 sq. ft.  The master bedroom is downstairs – and the children’s bedrooms and a playroom are upstairs which make it a perfect family home and in later years – a great empty nester house.  As you can see, the house had been totally neglected.  The floors were rotten in three sections and the area in front of the kitchen sink actually collapsed when she was washing dishes!  You can see the plants growing in the gutters.  The house was covered in old vinyl siding – but there were shingles underneath.   The renovations took time – and lasted all 8 years they lived here.  They did what they could when they could – money and time being factors.  Everything was paid in cash, as opposed to borrowing money or using credit.  During the 8 years they lived here, they had 3 babies – who are now all homeschooled.  

NOW LISTEN:  All the work was done by her and her husband.  All of it.   She worked while babies were napping and later, long into the nights when they were sleeping.   She was pregnant with her son when she painted the entire exterior and reglazed and painted every single window.  Whew!  When he was a baby, she put him in a sling and dug up all the landscaping and planted boxwoods.   (I can barely find the energy to water my pots!)   They even replaced some of the support beams under the house.   Family and friends helped out with a few projects and they did hire someone to do some plumbing work, also under the house (thank God!!!) – but otherwise, they did all the renovations themselves.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  I’m actually laughing that she even wrote in to ask a question. She probably knows more about houses than I do!!

 

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   Here – you can see the front door that was moved from its old side entrance - they also added the porch and the gable over the front door to make a covered entrance. 

 

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Here the living room is exposed while the front door is installed. 

 

  image The door takes shape while the steps are being readied.

 

image The new gable goes up and the vinyl siding starts coming down. 

 

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And the new door is completed.  The siding is all removed and the shingles are freshly painted.  Lanterns were added along with white columns.  The ceiling on the porch is softly arched.

 

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They also made the porch swing and tied it up with thick rope.

 

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Inside the house – there aren’t any before pictures of the living room, but here are some afters!  The walls were painted a soft white – but the ceiling was striped.  A beautiful gilt French settee was slipcovered, as was the ottoman.   A white skin was laid over the seagrass rug. 

 

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Across from the settee is a slipcovered white sofa.  The fireplace is so beautiful and I love the arched nook to the left of it.  Down the hall is the library.

 

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Crystal chandelier and sconces add a touch of formality to the room – though the family used this space every day – it’s wasn’t a “do not touch” living room. 

 

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The new front door is to the left of the window.  Past the living room is the dining room.

 

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Matches and kindling for the fireplace are kept in a silver ice bucket.  I love the sconces with their macaroni beading! 

 

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Off the living room is the dining room – which is also used quite often.  Double doors lead into the room.  Jen painted a large X pattern on the walls.  And, another crystal chandelier hangs here too.  The table was bought from a friend whose family had had it for several generations.   The chandelier came from another friend – for free – the husband hated it and was glad to be rid of it!

 

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The focal point though is the large charcoal that was purchased while they were in college from a students art show.  Jen and her husband made the frame themselves and Jen faux distressed it with paint.  The tutorial for the frame is HERE

 

 

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Gold and cream striped drapes match the wall treatment.  Behind the French door is the home schoolroom.

 

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Past the living room is the library – Jen’s favorite space in her former house.  This room saw many versions during their 8 years here, but a few years ago, The Engineer turned the room from a den into a library. 

 

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Here’s another before shot – showing the faux mantel.

 

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Today, the room is wall to wall bookcases.  The ceiling is coffered – a result of sinking floors above.  While repairing the damage, new support beams were placed and are hidden in the beautiful beams!  To the left is the new staircase.   The chandelier was another great find – she found it at an antique store for $25!!! 

 

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The bookcases are on three walls – the stairs are on the 4th wall.

 

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The Engineer even included a few secret openings and compartments in the room.

 

 

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They lived with the stairs half finished for several years – but finally the job was completed and they are so pretty!!

 

 

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Another view of the staircase.

 

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All the bookcases got two brass sconces.  I spy the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew!  My favorite!  We bought Elisabeth a set of Nancy Drew and she never read any of them and refused to listen when we tried to read them to her out loud.  I’m afraid Nancy Drew wasn’t into fashion enough for her tastes.

 

 

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A closeup of the detailed work that went into the shelves. 

 

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BEFORE:  The breakfast room had green painted paneling.  The kitchen beyond had it’s original cabinetry and a checkerboard vinyl floor.

 

 

 

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It’s hard to believe this is the same room!!!  I love the collection of framed prints on the wall.

 

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Another crystal chandelier hangs over the country French table.  Jen and her husband refinished the hardwoods – and they are so pretty!!!

 

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The black and white contemporary art work becomes the focal point. 

 

 

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After the floor collapsed in front of the kitchen sink, the room was taken down to the studs.  Now, there are several versions of the kitchen.  The couple had big plans for a fabulous kitchen – down the road – but they ended up moving before that happened.  In the meantime, they built a kitchen to tide them over – and I think it’s adorable.  Before putting the house up for the sale – they changed the kitchen again in order to sell it.  You can decide which version you prefer!

 

 

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  Here is what the kitchen looked like for many years – the cabinet frames were up, but the doors weren’t.  Instead, linen curtains hid the lack of doors.  And, as always – a crystal chandelier hangs above!

 

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Mr. Engineer made the rolling center island. 

 

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  These cabinets got simple doors – until the nicer doors were bought.  Jen says she spends most of her daytime hours in this room and she really loved the way it looked.  I do too – I think it’s a charming kitchen!

 

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  The opposite side of the kitchen.  Jen made the bee hive fixture.  Notice the paneling – you can really see it’s age here.  Read the tutorial on the light fixture HERE.   Once the family found out they were moving, they decided to finish the kitchen off in order to resell it.  I still think they could have sold it just like this, but here’s what they added to it:

 

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New doors cover the cabinets.  New countertops were added – along with a subway tile backsplash.

 

 

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The new additions do look nice and more finished, but I must confess I miss the older version with the open cabinets and linen skirts!!!  Which version is your favorite?

 

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Two of the five bedrooms are downstairs.  This bedroom was converted into a guest room, along with a temporary nursery for the baby.  All the bedding was made by Jen!   She made the headboard out of closet sliding doors that came from another bedroom. 

 

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I love the fabric – it came from a friend’s leftover pile.  All the curtains were also sewn by Jen.  The mirror is a cute detail.  And of course, she and Mr. Engineer made the stick chandelier.  He also made and designed the beautiful cornice!!  He is amazing.

 

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Connecting to the room is the temporary nursery – space made from an extra closet.  The baby would have moved upstairs if they would have stayed here. 

 

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And finally, the master bedroom.  When they moved in, there was dog soiled carpet in this room.  They quickly ripped it out and replaced it with hardwoods that were stained to perfectly match existing hardwoods in the house.  Notice the beautiful curtains in this room.  AND notice the red brick dolls house!!!  What does that remind you off?  It’s amazing how much the doll house looks like their new house. 

 

 

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Pretty nightstand painted Swedish gray.

 

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In the end, Jen says:   “I loved this house! And I love that it was our little design laboratory. It represents our ideas and dreams and blood, sweat, and tears to make those ideas and dreams a reality. "Doing" that house was so much fun!  We lived there 8.5 years and it was a great 8.5 years!”

Seeing what Jen and her husband did with their old house, I am so excited to watch the progress they make with their new red brick house! 

Jen:  A MILLION thank you’s for letting us take a tour of your former house and for being a part of your new home!!!

 

77 comments:

  1. Hi Joni. All I can say is WOW! I am blown away by the quality and sophisticated pieces the homeowners chose at such a young age. The home looks like it belongs to a much older couple who have spent years adding to their home. These two are talented! Hopefully, once she gets the exterior sorted out of her new home, she will allow us to take a peek inside.

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  2. This home is incredible and so full of inspiration! I'd love to know the name of Jen's blog so I can see what kind of great ideas she comes up with for their new home. Beautiful pictures of an amazing home!

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  3. Ugh; people like that make me feel so slovenly! The whole thing is seriously beautiful; they are a very talented (and energetic!) couple. Thanks, Jen, for sharing; please let us take a look at the new house when it's done. Beth

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  4. I wish I had half that vision!! They are an amazing couple & it must have rippied her heart out (in one way) to leave that lovely home!! You didn't give us the name or a link to her blog!! I would love to follow her. Please share. What inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope they are blessed in their new home.

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  5. I love her little "forever home" and can certainly understand why she didn't want to leave but I bet she'll make her new home just as pretty.

    Please share the name of Jen's blog so we can check it out.

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  6. What a darling home! It looks as thought it came straight out of a storybook! I would love to hear what Mr. Engineer's new job is...he and his wife have missed their calling...HGTV and DIY Network could use some of their tips...perhaps a new t.v. show in the making? Thanks for sharing Joni...your attention to detail never disappoints!

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  7. I agree Joni; I don't think she needed your help on the brick house. My guess is she used you to increase her blog traffic. Smart gal.

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    1. omg. right. that's why i didn't even know she had a blog until after i did the post. i called HER and asked if i could show her pictures. actually, she is nicest person - a really really sweet person. how dare you insinuate anything other????

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    2. You have a sub-group of readers. I suggest you call them the Harpies! Can you think of a better name. They are such a talented pair. I wish my home looked half this nice!
      Karen

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    3. I agree this is one of my favorite posts and certainly my favorite of the reader's homes. I just visited her blog, she doesn't write the type of blog your readers would follow as it is about her family and faith so to insinuiate she would use you to increase her blog traffic is just ugly. Wanting what I have, such strong words and how many of us can say them and really mean them. This young girl is blessed and is a inspiration. Thanks to both of you for sharing.

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    4. Was that comment, about ulterior motives, really necessary?! I think not.
      I enjoyed this post so much. It's just one of the many things that keeps me coming back to Cote de Texas.
      And....I read Jenn's blog, which is intereting and inspirational. Good for her and The Engineer.I will be very interested in seeing what they do with the new place. To them.....rock on!

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    5. She is my friend "in real life" and would never do such. She had a legit question
      (and very humbled that it was answered by Cote de Texas), though I do agree she is one of the most talented people I know, and she knows a lot. She is one of my dearest friends, lived with her in college. She has always had such an eye for things. Most importantly, her faith and testimony are awesome! Hope you will read her blog for yourself!

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  8. So amazing! I too feel like a sloth after looking at their gorgeous home which is all the more special because they did it together. Thanks for sharing, she is incredibly talented and I would love to know the name of her blog. SJR

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  9. A house with real character.

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  10. Like you I can't even water my pots let alone all the reno, while pregnant, what the heck. I need a b-12 shot just thinking about it. The work is great and I hope she will keep us all up to date with the improvements on the new house, I am sure it is and will be amazing when they are done.

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  11. Gorgeous. The best hands down reader's home featured yet. I can not believe this was the home of 21 year olds. So sophisticated - clearly she has fantastic taste and talent. I have to say though that only in the US can 21 years-olds starting out afford a house with 3000 plus sq ft. That's just mind-boggling.

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  12. WOW -- I thought my husband and I were fixer-upper-do-it-yourselfers, but these folks put our efforts to shame. I assure you, I never did heavy landscaping while pregnant or while wearing a baby in a sling! Seriously -- they did a great job, creating just the right mix of casual elegance to bring out the best in that home.

    Also, I too read every single Nancy Drew book when I was younger. I still love Nancy!

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  13. Jonie I am so impressed with this young woman's taste and expertise! I am feeling like an underachiever at the moment!! Ha!

    xoxo

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  14. Love it - Country Living meets Domino! Nicely done! I am sure the new home will be creative and beautiful!

    Hugs,

    Laurie' m

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  15. What a beautiful, real looking home! I think this is my favorite "reader home" because it doesn't just look like someone threw up all the latest blog/design trends! Can't wait to see what they share about their new home. Love your blog Joni!

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  16. May I say right here and now I just love Jen and her husband, they remind me so much of my husband and I. We did most of the renovations to our 223-year-old house over the last 17 years and I can say I loved doing most of it. I had no problems taking a hammer to nasty old falling apart plaster and gutting a room much to my husbands’ horror sometimes. I even had a dollhouse but gave it away and my dollhouse never looked like our home. I think they did a fabulous job and will do the same with their new house. I hope she eventually shares some of the renovations with us. Thank you Jen and Joni for sharing.

    XX
    Debra~

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  17. Joni, What a beautiful job they did renovating and decorating this home. I am looking forward to seeing the transformation of the new one.

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  18. Joni, I'm the homeowner who limed her house and I wanted to let everyone know that after four years, it is still holding up very well. In fact, almost none of it has worn away. (I was actually hoping that it would start to age.) YoungHouseLove featured my house on their blog a couple of years ago, if anyone wants to see what it looks like.

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    1. I LOVE this home! I think it is MY MOST favourite of any home you have featured. It doesn't look like it was decorated by a designer, but by "real" hugely creative people. Because it was! I love that it is not decorator pefect in every way, there are some quirks, and that make it perfect.

      Also, the rooms are smaller, and I much prefer smaller and more cozy homes over big fancy ones. It is really a home I could look at over and over, wish it were in a magazine I could save! I haven't just wanted to POUR over a home and look at the details (over and over) for a long, long time.

      Louise

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    2. I would love to know your recipe for lime washed brick. Please send to brannfamily@comcast.net

      Thanks so much! I will look up your house on YHL.

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  19. Hi Joni. Thank you for taking the time to get this detail & share all its magic with us. Congrats to Jen & hubby for the beautiful work they have done. I feel so comfortable with its classicism.....had to pour over it again ( well and again!).Like many others I will be looking forward to the new property. Wx

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  20. Love love love this house!! What talent these two have!

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  21. This is a wonderful story to read. I hope she continues the story with their new home and allows us all in on their accomplishments. I am looking forward to seeing how this new red brick home is transformed.

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  22. WOW! Love this house- perhaps my favorite ever featured as it is:inspiring, tasteful, innovative, elegant and the back story is amazing!!!!
    -linda,ny

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  23. Awesome young couple with a lot of great ideas and the smarts to execute them. Great job. Now the red brick house becomes a more exciting project for us to look forward to seeing.

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  24. This home is wonderful! they have done such an awesome job in every respect and all there selves!!! Just amazing! Thanks to you and them for sharing!!

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  25. What a wonderful home! Love all they did and I can certainly appreciate all their efforts right now as we're remodeling our home as well! Loved that striped ceiling in living room and their cozy kitchen.
    Anxious to see the red brick house limed - I have done something similar with a slurry of white cement.
    Great post as always.

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  26. Fantastic! I'm so inspired. I love seeing the paint choices, the black doors, the furnishings, the mix of artwork and my favorite kitchen was without the doors and with the curtains. Thank you for sharing her blog with us, I can hardly wait to see how they transform their new red brick home.

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  27. Even though most of the work was done by the couple themselves, where did 21 yr olds fresh out of school get the money to do all of this?!!! Must be nice to have financial help from the family when first starting out.

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    1. If you read their blog you would see that these are hard working people who use what God gives them. They spend and save wisely. No need to assume they were getting financial help.

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    2. I think that it is ridiculously bold of you to assume that they receive "financial help from family"!

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  28. I just spent an hour reading this young woman's blog. It is impossible to do without sharing tearfully in her trials and her joys. She has the cutest children you will ever see and the sweetest husband. I hope everyone will visit the blog and get to know this exceptional woman through her own words.

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  29. What a beautiful home they had. Great taste in decorating for such a young couple. I am sure their home sold very quickly. I can't wait to see what they do in their new house. I did prefer the kitchen with the curtains but do agree they needed to put the doors on the cabinets to appeal to most of the market.

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  30. This is a beautiful home and I especially loved the charming kitchen with open shelves and linen curtains...if it had a honed marble countertop it would have been perfect (for me)!!! Can't wait to read her blog and many thanks to you Joni for showing your readers these beautiful homes. darlene

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  31. Jen did a fabulous job with her house and I admire her for being able to do it along with babies and homeschooling duties. I would hate to leave that pretty house. You have wonderful taste Jen.
    Sam

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  32. Joni, without a doubt this is the best post you have done in a long while. I am so glad you gave us the back story that puts everything in context. This couple is so talented and they have acquired some lovely things to begin using in their new home. I hope they will send you progress reports and we ultimately get to see the transformation of the new house. The hardwood floors were so beautiful in the old house and the living room warm and inviting. Jen and the Engineer are quite the team.

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  33. SO much personality in this home, sometimes that gets lost. I love both versions of the kitchen, too, very charming. I really like the subway tiles so if I had to pick one it would be the second. Love the rolling island he made.

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  34. This is my favorite kind of post! Those two don't need advice from anyone! Love everything they did and the kitchen was great before, but to sale, I agree they needed to change it. 5 stars!

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  35. What a beautiful home and testament to well done DIY. I am so inspired after seeing these before and afters - thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to heading over to Jen's blog!

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  36. Joni, Thanks for showing us Jen and her husband's first home. I love what they did -- and that they did it themselves while having and raising and homeschooling 3 kids! I'm so impressed. I know their beautiful brick house is in good hands. I'd love to see the changes that they make there too.

    Jane

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  37. Ahh the energy of 21 years olds + thanks for featuring their grand home. Joni,I adore reading your blog. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  38. I am absolutely flabbergasted! What an amazing, tasteful, creative job they did on their first home, and at such a young age, while having 3 babies!!??!! It makes me ashamed of the wreck my house is.

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  39. So, as it turns out, this is a story about so much more than a house! What an inspiration! Almost can't fathom such a young couple renovating their first home themselves, and paying cash to do it -- and at a time when the motto seemed to be "buy as much as the bank will finance." I am SO impressed! And what a beautiful job they did. Great story.

    BTW: I'm a limewash fan, much more so than paint, especially when the brick shows through. Did someone already share this link from younghouselove? www.younghouselove.com/2010/02/reader-redesign-curb-appeal-insanity/

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  40. What an absolutely amazing home! It's gorgeous, but also real and attainable - a real home for real people. It is clear that this family put their heart and soul into it, so I have no doubt that the same will happen with the new house. But I would have had to shed a few tears to let the old one go. Hopefully it has a brand new family giving it the love it deserves. Now I need to scroll back up, is there a link to Jen's blog? I need to check it out!

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  41. Absolutely LOVE this home! Very inspirational. I think I'll take a nap before I tackled mine. ;-)

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  42. What a great house. I loved every detail. That library is an amazing transformation. And I'd take either version of the kitchen.

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  43. This is a great read. Both of their homes are amazing. I can only imagine what they will do with the new brick home! WOW. I like both kitchens. I can understand the changes when they put it on the market. The thinking was to approach the most buyers.

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  44. I appreciate the way you shared their story. We the readers get to watch a new friendship being, Aloha Raliegh

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  45. All I can say is WOW!!!! Now I have to follow her blog to see what she does to the new house. I know it will be great. That one was amazing.

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  46. Back again to drool over the transformation- amazing!!!
    Jen's blog is so sweet!
    -linda,ny

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  47. Hi Joni!

    Before I start; I just want you to know that something funky is going on with the font on your emailed blog post. Once I clicked on the title....everything was fine! Just wanted you to know!

    Of course; I agree with you! The kitchen with the open shelves and the skirts was far and away my favorite!! Who knows about resale, but I adored it!!

    I am hoping the architect told her to match the wood railing. I am pretty certain that that is original and it sure looks authentic and appropriate.

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  48. Loved this post! Reminds me of me and my husband... we did a similar (although nowhere near as fanstastic) renovation on an older home. It is very possible to do this kind of work even with a small budget, if you do it all yourselves. Some people go out to restaurants and take vacations, we sand floors and demolish walls! I also loved the kitchen with the linen curtains.

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  49. Amazing transformations! Even though we didn't have the "before" photos of the inside. Still, I can imagine. I so wish I could make a house "sing" like you who are so talented in design and decor. I can emulate a photo or recreate a look that I 've seen. But to take a house like that and take it to another level takes such vision and talent. I guess that is why we hire you designers. Beautiful and inspiring post, Joni!

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  50. One of my favorite houses you have ever shown.

    Sheila

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  51. Fantastic houses collection, excellent design. Thanks a lot for sharing these awesome post with us !!

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  52. Such an incredible makeover... As much as I like the newer kitchen for it's practicality... there was something about those linen covered cupboards that looked so beautiful, French and romantic... Happy Sunday Joni... xv

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  53. Thank you for sharing this story. It truly is one of the best houses you have ever shown, I think because the couple did their own work and put their whole heart and soul into their home. What a wonderful young couple and what a terrific work ethic they have.

    Kate

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  54. What a beautiful home and story.....Loved your narrative.

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  55. Loved this post SO much, and can't wait to follow the homeowners transform the gorgeous brick house! What a work ethic, and what talent! And with 3 children - - I'm so impressed!

    Jennifer

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  56. This is one of the best houses I have seen, truly amazing.What a story.This is a home with "soul".

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  57. Joni, thanks for this post. You did such a wonderful job presenting both the homeowner and her amazing home that I was totally absorbed for about 30 minutes.
    Knowing the hard work that went into refurbishing this home makes it all the more beautiful and real!

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  58. Jen's home is artistic and fresh but traditional...it WILL be fun to see what she does next. And Joni....I love your writing and organization.

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  59. Joni,
    Thank you so much for sharing our home on your blog. What an exciting and unexpected treat this has been. You are such an encouragement to me. And a big thank you to your sweet readers - their comments have been incredibly supportive and uplifting! What a fantastic experience this has been. Many, many thank yous to everyone!!!

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  60. What an amazing job they did!!!!
    I love that she used lime instead of paint! My grandmother's house in Ukraine (like all other old houses there) was painted using lime and water. My grandma will freshen it up every other year (one summer I paint it for her, just have to wear gloves as lime 'eats' you skin), but I like the idea of let the red brick show after lime washes off in a while.

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  61. The library is amazing! The detail on those shelves is incredible; such an attractive way to create adjustable shelves. It reminds me of that beautiful "birds beak" shelving I've only seen once before in Martha Stewart's kitchen: http://www.marthastewart.com/274221/marthas-50-top-kitchen-tips/@center/277007/kitchen-design#/216641

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  62. Some people just have a gift. So nice to see someone taking a leap and realizing her visions rather than just daydreaming about it. Good for her (and her husband)!

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  63. I'm so proud to say that I personally know Jen and The Engineer and consider them dear friends. Jen especially has been such a blessing to me, supporting in many ways my passion for photography. I'm happy Jen's former home has been "officially" shared here for everyone to enjoy (and drool over!) Both her and her husband have a BIG God who provides for all their needs, and it's been exciting to witness the ways that He has provided for their desires as well. I know that their faith, saving, hard work, and love have paid off in the past, and I know it will only continue to do the same in the future. Blessings to you, dear Jen! And thanks, Joni, for sharing my friend's story and home. She's an awesome lady. :)
    -Rebekah

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  64. Organized content is the best way to display or post an article, thank you for making it easy to digest your post.


    familyplanningoxnard

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  65. I love the birds beak detailing on the shelving. This technique had all but died until Martha Stewart revived it.

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  66. Hi - I have followed Jen's blog (and your's) for several years, and I am THRILLED to see her home featured here. I have long thought she was one of the best-kept secrets in the blog world - I have many times been inspired by projects, ideas, and good, old-fashioned work ethic. So glad her secret's out!

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