COTE DE TEXAS: OUR MOST POPULAR RENOVATION STORY - EIGHT YEARS LATER!!!

OUR MOST POPULAR RENOVATION STORY - EIGHT YEARS LATER!!!





Over eight years ago, I wrote a story that became one of the most popular on Cote de Texas.  It was about a newly single empty-nester who had bought a foreclosed house in the suburbs – a true 90s styled ranchburger.  The owner was in a rush to move into the never-before updated home, but it desperately first needed remodeling.

Readers were dumbfounded by the fact that the remodeling took only 20 days.  Granted, the owner had planned everything out long before she obtained the keys to her new house.  Once all the papers were signed – she was ready to go, there wasn’t a day to waste.
 
New hardwoods, new paint, a new kitchen island, remodeled bathroom, and key lighting fixtures all helped turn the boring, rundown house into such a cute and stylish home.  Everyone who read the story saw that what the owner did was feasible and reasonable and something they perhaps could do one day too.  In short, everyone related to the story. 

For years, it remained the highest rated and most read story on the blog.  There were over 200 comments about the house, some refusing to believe it was completed in just 20 days.   Even the once very popular forum, Garden Web, discussed the house in detail.   While the owner was no designer or builder, she also didn’t do any labor herself – instead she hired all subs herself and made all the decisions.
 
After a long while, all the commentary quieted down, but then the magazines became interested – and the house ended up in “Renovation Style.” 
Most surprising was that after all that energy, the owner only lived in the house for just a few years.  She moved across country to the west coast to help her ailing parent.   After two years she moved back to where she started – on the east coast in Falls Church, Virginia.

Buying a house on the east coast created major sticker shock compared to Texas – it takes a lot more money for a lot less house.  But in Virginia, she does have a basement where she stores some of her excess goodies taken from the Texas house.   Her new house was built in 1959, just a year before the owner was born.  It is located on a 1/2 acre lot which will not be landscaped until this summer.

Still – the home owner wanted to share her new house with all of us.  Eight years later, what has changed?

First, let’s start with a reminding look back at the house in Houston: before, during, and after.  


AFTER:   The homeowner cleaned up the landscaping, painted and added outdoor lanterns to the corner lot house. 


Inside, new dark hardwoods made the house look more cohesive.


BEFORE:   The study had unattractive and dated paneling and carpet.  Both were removed and hardwood was put down, along with a new chandelier.



AFTER:  Styled by Bonnie Broten for Meredith Publishing – the study is unrecognizable with the paneling and carpet.


Real Estate photograph of the study.





BEFORE:   The dining room was painted maroon with white trim.  The door to the kitchen was walled off.


AFTER:   Real Estate Photos.   Curtains with red trim, skirted table, and new chandelier.  Such a difference!


Styled by Bonnie for the magazine.



BEFORE:   The biggest change with the kitchen/family room.  The carpet and tile were replaced with the hardwoods.  Walls were painted and a new kitchen island was built.  The terrible light fixture in the kitchen was replaced with two antique lanterns.   New backsplash.




BEFORE:   The view into the family room.



AFTER:   This kitchen is fabulous!!!   New granite, new island.  Love the lanterns.   Notice the door to the pantry.



The view towards the breakfast room.




Real Estate Photo:  I’m sure the kitchen was a big selling point when our homeowner put the house on the market. 


Close up of the pantry door.  Notice the island corbels.


Styled by Bonnie for the magazine.



Linen slipcovers – nice choice over white.   Notice those black lamps.   You’ll see them again shortly.



View towards the back courtyard and master bedroom.




Styled by Bonnie.  She rearranged the furniture for the magazine and took away the TV.  Notice the shutters, you will see those again soon, along with the sconces.




And styled by Bonnie – here she moved the lamps for the photoshoot.



And for the Real Estate photos, a photo after living in the house for a few years shows the homeowner settled in.   So cute!!!!



BEFORE:  The master bedroom suite.



Styled by Bonnie Broten.



Across from the bed, styled by Bonnie.



And again, the sitting room styled by Bonnie!



Real Estate photos shows this beautiful armoire!!!  Love!!!



Styled by Bonnie – this bathroom was also updated by our homeowner with a new shower and more.


BEFORE:   The courtyard was just awful!!!!




The patio got a new slate floor and new furniture with plants – in another area, a stone fountain was added.

To read everything about this house, the original story and the story about the photoshoot go HERE and HERE.

After a few years, the owner moved to the west coast – selling her house for a nice profit.

The people who bought the house lived here for only a few years too, putting it back up for sale.    A few photos from that sale are interesting – the house was filled with decorative elements left by our original renovator:



The dining room is now more contemporary with a glass and mirror table.  The chandelier was left our owner, as were the linen curtains with the red trim.



In the kitchen, the pantry door remained but the lanterns were taken by our owner.  The new owner bought her own lanterns.


The family room has changed the most.  The red and white toile curtains remained, but there are new, very contemporary fixtures in the sitting area and breakfast area.

So, whatever happened to our owner?   After a few years on the west coast she moved back to the Washington DC area where she had once lived.  She bought a house in Falls Church, Va.   Let’s see what the renovation of her 1959 house looks like!!!


The 1959 split level house.



This side shows the bottom level.  The white wood clad room with the large bay window looks like an add-on.   This is the family room.
Our owner will not landscape until after this spring.

Let’s go inside!


BEFORE:   The foyer is rather plain with tiled floors.  At its left is the living room and further down is the kitchen.



DURING:   The foyer, from the opposite direction – facing the kitchen, with the living room on the left.   Straight ahead is the kitchen.  The stairs are on the right.   As you can see, the tiles are now gone replaced with the newly laid hardwoods.




BEFORE:   The house was very clean, but just needed an update.   The large living room overlooks the front yard.   Our owner decided she preferred a large dining room more than a large living room – so this will become the dining room.




Off the living room is the dining room – with no windows.  It’s easy to see why our owner wanted it moved.  Small and closed in – I think once the house was added on to, this room lost its windows.




And here, the dining room seen off the family room, with the large bay window, which I think was an add-on.  The glass panels that divide the dining room from the family room were removed by our home owner.  And this wall – between the kitchen and the dining room was completely removed in order to make these two rooms – just one large one.



The kitchen was really blah.  Remodeled recently – it was just boring, boring, boring with the diagonally laid white tile floor with dark grout!
 


The wall between the dining room and kitchen – this wall was completely removed including this portion of the cabinetry.

To the right is another door that leads into the family room – this was closed off and a pantry was added here.



DURING:   The kitchen was remolded, new cabinets were needed due to damage.
  Additionally, an island was built, along with a new backsplash behind the stove.



DURING:   The wall between the kitchen and formal dining room was taken down in order to bring light and space into the formerly dark room.  Through the dining room is the garage.

Here, you can see our homeowner has taken up the white tile in the kitchen and laid down wood floor which is threaded into the existing wood floor in the dining room.

DECOR NOTE:  As in the Houston house, again, the home owner recognizes the importance of  having one main floor throughout the public areas.

In this house, the white tile was removed as was the black tile in foyer – both of which are now hardwood.



DURING:   Another view of the dining room through to the family room showing the newly dark stained floors.   After the renovation – this became the breakfast room, open to the kitchen.  To the left is the family room with the large bay window.


DURING:  Another view of the front living room, now becoming the formal dining room.
Let’s look at the After photographs.

What I like about the house is that it is warm and cozy and decidedly NOT contemporary or modern!

It’s a house with French and English antiques but it is not snobby or hands-off.  

It’s a house where a single mother might live, anticipating a house full of grandchildren.

And it’s a story of downsizing.   Our owner went from a large, two story house where her children grew up, to a smaller one story house in Houston and now here – a split level.



AFTER:  A view of the new foyer, with its new front door – painted black.    On the wall is a hanging shelf and mirror and above a new light fixture. 



And a close up.



AFTER:    The once living room is now the formal dining room.   Above the fireplace is a painting that was in the Houston home, the sconces were also from that house.   Otherwise, most is new to readers:  a classic wood table, chinoiserie chairs in a contemporary green & white print, and a new chandelier.



Against this wall is an antique chest and the doorway into the newly expanded kitchen/breakfast area.

The homeowner’s collection of décor looks good here, the green glass bottles, the wicker, the art work – it just adds so much to the house.



Isn’t this pretty?!!?

Through the enlarged opening is the newly renovated kitchen and the breakfast room.   Over the new island are two new lanterns.   While, over the breakfast table is one of the antique lanterns from the Houston house!!!
AND the two shutters – also came from the Houston House’s family room.
The cabinets are painted white and there are white marble countertops and a new stove.

DECOR NOTE:
 Notice how instead of using the two antique lanterns, she added the new ones in the kitchen and just one in the breakfast room.  It gives the house a bit of an updated touch.  Good choice.


DECOR NOTE #2:   Notice how fabulous the touch of pine from the shutters looks mixed with all the white.  It’s just the perfect mix – makes the kitchen look custom but not flashy. 



It just looks sooooo good. 




The view from the new dining room, through the breakfast room to the family room. 



The newly remodeled kitchen.  New stove with new backsplash and stainless hood, along with the two new pendant lights.
Décor Note:  Again, instead of choosing a contemporary kitchen in a trendy color like navy or green, this décor will last for a long time. 
 
Décor Note #2:  Spend a little bit extra on a cabinet door for your refrigerator – it looks like a million $$!



Looking from the kitchen into the breakfast area where there is a wood dresser next to the garage door. The two shutters cover the pantry. 



Love this collection of wicker bottles and flasks!!



Too cute!



Styling….





and more styling!  Who needs Bonnie? 

Just kidding!!!  Bonnie is legendary in the photoshoot/styling business.  Can’t imagine how many stories of hers have been published.  Thousands and thousands!



Through the breakfast room to the family room, with the large bay window unit.   I love the way the home owner adds all the brown furniture.

Décor Note:   Brown antiques look new all of a sudden!   Everything has been bleached and gray and white for so long, that the dark wood furniture looks fresh and chic. 
 


Styling on the brown antique.



A view into the family room  - want to go inside?





The linen slips made the move, with the addition of classic French chairs, a seagrass rug and lamps which were once in the master bedroom.  At the back of the room is a bench.




What a view!!!!   The bench becomes a window seat with new pillows.  Love this!



And the view towards the kitchen.




Coffee table styling.

Décor Note:  A tray corrals everything and makes the table look a bit neater.



Tablescape.





And more English and French furniture, mixed.

Décor Note:  Shop garage sales and estate sales to pick up dark wood furniture.  It’s such a better value and investment than shopping at places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, etc.  for their gray furniture made in the orient.  These two pieces of furniture will be around a much longer time than something from TJ Maxx. 

NOTE:   I’m not saying anything bad if you shop there.  I do too.   I buy cheap furniture and accessories all the time.  BUT, for the same money – I should go to estate sales and look for bargain vintage furniture instead.   I used to do that all the time – now it’s just easier to look at Wayfair online than get up at 7 am on a Saturday and go to a yard sale.


Bedrooms & Bathrooms:
In the split level, there are several bedrooms and bathrooms.  All have hardwood floors which is a real positive for the homeowner.  All she had to do was stain the floors darker.



The first bedroom has two beautiful windows and is rather large.   This was turned into one of the guest rooms.



And here is the guest room filled with objects you might recognize from the Houston house – the lamps, now painted blue, the painting that Bonnie moved to over the mantel, and the checked bedding.




Across from the bed are two bamboo chairs and an antique demi-lune.  Dark floors mixed with seagrass.  Love this vignette!
Love all her paintings!



And this bathroom, for the guest room.  Again, clean and pretty, but dated.



This bathroom was completely gutted and subway tile was laid up to the ceiling.  New white tub and white marble floor.




AFTER:   marble topped vanity mixed with bamboo mirror and graphic blue and white wallpaper, making the bedroom and bathroom, gender neutral – as opposed to before with its feminine pink.



After – the tub with the subway tiled wall and its darling window with a wreath.




And the master bedroom.




The master bath is tiny.




To enlarge it, space was taken from the bedroom’s closet and room.





This bedroom became the master suite.



There is now room for a double sink.

                                



And a huge walk in shower with concrete tiles and metal & glass shower door.

DECOR NOTE:   A bathroom is the perfect place to take it up a notch.  It’s a small contained space – while the entire house reads classic, this bath says updated.  Trendy concrete tiles and metal door enhance this house’s values.



Another view. 





Love!





BEFORE:  This small bedroom becomes the closet for the master bedroom, since its closet was used for extra bathroom space.





And here is the dressing room – in black and white!

It’s closet door was replaced with a barn style door - a nice way to update 50s/60s style sliding doors.



The other side of the room with shelves filled with clothes and accessories. 




Clothes hang from racks around the room.

DECOR NOTE:   This is a great idea to deal with mid century ranchburgers with tiny closets. 




A visitor to the courtyard, which will be getting a makeover this spring.



AWWW – Too sweet!




A huge thank you to our homeowner!!!


I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the latest chapter of renovations!!!!

58 comments :

  1. It's funny, I was thinking about this renovation a few weeks ago, and did my level best to find the house to see if she had made any changes that had been published! Would have never thought she moved all the way to WV! Great changes made, love the kitchen, love the shower door, love the scalloped wicker lampshades on the buffet lamps in the dining room! Wonder where she found those beauties?

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      HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATSAPP NUMBER +2348124644470

      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me.... I'm ann Earnis from norht carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whasapp +2348124644470 or call. PRIEST WISDOM Blog Website: https://supernaturalspell1.blogspot.com/ or http://reallovespellcaster.over-blog.com

      Delete
  2. Holy moly!!! This woman designed this all by herself?? She has SKILLS! And, can she come to my house next?

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    Replies
    1. HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATSAPP NUMBER +2348124644470

      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me.... I'm ann Earnis from norht carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whasapp +2348124644470 or call. PRIEST WISDOM Blog Website: https://supernaturalspell1.blogspot.com/ or http://reallovespellcaster.over-blog.com

      Delete
  3. Lovely! One small personal difference: I have a hard time with formal dining rooms when next to breakfast rooms. I would turn the breakfast room into a potting area with bookshelves for garden books, or upscale mud room, or just have two wing chairs and a small table for coffee- and use the dining room every day!

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  4. I love how the home owner embraces change. She incorporates old with new and makes it her own style. Beautiful renovation. I especially love the Texas house.

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  5. that was so fun, and like you said, so relatable. I love all your posts, from the historical and high-bred to the everyday house here in the States. When I see a new post from you, I set aside whatever I am doing and dive in! Thank you for your hard work in creating these blogs.

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  6. Many of the photos aren't appearing for me, is that the case for anyone else? I'm seeing greyed out boxes!

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  7. So disappointed, not a single photo from the new house is showing up. All of the realtor's shots from the old house are missing as well. I would love to see it!

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    1. Ditto, can only see a few of the pics......please re-post!!!

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    2. Weird - maybe open up this post and wait a while? I could see every one of them - this was a really fun post to read!

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  8. Thanks, Joni. This is a beautiful house! My fave has always been the Houston home, but this is just as beautiful.

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  9. 90% of all photos meant to be incorporated in this article, from beginning to end, are NOT showing up. Just grey circles with the mathematical 'subtraction' sign in the middle of the grey circle. What is going on? !!! Very frustrating. Also want to make comment with my name and email, but even that function not working. So will put it here. Mary E. Rothwell, Durango, Colorado

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  10. Oh, I wish I could see the photos! Help Joni!

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  11. Photos not working for me, either.

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  12. There are no photos available for view....problem??

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  13. OK IT IS FIXED - I HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SEE, Y'ALL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ISSUES I HAVE WITH THE BLOGGING PLATFORM!!!!

    OY!!!!!

    It gives me nightmares seriously!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank You for fixing this Joni!!!!! So excited to see all the photos, what a talented lady! Thanks again for your amazing attention to detail, so fun.

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  14. Joni, I just loved this post!!!!

    Thank you!!

    Renee in NorCal

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  15. I went back and re-read the older posts. So interesting. But: WHY DIDN'T SOMEBODY PUT THE TOILET LID DOWN????
    Also, shut the upper cabinet doors in the kitchen.
    It is so pretty, and with such attention to detail, that it annoys me that the photographer didn't see little things as well.
    Speaking of photographers and details, what a difference between the real estate shots and the magazine photos. Wow. Such a lesson in taste there. The styling, yes but also the lighting, the angles....
    I like that things reappear from one house to the next. They should--we should furnish our homes with what we love, and if we move for one reason or another that doesn't mean we stop loving our stuff. The things that are passed down or that have a story behind them, those are what makes the four walls into a home.

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    1. I noticed that toilet seats - I think that's just the owner taking photos in her own house - with open seats. I don't keep my down 27/7 - do you? I'm just thrilled that Ben is trained to put the seat down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. So Ben is trained to put the seat down, but you are not?

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    3. Absolutely. I put down the lid before flushing. Search for "toilet plume" or read this: https://www.businessinsider.com/flushing-toilet-seat-up-sprays-water-germs-2016-3?IR=T

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    4. I can ONLY imagine. I've heard the back of the toilet too = never put anything on it. UGH!!!

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    5. Okay, listen people: The toilet lid must be closed AT ALL TIMES the toilet is not in use!!! Not just for photos. Think about it. Why is the lid there? Do you think think the underside of the lid is attractive - with bolts, screws, etc? Yes, Joni, I do close the lid every single time. And my children (male and female) were trained to do this. Every. Single. Time. And I did this long before I ever heard of Feng Shui.

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    6. EVERY single time - and all too often have to go back after the hubs to close. Huge pet-peeve of mine too - bleck - toilets are so nasty - bad feng shui not to close those lids, people! : - )

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  16. This was a wonderful article. Thank you.

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  17. I cannot quit looking over and over and over. You are incredible Joni. I will be studying these pictures for a long time. Thank you for your work.

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  18. I enjoyed this beginning to end! Had some issues w the photos but seems resolved now? I still have a magazine I kept with her Texas house. It has always been a huge inspiration for me! Marcy

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    1. Yes. It's a huge issue with Live Writer, the blogging platform I use. Huge issue. The company that wrote the platform, never updated it so a group from MIT got permission to rewrite the code. Now a few years later, there are issues and it's a real mess. OH well.

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  19. I am able to see all of the great photos and LOVE every thing about this update. Makes my day to have a new post from you!

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  20. Love this Joni! Thank you for this incredibly fun to read post, I know it was a labor of love. I so enjoyed seeing the transformation, and must I point out that in the first house, Bonnie certainly wore it better. Way better. Her eye and ability of mixing antiques and contemporary skills are superb. I'll come back and look at this post a few times again, I am sure.

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  21. Toilet lids up really bothered me and spoilt the lovely new bathroom shots. Toilet lids should always be closed for photos PLEASE!

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  22. All so pretty! Love the color of white she used in the family room - does she share the name of the color?
    Great post. Kay

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  23. Joni, thanks for this post. It is always interesting to see how people's housing needs evolve over time and how they are dealt with. I grew up in a split level so I've always liked them but I know some avoid them like the plague. I can't say I personally like turning the living room into a way oversized dining room which is then open and adjacent to a breakfast room, but I wasn't asked my opinion! I think I would have kept the living room as living space and then used the breakfast area as more of a morning room and then put the dining area in front of those windows in the back where that bench is. I would love to have that leafy view when dining. I wonder if the homeowner did anything to the exterior front. Those two windows on the bedroom wing are crying out for shutters!

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    1. No one asked me - but if I lived here, I would have made the front room a library with a center table for meals and to double as a library table, piled with books and magazines. I would have lined the walls with built in bookcases. But that's just because I don't entertain with meals. lol. If you have big Christmas dinners - you need the table space.

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    2. Making it a library space would be a good idea. I liked what you said about the "brown" furniture, too. Here in Denver, it's not very popular so some friends have made some amazing finds on Craigslist, including a set of eight antique French dining chairs for a song and a beautiful antique desk for $200. You can barely buy something at Cost Plus World Market for that!

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  24. Thank you for posting this! The original post was the way I found your blog. I've always loved everything in that house. I live in Houston and just got back in my home after the devastation of Harvey...love your blog. You have been a great inspiration as I put my life back together this past year and a half. Thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF PRIEST WISDOM CONTACT ON WHATSAPP NUMBER +2348124644470

      This is my testimony about the good work of priest wisdom who help me.... I'm ann Earnis from norht carolina USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to, by this world best spell caster that brought back my husband who left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told me have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to their problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or directly on whasapp +2348124644470 or call. PRIEST WISDOM Blog Website: https://supernaturalspell1.blogspot.com/ or http://reallovespellcaster.over-blog.com ......

      Delete
  25. Niculina McClanahanFebruary 5, 2019 at 3:07 AM

    Another great post taking us on a life journey of this remarkable woman- I am so impressed by her ability to transform a house in a home for herself, I wish I’d be so gifted. I agree with you that the dark wood furniture has an embedded, timeless energy. IMO a gorgeous dark wood piece of furniture anchors the room and if it’s big enough can be used as a focal point as it can be almost magnetic.Thank you again for a great read!

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  26. Thank you for posting this. What a transformation and very inspiring! Amazing what this talented lady did on her own!

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  27. Wonderful post! Was so excited to see a new post from you today!

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  28. Thoroughly enjoyed this update of your earlier post. I now live minutes from the homeowner and wish that I could tell her in person how much I admire her style and resourcefulness. Very impressive remodeling. Thanks for sharing with us, Joni and the homeowner.
    AnneHH

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  29. Love it. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  30. Hey,
    This will surely help my home too, thanks for sharing these images.
    Julia Daisy Recently Posted...free tv shows online full episodes without downloading

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello Joni,
    You may already know your great and lovely blog site has been hijacked by totally unrelated and sleazy posters, however, just in case you're not, I'd ask a friendly geek on how best to avoid this type of thing happening. All the very best, Ian from Downunder.

    ReplyDelete
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  33. Very nice. The only thing I would have kept is that built in wood in the previous study. Perhaps paint? That seemed unique and useful to me. The reno looked average.

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  34. I really enjoyed your post this morning. Seeing the same home decorated two ways to suit the style of two different owners was quite interesting. I will be rereading this post. There is a lot here to absorb.

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  36. I can't be quiet about this any longer. Am I the only one?? Why, oh why, OH WHY do people not put the toilet lid down before taking photos?!?! It looks AWFUL up! Eeeegads. SUCH an easy thing to do - Put. It. Down. It absolutely ruins a photo for me, no matter how otherwise gorgeous a room could be. I see it all the time - here, in magazines. Why oh why??? It's like fingernails screeching on a blackboard to me - that grating. It RUINS the shot!

    Thank you. I feel better for getting that off my chest. Bathroom shots with it up are awful. Absolutely awful.

    Dean

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  37. This woman is amazing! How interesting to see how she adapts her beautiful timeless pieces to new environments and mixes her old stand-bys with new finds and fabrics. She obviously has a keen eye for design and had the vision to know how to make this house her own. If there's one thing I take away from these pictures it's how important it is to have a neutral background on sofas and beds so you can easily introduce repeats of color in the fabrics and assessories. And notice how she knows exactly how to put together all the different textures and color and interesting assessories in her vignettes and tablescapes. Absolutely charming. I particularly love her kitchen, the bathrooms, and the bedrooms! I have a sense she is still tweaking the other rooms and personally, I'd love to take yet another look at her home in about six months. I'll bet it is a "work in progress" and she won't stop until she's ready for her next move! But talk about making a house a home -- she knows how to do it! Well done.

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