Friday, April 5, 2013

Kitchen and Living Room Tour - The "Before" Photos

 Today I thought I'd finally show you the before pics of the kitchen and living room in our house.
When you walk in the front door, there is a small entryway that opens right up into the open concept family/living room and kitchen. 
 Here's a better look at the living room side of things, with the previous owners' belongings.
It is hard to tell but the fireplace is just a plug-in (not included in the sale). Also, the big window behind the sofa is actually a lovely, new bay window. The window treatments don't really show this off though, so we have plans to change that. It looks right onto the street so something is necessary, but we think we can make the room feel bigger and the window more special by changing this up. 
Here's the room all empty and ready to be painted. Burgundy can be lovely, just not for us and not in narrow spaces like this one. 
Now let's take a better look at the kitchen.
There are lots of drawers, which I think is awesome. I definitely prefer drawers to cupboards. Somehow they keep me more organized. In our old condo kitchen, we had only three small drawers total, so this feels like a huge upgrade. 
(You can check out our first home's kitchen right here). 
This type of cooktop is not my fave, but we aren't going to change it or anything since it is in good working order. The backsplash, white cabinetry, and butcher block I totally love. 
I'll do a post one day on reviving dried out butcher block that has been neglected, and how to care for these countertops. They already look so much better than when we took possession. The photo below is, again, with the sellers' belongings.
Here's a look at the island that separates the kitchen and living room. Ignore the previous owners' belongings in this pic. 

Our plans involve adding modern barstools, eventually new industrial pendant lights, accessories like a small rug in front of the sink and possibly a faux roman shade over the window, and lots and lots of paint. For the living room, we bought a brand new couch, and have plans for some nice storage and a gallery wall (oh, and those window treatments I mentioned). 
There are also things that are hard to see in the pics that needed finishing. For instance, there are lights under the cabinets but they are not hooked up properly so they don't work. Also, the crown moulding above the cabinets had never had the nail holes filled, hadn't been caulked, and wasn't painted. We've fixed that. The little things somehow make such a big difference, even if they aren't noticeable in an obvious way to other people. 

Perhaps the most important thing we'll be doing is cleaning. 
The photos don't do the dirtiness of the house justice. I think it probably scared off a lot of potential buyers who couldn't see past the grime (as I mentioned a little while ago, this house was on the market for ages before we bought it). I am sure the previous homeowners were wonderful people who just happened to not excel in the cleaning and organizing department, but it did make it hard to look at the house (versus look at the clutter). To illustrate, here's two photos I happened to snap of some of the stuff we found after moving in. 
The fridge and freezer were just plain gross. Look at all that old food! Remember, this is after they had moved out and we had taken possession. You can imagine what else we found in the shed, furnace room, etc. Surprises everywhere! 
I gathered up stuff that seemed sentimental (like family photos) or valuable (like video cameras--yes, plural-- jewelry, cash, cheque books, car keys, and gift cards) that were left around and returned them to their realtor to get to them. You can see some of the items gathered in a drawer below (we just corralled everything we found as we cleaned). Stuff that felt like junk, as well as obvious garbage (there was loads of it) we disposed of. Remember, this was not a foreclosure or anything, so this was unexpected. It helps illustrate how poorly the house showed (little effort was put into basic tidying for showings) which I think was a really good thing for us as the purchasers. If you're house hunting, look past the garbage to see potential! 
 Anyway, back to the tour. 
So you can get a sense of layout, through the kitchen (on the opposite side from the living room) is the dining room. I'll show you around there shortly, but for now here's a glimpse of it. It is separate but very much connected, which I love. 
 And that is our new kitchen and family room. They are actually a big part of why we fell in love with this house. I can't wait to show you how we dress 'em up and organize these spaces!


  1. Great house, I love your kitchen and I can't wait to see how you decorate it. Hugs, Marty

  2. Can't wait to see these rooms finished - love the layout so I'm sure it'll be gorgeous -
    By the way - I have 2 drawers in my 100 year old Victorian Kitchen - did you read
    that properly - 2 DRAWERS?
    Why, yes, you most certainly did lol
    Have a wonderful wknd,

  3. This is such a great space and those floors are so gorgeous. You really scored with the kitchen too. That is bizarre that the previous owners left so many personal belongings. Are they on the run or something??

  4. This space has a lot of potential! The kitchen looks great, I can't wait to see you put your personal touch on it. So interesting about all of the stuff left behind...kind of a pain in the butt though!

  5. Great space- looking forward to the "after"!

  6. I can see why you love them, Jenny. Can't wait to see you put your stamp on it and make it yours. xoxoxox

  7. I love the flow of this open concept floor plan ... the kitchen being the center of the floor plan seems perfect since a kitchen is the heart of a home. I also think it's great that the living area and dining room aren't just two opposite ends of a single large space; a little separation in an open concept allows you to have more than a single decor plan and different levels of formality / informality. Perhaps the former owners are just a little forgetful ... leaving all that stuff behind including checkbooks! and obviously forgetting to clean every once in a while ;) Eager to see your "afters".

  8. I can't imagine having to clean up another family's junk and garbage! Kudos to you for returning the things that you thought might matter to them. I am sure that you will enjoy your new home and give it lots of love and attention~

  9. Wow, it's hard to believe it was such a dirty mess before you bought sparkles now. I love those floors and the fresh white cabinets. Congratulations on seeing your diamond in the rough:-)

  10. Loving the open concept! Your house has so much potential. It will be great to see how you decorate it

  11. You're making me nervous! I am paranoid about other people's grime. Ugh!

  12. What a strange thing to see all those things in the freezer?

    Your home is great-I also agree about the enormous potential! You have done very well.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  13. It looks like its gonna be great! Love all the drawers! And sooooooo weird about the former owners stuff? Who does that! Especially $$ and food? What?!

  14. Loving your new home! I cannot believe the previous owners left all that junk for you to worry about!

  15. One of the good benefits you could get from bay windows is the illusion of wide space that it brings to the house. It also create a cozy-feel. But just a reminder: because of its wideness, make sure that it is securely shut, especially when you have kids at home to avoid some window accidents.


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