01 July 2010

A Few Before & Afters

(long post...)

My friend, Jillian, told me, "It takes a year to move in."  When I later told this to Chris as we were moving in the upteenth box...he said, "Well, not us."

Sorry, honey.  We moved in in December and we still haven't found (let me rephrase...haven't had the complete time to look for...yes, I could look now, but I'm not good at any manual labor after 8 p.m.) his old Mac with all our pictures, my address book, a cable modem (we are paying extra each month because we checked out another one), and The Shins tickets.  We will never find those tickets.

I do have time to look at the picture files I have saved on my computer.  It is fun to see our journey...and a good bit of it is documented.  Not really pictures of us, but pictures of what we were dreaming about.  Isn't it fun to see some dreams actually manifest?

Once Chris and I decided it was right to put our house on the market, we began looking at homes with any free time we had.  Here is his dream home we drove by a million times in Alpharetta, a suburb of Atlanta north of the city.  Let me preface that none of these homes I am going to show you were in our price range...by a long shot....we still dreamed, though.  And dreamed BIG.

How ideal...and it sits on three acres near horse farms

We really loved the idea of land and farming (we even bought a book on goat farming!)

Another neighborhood that we drooled over was Heydon Hall

this truly is country in the city.  And inside...

charm and character throughout

Some more listings I saved were:

An old farmhouse restored beautifully...

that vertical planking and furniture in the bathroom is crazy good

and another home:

We found one home at the top end of our price range with this master bath:

It sold before we listed ours.

After, we found nothing else we remotely liked.  We still felt convicted that it was right to move, so the next logical question was, "Do we build?"

We poured over plan books, and we both fell in love with this Southern Living plan here:

simple farmhouse with an awesome porch!

We found a lot and met with a builder.  He was kind and honest and told us we couldn't do it for the price.  Because most, it not all, of the building in Atlanta had stopped, supplies cost double, even triple, he said.

This builder had no reason to lie to us.  We believed him, gave up on the idea of building, and resumed our search for an existing home. 

We did, ultimately, find our diamond in the rough.  Here are a few before pictures (taken by Anisa Darnell...my friend and an awesome decorator whose house I can't wait to show y'all!)

the cooktop before we cut a see-through

Gotta love the original golden KitchenAid!

and several angles of after:

When I find the other computer, I'll post more befores!



  1. Julie! Those are wonderful photos. Your living space is wonderful and looks like it gets so much light. Love that pendant light in there. I think the kitchen is the greatest transformation. You did such a great job. Did you have help or were you able to plan and decide what to do yourself? I would love to know this: you obviously bought new appliances and I see you chose white. Did you just prefer white over stainless? I recently bought a new wall oven and microwave (KitchenAid - it looks very similar to yours) in white and I think the store thought I was crazy. But I had white in the rest of my appliances and didn't need to change out. Just curious about your choice. I wondered if I was the only one!

    Everything looks wonderful!


  2. Wow!! Your kitchen AND the rest of your home looks just amazing!!! Can't wait to see more!!


  3. Beautiful! I was so excited when I saw the title of your post - I love a good Before & After, and this one did not disappoint! You did such a wonderful job opening things up and creating a comfortable, inviting living space. Kudos! Can't wait to see more (when you find those other before photos).

    Also, it looks like your dream houses and mine are very similar!

  4. Wow, your place looks amazing! I love the kitchen- what an awesome before and after!

  5. 1. I totally agree with your friends statement. I've been in my home a year and am just starting to decorate.

    2. All those houses are simply amazing, so much character.

    3. I love before and afters and yours are awesome. I hope you find the mac so you can share more!

    4. you should write a post about the work you did, you for educational purposes. Like how to save money on renovating a kitchen and finding a good price on materials etc. I need advice!

  6. Your house is awesome! I love it!

  7. Your house is amazing! You've done a great job and I'm loving your kitchen shelves and that backsplash is to die for! The options of houses you looked at are exactly what I'd be drawn to and we've often thought about building too but it hasn't been the right option for us either - maybe someday. Beautiful! : )

  8. We built our home and I love it, but there are some definite perks to buying an existing home. Our last house had honey stained oak cabinets. I always wanted to paint them. I'm not crazy about my current cabinets, but since they are so new the idea of painting them just seems wrong. I would have no problem painting cabinets in an older home through. It's also a nice challenge and a good feeling when you can update an existing home.

  9. wow, its just stunning. beautiful work.

  10. Love the before and afters!! You did such an amazing job.

  11. So lovely! Also, I've had that same southern living plan in my inspiration files for years too and now can't seem to find it again. It was great being reminded of it.

  12. You've done an incredible job with the space. I love the rug in your kitchen!

  13. Please, please tell us where you got the amazing tile back splash. Love. It. Great blog, thanks for the inspiration.