Friday, February 24, 2017

Pressler Drive House Renovation

At the end of November, we sold our first home. In the year and a half that we lived in this home, we renovated every space of the house. I realized I never did a Before and After post, so I wanted to write one before we find our new house. We are currently living with my in-laws while we look for a farmhouse. When we sold our house, everyone told us we were crazy to leave our newly remodeled home that we worked so hard on. Ben and I talked about it last week, and neither of us actually miss our Pressler Drive home! We had planned to be missionaries, so I think we were prepared for a life of moving, and we are not the type of people who become attached to things and places. But we are also excited about what's next... a farmhouse with land and animals for our kids (and us!), so leaving behind our Pressler Drive house feels right.

Exterior Before: The Pressler Drive house was on the market for two months before I even clicked on the picture on Zillow. Because it was so ugly on the outside that I wouldn't even look at the inside. One day, I was feeling desperate and going through every single house in our location and price range, and when I clicked on this house, I realized I had never looked at it before! That was the day I thought, "Why not?" and Ben and I went and looked at the house. My friends told me they thought it was cute. I still thought it was ugly, but it felt "right." So we put in a lowball offer, the owner countered, we accepted, and voila! we were first time home owners!

Exterior After: I suppose the funny thing is that for as much as I hated the exterior, to the point of even refusing to look at the listing for two months, we did the least amount of work on the outside of the house. We had bigger plans, like dormers and a grander entrance. But then we decided to sell, so we settled for smaller changes, like new window shutters, door color, landscaping, and a faux garage carriage door.

I don't have any "before" pictures of the exterior backyard, but we put a lot of work in out here. It was in bad shape, and we heard from neighbors that the previous owner only mowed the lawn once or twice a year! 

Kitchen Before: When we walked in this house for our showing, I turned to my husband and was like, "So yeah, we can take this wall here down and move the kitchen to this point here, right?" Because the kitchen was so small! I have lived in a house with a smaller kitchen than this before, but since this was going to be our home for a "long time" (ha!), and because I have a handyman husband, I was definitely dreaming of a bigger kitchen. And a bigger kitchen we did!

From this "before" angle, you can see the hallway to the right in the picture. That hallway led to a utility closet and half bath behind the kitchen. We moved that in order to increase the kitchen size.

This is looking into the kitchen from the living room.

Kitchen After: All my kitchen dreams came true! I always felt so calm and happy when I was in this kitchen. Ben worked so hard to make this kitchen happen (and I worked hard on painting cabinets and walls and keeping kids out of his construction zone).

The farmhouse sink was from ikea, the kitchen cabinets were unpainted from Menards, and we inserted beadboard and painted them Benjamin Moore white dove. We made the pantry door, and the butcher block countertops were from Lumber Liquidators.

Living Room Before: The living room before was separated from the kitchen by a half wall. I wanted a complete open concept, so we took the wall down, put up a faux beam, and white washed it. 

Living Room After: After opening up the living room to the kitchen, we put down new flooring (and salvaged the old floor, which had been poorly laid, and put it upstairs), painted the walls, put up trim and crown moulding, and bought new window treatments. We also put up an awesome diy galvanized tub light in place of the old boring fan.

Fourth Bedroom Before: When we moved into the house, it was a four bedroom. We changed it to a three bedroom, and we used the fourth bedroom (which was located downstairs) to increase the kitchen size and add a master bathroom and closet. Basically, we split the fourth bedroom in half, and half of it became the new utility room and half bathroom, and the other half became part of the master bathroom and closet.

Fourth Bedroom After: We moved some of the old kitchen cabinets in here and put them above the washer and dryer, and we bought a new sink and toilet because the old ones were in poor condition. And new paint on the walls, of course.

Master Bedroom Before: The master bedroom was one of the last spaces we renovated, so I lived with old, gross carpet, dust-covered window blinds, and dingy walls for over a year!

Master Bedroom After: We gave the room a fresh coat of paint, laid new carpet (Ben actually laid the carpet himself with a friend who does it as a side business), put up new window treatments, bought an awesome new ceiling fan, and took out the sliding door closets. We also closed off the previous door to the room and created a new entrance.

Master Bathroom Before: Technically, there was no master bath before. This bathroom had a door both to the master bedroom and to the hallway, so it was a shared bathroom. Don't you love the 1990s decorative window?

Master Bathroom After: Using the space from that fourth bedroom previously mentioned, we rearranged the layout of the master bathroom and made a walk-through closet from the bedroom to the bathroom. We built the sink vanity (it actually wasn't complete in the picture below which is why the faucet on the left is sideways!), installed a jetted tub that Ben subway tiled, laid new tile flooring, and bought new lighting and a new toilet. Oh, and pretty, new shower curtains never hurt a space either!

Playroom Before (2nd Bedroom)

Playroom After (2nd Bedroom): We installed new doors (that we painted white right before moving), laid new flooring (the laminate hardwoods that had previously been downstairs), put up new trim, and painted the walls.

Girls' Room Before (3rd Bedroom):

Girls' Bedroom After (3rd Bedroom): This room had the softest, ugliest carpet ever. It was definitely screaming early 1990s. We replaced the carpet right before moving (waited as long as we could so that the girls wouldn't ruin it), hung new trim, painted the walls, and bought new doors.

Landing Room Before: The landing room was just an awkward space at the top of the steps that was bigger than a hallway but smaller than a room.

Landing Room After: We used the landing room as our craft room/library. It was really the perfect space for it (although, I may need a bigger library in our next house. Books are the only thing I don't mind collecting!). In this space, we put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and laid new flooring (the same that was in the playroom). 

Upstairs Bathroom Before:

Upstairs Bathroom After: We bought a new toilet for this bathroom, but the sink and bathtub were in good-running condition, so we just cleaned them up and put a fresh coat of paint on the sink vanity. We painted the walls and laid new laminate flooring.

And there you have it... all of the Befores and Afters of Pressler Drive. We truly enjoyed our time in this house. We had wonderful neighbors whom we miss. We lived at the end of a quiet drive where the girls could ride their bikes and run around. And we made the house into a place we truly loved. When I look back at these pictures, I feel proud that we breathed life into an old, dirty, dingy house. Renovating was hard, but it was also fun and rewarding! We were thankful to pass this house on to a great young couple that we trust are caring well for it, and we are excited for our next adventure and praying hard for a farmhouse soon!


  1. I love seeing these all side by side! You guys did such big, amazing work, Alisha! And with 3 and 4 little ones!!! So impressed!

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