In July of 2015, we bought a little 1960’s Crawford Home. It’s 1015 square feet of simple goodness and I’m on a mission to give it as much personality as I can squeeze into it without spending a dime. Well, I’ll have to shell out a few dimes here or there, but paying off our student loans ($150K) is the name of the game, so I’ll have to be creative in getting this house in shape, using my favorite free and cheap sources and lots (and lots and lots) of sweat equity.
House Exterior Before
We have plans to clean up the landscaping by removing those overgrown bushes; building out the carport columns; hanging a flag; stenciling our house numbers; switching out the light; painting that brick wall in the carport so it lightens things up and matches; and moving things around in the utility closet (the bumpout that’s in the carport) so that the dryer is inside and we can open up the utility closet to be usable space in the living room. I’d like to lighten upthe house by painting off-white over the blue but Handsome Husband loves the blue. I think it will be especially fabulous if we can get A/C and can get rid of the window units.
Living Room Before
The front door opens up to a modest living room space with a glorious large window. Everything you see was free except for the curtains (made with a bedsheet and yellow scrap from Joann’s) and the curtain rod itself. The couch and lamp were rescued from the curb; the blue chairs were given to me by a friend from work; the fender is mine, inherited from my Dad from the 1970s; the sconces were gifts from my in-laws (handmade!) the frame with the London Tube map was free from ages ago and the map from our honeymoon; pillows presents from my mom or came free with the couch.
Dining Area Before
The bookshelves were free from a friend; the tall lamp was free from my cousins (but it’s dangerous – I think the threading has gotten worn down); The prints in the dining area are by my best friend from my engagement shower; the framed prints are vintage travel posters pulled offline and printed at work and framed in a frame I had since the 8th grade – and good thing since gold is apparently back in; the table is my pride and joy and my husband spent 500$ on materials for it and the legs and the chairs. It was paid for out of my Christmas bonus after we paid off another debt and I. LOVE. IT. Swoon. The pitcher on the table was 2$ on sale from Hobby Lobby.
The kitchen is small because the wall behind the fridge is there so that the water heater closet can exist. My plan: to swap the fridge and the stove and take the walls down, turning the water heater closet into an island. Luckily my family is REALLY handy so once we save up, the hard costs will be a new water heater that can fit in a kitchen island, materials for the countertop, and an electrician/plumber’s time to move some stuff around. All we did in here so far was add handles to the drawers, switch out silver knobs for black, and hang cheap art ($3 from Hobby Lobby) and display things we already own – teapots, coffee mugs, and two tea mugs, gifts from Iran. I’d like to put the dryer in here (where the green-countertopped base cabinet currently is); concrete over the countertops with black tinted concrete; come up with an inexpensive backsplash; change the wall color, add a colorful faux-roman shade, add a pendant light; an if I had endless cash I’d have under-the-counter washer and dryer, but those suckers are expensive so it will never happen.
Kids Room Before
My little girl and boy share a 10×11 room n it’s just perfect for them. Everything you see was gifted, except for my little girl’s bed, which Handsome made for her second birthday – another piece I’m extremely proud of.
Whew. What to do with this room. It’s a moody grey-purple and it makes the inset tub/shower seem very dingy. I’d light to paint it white to freshen things up, then bring in art and a nice shower curtain. There’s an added-on closet that takes up the space behind the door and it’s swkward – I’d love to pull it out and go with open shelving, but the house has so little storage I’d better not.
Third Bedroom/Defacto Storage Room
Originally we had the kids in here but then where would we put all this crap? 🙂 Honestly it was an awkward set up with the kids and their dresser in here. I just didn’t know how to manage their space. Now it’s our music room/everything else room. It’d be lovely for it to be a guest room/home office. We’ll see if that ever happens!
Master Bedroom Before
If we are really good and don’t bring anything into this room, it works just fine. That’s a problem LOL! Most night the two of us plus our two dogs sleep in here, and all of Handsome’s work stuff ends up in here. It has not looked this nice for ages- I’ll need to get an updated picture here soon.
Master Bath (Toilet + Standup Shower)
Where is my picture of the pink tile? As soon as I find it I’ll share. This bathroom endured the same grurple (gray + purple) mistake as the hall bath. It clashes horribly with the pink tile. I’d love to update this space with a fresh coat of light white or grey paint, then do something fun, add nice accents, some art – we shall see.
And that’s it! A tiny little kind-of-blank canvas for us to work from. Can we do it while saving our pennies and our sanity?