A Clean Slate: Rental Property Before & After


Did you have a good weekend?  We had a fabulous time getting some downtime in after such a long several weeks of work.  I’ve been talking non-stop about all of the work we’ve been doing to the house next door to ours. For those of you just joining us, here is the back story.  Just a few short years ago, we purchased Matt’s Grandmas house (which was next door to our house) which she had lived in for seventy five years.  We did this so that we could both watch over her in her old age and also so that we could secure the land and keep it in our family for years to come. 

Matt’s grandma passed away in May and we’ve been working hard to renovate the house since then to get it ready to rent out starting in August. The house was rough… There were some rooms that were renovated in the 80’s, some in the 70’s, and some even earlier. There were layers upon layers of wallpaper, wood floors under four (FOUR) different patchworks of carpet, and original hardware, lighting fixtures, and woodwork.

Our goal was quite simple.  We would remove all of the layers of age and restore the basic skeleton to a clean, fresh slate that still honors the historical integrity of the home.

We worked on the house for seven weeks.  The first five were spent removing 70 years of STUFF out of the house. Matt’s grandmother did not like to let go of things.  She was a true product of the depression.  We found everything from her grade school report cards, to family photos from the 1800’s to bags and bags of saved coupons and newspaper articles.  Of course, we kept anything of sentimental or historical value, but even sorting the good from the bad still took us five weeks.


The Entry Before:  You can see the wallpaper from the 60’s along with the worn carpet and piles of stuff. 


The Kitchen Before: Wallpaper, wallpaper everywhere!  You can see the old light fixtures, the wallpaper, and more mounds of stuff.  This is the view into the dining room.


The Living Room Before:  Funnily enough, this photo was taken on our last weekend of ‘clean-up’ mode.  All of the big pieces were out, plastic bins were labeled with names of grandchildren so we could split up historical photos, and just the pieces that were sold on Craigslist remained.


The Living Room Before:  This is an unclose photo of the big front window, and you can see a little of the fireplace in the corner.

Every window in the house was covered in heavy drapes and there was a lot of furniture.  It was a miracle Matt’s grandma could move within the maze of oversize couches and side tables.

The above ‘before’ pictures were after four weeks of de-cluttering. I really dropped the blogging ball by not taking immediate ‘before’ photos.  Regardless, I think you’ll see that it’s still such  drastic transformation! The two photos above – both of the living room from the entryway are such a stark difference.  Wallpaper gone. Carpet gone. Furniture gone!



The Dining Room After

Aside from removing so much, we added back in just the essentials. White paint on all of the walls and newly finished hardwood floors that were originally covered in carpet are now really stunning!

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The Living Room After


Upstairs Bedroom After: There isn’t a before picture of this room, but it was all mauve/pink with wallpaper everywhere. 

The house has great bones and is a solidly built 1940’s bungalow.  It’s a gorgeous house, but since it’s a rental property, we didn’t want to do too much, or spend too much money.  We didn’t put in expensive accessories or high-end finishes.  We wanted it to be great quality work, but not too expensive, which is why we kept it really simple, but still really beautiful with just a clean, fresh, neutral palette.

So, I hope you guys understand why I’ve been so exhausted these past few weeks.  I can’t wait to get my hands back into my creative work and get into the swing of things in the next few weeks.

I hope you have a fabulous week and I will see you all back here tomorrow!

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