When we first met our li’l ranch, the inspector told us it was OK but needed real work and had what he could only describe as palpable grime. He wasn’t kidding. There was termite rot; the bathrooms were moldy with peeling ceilings and rotten subfloors; it was infested with bugs; almost every surface was sloppily painted tan or dark brown. And those weren’t walls that would pass a white glove test! We either had that thing confident homebuyers have where they “just knew this was the one,” or were naive enough to think these issues were no biggie. Either way, we dreamed of owning a house and this is the house we picked last year! Our little ranch has come such a long way from when these photos were snapped.
Here we are last June going: “Holy shit- we own a house!” Over the moon with joy!
The Kitchen: The kitchen didn’t look too bad on the surface but it was. Counter strips peeled off the plywood. And while roaches are an accepted ugliness in southern life, these guys were off the chain, living it up like our cupboards were Roach Disney World. Last, it looks like the cabinets are beige here but we scrubbed ’em down with TSP to reveal WHITE underneath layers of dirt and grease.
The Dining Room: We didn’t change much here except take an axe and knock out the kitchen island. Arguably this is the one DISrepair we made on the house. There’s still a hole in our floor.
The Living Room: My erstwhile bestie and his girlfriend constructed beautiful bookshelves along the left wall. Everyone who visits compliments them. We’ve still gotta remember to put some support under that wall in our crawl space! Also, you can’t tell here, but fleshy-pink candle wax was spewed down the right wall where the windows are. A nice floral scent but not a pretty look.
The Pink Bedroom: As soon as a sander touched these taupe-painted surfaces, they peeled off in jagged sheets. Not only had someone opted to paint all the walls tan and brown but they had used latex painted over old oil-based. This setback launched what shall forever be remembered as The Great Peel: 20+ hours scraping, sanding and cleaning off tan and brown paint. I discovered a lot of great podcasts during those months.
The Tiny Pink Bath: I was devastated to tear apart this pink bathroom but the subfloor was totally rotten to the point that the shower was not safe to use. I very carefully chipped off pink wall tile for a future project but that stunning pink floor is lost forever.(I’ll tell you what we don’t miss though: these bizarrely hideous, brown walls.)
The Hall Bathroom: Another bath it pained me to destroy. RIP, Basketweave Floor Tile! You are gone but never forgotten. Again, no tears were shed for the funky brown walls. The bathrooms didn’t have vents at first either so it’d build up a light shroom-y sick smell every couple weeks. We painted it a light green, then only recently corrected a well-meaning roommate’s paint job on the unsanded, unprimed trim.
The Office and Guest Bedroom: Lemme say something positive about our poor house that I keep putting down in this post. When we looked at most of the rooms, all we could see were the possibilities. Blank slates ready for color and design we were never allowed to implement as apartment renters. Also worth noting, it’s cool that we got a house with ceiling light fixtures that aren’t your standard “boob light.” Still pleased with ’em!