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My first home…


As I’ve been organizing things in my current home, I came across some pictures of the first home my husband and I owned.  We had lived in apartments and even my in-law’s basement (which wasn’t as bad as it sounds), but this was the first home we could really work on.  And boy, we didn’t mess around.  I bought about ten gallons of paint even before we signed the closing papers.  My DIY-juices had been bottled up long enough and I was ready to go.  I was so hot to work on things, we cracked open the primer within 30 minutes of unlocking the door for the first time.  I didn’t even take before pictures, which I really should have!  So, I thought it would be fun to share those pictures here, so you can see how my style has evolved and notice some things that have stayed the same.  (The pictures were taken with a flash and are scanned from photos, so they are pretty lousy.  Just hang in there with me.)

Almost all of the furniture were hand-me-down and yard sale pieces.  You can see that even in 2004, I loved blue & white, antiques and had a slight European bent.

This was the family room…


 If you’re really observant, you might notice the buffet back in the corner is the one that’s in my dining room now…painted.  I put a brush to that piece as soon as my mom assured me it was okay.  (My mom and dad bought it at an antique store when they were first married, so I felt like it was off-limits.)

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I loved the blue on the walls.  The color is called Bluestone by Eddie Bauer from Lowe’s.  I still like the color, but I’ve definitely leaned towards lighter walls these days.  Still blue, but a paler blue.  


My kids cured me of all of the knick-knacks everywhere.

And here’s the one bathroom in the 1000 square foot place…


I went with Ink by Martha Stewart from Sherwin Williams.  (Am I the only one who remembers the name of the colors used in a home they lived in seven years ago?)  I ended up having to repaint in a lighter color later, because the blue pigment ran down the wall onto the white tile in the shower.  Yikes!  

The kitchen was where we did the most work…installed a spray-painted free chandelier, recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, refaced the cabinets (our first major woodworking project), installed the cherry floors, new hardware, new faucet, and I went to town on the decorative painting.



I still have those chairs…

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 They belonged to my husband’s great, great-grandparents and are probably about 100 years old.  It’s about time to retire them from regular use.  They’re very petite chairs and are sturdy, but they’re starting to creek a bit.



Ah, yes.  The red room.  This was Red Bay from Sherwin Williams, which is still one of my favorite reds.  It’s a lovely rich red color and I had been waiting to paint a room red ever since my mom insisted I keep my bedroom walls white and I would be happy with red curtains…a 12 year old’s wound that couldn’t be healed except by painting a bedroom red when I owned my own home.  Thanks mom.


I made all of the bedding from scratch.  And, yes, you can feel sorry for my poor husband who had to memorize the pillow puzzle I created.  I was much fussier in those days.  

And here’s the guest room…


My scanner was giving me a hard time, so this is the only picture I have to share now.  It was my “neutral room” with mostly shades of white with touches of black.  It’s the room where I displayed my first antique typewriter and used antique linens on the bed.

You can see I still have some of my antique dresses and they’re in my family room now.

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And that’s the grand tour.  Four rooms and a bathroom and that was it.  Teeny tiny, but a place where my DIY energy was unleashed and it really paid off when we sold our house quickly (and for a nice profit) in a housing market that was on the down turn.  I was sad when we sold that house and all of love’s labor that went into it and the memories of cramming 35+ teenagers into that place for monthly hangouts.  I had just learned to really love it when we had to sell it.  Believe it or not, it’s taken longer for me to find that kind of affection for our current home, but I’m almost there.

Anyway, it was fun for me to look at these pictures.  I can see how much my tastes have been refined and also how I’ve been consistent in some of the things I love and am attracted to.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down pre-Miss-Mustard-Seed-lane.

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  1. chalkysoil says:

    I remember the name of the first paint colour I bought to use in my first rented flat “Tivoli Gold” In 1973 !! The landlord wasn’t too thrilled …

  2. Gemika says:

    Love it. Had a giggle at the red room story, :-)

  3. Marilyn says:

    I remember the names of paint colors. I loved looking at your pictures. I have a corner piece very similar to the one that is in your dining room of your first house and I have been contemplated painting it. Any suggestions?. Mine just serves as a decorative piece more than anything. No real storage in the bottom that’s worth mentioning.

    Love your blog and always look forward to furniture feature Fridays!!!

    Marilyn C.

  4. Gay B. says:

    Loved looking at your decorating “history”. Were the skis in the corner from Germany? I have some that look similar, and got mine from an old ski hutte that belonged to a German friend. I love them because of the memories attached.

  5. Rick S says:

    It is fun to revisit our past. Sometimes it makes us wish time stood still. It is fun to see what you used to have and what you feel you will keep forever.

    I also remember a couple paint colors. Popcorn – like unbuttered white popcorn and Vanilla Tan- a bisque color with touch of peach, very light. Both colors were used in homes with open floorplan and without door casings to stop one room and start another. In our current home each room can be it’s own color.


  6. Carrie says:

    I love your dining room table! Do you know who makes it? I’m having a hard time finding the right one for my family.

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