I lived here.

Several bloggy gals I've read recently are documenting previous homes and the decor therein.  I had actually been looking for old photos to post recently anyway, so now seemed like a good time to share some.  I only have digital photos from around 2000, so I'll have to scan pictures from the first two homes before that.  Which may or may not happen. (leaning toward the latter).

In 1997, we purchased our 4th home having come back to the town we had lived in just after college, and where we reside currently (though we're in house #7 now).  We tend to move every 3-4 years, which is a joke in my family as my folks do the same thing.  It's getting expensive, so we're trying to stay put for awhile. 

When I saw this house, I cried.  We'd built our previous home, and I never got comfy in it.  This house was perfect.  'Course it became un-perfect as we lived there.  You know how it goes.  When I became pregnant with #6, we upsized from this 2.5 wee bedroom cape cod.

It sat on almost an acre, and had huge trees.  I was smitten with the blue and mauve painting treatment.  Now? Not so much.  I was actually beginning to get my decorating feet under me in this house, and although my tastes have changed a bit, I was proud of this house.

Family Room
Recognize the corner hutch?  I was into cottage florals even then.  No painted furniture yet, though.

Galley Kitchen (I was into roses, but aren't the arched doorways cute? And #5 kiddo...he's cute also.)

Main floor bedroom....my three girls slept here.  I was wicked proud of my wall treatment and painting skills in here.  I had sewn the duvet and shams, so was beginning to appreciate my '60's Kenmore hand-me-down sewing machine by this point.

Hubby and I had a bedroom upstairs under the eaves, with our youngest in a 'nursery' up there too.  His room was 5X10 with a sloping roof.  Oldest son slept in a room in the basement.   So when baby #6 was announced, we ran outta room!

Looking back, there are so many times I wished we could've stayed in this house.  By now, we'd have it almost paid off and would've been able to add on and remodel.  This was the first house that 'moved' me.  My girls always say they will move back here someday....such happy memories here.

Our next home was a mistake.  It was a steal, as a friend from church was selling it, and gave us a good deal.  Here's why:

It was horrendously dated.  But it had 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a basement, and THIS!

Which quickly became the bane of my existence.  Talk about a time, money and energy  hog.  Not worth the 2.5 months of use it got in our climate.
After #6 was born, we went to work, quickly realizing this entire house was a Money Pit in the extreme.  We began going into debt in this house, but the only way out was to fix it up and sell it.  Here's some befores.

Ick. We'd actually already taken out the bank of cabinets that were over the peninsula.

Ick #2...like that lantern light? How 'bout that Waverly wallpaper?  Tell me you like the thick wood spindles.

Even with a vaulted ceiling and skylights, this room was a black hole. The sunporch off the back didn't help.

Like rust much? If you look closely, you'll see a couple of these pieces in the 'afters'.

Neato.  My son actually loved this room at the time, as you can see. He was still defining himself, and the retro-goofiness of the painted rainbow, plaid wallpaper and orange carpet fit him.  This room became a pale pink eventually.

We mostly painted stuff, but we did gut the kitchen after my painting adventure on the cabinets and floors went awry.  Ahem.  Here's some afters:

Did lots of painting of furniture (remember the rattan?) and walls, and sewed drapes and cushion covers.
This was my first foray into the 'shabby chic' style.  Not too bad for a first attempt.  I obviously LOVED that fabric as I used it flippin' everywhere.

I was still into roses, and went nuts in this half bath.  See how I wallpapered the cabinet doors?  I also painted the countertop.

Here's the other side.  It had washer/dryer hook-ups, but since there were hookups in the basement, I used this as a changing station for my boys who were both in cloth dipes at the time.

Kitchen.  That island was on wheels so we could push it to the side.  We was geniuses. :)
Everything was replaced in here except the fridge and stove. We knew at this point we were selling, so I just did neutral blah.  Did beadboard backsplash though!

Family Room, lightened up a bit.  I wallpapered behind the shelves.  Thought it looked dandy.  Again, now?  Not so much.

There's my hutch again.  And no chunky spindles.

Master bedroom.  I loved my bed, and still have these linens....hope to use them again in a guest room someday.

Master bath...replaced the vanity/sink.  Wallpapered to cover horrid wall damage. New lights, painted mirror.
Boring, but again, we were going for neutral blah in order to sell.

Took out trees and shrubs, painted, knocked down enclosed brick porch.

We ended up selling this ourselves in about 4 months time....and actually made enough to pay off what we'd spent remodelling, with a bit left to put down on the next house.....

....which will have to wait for another post 'cause I'm pooped from digging thru all my photo files.

It's interesting to see what 'constants' there are in my homes.  Roses, antiques, cottage style.  They take different forms and evolve with each home, but I can see things from my very first apartment 24 years ago that I still love, that are still stylish and classic.  I'm moving more and more away from 'trends', and moving toward what makes me feel like I'm 'home'.  This is going to be a good exercise for me as I attempt to revive my current home.  'Cause, well, I'm not getting any other exercise, don't cha know.



Loui♥ said...

loved it..
and laughed with you as I read each and every word..
loved the "evolving more and more to what makes me feel "HOME"..so true!

Unknown said...

Hi Cindy. What a fun post to read this morning. I got a good laugh with your writing and enjoyed looking at all the changes.

I hope you have a blessed New Year. Hugs....Tracy :)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

What fun to look back at all the previous homes and to see all the changes. Your afters were all stunning. It takes great vision to see the possibilities of a home. Hugs, Marty

Unknown said...

Cindy, I like that Cape you lived in. Too cute. The second home didn't get cute til you spruced it up. You did a remarkable job. Good thing you have taste! Thanks for sharing, it was fun!


Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Fun to see the evolution. Nice changes on the money pit. Wonder what we'll say about our current style in another 10 years? :)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for taking us on a tour of "Cindy's Past Abodes" I felt like you were along side me giving me a guided tour! I think we could all come to the same conclusion as you did -- we are not changing our style so much as making our homes more ourselves. The older we get, the more confident we are in knowing who we are, what we like and not dictated by designers or trends. I liked both homes (after you added your touches). I think homes have to fit right -- like clothes -- or we will never be comfortable in them. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to Part 2!

Catherine @ van Breugel Design said...

That was fun. Isn't it amazing how are taste evolves? Lovely memories aren't they?

Jayme Goffin, The Coop Keeper said...

Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only one that goes through such phases. Isn't it true how as we mature we avoid the trends, and go for what makes us feel good. I can't believe how many places you've lived! I moved ONCE in my whole life, and don't ever plan on moving again.

Love your style girl.

Maggie said...

Hi Cindy,
So enjoyed looking at your previous homes and seeing how your style has evolved.
Happy New Year from Normandy

Patricia said...

Wow... you really are a magician

Funky Junk Interiors said...

You were 'flippin' geniuses' you were. :) I went wow with your after pictures. You did an amazing transformation!

It's interesting to see where we've evolved from for certain. I think the only colour I haven't done in my lifetime is peach. (My mom took care of that one for me so I didn't need to.)

Ohhh... those chunky monkey spindles? I just got rid of my exact same replicas only a year ago. I think they looked uglier on the curb than the 3 old lined up toilets did.


Polly said...

I love this idea! What a great way to chronicle your style and how it changes! I'll have to dig for photos of our first house now!

Thanks for sharing!


SantaClaus said...

Thanks for all the b/4's & after's. I love all the changes you made - good job! I'm amazed that you have six children & do what you do - good gravy. I have one & don't even cook!!! Keep on posting - love to have my first cup of jo with you.


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